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Editor: Kari Schmidt In-house Designer: Mark Baxter Guest designers: Jon Thom, Dave Strydom, Jessie McKay Cover image: Chris Knox Cover design: Jon Thom Words: Liz Lindsay, Charlotte Doyle, Emily Menkes, Loulou Callister-Baker, Zehavit Darlington, Simon Hoffman, David Wilson, Kari Schmidt, Alena Plaksina, Rebecca Hohaia, Images: Don Myers Misc: Dave Strydom, INK zine, Audacious

... Editor Technical Advertising Published by Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association A member of Aotearoa Student Press Association Copyright (C) OPSA 2012

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PRESIDENT I’m sitting here staring at a blank screen, trying to find an interesting topic to talk about...ah The DCC liquor ban may be a good topic for today. As most of you will be aware, the DCC (Dunedin City Council) are proposing an extension of the liquor ban area from the centre city, to include North Dunedin. I have to ask, is this fair? It seems to me that extending the liquor ban is punishing innocent and well behaved people for the crimes and acts of a few who have misbehaved. I would like to know your thoughts, so email me on On another note, I trust that you are all settling in nicely now that Orientation is over and you are no longer getting bombarded with course information. Finally, now is your chance to get involved in your OPSA Executive Committee. Nominations for our Executive are now open (and close on March the 20th). Being a member of the executive committee means that you can help organise events that you want over the year and get involved with heaps of cool stuff! This is Rebecca Hohaia OPSA President 2012 Signing off

EDITORIAL Dear Reader, So we’re in the swing of things. Highlanders beat Canterbury – see our news piece by Liz Lindsay, page 3. The new give way rule will come into play on the 25th of March, plenty of accidents likely to ensue (more on this in our next issue). Preparation for Gyro’s release launch gig is underway - on the 29th of March at Refuel it will feature For the Quail, Killmore Girls, The Lovely Union, DJ Timmy Cooper, MC Jamie Green, theatrical poetry performances and more. Also, it’s only five bucks ($3 with your Otago Polytechnic student ID!), so pretty much a steal and a great way to check out the rad culture and talent Dunedin has to offer. Finally, a variety of Otago Polytechnic students have contributed to this issue; their pieces relating to a myriad of topics from Women to Facebook (remember when you couldn’t get through a day without hearing the words ‘Paris Hilton’? Yeah, Facebook is the new version of that). If you want to get in on that action (i.e. you, a Polytechnic student, contributing to Gyro) you know where to find me. Other than that, not much I can say really. Like, just go read the magazine? Yeah. Yours sincerely, Kari



Emily Menkes Polytechnic has barely started and already students are feeling the effects of increased costs of living. Thankfully OPSA is still able to provide the services it has catered for in the past, due to an agreement with the Otago Polytechnic established in 2011. OPSA President Rebecca Hohaia states, “Although the Voluntary Student Membership (VSM) Bill was passed in 2011, the 2011 OPSA staff (Michelle Fidow – 2011 President, Lesley Scoullar – Office Manager, Mark Baxter – Technical Editor, and myself – Vice-president) worked with the Otago Polytechnic in order to create a service levy agreement. This agreement sees that OPSA are subcontracted by the Otago Polytechnic to continue to provide many of the services and student support that we have provided in the past and will continue to provide. [This includes] advocacy and legal support, financial support and advice, events and recreation, counseling and of course the Gyro magazine you are reading. Through this agreement we are still able to provide students with the class rep system and

the Executive Committee.” However, despite OPSA’s continued existence and support for students, students are still suffering from an increased cost of living. Hohaia goes on, “Although OPSA will be able to maintain the services we provide for the moment, there is still the issue of students’ cost of living. As always the first month with students being back on campus we are having to deal with students who are strapped for cash, course costs that are more expensive than course related costs and those students who are not entitled to any course costs. Here at the Polytechnic we have mature students and students who have to study part time over the full year due to the course they are studying and the recent changes to the student loan scheme means that these students are having to find other ways to source the funds to study. Student debt is a major issue and will continue to rise unless there are alterations to the living allowances to ensure that students can survive on a weekly basis.” The President of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (or NZUSA), Pete

Hodkinson, has commented on the current status of students being the only sect within society that is practically expected to have to borrow to survive; “On top of spiralling fees, most students do not qualify for living allowances and are therefore faced with accruing significant debt in order to learn, no other group faces an expectation that they borrow to meet basic living costs while they are not fully in paid work.” The most dramatic reaction to the continuing destitution of students has taken place at the University of Auckland, which has begun a week-long protest against increased fees and reduced financial aid. Although the cost of living in Dunedin is lower than Auckland, we are still feeling the effects of increased prices of basic amenities including rent, food, water, electricity, as well as student-specific resources such as textbooks. It is well known that a significant number of NZ graduates are seeking employment overseas, to pay off their loans with higher wages overseas.

