Waiheke Marketplace : June 29th 2011
5 WAIHEKE MARKETPLACE, JUNE 29, 2011 NEWS Now Available for Weddings | Birthdays | Functions For All Enquiries phone 372 8846 or 372 0046 E firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Mention this ad & sign up to our database before 31 Aug & receive your FREE copy of Luxury Travel Magazine. + Receive 10% o travel insurance! Earn Fly Buys points on ALL travel. United Travel Waiheke 1 Tahi Road, Ostend (09) 372 9606 firstname.lastname@example.org Family split by new bus criteria Separate rides: Lily, 12, and Emma Brennan-Town, 8, will no longer be able to get the school bus together from Orapiu under new Ministry of Education guidelines. By LYNDAL JEFFERIES Two sisters who get the bus to school every day from Orapiu won t be allowed to any more under the Ministry of Education s new school bus criteria. Lily Brennan-Town, 12, attends Waiheke High School and eight- year-old Emma Brennan-Town attends Te Huruhi Primary School. The schools are sited next to each other on Donald Bruce Rd in Surfdale. Despite living rurally and both girls being more than the desig- nated distance from their schools to be eligible for a free school bus service, only Lily will be officially allowed on the bus. Emma would only be eligible for the free school bus if she changed schools to Waiheke Pri- mary School because it is the closest school to Orapiu. Their father Mike Brennan says the situ- ation is unbelievably stupid . The bus will be going to the school next door to Te Huruhi but Emma can t go on it. I don t want her to have to change schools just because of a bus ser- vice. Mr Brennan is now faced with driving Emma 16km each way to school every day at an estimated cost of $120 per week in petrol. On top of this the new restricted free school bus service proposed by the Ministry of Education from term three will only run to the Awaawaroa Bay bus stop. This means 12-year- old Lily, who is still eli- gible for the bus, will still have to be driven 8km from Orapiu to the Awaawaroa Bay bus stop before 6.50am every morning in order to get the free service. The bus is scheduled to arrive at Waiheke High School at 7.50am, 40 minutes before the school day begins at 8.30am. Principal Neil Watson says this could be a prob- lem. This will cause super- vision issues for school teachers who would otherwise be preparing for their teaching day, Mr Watson says. The return bus home after school will not depart the high school until 3.20pm, arriving at Awaawaroa at 3.55pm. Lily will then need to be picked up and driven the 15-minute journey home by her parents. It is totally unwork- able for us, their mother Jennifer Town says. Lily will have to get up so early to be driven over the frosty steep hill to the bus stop in the dark and then won t get home until after 4pm, and we have to fit this in around work as well -- it will be really hard on all of us. Mr Brennan can t understand why the min- istry has been so inflex- ible when considering the island s situation. The current system has worked fine for years -- it s just a small island with three schools, he says. Mr Travers is hopeful a solution may be able to be found when Auck- land Council releases its review of the Travelwise surveys filled out by all school parents this week. Then discussions about possible Auckland Transport Authority subsidised bus services can begin. This may alleviate some of the issues facing more than 200 Te Huruhi Primary School students who have been using the combined bus services. Island Shuttle Buses Ltd owner Geoff Jewitt has the contract for the Ministry of Education free bus services. He says he is very sympathetic and is also working to find a sol- ution for Te Huruhi School families. He wants to offer a shared service for all students. Earlier this month he wrote to all three school principals offering places for ineli- gible students on the new Ministry of Edu- cation bus at a cost of $65 per term or about $1.30 per day. Mr Jewitt says he will have 15 available seats on his 49-seater bus from Orapiu via Onetangi and if more students than this come forward he will consider putting on a second bus which would also relieve some timeta- bling issues. I hope I can carry every single one of them, Mr Jewitt says. At this stage he has had no reply from the school principals, and parents have not been offered this as an option. With less than three weeks until the end of the term for a viable sol- ution to be found Mr Brennan says: I hope they don t just run out of time and we end up stuck with the unwork- able situation they have offered us.
June 22nd 2011
July 6th 2011