DEBATE ISSUE ISSUE 12 12 | | SEPTEMBER SEPTEMBER 2017 2017
VOTING HAS STARTED, DROP IN AND VOTE NOW. Check your EasyVote pack elections.org.nz 0800 36 76 56
Why Jacinda Ardern is a boss bitch :: Page 20
YVOTE Page 7
NZ Politics 101 Page 8-11
Antifa Page 24
Recipe :: Election Night Dips Page 28
COVER DESIGN BY RAMINA RAI
EDITOR Janie Cameron firstname.lastname@example.org SUB - EDITORS Mya Cole River Lin DESIGNER Ramina Rai email@example.com
CONTRIBUTORS Benjamin Matthews, Crystal Wu, David Evans Bailey, Dominic Hoey, Hope McConnell Irra Lee, Jake Kampkes, James Howe, Kelly Enright, Laine Yeager, Simran Singh, Tae Nanthana ADVERTISING firstname.lastname@example.org
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Material contained in this publication does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of AuSM, its advertisers, contributors, Nicholson Printer Solutions or its subsidiaries.
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Editor's Letter Tēnā koutou tauira. Welcome back.
We live in a nation that has normalised child poverty, turned a blind eye to a crisis that has left thousands homeless and downplayed the importance of acting to prevent climate change. Here in Auckland, our cost of living equates to that of the most expensive cities in the world, yet our wages aren’t keeping up and our infrastructure is in disarray.
Issue 12 is all about POLITICS. In the lead up to the general election, we asked our trusted student contributors to produce something that reflects their engagement with politics. The result is a rather eclectic mix of content, ranging from the informative to the opinionated, with a bunch of other goodies in between. We’ve got a new poem from the brilliant mind of Dominic ‘Tourettes’ Hoey, illustrations from the YVOTE video campaign and content from The Spinoff’s Policy site, to give you a helping hand in deciding how to cast your vote. We’re not here to tell you who to vote for, but we are here to tell you to vote (or to at least make a conscious and informed decision not to). As illustrated on our cover, only 62% of 18-24 year olds who enrolled to vote in the 2014 election actually turned out to have their say. There’s no easy answer to the question of why Aotearoa’s youth is so politically apathetic but, imho, it’s not good enough.
So, fellow millenials, I urge you to start giving a sh*t about politics. Whether you like it or not, the people who run this country have a huge impact on your future. Imagine if the 150,000+ people aged 18-24 who didn’t vote in the last election turned up to vote this time around... change is possible. If you haven’t already, please enrol to vote at elections.govt.nz, and use your voice — no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. In the words of OG bad gal Kate Sheppard: ‘Do not think your single vote does not matter much. The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops.’ Janie *The political views expressed in this issue do not necessarily reflect the views of AuSM or AUT :)
Like and/or follow us on social media to keep up to date with news, features and giveaways. www.debatemag.com
Meet your SRC :: Urshula Ansell You probably know Urshula already, but let’s find out a bit more about your AuSM president and her thoughts on the upcoming election. Nickname: Ursh Age: 23 Course of study: Graduate Diploma in Business Country of birth: New Zealand Favourite colour: Purple, lime green Favourite food: Mum’s cooking Favourite band: Six60 Favourite restaurant: One Tree Grill Why do you think Aotearoa’s young people are so disengaged from politics? I think a large part of the disengagement in New Zealand is because politics is a topic we’re raised not to talk about and told to keep our opinions private. I also think a lot of young people don’t trust the political sytem, and feel as though they are puppets so start to disengage. What can students do to understand more about politics? Take time to research the different parties and what they stand for. Think about what’s important for your future and research the policies that best align with that. Try to avoid being swayed by what’s in the media, and check out wehavepower.org.nz.
Why is it important for students to get involved with politics? Politics have a huge impact on the world we live in and affect every aspect of our lives. It’s also really important for us young people to recognise that we have a voice and we can use it. What advice would you give a student who is voting for the first time? Do your research and vote for what you think is right. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. As corny as it sounds, your vote is your voice. What do you think is the biggest political issue young people face today? There’s a huge range of things, from housing to transport to student loans. To be honest, I think the biggest problem is that young people aren’t voting and having their say on these issues.
What's on? Cheap, free and koha events around town
2017 General Election
Love Your Work: Fan Art Swap Exhibition
Where: See elections.org.nz for your nearest voting booth When: Saturday 23rd September, 9am-7pm What: Election day is Saturday 23 September, but voting begins on Monday 11 September. Make sure your voice is heard by enrolling and voting in this year’s election. You must be enrolled by Friday 22 September. Do it! How Much: Free, so no excuses not to get out and vote!
Where: Strange Haven (281 Karangahape Road) When: Friday 15th - Sunday 17th September, 6pm What: Fan Art Swap is a facilitated art swap project where participants are matched up to create unashamedly fanly art of each other. Sometimes it gets weird. Strange Haven is hosting the exhibition of fan art made as part of Swap #9. See loveyourwork.org for more details. How Much: Free entry
$5 Dance Classes
Baby Back Benches
Where: Central Dance Studios (L2, 260 Queen Street) When: Timetable at centraldancestudios.co.nz What: AUT students can attend any class run by Teresa Victory for
Where: Shadows Bar (34 Princes Street) When: Tuesday 19th September, 6-9pm What: Hosted by the University of Auckland Public Policy Club, Baby Back Benches is described as ‘a night of beer, banter and baiting’. Speakers from Young Nats, Labour, Greens, NZ First and ACT will unite to debate over important issues in the upcoming election, and you’ll have the opportunity to raise your own questions too. How Much: Free entry
just $5 at Central Dance Studios. Whether it’s jazz, tap, ballet or something more contemporary, dancing is a great way to relieve stress from all that studying you’re probably not doing. This deal can be used once for each dance style, with super cheap ongoing rates! How Much: $5 per class
YVOTE is a project aimed at helping to open up conversations about elections by asking young activists from around Aotearoa whether or not we should vote. Check it out at www.facebook.com/yvote
How it all works:
101 Feeling a bit lost when it comes to New Zealand politics? Debate intern and political enthusiast James Howe is here to walk you through the basics. Illustration by Hope McConnell. On Saturday 23rd September, New Zealanders will head to the polls to vote, choosing the candidate and party we want to lead our country for the next three years. Given the influence the people we elect have on our lives, it is important to understand who, and what, we are voting for.
