October 29, 2018
Issue 12 2018

Massey responds to student petition demanding a rec centre

A Massey student leader says it is disappointing the university is not prioritising Wellington students’ need for a recreation centre.

The university has responded to a student petition calling for a rec centre that was presented to Vice Chancellor Jan Thomas at a student led forum on the Wellington campus last month.

The petition gained 575 signatures, an impressive chunk of the roughly 3000 students on the Massey Wellington campus.

In its response to the petition, Massey says it is planning discussions about the facility, but insists there are no firm answers regarding a rec centre in the future.  

The Massey at Wellington Students Association (MAWSA) President Emma Pearce says it’s frustrating Massey won’t provide any firm answers.

“One of the biggest things is a lack of communication. If Massey didn’t have the space, they should say so. If they don’t have enough money, they should say so.

“It took them nearly a month to respond to the petition.

“They prioritised the Don Brash saga, but issues like the Wellington marae and the rec centre are pushed into the background.”

Pearce says Massey is hiring the neighbouring Wellington High School Gym for sport and recreation activities, but it has reached capacity and students are now being turned away from sports leagues.

“It would be better if we could have our own space, rather than working around Wellington High School and their schedule.”

Massey Wellington had a recreation centre, but it was closed in 2015 and converted into a space for the Bachelor of Commercial Music programme.

Speaking to students at last month’s forum, Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas said that due to growth on the Wellington campus the gym had to be re-purposed for classes.

Thomas said that there are already opportunities for students to play sport and exercise, as they are hiring the Wellington High School Gym.

However, she recognises that students are looking for a gym of their own.

In response to the petition, Deputy Vice Chancellor Operations, Stuart Morris said planning discussions around a rec centre was underway.

“Discussions regarding the update of the campus development plan will be undertaken during the next few months and engagement with out student body in 2019 will be a key part of this process.

“This will include consideration of appropriate recreation facilities on the Wellington campus.”

Massey University Communications Director James Gardiner said the university definitely recognised the need for additional recreation facilities in Wellington.

"We look forward to involvement of the student body in the work to update the campus development plan over the coming months."