Uni staff cuts could hurt el­derly

South Waikato News - - Motoring - LUKE KIRKEBY

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.

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