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Upper Hutt Leader : September 21st 2011
50 UPPER HUTT LEADER, SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 To order your own copy of photos in this paper, or other CCN titles, check out: pix.ccn.co.nz Future of student unions in jeopardy By EMMA BEER Membership of student associ- ations may soon become voluntary and there are suggestions that the associations may fold. The Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament by Heather Roy in 2009. It is now nearing its third reading. Student association member- ship is compulsory in most New Zealand universities, and students are signed up automati- cally at many tertiary institutions. Student associations are con- cerned that if membership is not compulsory, people will choose to not sign up, meaning associations will be unable to properly represent students. Seamus Brady, president of Vic- toria University Wellington Students Association (Vuswa) said if the association had to focus on signing people up, it would take the focus away from what was important. It would put at risk all those structures for the ability to rep- resent every student voice. You make a choice to enrol and join a community so you should contribute a bit to how that com- munity functions,'' he said. But ACT on Campus president Peter McCaffrey said that wasn't how the world worked. It's exactly what every other club on campus has to do. We have to actually explain to people what we do and why it's good. We don't force people to join an organis- ation because they might realise it's good later in the year.'' Mr Brady said another concern was that although services could be picked up by the university, representation couldn't. Anyone can provide services, but no-one can provide student representation like Vuwsa or student associations can,'' he said. Mr McCaffrey said he did not expect all students would join the association if fees remained at current levels. Realistically they're going to have to drop their fees and they're going to have to prioritise their funding. If they try to keep running everything as is, they're not going to have enough money. But that doesn't mean that automatically everything is going to collapse. It means they have to provide students with stuff the students want if they want students to join. Which isn't really that big a deal.'' Mr McCaffrey said student associations often saw themselves as the voice of students. They apply that and say: Well we are negotiating with the university on behalf of students. We're saying students want these things'. The problem is it assumes that students are one group, that they all agree. And typically, it assumes they are one big group of left-wing students.'' Massey University Wellington student association president Alex Hema said its biggest issue was the limited time they would have to change over. If the bill was passed, there would be a maximum time period of four months to change procedures, which was an insanely short'' time. Negotiations would need to be undertaken with the university about what funding could be given, and that took time, she said. If they passed the bill this month and gave us until 2013, that would give us a year to start putting initiatives in place.'' Mr Brady agreed: Throw us a bone and give us a year.'' Two-wheel torture tailored to order By KRIS SHANNON Tough climb: Local cyclists Andrew Mackay, left, and Lee Evans tackling one of Wellington's many hills. Wellington cyclists punished by the region's hills can now find out which climbs are the toughest, thanks to an endurance coach's calculations. Gerrard Smith has spent the last three months cycling many of Wellington's hills in a bid to chart the gradients, lengths and dis- tances of the climbs that make cyclists suffer most. Mr Smith, who runs a personal coaching business for endurance athletes, said he decided to map the region's mountainous routes because they were a vital part of training for cyclists and tria- thletes. When it comes to preparing for an event you want to be able to simulate the terrain that you will be riding on as much as possible,'' he said. You can do a race rehearsal and know that if there's a particu- larly big hill at a point in the course then try and do the same when you're riding around Wellington.'' Mr Smith collected the data using a power meter attached to his bike, before calculating the gradients by dividing the vertical increase by the horizontal distance of the climb. Local cyclist Andrew Mackay said the list was a good resource. It would be awe- some to know the gradients in Welling- ton that you can ride up and compare it to the Tour de France,'' he said. Old Porirua Rd in Ngaio wins the title of Wellington's toughest climb. It is 1.3km in length, with 134 metres of ver- tical climbing at an average gradient of 10.7 per cent. However, one part of Mangaroa Hill Rd in Upper Hutt has a gradient that reaches 20.5 per cent. It does not quite match the Tour de France's famed Alpe d'Huez -- 13.8km with a vertical climb of 1120 metres, but Mr Mackay said he found Old Porirua Rd to be a good one''. It's really steep -- I wouldn't want to do that one too often.'' There are some climbs he has yet to tackle. I haven't done the Rimutakas. I'm looking forward to that one.'' The list is available on his website, MrSmiths.co.nz. HEARTBREAKING BREATHTAKING CLIMBS The steepest climbs surveyed by Gerrard Smith. Hill Gradient (per cent) Length (km) Broadmeadows 11.6 1.00 Old Porirua Rd, Ngaio 10.7 1.30 Ohiro Rd, Te Aro side 10.7 1.00 Ironside Rd, Johnsonville 10.5 0.62 Dowse Dr, Maungauraki 10.4 1.35 Wainuiomata Hill, Hutt side 10.3 1.90 Mangaroa Hill, Upper Hutt 10.2 0.80
September 14th 2011
September 28th 2011