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Upper Hutt Leader : August 3rd 2011
45 UPPER HUTT LEADER, AUGUST 3, 2011 To order your own copy of photos in this paper, or other CCN titles, check out: pix.ccn.co.nz Courses not Hutt bound -- Sowry By KAROLINE TUCKEY Concerns Whitireia courses could be relocated to Petone if a proposed partnership with WelTec goes ahead are unfounded and student feedback about the arrangement has been exclusively positive, the Whitireia chairman says. Roger Sowry, who is chairman of the board of both Whitireia and WelTec, recently announced both tertiary providers have begun con- sultation on a strategic partner- ship'' that was likely to include a combined academic board and allow staff and resources to be shared. But a staff member at the Porirua campus, who asked not to be named, said management were not addressing practical concerns raised by staff, and students could find their classes relocated across the region. Courses shifted between Porirua and Petone would seriously disadvantage students who had to travel between the two, since transport between the cities was problematic, he said. You can do the first year of the [IT] degree at two campuses, but after that . . . the implication is that you can do your first year degree at Whitireia, but you have to go to WelTec to do the second year. People [from Porirua] are not going to go over to Petone.'' Mr Sowry said staff and students were being fully consulted about the proposal and there were no plans to shift any courses between Porirua and Petone. No one has talked about that at all, and we can't put any more students on the Petone site, it's just full. You can't just move funding places from one insti- tution to another -- it's impossible, we are not allowed to. We are much more interested in the staff movement between campuses and teaching on each other's campuses, so the students don't have to move. That makes more sense than moving whole classes of students.'' However, he alluded to the potential for courses to be shifted to or from the Whitireia Welling- ton campus, saying the partner- ship allowed the potential to strengthen and develop on Whiti- reia's Centres of Excellence -- sites which house courses of a similar focus, such as the strong group of health courses at Whitireia Porirua, creative arts and media subjects at Whitireia Wellington, and trades at WelTec. Courses such as WelTec's cer- tificate in special effects and makeup artistry could be shifted to the creative Wellington site so they could benefit from staff and students housed at one centre to share ideas'', he said. Kapi-Mana News has been told of concerns among some students that fewer places will be available for Whitireia and WelTec students progressing to consecutive years of study in the same course. But Mr Sowry said no courses, or places on courses, would be lost as a direct result of the partner- ship. Passengers protest poor service Waiting: Train commuters on the Tranz Metro service, which has come under fire. Commuter rebellion By SADIE BECKMAN Kapiti rail commuters are refus- ing to pay in silent protests'' over delays, mechanical problems and overcrowding on the district line. The protests involve commuters literally turning their backs on ticket collectors in overcrowded trains. Regular commuter to Welling- ton Lauren Granshaw said she had seen passengers turn from ticket collectors -- and had even done it herself. People are sick of the delays and overcrowding,'' she said. We are charged for what should be a certain level of service and we don't receive it. Maybe people have to resort to some kind of minor civil dis- obedience to get heard.'' Ms Granshaw also said the heating units inside trains seemed irregular, with no heating when it was cold and heaters on high in packed stuffy carriages. You burn your leg when it's crowded if you're not careful,'' she said. Another commuter who would not give her name also described burning her leg on the heater in crowded conditions. Adam Elborn, waiting at Para- paraumu for a bus to replace his delayed train, said he had seen deliberate non-payment of fares by train users on several occasions. People pretended to be asleep or turned their backs on ticket collectors on overcrowded trains, he said. Mr Elborn said individual train guards tried to give information to people and were friendly, but he hadn't had a good experience with Metlink's customer phone line for complaints. When you try to ring [them] no-one gets back to you,'' he said. Nicola Jarvis said there were delays all the time'' and had experienced overcrowding in the last couple of weeks, with many people not paying as the ticket collectors couldn't get through the packed carriages. She said non-payment of fares due to overcrowding was unfair on monthly passholders -- mostly commuters. Regional council public trans- port manager Wayne Hastie said KiwiRail was aware of people not paying fares earlier this year dur- ing a time of serious overcrowding on the Kapiti and Hutt lines. [This was] partly because train staff couldn't cope with the sheer number of passengers and partly because a small number of people were deliberately avoiding paying their fares,'' he said. He attributed overcrowding to people trying out new timetables with the introduction of the new Waikanae service, making it diffi- cult for KiwiRail to match train capacity to passenger numbers, as well as there being fewer of the new trains in service at that time than was hoped. KiwiRail originally put measures into place such as tickets being checked on platforms before boarding, but removed those measures in May when new trains came into service, easing overcrowding, he said. Mr Hastie was unaware of deliberate non-payment of ticket fares in recent weeks. However, he conceded there were still issues with mechanical faults on the ageing Ganz Mavag trains, and commuters were the ones who had suffered the most. Yes, regular bread and butter' customers have put up with the most delays and disruptions that have occurred over the last two years; however, things are improving.'' Mr Hastie said overcrowding had eased and services were becoming steadily more reliable''. Signs have gone up at stations asking people to pay your fair share''.
July 27th 2011
August 10th 2011