Home' The Wellingtonian : May 19th 2011 Contents 10 THE WELLINGTONIAN, MAY 19, 2011
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Peter Dunne and
Prime Minister John Key says the
sale of the country s valuable
assets will provide a good
investment opportunity for Kiwi
mums and dads .
Too bad this won t benefit the
average household struggling to
pay the power bill, let alone buy
shares in a power company.
Previous asset sales show most
of the shares end up in the hands
of overseas shareholders anyway.
Come November, we will have a
good choice on this issue because
Labour and its prospective Ohariu
MP, Charles Chauvel, have made
it clear they want to hold on to the
country s valuable assets.
The revenue they produce
contributes to public costs such as
our health and education systems.
We haven t heard where
Revenue Minister Peter Dunne
stands. Does he support the
National Government s plan for
another asset selling spree?
I write regarding Beverley Benton
Good on you Beverley. I am
baffled at the rate of retired folks
getting into jobs or holding on to
them for dear life while well and
truly in their twilight years.
With the economic crisis and
families struggling to run
households, one would expect
preference would be given to
employing people who have yet to
fulfil their lifetime aspirations.
Everyone dreams of becoming
freehold one day.
At age 83, one does not need to
be employed to remain active and
while some of us will never make
it to Antarctica, being left
standing in the cold as far as
employment opportunities goes
should be of concern to the likes of
MARIA VAN DER MEEL
Spurred into action by your
editorial on recycling (May 5), I
have rung the city council
regarding obtaining a wheelie bin.
A few weeks ago half the
residences in our street received
them; the rest didn t.
Earlier in the year the council
sent out notices informing
residents who would not be
receiving wheelie bins that their
residences weren t fit for them.
Many wrote in, objecting.
I was informed by a council
officer that recycling and rubbish
collection were the prerogative of
the council, not a right of the
residents. I should be grateful to
be issued with the bags.
My concern is whether the bags
will be strong enough to sustain
two weeks worth of recycling, or
whether will they explode on the
streets of Wellington? Who would
then be liable?
Given that littering is an
offence, will we see wardens
patrolling the streets, issuing
tickets to all and sundry when
residents find their recycling bags
are not up to it, in much the same
was as otherwise legally parked
motorists find themselves
targeted by parking wardens
looking for expired regos and
Not so long ago, few would
imagined such things as parked
cars being a target for a greedy
council scamming extra revenue.
Lyall Bay lights
There is a problem path between
Mysore St and Bankot Cres,
Quite a few steps are lit only at
the Mysore (lower) end and the
light is obstructed by trees.
Time to applaud
This is a time for univer-
sity students to cel-
ebrate. Good on them.
Slightly more than 2000 Vic-
toria University students and
another 603 from Massey are
graduating in Wellington this
The Victoria University
graduations have been taking
place all week, split into five
ceremonies with two tri-
umphant processions through
the city. Massey students are
graduating in two batches next
Thursday and their parade
takes place that day as well.
Tertiary education has mush-
roomed hugely over the years.
In 1999, 44 per cent of New
Zealanders had a tertiary quali-
fication. That number has risen
to 50 per cent.
In 1999, 10 per cent had a
bachelor or a higher qualifi-
cation. Now the figure is 17 per
We are undoubtedly becom-
ing increasingly educated, and
are constantly told by
politicians and educationists
that this is making us a more
intelligent, better informed
However, with ever more
secondary school students
undertaking tertiary education,
particularity university study,
there are downsides.
Marks gained in secondary
school examinations become
Whereas once someone s
School Certificate marks were
crucial in trying to nail down a
job, NCEA marks mean little.
With so many young New
Zealanders having tertiary
qualifications, employers don t
inquire as rigorously about
school exam results. NCEA
results basically enable stud-
ents to enter tertiary education.
Furthermore, not that many
years ago a university degree
was considered exclusive.
Many colleges have honours
boards that list former students
who went on to gain degrees.
Many of these lists have been
abandoned. It s almost like
rewriting the roll. Last year
21,000 New Zealanders gained
These days such a degree cer-
tainly does not guarantee a job.
It has to be the right degree,
with the right marks at the
With so many people opting
to head to university now, there
is arguably a general shortage
of tradesmen. It s almost as if
some see leaving school and
undertaking a trade appren-
ticeship as an admission of aca-
demic failure, which most cer-
tainly should not be the case.
What has all this tertiary
study done? It has certainly
burdened today s young gener-
ation with massive student loan
The student loan debt has
grown so much that it is having
an impact on real estate trends.
Can a young couple, each with
student loans of $40,000, really
contemplate buying a house?
Another consequence, related
to this, is that more young
people seem to be heading over-
seas, perhaps to seek adventure
or higher wages, or maybe to
get away from the burden of
having to repay their loans.
Regardless of all this, a uni-
versity degree does not come
easily. It generally requires
three years of solid study, of sit-
ting exams, of completing
University students, often
living frugally, try to make
their time count -- the days
when students regarded univer-
sity as a cheap holiday-like
extension of their school days
are fairly much over.
So let s salute the students
who are graduating this month.
They ve worked for their suc-
cess and deserve to be
applauded. Perhaps their
hardest days are ahead, but it
would be churlish not to con-
gratulate them on their aca-
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