VIS IO N A L
it o r i a l
Issue 17 / july 26th / 2010
06 Fro nt
08 Ne w
s 17 P ro fi l
FEATURES 18 the decline of te reo 20 maori mythos 24 critic's guide to te reo
Schmack 26 - 37
CRITIQUE 38 - 49
50 Ba c
Cover art 'Papatuanuku' by Dave Kingan. http://kereruculture.wordpress.com
Disclaimer: the views presented within this publication do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, Planet Media, or OUSA. Press Council: people with a complaint against a newspaper should first complain in writing to the Editor and then, if not satisfied with the response, complain to the Press Council. Complaints should be addressed to the Secretary, PO Box 10-879 The Terrace, Wellington.
Critic – Te Arohi
Last week was historic for student politics at the University of Otago. The Critic office sits in the Union Building slightly apart (and most definitely aloof) from the OUSA offices that inhabit the same building. Once a year, when elections are on, the place turns into a hive of activity as gossip is passed around and speculation is used as fuel for a thousand status updates. It’s all very boring and the average student would have no idea what is going on. This year, we’ve been so lucky that we’ve been able to witness the spectacle twice. In addition to election week, OUSA has been kind enough to bring us referendum week! What brought it on? There has been a general feeling that the Exec is not functioning and needs to be made smaller. There have also been calls (including from me in this column) to make it possible to vote in SGMs online. The Executive, led by President Harriet Geoghegan, put to the student body a proposal of how they thought these changes should be made, and in a referendum last week it was overwhelmingly endorsed. Well, overwhelmingly endorsed by the people who voted. All thousand or so of them. (We get all technical in the news pages – see p8). Despite the fact that it was a year in the works the whole thing has somehow managed to come off looking rushed, dodgy, and ill thought-out. One reason it has looked rushed is because the Exec was up against a tight deadline. Nominations for next year’s Executive open soon and they wanted to make sure people were voted into the new positions on the new-look Exec. It looked dodgy because the official OUSA-funded promotions were biased. Students were told to downsize the Exec and supersize their say (move SGMs online). Those aren’t neutral statements, are they? And why weren’t they? I’m sure students at this University are more than capable of making up their own minds, and in this case I think they did, so allowing the whole process to be tainted by questions of dodginess is just stupid. And I know the deadline has been tight, but I think the process could have had an added air of legitimacy if first students were asked – do we need to change the structure? If yes, here are four options. Pick one. Instead we’ve been left with one proposal, which seems to have a lot loose ends that we’re assured will now be tied up – students have been asked to instil an element of trust and good faith that all the questions will be answered. They’d better not let us down. The evidence says they won’t, but we’ll be watching closely. There is apparently a raft of other complaints, but Critic has not been privy to these at time of going to print, so we’ll cover how they all go in the next issue. It is clear that some minority groups are incensed with the outcome and they were preparing to kick up a fight in the immediate aftermath of the results being announced. Harriet has not managed to appease these groups during the referendum process and she will have her work cut out for her to effectively communicate her message once the results are confirmed. She will need to assure people that the new structure is not anti-democratic, and that minority groups such as the Queer community will still be represented, and represented adequately. So far, for whatever reason, she’s done a piss-poor job of convincing them. Again, bearing in mind that results are provisional, and bearing in mind that at this stage Critic is not fully aware of the nature of the complaints made about the process, the result looks like a clear vote for a change in the way OUSA operates. While 1000-odd people are still a fraction of the student population, it still far exceeds the amount of people that would ever turn up at SGM – and in student politics terms, 1000 is a hellavalot of people. So, it’s encouraging for the proponents of the changes, and they have a firm mandate to implement them. But it is also healthy for student democracy and shows that students will voice their opinions if they are given an easy forum in which to do so. Fuck wasting your lunch hour at a meeting in the common room listening the International Socialists talk absolute shit. OUSA has been true to form and ballsed up the PR campaign and the referendum has come off looking like a mess. But students have voted, and the message is clear. They want OUSA to be more efficient. The want OUSA to run more smoothly. They want OUSA to get shit done. Maybe with this brand new streamlined structure of theirs, it will happen, and embarrassing referendums will be a thing of the past. We’ll see.
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s ve er
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In the wake of the World Cup a mathematician has worked out that if a person had started off with $10, and bet on all of the picks made by Paul the Octopus, they would have walked away with $14 000. Doesn’t seem like such a gimmick now, does it.
A bouquet-brandishing robber has been arrested in New York after robbing a bank using nothing more than a bunch of flowers. The bank teller was purportedly petrified by the villain’s yellow chrysanthemums, and promptly handed over $440. The suspect may have also been involved in an earlier robbery where he allegedly brandished a house plant.
A man who has sued over 4000 people has filed against the Guinness Book of World Records after they named him the world’s most litigious person. Jonathan Lee Riches hopes to gain an injunction against the Book, which named him as the world’s most litigious man in their 2010 edition under the witty heading ‘Sue-per-man’.
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In possibly the best news story ever, mice are being held responsible for a blaze that killed nearly 100 cats at an animal shelter near the Canadian city of Toronto. An initial report from the city fire marshal says mice chewing through electrical wires in the ceiling is likely to have sparked the blaze.
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7: The sum of any two opposite sides of a dice. 95: The percentage of a jellyfish that is water. 1875: The year that Pocahontas appeared on the back of a $20 note. 90: The percentage of dreams the average person forgets.
h An d
A Dutch man proved that marijuana can be dangerous, after rigging up an ingenious device to protect his crop. The man constructed a booby trap that meant anyone trying to access his shed, home of his beloved plants, would trigger a shotgun aimed at the door. He was so proud of the device that he celebrated by accidentally shooting himself in the abdomen. Luckily he survived to face the cultivation charges awaiting him.
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Clyde Street, Saturday Night: Girl: What did you say to Jess? Creepy Guy: “Jess is gone…and she won’t be coming back for a long time…” – From Overheard @ Uni of Otago
r o h
A man in Russia has had a fortunate escape after it was discovered he had been using a large World War II aviation bomb as an anchor for his boat. The man’s neighbours showed a little awareness and called the police, who confiscated the bomb, which was apparently in perfect working order.
An American man has been arrested and charged with assault after he punched a man who refused to give him a hug. The 23-year-old man became enraged after his gesture of human warmth was rebuffed, and went on a rampage, punching a man and several cars before being arrested. It is unclear whether he will like the ‘special’ hugs available in prison.
n’t y o u o d
A chicken, nicknamed Miracle Mike, survived a full decapitation for an impressive 18 months. The chook, who was fed by food being dropped straight down his throat, lived it up as a minicelebrity during that time, before unfortunately choking to death.
Last week’s referendum looks set to result in a significant change to the governing structure of OUSA. Student General Meetings (SGMs) will also now be held online. When Critic went to print last week the results were still provisional, due to thenunresolved complaints regarding possible breaches of constitutional procedure, however there was a clear signal for change from those who voted. 1399 people voted on the motion to reduce the size of the Exec, with 72 percent voting for the change, 22 percent against and five percent abstaining. 1391 people voted on the motion to “supersize your say” and move SGMs online, with 87 percent for online SGMs, ten percent against, and only two percent abstaining. Tension was rife in the OUSA office as the Exec gathered late Thursday afternoon to hear the results. As the results were read, OUSA President Harriet Geoghegan looked ecstatic. “I’m happy all the work we have put in won’t go to waste.” John Phillipson, a prominent member of the Governance Structure Review Working Party, said he was over the moon: “I’m happily surprised.” When asked whether the Exec members were allowed to speak in deference to the result, an elated John said, “I don’t know why anyone would want to speak against it.” Women’s Rep Shonelle Eastwood said that she
was glad the referendum had made quorum and that so many people had turned out to vote. She refused to comment any further. Despite John’s excitement, not everyone is enthusiastic about the outcome. The formal complaints surround a number of issues in how the election was conducted, including the wording of the referendum question, the overall advertisement of the referendum, and the impartiality of OUSA during the referendum period. One formal complaint that was leaked to Critic stated that President Harriet Geoghegan did not remain impartial, and pushed her stance on her personal Facebook page. The complaint also alleges that Executive members on polling booths encouraged students to vote ‘yes’ on the referendum. Another major complaint concerns the period of time students were warned of the referendum, which arguably did not comply with the requisite ten working days. Further claims are that the Exec’s use of bribes in the form of fruit bursts were reminiscent of 2008 President hopeful Jo Moore’s election techniques, in which she provided alcohol to voters, and “encouraged” friends to vote for her. In that incident Moore was stripped of the President title, and Edwin Darlow became President by default. Breaking the so-called gag on speaking to the media, Queer Rep Rosalin MacKenzie says the results are “expected, considering
that the referendum was held in an unsafe and biased way.” “Harriet, with a Facebook profile picture of the OUSA referendum poster told people to vote yes. She tweeted telling people to vote yes on the official President’s Twitter account – which shows up on the OUSA homepage.” MacKenzie is also critical of the way the referendum was officially promoted by the students association. “There was no advertising for the other side and to rely on other clubs or students to do this is unfair because they have very different resources.” MacKenzie says she felt “bullied” into not coming forward with these concerns earlier. “Not being able to publicly give my opinion… made it difficult to represent the views of my constituents.” Some people have claimed that whole process was incredibly rushed, a suggestion that Phillipson admonishes. “Last year we had the same worries aimed at us.” He says that although it must feel incredibly rushed to outsiders, it has been considered for a year now. Despite the uproar, Geoghegan contends that the election was unbiased. “We talked to lawyers, and the claims about bias were unfounded,” she says.
After the dust settles Critic will have more coverage of this story in our next issue.
The Armed Offenders Squad was called to a Dundas Street student flat last Monday, after receiving a call that a man was threatening female flatmates, and that weapons were being held at the address. After a standoff that lasted an hour, the Armed Offenders squad removed a 19-yearold man from the flat. He was remanded into police custody, and charged with possession of drug utensils. More charges are likely. The drama began when police received a call at 11am, asking for their presence at a North Dunedin flat on Dundas Street, near Logan Park, to aid with a domestic confrontation. Police were informed that there were weapons at the address, and the Armed Offenders Squad was subsequently called at around 1pm. The street was cordoned off at Clyde Street, Forth Street, and Harbour Terrace while police tried to coax the man out of the house. Students were told to stay in their flats and others returning from University were not allowed through the cordons. A witness told Critic that the police began addressing the man on a loud speaker, telling him that if he came out the side exit with his arms in the air he would not be harmed, and that the flat was completely surrounded by armed police. There was no response from the house. An officer repeated this for about ten minutes.
The unresponsive standoff continued for about half an hour, while police rearranged their vehicles and coordinated an advance on the house. Witnesses then heard up to four loud bangs that sounded like gunshots, before armed police entered the premises. It later became clear the loud bangs were stun grenades that had been thrown into the house. Roughly fifteen minutes after the Armed Offenders Squad entered the house they emerged with a man dressed in a 2009 Salmond Leavers hoodie. The man was arrested and charged with possession of drug utensils. Neighbours have told Critic that you could often smell dope coming from the house, and that passersby were sometimes invited in for a ‘sesh’. The flatmates declined to comment when Critic approached them, but someone with knowledge of the situation says that the flatmate was a ‘random’ bought in to fill a spare room. “He developed some sort of obsession with another of the flatmates, and was supposedly in love with her or something,” the student says. “I don’t believe it was reciprocal.” The flatmate, believed to be of Iranian descent, was acting weirdly and “walking round the house with a homemade knife, and being really odd.” Various religious references were made.
The flatmates “just got the weirdest feelings, so they chucked all their shit in a bag and left right away. That’s when they called the cops. They all got out of the flat and the Iranian guy must have been left in there.” No weapons were found at the address, although rumours persist that a knife was involved. The man was granted police bail and released into the custody of mental health authorities, and was expected to appear in court on Friday.
What to Do if Your Flatmate’s a Pain/Homicidal
If you are moving into a flat, make a flatting agreement, setting out expectations surrounding drugs, drinking, cleaning, etc, when you move in. Check out the OUSA Student Flatting Magazine for suggestions on handling those niggly little situations that crop up. If that doesn’t help come into OUSA Student Support and talk to a student advocate. They can arrange conflict resolutions and even flat mediations. Make sure you know your legal rights and obligations regarding flatting. Student advocates are trained in tenancy law and can help.
Photos: Jason Zwi 09
Free candy and rides in van offered. Not creepy.
