APRIL 30 TH 2012
JUSTICE IS SERVED
THE TEAM Editors: Asher Emanuel & Ollie Neas email@example.com Designer: Racheal Reeves firstname.lastname@example.org News Editor: Stella Blake-Kelly email@example.com Arts Editor: Adam Goodall firstname.lastname@example.org Film Editor: Gerald Lee Books Editor: Kurt Barber Visual Arts Editor: Rob Kelly Theatre Editor: Neal Barber Chief Feature Writer: Elle Hunt Junior Feature Writer: Fairooz Samy Chief Reporter: Nicola Wood Chief Sub-Editor: Carlo Salizzo
CONTRIBUTORS Todd Atticus, Ashleigh Barrett, Hilar y Beattie, Shilpa Bhim, Rose Burrowes, Nick Cross, Richard D’Ath, Uther Dean, Andrew Donnelly, Martin Doyle, Harriet Farquhar, Reed Fleming, Genevieve Fowler, Joe Gallagher, Renee Gerlich, William Guzzo, Aaron Harland, Roxy Heart, Christian Hermansen, Amy Hodgkinson, Alexandra Hollis, Bridie Hood, Russ Kale, Michael Kumove, Bing Lou, Molly McCarthy, Hamish McConnochie, Callum McDougal, Chris McIntyre, Hugo McKinnon, Duncan McLachlan, Panayiotis Matsis, Phoebe Morris, Udayan Mukherjee, Livvy Nonoa, Sam Northcott, Lindsey Paul, Sam Phillips, Thomas Phillips, Jess Rapana, Steve Riley, Will Robertson, Curwen Ares Rolinson, Mark Roulston, Alex Smith, Bas Suckling, Ian Walsh, Thomas K. Williams, Josh Wright. CONTRIBUTOR OF THE WEEK: Nick Cross, The Fiscal Ferret! C O N TA C T Level 2, Student Union Building Victoria University PO Box 600, Wellington Phone: 04 463 6766 Email: email@example.com
OR TAKING A
SLASH WHILE YOU'RE OUT ON THE
ADVERTISING Contact: Mark Maguire Phone: 04 463 6982 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ABOUT US Salient is produced by independent student journalists, employed by, but editorially independent from, the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA). Salient is a member of, syndicated and supported by the Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA). Salient is funded by Victoria University of Wellington students, through the student services levy. It is printed by Printcorp of Tauranga. Opinions expressed are not necessarily representative of those of ASPA, VUWSA, Printcorp, or his Honour, the good Judge Dredd, but we at Salient are proud of our beliefs and take full responsibility for them.
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LETS GET C RIMINAL! PG 22
This issue is dedicated to sticking it to the man. WWW.SALIENT.ORG.NZ
1 1 2 2 2 2 2
JUST AN EDITORIAL ✏
ASHER & OLLIE
Justice is putting up the bathmat. The bathroom is a slippery place, and when your filthy flatmates always take those long showers, the floor can become as hazardous as an oily igloo in the late spring. But justice is more than this. It’s about wiping your wees off the toilet seat and adjacent walls. It’s about turning down your blaring Carly Mae Jepson when your roommate has a migraine, an exam the next day and worse musical taste than you. To define without tasteless analogy, justice is doing what is right. It is about realising that you are not isolated and that your actions do have consequences. You see, dear reader, if you don’t put up the bathmat, your unfortunately fragile flatmate may slip and simultaneously dislocate both his knees. If
CONTENTS THE JUSTICE ISSUE 16. 19. 20. 22. 24. 26. 28.
Mud Sticks A Touchy Subject Atonement or Overcompensation Let's Get Criminal! Speaking the Unspeakable Legal Terror Just Food
you don’t feed the dog... Well, you’ve got another funeral on your hands–and we all know that you’re terrible at canine eulogies. In all these situations, you would hate to be on the receiving end–you know how shit it is when other people fuck you around. Justice is treating people with the respect that you yourself expect. Empathy, and that. But, you know what? It’s hard. At heart, apart from those saintly few among us, we’re often such selfish, venal creatures that acting justly is more an aspiration than a reality. There are times when it’s all too easy to throw up one’s proverbial hands and say, “I’ll do what’s best by me.” Because that’s the easy thing.
NEWS 6. 8. 10. 11. 11.
News on the March LOL Eye on Exec The Week that Wasn't Overheard At Vic
THE ARTS 31. 32. 33. 34. 35.
Visual Arts Music Film Books Theatre
Unfortunately the easy choice, putting oneself first, so often falls short of being the right choice. Yet knowing this is no solution. Oh, no. You’ll keep fucking it up. At least justice offers us a chance to balance our wrongs. When you err, justice demands you fix it. Or when you can’t fix it, you put your hand up and say, “I did it. I’m sorry.” You do your best to glue the broken bits of the world back together. And you promise, perhaps in vain, that you’ll do better next time. This view of justice is different from the phrase ‘justice’ in common use– punishing people for their wrongdoings, making them pay, giving them what they deserve. Attitudes like that pervade our legal system and, in particular, the way the public often chooses to view offenders. But these attitudes are just a shirking of one’s responsibility. Justice should be done by people, not to them. The defense of provocation was recently legislated away in a reactionary fit, and the last Minister of Justice hoped to ‘streamline’ away the right to silence. Before we sell civil rights wholesale, we need to look at the myriad injustices we commit every waking moment by tacit assent to the systems that are the root cause of conflict in our community. Our democracy happily maligns the minority, and entrenches fortuitous privilege. Our economy distributes opportunity more by luck of birth than merit. That’s an injustice greater than forgetting to put up the bathmat. It’s not a closed door though, when we speak of justice. There remains the promise that we might rectify our failings. There’s still time to hang up the bathmat.
REPRESENTATION & SERVICES
12. 12. 13. 14. 14. 39. 39. 40. 40. 41. 42. 42.
24. 25. 25. 25. 25.
Partisan Hacks Political Porn with Hamish Mulled Whine With H.G. Beattie C.R.E.A.M Science Whats It Up To? Roxy Heart Obscure Oddity of the Week Things You Already Know But Just Need To Be Told Eat Your Fucking Greens On Campus Nothin' but Net Food
Presidential Address Vice President Academic Ngai Tauira Bent Student Counselling
SALIENT LOVES YOU 8. 43. 44. 46. 47.
Dinocop Notices Letters Puzzles Radio & Gig Guide
TEN frustratingly balanced statements âœ?
TEN Wearing sneakers with jeans has practical benefits
NINE Comic Sans has recognisable utility
EIGHT Star Wars & Star Trek are both respectable franchises
SEVEN Politicians are usually trying to do the right thing
SIX Correct grammar has value but is not all-important
FIVE Mass Effect 3 is an enjoyable game, with some flaws
FOUR Long-term meth use will most likely be harmful
Justin Bieber is a reasonably talented musician
TWO The only way your heart will mend is when you learn to love again
ONE There may or may not be a God
⊗ NEWS ⊗
HOT TIP? Send any pertinent news leads or gossip to firstname.lastname@example.org.
APRIL 30 TH 2012
HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINT WITHDRAWN
PUBLIC ACCUSATIONS SPUR FIERY DEBATE ✏
ALEX SMITH & STELLA BLAKE-KELLY
The couple that alleged a breach of human rights from Public bar has withdrawn from furthering their complaint to the Human Rights Commission, causing a divide within Wellington’s queer community.
Early Sunday morning after sharing a kiss in the bar, Rebekah Galbraith and Jennie Leadbeater were approached by the bar doorman and asked to leave the premises. The couple claims that the kiss shared was chaste and they would not have been asked to leave if they were straight.
Galbraith posted an open letter of complaint on the Facebook page of the bar that has attracted strong support and attention with 408 comments and 1130 likes. Posters shamed the alleged behaviour of the staff member involved and called for the boycotting of the bar.
Despite negative social media comments, Public management asserts the women were acting in a manner inappropriate of any couple and refute claims of homophobia. Gina Mills, owner of the bar, says that she and her employees are firmly opposed to any form of discrimination and believes the doorman had legitimate cause
to ask the women to leave.