Every three years, Aotearoa holds a general election to form a new government. In New Zealand, we vote using the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system. In the MMP system you have two votes. The first vote is for the party you prefer. This is the vote that largely decides the total number of seats each party will have of the 120 seats in Parliament. For example, if 30% of Kiwis vote for the Sausage Roll Party, it will get around 30% of all the seats in Parliament. But, in order to get any seats in Parliament a party must reach at least 5% of the party vote or win an electorate seat. Your second vote is to choose a person to represent your local electorate. If a politician wins their electorate (the district they are standing in), they automatically get a seat in Parliament. But, under MMP, an MP who does not win their electorate may still get into Parliament based on the number of seats their party wins and their placing on the party list. For a majority, a party needs to win half the seats plus one (61 seats), which can be made up of a single party or by coalition government. Currently, National is in coalition with the ACT Party, United Future and the Māori Party – which gives them a governing majority. Voting in New Zealand is a simple process that takes very little time. Once you have enrolled online at elections.org.nz, all you need to do is turn up to a voting station in your electorate on Election Day (September 23rd 2017), where you will be given a paper ballot on which to cast your votes.
So, what’s the current political situation? A variety of issues have been identified as important in this election. Policies around Auckland’s housing crisis, immigration, transportation, mental health funding and education costs will all impact on voters’ decisions. So, who will you vote for? Here’s a quick summary of the four toppolling parties and what they stand for:
2014 election result: 47.04% Currently polling at: 41%*
2014 election result: 25.13% Currently polling at: 43%*
National, the major centre-right party, is currently in its third term as NZ’s governing party. From the 2008 election to December 2016, National was led by Sir John Key. Following Key’s resignation, Deputy Leader and Minister of Finance, Bill English, was elected by the party to lead. Despite the change in leaders, National have continued to poll strongly, although English is much less popular than Key was in the Preferred Prime Minister polls. National cite the strength of the economy, the efforts in the Christchurch rebuild and the management of the global financial crisis as examples of its recent success.
Labour is the other major party, representing a more centreleft approach. Since Helen Clark resigned in 2008, leaders have included Auckland mayor Phil Goff, David Cunliffe, David Shearer, Andrew Little and most recently, Jacinda Ardern. Labour has had a strong focus on the Auckland housing crisis and infrastructure issues such as transport, which it claims National has ignored. Even after the average house price in Auckland exceeded $1 million, National denied there was a crisis, which was a win for Labour, who stressed the National party was out of touch. When Andrew Little resigned in August, due in part to low polling, Jacinda Ardern stepped up as Labour leader, and her sudden popularity has been coined as ‘Jacindamania'.
National’s policies can be found at: www.national.org.nz/policies
Labour’s polices can be found at: www.labour.org.nz/announced_policies
NZ First Party
2014 election result: 10.70% Currently polling at: 5%*
2014 election result: 8.66% Currently polling at: 8%*
The Green Party is a left-wing ‘third’ party that focuses heavily on environmental and social issues. It has a memorandum of understanding with Labour that means the two parties will work with together to get enough seats to form a coalition government. Metiria Turei, the co-leader of the Greens, recently revealed she had committed voter and benefit fraud when she was studying as a solo mother, and announced her resignation shortly after. This saw the Greens sink heavily in the polls with many people turning to Labour, but the Greens are still important to Labour's chances of forming a government.
New Zealand First is the other major ‘third’ party, led by Winston Peters. Peters is well known for his longevity in NZ politics. He has introduced policies including the Gold Card for senior citizens, and has held many signature positions on issues such as immigration. Although Peters is a former National Party MP, he has sided with National’s rival Labour many times and has become known as the “kingmaker” due to his ability to use NZ First’s seats to be able to select the next government. Peters is likely to be the kingmaker once again, and although politically he aligns more with National, he is equally as likely to side with Labour.
Greens' policies can be found at: www.greens.org.nz/pol
NZ First's policies can be found at: www.nzfirst.org.nz/policies
Other parties that could be influential in forming a government include the ACT Party, Gareth Morgan’s The Opportunities Party (which could play a role similar to the Internet Party in 2014), and the Māori Party, which continues to have strong support from the Māori community and beyond.
