Key Points:

Helen Clark knows what it's like to be a poor student - she didn't even have a record-player in her early university days.

Asked by a student at Otago University yesterday if she had any idea what it was like to live on $150 a week in 2008, Helen Clark replied: "I can assure you as a student on a very small allowance, and parents trying to help out where they could, and working every single weekend of the long holidays and actually not having as much as a record-player or a motorbike during my BA years, I certainly know what it's like to earn very little money."

She said it had been her dream that students today could enjoy the support her generation had. She told her cheering audience that she wanted them to be "treated like the adults you are".