The review of CCTV footage shows the couple being affectionate whilst sitting at the bar, kissing and hugging each other before moving to a corner of the bar unreached by security cameras before being asked to leave. Despite showing the couple engaged in more than the one chaste kiss stated, the tape could not prove the truth of either side.
Mills states the behaviour of the couple at the bar as being inappropriate and their claims unfounded whilst Galbraith, despite withdrawing her complaint, maintains her previous account of events. She hopes to move unwanted media attention away from herself, girlfriend and the bar and get on with work and university responsibilities. Following the withdrawl of the complaint, prominent blogging site of the queer community, aaronandandy.com, criticised VUWSA Queer Rep Genevieve Fowler for “jumping the gun” and speaking out in support of the complainants without sufficient evidence. One blogger claimed as a result “[the 5
queer community] had lost credibility because now the world knows we’re far more willing to cry discrimination before listening to other sides of the story.”
Victoria University student group UniQ President, Matthew Ellison weighed in on the debate by posting a diplomatic letter on Facebook addressed to “the queer and wider communities of Wellington.” He labelled the initial attacks on Public surrounding the allegations as “unfair.” “This issue has been largely distorted by strong opinions and the willful ignorance of many commentators, and now the queer community’s aggression has focused inward,” he said.
He went on to offer support to the actions of Fowler, but said that those involved had learnt a lot from what critics have labelled a “PR disaster”. “Collectively, our voice is strong, and we have the ability to make a difference. Of course it is important to constantly examine ourselves and to keep ourselves honest, but we’re losing sight of the bigger picture,” Ellison said.
⊗ NEWS ⊗
STUDENTS STILL POVO
THE WORLD THIS WEEK ☛☛ Notorious hound and French President Nicolas Sarkozy is set to lose office to the pleasant socialist with the nice scarf, Francois Hollande, after the first round of Presidential elections. Far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, does surprisingly well for a francophone xenophobe.
☛☛ Cows across the America unite in solemn brotherhood as some of their fellow bovines are stricken with the dreaded mad cow disease. Foreign markets will put up with none of the US’ beef.
☛☛ Further scandal erupts as Chinese politician Bo Xilai is revealed to have run wire-tapping operations that extended as far as the President. Rupert Murdoch is reportedly jealous, and promises to reclaim his title as Earth’s most proficient eaves-dropper.
☛☛ Meanwhile in the United Kingdom, old Rupert Murdoch’s empire crumbles further as he is interrogated as part of the ongoing New of the World scandal. In spite of his famed omniscience, it seems kindly Mr. Murdoch had absolutely no idea about the sordid journalistic tactics going on right beneath his nose. ☛☛ Planet Earth’s glaciers are out of balance, committed to losing forty per cent of their volume–even if the climate ceases to warm. In response, news sources worldwide relegate the findings to the back pages.
☛☛ A recent influx of newcomers to Geraldine leads to the creation of a coffee group to assist with assimilation. While local residents agree that its nice, it remains unclear whether it will be a success, with some boldly suggesting the gold coin koha is too hefty of a disincentive.
GOVERNMENT UPHOLDS TIME-HONOURED TRADITION ✏
To regurgitate that timeless student colloquialism “I’m an impoverished student” may have more meaning than we initially thought because it turns out—15 per cent of us really are.
poverty”. NZUSA Vice-President Arena Williams, exclaims “how are students meant to succeed in their studies if they don’t have the basic means to survive?”
The GLSNZ conducted baseline sampling of nearly 9,000 students in their final year across the eight New Zealand universities between July and December 2011. It will follow these graduates over the next ten years, principally to inform policy makers interested in the contribution tertiary education makes to the achieving national goals.
NZUSA believe the findings show an overwhelming need for a lift in allowance rates or, at the very least, an increase in how much students can borrow for living expenses. The current maximum student allowance entitlement per week is $170.80. Those ineligible, or who get a partial allowance, can borrow through the Student Loans Scheme up to $172.51 per week.
The Baseline Report of the Graduate Longitudinal Study New Zealand (GLSNZ) released this month revealed that 15 per cent of the New Zealand university student population are suffering “absolute financial distress”.
The study asked students about their financial situation and coded the results according to the “Economic Strain Model”. It found that as many as 1 in 6 students reported that they did not have enough money for their basic accommodation, clothing and food requirements. The New Zealand Union of Students’ Association (NZUSA) believes this finding confirms their own independent survey that demonstrates “widespread student
Otago University Students Association president, Logan Edgar, cites some of the many financial problems students face, including the "huge costs" of setting up flats at the start of the year with the payment of bond money and buying furniture.
“$170 a week isn't a living allowance. Even when students are really struggling, their parents aren't in a position to support them. The assumption that all students under 24 have parental support is ludicrous”, said Arena Williams. The GLSNZ was commissioned by Universities New Zealand and was carried out by the National Centre for Lifecourse Research, headquartered at the University of Otago.
⊗ NEWS ⊗
MERCENARIES OCCUPY ARO VALLEY TROUBLESOME BULLETS IN HIPSTER PARADISE ✏
A decision by Wellington City Council (WCC) to use hunters to shoot wild animals in an inner-city suburb has some locals worried.
Residents of heavily student-populated Aro Valley have raised their concerns that a pest control initiative may pose a risk of stray bullets. A WCC sign at the beginning of the Polhil Gully near Holloway Road warns that hunters have been employed to shoot wild pigs and goats in the area between 7am and 4pm over the next four months.
The sign says that hunters “will be obeying the firearms code and taking the utmost care”, and advises people to keep to marked tracks as well as keeping dogs on a leash at all times.
The gully at the end of Aro Valley contains a network of tracks which are used daily by walkers, runners, and mountain bikers.
In the last ten years there have been nine deaths and three serious injuries in hunting incidents nationwide. The most recent was in December last year, when a 23-yearold man was killed with a rifle after being mistaken for a deer. The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council has said that in most of these cases, the primary factor contributing to incidents was shooters failing to properly identify their targets.
Holloway Road resident Don Franks told Salient that this was not enough to make him feel safe.
WCC Manager of Reserves, Parks, and Gardens, Amber Bill, said the Council aims to minimise the likelihood of this kind of error by employing professional hunters, instead of the recreational ones most commonly involved in such incidents.
“High powered rifles have no place firing in dense inner-city bush walkways”.
More recently—in addition to
“Those tracks are not encased in bullet proof glass, following this advice is hardly a guarantee of safety,” he said.
Bill told Salient the project is part of the Council's Biodiversity Action Plan which went through a public consultation process in 2007.
CRACCUM UNCRACKED DYKES' REIGN APPARENTLY ENDLESS ✏
An attempt by some Auckland University students to oust the editor of student publication Craccum failed last week. Students voted 144 votes to 83 against a motion of No Confidence in editor Thomas Dykes at an Auckland University Students' Association (AUSA) Special General Meeting (SGM) last Thursday. The motion, as previously reported in Salient, was the result of a petition by twenty students who claimed Dykes imposes his radical left wing views on the magazine's content. The SGM was held in the University's quad, and the vote taken by a division where people moved to either side of space to vote for or against the motion. One student, “Tim” tweeted that “perhaps
the motion failed because only the tiny number of students who read Craccum actually turned up?” Some participants lamented that Craccum's quality had declined in 2012. “Last year it was hard to get a copy, bins were empty by Wednesday, this year they are still full on Friday,” one said. AUSA Administrative Vice President Sam Durbin disagreed, arguing that “Craccum hasn't been good since 2009”. The SGM ended with a handshake between Dykes and Kirk Jacinto, the student who had led the campaign to vote him out. 7
signposting on trails—letters detailing the plans had been dropped at properties which backed directly onto affected areas. In high-risk situations the Council would consider placing staff to temporarily block the entrances to tracks.
“We have been carrying out successful feral goat and pig control for many years using this methodology,” Bill said.
⊗ NEWS ⊗
☞ OLLIE NEAS
ETERNITY NOT SO LONG AFTER ALL The Kyrgyzstan national spirit has been extinguished, following an almighty fiscal fuck up in the impoverished central asian state. As a symbol of the country’s sacrifice in war, the ‘eternal flame’ located in the capital, Bishkek, had been burning for a number of years–and was meant to burn for all eternity. However, while the pride of the Kyrgyzstani people may be everlasting, it’s finances are not. Due to an outstanding bill unpaid for three years, the gas supply was switched off. Bishkek Supply Services are unrepentant. One thing remains certain: the olympic flame is staying clear of Central Asia this year.
