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‘Out of Touch’ Regional Council Cuts Key Bus Route

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

25TH February 2015

Media Release: Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA)

Regional Council Labelled ‘Out of Touch’ After Cutting Key Bus Route

The Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) is deeply disappointed that Greater Wellington Regional Council decided to proceed with cutting the number 18 bus route today - a key service connecting campuses.

VUWSA President, Rick Zwaan, said the move highlighted “how out of touch the Regional Council is with the concerns of students and other citizens.”

“Since the move to cut the route was first proposed, we’ve been talking to hundreds of students, university staff and other members of the public who have unanimously been very concerned that the regional council would cut such an important route.”

The 18 route connects student suburbs of Newtown, Mt Cook with five campuses of the three universities in Wellington.

“It’s shocking that our elected representatives so brashly ignore the concerns of a group in their community that are in need of support.”

“This is a move that has been celebrated internally within the council for the level of consultation that occurred and yet after almost a year of dialogue we’re not seeing any indication that the council are willing to listen.”

“We even went to the extreme of having a public meeting on a bus, but still the concerns of passengers fell on deaf ears”

When VUWSA addressed the council this morning they highlighted the value that students bring to the region and urged councillors to recognise that.

“This week we’re welcoming thousands of new students to the city, and I would love to tell them how great our Regional Council is in valuing the contribution we make to the region. Unfortunately I’m unable to do that.”

Zwaan highlighted that Victoria students collectively contribute over $200 million, in rent alone, to the region’s economy.

“Students are ratepayers too, yet it appears that the council refuses to accept that they have any obligation to care for them.”

ENDS


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