Uni staff cuts could hurt elderly
The president of the South Waikato Music Society believes elderly will feel the brunt of the impact if Waikato University’s proposal to cut multiple humanities staff goes ahead.
Seventeen academic staff will lose their jobs if the proposal goes ahead which has been tabled after falling student enrolments in the arts and social sciences.
But Hobbs said that would spell disaster for the university’s Conservatorium of Music which currently has only nine staff to cater for some of the country’s top music students.
In turn he said it would also mean less top quality affordable concerts for older generations in smaller Waikato towns.
‘‘Whereas young people will pay big money to go to hear world artists such as Lady Gaga, Adele, and Justin Bieber these people must have jobs or wealthy daddies because tickets sometimes sell for thousands of dollars but people who are aged have to go through their money they’ve saved for retirement.’’ he said.
‘‘[With that in mind] the likes of the South Waikato Music Society bring more modest sized ensembles to small towns but we are bringing the best musicians in New Zealand and concerts are very reasonably priced.’’
‘‘Why are we getting the best in New Zealand? Because the Conservatorium of Music has excelled in recent years. It’s New Zealand’s outstanding school of music, no ifs or buts, however it is rumoured the conservatorium will have its staff severely reduced,’’ he said.
‘‘If that happens then there won’t be the support for musicians who currently get one on one tuition which will mean less musicians able to go around and perform in our towns.’’
In order to help the university realise the value in not cutting staff numbers Hobbs said a special Showcase Concert will be held at The Plaza in Putaruru at 2pm on Sunday, May 21 featuring the Waikato University Conservatorium of Music.
‘‘I put it to you Hamilton that your Conservatorium of Music is an asset that may well attract greatly more than you could have imagined,’’ he said.
He also pleaded with the university’s vice chancellor to reconsider the proposal.
‘‘Of course we could knock people over 60 out and put them to bed at 4pm but we are not going to. We are not pushovers,’’ he said. residents have been advised.
‘‘There will be no access granted to the area for public recreation or firewood gathering. Appropriate barriers and signage will be in place,’’ she said.
‘‘A number of residences are located within two tree lengths of some of the trees. During felling of these trees, some residents will be required to vacate their properties for safety reasons.’’
Access to the Tokoroa airfield will remain open but may be under traffic control. The road to the motor cross and the South Waikato Racing Club training track will also be under traffic control and will be closed entirely at times during the operation.
The Tokoroa Cemetery will be closed for one day as well.