⊗ NEWS ⊗
SUICIDE RATES DECLINE YET OUTLOOK REMAINS GRIM ✏
☞ MARTIN DOYLE
New Zealand’s suicide rates are declining, but young males remain the most at risk, according to a report released by Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne last week. The statistical report, ‘Suicide Facts: Deaths and intentional self-harm hospitalisations 2009’, showed in total 506 people, or 11.2 people per 100,000, committed suicide in New Zealand in 2009, down from 11.8 per 100,000 in 2008.
“This is 25.5 per cent below the peak rate in 1998. Youth suicides have declined even further, down by 36.8 per cent since 1995,” Mr. Dunne said. While suicide statistics are improving, the report reveals that the male youth suicide rate in New Zealand is the highest in the OECD.
“It is disappointing, but the OECD comparison needs to be taken with considerable caution, especially given that stigma, cultural and social issues in some countries mean there is a real reluctance to report deaths as suicides,” Dunne said.
A recent OECD report on suicide statistics highlighted that there were differences in what countries classified as a suicide, impacting the validity of their statistics. “Nonetheless we take each and every such death as a tragedy and the Government is totally committed to addressing suicide,” said Mr. Dunne. "We have a significant youth suicide issue, particularly among young men, and that is why the Government is investing $62 million over four years in the Prime Minister's Youth Mental Health Project announced earlier this month,” he said.
At the time, Prime Minister John Key explained that the package would help to fill “gaps in our current system and [build] on the good work our mental health professionals are already doing in this area,.”
Mental Health Foundation chief executive Judi Clements has stressed the importance of all New Zealanders understanding the role they can play in reducing suicide statistics.
“Although Government action is essential, we can all get involved … It is about strengthening the connections we have with family, whanau, friends and the community,” Clements said. Some of the most effective protective factors are supportive relationships, belief in a positive future and a strong cultural identity."
Dunne has expressed concern over the latest suicide data being three years old, which is due to mandatory coroners’ investigations taking up to two years to complete. But he has said that the system for releasing figures is being improved. “Working with more current data will enable us to better target our efforts in addressing suicide,” he said.
FACTS & FIGURES ON SUICIDE ▴▴ ▴▴ ▴▴ ▴▴ ▴▴ ▴▴
“Suicide is a complex issue, not least because the circumstances leading up to a suicide are different for every individual and may not be noticed.” If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know, you can make an appointment with Student Health Services at Victoria University. Alternatively, you can contact these helplines: 9
▴▴ ▴▴ ▴▴
A total of 506 people committed suicide in New Zealand in 2009. (11.2 suicide deaths per 100,000). Korea had the highest suicide rate of all OECD countries in 2009, at 28.4. All OECD countries had a higher male than female suicide rate. New Zealand’s youth suicide rate in 2009 was 18.1 deaths per 100,000 for people aged 15–24. New Zealand had the highest ranking youth male suicide rate out of all OECD countries in 2009. There were 93 male youth suicide deaths in New Zealand (29.0 per 100,000 population) and 21 female youth suicide deaths (6.8 per 100,000 population).
Lifeline 0800 543 354 Depression Helpline 0800 111 757 The Ministry of Health also offers information at depression.org.nz, and a youth specific website at thelowdown.co.nz
⊗ NEWS ⊗
FAIR TRADE IMMINENT
EYE ON EXEC
BUY MORE COFFEE! MORE! ✏
A group of students is calling for Victoria University to become the first fair trade campus in the country.
The Victoria International Development Society (VicIDS) will be holding a Fairtrade Fortnight in May to promote fair trade ideals on campus. Fair trade aims to produce goods more sustainably and distribute them in a way which sees producers in developing countries receive a more equitable share of the profit created.
To become a Fairtrade University Victoria would have to enact policy changes to show it embraces these principles.
VicIDS President Sarah Mead suggests the change would be a natural progression, and that Oxfam's recent granting of “Fairtrade City” status to Wellington shows there is support for the movement in the broader community. She says many steps towards becoming a Fairtrade University have already been achieved.
“It is notable that many of the cafes on campus offer Fairtrade options, and many other on-campus retail outlets (such as VicBooks) have Fairtrade products available,” she points out.
On May 9th from 5:30pm the group will host a presentation by a fair trade coffee producer from Papua New Guinea, followed by free fair trade desserts
Students will be able to purchase a cup of Fairtrade coffee for a gold coin donation as part of Oxfam's Biggest Coffee Break on May 18th in the Kirk Foyer. There will also be a petition available to sign. VicIDS ran a Make Vic Uni Fair Trade campaign in 2010 in which they sent a petition to Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh, but never received a response.
Mead says the group hopes many students will get on board to send the University a strong message.
For more information on the events, and how to get involved with the campaign see vicids. org.nz
FEELING COMMERCIALLY SENSITIVE ✏
April has always been a lucky month. Filled with cocoa based indulgence somehow related to religious holidays, though usually forgone for time and a half pay. This year was no exception, with it getting to hold two meetings of the VUWSA executive. Taurus, the planets sure aligned in your favour. The meeting began with the usual bureaucratic formalities of minutes and work reports, though progress was halted, as rather than being ready for the meeting, trapped “somewhere in the computer [were] the minutes from the 6th meeting.”
Had Salient been in charge, we would have co-opted Julian Assange onto the executive to help aid navigation through Windows XP. They then moved into the comfort of committee for reasons of commercial sensitivity, which Salient is not allowed to report on. When this decision was questioned, President Bridie Hood explained it was because of the “human resources” (staffing) implications of the topic. Interesting.
Next on the agenda was an update from the Working Party, which was established to facilitate VUWSA’s upcoming Governance Review. Acting Vice-President (Welfare) Rory McCourt passed on the heartbreaking news that the executive could not submit on the review, as it raised a conflict of interest and would detract from the fact that the review was meant to be as studentfocused as possible. As previously reported in Salient, the working party was yet to be filled as only one student had applied to be on it. Since then, another student has been invited in. Though when Salient was introduced to her, it was explained that she had threatened an executive member in the stairwell of the SUB, saying that if she
wasn’t able to join the party she would physically harm them. Salient is unsure whether this was a joke.
Next came another discussion of VUWSA’s stance on Victoria University becoming smokefree in 2013. As instructed by a previous executive meeting, a highly scientific gauge of student opinion was run through a Facebook poll. It found that about 80 per cent of the 300 respondents were in favour of the proposal. The difficulties it would raise for smokers was mentioned, with McCourt saying that they needed to “make sure that smokers don’t get stubbed out.”
Discussion was quickly bogged down by the details of implementation, rather than the broader goals of the policy, and the University and students contributing to the nationwide debate.
Environmental group Generation Zero had asked for VUWSA’s support in a campaign to “protect the rights of future generations” at the next United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. This included supporting a proposal to establish a High Commissioner for Future Generations, by means of endorsing a letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully, asking him to reconsider his opposition to the idea. Always suspicious of coincidences, and itching to engage in investigative journalism, Salient was quick to question whether the letter’s author was actually one “Jimmy Green.” Turner confirmed that it was, but reassured Salient that she would double check.
A motion was moved that VUWSA supports the letter, passing with unanimous support as VUWSA delved once more into the world of unmandated political moves on behalf of their loyal students.