Jesus Week is upon us, bringing an assortment of events which are sure to excite those religious (and possibly the not-so religious) students among us. Historically, Jesus Week has been held in relation to Islam Awareness Month (which starts next week) and has now been running for eight years. The idea is for the various churches to come together and share ideas and experiences, with the aim of letting people know who they are and what they are all about. The week kicked off on Sunday with a ‘street clean’. Volunteers met on the corner of Dundas and Castle Streets, and cleaned off the Scarfie remnants of the night before. Today, Monday, there is an ‘Interfaith Dialogue’ from 12 to 1.30pm that brings together the Muslim and Christian community, and aims at creating
an educational learning opportunity for both by discussing the similarities and differences between the two religions. This week also overlaps with Maori Language Week, and a worship session in te reo Maori is being held on Wednesday between 12.30 and 1.15pm at the All Saints Anglican Church. “The event is aimed at celebrating Maori understandings of God in a Christian Church, and it is an attempt of being multicultural and reflecting our treaty commitment and partnership with the tangata whenua,” says Greg Hughson, University Chaplain. Last year Neil Ballantyne, the Chairperson of Otago Combined Christian Groups, headed up a major global poverty project in the town hall, which over 2000 youth attended. This year Ballantyne will give a lecture titled ‘How the other half lives:
a look at global poverty’ on Wednesday at 1pm in the Burns 1 lecture theatre. “This is Christianity in action! It’s for all people who want to put their skills into action – we’re not just living in a religious bubble, this is applied religion,” says Ballantyne. On Thursday at 8pm a musical event is being held at the Hub, followed by ‘Bring the Love’, a drive aimed to show a visible presence by offering free food and support to students in an intoxicated state. Free rides home in the Student Life van will also be offered. Additionally, every morning this week there will be a prayer session from 8-9am upstairs in the Link. For more information regarding Jesus Week visit otagoccg.co.nz
Last week’s meeting was more succinct than a Shortland Street special, with Earnest Adams slices to boot. With Dan Stride at the helm, some more clubs were affiliated, namely the Jewish Students’ Association, The Renaissance Rapier Club, the Dunedin Abrahamic Students Interfaith Group, and the Anthropology Society Constitution. Perhaps the meeting would have been over in an even quicker flash, had John’s late report not sparked such a fervent discussion. Dan was angry: about John’s failure to return his law notes, about his failure to turn up to certain events, but mostly that John’s report was late for the fourth consecutive quarter. Dan told John rather fiercely, “Sorry, but at some point, I just want to put my boot down with this,” and threatened to dock John’s
honorarium. Wise old Travis told John he didn’t care about lateness, and that $750 was minimal to a million-dollar organisation, but he did care that the Exec had spent the last 15 minutes discussing late reports. With that, Travis promptly left, and Critic silently screamed: “Hear, hear!” The Exec resolved to accept John’s report next time, once he’s made some changes, but whether John’s honorarium will be paid in full is still a matter of contention. Claire has plans to make a documentary library, where students can borrow documentaries for a few days. Unfortunately, money is tight, and John was concerned that the library would become underutilised, at which point Michael noted that this would merely be following the OUSA trend. So the Exec are going to use their connections
to get the library to meet their demands. John became upbeat at this point, saying conspiratorially “I think we can win this against the library.” Harriet has been in negotiations with Student Health, which wants to increase consultation fees to absorb the GST increase. Most of the Execcies were all for the sneaky levy increase, which students probably won’t notice. When John pondered why they cared what Harriet thought she retorted: “Because we’re friends, duh!”
This week plays host to both Maori Language Week and Jesus Week.
Monday 12.30pm, Opening of Maori Language Week, including fashion designs by Amber Bridgman modeled, Main Common Room 12-1.30pm, Interfaith dialogue, Gazebo Lounge
Tuesday 8am-9am, Prayer upstairs in the Link 12:30pm, Nga Manu Korero, Main Common Room
Wednesday 12.30-1.15pm, Worship in te reo Maori (followed by refreshments), All Saints Anglican Church, 786 Cumberland Street 1pm, “How the other half lives - a look at Global poverty”, Neill Ballantyne (Global Poverty Project) and Jayne Pelz, Burns 1 lecture theatre
Friday 8am-9am, Prayer upstairs in the Link 1:15pm, Kapa haka performance, Union
The Proctor kept me waiting for some time this week while he read a series of grave indictments to some young idiot who had been collared by Campus Watch a few nights ago. When he finally called me in, he noted this guy would probably be on remand if the police had got to him first, and that he was enrolled for a degree that requires a clean criminal record. I can’t tell you anything about that particular case, but thankfully the Proctor had other dirt to dish: There have been a couple of incidents of window-breaking around campus lately, including one in which someone “took exception” to a bus window and smashed it out. This resulted in a $1000 repair bill, which the Proctor instantly passed to the young vandal. The Proctor was keen to point out that the disturbances and fires on Castle Street a couple of weeks ago were not, in fact, the result of a regular street party (a la Hyde Street), but rather the result of a couple of contiguous flats holding piss-ups on the same night. The problem emerged,
the Proctor claimed, as a result of these guys putting their party on Facebook, which immediately drew in sizable delegations of idiots like moths to a flame. The Proctor took this opportunity to remind people that anyone caught setting fire to anything larger than a cigarette around here will be shot. By contrast, no problems were reported at the Agnew Street party, possibly because the organisers didn’t Facebook it, allowing a local, good-natured community event to remain just that. Something to think about.
Lately there have been several cases of people turning up in flats and college rooms they don’t belong in, and bits and pieces have gone missing. The Proctor wearily reiterated his standing advice to everyone to lock (or at least close) your doors when you’re not home, but he did spare a kind word for a very special little petal who broke into someone’s room, used their camera to take a photo of herself trespassing and then left the camera behind.
Otago Gains $3.2 Million in Grants Researchers at the University of Otago have been awarded $3.2 million by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. The funding is part of a $48 million Government initiative to support research that could potentially benefit the economy. A team from the Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology will utilise the funding to develop a treatment for age-related mobility loss. A group in the Department of Oral Sciences, headed by Dr. Kyoko Niimi, hopes to find a solution to the problem of drench resistance in livestock parasites. Meanwhile the Department of Chemistry’s Professor Keith Gordon is leading research that aims to develop long-life solar panels consisting of self-repairing organic materials.
Abuse Link to Mental Illness Uncovered A University of Otago study has found that children who suffer abuse are more likely to develop psychiatric problems later in life. The study, led by Dr. Kate Scott, examined the records of 2144 individuals in the Te Rau Hinengaro: New Zealand Mental Health Survey and differed from previous research into mental health issues and childhood trauma because of its use of official documentation records. Findings from the study showed that a history of maltreatment during childhood significantly increased the likelihood of developing a mental disorder, especially conditions such as anxiety or substance abuse.
Vitamin C Just Keeps Getting Better A University of Otago study published in the latest edition of the Cancer Research journal has found that Vitamin C may help fight cancer. The study showed that tumours had 40 percent less vitamin C than the surrounding normal tissue. The findings indicate that Vitamin C could limit the rate of tumour growth, increase responsiveness to chemotherapy, and prevent the formation of solid tumours. Associate Professor Margreet Vissers, who led the research, told the New Zealand Herald “Our results offer a promising and simple intervention to help in our fight against cancer, at the level of both prevention and cure.”
OPSA withdraws from NZUSA The Otago University Polytechnic Student’s Association (OPSA) has officially withdrawn from the New Zealand University Student’s Association. OPSA President Meegan Cloughley cited concerns about NZUSA’s financial management and a perceived lack of proactive measures on behalf of students as the grounds for OPSA’s withdrawal from the Association. 13
Shonelle Eastwood – Women’s Rep
Eager beaver Shonelle was the first to get her report in this time around. Shonelle has maintained good relationships with a variety of women’s community groups, and organised a balloon launch in memory of survivors of violence and sexual abuse. To determine whether there is a need for the women’s group to exist, Shonelle intends to ask her female friends for their opinion (surely a questionable research technique). The other Execcies were all smiles, thanking Shonelle for her willingness to help and support other members, as demonstrated by a respectable list of general Exec activites. Many of Shonelle’s major goals, including the running of Women’s Week, are yet to come to fruition.
Claire – Welfare Officer
Claire has had a number of stellar flatting-related ideas, including a “flat swap” to aid escape from unfortunate flatting situations, and a flat rating system before flats are allowed on the OUSA flat list. She is planning a cookbook campaign for this semester, and is looking into highlighting the vomit comet (a car to help those on the wrong side of drunk). Claire has also been involved in an impressive number of campaigns including the exam packs and bottle buy-back.
Travis – Post Grad Rep
Travis was commended for his speed in whipping out a report a mere three weeks after taking on his role. He is in the process of redecorating the Gazebo Lounge, which now has catering and candlestick mood lighting. Obviously his efforts are effective, as Gazebo saw its busiest day of the year under Travis’ watch. More social events are on the horizon, and Travis hopes to allow ex-Post Grad Rep Amith’s sub-committee structure to succeed. Unfortunately, the otherwise competent Travis used a variety of font sizes, leaving much to be desired in the area of presentation.
Ros – Queer Rep
All in all, Ros appears to have done a rather amazing job both engaging with and representing the interests of queer students. She helped organise the Queerest Tea Party, held a queer film screening, organised a queer-themed quiz, ran a poster campaign to discourage bigotry towards queer students, and is working towards achieving unisex toilets. In addition, she is part of the ‘Fair Trade My Uni’ steering committee and the governance working party. Thumbs up.
Harriet Geoghegan – President
Perhaps the best thing President Harriet has done is open up communication, whether it be with the University, the students, the public, or the Exec itself. Wizened Execcies who had been part of the previous regime congratulated Harriet on her comparative openness. As it happens, communication is one of Harriet’s goals, along with fiscal responsibility and operational efficiency, both of which she has attempted to address with the change in constitutional structure. From the look of it, Harriet has been involved in activities left, right, and centre, from her more figurehead positions (guest starring as a mace bearer at graduation) to her serious work (organising a rugby match with Canterbury, co-ordinating with people about the Gardies closure). Harriet also promised that she hasn’t been misspending, and has nobly refrained from purchasing lobsters and porn on the OUSA credit card.
Katie Bryant – Commerce Rep
Last semester, Exec members jealously told Katie to stop spending time with her commerce buddies so much, and have some OUSA quality time. It seems that Katie has taken heed of their comments, and has struck a healthy balance between OCOM fanaticism and OUSA commitments. She has been a supportive Commerce Rep, coordinating with the students, running Networking 101, and attending all EDUCOM meetings to represent the needs of commerce students. She has also been involved with a number of OUSA activities. Most importantly, however, Katie brings the OUSA website the most hits from Google.
Art – International Rep
After a faultless report in the first semester, Art’s report appears to have slipped into frightening grammar (culminating in “through” being spelt “thru”), and a disappointingly low word count. Let’s not dwell on the superficial, however: what has he done? Art’s main (sole?) focus appears to have been the international food festival, and little else. He claims to be achieving his goal to stabilise the International Cultural Council, although very little was mentioned about this. Art was also involved with the foundation of the Malaysian Students award, and writing the agenda for the NZUSA International caucus.
Ariana – Maori Rep
Ariana seems to have done a great job representing and supporting Maori students this semester. She has established a bi-annual newsletter, Kia Kotahi Ai, to be distributed through the Maori centre, and is currently working to have a Maori student roopu in the humanities division. Although Ariana had only one sentence describing her general activities for OUSA, her report made it clear she has been involved in various events, including assisting OUSA’s resident BBQ master Ros. Like Michael and Walker, Ariana is yet to spend any of her budget, although this doesn’t reflect a lack of work. She intends to use her budget for the upcoming Maori Language Week, along with other events. 15
Forget the Olympics: the Commonwealth Games are where it’s at (or for this year at least). Kicking off in October in Delhi, India, one of those representing New Zealand is Otago’s own Alison Shanks. A budding ball sports star by trade, Shanks made the switch to cycling a few years ago and hasn’t looked back.
Before getting into cycling you represented Otago in both Netball and Basketball. What inspired the change? Basically, I played for the Rebels for about five years. I spent a lot of the time sitting on the bench and got sick of it really. I guess I had done a bit of cycling and cross training to keep fit over the summer in the off season and I found I was quite good at it.
What are you plans for the rest of 2010? I absolutely love being home in Dunedin for a few weeks. I head to America and escape the worst of the New Zealand winter. So we head over there for about two and a half months before we meet up with the Commonwealth squad in Bordeaux, France for all of September before going into the Commonwealth Games.
Was it an easy transition to make? There were definitely a lot of new things to learn. Cycling is quite a technical sport; there are a lot of unwritten rules or etiquette that go with cycling. But in terms of physical capabilities, I was relatively fit and the training was just so new and exciting, I really just got right into it.
Will that involve training camps in both the USA and France? The USA will involve a lot more racing as well and actually, road racing. We do a lot of the cross training in the American summer and will include time trials and road tours. We can ride five to six days of 100k’s each day so it’s a very different phase of training. Bordeaux will definitely be in training camps and on the velodrome for shorter, high intensity work.
On the velodrome, I understand that there are no brakes on the bikes, has this made for some interesting crashes in your career? No, not really. In terms of being on a velodrome it actually makes it a lot safer because all the movements are quite smooth. No one can stop really suddenly in front of you. There haven’t been too many [crashes].
