A number of students reported to Salient Thomas Maharaj had told them that “just between you and me” he had connections at Snapper which would help him to introduce student fares. On his campaign Facebook page, one comment suggests Maharaj’s father owns Snapper.
The companies register reveals Maharaj’s father, Noel Maharaj, is CEO and owns 25 per cent of HTS Group Limited (HTS). HTS are contracted by Snapper to provide services and maintenance. Maharaj has admitted he worked for his father’s company in the past—most recently in January this year—providing installation services for electronics on buses.
A representative of HTS told Salient the company did not have any influence on fares for any group, including for tertiary students.
“It has to do with the equipment, the installation, the maintenance of the card… it’s not to do with fares and stuff,” they said.
Oh dear, he is telling students that if they vote for him, they’ll get cheaper bus fares because he is “connected”. He must be a member of the Labour Party! (to be fair to Young Labour, I understand he is not endorsed by them)
When asked by Salient on his plans to achieve fairer fares given the absence of influence HTS has on fare structures, Maharaj stated the importance of connections with councillors and central government. Maharaj has worked with Labour MP Trevor Mallard as a community organiser, and also with Greater Wellington Regional Councillor (GWRC) Paul Bruce.
So he thinks having worked for Trevor Mallard (and was his Youth MP), this will somehow result in the Government next year lowering bus fares just for Vic Uni students!Tags: Thomas Maharaj, VUWSA