⊗ NEWS ⊗
OVERHEARD AT VIC
Overheard in ENGL 114 Tutorial: Tutor on Atonement: ‘Maybe they just liked rough sex... I had a girlfriend who liked to be tied up.” Gabby Bush
OVERHEARD IN THE LIBRARY:
Girl 1: “What did you get up to this weekend? Anything exciting?” Girl 2: “Na, not much. Just dropped a tab and went to church.” Isabella Farland-McBean
OVERHEARD IN IN JAPA111:
Lecturer: “You can remember the kanji for ‘mother’ easily because it looks like titties.” Joey Sauer
OVERHEARD OUTSIDE FILM TUTORIAL:
Guy on cell phone: “Where are we going to find an amputee?” Jim Hartshorn
OVERHEARD ON LIBRARY’S FIFTH FLOOR:
One guy pulls out his laptop and starts it up. Guy 1: “Oi Bro, did you get all the shit we need for tomorrow off Blackboard?” Guy 2: “Yeah Cuz, but I had to delete heaps of porn from my hard-drive to make room, it was so heart-breaking” ‘Cuz’ then nods solemnly and offers his silence as an unspoken condolence to his friend’s loss Matthew John Clark Banks
OVERHEARD IN MEDIA 306:
Lecturer: “When Queer Eye for the Straight Guy came out.... So to speak...” Ashleigh Clotworthy
OVERHEARD ON KELBURN PARADE:
Boy: “I got an E for English.” Girl: “How do you maintain your excellence grades? You’re so smart! “ Samantha Keene
OVERHEARD ON KIRK STAIRWELL:
Girl 1: “Did you have a good Easter?” Girl 2: “No!?... I don’t have a yeast infection?!” Rosa Swann
OVERHEARD IN COTTON BUILDING:
Two guys walking between McLauren and Kirk, guy one holding the latest Salient: Guy one: Do you read Salient? Guy two: Nah. I wonder who does? Simon Cannell
OVERHEARD IN THE LIBRARY:
“Yeah? Well my girlfriend does this really cute thing where she doesn’t exist.” Chelsea Phillips EMAIL SNIPPETS OF VIC LIFE TO OVERHEARD@SALIENT.ORG.NZ, OR FIND OVERHEARD@VIC ON FACEBOOK.
YOUR FLATMATE RECKONS HE COULD FIGHT A WAR IF HE HAD TO. ✏
HUGO M c KINNON
Salient has heard that your flatmate “could totally fight a war if [he] had to”. The comment was made by Aaron McCoy as you both watched Band of Brothers on Tuesday evening. Horrifying screams emanated from the television. You tried to point out the countless tragedies of war and the mental pressure under which millions never recovered.
“I dunno man, like, I’m not saying I want it to happen or anything. But if there was one I’d volunteer in a heartbeat. I reckon I’d be good at that forest warfare shit.” Said Auckland raised McCoy.
It was reported that as he got up to turn the heater on, you pointed out the freezing conditions under which Captain Winters and his company had to operate.
But it is well known that McCoy sometimes experiences a wave of hopelessness as he walks home alone from Burgerfuel at 3am in the morning; a sense of loneliness in an ever expanding universe. He can feel what those guys were going through, he feels it deep. He’s familiar with the bitter chill of a cold wind. Sure, 11
they marched for days and maybe they didn’t have peanut satay with a kumara chip upgrade, but he knows what it was like over there. He knows.
You refused to rent DVDs with him again. According to sources, McCoy often catches a glimpse of his reflection in shop windows. Man he’d look good in uniform he thinks. He concludes he’d probably be an officer; others would need his leadership. McCoy agreed to go to an ANZAC memorial service with you the next morning.
Another flatmate declined to comment on McCoy’s claims but she did say that she was “sick of your dumb shit arguments” and wanted to know “why can’t you bitches argue while you clean the fucking dishes? Fuck you.” As of Wednesday afternoon McCoy, who failed to get up in time for the service, was watching television show House.
“I could totally become a doctor if I wanted to.”
⚡ COLUMNS ⚡
NZ FIRST Retroactive legislation can be dangerous to the rule of law in a democratic society. It is unfair to criminalise in the future actions which have already been carried out. However, if you’re removing a sanction or creating a right, then there are numerous situations in which it would be unfair NOT to allow retrospective legislation. The best examples for these are pardons, removing a category of offence (e.g conscientious objectors) and the eventual extension of state benefits to gay marriages.
ACT ON CAMPUS Unfortunately, Act on Campus did not respond to Salient's quite reasonable query this week.
"Considering legislation with retrospective effect has been passed by the last two governments, is it ever acceptable for government to pass such legislation?"
THE HACKS RESPOND...
VIC LABOUR “In law, context is everything.” – Lord Steyn
In general retroactive law is to be avoided. It is important that the law is clear and prospective so citizens can organise their affairs in line with the law. Labour as a social democratic party is committed to complying with the Rule of Law. However, in rare cases in order to avoid unintended consequences of the law, retroactivity is a necessary evil. Indeed, context is everything. ▷ Reed Fleming
GREENS AT VIC Retrospective legislation, which undermines the rule of law, is only permissible in exceptional circumstances. The frequency however, of the passing of such legislation, is disturbing. A recent example was the Search and Surveillance Bill, rammed through by National last year. It retrospectively gave police the right to collect covert video surveillance—a severe breach of civil rights. With the exception of the most extraordinary of circumstances, retrospective legislation represents the State acting beyond its democratically-gifted power. ▷Harriet Farquar
VIC NATS Retrospective legislation is not something that should ever be enacted lightly. However, if the circumstance demands such legislation in order to protect people, then yes, but only as a last resort. ▷Christian Hermansen
⚡ COLUMNS ⚡
SHEARER'S NIGHTMARE TIMING ✏ HAMISH MCCONNOCHIE The most recent Reid Research poll had National’s support at 49.9 per cent, over 2 per cent higher than the 47.31 per cent they received on Election Day. Somehow, despite a raft of unpopular decisions and a Minister resigning, National seems untouchable. Labour, on the other hand, has been flatlining below 30 per cent.
Leader David Shearer has been described as “the invisible man”. He has been overshadowed by the “real Leader of the Opposition”, New Zealand First’s Winston Peters. The Labour brand seems to be confused and the party is fighting for airtime against Peters and the surging Greens. Regarding Shearer, there has been much media comment about his performance and confusion about his party’s brand. What I haven’t seen a lot of discussion about is the Party’s continual bad timing when it comes to announcements.
In December last year, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to undertake work experience with TV3’s Partick Gower in the Parliamentary Press Gallery. On my first day, Shearer was to announce the party’s new “line up” of MPs, including their new “portfolios”. Standing there in the Labour Caucus room, livetweeting the announcement and breaking a media embargo, I found the whole thing to be quite exciting; Jacinda Ardern up to number four, Shearer being the party’s spokesperson for science & innovation, it seemed like Labour was going to put forward an alternate vision for New Zealand.
Unfortunately, Parliament went on a month and a half recess two days later. Any momentum from having a new leader and a new front bench was lost.
A few months later, things looked up for Labour, with Shearer’s much billed first major speech. Delivered to the Cullen Breakfast Club, Shearer outlined in his speech a vision for a “new New Zealand”. Important as being both Shearer’s first major speech and one that “repositioned” the party towards the centre, it was overshadowed by John Key announcing the new “super ministry” that same day. For a party trying to promote a new leader, media attention was diverted elsewhere. Even worse for Labour was that when the media did pay attention, it was more about Shearer’s “brighter future” gaff, and less about his support for a capital gains tax as an incentive to move investment away from property and towards “the productive sector where we desperately need more capital.” The Nick Smith-Bronwyn Pullar-ACC scandal is another example of Labour and Shearer again getting its timings wrong. Former party president Andrew Little called for Smith to resign on the Tuesday morning. After Shearer initially refused to go that far, Little was forced to backtrack but by the end of the day Shearer too was calling for Smith’s resignation. The timing of theses announcements and speeches is not entirely Labour’s fault though. Some of just been plain unlucky. National has had the benefit of much of the SkyCity attention occurring during the recess, preventing any debate 13
in Parliament. Shearer seems to be Mr Invisible though, because Labour has so far been unable to schedule their announcements at a time where they will have the most impact. The party also seems to be unable to capture the media’s attention; only three reporters made the trip from Wellington to Nelson for Shearer’s second major speech, with the media opting to run stories on One Direction instead. So will Shearer stay in as Labour leader?