Last year you won the individual pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Poland, what are your goals from here? The big goal is the Commonwealth Games coming up, in October. It will be in Delhi, India and so I will be racing the individual pursuit there and I also hope to race the road time trial. It is around 30 kilometres so it is quite a different event, but there is quite a lot of crossover there. Are you worried about the security concerns in Delhi at all? I guess there is a little bit of worry in the back of my mind, but it is the kind of thing that as an individual athlete you don’t actually have any control over. You have to put it in the hands of the support personnel that are looking after the New Zealand team. I guess have faith in them that they wouldn’t send us there if it wasn’t safe. Do you think with the recent successes of yourself, Sarah Ulmer, and others that cycling as a competitive sport is beginning to become more widely recognised in New Zealand? Definitely. I think not only as a highly competitive sport, but also as a recreational sport. The beauty of cycling is that not only can Olympic and World riders compete, as a weekend warrior and a general athlete you can be doing exactly what those elite athletes are doing. At times, even ride with them in bunches. That is the beauty of the bike; it actually brings all abilities into one place like no other sport really can. 17
A History of the Decline of the Maori Language
nce upon a time te reo Maori (the Maori language) was the only spoken language in New Zealand. However, these days only four percent of our entire population is able to hold a general conversation in te reo. Sadly, only 24 percent of all Maori are fluent speakers. It was once thought that the Maori language and culture would inevitably become extinct but today, te reo Maori is celebrated with events such as te wiki o te reo (Maori Language Week) and is the only official spoken language of New Zealand. Though progress has been slow and the rate of speakers stagnant, initiatives are in place to ensure the sustenance and restoration of something truly unique to New Zealand that should be cherished by all. So … why was it that over a single century, a language almost vanished? I put forward this question to Mr. Colonisation, and this is what he had to say: “Because I was a greedy chappy back in those days and very monocultural and thought that Maori and their language were in need of deliverance from their wayward state and should assimilate to be more like me.” I know what you’re thinking: arsehole, right!? But many scholars share the opinion that colonisation was the main influence that led to the rapid decline of te reo. Schooling had the biggest impact on the Maori language. Policies that marginalised te reo were employed in schools and influenced the relationship of young children to te reo. Initial missionary education was carried out using te reo but with the initiation of State education there was an emphasis placed on using English as the medium of instruction. Education was seen as a means to assimilate Maori, which unfortunately meant that there was no room for te reo. The Native Schools Act (1867) established a national system of secular Maori Village Day-Schools whereby Maori would provide the land and the Government would supply the buildings and teachers. The Act asserted that English should be the only language used, although this was not enforced rigorously until 1900. At the very beginning of the twentieth century, education authorities took a hard line against the Maori language, which was forbidden even in the playground. Physical punishment was given to children who disobeyed. From around 1860 the Pakeha population became the majority and many Maori began to question the relevance of te reo in a Pakehadominated society. English was the language of the new economy. Early education was used to assert British superiority and foster imperialistic nationalism while at the same time disestablishing the validity of te reo and tikanga Maori (Maori culture). The combination of all this and the introduction of physical punishment for speaking Maori in school were devastating for te reo. Such initiatives created a loathing amongst many Maori, especially the young, for their own language. Many Maori supported the strong stance against the speaking 18
He Hatori o te Heke Haere o te Reo Maori Jared Mathieson
of te reo at school as they knew the value of learning English. They believed that even if English was the only language spoken in school, the Maori language could be sustained in the home. Urbanisation, however, would reveal otherwise. World War Two signalled a huge shift for Maori society. The opportunities for employment in towns and cities lured Maori, fed up with their strenuous rural lifestyle, into urban areas in greater numbers. Prior to the war, around 75 percent of all Maori lived in rural areas. 20 years later, roughly 60 percent were urbanised. This was to have a massively detrimental effect on te reo. At work, in school, and in leisure activities, English was the language of urban New Zealand. Maori families were ‘pepper potted’ throughout towns and cities – meaning that they were scattered over a wide area to avoid concentration of the ethnicity in one area. Consequently, the idea that Maori would speak English in school and Maori at home proved highly ineffectual as urbanised Maori were engulfed by their English-speaking communities and te reo Maori suffered gravely. While this occurred, educational policy that marginalised the Maori language continued right up until after the 1960s. Efforts to incorporate te reo into the school curriculum were tokenistic and inadequate. The number of Maori speakers began to decline rapidly. Between 1900 and 1960 the number of Maori fluent in te reo decreased from 95 percent to 25 percent. By the 1980s less than 20 percent of Maori knew enough reo to be regarded as native speakers. Māori was on the verge of extinction and many of those who could speak were not necessarily using their reo on a regular basis. Some viewed the death of the Maori language as inevitable. However, from the 1980s, Maori initiatives such as Te Kohanga Reo (Maori language pre-school), Whare Kura (Maori language primary school) and Kura Kaupapa (Maori language secondary school) alongside growing government support for the Maori language, ensured the continuation and revitalisation of te reo. Though these initiatives are great and are doing the Maori language a huge favour, the number of speakers is still quite stagnant. More of a conscious effort must be made by all New Zealanders to embrace the native language of Aotearoa and ensure its safekeeping for the future generations. After all, Maori culture is a huge part of what makes up our identity as Kiwis. It is something unique and separates us from the rest of the world. With this in mind, te reo should be cherished by all Kiwis and something to be noted as a sign of one’s patriotic character. To continue to disregard the Maori language as irrelevant would be a sad shame on our country. I am optimistic that one day it will not be rare to hear a conversation in the general public in te reo Maori. So go on, give it a go. 19
Maori Mythos “Her body was like that of a human being, but her eyes were greenstone, her hair sea-kelp, her mouth was like that of a barracuda, and sharp flints of obsidian and greenstone were set between her thighs … Maui was determined to enter Hine-nui-te-po’s body, consume her heart, and then aimed to reappear from her mouth, reversing birth, so that people would be able to live forever.”
aui’s quest for immortality was doomed by the cheeky Piwakawaka (fantail), who couldn’t control his laughter as Maui climbed head-first into the womb of the goddess of death. The bird’s laughter woke Hinenui-te-po, who crushed Maui to death between her thighs, making sure that humans would remain mortal. The Maui most Kiwi kids are introduced to at primary school is a much more wholesome character than this one, and he has far less nightmare-inducing adventures. The trickster who fished up Aotearoa and slowed the sun is mischievous, but everything works out in the end and no one is hurt. Most of the Maori mythology of story time is pretty PG. There is another set of myths. In these stories, there is terror, treachery, incest, and plenty of other excitement. These are not stories for little kiddies sitting on the mat. All over the world, before TV, movies, or even books, evening entertainment for adults often focused around storytelling. Maori culture was no different. Stories have been passed down generation by generation for many reasons. Some are history, telling of how the Maori arrived from the ancestral land of Hawaiki, or the unique history of each tribe. Some stories explain why things are the way they are, or teach children how things are done. A lot are important pieces of cultural heritage. But some stories were the ancient equivalent of this year’s Iron Man II, Arrested Development or (please no) The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Because stories held such a central place in Maori life, storytelling was an important skill. It was not just a way to kill time around the campfire. This was the way history was passed on, person to person down the generations; it was how people knew their place in the world before the University of Otago taught them to find it. Whakapapa (genealogy) is traditionally very important to Maori. Memorising and reciting histories was, and still is, an art form. Many whakapapa trace back all the way to one of the waka that first carried Maori to Aotearoa. Without a way to permanently record this history, this crucial knowledge was treasured in the memories of the tohunga. History was exciting. Kupe is widely thought of as the first discoverer of Aotearoa. There are many different tales told of him, depending on what part of the country you’re in and who’s doing the telling. His journey here from Hawaiki encompassed many thrilling adventures, chief among them a battle with a giant octopus. In some versions, he leaves Hawaiki to run away from his brother after stealing his brother’s wife. Abel Tasman, whose most interesting accomplishment on his voyage to New Zealand was mistaking it for South America, can’t compete. Even the stories to which we do get exposed are often watered down. For this we can partly blame the fact that unless we’re lucky enough to have whanau who know the stories and can pass them on, most of the books telling the old myths are aimed at children – so they’re child-appropriate. Another reason is that the few Pakeha historians who recorded Maori myths (rather than regarding them as ‘puerile beliefs’ or the like) tended to sanitise them somewhat. Sir George Grey was one of the first of these Pakeha historians who took an interest in Maori myths. In the 1840s he collected a large number of myths and legends from around the Pacific, and particularly New Zealand. His versions are considered very true to the storytellers of the time. But in Sir Grey’s version of the death of Maui, it doesn’t specify how Maui’s going to get inside her. He tries to distract the reader with descriptive poetry: “Then the young hero started off, and twisted the strings of his weapon tight round his wrist, and went into the house, and stripped off his clothes, and the skin on his hips looked mottled and beautiful as that of a mackerel, from the tattoo marks, cut on it with the chisel of Uetonga, and he entered the old chieftainess.”
Victorian society was thus left with an acceptable version of events that was modified to suit their tastes. In New Zealand today we haven’t relegated all ancient myths to the position of children’s entertainment. Classics is a subject that was a key part of any genteel young man’s education, and is still popular at many high schools and at university level. One of the components of this is always Greek and Roman mythology. These are studied not only for their own sake, but because it is widely acknowledged that the classical era has had a wide influence on Western society, and the messages they carry are still relevant to us today. On our little island at the bottom of the world, our mythology has not influenced the rise and fall of empires. But Maori culture and beliefs have certainly had an impact on our history, from our turbulent past to the current Treaty negotiations. Maori ways of thinking and doing are surely at least as relevant and worthwhile topics to study as those of the ancient Greeks and Romans. In fact, given that the ancient Greek and Roman empires crumbled a long time ago, while Maori are a growing population, they’re arguably a lot more relevant. It probably doesn’t help that the Greeks had Homer to record their histories, while New Zealand got Sir George Grey and his nervousness around vaginas. But just because Pre-European Aotearoa had an oral tradition of storytelling rather than a written one doesn’t mean that the myths were any less thrilling and laden with important messages. In what is sometimes known as the ‘Maori Renaissance’, a resurgence of Māori art, language and culture began during the second half of the twentieth century. Part of this was a renewed interest in the old stories. Contemporary authors such as Patricia Grace and Witi Ihimaera have drawn on the myths and legends of their ancestors for inspiration and introduced aspects of Maori life to new audiences, in Aotearoa and around the world. Maybe this is just the start of a trend towards some of these great stories being appreciated by the people they were intended for, adults, instead of being limited to fun stories for kids. Because as magical as story time was, these epic adventures deserve more.
Cast of characters:
There is no one set of Maori myths or gods, rather a huge number of variations from region to region, iwi to iwi, or even between individual tellers. The descriptions here are generally the most widespread or common interpretation. • Papatuanuku and Ranginui: the earth mother and sky father, from whom all of the gods and living things are descended. They were locked in a tight embrace until they were pushed apart by their sons, who were tired of living in the darkness between them. • Tawhirimatea: the god of weather. He objected to the separation of his parents, and stormy weather is him raging against his siblings for hurting them. • Hine-nui-te-po: the goddess of death and ruler of the underworld. • Tane Mahuta: the god of the forests and birds, Tane Mahuta is one of the many sons of Rangi and Papa, and both father and husband of Hine-nui-te-po. This is why she ran away to the underworld. Wouldn’t you? • Tangaroa: the god of the oceans. • Mahuika: the goddess (or in some variations, god) of fire.
Maui is an important character in mythology around the whole Pacific. He is the ultimate trickster; most of the mischief he makes ends well, but not all. He is held to be responsible for fishing up the North Island using a hook made out of the jawbone of his ancestress and his own blood for bait. The Maori name for the island is Te-Ika-a-Maui, ‘The Fish of Maui’. The southern end of the island is Te Upoko O Te Ika, the head of the fish, proving once and for all that the map is upside down and Auckland is the arse end of New Zealand. Maui had several other exploits, including two that many New Zealand school kids will have come across. Maui slowed the sun by capturing it with great ropes and beating it into
submission with the sacred jawbone, lengthening the days. He also fooled Mahuika, the goddess of fire, into giving up fire to humankind (though in most versions he did this after putting out all the fires in the world just to see what would happen, so don’t get too grateful). The stories are remarkably similar between nations. Maui also fished up Hawaii, Tonga, and Mangareva, among others, and is often credited with stealing or discovering fire and slowing the sun by other cultures as well. Maui’s origins and death were no less adventurous than his life. He was born premature and lifeless and cast into the ocean wrapped in his mother’s topknot, hence his full name, Maui-tikitiki-a-Taranga (Maui topknot of Taranga). He was rescued and raised by the gods, only returning to the mortal realm as a youth. His final act was to attempt to save humans from death, only to be destroyed by the guardian of the underworld, Hine-nui-te-po.
Myth or legend? • •
These two words are often used pretty much interchangeably. They’re similar, but different. Myths are stories told about supernatural beings and events. They’re often strongly linked with religion and told to explain why the world is the way it is and why things are done the way they are. Legends are often based on true events from history. They are about things that can actually happen in the real world, and are usually regarded as more factual than myths. The boundaries can get blurred very easily. The story of Kupe discovering Aotearoa could certainly be true – someone must have been the first. But the supernatural adventures he’s sometimes said to have had along the way? Maybe not so much.
