A Student Friendly Wellington helps students thrive

Today, Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) launched the Student Friendly Wellington website, as part of their Student Friendly Wellington campaign – an initiative that will help make Wellington a place where students thrive, not just survive.

The Student Friendly Wellington campaign focuses on improving two issues: Decreasing the cost of student public transport fares with Fairer Fares, so tertiary fares are the same as high school students; and introducing a comprehensive Rental Warrant of Fitness so Wellington flats are warm, safe and dry.   

‘With so many students living below the poverty line, we are in great need of a substantial change in Wellington and in New Zealand. We’re calling on council candidates to commit to student-friendly policies in the September local body elections,’ says Jonathan Gee, VUWSA’s President.

‘Wellington students currently pay more for public transport than students in any other major city in the country. For Wellington to continue to grow and prosper, it needs to remain affordable,’ says Rory Lenihan-Ikin, VUWSA’s Welfare Vice President.

‘Having tertiary bus fares and a Rental Warrant of Fitness would be a huge win for Wellington in becoming a truly student-friendly city, and would align us with other major cities around the world with student fares.’

‘Students pay thousands of dollars on education and help the sector contribute $2 billion to the Wellington economy. Yet, the majority of us can’t afford the bus to get to class and live in cold, damp, mouldy flats,’ says Gee.

The Student Friendly Wellington campaign asks candidates from each council to make a pledge regarding the two issues and: implement Fairer Fares and Rental Warrant of Fitness. Those who pledge will be published on www.studentfriendlywellington.nz to help students make an informed vote.

‘Wellington has roughly 40,000 students. If a quarter of the students voted, collectively, we could swing an election,’ says Gee.

‘This might sound out of reach, but it truly is not. With around 7,500 votes needed to win a seat on the Regional Council, and only 2,500 for a seat on the City Council, students can show we’re an important voice in this city.