There is speculation about Grant Robertson rolling Shearer. Shearer’s new chief-of-staff, Alastair Cameron, is more closely aligned with Robertson, and arrives following Stuart Nash’s departure. Nash, a former list MP, fought with press secretary Fran Mold over strategy, and stepped on senior MP Trevor Mallard’s toes before leaving, telling colleagues he wants to be the party’s 2014 Hutt South nominee; his grandfather, Walter Nash, was the Member for Hutt for 29 years. Over the Tasman, the Australian Labor Party is polling in the low-to-mid thirties. Like New Zealand, the Greens in Australia have eaten around 10 – 12 per cent of Labor’s primary vote. A Green party commanding that percentage of the party vote is a new reality and whilst that means Labour has had its left vote eroded by the Greens, it also allows the party to reposition itself to the centre, where elections are won.
HAMISH IS GENERALLY WRONG. TELL HIM WHY ON TWITTER: @MISHVIEWS
⚡ COLUMNS ⚡
BE YOUR OWN SOCIAL EXORCIST: LOSING FRIENDS AND ALIENATING PEOPLE FOR THE LIKEABLE AND TOLERANT. Or, let’s hang out sometime so I can talk about myself while doing a crossword.
Losing friends and alienating people is a two-step process that should be addressed as such. To hark back to sixth form economics (my intellectual peak), you need to spend time and money cultivating the demise of relationships in the short term in order to save them in the long term. You probably have some friends from whom ‘drifting apart’ would be a godsend. I don’t, but I did. So listen. It is a bummer that you can’t just break up with friends. You realise you’re just not on the platonic love train, so you sit them down and tell them that “look, it’s not you, it’s me” (while thinking to yourself, “It’s hardly me, I’m awesome.”) I have alienated a number of people in my time. Probably more than you have. It’s overachieving, however you look at it. If you think this applies to you, (a) your arrogance astounds me and (b) you can’t take it up with me
A friend with whom I frequently spend time but who wants no acknowledgment to that effect because of my ‘mediocre looks’ (his words) told me the other day that he had heard on the radio that every negative thought should be counteracted by three After all, some people attract other people. positive ones. Given that I consider myself They’re enjoyable to be around and listen woefully unqualified as a therapist, I advise attentively to what I have to say. These the proverbial grain of salt in deciding people are human shields onto whom the (as I did) that INSTEAD, for every new universe invites me to deflect undesirables. friend I made, three would have to go. This combination "I HAVE ALIENATED A NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN MY TIME. of realism and PROBABLY MORE THAN YOU HAVE. IT’S OVERACHIEVING..." bogus science will see me through. And if it doesn’t, my penchant for It follows that staying alienated requires the Fray will do the trick. agility and cunning. What will you choose because you don’t want to admit that you have deigned to read this. On a side note, (c), you ‘making a stand’ and not coming to my 21st means more of a bar tab for the five people who do show.
- lax personal hygiene habits? General ignorance? Toryism? (These are mine. I’d appreciate you getting your own. If there are too many Tories around we’ll have to start all socialising together. Fuck that for a joke.) 14
This is entirely fabricated. I like everyone. And I have a completely sound reason for the winter of ’06 Fray phase.
⚡ COLUMNS ⚡
NIKOLA TESLA ✏
Anyone even remotely associated with real-time strategy games has heard the name Tesla before—the Serbian God of Lightning’s righteous zapping coils have been ruining the lives of digital soldiers and zapping Allied war machines into spare parts since the release of Command & Conquer: Red Alert—but surprisingly few people these days are familiar with the life and times of one of humankind’s most eccentric, badass, and volumetrically-insane scientific supergeniuses. He was crazy smart, he almost singlehandedly developed technology that harnessed the power of electricity for household use, and invented things like electrical generators, FM radio, remote control, robots, spark plugs, fluorescent lights and giant-ass machines that shoot enormous, brain-frying lightning bolts all over the place like crazy. Oh yeah, he also spoke eight languages.
He was also a total nutcase. He was obsessive-compulsive and hated round objects, human hair, jewelry, and anything that wasn’t divisible by three, was prone to nervous breakdowns, claimed to receive
weird visions in the middle of the night, spoke to pigeons and occasionally thought he was receiving electromagnetic signals from extra-terrestrials on Mars. He was also asexual and celibate for his entire life. Basically the ultimate mad scientist, which is seriously awesome.
Despite being incredibly popular during his day, now Tesla remains largely overlooked among lists of the greatest inventors and scientists of the modern era. Thomas Edison gets all the glory for discovering the lightbulb, but it was his one-time assistant and life-long arch-nemesis who made the breakthroughs in alternatingcurrent technology that allowed for people to cheaply use electricity to power appliances and lighting in their homes. They constantly fought about whether to use alternating or direct currents, but ultimately Tesla was the one who delivered the fatal kick-to-the-crotch that ended the battle—at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, his AC generators illuminated the entire experience, marking the first time that an event of that magnitude had ever taken place under the glow of artificial
WHATS IT UP TO? light. Today, all homes and appliances run on Tesla’s AC current.
Nikola Tesla was one of those supergenius badasses whose intellect placed him dangerously on the precipice between “great scientific mind” and “utter madness”. He held 700 patents at the time of his death, made groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of physics, robotics, steam turbine engineering and magnetism. And honestly, if there were one man on this planet who was ever capable of singlehandedly destroying the entire planet through his insane scientific discoveries, it was Tesla.
THE GREAT STAGNATION ✏
The post WWII era between 1945-2008 was a triumph for Western liberal capitalism. The developed world has achieved something unprecedented in human history: 60 years of stability and near uninterrupted economic growth which has brought the bulk of our populations into the middle class. But the 2008 global recession and lacklustre recovery have raised questions about the continued ability to generate high economic growth in the West. People have responded to this by fundamentally calling into question our economic system, but there is a simple and unavoidable reason that this lack of growth is happening and is likely to continue. A major driver of continued economic growth has been increased labour force participation (the percentage of the population either employed or looking for a job). This has been driven by two factors: First, female labour force participation has steadily increased since WWII due largely to changing social attitudes. Just 28.4 per cent of women were part of the labour force in 1951, but that had reached 56.4 per cent by 2001, about 20 per cent below male labour force participation. The gap
has narrowed to around 10% since then. The downside for the future is this: there isn’t much more growth to come simply by empowering women to join the workforce, the gap is unlikely to shirk much further.
The second factor has been favourable demographics as a result of the postWWII baby boom, meaning more people of a working age. However, the demographics are changing; the baby boomers are retiring and soon a far higher percentage of our population will be over the age of sixty-five. Because of higher life expectancy people are working later into life, but this won’t be enough to make up the difference. And the gains there are offset by lower participation among under25s as we stay in full time education longer. The Department of Labour estimates that the overall effect of this is a decline in labour force participation from nearly 69 per cent currently to just over 63 per cent by 2050. A further issue is that people are working shorter hours: The average hours worked per person per week has decreased by about 1.5 hours over the last 20 years and is likely to continue to decline. 15
CASH RULES E
V E RY T H I N G A R O U N D M
Unfortunately these trends, unlike the financial crisis, are here to stay even if we reform our outdated entitlement systems. Raising the retirement age would be a start. The good news is that we’re better off than most of the developed world. As of 2008 we had the 4th highest labour force participation in the OECD (even better than Finland who only managed 6th, suck on that!). Unsurprisingly Greece and Italy round out 2 of the bottom 4 spots, and their numbers have declined dramatically since then.
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MUD STICKS ✏
NAME SUPPRESSION IN THE AGE OF CELEBRITY THE ALL BLACK ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING HIS PREGNANT WIFE. THE COMEDIAN CHARGED WITH PERFORMING AN INDECENT ACT ON HIS DAUGHTER. THE HIGH-PROFILE PUBLIC SERVANT ACQUITTED OF PUNCHING HIS TEENAGE SON IN THE HEAD. THEIR IDENTITIES HAVE BEEN SUPPRESSED, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU DON’T KNOW WHO THEY ARE. IN PART INTRODUCED IN RESPONSE TO OUTRAGE FROM THE PUBLIC AND MEDIA OVER THIS PERCEIVED ‘CELEBRITY TREATMENT’, THE RECENT REVISIONS TO THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ACT 2011 ARE INTENDED TO MAKE IT HARDER FOR DEFENDANTS TO OBTAIN NAME SUPPRESSION. BUT ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S TOP CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYERS BELIEVES THIS TO BE A STEP IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. SALIENT CHIEF FEATURE WRITER ELLE HUNT ASKS WHAT’S IN A NAME.