Meet and Greet/ Wa Tutaki Hello (informal) Kia ora key-ah order Hello (formal, to one person) Tena koe ten-are kweh Hello (formal, to two) Tena korua ten-are call-roo-ah Hello (formal, to three or more) Tena koutou ten-are co-toe Good morning Atamarie ar-tar-marr-dee-air Good afternoon/Good evening Ahiahimarie ar-hee-ar-hee-marr-dee-air Good night Pomarie poor-marr-dee-air What is your name? Ko wai to ingoa? core why tore eeng-or-are My name is… Ko ……. toku ingoa core………..tore-koo eeng-or-are Nice to meet you Pai ana ki te tutaki i a koe pie un-ah key the too-tuck-ee ee ah kwe How are you? Kei te pehea koe? kay teh pear-hair kweh I am good Kei te pai ahau kay teh pie ah-hoe I am not good Kaore ahau i te pai Carl-reh oh ee-teh pie Where are you from? No hea koe? naw he-ah kwe I am from Dunedin No otepoti ahau nore or-tep-pore-tee ah-hoe You poor thing! Ka aroha! car ar-raw-har Saying thank you Saying ‘thank you’ is the same as saying ‘hello’, so ‘kia ora’ is informal, and ‘tena koe’ is formal (when said to one person) and so on… Random Phrases/ Kianga Poka Noa: MEAN! KA RAWE! ca -rar-weh She’ll be right mate! Hei te pai e hoa! hey-teh-pie eh-hor-ah Hardout! Tautoko! toe-took-or Mate, shut up! E kare, turituri! eh car-reh too-dee-too-dee True bro? He pono hoki e hoa? heh paw-naw whore-key eh whore-ah You’re gorgeous To porotu hoki tall poo-raw-too hook-ee You deserved that! Ana Un-ah Have a nice day! Kia pai to ra key-are pie tore rah Sorry Aroha mai are-raw-har my I’m so stoked! Kei te manahau au kay teh mun-ah-hoe oh You are my love Ko koe te tau o taku ate! core kweh teh toe or tuck-oo utt-eh Good Bye Ka kite car keet-eh
Top Two Major Misconceptions The haka is not a war dance. It is generic term given to any form of Maori dance that empowers one’s identity. The true war dances are called peruperu, whakatu waewae, and tutu ngarahu, which are performed with weapons! Other forms of haka include haka taparahi, manawa wera, pokeka, haka powhiri, kaioraora and ngeri. The haka performed by the All Blacks are haka taparahi, ceremonial haka performed to stiffen the sinews, to summon up the blood. ‘Pakeha’ is a tricky and very much contested Maori term. Today, the term generally refers to New Zealanders of European descent. The most cited origin for the term Pakeha is from the name Pakepakeha, which refers to a mythical people of the sea that had fair skin and hair (not ‘flea’ or ‘pig’ as many uninformed people believe). Though many Pakeha still prefer to be called New Zealanders, and even feel insulted by being called Pakeha, the term is generally only meant to distinguish them as a unique ethnicity in this country.
Food/Kai Fruit Huarakau who-are-rar-co Veges Huawhenua who-are-fen-oo-ah Other Food: Atu kai utt-oo kai: Apple Aporo are-poor-raw Carrot Karoti car-raw-tee Bread Paraoa par-rar-or-ah Banana Maika my-car Corn Kanga car-ngah Eggs Heki heck-ee Orange Arani are-runny Potato Riwai ree-why Tomato Tomato tore-mutt-or Meat Miti meet-ee Dairy A-kau are-co Beef Miti kau meet-ee co Butter Pata putt-ah Chicken Heihei hey-hey Cheese Tihi tee-hee Pork Poaka paw-uck-ah Chocolate Tiakarete tee-yuck-ah-ret-eh Fish Ika eek-ah Milk Miraka mee-ruck-ah Mini Guide to Some Maori Dialects Iwi – How are you? – Listen Ngapuhi – E pehea ana koe? – ‘hakarongo Waikato – Kei te peewhea koe? – whakarongo Te Arawa – Kai te pehea koe? – whakarongo Ngai Tuhoe – Kai te pehea koe? – whakaron’o Ngati Porou – Kai te pehea koe? – whakarongo Whanganui – E pe’ea ana koe? – w’akarongo Kai Tahu – E pehea ana koe? – uakaroko Note: Some iwi do not spell words according to the way they pronounce them, ie. ‘Whanganui’ is pronounced ‘W’anganui’. Top 10 Mispronunciations Tauranga – Toe-rung-ah NOT Tell-wrong-ah Taupo – Toe-paw NOT Tell-po Waikato – Why-cut-or NOT Why-cat-oh Aoraki – Ah-or-ruck-ee NOT Aye-or-rack-ee Kai Tahu – Kai-tah-who NOT Kai taarr-who Waimate – Why-mah-teh NOT Why-mat-ee Whanau – Far-no NOT Far-now Whangarei – Far-ngar-ray NOT Wong-a-ray Ohau – Oar-hoe NOT Oh-how Te Anau – Teh-are-no NOT Tay-are-now Learning te reo Maori is easy, for more info see: Korero Maori, Basics at korero.maori.nz/forlearners/basics Maori Dictionary, Te Aka at: maoridictionary.co.nz And: MAOR110 Conversational Maori offered at the University of Otago. 25
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If you’re a parent disappointed with your children, read this, then look at yourself. Respect; what is it? An attitude of esteem, consideration or regard. A respectable person is generally thought to be deserving of the respect of others. Today’s authority figures aren’t respected because they don’t deserve it. Here’s why: There’s some cynical stuff in education. Don’t misread me: doctors spend years training, and if you want to be a plumber you’ll need an apprenticeship. It’s easy to see how this makes sense, but I think many other so-called educational courses offered to youth do more harm than good. Take Mark for example, an ordinary kid leaving school looking for a job. He asks in a cafe, asks around a lot, only to find out later he hasn’t been ‘lucky’ because he’s up against another kid who’s completed a ‘Cafe Course’. He’s told not to take it personally, but he’s ‘underqualified’ for cafe work. It’s then suggested he get into debt without a job offer to complete unit standards ‘How to Make an Espresso’, ‘How to Wash Dishes’, ‘How to Smile at Customers’ and ‘How to Get to Work on Time.’ Isn’t this an insult to a person’s basic intelligence? These ‘qualifications’ are demeaning and disempowering. If someone recommended I get into debt with low employment prospects to ‘learn’ something I already knew or which I (or any bright kid) could pick up in five minutes, I’d tell them to get fucked, wouldn’t you? It’s absurd to go to polytech to learn these basics. The cherry on top is that upon graduation, if he’s ‘lucky’ enough to get a job, Mark will be rewarded with the youth minimum wage, another form of exploitation. This person is supposed to have sense of self esteem. Why would they? Driving is a life skill pertinent to any person’s job prospects, enabling them to work anywhere. Funding could be reserved for kids from poorer families to learn to drive. But that would make too much sense. Watch the news, read the paper. Sure, the media is disproportionately negative, but if you’re a person in authority you’re likely to be a public figure, and an awful lot of public figures are discovered to be corrupt. Massive global fraud, Catholic priests sexually abusing children, warmongering lying world leaders or locally a council largely working against rather than for the community it was elected to serve. Young people see this everywhere and are expected to show respect! Why? Perhaps yesteryear’s youth were more obedient? Don’t fool yourself now, nobody’s getting any respect from this generation until they earn it. The fact that you wear a fancy robe, have a fancy title, or have millions endorsing you means absolutely nothing. We all do ‘good’ and ‘bad’ things. Everyone can probably think of one thing they’ve done they’re not proud of, but don’t blame it on your kids! There’s huge disparity in our justice system’s treatment of people. The more money, power, or social rank you have (young people have none of this) the more likely it is you’ll get away with something you shouldn’t have done. Thus we see the most heinous crimes committed by those in power: parents, politicians, teachers, and business people, yet the court news invariably features youth convictions for the most petty crimes, like a 17-year-old or solo parent smoking pot and harming nobody. Big fish who pay clever lawyers or skip the country rarely fill a whole page of court news. Please stop punishing your kids for doing what you do. You do these things too, otherwise, where did your kids learn them? Admit you’re not always right, that you make mistakes too, and give your children an opportunity to be something better. ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ is redundant. You’re not automatically right because you’re older and more experienced; gatekeeping is a priviledged status that condones double standards. You might have more experience appropriate to your generation, but the world’s changed a lot and is still constantly changing. When I look at the world my parents and grandparents have created I can honestly say I don’t like much of what I see. Wouldn’t it be wiser to just admit this? Wouldn’t a better motto be ‘Don’t do what anyone says, learn to think for yourself’? If we’re not bold enough to say this, too scared to teach it, we become like trains following predetermined tracks doomed to follow the same worn pathways with little hope of something better. 27
or most of human history, it was likely that you would live and die a stone’s throw from the place you were born. You would kill your dearest for a mule and ladies would spread their legs quicker than Courtney Love if you had a pony. Today, much has changed, and much has improved. We skate, bike, drive, fly, sail, we have it cheap and easy (again Courtney Love comes to mind). Everything comes with a cost though. 20 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions come from road transport. The by-products of convenience have adverse health effects. Vehicles emit particulates, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, and benzene. Carcinogenic, bad for asthmatics, bad for the planet. These problems are not unsolvable. Rather, transport is an area in which many innovative opportunities exist. Just recently a plane was flown for 26 hours just on solar energy! Check out solarimpulse.com. Politically, however, debates with regard to transport are often divided along the left/right fault line; the classic public vs. private positions. Cars represent individualism and consumption beyond the means of most humans alive today. Most importantly they represent freedom. In contrast, public transport represents collective solutions to finite resources. Investing in it increases accessibility for the old, disabled, and financially challenged (i.e. poor students). Other social and cooperative types find hitching and car pooling useful. It’s time to seriously consider the future of transport and reflect on our priorities nationally and globally. Perhaps we could question why the Minister of Transport, Steven Joyce, is spending $1.4 billion on the ‘Holiday Highway’ between Puhoi and Wellsford. His response manages (incredibly) to commit two fallacies at the same time: the straw man fallacy and the false dilemma. “Getting into a debate on rail verses road versus coastal shipping is not what will get the country where we need it to go. It’s not about which one you like the most. The reality is we need to have all three transport modes working to complement each other.” Well, no one is putting forward the case that we shouldn’t utilise all three, rather they question spending billions on roads and only millions on rail. How ironic that he is a minister for a party that espouses a “balanced approach.” Fortunately we have two newbies in Parliament on his case. Labour’s Clare Curran, who won the Dunedin South electorate, deserves a pat on the back for backing the Hillside Workshop workers who wanted to manufacture rail for Auckland, supporting the right industry, skills, and jobs. Much appreciated by many, I’m sure. Also, the newest and youngest addition to the Green Party, Gareth Hughes, has already had some beautiful moments. His Give Way to Buses Bill is a subtle way of resetting the precedence of travellers. Cars should give way to buses, as they do in parts of Australia, Europe, the USA, and Canada. Hughes urging other parties in the house to offset their travel emissions like the Greens: reasonable. Asking them to talk the Speaker into it: cheeky. Love it.
ollowing their investment of settlement funds and businesses, iwi are becoming economic powerhouses. It is time that the government recognised this and took advantage of this large pool of capital. Some iwi have hinted at being supportive of PPPs and the benefits of iwi-government partnerships are too good to pass up. As well as involving Maori entities in delivering services and infrastructure to New Zealand, iwi businesses are not going to leave New Zealand for overseas. Iwi have an incentive for their profits to stay in New Zealand and drive the domestic economy for the benefit of their members. Iwi are social entities as well as powerful economic ones, so they have an interest in socially responsible investment. Iwi investment of settlements back into infrastructure projects will also promote social inclusion, in that the money is being used for the benefit of all New Zealanders, while allowing iwi to develop their funds. Iwi could take a number of roles in PPPs, from advisory and financing to design and operation. From a cynical point of view, such involvement may also help to avoid cultural sensitivity issues that some developments can run into. The need for Maori economic development to catch up with the rest of the country, coupled with the need for infrastructure investment, makes this is a win-win situation. It ensures that profits remain in New Zealand, and means that iwi investment works to build New Zealand and develop our economy and infrastructure at the same time. Co-investment between iwi and the Crown is also a development of the partnership inherent in the Treaty of Waitangi. Pita Sharples’ suggestion of a Maori Development Bank to lend money to Maori business could also be taken up by iwi; this makes more sense than the government creating or supporting a new entity to invest in Maori business development when these large investors already exist. Any sales of State Owned Enterprises may also see iwi as the natural buyers, especially for those involved in delivering services to Maori. The recent response to large tracts of farmland being purchased by Chinese interests also suggests that iwi may have a bigger role to play in our primary production industry. Iwi investment in these strategic industries and social infrastructure should be more palatable to the public than that of foreign companies. Some issues may arise from not all Maori supporting the often capitalist tendencies of those who run some of these Maori trusts and investment bodies and manage settlement funds. Urban Maori who have lost contact with these traditional bodies and those who do not think they have benefited from Treaty settlements may oppose further preference to iwi groups. There may also be a rejection of preference to investment partners on the basis they are Maori from the wider public. These concerns aside, iwi groups are the natural partners of government investment in infrastructure and services and could benefit all New Zealand.
Will: What is it exactly that we are trying to achieve with race-based quotas? The answer must be that there is some benefit to the community as a whole in having more of a particular race represented in limitedentry courses. But what is this benefit, and does it justify the imposition on individual rights that quotas impose? In New Zealand, in theory, everyone has access to the same primary education. Schools teach to a curriculum, teachers must be qualified, lower decile schools get additional funding to recognise the difficulties they face. So coming out of school we should all be at the same standard. If we are not of the same standard, what is the likelihood that this is solely about our race? I accept that statistics will tell us that Maori are underrepresented in higher education, but is this because they are Maori, or is this because of other factors? I would suggest it is more likely because they are also disproportionately likely to have come from a poorer background, or to have not finished high school. These are the problems that we need to address; Maori representation in limited-entry courses is just a symptom of these wider issues. Some may argue that giving more Maori a chance to take part in limited entry courses will help alleviate this problem. In reality what quotas do is take the Maori from the top of the heap, the ones who have made it to University already, and the ones who narrowly missed out on getting into restricted-entry courses, and give them a helping hand. These are not the Maori we need to help. But will seeing Maori in higher-profile careers inspire underachieving Maori to work harder? The answer to this is: not on its own. If underachieving Maori, who are not doing well in primary or high school, see their friends subjected to a lower standard because of their race, what does that do to self-confidence? It effectively tells them that no matter what they do they’ll always need the generosity of others to help them succeed, that they can’t do it for themselves. Race-based quotas do not work to solve the underlying problem; they only help those who are already in a position of privilege and they actively harm the incentive to work hard.
