It seems a student campaign pushing for tertiary student concession fares on public transport is hitting a nerve.
Victoria University student magazine Salient reports that Wellington Regional Councillors have been asked to remain tight-lipped when asked about their position on the Fairer Fares Campaign:
Deputy Chair of the Transport Committee and Wellington Regional Councillor for Lower Hutt Peter Glensor said he would not say whether he supported the campaign and “recommended his colleagues to do the same.”
In an email, Glensor said he was concerned that Salient had reported in Issue 6 that “five of my colleagues, on the strength of having their photo taken alongside a Fairer Fares person, have made that commitment.”
“That is certainly not what the five are saying to me and the other Councillors,” he said.
But, contrary to Glensor’s accusations, Salient contacted all 13 Councillors individually for both issues, and it was on that basis that they were reported as being in support of the campaign.
Further, fellow Councillor Daran Ponter asserted that Glensor did not speak for him.
“I support the student campaign, but I would prefer a nationwide solution,” he said.
Glensor’s attempt to try and stop democratically elected representatives doing their jobs is truly bizarre. If they are, as he is claiming, telling him one thing while going on the record with media saying the opposite, what does that say about both his leadership of the critically important area of public transport and the wider dynamics within the Regional Council?
It will be interesting to watch how this campaign develops and how the Regional Council engages with. It’s gaining momentum; nearly a majority of Councillors support the campaign; and it’s an issue that affects many students in the Wellington region. All this could make for a fun election year at the Regional Council.
Salient’s tally of current Councillor support of the campaign can be found here.