Students feel let down
Members of the beleaguered Whitireia Independent Student Association (WISA) feel abandoned and angered by the sudden resignation of acting president Tim Manu.
Mr Manu, then a Porirua City councillor and part-time student, stepped into the position in August, pledging reform and stability after the association was rocked by allegations that the former student president and vice-president were involved in a $750,000 spending scandal now being investigated by the police. He resigned two weeks ago. Association member Max Lesnak emailed the Kapi-Mana News, incensed by Mr Manu’s departure.
‘‘Word around campus is that he did nothing but use the WISA situation as political leverage for his campaign,’’ he wrote.
‘‘Tim has been all about the words and has done nothing, and is taking the credit for those hard workers who have actually tried to clean up the reputation and who are actually there for the benefit of the students.’’
Mr Manu said last week he had over-committed himself and wanted to concentrate on the local body elections. He denied taking on the role to raise his public profile.
‘‘I felt like I had a gun to my head and was given an ultimatum, student president or councillor.
‘‘I still have a job to do for my community. If I compromised my electoral campaign for the student association, it would have been a step backward for me in my career.’’
WISA’s office manager Maddy Pesefea has fronted up to disgruntled students for months. She said some felt let down by Mr Manu.
‘‘[The new executive members] are the ones doing all the hard work. Whether [Mr Manu] had finished what he’d come here to do, that could be debated.’’
Mr Manu, who was not re-elected to the council, said he had not ‘‘abandoned’’ the association and would assist in a ‘‘different capacity as a lobbyist’’.