Debatable is a column written by the Otago University Debating Society. They meet every Tuesday at 7pm in Commerce 2.20.
Nick: If there is one thing that gets up the noses of the offspring of New Zealand’s privileged white middle class, it’s when they miss out on a place in second-year Medicine or Law, only to see a person of Maori ancestry gain entry with an even lower mark. With apologies to the former group, I am happy to defend an affirmative action policy that ensures Maori participation in some of the more elite professions in our country. There are a multitude of reasons why this policy is justified, but I would like to mention just two. First and most important are the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. New Zealand is a bicultural nation, and there is a moral duty on important institutions to ensure that Maori are able to play a role. I would argue that this extends to universities. They act as the gateway for people who wish to play a part in our legal system and our health system. Without Maori participation in these arenas, the principle of partnership has no real meaning. Maori are over-represented in negative crime and health statistics. A lack of Maori doctors, lawyers, and judges severely limits the ability of Maori people to positively engage in addressing these concerns. Without Maori involvement it becomes too easy to engage in paternalism aimed more at assuaging white guilt than addressing Maori issues. The second reason is that a Maori quota plays a role in addressing historic grievances. There is no doubt that historically Europeans have acted in extremely bad faith: stealing traditional Maori land, depriving them of meaningful suffrage, and disconnecting them from their culture. People who claim these actions are irrelevant historical anecdotes are wrong. Their effects are still felt today. The spiritual and material deprivation Maori faced at European hands far exceeds any direct Treaty reparations, and is largely responsible for the poverty, poor health, and crime than affect Maori on aggregate. In the long run, the Crown and Pakeha New Zealanders needs to address these symptoms at their root. Maori too need to take some responsibility. But it is also important to treat the symptoms in the meantime. A lack of Maori educational achievement is justly addressed through reserving Maori places in law and medicine. 03 29
Strangest Sexual Fetishes Some people enjoy watching people sleep. Others enjoy much more refined things, such as having small Asian females yelling profanities at their genitals in an oriental dialect (you know who you are!). But some of these fetishes take “whatever floats your boat” to a creepy new level. 5. Feeders: Not just your average chubby chaser, this is probably the most extreme form of a fat fetish. As the name implies, these people get off over making people (usually women) as fat as they can. The fatter the better, as this fetish is mostly about control and dependence. Some of them end up so massive that they can’t fit through doors, so about the size of Michael Laws’ ego. 4. Erotic asphyxiation: This is the intentional restriction of oxygen to the brain for sexual arousal. At first I thought this might be jerking off until you black out, but there are a few more complexities to it. It’s commonly done by a dominatrix thought a variety of disturbing methods. I’d be afraid to even remotely try this out in case the dominatrix gets me all locked up and tells me that the safe word is “Eyjafjallajökull.” 3. Formicophilia: Having bugs crawling all over my junk is
about as sexually appealing as having Helen Clark strip tease out of a giant cake while singing ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’. But some people love those creepy crawlies. It’s much more common in developing countries, probably because they live in shacks surrounded with bugs and it’s common to have an outdoor bathroom. I’m sure telling anyone that you’re into this is an excellent way to stop almost anyone’s sexual advances. Besides Bill Clinton of course. 2. Robot fetishism: Ever got a bit of a hard-on over R2D2’s
beeping? Ever masturbated furiously over Optimus Prime’s guns? Chances are you may be experiencing a fetish towards robots. Either that, or you’re a creep. Maybe even both. Apparently, it’s actually not that simple. It’s more to do with people acting like robots and getting dressed up as robots. Many of these people refer to themselves as ‘Technosexuals’, which really says a lot about them. I mean, imagine having a bit of slap and tickle with someone, only to find them saying “hold that thought – I need to go and get my Robocop costume...” 1. Burusera: This is the Japanese term for a fetish for panties,
predominantly those of schoolgirls. It’s so common that there are shops that sell used schoolgirls’ panties and until recently, there were even vending machines that sold them. Law changes meant that only 18+ school leavers could sell their used panties. Now, some of you might think this is completely gross. I see it as a possible business venture. Think about it: you have extremely low start-up costs. Just get some panties and a few plastic bags. Then just grab a four-day-old fish and rub it all over the panties! Dear Diary: JACKPOT! 30
steroids: where do they come from? Where are they going? These bizarre flying lumps of rock have perplexed mankind for centuries (almost as much as fucking magnets: just how do they work?) and are as dangerous as they are mysterious. Like a drunken munter who’s just been kicked out of South Bar, asteroids lurch aimlessly about the galaxy, wreaking terrible destruction upon anyone unfortunate enough to get in their way. An asteroid hitting Earth would mess our shit up in a profoundly devastating fashion: the ground would shake, giant waves would take out entire continents, and dust clouds would cover the sky, plunging the earth into darkness and causing a lot of fumbling around and general tripping-over of things. Yessir, it would be a real-life Armageddon – just like in that movie, Deep Impact. Most experts agree that the chances of an asteroid hitting Earth are pretty slim, but I wouldn’t get too smug about it just yet. Yes, I know it’s fun to point up at the night sky and laugh, believing that we’re safe here on Earth and those pathetic little asteroids can’t do anything about it. And sure, according to ‘science’ the odds are stacked in our favour, but don’t get too comfortable. You see, with every Justin Bieber video watched, and every racist comment made on YouTube, humanity is tempting fate. Just because being wiped out by an asteroid is unlikely doesn’t mean the universe won’t do it anyway in a fit of poetic justice. Let’s not forget about our reptilian friends the dinosaurs. I’m sure they were equally smug about the whole ‘existence’ thing, doing all sorts of perverted prehistoric shit that we can’t even imagine (try as we might), and then BAM! – a huge asteroid gets all up in their coelacanths. Remember, these were not small and slightly grotesque puppets like on that terrible ‘90s sitcom Dinosaurs: these were massive lizards with teeth and everything. An average dinosaur could easily kill a human, yet every single dinosaur in existence was taken down by a single asteroid: even those of us with a shaky grasp on logic can see that humans don’t rank too well in the ol’ human-dinosaur-asteroid hierarchy. These days dinosaurs are a pretty miserable bunch, standing around in museums, missing their flesh and vital organs and generally not doing a whole lot. Do we want to end up like that? Probably not, unless that kind of stuff floats your boat. So even though scientists will tell you that the chances of being bombarded by fiery death from above are almost non-existent, just be aware that with every Nickelback album you buy you are tempting fate, practically begging it to come and wipe us off the face of the planet. Iain Dangerfield
uys who play sport get chicks. Guys who play sport get mates. Guys who play sport are cool. You want to be a guy that plays sport. So this week, Matthew, I’m going to be a jock. Dunedin jocks have a very unique style that has evolved out of years of refinement and cultivation, resulting in an outfit that can only be described as ‘pure fucking awesomeness, with a side of epic’. Wear a shirt that is at least three sizes too small; this accentuates your muscled and sculpted physique and makes the chicks hungrier than a fox in the chicken coop. Then, balance this ‘torso-condom’ effect by wearing the baggiest pants possible; Canterbury pants seem to do the trick nicely. Last, throw on a pair of jandals; it keeps things casual but also adds that kiwiana flavour. Don’t ever wear anything other than this combination. All good sportsmen wear a uniform, regardless of whether they’re on the field or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s minus six outside and your scrotum is frozen to your thigh, the uniform stays the same. Since you’re going to be a jock, you’re obviously going to have to play sport in some form or another, so it’s best that you pick the right one to play. Rugby, soccer, and cricket are obviously the top three choices, but there is still a multitude of sports out there that will boost your ‘jock-iness’ to unprecedented levels. As a general rule: the more men on the field the better. More players means more opportunities to prove that you are better than everyone else, plus it proves to the chicks that you are comfortable enough with your own sexuality to get stuck into a scrum with a bunch of sweaty men. Chicks eat that shit up. After any good sporting event, a favourite pastime of the jock is to head to the local pub to celebrate the game with a few beers. In fact, jocks are renowned for their ability to ‘sink piss’ at an astounding rate. This not only impresses the eligible females present at the pub, it also serves to moderate the intelligence quotient of the jock. A high level of intelligence distracts the jock from the game at hand, and is thus unnecessary. This is why most jocks complete degrees that do not require mental ability, such as a BCom. Finally, being a jock is about being noticed. Go to the gym as much as possible, in order to fill out your torso-condom to best effect. Jocks are sportsmen, so talk about sport at every possible moment. People don’t want to hear about current affairs or any other relevant topic; they want to hear you regale them with tales of your sporting prowess. Being punctual is for sissies; casually stroll in late to your lectures, and act as if everyone’s been waiting for you to arrive. After all, you’re pure fucking awesomeness, with a side of epic, so you may as well flaunt it.
ith the World Cup come and gone, many of you football lovers out there will be looking for your next fix of the beautiful game. Look no further than the 19 September, when the Homeless Football World cup kicks off in Rio de Janeiro. The tournament is organised by the Homeless World Cup Foundation, whose aim it is to change the lives of those people living on the edge of society, using football as a tool. The idea is a great one: football is one of the simplest sports to play, and all you really need is a ball and something to it kick at. If you quickly assumed that Brazil with its love of football and poverty would be the dominant homeless team, then you would be wrong: a number of different teams have taken out the coveted title, including Afghanistan in 2008. If you’re thinking “Why should I care about some homeless dudes playing football?” shame on you: these guys are worthy of every bit of attention, given the fact that they have no home (hence the name ‘homeless’) and are squarely on the outside of society. It takes a lot to be able to function in society let alone play any type of organised sport at an international level. Street Footy New Zealand says that all the New Zealand representatives from the 2008 tournament are now off the street and either in full-time employment or tertiary education. It’s nice to see sport having that kind of effect on people. It really does demonstrate the power of sport. Ideas like this are what makes sport so great. It’s nice to think that football is not just for millionaires and the All Whites, but that it can actually make a real difference in people’s lives. Cricket is another sport that has been used for social good. The people who were running the Afghani refugee camps in Pakistan at the start of the American invasion needed something that would keep the men busy with something and stop them from entering extremist groups. Cricket was the answer and now the Afghani team is competing on the world stage. The idea that sport can make a positive change for society is in no way new; a lot of money is spent by professional teams in giving back to the community. This idea, however, is completely different. It’s true that not all sports would be able to take on the role of helping homeless people. I am sure that water polo just wouldn’t quite have the same effect, especially since it’s played underwater. So next time you see someone living on the street you might be looking at the next superstar of street footy. The New Zealand team now is now beginning two months of training which includes both football and life skills, in the hope they can better their last cup where they took home the award for best newcomer. I know I’ll be watching intensely. Tim Miller
Whoâ€™s watching whom?
Geez Louise, flattered guys, but really!? 32
Kia ora koutou, Ko Ariana Te Wake toku ingoa, ko au te mangai mo nga Tauira Maori o nga Akonga o Te Whare Wananga o Otago. Greetings to you all, My name is Ariana Te Wake and I am the Maori Students Representative on OUSA. This week I have been given free reign with Harriet’s Column as it is Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori (= Maori Language Week). I thought that I would start by helping those that do not understand Te Reo, by firstly helping you to understand what Fallyn Flavell, Tumuaki (= President) of Te Roopu Maori has written in the next column. Fallyn has laid down a wero (= challenge) to you all to try and understand the korero (= conversation) she has written. I will help those that wish to take up this challenge by offering some key translations of words that will help. (Note these are loosely translated for your benefit). mohio – understand ; matatau – to know well imera – email ; karere a-waea – phone message/text message korero a-pukapuka-kanohi - to read era momo – other types of communication ; ora - well waenganui – get amongst ; kaore – no/negates a sentence ako – to learn/teach ; parakitihi – practice tarai – to try or attempt ; whakapakari – to strengthen mohiotanga – knowledge ; koe – you (1 person) korua – you (2 people) ; koutou – you all (more than 3) matou – we (excluding the listener) tatou – we (including the listener) Hopefully I have given you enough translations for you to have a go at trying to understand the korero in the next column. I am also going to lay down a wero to you all, our reception staff at OUSA, for all of next week will greet you all in Maori and ask “kei te pehea koe?” (how are you?), there will be a sign at the reception desk with ways of answering the question in te reo Maori, such as; “kei te (insert word from below list) ahau.” “I am (word used from list).” pai – good ; mauiui – sick ngenge – tired ; ora – well ; hiakai – hungry ; hiainu – thirsty pera tonu – just the same I encourage you all to give it a go if you come into the OUSA office, and if not just to try and use some of these phrases or words in your everyday conversations with o hoa (= your friends). The national theme for Maori Language Week this year is ‘Te Mahi Kai’ which means the Language of Food. To tautoko (= support) this, traditional Maori Kai, Hangi, is going to be served from an outlet in the Union for the week. But be in quick because there are a limited number of Hangi sold each day and trust me you don’t want to miss out!
