Wellington bus drivers swap uniforms for lavalavas in show of solidarity with Samoa amid measles epidemic

Metlink drivers in the Wellington region weren't in their usual uniforms yesterday.

Tranzurban Hutt Valley staff donned colourful shirts in support of Samoa. Source: 1 NEWS

Instead, Tranzurban and Tranzit Coachline drivers, alongside operations and support staff, wore colourful shirts or lavalavas to work.

Tranzit director of transport and operations, Keven Snelgrove, told 1 NEWS that many staff have family links to Samoa and have been deeply affected by the country's current measles epidemic.

Mr Snelgrove says after a Tranzurban team meeting last week, it was clear that staff were desperate to help.

"Staff were thrilled when the Greater Wellington Regional Council gave Tranzurban bus drivers the green light to wear them on the bus, instead of their Metlink uniform," he said.

Over half of all Tranzurban employees team joined in on the fundraiser yesterday with collection buckets at their offices.

Tranzit Group and Coachlines team members based in Wairarapa showed their support for Samoa yesterday. Source: 1 NEWS

Three thousand dollars was raised for UNICEF’s Samoa Measles appeal which is pulling funds together to provide immunisations to children.

"The internal fundraising initiative was driven by the team who just wanted to help," Mr Snelgrove said. "They wanted to contribute to this cause in a positive way and rally around each other but also rally around our Samoan neighbours, especially this time of year coming into Christmas."

He added that there was a feeling of solidarity and excitement with so many of the team dressed in colourful shirts and lavalavas.

"You couldn’t help but smile and feel the positive energy from everyone as they came together for a bigger cause."