Still not sure who to vote for? Check out the following handy tools: policy.thespinoff.co.nz, onthefence.co.nz, votecompass.tvnz.co.nz *According to the 1 News Colmar Brunton Poll, August 26-30
The New New Zealand By Dominic “Tourettes” Hoey
the seagul dawn replaces the K Road hens night suburban children window shop for memories at half price roaches limping down the footpath — the trash on the streets is restless i'm in a cafe with the newspaper screaming at me over breakfast photos of private parties plastered across its pages the privileged get publicity for getting pissed, "aren't they amazing" meanwhile in the editorial the unemployed get vilified and labelled lazy the rich can be eccentric while the poor are merely crazy the real estate section’s filled with mold-covered bedrooms for 250 dollars each burning borrowed money every night so that we don't freeze we never hear from the landlord long as the rent’s in every week i know that asshole dreams, i just wonder how he sleeps back on the street with the coffee in my veins cash rules everything around me that’s why the bus is always late and all the graffiti’s commissioned none of the fights are worth winning no one's interested in your life just what you do for a living i can't hide forever beneath St Kevin's Arcade that asshole from Shortland Street wants to level the place reckons he'll fix it up but i suspect he has terrible taste and all his money can't make up for his annoying fucking face all the songs we wrote, and all the paint we spilt all the shows we played for free all of this was for you all the shitty day jobs we worked that no one else would do so we could follow our dreams at night like you told us to i'm standing at the station waiting for a new electric train to take me back home but they're always heading the other way the new neighbours love the city but it’s lights out at ten now you can hear their televisions over the band there's another apartment block every time i look up from my phone when the traffic dies you can hear the city moan and all i'm trying to do is buy some food and write a poem after each election i feel a little more alone the shopkeepers hose away the weekend every Monday along with all those awful people sleeping in the doorways cause they don't fit into the New New Zealand and never will we changed the flag to a middle finger on a hundred dollar bill and happily herald the heroes of Hosking and Henry harbingers of hatred have never looked so friendly those boushi baby boomers blaming every little problem on millennials like a 25-year-old invented rogernomics everything’s sticky with that advertising magic
but not everyone's a fan of Bilbo Baggins or Peter Jackson i hate the fucking All Blacks more than you can imagine hands up if the Air New Zealand safety videos make you wish the plane was crashing and all the songs we wrote, and all the paint we spilt all the shows we played for free all of this was for you all the shitty day jobs we worked that no one else would do so we could follow our dreams at night like you told us to so kill the fucking poor the mad the artists and the homeless and all the streets will be spotless and smell like plastic roses you can call this progress or you can call this cancer wanna say i don't give a fuck but it makes me really anxious
*** ‘The New New Zealand’ is about the thin veneer neo-liberalism places over a life of struggle, pain and alienation. Like a sheet of plastic over a couch covered in cigarette burns and crawling with roaches. We are told to celebrate youth and money, to create our own little universe and live inside our phones. Everyone must aspire to be a CEO or a rock star or super model, but of course most people never stray far from the social class they were born into. It is a critique of what happens when a whole generation is raised under these ideals. And after 16 years of education and tens of thousands of dollars of debt, they are spat out into a job market that is low paid and increasingly stacked in the bosses’ favour. When the whole country becomes a gentrified playground for those lucky enough to be either born into money or be suitably lacking in morals to feel okay about using unpaid or slave labour to build their personal empires, where will the songs be sung or the art created? When education becomes inaccessible to anyone who isn't raised in an upper middle-class family, what do we do with those refugees of the capitalist system? When the only mark of success is amassing shiny objects to fill your nest, while you fight off the howling emptiness that greets you every morning and keeps you awake at night, with prescription drugs and 12 dollar beers, what does it matter if you win or lose? When we make ghettos of the outer suburbs and the poor are taught to dream of being rich and the rich to hate and vilify the poor, can we even say we live in the same city? Or the same country?
Poet and rapper Dominic Hoey (aka Tourettes) has released four critically acclaimed studio albums, two books of poetry and has performed around the world. His debut novel, Iceland, is out now.
S t a t e of the S e a t
Students of AUT, I welcome you to the great inaugural State of the Seat Address, bringing to the forefront of conversation a topic that we students hold close to our hearts: Our asses, and how AUT sees fit to cup them. For a university to function properly, it must allocate spaces for students to study, eat, relax and do other studenty things, like looking at memes. I spent a week doing some serious sitting around campus to bring you this non-exhaustive list of rated seating options on which to rest your gluteus maximus. You’re welcome.
by Jake Kampkes
That lumbar support though.
Computer Desk Chairs I’m talking about the sweet, rolling beauties that populate Tech Central and the computer labs. Points for comfort, rollability and the ability to spin around like a five-year-old. These babies hold your buttocks and lower spine like the hands of a masseuse, which is fantastic if you can find one to sit on between the hours of 12-4pm.
Rating: 3.5/5 – Like Santa’s lap; comforting but far too in demand.
Seriously AUT, what even is this?
Not too hard, not too soft. Just right.
Game of giant Tetris anyone?
Silent Study Areas
The wheelhouse of the middle class student, these seats are the place to be while enjoying a flat white and a pie on a sunny day in the plaza, procrastinating from the essay you were supposed to start three weeks ago. WTF?! These look like an abstract artist’s wet dream. I just want to relax with my $5 curry on a comfortable seat in the sunshine. Is that too much to ask?
Located in the eerily quiet areas where the students all have headphones in and are studying like their futures depend on it, these chairs are soft enough that you forget they are there, but firm enough to make sure your ass is studying. The silence is creepy, but the desks are plentiful. More power cables would be nice.
Rating: 1/5 – Left with a
cramped right butt cheek.
Rating: 4.5/5 – Snoop Dogg’s
These are the sort of places that can be used for just about anything. A place to relax, a place for a group of mates to have a sharn and a study, the sort of places that hold a community together. So where the hell are they AUT? We’ve got approximately three-anda-half tables in G Block and that’s about it. But instead of comfortable couches or chairs around a table, we have these godawful fabric shape things. Ugh.
Rating: 0/5 – Just no.
Conclusion? AUT, please stop shelling out for fancy fabric squares and outdoor furniture that looks like a scaled up version of an alien anal probe. Invest in some couches, chairs and medium sized tables. Set them out in that giant waste of space that is the WG atrium and let’s get some group study going!