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SPORTS Liz Lindsay Excitement was already flourishing the night prior to the Saturday game, with a car full of kids screaming “HIGHLANDERS” out the window and waving flags around being a real highlight on a heavy walk home from Centre City New World. The game started with an initial slip up by the Crusaders (might have been a precursor for what was to come). Despite Canterbury winning the first try of the match, it didn’t take long for the mighty Highlanders to turn things around, scoring the second try a minute later. How’s that for spite! “Tough game, hard to predict a result, but I reckon Highlanders will win; they have better defence,” stated spectator Lome. Perhaps we’ll be seeing more of the Highlanders’ elites in the next AB’s squad. This game gave a lot to the humble spectator, excitement from uncaught balls, colossal tackles, and heart stopping tries, as well as facial hair being an obvious must for every player this season. The atmosphere at the Forsyth Bar Stadium was amazing, with dots of red surrounded by a sea of blue and gold, the first real home game in the new Stadium. What I’d like to know is where the student discounts were at? Seems I missed the boat on that. “Sick game, choice as,” stated Chris Bell as the game wrapped up at a pretty 27-24 to the Highlander’s. Looks like 2012 could be the year for the super XV Otago! Chur.

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SCOOTER SWAGGER Let’s face it, as a scooter driver near misses are a given. Wearing a carefully selected outfit of boardies and jandals you reluctantly get on your scooter, late for tute. Assessing the terrain you narrowly cut through the middle of a group of wide-eyed health sci’s, accelerating onto the open road that is, the campus footpath. Hitting peak speed as you weave ridiculously close to oncoming students, a flash epiphany occurs. “How owned would I get if that fresher hadn’t stepped off the footpath and out of my way?” Lucky for you an event will be held outside St David lecture theatre at (University of Otago) on the 15th March to answer questions regarding your general scooter safety around the Dunedin campus. The event will be supported by ACC in conjunction with Otago University. This event will feature a FREE sausage sizzle and a prize draw to go into win a bunch of quality prizes.

Un- riend away Zehavit Darlington

The staff of Otago Polytechnic would like to welcome all new and returning students.

In the last few years Facebook has become the fire that fuels the spirit of an overly growing cyber tribe. Sure, Facebook has proven valuable has a tool for spreading information that will never see the light of day in the main media and for advertising events and simply keeping people in touch. However, as many of you can also admit, I’ve sinned in using it as a great means of wasting valuable time.

And yes, I know there are many ways to digitally deal with all these issues. But it’s these uncomfortable moments ­­­- when a particular someone seem to be on chat and you want to hide yourself, you receive ‘birthday wishes’ from people you hardly know or you see that your ex has changed their relationship status that drove me recently to make a drastic move. To log out and return to the real world. See you out there.

Have a happy and safe 2012, and don’t forget to utilise the wide range of student support services we offer. For more information, check out our website:

0800 762 786 J00978 Gyro 02.12

Staring at the blue dull screen, obsessing over who looks at me, who likes me or shared me, only to find endless notifications from boring people, whose friend requests you politely accepted and who victimise us all with badly taken family photos or mundane sentences describing their daily routines. Torturing us with long paragraphs about nothing in particular, contaminating a third of the page with their nonsense.

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Art Practice: Don Myers by Vannessa Paton-Myers and Don Myers. Interview by Loulou CallisterBaker and Charlotte Doyle.

Art Practice: Don Myers Don Myers is currently undertaking a B.F.A. with Honors at the Dunedin Art School. ‘Sieze the Moment’ exhibited at the Dunedin Railway Station from the 20th-27th of February, presented by the Otago Arts Society


It’s a matter of entrapping parts of my body in wet clay, then wriggling out to make an impression. I [then] do a hot wax casting and clean off… the clay. Each one takes only a few hours, but I come back at them...and work on them again. I want to do some wax pieces that I can turn into metal… It’s called the Lost Wax Process and it’s a very old technique for making bronzes or casting aluminum. It’s just a matter of coating the wax objects with a ceramic layer and then when that’s hard, you melt the wax out and you’re left with like a Pompeii shell that you can fill in with molten metal. It takes a bit of force to get my body

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into the clay…When I started I asked a friend to stand on my arm and push my arm into the wet clay and she didn’t want to do that at first but I talked her into it… The hands I can do on my own… I’m very interested in hands, they’re so important in sculpture… the way we use them and how they function for us. There’s a portrait ceramic artist [Louisa Bailey] atx the school who just gave a lecture the other day and she mentioned how important it is to be able to pinch with your thumb and your forefinger in doing all kinds of skilled work. I’m trying to illustrate all the positions my hand would find itself in over the years.

