VUWSA welcomes election of student-friendly candidates

The Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) welcomes the election of student-friendly candidates to Wellington City Council and the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

The majority of candidates (eight of the 13) elected to Wellington City Councilsigned VUWSA’s pledge for a compulsory rental warrant of fitness by 2019.

Six out of the 13 candidates elected to the Greater Wellington Regional signed VUWSA’s pledge for a 50 percent tertiary discount on public transport be included in Wellington’s 2017/18 Annual Plan.

‘We still have a bit more work to do before fairer fares and rental warrant of fitness become a reality,’ says VUWSA's President, Jonathan Gee.

‘The plan now is to target candidates who have not yet signed our pledge for fairer fares so that we can get it over the line. We’re just one short of a majority on the Regional Council, so we’re particularly keen to focus on Lower Hutt and Wairarapa where there are newly-elected councillors who have not yet signed our pledge.

‘A number of students live out in Lower Hutt and Wairarapa, so we want to tell these councillors that fairer fares will do a world of difference in enabling their student-constituents to succeed academically.’

Gee also congratulated Justin Lester on his mayoral win.

‘Justin is a strong student-friendly candidate. He has signed our pledge for a rental warrant of fitness, and plans to bring a local bill to Parliament to get it over the line. We look forward to working with him to progress this.’

VUWSA worked tirelessly to encourage strong student turnout in the elections, enrolling almost 600 students.

‘The postal voting system presented a massive hurdle do to the transient nature of the student population, but we are glad our efforts contributed to an overall increase in turnout in Wellington,’ says VUWSA's Welfare Vice President, Rory Lenihan-Ikin.

‘We wanted to make the student-friendly Wellington campaign as easy for students as possible. One of the issues that keep students from voting, is not knowing who to vote for.’

‘That’s why we contacted all candidates and asked them if they’d pledge to our student friendly policies. We also created the www.studentfriendlywellington.nz website, and are constantly updating who’s pledged for what, which made it easier for students to know who to vote for.’

We are pleased with voter-turnout, and hope the efforts we made helped encourage people to vote.’