Join the Free Bus Campaign

Author: Courtney Johnston, Director
We're delighted that Steel and Tube and The Learning Connexion are helping us make The Dowse and Petone Settlers Museum accessible to more schools.
Jolie DeGaia, one of our educators, and a class group with Ronnie van Hout's 'Fallen robot'

Jolie DeGaia, one of our educators, and a class group with Ronnie van Hout's 'Fallen robot'

Readers of today’s Hutt News will have seen a large and colourful article celebrating the launch of our new fundraising campaign to provide free bus trips for local schools who come to take part in our LEOTC education programmes at The Dowse and Petone Settlers Museum.

I wrote last year about the growing difficulties schools are having organising trips to places like The Dowse and Petone Settlers Museum, prompted by this article ‘Kids dip out as cost of school trip rises’ in the DomPost. As I said then—we’re acutely aware that the cost of transport shouldn’t stop kids and teenagers from using and loving our museums. And now, with some generous support, we’re doing something about that.

Our free bus campaign aims to eventually offer free transport for all schools in the Lower Hutt area to The Dowse and Petone Settlers Museum. Through the generosity of The Learning Connexion, who are lending us their colourful bus and lovely driver at a very good rate, we are starting by focusing on the schools based around the TLC campus: Taita, Stokes Valley, Pomare, Naenae and Epuni.

Even a very good rate adds up to a cost though. And here we are incredibly happy to welcome Petone-based company Steel and Tube as the founding sponsor of the free bus campaign. Their CEO Dave Taylor joined us last week to welcome classes from Dyer Street School who rolled up on the TLC bus for a visit to Shapeshifter and it was wonderful to be able to show him the focused excitement and imaginative bursts these visits create.

We’re also grateful to Simon Edwards and the Hutt News for their support of The Dowse and this project: the Hutt News will be profiling every (willing!) major donor to this fundraising campaign.

We are now actively looking for more supporters to join Steel and Tube in helping us make sure that the experience we offer through our education outreach is accessible to all children and schools. If you would like to support this initiative, you can make a donation(just tag your cheque or online banking deposit ‘free bus’). If you or your business/organisation are interested in joining Steel and Tube as one of the partners in the project, I would love to hear from you: you can call me on 04 570 6500 or email me:


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