“ how that’s going to turn into art is a bit of a mystery to me but it’ll happen...” Science

I had a job in the medical school doing medical research - Biochemistry and electron microscopy, so I know a bit about the body and how’s it made up. I’m not into dissections or things like that, I’m more interested in function and how the tissues are held together and what happens under force and various pressures and things. The two pieces on the wall, The Smile and The Shave, I actually pushed my face into the wet clay.



Image Captions

Far Left - The Smile Middle Left - Ghost Dinner Left - Hands and Bits and Bobs Top - Land of the Missing Sock Bottom - The Smile & The Shave

I don’t hold onto things. I put things out there, photograph it, let people see it and keep going. In terms of the wax, I might end up melting everything down and making something new. But I mean, if there’s one or two that I really like, I’ll hang onto them, like The Smile.


There’s a guy, Antony Gormley, and he works a lot on his body and he makes a lot of sculptures of himself. Not so much parts but the whole thing... Going back I really love Leonardo DaVinci’s way of looking at Science and Art. I’ve had to be very honest with myself this year and say that I am a scientist. I mean, I’ve been sitting here for about two hours now watching the tide change and making notes and observations and how that’s going to turn into art is a bit of a mystery to me but it’ll happen...I used to do this as a teenager, go out and just watch birds and whatever else was going on around me. I’m [going to] get really familiar with the harbor this year.

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The Political Alena Plaksina


Does anyone apart from angry feminists care about these so-called “Women’s Rights” anymore? The dominant members of our society are getting pretty worked up about all the disagvantaged groups out there being treated as “fairer than fair”. There are natural reasons for employment and pay gaps between men and women. Of course nobody wants to hire women, especially young bachelorettes, if they’ll go off to get married and ask for time off to have babies as soon as they start work. So there’s no need to put pressure on employers, right? Like when a Whanganui hairdresser got fired after asking for maternity leave in 2010 and was called “selfish and ungrateful” - how could you expect her employer to pay damages? He certainly made it clear that he’s “not paying a cent”. And she’s only one of 84 cases in New Zealand in the last 2 years. As warped as this way of thinking is, sadly it isn’t made up for the purposes of writing an high-impact article. Regardless of how much the Women’s Rights movement has achieved in the last 100 years or so, women are still denied

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dignity and basic rights all over the world. In Sierra Leone (the country in West Africa, not the dubstep song), women face a one in eight chance of dying while giving birth.

“Like when a Whanganui hairdresser got fired after asking for maternity leave and was called “selfish and ungrateful” The government made a promise to provide pregnant women with free healthcare but medicine and care are still costly and largely unaffordable, especially for women living in poverty. And that is a lot of people - around 910,000,000 women to be precise (who make up 70% of all people living in absolute poverty). And that’s around the world - including developed countries.

A huge reason why most of the world’s poor are women is that, “despite producing 60 to 80 per cent of the food in developing countries, women own only one per cent of the land” (Amnesty International report statistics). Interesting fact, considering that a recent United Nations report shows that “in most countries” (again, developed countries included), “women work approximately twice the unpaid time men do”. See the connection? We spend a lot of time boasting about our “first world” status, trying to reach out far and wide to help everyone else, while women in New Zealand get fired for starting families. Not setting much of a good example are we? If you’re as pissed off about this bullshit as I am, you should join up with Amnesty International Otago University and Polytechnic who meet in the OUSA Clubs and Societies building. Because the bottom line is that worldwide there are millions of people in need and it’s more than possible to turn your passion into a tool to help them. Watch out for our posters, listen to Radio One on Friday mornings or join our mailing list by contacting

NOTICES DCC Rubbish Bags

Nominations Yes, the $2 DCC rubbish bags available at open for OPSA Executive OPSA are the BIG bags. Truly. Why? Because we’re a friendly Committee students’ association who is here to meet your needs not profit from you like business.