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Policy What the parties will do about renting Something’s up with housing — it’s a ‘crisis’ or a ‘challenge’, depending on who you ask. House prices and rents are rising faster than wages. There’s a shortage of social housing for those who can’t afford to rent or own their own place. And thousands are living rough, with many more living in temporary or insecure situations.
Introduce energy efficiency rating for rental houses
Create tax incentives for landlords to upgrade rental housing
Make it easier for landlords to test properties for meth and evict tenants
Introduce a warrant of fitness scheme for rental homes
No policies found
Make tenants liable for careless damage to a rental property
Improve legal protections for people living in unlawfully rented premises
Increase payments for accommodation costs
Develop a market for long term tenancies as an alternative to home ownership
Introduce enforceable quality standards for rental housing
Abolish ‘no cause’ evictions and increase the eviction notice period to 90 days
Increase controls on rent rises
Provide for longer-term tenancies with a right of renewal
Establish a Minister for Maori and Pasifika Housing
Introduce a warrant of fitness scheme for rental homes
Abolish letting fees
Strengthen the Tenancy Tribunal
Limit rent increases to once per year
Streamline and clarify the bond refund system
Introduce a warrant of fitness scheme for rental homes
Abolish letting fees
Strengthen tenants’ rights
Allow some tenants to make minor alterations to rental properties
Consider capping rents for private rentals
Create a new criminal offence for people who contaminate rental properties with meth
What the parties will do about tertiary education The third biggest chunk of government spending, after benefits and health, goes to education. From pre-school to uni, the principles on which the sector operates, and how its users pay for it, are in many ways at the core of NZ’s values.
Provide Everyone with free tertiary education
Write off student loans in exchange for time spent working in New Zealand
Introduce a universal student allowance
Fund private and public tertiary education organisations on an equal basis
Pay $200 per week to everyone aged 18 to 23
Investigate fraud in the export education sector
Increase payments for students’ accommodation costs
Fully fund courses that address current skill shortages
Make tertiary funding more flexible to allow it to change with student demand and the labour market
Continue to invest in tertiary education
Continue interest-free student loans
Review the tertiary education sector with a focus on promoting lifelong learning
Increase borrowing limit for student loan living costs
Reduce tertiary fees until tertiary education is free
Provide everyone with three years of post-school education Introduce a universal student allowance and increase the accommodation benefit
Introduce a universal student allowance over time
Increase student allowances and living cost loans by $50 per week Reduce student loan repayment rates and write off living costs
Adjust student loan repayments progressively with income
Make public transport free for under 19s and free during off-peak times for student and apprentices
Consider writing off student loans in exchange for work in area of skill shortage
Aim to double the number of Māori and Pacific students completing a Bachelor degree in three years
Reinstate funding for night classes and adult learning
Introduce a zero fee scholarship for ‘First in Whānau’ students
This content was provided by:
Reinstate the student allowance for postgraduate students
Review the Performance Based Research Fund
Improve student representation in the tertiary sector
See more at www.policy.nz 17
Treat Yo'self Student life can be tough, which is why we search the city for the snazziest stuff to give away. Like the look of something below? Check out the details and head over to our Facebook page (facebook.com/ausmdebate) to enter. Winners will be drawn Monday 25th September.
Face The Day When you have sensitive, acne-prone skin, it can be difficult to find the right skincare regime. Products are either gentle on skin or effective against acne, but rarely both – until now. Garnier Pure Active Sensitive range is designed for sensitive skin prone to acne and imperfections. We have three complete ranges to give away, including 1x soap-free cleanser, 1x toner and 1x moisturiser. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your campus and ‘GARNIER PLEASE’.
Show Me Shorts
The Show Me Shorts film festival is back for 2017. Every year, the country’s leading short film festival and Oscar-accredited event brings to New Zealand film lovers the very best local and international short films. We have a double-pass to give away to the opening night on Saturday 28th October, emceed by comedian Te Radar. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your campus and ‘SHORTS PLEASE’.
How often do you change your toothbrush? Probably not as often as you should, right? That’s where Toothcrush comes in! You can have a beautifully designed, eco-friendly bamboo handled toothbrush sent right to your door at the beginning of the month, every month. We have five three-month trial subscriptions to give away. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your campus and ‘TOOTH PLEASE’.
Crunchy...? Fancy yourself an adventurous eater? Our friends at Forage have got some unique new snacks in this month… Crickets! Nutrient-rich, seriously tasty and an environmentally-friendly alternative to meat, Aketta roasted crickets are a great source of protein. We have three packs to give away. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your campus and ‘CRICKETS PLEASE’.
Cook Up A Storm
The most beautiful things are often the simplest, and that’s why Nude by Nature provides cruelty-free cosmetics for those who want to appear naturally radiant, while conscious of the products they put on their skin. We’ve got a Flawless Collection prize pack to give away to one very lucky reader, valued at approximately $120. The pack includes 1x foundation (colour chosen by the winner), 1x concealer, 1x mineral powder and 1x brush. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your campus and ‘NUDE PLEASE’.
Fancy yourself a bit of a chef, a regular Jamie Oliver? Or do you have trouble simply boiling an egg? Either way, we’re here to help. We’ve got two Pams Love Cooking cookbooks to give away. For those wanting to improve their cooking skills, to those who don’t know where to start, this cookbook covers it all! To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your campus and ‘PAMS PLEASE’.
Five reasons why Jacinda Ardern is a boss bitch Debate intern and Jacinda fangirl Laine Yeager shares a few of her favourite things about the Labour party’s new leader. Illustration by Hope McConnell.
1. She’s an advocate for bridging the gender pay gap Jacinda has made no secret of the fact that neither she nor the Labour party will rest until New Zealand women are paid the same as their male counterparts. Saying: "In 2017 there should be no such thing as a gender pay gap…We need our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our aunties, to be valued no matter what workforce they are in.” Yeah, girl!
