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Thursday May 4, 2017

Back to school for Little

Exhibition to Inspire a ‘Cycling Revolution’ Houghton Bay photographer Victoria Vincent opened her exhibition “I do it” at Thistle Hall on Tuesday. The photography exhibition and community project features Wellington women using their bikes for real, everyday reasons. It explores the gender gap that sees bloke cyclists in Wellington outnumber women cyclists by as much as three to one. Victoria, an award-winning photographer and owner of A Beautiful Photo, has spent the past two months documenting women using their bikes to get around the capital, and finding out what inspires them to ‘do it’ on two wheels. It was partially funded by the Wellington City Council Communities on Bikes Fund. Victoria said she hoped by sharing their stories, she can inspire more women to cycle, and shift Wellington’s culture to one where biking is a safe and accepted part of our vibrant urban lives. “I Do It” runs at Thistle Gallery until Sunday, May 7.

Leader of the Labour Party Andrew Little with partner Leigh Fitzgerald who works at Island Bay School. PHOTO: Emma McAuliffe By Emma McAuliffe

Island Bay School had a new team member on the administration block this week. Leader of the Labour Party Andrew Little visited the school on Monday to learn more about the work of school support staff and gain a greater understanding of their funding as part of a nationwide campaign led by New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa. Mr Little had the opportunity to find out what went on in the administration block and visit classrooms benefitted by teacher aides. He also signed a pledge committing to better funding for schools and was asked to deliver the petition to Minister for Education Nikki Kaye.

Mr Little said he was approached by NZEI to take on a support staff role for the day to draw attention to the need for better funding in schools. “I accept in principle what the NZEI is saying. I just need to see what it means in practice. This government has frozen operational funding for support staff. We are committed to unfreezing this however, I can’t say when this will be or how long it will take,” he said. Lack of funding towards support staff means schools pay for teacher aides, administration staff and others out of their own budget, rather than through the Ministry of Education. Teacher aide at Island Bay School, Shelley Banks, said while she loved her job it would be good to earn more for what she did.


“It’s fair to say it’s rewarding. It’s tough to know it really isn’t possible to get extra money because any money we could get would be coming out of paying for the resources we need. I’ve been here for five years and I think I’ve had a 50 cent pay rise a year since I’ve started. I’m still under $18 an hour,” Shelley said. Shelley said as part of her job she ran a programme to help children needing remedial help with literacy, worked with an English as a second language student and ran a group for children needing help with maths. “Generally we a re moving around a lot. We get to know individual children. Some are working with individual children full time. We don’t do it for the money but I love my job.”

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Cook Strait News 04-05-17  

Cook Strait News 04-05-17

Cook Strait News 04-05-17  

Cook Strait News 04-05-17