Airlines help hip-hop crews can get to competition

'This is the biggest gesture of kindness'

KIMBERLEY CRAYTON-BROWN
Last updated 05:00 25/08/2012
Fiordland College hip-hop
BARRY HARCOURT

SAYING THANKS: Back row, the Fiordland College hip-hop crew Nobulax. From left: Sias Horrell, Julia Cruz, Richard Crouchley, Ruth Crouchley and Rebecca Carruthers. Front row, the Te Anau School Dreamz hip-hop crew. From left, Mackenzie Christie, Millie Walker, Alicia Duncan and Liana Di Stella.

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Three southern hip-hop groups, who feared they would not get to a national hip-hop competition after a last-minute date change left them scrambling for funds, have been given a hand by two airlines.

Hip-hop crews from St Joseph's School in Invercargill, Fiordland College and Te Anau Primary all qualified for the New Zealand Competitive Aerobics Federation national hip-hop finals in Wellington next month.

All three groups booked flights with Jetstar but were caught out when the competition date was changed because of "unforeseen circumstances".

St Joseph's was quoted $1220 to change the dates of their 14 tickets, and the Te Anau group, $1400 to change 18 tickets.

Te Anau hip-hop teacher Katherine King said the "excessive" fee was a huge blow to the group who had worked hard to raise the initial funds.

"I was so disappointed and completely frustrated. The children were starting to get wind of what was happening and their disappointment was really hard to take.”

Cue the Air New Zealand Fairy, who grants one wish a day and will fly the Te Anau groups to Wellington for the finals.

‘This is the biggest gesture of kindness we have ever seen and has been a huge weight lifted off our shoulders. We are all extremely appreciative of all you have done,” the group said.

Air New Zealand was unable to help St Joseph's, but principal Anne Canny said Jetstar had since told them they could change their flights at no cost.

The group was "extremely grateful". she said.

The result was particularly pleasing as the school had been repeatedly frustrated by its dealings with Jetstar, she said.

The pupils, aged 9 to 11, had spent weekends and holidays practising, and would have been devastated if they could not get to the finals, Mrs Canny said.

When contacted by The Southland Times, Jetstar representatives did not comment, instead contacting Mrs Canny with the good news late yesterday.

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- The Southland Times

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