12 September 2016

Four students from Auckland Normal Intermediate School (ANIS) competing at the NZCT AIMS Games in Tauranga have been singled out for praise after coming to the aid of two elderly bus passengers.

Bayhopper bus driver Mike Greer says he picked up the four visiting pupils who were among the 9,300 athletics participating in the NZCT AIMS Games on what had been “a hell of a day with horrendous traffic.”

“We had a full bus and about 15 of them got on. On one of the stops on the way to Bayfair I lowered the bus to help a lady with crutches get on. Two of the girls hopped up and gave her their seat,” Mr Greer says.

The two girls were netball players Lilly Parke and Keira Marquet.

“The lady was struggling to get on to the bus with her crutches. She said she’d wait for the next bus but we offered her our seats”, Lilly says.

The good samaritan behaviour didn’t stop there with two boys from the football team, Cole Hughes and Elijah Hong, helping another lady.

“She had a lot of shopping bags so I offered her my seat. I then talked to her about my day,” she was really nice”, Cole says.

Bus driver Greer says he was really taken back by their kind gestures.

“Kids get a bad rap on buses and these guys were well behaved and polite”, Mr Greer says.

ANI deputy principal Shane Devery says hearing about the students’ actions make him very proud.

“It’s nice to hear the kids are being respectful and thinking of the elderly ahead of themselves,” Mr Devery said.

The student’s enjoyed their stay in Tauranga with highlights being swimming at the Mount Hot Pools and ten pin bowling.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s  (BOPRC) who co-funded the ‘free’ bus service for NZCT AIMS participants with Tauranga City Council, say patronage on both the free bus shuttle and the Bay Hopper service has been pleasing and they will be looking to build on this next year.

BOPRC transport policy manager, Garry Maloney, says hearing positive feedback about the behaviour of students on both the Bay Hopper and shuttle service has made it all the more worthwhile.

“We’ve had a lot of feedback from our drivers about the impressive behavoiur of NZCT AIMS students on our buses and the story about the ANI students being so helpful to two elderly users is a wonderful example of this,” says BOPRC transport policy manager, Garry Maloney.

Pictured below are Cole Hughes, Elijah Hong, Lilly Parke and Keira Marquet