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n the small hours of one Thursday in March 2009, down an alley off Courtenay Place, a man who would come to be known as ‘the entertainer’ forced a 16-year-old girl’s head down to his crotch. As the Herald reported at the time, “The victim felt the man’s penis on her cheek and moved her head to stop it entering her mouth… As she ran from the alley, she could hear him laughing.” Eight months later, the entertainer was discharged without conviction after admitting one charge of committing an indecent act. He was also granted permanent name suppression, as Judge Eddie Paul ruled that identifying him would have a “significantly adverse effect” on his music career. (Though, judging by his media profile three years later, that was already on a downward trajectory.)
“Everybody attacked that case because it was a sex crime, it was a youngish girl, it was down an alley,” says Steven Price,
media law specialist and adjunct lecturer at Victoria University’s Faculty of Law. “On balance, I don’t know if name suppression was justified, but when you look at all the factors that the judge took into account, you can see where he was coming from.” Under changes to the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 that took effect last month, things might have been different for the entertainer. His legal counsel would now have to prove that his name being made public would result in “extreme hardship”, rather than “undue hardship”, which was the test in place at the time.
While what constitutes “extreme hardship” is up to the individual judge to determine, the new law explicitly states that “the fact that a defendant is well known does not, of itself, mean that publication of his or her name will result in extreme hardship”. “There is no reason for a defendant to get name suppression simply because they are famous,” Justice Minister Judith Collins told 3 News. Price is critical of this simplistic definition, as well as the media’s focus on this provision. “I don’t think any lawyer would have stumped up in the past and said, ‘Your honour, my client, as you’ll be well aware, is very well known, so he should have name suppression’,” he says. “The argument has always been that because
“...THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE PUBLICITY IF THEY DON’T GET NAME SUPPRESSION ARE GOING TO BE OUT OF ALL PROPORTION TO THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE OFFENCE." they’re well known, the consequences of the publicity if they don’t get name suppression are going to be out of all proportion to the seriousness of the offence.”
In theory, the new requirement of defendants to prove “extreme hardship”, rather than “undue hardship”, will make it harder to obtain name suppression. This, says Wellington-based criminal defence lawyer Mike Antunovic, goes against the presumption of innocence enshrined in our bill of rights. “It’s an inalienable fact that the state shouldn’t punish any individual until or unless there is a conviction,” he says. “What I’ve seen over the years is that, in many cases, considerable harm is done to the defendant by publication of his name and the allegations he’s facing before trial.”
This harm can extend to loss of employment and damage to personal relationships, as well as considerable stress and embarrassment. “With this new rule, the Crown is effectively saying that it’s okay for a defendant to receive some kind of punishment by way of harm that arises as a result of the publication of his identity,” he says. “And then only when it becomes 'extreme' will the state do something about it. That has to be, in my view, fundamentally wrong.” Antunovic has been calling for significant reform of name suppression law since as early as 2009, when he defended police cadet Mark Tulloch on charges of rape. The case was thrown out of court when the judge ruled that the complainant’s testimony was unreliable, but, by that point, the damage to Tulloch’s reputation had been done.
The woman’s identity, meanwhile, remains secret because the state guarantees automatic and permanent name suppression to victims of specified sexual offending: “They get it by law, even if they’re shown to be liars, and so my view is that the law is wrong.” Antunovic is in favour of extending the same treatment to defendants “across the board”. “My opinion is that there should be a presumption of fact for automatic name suppression until or unless the person is convicted,” he says. “And there should be a corresponding rule that the police or Crown should have to show good reasons exist for that person to be publicly identified before any conviction is entered.
“The public can wait, can’t they? How on earth can it benefit the public to know that Citizen A has been charged with an offence? The public has a right to know that various offences might have been committed—I’m not saying don’t tell them that—but the public don’t jneed to know who that person is until they’ve been convicted.”
To a certain extent, the New Zealand Law Society’s submission on the proposed changes to the Act in 2009 echoed Antunovic’s views, in that it called for name suppression to be made more readily available to individuals accused of a crime, and less readily to those convicted. “For the vast majority of the population, there is a perception that there is no smoke without fire—[that] someone charged is probably guilty”, the submission stated,
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reiterating the need for “greater protection at the pre-trial stage”.
clients against seeking name suppression.)
“The offence is to publish material from which a person can identified… but there’s a little bit of wriggle room there,” says Price. He points out that different media organisations provide different pieces of information, and this is often enough to narrow the accused down to either one person or a small pool of people. “They’re on thin ice a lot of the time, but they kind of get away with it,” he says. “It’s only the really brazen breaches, like Cameron Slater’s, that people go for.”
Slater is of the opinion that no-one should be eligible for name suppression except victims of crime. “If we had a blanket suppression on all the details to do with the victim—other than saying a girl or a boy or a man or a woman—and there was no name suppression for those charged, you wouldn’t have that to and fro between courts, and all the delays in the justice system as a result of that.”
This point is of particular importance given the ease with which an accused individual with name suppression can often be identified through details given in the media. In most cases, the judge orders the suppression of the defendant’s name only, meaning other details, such as their address and occupation, are able to be published.
Slater, who blogs at WhaleOil.co.nz, was convicted on eight counts of breaching name suppression and one count of identifying a sexual abuse victim in 2010. Most notably, he named a high-profile public servant (a client of Antunovic, who condemned Slater as a “renegade”) acquitted of the assault of his teenage son. He remains critical of name suppression law in New Zealand: “My personal policy is to let it all hang out there. I think sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
Slater, who considers himself to have “forced” the changes to the Act (and is “pretty chuffed” about it to boot), nonetheless believes them to be ineffectual, protecting what he dubs the “vested interests of the legal fraternity” at the expense of victims’ wishes. Just last week, he points out, individuals that suffered sexual abuse at the hands of now-70-yearold Dennis Aubrey Newell in Christchurch in the 1970s and 1980s insisted that his identity be made public. It’s in lawyers’ best interests to campaign for name suppression for their clients, says Slater. “There’s a whole lot of extra hearings along the way, which are more billable hours. They’re just milking the cow.” (On the contrary, Price says criminal defence lawyers tend to caution their
He refutes the suggestion that to circulate the name of an accused individual in the public domain goes against presumption of innocence, arguing that charges cannot be laid without sufficient evidence. “There are many thousands more cases where the defendant didn’t have name suppression— are we saying those people didn’t have fair trials?”
Slater notes that in Australia, the threshold for obtaining name suppression is much higher, and so that country’s federal speaker Peter Slipper is having to front up to allegations of fraud and sexual harassment in the media. “Every lurid detail of that case is now being debated in public,” he says. “If that was in New Zealand, all you’d be able to say would be a ‘prominent politician’. Probably not even that.”
“There’s this narrative line in the media that says name suppression is bad, here’s this evil judge giving name suppression to this evil person, like they do all the time,” he says. “They never put it in context, never point out that name suppression is only given in one per cent of cases—and a lot of them are automatic to protect child victims or sex crime victims, and most of them are only temporary.
“They often leave that stuff out in order to generate their standard outrage about name suppression, which is what has led to these changes.” Price notes that the new law took effect too recently to predict how successful it will be in practice. But by and large, the revised legislation is an exercise in tinkering with terminology: the ultimate decision whether or not to grant name suppression is left largely up to the discretion of the judge, as it did prior to March. What the changes to the Act have provoked is discussion and coverage of the principles behind name suppression and the law that governs them, as well as the consequences for those that say a name and let it break. ▲
Of course, reference to a ‘prominent politician’ would be enough to pique the interest of the media and the public, and that’s often enough to render a suppression order futile. “Once the guessing game gets underway, there’s really no win for the celebrity,” says Price.
“SLATER... WAS CONVICTED ON EIGHT COUNTS OF BREACHING NAME SUPPRESSION AND ONE COUNT OF IDENTIFYING A SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM IN 2010." But, he points out, there are around half a dozen or so such cases a year. “That leaves two, three, maybe five hundred suppression orders that aren’t about people who are well known. Those work fine, and that’s the meat and potatoes of suppression in New Zealand.” Price blames much lazy and sensationalist reporting for the public’s skewed perception of name suppression law.
