We should mint a medal for political leaders who admit they got something wrong. Finance Minister Grant Robertson deserves one for admitting Labour over-estimated the need for free tertiary education.

The need has turned out to be close to zero, tertiary rolls have hardly risen since the first year became free. School leavers have given the Government the valuable lesson that fees are not a barrier to higher education after all.

It is not a lesson anyone should have needed. The student loan scheme introduced with serious fees 30 years ago made them manageable for the poorest of ambitious