Labour's KiwiBuild programme might well soon have to make room at the panelbeaters for another Labour policy – the fees-free policy for tertiary level students.

The final figures for the year for fees-free were released on Tuesday and were far from overwhelming. Take-up had fallen well short of expectations, and the number of overall enrolments had dropped rather than lifted.

The best spin Education Minister Chris Hipkins could put on it was that at least enrolment numbers had not fallen by as much as the year before.

Labour had put up the policy in 2016.

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Its main aim was to

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