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"THE COUPLE’S COMPLAINT MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN A GENUINE PLEA OF HOMOPHOBIA, BUT I CAN CONFIDENTLY SAY ONE THING: IT DOES HAPPEN."
hilst walking through town, my boyfriend and I have a tacit agreement to cease holding hands with one another the moment either of us feels uncomfortable. For such a silent understanding I am frequently amazed at how often our decision to unlock digits feels like a mutual one. Then again, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that this happens every time we near a figure we deem possible of harbouring malcontent toward homosexuals. Generally speaking, the burlier the man the more bigoted we believe him to be. Our actions may speak more of our own privately-held discriminations than those of a complete stranger’s; however hypothetical. Despite this, we justify our emergency procedure by telling ourselves that while it may be largely unnecessary— and occasionally self-fulfilling—at least our brand of harboured-partiality is muted and only acted upon passively. If we are saved judgement served by a fist then it is a worthwhile exercise, or so the thinking goes. Unfortunately our fears are not wholly unwarranted. Despite the most incredible progression for gay rights, discrimination still exists. Whilst in London last year I was chilled by the brutal murder of a gay man in Trafalgar Square. Two teenage thugs repeatedly stamped-on and kicked their male victims in the head. One of the couple recovered, whilst the other died from brain injuries 18 days later having never recovered consciousness. About the same time as this attack, vicious anti-gay sentiments began popping up on walls throughout East London.
So it was with a heavy heart that I digested the recent news of the lesbian couple who claimed they were ejected from a Wellington bar for kissing. The couple’s complaint may or may not have been a genuine plea of homophobia, but I can confidently say one thing: it does happen. My reaction to the story was shaped significantly by an almost identical personal experience. In the case of my own
TOUCHY subject ✏
GAY ADOPTION? LET’S TRY KISSING IN PUBLIC FIRST. encounter with a bouncer in a different Courtenay Place establishment, I felt unjustly treated because of my sexuality. Events are rarely as clean-cut as witness testimonial allows, but in this particular instance I felt compelled.
The lesbian couple had equally minimal evidence to support a case for discrimination, but a five-minute sojourn onto the business’ Facebook page unearths some pretty concrete examples. The preponderance of disquieting remarks makes one wonder whether or not gay rights have truly moved forwards to the extent most assume they have. Against such a backdrop, is it any wonder that some people might feel more disturbed at being asked to leave a bar than others? It is unfortunate indeed if
these girls were mistaken in identifying the actions of this bouncer as homophobic. Given that gay people have, and still do, get expelled from venues for showing affection I can’t help thinking: can you blame them for suspecting it? And besides; doesn’t the very fact that they felt compelled enough to complain suggest they felt forlorn, regardless of whether the bouncer was guilty of the charges or not? That same day, The Dominion Post ran a feature article on ‘taboo topics’ in Parliament. Gay adoption was cited as the next victory for the queer community to want discussed in the House. In light of recent events, may I suggest something a little more fundamental? A more active encouragement for broader shifts in societal attitudes perhaps? ▲
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FIGURING OUT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN THE US, RENOWNED ACTOR MORGAN FREEMAN WANTS TO DO AWAY WITH BLACK HISTORY MONTH. THERE IS NO WHITE HISTORY MONTH, HE CLAIMS, BECAUSE WHITE HISTORY IS SEEN AS ‘EVERYBODY’S HISTORY’. THE ONLY WAY TO GET RID OF RACISM, SAYS FREEMAN, IS TO STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. BUT THERE ARE THOSE WHO DISAGREE. IN COUNTRIES WHOSE HONOUR HAS BEEN STAINED WITH RACISM, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS PUSHED AS THE BEST STEP FORWARD. SALIENT TAKES A LOOK AT WHAT BOTH SIDES HAVE TO SAY:
THE CASE FOR:
Racism is an asshole. A giant, ugly, systemically ruthless asshole that causes unfathomable suffering and inexcusable injustice. This we know. What we’re less clear on is how to deal with the aftereffects of generations of inequality. Of which there are many, by the way. Poverty, criminality, low rates of education, precarious job prospects, lifetimes of stigma—these are what the descendants of injustice have to look forward to, even today.
On that basis, affirmative action was instated. Affirmative action is the implementation of policy to rectify past discriminatory actions that prohibited ethnic minorities from equal access. So let’s be realistic. Ethnic minorities are as capable and intelligent as anyone else. Yet, they’re continually underrepresented in positions of power, are most often found in the lowest-skilled jobs and are predominantly relegated to the lower classes. Why? Because centuries of mistreatment can’t be erased in a couple
ju stic e of decades. Even the policies’ most ardent critics can’t deny that racism’s effects have created institutional imbalances that leave many of the abused’s descendants at a disadvantage. Many deserving, hardworking people are born into situations of scarcity because of racism’s impact and aren’t even afforded the same opportunities as their non-minority counterparts. Affirmative action is about evening the playing field and compensating those who lacked the opportunities that everyone else had due to their ethnic background. It’s predicated on the notion that all ought be born with an equal chance at life. But what does affirmative action have to offer those who don’t directly benefit from its policies? Apparently plenty. A major study by the University of Michigan has shown that interactions with minorities are beneficial for the social and personal growth of non-minorities. Over 9000 students across 200 American universities were studied for four years, and the results were unanimously positive. The white students with the most multicultural interaction were shown to have better thinking processes and were more adept at applying their intellectual and academic skills in jobs and their personal lives. They also showed higher confidence in themselves and their abilities, while demonstrating superior academic skills and stronger drives to succeed than their non-mingling white counterparts. Additionally, they were shown to be more tolerant and more willing to participate in community, volunteer and charity work. The psychologist in charge of the study, Dr. Patricia Gurin, pointed out that these students were better able to understand multiple perspectives and the complex conflicts they sometimes create. Not only were the students more committed to achieving the common good, but they were essentially better able to participate in modern society because of their exposure to minority groups—exposure which was partly due to the effects of affirmative action and its educational policies.
THE CASE AGAINST:
One of the strongest arguments against affirmative action is that it in fact promotes the very thing it was created to abolish: preferential treatment because of the colour of one’s skin. Ignoring the truth that many non-minorities live below the poverty line, it technically allows for policies that would favour a rich Latino person over a poor Caucasian one. In effect, it can, and does, prioritise ethnicity over factors like merit and hard work.
It also sets the bar a little lower. Things like universities are hard to get in to for a reason; they can be competitive and places in programs like law and medicine are limited. Why should a minority student be allowed in with a B+ average when the entry-level grade is an A? It can not only perpetuate the stereotype that minorities are inherently less able, but takes away an incentive for trying their best, while again giving them an edge for nothing more than where their grandparents were born.
For the minority students who do make it in to cut-throat programs, keeping their heads above water can be a challenge. If the admission of a minority student depends on affirmative action-related standards (meaning that in other circumstances, they wouldn’t be there) their abilities might just
gives credit for the hard work of the Black community to Liberal politicians and civil rights leaders. Additionally, he notes that in each country where AA exists, the results are normally the same. The poorer members of the target group are rarely in positions to apply for university scholarships and quota-filling jobs, leaving the wealthier members to take advantage of the system.
WHAT ABOUT AOTEAROA?
