Kapiti News LOVE THIS PAPER L OV E THIS PLAC E Wednesday, November 25, 2015 Your local news from Paekakariki to Otaki Flights to south dumped Christchurch service was not sustainable David Haxton After less than two years of operation, Air New Zealand is scrapping its Paraparaumu to Christchurch route. “Unfortunately the Paraparaumu to Christchurch route has been operating regularly at little over half full and that’s simply not sustainable long-term,” Air New Zealand’s Louise Struthers said. The last Paraparaumu-Christchurch service will operate on February 28. Mayor Ross Church was disappointed to see the service go. “Kapiti residents accounted for 93 per cent of the total seats booked so our people were using the service. “We did raise concerns that the late morning flight from Kapiti and early afternoon return made the route unattractive to business commuters. Unfortunately Air New Zealand was unable to accommodate different times within their schedule.” On the Kapiti News Facebook page, Tamara Savage said, “What a shame Air NZ didn’t listen to their customers who told them the flight times down and back were ridiculous. “If they had left at 7am and come back at 5pm they may have had more customers.” Chris Hunt said the timing of the flights doomed the route to failure. “Auckland flights are great because you can go up and back in a day and still do a full day’s work. Put similar timed flights to Christchurch on and it will be busy.” “It’s not sustainable due to the timing of the flights, not for lack of demand to travel from Kapiti to Christchurch. It basically eliminates most of the business travel market. If you could do a day trip it would be so much more viable,” Carolyn Parker said. “Funny they never asked passengers what they thought. I agree timings were no good for people travelling for work, unlike the Auckland flight which is perfect,” Mark Fleet said. Elaine Gordon said, “Maybe Jetstar will fill the gap,”Elaine Gordon said, and Barry Tims said, “Opens the door for Ritchie to run the DC3?” On a brighter note, Ms Struthers said, “There is much stronger passenger demand for flights between Paraparaumu and Auckland so we’re responding by increasing the number of return services on this route by two per week to a total of 16 weekly flights. This creates more opportunity for customers to connect via Auckland to the rest of the domestic and international network.” Additional flights will begin on February 29 and depart Auckland on Thursdays and Sundays at 2.30pm, returning from Paraparaumu at 4.25pm. SURPRISED: Kapiti Primary School teacher Rachell Leitch being handed congratulatory flowers by Heather Tickner of OfficeMax New Zealand, which selected Mrs Leitch as a recipient of its nationwide Day Made Better programme. As part of the win, the deserving year eight teacher received $1000 worth of OfficeMax stationary and art supplies. PHOTO: CLOE WILLETTS / KAP191115CWRACHELLLEITCH It’s all about the kids Cloe Willetts Kapiti Primary School teacher Rachell Leitch received the ultimate surprise during a usual daytime class on Thursday when she learnt she had received an award through the OfficeMax New Zealand A Day Made Better programme. A Day Made Better, which recognises the contribution of teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty in their classrooms, selected 15 deserving teachers this year out of 270 national nominations. Mrs Leitch was the first teacher in the Wellington region to receive the award. As well as a framed certificate and bunch of flowers, the dedicated teacher was gifted with a box from OfficeMax worth $1000, which included small presents for each ‘Rachell is all about the kids. They’re at the heart of the matter.’ Martin Hett Kapiti Primary School Principal student, a camera and a large collection of art and stationary supplies. Kapiti Primary School Principal Martin Hett said Mrs Leitch was selected for her ongoing efforts as an inspiring and motivational teacher who is well-liked by the children and generous with her time. “Rachell is all about the kids. They’re at the heart of the matter. She engages with students in innovative ways, including running extension writing and maths programmes, Sing Squad and helping with the school Kapa Haka.” Mrs Leitch, who has spent about 18 years at Kapiti School, taking a one year break to live in London, was close to tears as OfficeMax’s Heather Tickner and Bert Cody spoke of her “incredible talent” in front of room nine students. “I’m just so blown away,” said Mrs Leitch, a long-time Kapiti Coaster who attended Paraparaumu Primary School and Kapiti College, before taking on her first teaching job at Kapiti School. “I love our school and I love these kids — that’s the reason I do what I do. I’m absolutely thrilled.” Room nine student Stevie Willers, 12, said Mrs Leitch “has a really good singing voice and dresses cool,” deserved the win.