by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Upper Hutt Leader : December 7th 2011
69 UPPER HUTT LEADER, DECEMBER 7, 2011 NEWS Bus trip choice may include more transfers By JIM CHIPP Would bus travellers be pre- pared to accept more transfers in exchange for more frequent and extensive services? That's the question a Greater Wellington Regional Council consultation will be investiga- ting next year. A review of city bus services has led to a proposal to increase the number of core routes operating 15-minute services, and extending secondary routes with 30-minute all-day services. The downside would be that some bus passengers would need to change buses en route. GWRC's economic wellbeing committee agreed to begin consulting commuters in January. Council senior public trans- port planner Doug Weir said a 15 per cent increase in the number of bus trips was proposed, increasing the frequency of services. Outside the meeting he said new transfer stops would be established at strategic points, but he would not say where. The bulk of people won't be affected by a transfer because even in those outer areas we will be running full services anyway,'' Mr Weir said. The transfer stations would be spacious, well-lit and have real-time travel indicators, but he did not expect the majority of people making transfers to need to wait. The whole idea is to make those transfers immediate.'' In the council's quarterly review, committee members were told 99.8 per cent of bus services run on time, with on- time'' defined as no more than 10 minutes late. How could transfers work if the connection services were allowed to run that late? Mr Weir said the real-time travel information would let drivers and passengers know when the next bus was due, and would allow council officers to plan more reliable services because they would know how long a particular service took at a particular time of day. Bus priority traffic light con- trols would also help, he said. We have a large number of transfers that go on every day -- bus to bus, bus to train, train to bus. International research shows that people are prepared to do it if it leads to better services and more services.'' He expected a slight drop-off in patronage with the introduc- tion of changed timetables, but a sustained rise later. Most services do not run in evenings or weekends and some areas, such as Owhiro Bay, are not served at all. It will be interesting to see what people think of it, and whether they give us the go- ahead,'' Mr Weir said. Insight into what Kiwi kids want from Santa Less than a month out from Christmas, New Zealand Post has offered an exclusive insight into what Kiwi kids hope to find under the tree this year -- courtesy of the thou- sands of letters sent to Santa Claus. Children who write to Santa Claus, c/o Santa's Workshop, North Pole 0001 -- or through the New Zealand Post website at nzpost.co.nz/christmas -- between now and Wednesday, December 14, are guaranteed to receive a letter in their mailbox from the big guy him- self before Christmas. There's no age limit -- but any kid (or adventurous adult) who wants a response from Santa needs to be sure to include their full name and their correct mailing address to get a reply. Based on previous experi- ence we'd expect to see upwards of 100,000 letters to Santa by the close-off date in mid-December,'' New Zealand Post spokesman Michael Tull says. I have it on good authority, from a slightly loose-lipped elf who'd had too many wine- gums, that some clear patterns are emerging in terms of what Kiwi kids want.'' Traditional gifts Traditional favourites fea- ture prominently -- with many 3-to-7 year olds wishing for Lego, scooters, books and dolls (and yes, Barbie still reigns supreme). Books and scooters are also much sought after by older kids and 'tweens -- with more advanced Lego sets also popu- lar. Skateboards and bikes feature prominently on many wish lists among this older crowd. Two wishes which pop up frequently across both age groups are paddling pools and video games -- with younger children often wishing for a video game'' while older kids often get very specific about exactly which game Santa and his elves should magic up for them on Christmas morning. New favourites However, many Kiwi kids are wishing for items which weren't around when their parents were in short pants. Three recent innovations which appear again and again on Kiwi wishlists are: Beyblades -- brightly coloured spin- ning tops based on a Japanese anime series. Nerf guns -- brightly coloured plastic guns which fire foam darts, discs or in some cases, water. An American favourite for generations, they were rare in New Zealand until recently. Mighty Beanz -- an Aust- ralian invention with plastic capsules in a myriad of designs which twist and tumble in unpredictable ways, thanks to a metal weight inside. Parents will be relieved to know that a lot of the things kids are wishing for this year in their personal correspon- dence with Santa aren't expensive -- and some of them don't cost anything at all -- like having a nice Christmas with their friends and family,'' Mr Tull said. You can't put a price on that.'' Balance festive books Because it is easy to get carried away at Christmas, the Consumer Affairs Ministry has some timely advice to help with festive planning. With so many gifts to buy, parties to go to and holidays to enjoy, you can end up spending a lot more than you expected. So plan in advance to decide what you really want to give, eat and do, so you can enjoy the holidays with less of a financial hangover. Plan your presents Decide how presents are going to work this year. There are lots of ways to take the pressure off -- only buying for one family mem- ber each, having a secret Santa, or spending caps on gifts. You can tell children gifts will be smaller or fewer this year -- you could use this as a time to teach them about money, or explain Santa is concerned about the carbon footprint of hauling around such big gifts. Have a think about what sort of gifts you want to give. There are plenty of alternatives to buying some- thing expensive that will never be used. Popular options are making something -- from jam, to sweets, to little herb gardens; giving gifts of time -- babysitting, garden work, helping to clear out a shed; and re-gifting -- per- fect for surprise guests. Even if you do go for a traditional present, buy early to avoid buying something silly in a Christmas Eve shopping panic. Design your menu Have you noticed every time you go to the supermarket you come back with a lot more than you needed? Write a good list before you go and do a big shop once. Then you can take advantage of your supermarket Christ- mas club or higher petrol discount offers. Not only will you avoid buying things you do not need, you also won't get that Christmas morning panic that you have forgotten something. Budget for it Even if you are planning to put some of your shopping on your credit card, having a budget will keep the spend- ing in control. As well as presents and food, add in costs for travelling, enter- taining and special activities. You also have the usual costs of rent, power and food. Now might be a good time to switch to a lower interest rate on your credit card. If you spend less at Christmas, you'll start the year in a much better position. Find out how to make a budget at sorted.org.nz, or get personalised advice on 0508 BUDGETLINE (0508 283 438).
November 30th 2011
December 14th 2011