2. She’s got a kickass sense of humour You know that awkward silence when a speaker makes a joke and no one laughs? Well, that doesn’t happen to this leading lady. Although her jokes are rare, Jacinda pulls off a lol with ease. When discussing Auckland’s transport problem in Parliament, she piped up with a cracker of a line: “By the time Auckland gets rail to the airport… [Bill English] will be 86, I'll be 66 and Todd Barclay will be into his teens," receiving howls of laughter from the house.
3. She knows how to stand her ground A mere eight hours after Ardern was elected as Labour leader, she was asked about her plans to have children.
To which she replied: “…it is totally unacceptable in 2017 to say that women should have to answer that question in the workplace. It is a woman's decision about when they choose to have children.” Did you know Bill English has six kids? No? Because no one cares. When pressed about her personal life, Jacinda has stood her ground while remaining cool, calm and collected.
4. If she was a Game of Thrones character, she would be Sansa Stark - ‘nuff said Much like Sansa, Ardern kicks a whole lot of ass. Once seen as innocent and naïve, Ardern has grown to become an influential political force, rising through the ranks as her male colleagues struggle to attain any level of power. Observing and learning from their mistakes, Jacinda has risen to the top of the Labour party, and like Sansa, has the power to connect with and relate to a younger crowd.
5. She’s a “real” Kiwi woman The Labour leader’s first-ever job was at the Golden Kiwi fish and chip shop in her hometown of Morrinsville. How relatable is that?! When asked how she would describe a “real Kiwi woman”, Ardern said we’re strong and proud, but she wishes we were all kinder to ourselves. Naaaw.
What Do You Know? Irra Lee talks to members of her youth council to find out how much they know, and how much they care, about politics.
If Chlöe Swarbrick's success in last year’s Auckland mayoral election is anything to go by, there seems to be a real hunger for fresh young faces in politics, and a growing desire to further integrate youth within political decision-making. This all sounds well and good until you’re confronted with the numbers: In the 2014 general election, less than two thirds of enrolled voters under the age of 25 actually showed up to vote, and a staggering 25% of 18-24-year-olds didn’t enrol to vote at all. Pretty shocking, right? Well, I’m lucky enough to be part of a dedicated group of people who are trying to turn this trend around. Behold, The Howick
Youth Council; a bunch of under 25s committed to raising youth participation in politics through events and consultations. I rounded up a small bunch of these people to find out their thoughts on politics. What did I learn? We could all use a bit of extra civic education, and that’s not a bad thing. We need guidance as we stumble our way through a realm that has traditionally been dominated by those much older than ourselves. Perhaps this guidance should come from the school system, or perhaps we need to take matters into our own hands. Regardless, we all start somewhere, and it’s never too late to learn a little more.
Yasir Have you enrolled to vote in this year’s election yet? Yes. I did that awhile ago when I turned 18. I got one of those registration forms, so I signed up online. Do you think voting is important as a young person? Of course it is. You’ve got to stand up for what you want sometimes, and you’ve got to go for it. Voting gives people a choice. It allows you to cement your opinion towards something. I feel like young people nowadays don’t vote as much. This is probably down to the fact that they may be misinformed or that parties aren’t able to reach young people. But voting is important, especially for young people – we’re ‘the future.’ How did you learn about politics? At school? At school? No. The Internet? Yes. It was mostly through my own research that I figured out how Parliament worked. I kind of briefly looked over it all online.
What do you think has held you back from learning more about politics? Briar: It’s not taught in schools. I don’t think I’ve ever been taught about [politics], not that it’s up to anybody else. Oliver: I don’t think it was ever mentioned in school. I’ve only been educated recently, through studying journalism. Briar: But even then, they don’t go into looking at different [parties’] policies.
Briar & Oliver Have you enrolled to vote in this year’s election yet? Briar: No. Oliver: Neither have I. Briar: (Laughs) should we do that today? I feel like I need to learn more about politics to be able to have a vote that counts.
Do you think university students can have an impact on politics? Oliver: Yeah. Briar: I agree. There are a lot of students. If somebody wanted to target students with their campaigns, I reckon that would make such a difference. But I think my thing is that when I hear about [policies that target youth], I’m like, whatever. You’re lying. Oliver: I guess another thing is that you think they’ll never get enough votes to make it happen.
Why do you think a lot of youth do not engage with politics? There isn’t a sense of connection between politics and youth because we think it’s something adults worry about and it doesn’t affect us. So, I guess we think, ‘why should we care about it right now?’ For us, the only things that matter are transport and our student loans, like, do we have to pay interest? Those are the real things we worry about. I think we need to look at other factors such as housing, ‘cause let’s be honest, in the next five years we are going to want to move out of our parents’ basements. Things like rates and rent will begin to matter.
Natasha Have you enrolled to vote in this year’s election yet? Of course! I was lucky enough to have the Electoral Commission people come to my school. They were targeting those turning 18. I wouldn’t have been as proactive if they didn’t come. Going into high schools is a really good idea because we got to fill in the enrolment forms then and there.
Whose responsibility is it to provide civics education? Primarily, it comes down to the education system. If we start doing small things at a young age, it will help us make sense of the political system as we get older. It helps us realise the choice we are given when voting, and understand the fact that the party we’re voting for will represent us and our individual views. But of course there are other organisations out there that can help with this, like universities, youth councils and community groups. It’s all about spreading the word. If people are not aware, then we will not have people enrolling and turning up to vote.
