Issuu on Google+ THE VOICE OF MID CANTERBURY 24/7 SUPPORT FOR VINTAGE RALLY ‘ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL’ P3 Guardian Ashburton Monday, April 15, 2013 FIRST PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 27, 1879 Home delivered from 90c Casual $1.20 Delays frustrate local students POLL QUESTION One Mid Canterbury student is still living with her grandmother while others have spent weeks without receiving a cent due to frustrating StudyLink delays. It has reached breaking point for local students studying in other parts of the country, who have expressed their angst to the Guardian about long delays over the telephone, confusion and frustration with StudyLink, who provide loans or financial support in the way of allowances for students going through tertiary education. StudyLink says it acknowledges the frustration, and is undertaking analysis to avoid similar problems next year. It has been particularly difficult for former Ashburton College pupil Georgie Negus-Nelson who moved to Christchurch this year to study nursing at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institution of Technology (CPIT). Originally moving in with her grandmother, Ms Negus-Nelson hoped to find rental accommodation shortly after moving to the city but has been unable to because she has no idea if or when she will receive her student allowance. After sending in her application more than a month ago and starting her course in February, she wants answers. “It’s been a month and I haven’t heard anything from them, it’s been really hard to get hold of them on the phone and when I do they just tell me it’s a busy time of year,” Ms Negus-Nelson said. “I’m meant to be paying board to my grandmother, and I’m really lucky she doesn’t mind, but I do feel ridiculous bludging off my grandmother.” To keep herself afloat, the 21-year-old has also been putting in more hours with her casual catering job, and although it has not affected her study yet, she is concerned it could when the workload increases. The Guardian contacted the Ministry of Social Development to find out what was causing the delay. Late Friday, the head of StudyLink Susan Kosmala emailed the Guardian, saying Ms NegusNelson’s application would be finalised that night and she would be back paid for the weeks she missed ? Should the Government put more money into the student allowance system?? Visit The voice of Mid Canterbury 24/7 www. to have your say. out on. “This year StudyLink has received an influx of late applications for student support. This has led to delays, in some cases, in finalising student support payments,” Ms Kosmala said. Alasdair Tarry left Ashburton College at the end of last year, and is now studying architecture at Victoria University in Wellington. He encountered problems with StudyLink when he applied for a loan for living costs which can see students receive up to $170 a week which they would have to later pay back. Thinking it was finalised, Mr Tarry realised he was not being paid about four weeks into his course. “I actually called them up and said ‘hey I’m not getting my money’ and they told me I needed to send in my bank details, but as it turned out they already had my details and all they had to do was press the okay button.” One other former Ashburton College pupil, who did not want to be named, said he waited up to seven weeks before receiving his first student allowance payment, and had sent the same documentation in several times because StudyLink said they had not received them. Ms Kosmala said the majority of student loans had been finalised and StudyLink was “refocusing” staff and resources to process the remaining applications. “Reasons for delays include that we may be waiting for a student to provide us with the right information, or all the information required to support their application,” Ms Kosmala said. With the processing of applications beginning in October, StudyLink advised students not to delay applying for loans and allowances in the future. Photo Tetsuro Mitomo 140413-TM-072 A Muddy Good Run participant soaks up the fun during the 5km course in Rakaia. It’s a mud bath in Rakaia By Myles Hume Check out our video By Sam Morton “I’m still breathing”. It was that comment from an Ashburton competitor that best summed up yesterday’s inaugural Muddy Good Run event, held in perfect conditions in Rakaia. About 600 people crawled through sticky mud, piled in to crumbling water pits surrounded by barbed wire, clambered in skips, jumped hay bales and horse jumps, negotiated their way across steep terrain and swam across the Rakaia River. The Rakaia Volunteer Fire Service were on hand to hose competitors down during and after the race, as mud-covered competitors strode to the finish. It was a mammoth effort for most, some donning costumes for the five or 10km extravaganza, others just out there for a “Muddy Good Run”. Cold pies greeted some finishing participants, as they crawled their way through a ground net and lunged for the finish line Photo Tetsuro Mitomo 140413-TM-484 The Muddy Pigs team of Devon Reymgoud, Ben Reymgoud, Annie Martis and Bryce Morrison get right into the spirit, crawling to the finish line for a cold pie. – clearly in sight after five gruelling kilometres. “It was a massive course man, just amazing fun ... I can’t wait for next year,” said Robert Ridden of Ashburton. “I’m still breathing, so I’m pretty happy with that,” he gasped. About 1000 spectators turned out at the Rakaia Domain to support their friends, families and work colleagues, cheering them over the line and further egging them on. “This was one of the best events I think I’ve ever done to be honest ... just something for everyone out there and the organisers were right, it was one hell of a challenge,” Christchurch resident Kahn Simon said. Despite a couple of minor mishaps involv- ing some competitors veering off in the wrong direction and a few others getting lost, event organiser John Moore was emphatic about the event’s success. “It’s just been incredible, the turnout was great, everyone was smiling, laughing and most of them really got into the spirit of things,” Mr Moore said. “There were a couple of minor things we will put some focus on and tidy up for the next run, but overall nothing too much to worry about and of course, the day was all about fun. “No-one really cared if they had won or not and it was brilliant to see so many people turn out to support their people on the course and support the retailers on site. MORE TO SHOP AT COUPLAND’S superREASONS hot Your FUEL Stop (our Southern Plains range) HUGE Family Mince & Vege Pie 2 for $ . 50 5 12 pack. Limit 5 Fresh & Frozen. 800gm. Limit 5 700gm $ . 99 3 each Dairy Dale MILK CHOC Chip Biscuits That’s Hot! $ .99 1 each 2L Varieties. Limit 10 2 for $ . 98 5 OR $3 .29 EACH Overall I’m rapt,” he said. Mr Moore was also grateful for the support of Terry and Monica O’Neill who allowed organisers to dig up their land and turn their paddocks into one huge mud bath. As the sun beamed down and Rakaia’s volunteer firefighters continued to hose competitors down, a fun slide was offered to all children to help raise money for the local fire crew to head to the Auckland Sky Tower and further raise funds for children living with leukaemia. If you missed out this time, event organisers have decided to host another Muddy Good Run in October – hoping to build on the success of yesterday’s event. • More photos P8 Open 7.30am to 6pm everyday Today’s weather 110 East St, Ashburton. Ph: 03 308-8487 Prices apply Monday 15th April - Sunday 21st April 2013 while stocks last. Some images are serving suggestions only. HIGH LOW 23 8


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