Dear oh dear!!! This is a bit disturbing on a number of levels, isn’t it?Although it’s possibly a more comfortable bus to travel to school in than many of us will remember, in ‘the old days’ there was no doubt about the purpose of the clapped out old Bedford that blew smoke as it trundled around the pick-up routes delivering students on their way to and from school every day. There was no advertising on either sides or back as school buses were owned either by the Department of Education, Education Boards or Schools themselves. Seldom were there private firms sub-contracted to do the job but if there were they wouldn’t have dreamed of advertising or promoting nudity! (If there WERE bus firms who had such messages emblazoned on their buses you could guarantee they wouldn’t get an education contract!!!)

Nowadays the situation is very different, of course with the Ministry of Education divesting itself of more and more things to do with running education in this country, and school bus runs are a case in point with local contractors being kicked off the runs to be replaced by a huge bus contractor who can afford to trim costs (which suits the MOE) to a level that wouldn’t sustain the smaller local (potential) providers. Where this company is not able to place their own buses they presumably sub-contract and thus we get this! I can imagine (a) the thoughts running through the testosterone-inflamed minds of hairy-legged males getting on to the bus, and (b) those running through the minds of the travelling public who find themselves behind it!

The other part of the message seems to be more appropriate given the scenario I have outlined above, if no less disturbing- School Stripping! Take that as you will- many will be feverishly picturing what might be going on aboard, but my thoughts are more aligned with the subject of assets or the stripping thereof. Few Boards of Trustees will argue that they can only provide their schools with the latest technological assets that their school needs to provide the quality of education desired through concerted fund-raising, certainly unable to do so solely from the MOE Ops Grant.

(As an aside one wonders whether $1 from Queenstown to Christchurch was such a flash idea given the company now does local bus runs?)


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