Who are the Antifa? For as long as there has been fascism, there has been anti-fascism. Mya Cole finds out a bit more about those opposing the alt-right. Illustration by Hope McConnell.
The term ‘fascism’ was coined in Benito Mussolini’s Italy in 1932. The word is derived from the Latin term ‘fasces’, which literally means a bundle of wooden rods with a projecting axe blade, which in Ancient Rome was a symbol of a magistrate’s power and jurisdiction over the people. Today, fascism remains a term for authoritarianism and extreme nationalism. It has spread around the world, from the Golden Dawn political party in Greece to Australia’s New Guard, and is still infiltrating its way into society today. But for as long as there has been fascism, there has been anti-fascism. Behold antifa; a radical, pan-leftist politics of social revolution applied to fighting the far right. Its partisans are typically communists, socialists and anarchists who reject turning to the police or the state to stop the advance of fascism.  There’s a myriad of underground antifa groups whose Facebook pages warn against planned action, such as this one: “DO NOT discuss criminal activity or make any action plans on our Facebook wall. You should never make plans with a stranger on Facebook to do this work… Undoubtedly enemies will fish around [for] posts of that nature so be wary.”  This may seem quite intense, but this is a radical organisation attempting radical action and they mean business – since it’s inception, antifa has been fighting violence with violence.
Personally, I have a strong feeling of antipathy towards fascist ideologies and actions. It makes me feel sick to think about the terror fascism continues to spread across the world. The most recent example being the events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a young woman was killed in the midst of a white supremacist rally. This tragedy is the result of fascism, pure and simple – the work of white supremacists, the KKK and neonazis.
One of the most dangerous things about these alt-right groups is that people don’t take them seriously. In a short documentary, Vice’s Elle Reeve spent time with white nationalist leaders, following the events that took place on Saturday 13th August in Charlottesville. Here’s what she had to say about the leaders of these alt-right groups: “They’re really here to show they’re more than just an internet meme, that they’re a big, real presence that can organise in a physical space.” Aside from the violence, one of the most dangerous things about these alt-right groups is that people don’t take them
seriously. They’re seen as a bit of a joke, idiot rednecks, etc. But you only need to see the hatred in their eyes to know these people are serious. Well, guess who also showed up at this rally? Antifa, of course, staying true to its saying coined by the Anti-Racist Action Network (ARA), “we go where they go.” Earlier this year, a group of New Zealanders united against fascism marched down Auckland’s Queen Street in protest to European ‘culture clubs’ (white supremacist groups) that were set up by a group of students at the local universities. I find it mind-boggling that in a country so shaped by European culture that these sort of fascist groups can exist. Do we not already speak the Queen’s English in a country that was not originally the United Kingdom’s own? I am lucky to live in a reasonably safe country that is not under obvious attack by fascists, but I do live in a world that is. Although I do not receive death threats for the colour of my skin, I am sensitive to the fact that there are people living with that very real threat every day. I haven’t been tested thus far in my life to see if I would fight violence with violence, but I do feel strongly about anti-fascism, and I often wonder if passive resistance can only go so far. In the words of Whina Cooper; “You can never win anything unless you were there to do something.”
 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/08/16/who-are-the-antifa/?utm_term=.1450da94c0d0  https://www.facebook.com/sometimesantisocialalwaysantifascist/
I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit just how little I know about politics. It's boring. It doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. It's the sort of topic that can put me to sleep just thinking about it. Sure, it's an important feature of democracy but, for a long time, all I felt was apathy. In high school, the only time I registered that it was election year was when a billboard with John Key's face was put up near the school gates, only for it to be immediately defaced with crosshairs and a giant penis. Over the years, my engagement with politics has continued to be next to zero – what does it matter anyway when I can be doing literally anything other than watching old white men verbally scrap it out on the parliamentary floor? From a distance, politics is debating over things I honestly couldn't care less about, like which New Zealand flag is slightly more tolerable than the other, or whether we really need ten more roads spread throughout the regions. But it's also things that I feel really strongly about that don't necessarily come to mind when I think of politics – things like feminism, LGBTQ+ rights, climate change and privacy laws. It's only recently that I've become more politically involved – thanks, in part, to the living nightmare that is the Trump administration.
What does it matter anyway when I can be doing literally anything other than watching old white men verbally scrap it out on the parliamentary floor? A large part of my political ignorance, I think, is to do with the political rhetoric; the way parties’ policies are communicated is not at all engaging to my generation. For the most part, it’s middle-aged men in suits talking to other middle-aged men in suits. I’m a Millennial; my attention is already elsewhere and, like a chore I'd rather not be doing, taking the time to educate myself about policy seems too boring and time-consuming. Maybe I'd understand it better if all the political candidates were replaced with cats, or the policies were announced through interpretive dance?
I’m not a lazy Millennial; you’re just boring.
No, but seriously. What I'm trying to say is that it takes a lot of effort to get one’s head around it all, and by the end I'm not even sure if I'm fully aware of what each party is actually offering. Want to get young people voting? Talk to them in their language, through their mediums.
River Lin on why he finds this whole politics
I'm gradually coming to realise just how important it is to take part in society, and to feel like I'm being heard rather than taking the easy way out by not voting. This has made me better informed of what it is I stand for and to which parties that might align with. It doesn't mean I find politics interesting – the perpetually smiling orange tube man still creeps me out – but I have at least come to recognise the value of being heard.
thing a bit of a yawn.
Enter Corbyn, Stage Left PhD student David Evans Bailey shares his thoughts on the latest political debacle in his home country.