Missing out on Wicked Discounts? If you haven’t registered the free LTD Discount Card on the back of your student ID card you’re missing out. OPSA’s done a deal to give every student at OP a free LTD discount card – check out the back of your ID card. Register your free LTD discount card at using the “LTD” number on the front of your student ID card. And check out the wicked deals at

Liquor ban – your thoughts? DCC plan to extend the central city liquor ban area into the residential area of Dunedin North. Please let OPSA know your thoughts so we can communicate a consider student view to the DCC - e-mail

Nominations Now Open

close 20th march

8 - 20 March. • Executive Committee Members – up sn’t o doe ol wh to 12 students fo e th I pity SA xec • Maori for OSPtudent E d n Sta Representatives on the Executive (up to 2) • International Representatives (up to 2) • Pacific Island Representatives (up to 2) See nomination form of page 21. For further information or at the OPSA office.

Pacific Island, Maori and International Student Meeting Thursday 15th March To nominate and elect up to two 2012 OPSA Representatives

OPSA Annual General Meeting

Check out the Fullbright awards on offer

Wednesday 21st March This meeting adopts the OPSA 2011 Financial Statement and the 2012 OPSA Proposed Budget, elects the 2012 OPSA Executive Committee Members and ratifies the Maori, Pacific Island and International Student Rep appointments.

Applications for each of these awards close at 5:00pm on 1 April 2012. See http:// or contact Kameswari Vanka at Fulbright New Zealand for further information - kameswari@ / (04) 494 1500

All meetings are held at 12 noon. Venue will be confirmed prior. Further information from or at the OPSA office (upstairs in the Manaaki Building on Harbour Tce).

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STARTING UP David Wilson I’d finished my BCom in 2006 and was faced with the exciting prospect of either working in Logistics or Sales for not much more than minimum wage. I guess I could have slowly worked my way up the corporate ladder but honestly the prospect sounded like a fate worse than death. Thankfully I had started a company growing Oyster mushrooms with a friend a couple years before and this seemed like a much better opportunity. I’d still be poor but at least I’d be happy, and isn’t that the point of it all?

said the same thing; just start. The same could be said for any business. What you do is not really that important, as long as you’re doing something. That sounds obvious but so many people want to start businesses and don’t, using the “I don’t know where to begin” excuse.


should seriously consider just doing ‘X’.

Because we were spending all our profits on expanding, we had no money to pay ourselves. It was stupidly hard, but it was fun. We started with $2000 running out of my backyard and by the time the company closed down three years later due to the recession, we had a factory in Kaikorai valley turning over $30k a year. I had a break for a year then started working on an idea I’d had since I was five - video games. I had no idea what I was doing. I’d never studied Computer Science or Design so I listened to a bunch of interviews with successful game developers on how to break into the industry and 80%

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So I started coming up with ideas. I found the easiest to use engine and started putting it together. It was a game about mushrooms (because I’m original like that), which I spent six months on. It sucked. The premise was fine but it was terribly coded and far too ambitious. I then decided to

make a top down shooter game. Six months later I had a pretty decent game called Drone, which I gave away for free to ‘test the waters’. I was aiming for 50k downloads and got ~300k. I figured that means I have a market. Since I was probably going to sell something at some point, I figured I should probably be qualified. Last year I enrolled at the Otago Polytechnic and did a Graduate Diploma in Communication Design. I got to spend time with heaps of other creative people who were equally passionate about Design and who I could get to check out my work and give me pointers on how to do things better. I entered the Audacious Business Challenge while I was studying with the premise of making a sequel to Drone. I didn’t win, but I made the finals and got to hang out with some amazing individuals who share the same motivation I have for starting companies. The point I’m trying to make is, if you’re studying and don’t like the odds of employment after you graduate, but have always wanted to do ‘X’, then you should seriously consider just doing ‘X’. There are a ton of people out there willing to help and you never know, you might end up rich.

5 Hot events in Dunedin this March! Fringe Festival ∆ 15-25th @ Various. Alliance Francaise French Film Festival ∆ 14-25th @ Rialto Cinemas. DFS: Uncomfortable Comfortable @ Red Lecture Theatre. NZ Book Month ∆ All month long! @ City Library. Boys from the Black Stuff ∆ On now! @ Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

*INK is Dunedin’s only weekly entertainment guide! Available on Wednesday afternoons at all the coolest spots around town!

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“ 340,000

customers. I wish one of them would pay me! ”

David Wilson — Audacious finalist, 2011 and creator of video game, Drone


Wednesday 28 March. 6.30pm. Hunter Centre

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Issue #3  

Student news, Scooter Swagger, Un-friending, Art Don Myers, Anyone care about "Women's Rights" anymore?, Starting up and more...

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