Tena koutou katoa, Nei ra te timatanga o te wiki whakahirahira to tatou reo rangatira, Te Reo Maori. Anei nga wero 1. He wero tenei kia koutou e mohio ki te korero i roto i te reo, mena i mohio koe ki tetahi atu matatau ki te reo, korero korua tahi i roto i te reo Maori. Tuku imera, tuku karere a-waea, tuku korero a-pukapuka-kanohi me era momo i roto i te reo Maori kia mohio ai tatou kei te ora tonu to tatou reo ki waenganui i a matou. 2. Mena kaore koe i matatau ki te reo Maori, engari kei te ako tenei te wiki mo te parakitihi. Tarai ki te korero i roto i te reo, kia whakapakari to mohiotanga me to reo. 3. Mena kaore koe I mohio Te Reo Maori, tautoko te Kaupapa o te wiki. Me korero koe enei kupu ki o hoa ‘kia ora’, ‘ka kite’ - ‘ata marie’, pomarie’ (If you don’t know Maori, support the theme of the week and start small by saying ‘kia ora’, hello; and ‘ka kite’, farewell; ‘ata marie’, good morning; and ‘pomarie’, goodnight.) Ko te Kaupapa mo te wiki o Te Reo Maori i tenei tau ko ‘Te Mahi Kai’ (The Language of Food), a, ko te tikanga me aro ki te Kaupapa. Anei etahi kupu me etahi rerenga korero hei hapai i a tatou katoa. “E mate kai ana koe” - “Ae/ Kao/ pea” “Are you hungry?” - “yes/no/ maybe” “Kua kai ano koe?” - “Kahore kau” “Have you had something to eat?” - “Nothing yet” “He aha mau?” - “He inu/ hanawiti/ kotakota rīwai māku koa” “What would you like?” - “I’ll have a drink/ sandwich/ potato chips please” “I pehea to kai?” - “Tino pai/reka/” “kaore i te pai” “How was your meal?” - “very good/ sweet” “Not good at all” Kupu mo etahi kai Wai - water ; Wai reka - Soft drink ; Waipiro - Alcoholic beverage Huarakau - Fruit ; Huawhenua - Vegetables ; Hangi - Earth oven steamed food ; Rare - lollies/ sweets ; Raihi - rice ;Riwai - potato Miti (heihei/ kau/ poaka) - Meat (chicken,cow/beef, pig/pork) Nga momo mo tenei wiki: Mane/ Rahina: TWOTR opening 12:30pm - Union Kapa haka - 7pm, Te Tumu Turei/ Ratu: Nga Manu Korero 12:30pm onward - Union Wenerei/ Raapa: Hahi/ Church service 12:30pm All Saints Church (ki muri i a Selwyn College) Taite/ Rapare: Wharewhare - Te Tumu 6pm Paraire/ Ramere: Kapa haka performance 1:15pm Union Hatarei/ Rahoroi: Maori Ball - 7pm. Hokona nga tikiti mai Te Roopu Maori Whare e $35 te utu. Kia kaha ki te korero Te Reo Maori Aku mihi
Manaia by R. Tapiata
“roughly”. By the way, apart from this quibble, a very nice article. Yours sincerely, Macintosh Stewart
Letter of the Week wins a $30 book voucher RE: THAT APOLOGY NOT BEING GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE ODT
Dear Critic, I wrote this comment on an online ODT story about your shitty apology for picking on hobos. Bitches didn’t publish it: Critic should have taken out a full page ad in the ODT to apologise! I don’t care that the delay was because they were on a printing holiday! It’s just not good enough! Obviously Critic’s apology isn’t at all genuine. They just did it so they could get back to burning couches in peace. We should shut down the university to get rid of all these pesky students! I also hear Ben Thomson wore a flannel shirt at Fashion Week. NO RESPECT. Lots of love, Candy Badger
RE: THAT APOLOGY, AND ANNOYING STUDENTS
Dear Critic, thank you for making the apology concerning the homeless article. It is easy to make a mistake, hard to admit it, and heroic to say so sincerely and publicly. Now I can start reading Critic again, yours, Maria.
Dear Critic. I thought you ought to know before you run it that titling your apology with “A Bum Letter” might undermine the nature of your whole message. Just as well you had me to catch that for you, I imagine it could have been embarrassing for everyone! I also have a brief message for students who feel the need to interrupt lecturers midstream in order to argue about the nature of what they are discussing. I understand that it is important to be able to interact with a teacher to learn, but if you must snort loudly at what is being said, please leave the classroom to do so. PRO TIP: lecturers are allowed to discuss arguments made by researchers EVEN if they do not believe them. Everyone else at the lecture has realised this and we would all appreciate if you managed to hold it in until after class so that you’re wasting your own time and not ours. Otherwise we will have to introduce some negative reinforcement and shout “Shut up!” to you to prevent this behaviour from occurring all semester. Ta-ta dearies, Ewok
RE: THAT ARTICLE THAT WENT WITH THAT APOLOGY
RE: THAT APOLOGY, AND THAT SOAPBOX
Dear Caitlyn O’Fallon, I remember you, and I’m guessing you remember me. Oh yes, I’m guessing you remember me very well. The final issue of Critic for 2008 contained a letter you wrote to the Editor correcting my use of colons and quotations. In last week’s feature “Home is where the heart is”, you used the sentence “There are some people, mostly men, who do live rough much of the time.” “Rough” is an adjective, but in this case you have used it to modify the verb “live”. You should instead have used the adverb
Oliver: grow up. Thomson... call me ;) Dear Critic I appreciate good satire and sarcasm just as much as any other semi-cynical person out there… However, it seems that Critic authors have lazily limited themselves concerning material to take the piss out of. Overlooking the “bum” article (which can be forgiven due to the very gracious and well written note by our lovely editor**), Logan Oliver’s contribution is yet another yawn. It’s a pity, as it is possible to play the “misogynistfinance-student” without resorting to old (and subsequently boring) colloquialisms
RE: THAT APOLOGY
‘Living rough’ is an idiom in widespread use. If ‘live rough’ had been changed to ‘live roughly’ it would have altered the meaning of the sentence, albeit slightly. – Caitlyn O’Fallon
and insults. If you were attempting to sound intelligent or witty (!?), it was a pitiable attempt. Why don’t you take a History or English paper so you’re able to come up with something a little more original than sexist banter and B.A bashing (the McDonald’s and gas-pumping professions are well outdated examples. Research much?) Surely, a clever finance student such as yourself can lower your standards in order to prevent your insults and overall writing style from sounding like they’ve been acquired though the school play yard. Your purpose seemed not to address issues surrounding the Finance and Accounting Merger (which would have been interesting if you had actually put some thought into your article) but to annoy your readers with tiresome stereotypes and childish insults. Response: yawn. Critic: fancy a new writer? -E *who I would distribute some blame towards in regards to this response IF he wasn’t such a babe. ;) Dear “E” (is that some reference to the grade you got in introductory economics?) It pains me to speak prole, but if it wasn’t obvious, I couldn’t care less if you were entertained or bored – the perfunctory role for you and your kind is to entertain ME. All it usually takes is a message from my Blackberry to tell any girl with some latent potential to be ready at 7pm and to wear heels ... but your response, although a bit ‘third-tier’ was also mildly amusing. Creativity is over-rated – it’s much more effective to stick to what makes money. Not even my managing director is paid to think, but I’m willing to go long on the prospect that his watch is worth more than your education. Your only reward is appreciative nods from the same rabble that was in the design protest, who call themselves the intelligensia. Good luck in the spring, Logan S. Oliver RE: THAT SOAPBOX
Hi, It’s not often that I read an article in the critic twice, Logan S. Oliver’s article in last weeks critic was fucking awesome! Marvelous stuff. Kind regards, Fellow Financier.
CRITIC ART ISSUE RE: THAT WHOLE ISSUE
Dear Critic, Worst Critic ever. Sincerely, Critic Critic RE: THAT NEWSPAPER THAT SUX
It’s not always that we find ourselves on the same side of the fence so there is much cause for rejoicing among my DCC colleagues at your timely ODT Watch this week (Issue 16 2010). We had begun to wonder whether we were the only ones to think the ODT had lost its sense of perspective with its increasingly shrill and rabid revelations on DCC credit card use. Fair suck of the kumara, they asked a valid question and some of the answers weren’t flattering. So we’ve learnt, apologised, promised to do better and moved on. But they seemed reluctant to do the same, seeming to have the same difficulty of the very people they attacked in defining what was appropriate spending and what was reasonable business expenditure. So thank you for coming to our rescue with your piece which raised the morale in the Civic Centre a couple of notches. If you care to pop in next time you’re down this way I can assure you there will be no shortage of us willing to shout you a cup of Dunedin’s finest roasted – strictly cash of course. Cheers, Rodney Bryant Communications Co-ordinator Dunedin City Council RE: SOME GIRL’S BIKE LIGHT
Dear critic, please publish my letter. I’m addressing you first so you realise I’m not mad at you, in fact, I like you a lot. “Dear Mr Dickhead. Why did you steal my bike light? What are you even going to do with it? You don’t have the attachment. For that matter, how did you even get it off my bike? I’m really confused about this since in my imagination you basically look like a ballsack. (they don’t have opposable thumbs)” Thank you critic -yours sincerely -just curious. RE: REFERENDUM
A couple of questions that I think are relevant to the referendum. Firstly, OUSA’s constitution states that a 10 working days notice must be given for a referendum (§ 21.3). Is it fair that 5 of those days
were during the holidays? Is it within the spirit of the constitution of a body that represents students to announce important things when the students aren’t around? (Or for that matter when publications like Critic aren’t in print?) Secondly, how is it fair on those who wish to have their say that the forum is held to debate a referendum AFTER voting has opened? Our voices were only heard by to 20 or so people that were there or happened to pass through at the time. Critic, won’t be able to publish anything on the debate until after the referendum has ended, meaning most students won’t be able to adequately get both sides of the story. (I also have issue with the partiality of some of the official voices coming out of OUSA, but I’ll leave that one for the ISO to bitch about) Sincerely, Richard Girvan RE: REFERENDUM
Currently the referendum on changes to the exec is running. I’m concerned for the minority groups on campus if this referendum passes. There are some members of the exec who don’t seem to understand how women, queer people, and ethnic groups have to fight three times as hard with more emotional investment to get their voices heard. The proposal removes the voting position from minority reps, as well as their voice and their ability to fight for change. I have grave concerns for the welfare of students on campus. I also have concerns about the referendum questions and Monday’s forum. I was surprised to see that Harriet had no support from the exec at Monday’s forum. Where were the 8 members of the exec who voted yes to passing the proposal on the 29th July? The referendum question reads as if you are only voting for downsizing the exec - not the accompanying policies and constitution changes. Unless you visited the OUSA website or sat down and read everything in relation to the referendum you wouldn’t know this, especially the part about representatives not being elected. Why couldn’t there be a number of questions so students actually could say what they liked and didn’t like about the proposed restructuring? LLB, Not a member of ISO The letters pages went to print before the results of the referendum were known – Ed.
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SUNDAYNIGHT@ALLSAINTS Come and experience a Taizestyle service: candles, incense, icon, meditative singing, and quiet, contemplative prayers and readings. Fairtrade drinks and baking to follow. 9-9.30pm, ever y Sunday, 786 Cumberland Stre et. Contact Jon (emailjonhere@g mail. com) or visit us on Facebook (All Saints Anglican Church) for mor e information.
Cafe-style church service for students Sunday 1 August 7pm at George Street School Hall. Theme: Rhythms of Spiritual Life Part 3: Healthy Relationships. Speaker: Rev Helen Harray. Contact Helen on 027 473 0042.
Students for Environmental Action Prese nt The End of the Line, Tuesday July 27, Evision Lounge, Clubs and Societies at 830p m. The documentar y examines the imminent extinction of bluefin tuna, brought on by increa sing western demand for sushi; the impac t on marine life, resulting in the huge overpopula tion of jellyfish; and the profound implication s of a future world with no fish that would bring certain mass starvation.
NOTICES POLICY Notices must be fewer than 50 words in length and must be submitted to Critic by 5pm on Tuesday before you want it to run. You can get notices to us by emailing critic@critic. co.nz or bringing them to the Critic office. We accept up to five notices a week from non-profit organisations and other student-related groups that aren’t looking to make a bit of dosh.
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Tuesdays 8.30 pm TV3
Currently off-air, but returning August/ September
What better to accompany the return to our screens of New Zealand’s favourite crime family than some couch burning, a few student arrests, and a prodigious dose of all-round rowdiness (on Castle Street ... where else?). The Wests would be chuffed. The much-anticipated first new episode of TV3’s Outrageous Fortune premiered on Tuesday 13 July, at the all-new timeslot of 8.30 pm. For those of you that didn’t catch it (possibly as a result of having spent the night standing around immolated furniture) I’m officially issuing a spoiler alert now. Anticipations for the sixth and final season of Outrageous have been building ever since the cliff-hanger ending of the last series: Gerard had been stabbed and fired wildly offcamera at Cheryl and Pascalle, leaving the recipient of his gunfire and their condition unknown. It has now been revealed that Pascalle was the one shot, with one bullet catching her, as Van vehemently describes it, “through the tit!” Gerard then dies from complications in hospital, leaving Cheryl to face the possibility of a murder conviction. As if that wasn’t enough of a reason for you to tune in, Hayden and Loretta are (as is typical) at each other’s throats, and Van and Munter manage to steal both a police car and an already stolen boy-racer mobile, to tentatively sell off. So the West family are back to what they do best – getting in shit – and all indications are that this season is going to be the best yet. Viewers of the newest episode reached a gargantuan 447 000 New Zealanders, and according to TV3, this has set a new record for New Zealand television. What is it about the Westies that we love so much then? Maybe it’s that the show is made in New Zealand, by New Zealanders, evoking Peter Jacksonesque images of innovation (and a David and Goliath battle on the international TV stage). Perhaps it’s the so-called lascivious content of the show that draws some in (affairs, murders, crime capers – it runs the gamut of seedy activities). Or maybe it’s simply because it’s a show that’s deeply injected with our culture and mannerisms, and apart from the painfully pedestrian Shortland Street we don’t get a lot of that. So, it’s the last season guys, enjoy it while it lasts!