The United Kingdom’s political arena has always been something of a circus show, but there’s a serious side to it. Its political behaviour over the past 10 years is certainly something I hope won’t be emulated in New Zealand; The Tory and Lib Dem coalition did not live up to expectations, and once the Conservatives were unleashed, they rained down financial misery (among other things) upon anyone who didn’t fit the middle-class slipper. A standard three-year degree will now cost you a cool $120k worth of debt to obtain, and the number of people living with disabilities who have had their benefits cut is quite frankly appalling. All thanks to the last two governments.
sound as though Stalin was his mentor. Scurrilous headlines such as ‘Corbyn rides a Chairman Mao style bicycle’ were splashed across the front pages of rags like The Sun and The Daily Mail.
Corbyn is no fool, he has an eye for the next election, and I think he can win that when the time comes.
Having taken a deep interest in politics since the 70s, these issues, albeit 18,000km away, are still close to my heart. I recently returned to the UK for a visit and discovered that the cuts had even extended to the fabled recycling centres, which are now closed more than they are open in some cases. To a die-hard liberal like me, it’s a disaster.
Corbyn survived two leadership challenges and emerged stronger and wiser, and what I have seen of the man is good. He wants to bring back free or fair university fees, and preserve the NHS, and he proposes companies and high earners pay more tax to cover it. But those used to the government handing out tax cuts left right and centre are up in arms.
Enter Corbyn, stage left. From the moment he was elected leader of the Labour party, you would have thought Satan himself had arrived within our midst. The press, members of his own party and other parties vilified him at every turn. Everything he said was distorted or twisted to make it
Corbyn is visibly a man of the people. During the election campaign he appeared everywhere, from well-attended rallies, to comforting the victims of the Grenfell fire while his counterpart Theresa May chose only to speak to the firemen. When it came time for the election, Labour’s share of
votes increased dramatically, but alas, it was not enough. Some say this is due to the Tory gerrymandering of boundaries, while others point to voter stupidity, the same stupidity that allowed Brexit to happen and Trump to take office. Whatever the truth, Teresa May was down but not out. She stands accused of pinching a mere 1.5 billion pounds of taxpayer’s money to seal a ‘grubby deal’ with Northern Irish unionists, the Democratic Unionist Party, to push her over the line. The DUP denies climate change, is anti-gay, antiabortion and backed by terrorist group Ulster Defence Association (UDA). How she managed to get away with this is still a mystery, but she has – so far. The irony of May having criticised Corbyn for allegedly being a terrorist sympathiser was not lost on many. What the future holds for May and the Tories is anybody’s guess. Hopefully, it will be short-lived. So far, she has done little with a hamstrung administration and a small majority bolstered by the DUP. Corbyn is no fool, he has an eye for the next election, and I think he can win that when the time comes. These are interesting times, best viewed from the comfort of New Zealand where I happily reside in the hope that it won’t happen here, the last bastion, it seems, of some kind of common sense politics. But maybe I shouldn’t speak to soon…
Election Night Snacks We won’t tell you who to vote for, but we will tell you what to eat. Our resident foodie Crystal Wu brings you four delicious dip recipes to enjoy on election night, based on the colour of the party you’re voting for, of course. Serve them with tortilla chips, crackers or vegetable sticks.
If you’re voting National:
If you’re voting Labour:
Creamy Blue Cheese & Bacon Dip
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Blue cheese is, uh, good for your… Okay, so neither blue cheese nor bacon are particularly healthy, but this dip is YUM. • • • • • • • •
4 strips streaky bacon, chopped into bite-sized pieces 2 garlic cloves, minced ¾ cup cream cheese ½ cup sour cream 1 tbsp lemon juice 2 tbsp chives, finely chopped 100g creamy blue cheese Salt and pepper to taste
Cook chopped bacon in a skillet until crispy. Add minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Beat cream cheese, sour cream and lemon juice with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in bacon, garlic, blue cheese and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Hummus is high in protein, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and helps boost our energy levels. Store-bought hummus often contains nasty ingredients, so try making it yourself instead… it’s not as hard as you think! • • • • • • • • • •
1 red capsicum, seeded and cut into slices Drizzle of olive oil 1 can chickpeas, drained 1 garlic clove 1 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste) Juice of one lemon Salt and pepper to taste ½ tsp paprika or chilli flakes (optional) ½ tsp cumin seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place capsicum in a small baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and let it cool completely. In a blender or a food processor, blitz chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, tahini and lemon until you reach a smooth consistency (thin out with a little water if needed). Season with salt, pepper and your choice of paprika, chilli flakes and/or cumin.
If you’re voting Green:
If you’re voting NZ First:
Smoky Black Bean Dip
Edamame beans are high in protein and fibre, perfect to snack on and even tastier in dip form.
Black beans are high in protein and fibre, low in GI, and super tasty. While the colour of this dip doesn’t look particularly appealing, I promise it’s delicious!
• • • • • • • •
2 cups shelled edamame, defrosted (found in the supermarket freezer section) 2 garlic gloves, minced 2 cups unsweetened Greek yoghurt ¼ cup soy sauce 2 tbsp sesame or olive oil ¼ cup water Juice of one lemon Salt and pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients together until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper.
• • • • • • • • •
2 cups canned black beans, drained 1 tbsp olive oil ½ tbsp onion powder 1 tsp minced garlic 1 tsp smoked paprika ½ tsp chili (optional) 1 tsp cumin Juice of half a lemon Salt and pepper to taste
Toss everything into your food processor, and blitz until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste, and add whatever you like – more salt, pepper or lemon juice may be in order. For a creamier dip, add more olive oil.
Democracy in a Social Media Shitstorm Kelly Enright went along to “Democracy and the Internet”, a speaker series hosted by InternetNZ*. She tells us what she learnt.
