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Community pull together to shelter kids

News - Pauatahanui School bus shelter

Above: Keeping dry in Pāuatahanui’s new bus shelter: (from left) Samantha O’Donnell, Mayor Mike Tana, Kennedy Bateman, Hugh Horsfield and Amber Havill.

Pāuatahanui school kids no longer have to wait in the rain for a bus, with the opening of a new bus shelter in the village this week.

It’s been a real partnership project that started when the local kids, who catch buses to primary schools and colleges around the region, asked for a shelter to keep them dry in bad weather.

The Pāuatahanui Residents Association picked up their cause and worked with Porirua City Council to co-ordinate the project.

Pāuatahanui School and the Ministry of Education agreed to have the shelter on school land. Local artist Jan Cromie designed the artwork for the glass panels and local green-fingered group Potty Planters cleared and will plant the bank around the shelter. The City bought the bus shelter from a local manufacturer who prepared the site and Greater Wellington Regional Council will look after the shelter’s on-going maintenance.

“This is a fantastic example of organisations and volunteers working together for our kids.  This is going to make a real difference for them for many years to come,” says Mayor Mike Tana who helped formally open the shelter this week. (Tuesday 1 August).

Pāuatahanui School student Amber Havill (12) is thrilled to have the shelter. “This means a lot to me.  I’ve been catching the bus since I was five and I’ll be catching it to get to college.  A lot of the time it’s crazy to have to get drenched in the rain when we catch the bus, our clothes stay wet all day, and then we get sick and can’t go to school.”

The students also loved Cromie’s art work on the glass panels.

“It’s really cool,” said Samantha O’Donnell (11). “It really represents our school with the spoonbills, the inlet, the hills and flaxes.  We can see the inlet from our school and we’re a rural school.”

Pāuatahanui School Principal Bradley Roberts said not only would it provide shelter for college and primary students who bus to and from the village, it would also help improve the safety of the drop-off area in front of the school.

The bus shelter was identified as a priority by the Pāuatahanui Residents Association in its 2009 village plan.  Before it could be built, safety around the school drop-off zone had to be improved with the development of a one-way drop-off system and new road markings.

2 Aug 2017