Commute main focus for this man

SOLUTIONS NEEDED: Michael Beaumont thinks the commute from North Canterbury to Christchurch is a rebuild priority
SOLUTIONS NEEDED: Michael Beaumont thinks the commute from North Canterbury to Christchurch is a rebuild priority


Job: Nursing student, volunteer firefighter, president of CPIT Student Volunteer Army

Lived in Christchurch: 20 years

Where: Coffee Culture at The Palms. 

Michael Beaumont likes any ideas for reducing the commute from North Canterbury to Christchurch.

He grew up in Kaiapoi and still lives there, regularly driving into the city to attend nursing classes at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology.

He helped start up the CPIT branch of the Student Volunteer Army, working alongside the University of Canterbury group. Beaumont likes coming into the city and being a part of a busy campus. The commute is a different story. Kaiapoi has not experienced the same population growth as the rest of Waimakariri, he says, but the roads they use to get to town are the same.

The scrapping of a train system idea was particularly disheartening.

"I'm a fan of every idea that isn't about one person sitting in their car," he says, drinking an iced chocolate. "I think the train would have been awesome, depending on what they charged."

Bussing from Kaiapoi to the city costs $3.60 each way with a Metrocard, or $5 cash.

With costs like that, Beaumont sees little incentive for people to ride the bus.

"It defeats the purpose of a system that's meant to save people money," he says.

"The wait for a bus is a long one too."

Beaumont decided to study nursing when volunteering as a Kaiapoi firefighter opened him up to medical training.

It is early days for a first-year student, but he is feeling good about the career choice.

It is important for young people to volunteer and Beaumont's history with the Fire Service speaks volumes about how youth can contribute to a community.

Yes, the rebuild is slow and frustrating, but he plans to stay after graduating and will bring valuable skills to an eventually rebuilt city.

Beaumont says the city CPIT campus is packed all the time. His nursing course is popular and CPIT runs several classes.

"Actually, CPIT is probably too busy," he says. "We need a bigger library, definitely. There's never any seats in there and if you want to sit with a friend to study, forget it."

The Press