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Thursday March 17, 2016

Calls grow for cheaper bus fares for students By Colin Engelbrecht WHITIREIA JOURNALISM STUDENT

Eco-friendly open day for Berhampore Nursery By Colin Engelbrecht WHITIREIA JOURNALISM STUDENT

‘Backyard Biodiversity’ is the theme for the Berhampore Nursery Open Day this Saturday. The Wellington City Council nursery, which is used to grow plants for revegetation in council plots, will open to the public for the annual event this weekend. During the open day visitors will have the opportunity to see displays and listen to speakers from the community and local organisations. The displays will teach people how to plant to be friendlier to native birds, lizards and insects. Ali Whitton of the Wellington City Council said one of the displays would be presented by the Beekeepers Association and visitors would have the chance to learn about what plants were best for bees.

He said there would also be a talk on seed collection, as the nursery was an econursery. This meant they made sure to get their seeds from places as close as possible to where they intended to plant them. Ali said if they got Kowhai seeds from the far North of New Zealand, they would have very different genetic material, compared to a coastal Kowhai grown in the “salty winds” in Wellington. “It’s ethical to collect seeds this way, plus plants are better suited to local conditions,” he said. Plants would also be on sale to the public, and speakers and displays would be coordinated to each section to match up with what plants were being sold. Berhampore Nursery Open Day will take place this Saturday, March 19 from 10am to 2pm. Plants will be on sale for between $7 to $10.

A petition started by a Victoria University student hoping to get cheaper bus fares for those studying is gaining traction. Byron Oosthuizen of Mt Cook started the petition earlier this week in a bid to encourage Metlink to give students a discount on their bus rides. He said he wanted to gauge people's reaction and get the ball rolling. “I think if people get behind it a change can be made really easily,” Byron said. Byron studies at Victoria University’s Pipitea campus in central Wellington and spends $20 to $25 a week on public transport. “It’s a 40 to 45 minute walk one way, and in the winter it’s rainy so taking the bus is necessary,” he said. Byron said since starting the petition, he had been in contact with Victoria University's Student Association president, Jonathan Gee. “We will definitely collaborate on this together, there's lots of support from students,” Byron said. Victoria University’s Student Association has campaigned for cheaper fares in the past - and in 2014 Wellington City Council voted on a 25 per cent reduced fare for tertiary students.

However, the vote required tertiary institutions to subsidise the reduction, which they were not willing to do. Jonathan said the association once again planned to campaign for cheaper fares as part of this year’s local body elections. Greater Wellington Regional Councillor Paul Swain said the issue was considered a while ago when students asked for a 50 per cent reduction. “The estimated cost was in the order of $4 million yearly,” he said. Paul said students were not the only low income group using buses and the council did not want to decide which group would receive

concession reductions. He said then Chairwoman of the Greater Wellington Regional Council Fran Wilde wrote to regional authorities and tertiary centres saying the council would subsidise part of a 25 per cent reduction if they also agreed to contribute money. However they received no cash offers for the subsidy. “The whole issue has been left idle for the new chairperson to pick up,” Paul said.  Do you think there should be cheaper fares for students on buses? Send us an email – news@

A Victoria University student would like to see cheaper fares for tertiary students.

We asked:

Q: What do you like most about life at Kilmarnock Heights Home?

A rest home with spark Kilmarnock Heights Home An elder-centred community Kilmarnock Heights Home is special; it’s more than just a rest home. As well as providing daily living support we ensure residents have choice and control in their lives. We take every opportunity to bring companionship, fun and meaningful activity into the lives of elders. Family and friends Kilmarnock Heights Home is like one big family. Residents are encouraged to invite their loved ones to visit at any time; there’s no set visiting hours. And, for the children - we have a fully stocked toy box to keep them entertained!

Pets welcome We believe pets can be both calming and energising. So, we welcome animals at our home. If you have a pet that’s part of your family, ask us about moving to Kilmarnock Heights Home with them. The social life At Kilmarnock Heights Home we support residents to continue doing the things they love in a way that’s right for them. The busy social calendar and stimulating recreation programme certainly make for a vibrant and engaging atmosphere.

Rest home | Respite | Day Guest Programme | 0508 36 54 83

Johnnie Wood

Betty Gidley

“I’ve never been so busy in my life. There’s always something for me to do. I feel I was meant to be here. The staff is absolutely wonderful - their aim is to keep everybody happy.”

“I needed to move into a rest home so I chose to come to Kilmarnock Heights and I’m so glad I did! I’ve made some good friends here and there are always lots of people to talk to.”

Bob McCallum

Alison Fraser

“This is the best place for me because there’s help at hand when I need it.”

“I love Kilmarnock. It’s not clinical looking it’s casual and relaxed and I like that.”

Ida Bale “It’s nice having people around – there isn’t a single person here that I don’t get along with. The people and the staff are just great. This is a very special place; it’s like family.”

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