Weeds follows the struggles of a suburban widow, Nancy, as she tries to support her two sons (and, eventually, her listless brother-in-law) by selling – you guessed it – weed. Having just finished its fifth season, Weeds has seen its characters move through some pretty extraordinary events: the immolation of their family home at the hands of Nancy, Nancy’s timorous forays into the supply and demand side of marijuana sales, and their involvement in cross-border human trafficking. Unlike other shows, Weeds neither demonises nor glorifies drug culture. Instead it uses marijuana as a tool with which to enhance its characterised portrayal of upper middle class suburbia, set first in a gated community called Agrestic, and later in Southern California. The show presents weed as a remedy to the stolid ‘sameness’ of everyday life. The excellent opening song exemplifies this: “the people in the houses all went to the university where they were all put in boxes and they all came out the same…” By giving an ‘illicit’ substance this role, the show imbues it with the same monotony as the lives of the characters that smoke it. This makes the show less about drugs, and more about life. This helps to avoid the ‘lolz ... stoners’ trap that countless shows and movies fall into when attempting to assimilate weed into the mainstream, or frame it within a seemingly real world, which in turn gives the show a fresh dynamic, featuring storylines where the underground world of drugs, thugs, and crime impose themselves on Nancy’s safe, homogenous world. Weeds is a mixture of comedy and drama, but it’s also a potent commentary on modern society. Because of this, it’s been likened to Californication and Six Feet Under in its revealing, humourous, and sometimes dark style. While being thoroughly entertaining, it’s managed to stay relevant and intelligent through five seasons, which is no easy thing to do. Weeds is set to return for a sixth season later this year, and Prime should be quick in picking it up. In the meantime, rent it, get your relax on, and watch it. All of it!
Do Llamas Fall in Love?
Peter Cave One World
There’s been a spate of these popular philosophy books recently. I guess it was just a matter of time before philosophers capitalised on this phenomenon. It makes me wonder, though, if the market for popular philosophy and popular maths (we have a review of a popular maths book coming out soon. True story) and popular sociology, etc. is even nearly as big as the market for popular science. Probably not. But never mind. As a philosophy student, I’m glad there are more and more philosophy books pitched at laypeople. And most of them seem pretty good, actually. Peter Cave’s series (beginning with Can a Robot be Human?, continuing with What’s Wrong with Eating People?, and now Do Llamas Fall in Love?) is no exception. Cave’s 33 Perplexing Philosophy Puzzles series is pretty much what it sounds like. Each book contains 33 short musings about some philosophical conundrum (only one of which directly corresponds to the book’s title). By design, the musings raise more questions than they answer, but in so doing, they serve to introduce the reader to various viewpoints on the matter and (hopefully) to dissolve their dogmatic opinions (insofar as they have such opinions). I’ve not had the privilege to read the previous two books in the series, but Do Llamas Fall in Love? is pretty fun. It’s very accessible and witty, and actually pretty fair. Cave’s own convictions (as presented in his other books; he’s very prolific) don’t spill out onto the page as much as you might expect if you’ve read similar books (e.g., A. C. Grayling’s stuff), and I found that a refreshing change. However, one possible side effect of this is that some readers might be left thinking that there are no correct answers to the questions he raises (and that’s not always true). Or perhaps that there are no easily obtained correct answers (which is probably true), and therefore that it’s a waste of time thinking about such things (which is, I say defending my discipline, not true at all). So, if you’re looking for something to guide your critical thinking on various interesting matters (the usual suspects: ethics, religion, politics, aesthetics), you could do much worse than Peter Cave’s 33 Perplexing Philosophy Puzzles series. However, I do recommend that you eventually move on to more sophisticated stuff. Like popular science, popular philosophy doesn’t quite do justice to the subject matter. Jonathan Jong
Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism
Jim Stanford Pluto Press
Let’s be honest: reading about economics is not really my idea of a leisurely Sunday afternoon activity. However, in an attempt to expand my horizons, I picked up Economics for Everyone: a Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism. Written by Jim Stanford, an economist for the Canadian Auto Workers union and columnist for the Globe and Mail newspaper in Canada, Economics for Everyone covers the fundamentals of capitalism in a relatively succinct but thorough way. In under 400 pages, Stanford manages to explain the basic concepts of capitalism, and describe its inception, how it currently works, and the complexity of its global effects. As a naive reader, I stood to learn a lot, and Stanford didn’t fail to deliver. I learnt, for example, that the ‘economy’ is simply all the work that human beings perform in order to produce the things we need and use in our lives. The economy is very social, in the sense that we rely on and interact with each other in order to reach our goals in the course of working. I also learnt that ‘capitalism’ is not synonymous to ‘economy’. Capitalism is just one of the ways to organise the economy. In a capitalist economy, the production of goods and services is usually done by private companies who want lots of profit, and most of the work done is by people hired to do it, not the owners themselves. Not all economies are like this. One more tidbit: About 85 percent of the population depend on wage labour they supply to employers for their income, while well over half of all wealth is owned by the richest 5-10 percent of society! The world’s richest 225 people have a combined annual income of $US50 billion, which is more than the combined annual incomes of the people in the world’s twelve poorest countries (around 385 million people). Incredible. For someone like me, who has negligible technical economic knowledge (although Stanford says that everyone has experience in the economy as we participate in it), I found it easy to understand the concepts being explained. As well as the in-text definitions, there is a companion online glossary on the book’s website. Tables and boxes highlighting important concepts, as well as cartoons and diagrams, all help Stanford’s explanations of the intricacies of capitalism. Economics for Everyone is an informative read to find out just why capitalism is such a dirty word, and that we could all get so much more if we pushed for action collectively instead of just accepting that the economy is “how it is.”
QI: The Book of General Ignorance (The Noticeably Stouter Edition)
John Lloyd & John Mitchinson Faber and Faber
Relax and Grow Rich
Mike Hutcheson & Claire Wadey Harper Collins
QI (Quite Interesting), now in its seventh series, is a panel quiz show with a twist. The “bantermeister” guests, most of whom you’ll be familiar with if you’re a fan of British comedy, attempt to show off how very brainy they are by answering questions that are either a) ridiculously obscure or b) deliberately designed to fool them into giving an apparently obvious, but incorrect answer. This noticeably stouter Book of General Ignorance brings together the facts behind that second type of question, with a foreword by QI presenter Stephen Fry and four words by hapless permanent bantermeister Alan Davies. The Book of General Ignorance (The Noticeably etc.) is a fantastic book for two reasons. The first reason is its content. The whole point of this book is to expose the amount of “general knowledge” that is actually just rubbish and not true at all, which is a step up from the regular sort of trivia book that just flails around trying to be exciting. The second involves the potential for application of these revelations. With this book in hand, you, too, can amaze your friends and family by wittily exposing their understanding of history, science, and so forth to be built on a foundation of lies! That all said, this book does have one big failing. Noticeably stouter than the first edition though it may be, the fact remains that this is a book which collects together information from another, readily available (hello YouTube, hello DVDs) and highly entertaining production, and doesn’t add a whole lot to it. Your erudite proclamations on whether or not Catherine the Great really did die while fucking a horse will be not quite so interesting to friends who have already watched that particular episode, and let’s face it – if it’s a choice between listening to you or the cream of British comedy talk about fatal bestiality, your nearest and dearest are going to go for the DVD.
This book is not about getting rich in a practical sense, and the ‘relax’ aspect is certainly not in relation to what you would do as you bank the bucks from passive income. Relax and Grow Rich spends 280 pages describing various ways to “think outside the square,” “throw caution to the wind,” and various other clichés. The book consists of eight parts that aim to provide an analysis of the essence of creativity, broken down into manageable bits. Starting with “Know Thyself” and proceeding through to “The Creative Environment,” with discussions about serendipity and flow and brainwaves, etc. in between, you’d think Hutcheson and Wadey had lots to say about creativity. Instead, there was definitely a repeated emphasis on slowing down and being honest. Not particularly helpful stuff. Right, I said Relax and Grow Rich is not about getting rich in the usual sense. Instead, it defines being rich as having plenty of spirit, love, and abundance that cannot be given a price tag. If I bought this book on the basis of the title, I’d be pretty disappointed. Give it a miss, unless you need help figuring out how long to lie in the hammock looking for patterns in the clouds, which is about as helpful as reading tea leaves at the bottom of the cup to clarify your future. That is all.
56 Princes Street
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izo (56 Princes Street) has, hands down, the best teriyaki chicken sushi that I’ve ever tasted. When I first tasted Jizo’s ‘original teriyaki chicken’ sushi, they were delectably warm and absolutely melted in my mouth. What immediately struck me was that the teriyaki chicken pieces were juicy, tender, and well sauced. They obviously cooked the chicken to order, quite unlike the standard fare that you get at ‘express’ sushi places where the chicken would have been cooked early in the day and left sitting around to dry out. Also, unlike standard teriyaki chicken sushi rolls, which are usually made up of some chicken, carrots, and cucumber rolled up in rice and a layer of seaweed, these were cute little domes of perfectly cooked vinegar rice, with a generous dab of creamy avocado ‘dressing’ cushioning the succulent teriyaki chicken topping. Smooth, warm, deliciously divine! Every time I introduce someone to these works of art, the second they pop one in their mouths, I wait for the same inevitable pause, the widening of the eyes and the “Oh-My-God!” moment that I experienced. If you haven’t already tried this, you must! There are four different varieties of this sushi – chicken, salmon, tuna, and tofu – with four different dressing options – avocado, sweet chilli, tartar and pumpkin. My favourites are the chicken and salmon with the avocado dressing. You might think I’m just nit-picking here but the magic is in the details. In stark contrast to the mushy, clumpy, and/or burnt rice that I am sometimes served at other establishments, the rice served at Jizo has been perfect every single time. With their sushi rice, specifically, they have struck the fine balance between tasteless and ‘can’ttaste-anything-else’. You will immediately notice the sour-ish and almost faintly sweet presence of the rice’s flavour, but it quickly blends with the taste of the other components of the sushi and becomes the lovely accentuating backdrop to the headliner. Some of my other favourite dishes are the delicious karaage chicken, the grilled kushiage tofu (with a tasty caramelised coating of either teriyaki or miso sauce) and the lovely, refreshing salmon, avocado and mango sushi. Most of the mains come with a salad with four dressing options, i.e. Jizo mayonnaise, spicy miso, garlic, or original, which are all great. Whenever I order the karaage chicken, however, I opt for the Jizo mayonnaise dressing because I like dipping the lovely crisp, tasty, succulent chicken in it, even though it comes with plain mayonnaise. If you’re thinking that Jizo sounds like it’s far more expensive than the average Japanese restaurant here – it’s not. The prices on their menu are actually about the same as the other Japanese places, and cheaper than some, and that is why it’s my favourite Japanese restaurant in Dunedin.
Make a Hangi
in your flat’s backyard •
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Hangi takes a long time to prepare – it’s going to take about four hours just for cooking and one to two hours on preparing the food – so do as much as possible the day before. Make the baskets. Cut the wood. Dig the hole (the size depends on the size of the food baskets you have). Place wood and stones by the hole, making sure they are covered if left overnight. Prepare the meat and vegetables. Prepare potatoes, kumara, carrots, onions, and other vegetables first. Wash them after peeling and trimming. Lots of people helping is good and everybody can have a good korero (gossip or chat) while you work. In the meantime, others can dig a hole about knee deep and about two metres in diameter. If the hole is to be dug in the lawn, remove the top layer of grass and put it back afterwards. Your landlord will appreciate this. A mixture of dry timber and slow burning logs is best for a hangi. Hardwood timber is best for the fire because it gives out more heat. A good choice is lighter timber underneath and hardwood on top. You need about 45 pieces of wood, each about one metre long and five to eight centimetres wide. Keep a watchful eye on your fire and make sure it is well away from buildings, trees, or anything that may catch a flying spark, and make sure the wind is blowing away from buildings. Fill it up with wood (slow burning and high energy content), pile up some rocks on top, or large lumps of steel. Heat these up for a few hours, keep adding wood if necessary. Maybe two to three hours of burning. Remove the embers and unburnt wood when the stones/steel are red hot. Have the vegetables ready to go in wire baskets – chicken wire is good. The meat should be ready to go also. Put the meat under the vegetables in the basket as it will take longer to cook. Cover the baskets with nice white and clean cotton cloth (sheets or old table cloths are fine, but make sure they are clean) which are completely wet. Put wet sacks (hessian) over these cloths so that no earth can get onto the food. Now shovel earth over the sacks carefully and make sure that no steam can escape. If you see steam escaping put some more earth on that spot. Essentially the cooking is a steaming process with some direct heat from the stones on the lower layers of food. Have some people stand by and keep an eye on the hangi while it cooks for about three to four hours. Better to leave it longer and make sure it is well and truly cooked. Everyone else can have some time off until serving time arrives. Don’t take your eye off the mound of earth in the meantime though. When the time to open the hangi has arrived you will need a number of people with shovels to carefully remove the layer of earth. Be very careful as you sensitively remove the earth. You do not want to spoil the food at this stage. If steam emerges from the hangi after the first shovelful of soil is removed, the hangi will be successful. If no steam appears, cover it up and buy fish and chips. Before you tuck in, say grace: Whakapaingia ënei kai. Hei oranga mo o matou tinana. Whangaia hoki o matou Wairua ki te taro o te ora ko Ihu Karaiti Hoki to matou Ariki. Amine
The New Zealand International Film Fest goes into full effect this week, with a fantastic variety of films on all day everyday. Critic managed to interview a couple of Kiwi filmmakers for this issue. Oh, and there’s Twilight: Eclipse if you still haven’t seen that. Congrats to last week’s trivia winner; if you didn’t win the x2 NZIFF tickets please try again this week. One lucky winner will be selected at random to the correct answers (sent to the Film Editor at max. firstname.lastname@example.org) of this cinematic trivia: The Room director Tommy Wiseau did a “great job” as guest director of an episode of which US television show?
Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Directed by David Slade Hoyt’s, Rialto
The Twilight Saga divides people. Some love it, some hate it. I find myself between the two extremes, and both enjoyed and despised Eclipse. Once again we join human Bella (Kristen Stewart) her werewolf bff Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and her superhuman, super-sparkly vampire bf Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). This time Bella and the Cullen clan are dealing with not only a love triangle but also a scorned and dangerous vampiress Victoria (Bryce Dallas-Howard) and a nameless threat that is terrorising Seattle and moving ever closer to Forks. For me, the movies are far superior to the books as the actors manage to add dimension to otherwise shallow, 2D characters (especially Robert Pattinson) and the film can avoid the book’s pages and pages of description about how good-looking Edward is. The cast does a good job once again and special mention must go to Dakota Fanning who is quite brilliant and really coming into her own. This said, Kristen Stewart’s acting was below par and it really began to bother me over the two hours of the film. Any acting talent Taylor Lautner may have been displaying was overshadowed by the fact that he spent 99.9 percent of the film shirtless (much to the delight of the audience). Stylistically, the film was nice to watch and the CG has improved from the earlier films, especially during the quite enjoyable fight scenes. There were also a few exciting flashbacks but we still must deal with all the sap flowing out of Edward and Bella. All in all, worth a watch as it certainly can be enjoyed as long as you’re not taking it too seriously (sorry Twihards).
Briar March Briar March is the director of There Once Was An Island, SICK Wid It (Homegrown: Dance Films), and Michael and His Dragon (Homegrown: Quirky Stories).
Jason Stutter Director Jason Stutter’s newest film Predicament screened at the opening night of the New Zealand International Film Festival. He has also directed Diagnosis Death (2009) as well as short films such as Careful With That Axe. Predicament will be released in theatres on August 26.
Predicament is set in New Zealand in the 1930s. What things about that time period are the same as today? Well, at its heart it’s still a universal story with themes of loneliness and wanting to make friends. The main character, Cedric, is a lonely adolescent who is befriended by these two strange guys and at first we as the audience think, “Aw, great, Cedric’s finally got a mate,” and as it goes along we actually realise that Cedric, you’re the cool guy, these other characters are the dicks. So I guess at its heart it’s got this story that I think will resonate with anyone in the world. Tell me about There Once Was An Island. It’s about an island called Takuu, and about their situation following three islanders as they make a decision whether to leave the island because of the environmental changes on the island. Was there a challenge in coming up with a narrative device for the film? Yeah, it’s a good question because not much happens on an island and a lot of the things that occur in the film really have some kind of intervention with the filmmaker. Collaborating with my characters and kind of initiating things to film in a way. The islanders want a scientist to come and visit the island, so I actually was involved in getting the scientist to come. So I did kind of intervene in a way that I think works, ethically I am very comfortable with how I worked. Collaborating with them was the best way because it still allowed them to be active participants in the film. Generally you are hearing their voice. You have 2 other films in this festival, it’s quite an event for you! One film is called Michael and His Dragon which is screening in “Quirky Stories” in the Homegrown section; the other film is SICK Wid It, it’s about TURFing (taking up room on the floor), these guys in Oakland who are responding to violence and gangs by making their own dance form. It’s part of the dance programme screening only in Dunedin.
What attracted you to this story? You know it’s funny how I got into this story. The musicians that I work with on my other films, Tonga Ninja, one of them had been reading this book and was talking excitedly about it and lent me the novel and it was one of those times when, I started reading and I just couldn’t put it down, I loved it I thought it was really funny. It’s got excellent language – Ronald Hugh Morrieson, who wrote the novel wrote this amazing rich dialogue, and its not hyping to say that you wouldn’t have seen a movie with this kind of dialogue, it’s just really funny. The show that we used, the only show where that dialogue could work was Deadwood, but Predicament has got its own kind of language. The other thing is that when I read it I imagined Jemaine (Clements) instantly as Spook. All those things excited me enough to go, well I really would like to get the rights to make this movie. You make mainly comedies, are you much of a comedian? Haha, people tell me I’m funny, I don’t know what they mean ... I don’t do standup comedy, but what I do love doing is working with people who are naturally funny. If you see me working on a film set, I’m laughing all the time. I find the whole thing just really fun, and comedy which is very quirky and even sometimes with a violent twist to it. I do like making stuff that makes the audience get a shock, you’re definitely gonna see more of that kind of stuff coming from me. My other screenplays are all comedies with elements of violence.
XBox, XBox 360
Halo, the first game available exclusively for the XBox, was seen as revolutionary. Game reviewers said it implemented features that had never been seen in first person shooters (FPS) before. These reviewers must have had their heads up their arses for years. Halo’s shooting mechanic had been implemented years before in Doom and other games, and its driving mechanic was great to demonstrate what I imagine it would be like to drive while very drunk. So the first Halo, though loved by many gamers, is possibly the most over-rated game of all time. Nevertheless, due to the franchise’s popularity, Microsoft keeps milking the Halo cow, making more and more unoriginal games to revolutionise FPS by implementing mechanics that have been implemented years before, just with the addition of the most annoying gun ever invented in a video game: the Needler. Microsoft isn’t the only company to milk a cash cow until it dies: Lucas Arts is determined to milk Star Wars, and Nintendo is determined to remake every one of their classic games. The difference is that after Episode One, everyone knew Lucas Arts had shoved its head in a toilet and refused to come out, and everyone knows and likes that Nintendo makes the same games over and over. Microsoft is set on making bad games and claiming they are the best thing to ever be made. Now, I’m not against FPSs. In fact, many are great. Kill Zone 2, Resistance: Fall of Man and the Gears of War games are must-plays. They are not necessarily revolutionary, but no one claims they are. Why do gamers and reviewers hold Halo as a sacred cow? It and its predecessors are at best average FPSs with a huge marketing budget.
FATANGRYMAN Muzai Records
Ash and the Matadors
The Mansion Tapes Self Released
Glass EP Sonorous Circle
As much as I went off at Nick Fulton for his blog post (einsteinmusicjournal.co.nz), I do actually agree that Fatangryman are, at times, a bit unimpressive as a live act. Their apparent lack of technical ability occasionally mars what could be excellent songs and it’s as frustrating for the audience as it must be for the band members. That said, every one of their sets has hinted at incredible potential begging to be mined and, with the guidance of “producer” Dan Speight and “savvy up-and-comers” MUZAI Records, they have created something that not only achieves this potential, but exceeds it to a point that I doubt anyone really expected. Srsly. This. EP. Rules. So. Hard. The irritating shyness that has hindered co-frontwomen Ary Jansen and Jessica Dew’s live singing in the past isn’t present on record. In fact, their dual vocals are what truly elevates this EP to next-level greatness. Equally as effective when they chant in unison (‘Wrapped In Plastic’) as they are when alternating and interlocking screams (‘Santa’s Lap’), these teenage girls constantly veer between eerily haunting and manically unhinged, all the while maintaining an air of genuine creepiness. Although, the droney half-word screams they often replace for lyrics gets grating by the end. Their songs reek with No-Wave-y discordance, and while they sometimes make good on their threats to devolve into an atonal mess, the chaos is controlled just enough for it not to be considered lazy songwriting. Reminiscent of Dunedin prog-punks TFF and even the tragically underrated Sharpie Crows at times … JUST ASEJRFJKLEN LISTEN TO IT OK.
With the Matadors’ opening moments of unconstrained leads and tasteful guitar fuzz you can’t help but reminisce on the ear-bleeding country of grunge-era Dinosaur Jr. Opening track ‘The Ballad of Cobh’ not only shines above the rest with valid hooks and a relaxed groove but in its succinct performance, the shortest soundbite in The Mansion Tapes. Confused and slightly taken aback by the vocal/feel transition that followed, I continued on to ‘Somebody’s Living’ in which a pleasingly grinding chorus, accompanied by infectious “Wo-hoo-hoos,” propels a solid track. ‘Amsterdam’ came across strongly, a return to a singer with strength. Unfortunately, this is not ‘Hotel California’ and multiple guitar solos for every verse cannot be condoned. In a similar vain, ‘Jesus Child’ contained so much extraneous content that the overall wealth of the song was damaged. This release tries valiantly to win over the listener but in reflection its attempts at lengthy anthems may be challenging for anyone without an attraction to their unique genre mix of country rock and Genesis-styled ‘80s pop. In this first release listeners will get a wellrounded, strongly competent taste of a fresh new Dunedin group.
I had listened to the first track from Wellington duo Glass Vaults’ (Richard Larsen and Rowan Pierce) debut EP a number of times in the past few weeks, for no apparent reason, but I had yet to progress onto the rest of the album. My loss. The opening track ‘They will grow’ layers synth, guitar, and reverb heavy vocals creating an expansive sonic landscape, which inevitably sets the groundwork for an engrossing sonic journey. However, the first track also undersells the duo’s ability as ‘Set Sail’ illustrates what they’re really capable of. Larsen’s vocals, both sentimental and haunting, bring a welcomed pop sensibility to the duo, while never weighing down the spacious ambiance that ‘They will grow’ establishes. Four minutes in and we get our first taste of percussion as thunderous drums resonate through the soundscape, leaving you desperate for more. The rest of the album puts percussion in centre-stage, with the third track ‘New space’ featuring a uplifting tribal stomp, while the track ‘Worrier’ utilises percussion more sparingly to develop an uneasy intensity as Larsen pleads “please don’t go.” As the album comes to a sombre but powerful end in ‘Forget me not’ Larsen mournfully admits “I know its over ... I hope you are happy alone,” accompanied only by a single drumbeat and an unsettling bed of synth. I implore you to not make the same mistake I did. Glass Vaults don’t give away all their tricks at once. Immerse yourself in this stunningly crafted album. It’s free to download at glassvaults.bandcamp.com
Nigel Bunn & P. F. Pieters Blue Oyster Gallery Until August 7
he works of seven artists currently on show at the Blue Oyster explore alternative yet ever-increasingly familiar artistic media, such as audio, film, transmission, and appropriation of ‘expired’ technology and art methods. The show glances back almost nostalgically at now-familiar alternative art practices, most of which still value the art object resulting in some beautifully crafted ‘artifacts’ combined with a contemporary interactive sensory environment. Nigel Bunn is my favourite of the show, with works that appropriate archaic methods and machines to produce contemporary images. His elaborate constructions combine an antique charm with unique mark making such as in The Capshot Autography Project where he uses old photographic glass plates to capture the sparks made by exploding toy cap-gun pellets. The tiny light bursts resemble the stars and comets of early astronomy photographs and housed in an archaic handmade wooden light box the work has a nineteenth-century museum artifact appeal. A more complex construction is Bunn’s Paper Based Sound Recorder. This work began as a Gestetner image duplicator (a sort of proto-photocopier) and with plenty of electronic know-how, ended up as a sound-to-image translator producing unique abstract images on paper as interpretations of Bunn’s guitar and synthesiser. Pieters’ stunning audiovisual work harnesses the mesmerising, hypnotic appeal of the slow motion long-take in a beautiful film combining high contrast black and white images of a power station, urban buildings, and an overflowing dam. Inspired by a philosophical idea that places two autonomous words together, Pieters’ film is accompanied by a soundtrack that is not pre-determined by the images and denies the expected cinematic action/ reaction relationship. Media Povera, a group of works curated by Sally Ann McIntyre, combines media described as the “media formally known as new.” McIntyre presents works that belong to the ‘old age’ of the media object in the face of new digital art media, including such works as a hand-crafted radio transmission receiver and a ‘skipping’ record player covered in ornamental detritus. Alexander MacKinnon’s work, Vanitas, sums up the collection through the notion of mortality addressed by Vanitas painters. Cassette tapes, lashed together with wire and covered in cracked white paint demonstrates how quickly technologies, and technologies as art practices, can become old-fashioned and obsolete.