In the age of fake news and Facebook Live, it can be difficult to keep up with the ever-changing alien that is the political sphere. We’re constantly bombarded with information, at our fingertips and in our pockets: Articles, tweets, Facebook posts, banner ads… Even as I write this, my outdated iPhone 5 is seizing up due to an influx of notifications from news websites declaring the latest policy announcements. Has our concept of democracy been broken and buried under this social media shitstorm? According to the Electoral Commission, 37.27% of enrolled New Zealanders between the ages of 18 and 24 did not vote in the last general election. That’s a pretty big group of people who, for whatever reason, did not engage with our political system. Is it possible that some young people feel so overwhelmed by the amount of information available to them, that when it comes time to vote, they feel they aren’t informed enough to have a say in our democracy? We’re living in an unfamiliar era, which can seem daunting; but unfamiliarity can breed creativity. We Millennials have the opportunity to forge how our democracy is strengthened, rather than ruined, by the internet; Facebook Live is our new town
hall, Twitter is our new public sphere, and YouTube ads are our new billboards. In the shadow of Trump’s ‘megaphone effect’ campaign and the perpetuation of fake news, this fragmentation of consumer content can appear unsettling. But, as with most things, where there’s a Trump, there’s an Obama (and by that, I mean a silver lining).
Facebook without first checking where it has come from. Is it a credible source?
A contemporary ease of access to politicians and the ability to have a two-way dialogue (rather than simply being lectured to) is a luxury afforded to us as people who live in a democratic country. If we can embrace the internet as an instrument to affect decisions that
We may never hear the end of the rhetoric around millennials being lazy/ uninformed, but we know that’s not entirely true; New Zealand youth ranked among the highest in 38 countries for participation in community volunteering, cultural groups and collecting money
politicians are making about our country, it all seems a lot less overwhelming and a lot more stimulating.
for a cause in 2010. We often have a more indirect and collaborative way of going about our political action, and it is imperative that we use the internet in a manner that reflects this.
Without trying to sound like a self-help piece, here are some suggestions as to how we can best do this: 1. Try to look outside of your world for a minute. Read a different newspaper, talk to somebody you know has a different political view. Surround yourself not only with like-minded people, but with people who challenge and test your beliefs and convictions. 2. Look into the source of information before sharing it. Don’t share a story on
3. Even if you’re not entirely sure what you’re voting for, tick a box based on what you do know. New Zealand’s future is your future, and it’s important to use your voice (or, if you’re at a total loss, check out onthefence.co.nz).
I guess the bottom line here is, the internet is merely a tool that will only ever be as bad or good as the people who use it. So be a good person. Take time to educate yourself, and just vote. *InternetNZ is a not-for-profit open membership organisation dedicated to protecting and promoting the internet for New Zealand.
SHAVE LEGS WEAR JEANS
Down To Clown: Immigrants
Film Reviewed by Benjamin Matthews
Comedy show Reviewed by Simran Singh
Living in an age where most films are either sequels or rehashes of old ideas, it’s great to see a dose of originality. Having already proven himself with the Cornetto Trilogy (the movie series that included possibly the best-ever zombie flick Shaun of the Dead and buddy-cop film Hot Fuzz), director Edger Wright sets his sights on Hollywood.
Wondering how to spend your next rainy Friday evening in Auckland? Don’t have much money in your wallet? Down To Clown is the answer. DTC is the newish alternative comedy night at Basement Theatre. Every Friday has a different lineup of excellent comedians tackling a different theme, and best of all it’s only $5 on the door.
Baby Driver quite possibly has the best action scenes of any film I’ve seen. The fast-paced chase scenes are a delight, and the violence is so over-the-top, it almost seems tongue-incheek. Although the action is at the forefront, Wright is great at expanding the characters – you understand their motives, even if you don’t agree with them.
Hosted by James Roque who ‘has definitely stolen a job from you before’, the DTC: Immigrants installment was hilarious. Five immigrants (who also happened to be comedians) brought their respective colour to the potluck, and had the audience trying desperately not to fall off their seats laughing.
Ansel Elgort plays Baby, a seemingly detached young man who is an expert driver. Working to pay off his debts, he serves as a getaway driver for a bunch of bank robbers. Treating the music on his iPod as the soundtrack to his life, Baby is revealed to have hearing problems. His boss, played by Kevin Spacey, is coldhearted and manipulative. Despite these flaws and the man's nasty tendency, you become invested in his character. The same thing can be said for all the other crew members Baby works with. Jamie Foxx plays a psychotic gangster who constantly picks on Baby, Jon Hamm and Eiza González play a Bonnie and Clyde-like couple, and the list goes on. It’s the characters that really drive the story forward.
The show commenced with Mayen Mehta, who talked about the differences between bullying in Africa versus Aotearoa. His keeping-it-real humour and voice modulation abilities instantly made him my personal favorite. Roland Mirabueno added some fresh-from-the-Philippines flavour with his exuberant punch lines, and the mention of coconut oil on a steamy date. China Gonzalez commented that being a good swimmer helps you get anywhere in life, read: migrate, which scored roars of laughter from the audience. The show concluded with Angella Dravid, whose phenomenal humour and unique style of delivery led her to win the 2017 Billy T Award. She pulled out some hilarious original one-liners, and made hearts melt with her charm.
This film is a master class in visual comedy, using all engines to pull the punch. If you’re a fan of Wright’s earlier work, you’ll feel right at home with this one. It might sound ridiculous, but once all the pieces come together, it’s one hell of a ride.
So, if you feel like taking a break from the stress of your studies, or if Netflix just isn’t cutting it, make your way to The Basement Theatre every Friday at 8.30pm and treat yourself to a Down to Clown gig. A little laughter never hurt nobody.
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Issue 12 is all about politics.