Wellington housing and transportation issues compromise tertiary studies

By Ani-Oriwia Adds

Victoria University students are pushing the Greater Wellington Regional Council to take their plea for affordable public transport seriously. The president of the Māori Students Association of Ngāi Tauira says students are missing classes and struggling to keep up with studies because they can't afford to get into the city.

Wellington students are fighting for their right to easily access tertiary education.

President of Ngai Tauira Kealyn Marshal-Nyman told Te Kāea, “The prices of transport in the Wellington region is more a barrier for students to access tertiary education. We are constantly weighing up the option, do we come to class or is it easier for us to stay at home and miss out on that class and have to work even harder to be able to catch up on our studies.”

The association has been pushing the regional council to take their plea for affordable public transport seriously. Mayor of Wellington Justin Lester says he is happy to work with the council to support the student discount scheme.

“Almost every other university city or town in New Zealand has discounted student fares. Just up the road in Palmerston North they’ve got free student fares. Palmerston North is a student friendly city so that’s something we want here in Wellington too.”

The introduction of student fares has not been included in the council's annual plan. However, there is specific mention that tertiary fares are to be considered in 2018.

A member of VUWSA Tamatha Paul says, “We’ve had a lot of submissions from rate payers who think it is within their best interest to offer subsidised tertiary fares and it makes sense because we are studying to contribute back to society and it would be cool if society could help us out.”

Submissions close on April 12.