NZ’s main provisions for AA come under section 19 of our NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990, entitled ‘freedom from discrimination’. It gives assistance to those who have experienced unlawful discrimination because of their gender, race, colour, religious or ethical beliefs (set out in section 21 of the Act) but raises
“RACISM IS AN ASSHOLE. A GIANT, UGLY, SYSTEMICALLY RUTHLESS ASSHOLE THAT CAUSES UNFATHOMABLE SUFFERING AND INEXCUSABLE INJUSTICE. THIS WE KNOW.” not be up to scratch. Is it fair to try to push students into roles that they’re unequipped to handle for the sake of ethnic balance? This is the question that the US Supreme Court will be asking themselves when they reconsider Texas University’s affirmative action case, in which it’s been accused of excluding higher-achieving White students to accommodate lower-achieving Black ones. This brings us to the opinions of minority groups themselves. We have to wonder if it’s fair for governments to assume that modern-day minorities are victims by association. Some would argue that affirmative action is a polite way of saying that minorities have been so badly ruined, they need preferential treatment. But countless members of minority groups don’t want special attention. They champion perseverance and dedication, and are offended at the thought that their hard-won achievements are the result of government handouts. Affirmative action might have become an ironically condescending (even insulting) way of reminding society about the importance of race—and its potential for abuse. One of the loudest voices on this point comes from Thomas Sowell, a leading economist and social theorist who (full disclosure) happens to be African American. He argues that affirmative action comes down to facts and pragmatism, not the ideals of justice and fairness that claim to support it. A longstanding naysayer, he denounces the perceived benefits of AA, claiming that it
points about what ‘discrimination’ actually constitutes. A clause in section 181 of the Education Act 1989 has significance for VUW because it allows for our University Council to undertake affirmative action policies that are specific to our context, while also taking into account the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. As to the opinions of Maori, like Sowell, Victoria University law professor Mamari Stephens urged caution, saying that “many Maori reject affirmative action rhetoric in favour of developments based on notions of rangatiratanga instead”. She cited the examples of the Whānau Ora programme, and other influential health initiatives like the establishment of Maori PHOs, which are based on the Maori Health Strategy that incorporates rangatiratanga as a driving value.
Most of the arguments against affirmative action seem to err on the side of practicalities, seemingly unable to find moral fault with the idea that injustice should be atoned for. Affirmative action is by no means perfect and leaves perhaps too much room for manipulation. Yet, like other welfare policies, the answer isn’t to scrap it completely. To really address social injustice, the state needs to be open to the input of minorities themselves, while also making sure that ever-present injustices (like poverty) don’t claim a new generation of victims. ▲ The author would like to thank Mamari Stephens for her legal input
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CRIMINAL! STUDENTS VS NOISE CONTROL: ✏
“Now, we go until they kick us out/Or the po-lice shut us down/Po-po shut us down”
MOLLY M c CARTHY
A FRIENDLY GUIDE ON HOW TO HAVE A GOOD TIME WITHOUT (BUT MAYBE NEARLY) COMMITTING A CRIME UNLESS YOU’RE SOME SORT OF SOCIOPATH, OR LOOK UNUSUALLY ATTRACTIVE IN MUGSHOTS, IT’S FAIR TO ASSUME THAT GETTING ARRESTED PROBABLY ISN’T ON YOUR LIST OF ‘THINGS TO DO BEFORE I GRADUATE’.
owever, as students, with in-built penchants for binge-drinking and having a Good Time, we can get ourselves into a number of situations that may bring us a lot closer to the strong arm of the law than we ever intended. Here at Salient, we know that the law can be a confusing place, full of craggy mires, used needles, and black holes. Especially for the Justice Issue, we’ve compiled a series of ‘pro-tips’ to keep your brushes with justice in the text-books, and keep your good names out of the law books. Disclaimer: While this may appear to be a guide to how to be naughty and get away with it, I am in no way qualified to provide you with legal advice, nor am I encouraging any of you miscreants to commit crime. Cause we all know crime’s bad, right?
A strong believer in the age-old adage ‘When you have to go, you have to go’, I have long-maintained that, if there is one crime I were to be convicted of, this would be it.
Popping a squat or taking a slash while you’re out on the town is a crime under sections 27 and 32 of the Summary Offences Act 1981, which respectively preclude exposing your genitals and excreting in a public place. Get caught up shit creek without your pants on, and you could face up to 3 months imprisonment or a $2000 fine. Fortunately for those of us with weaker bladders, there is a defence attached to both offences, if you had “reasonable grounds for believing you would not be observed”.
To put that in context, a wee in the bush on the side of State Highway One is probably ok; pissing against the wall in plain view of the Big Kumara’s bouncer, maybe not.
We’ve all been there before; you’re having the time of your life, living it up, hooning the bevvies—hell, you’ve just put on Beyonce/Jay-Z’s ‘Crazy in Love’, and your lounge is more packed with grinding bodies than a beach-front club in Ibiza.
Then suddenly, with a firm knock on your door, a noise control officer (NCO) hands over a Noise Direction Notice, and you gotta shut the party dowwwwn. Or do you?
According to Wellington City Council’s Noise Control policy, that piece of paper you’ve just been handed requires you to reduce noise immediately to what the NCO considers a “reasonable” level. But if you decide that you want to run through Beyonce’s entire back-catalogue at full volume instead of turning it down and kicking everyone out, what are the consequences?
Well technically, our good friend Ke$ha had it right. NCOs are powerless to do much until they return accompanied by a police officer, so you really can go until the po-po shut you down. However, once the police are involved, NCOs are able to enter the property and seize any equipment that is causing the noise, and you will have to pay a princely sum to get it back. Alternatively, in some cases you could be fined up to $10,000. I guess it depends how badly you want to listen to Bey, doesn’t it?
ju stic e DRANKS ON DRANKS ON DRANKS:
For many of us, life revolves around going out, drinking, and generally having a good time. And for the most part, during this grace period we call “higher education”, when we have as little responsibility as we have an abundance of tax-payer hand-outs, this lifestyle is one of ignorant bliss.
But beware! There are a few legal boobytraps that might befall you on your Friday night pursuit of happiness. While New Zealand has no specific law against being drunk in public, actually drinking in public may cause you a few problems.
Under section 147 of the Local Government Act 2002, it is up to your local council to decide where you can and cannot sink the brews. Wellington City’s Liquor Ban covers most of the city area, Aro Valley, Oriental Bay, Brooklyn, Newtown, and Mt Victoria’s summit (but not its steep and bushy sides—pro-tip for public drinking). In these areas, police have the right to search you or your vehicle for alcohol, seize that alcohol, and arrest you. In most cases though, you will simply be asked to pour out your drink or leave the area. And while these rules apply only to opened bottles and cans, the police can seize your unopened box of Brenner if they think you’re settling in on that park bench for a big night of drinking. So during your next mindless, loud, and probably staggering migration from your house to Courtenay Place, make sure you down that Vodka Cruiser before you hit the city.
In health class we are taught that if you ever take any drug ever you will lose all your teeth, steal from your family, and be forced to sell your body to fund your inevitable drug habit. Once you leave the Good vs Evil dichotomy of third form, however, the situation becomes a little unclear.
GET OUT OF JAIL FOR FREE? Finally, a quick note on diversion.
So let’s say that, despite all the good advice and warning your friendly student magazine has provided, you go out next weekend, do something immensely silly, and end up with a pair of handcuffs on your wrists (and we’re not talking the fluffy kind). Before you lose all hope and commit yourself to a life of crime, fear not! There may be a way out of this sticky situation yet, sweet child!
Diversion is a police scheme which allows offenders to avoid conviction in certain circumstances. At the discretion of the police, you may be offered diversion if you meet certain criteria, which include whether you have a criminal history, and the nature of the offence. Diversion is generally considered suitable for first-time offenders, and for minor offences such as liquor ban breaches and Class C drug possession.
If you are offered diversion, you will have to accept full responsibility for the offence, and in return for washing away your sins, you will be required to complete a number of conditions. These may include writing a letter of apology, completing counselling, or making a donation to charity, and must be completed before your charge is removed. The important thing to remember is that, while diversion may one day save your ass, it is at the complete discretion of the police, and there’s not much you can do about it if they don’t offer it to you. In short, consider diversion a possible lifesaver once you’ve already been arrested, but don’t rely on it as a guaranteed pass-out if you’re thinking about getting criminal.
“...THE POLICE CAN SEIZE YOUR UNOPENED BOX OF BRENNER IF THEY THINK YOU’RE SETTLING IN ON THAT PARK BENCH..."
When eccies practically grow on trees at Rhythm and Vines, and there is a cloud of dope smoke that never fades around the corner from the District Court, it can be easy to begin to normalise the presence of drugs and their use in our day-to-day lives. However, while it is likely that most people you know (even mum and dad) will have had a dabble in the dak at some point in their lives, the legal consequences of getting off your face can be a sobering thought. Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, all your favourite pills, powders, and plants are neatly arranged into Classes A, B and C, which gauge the seriousness of being caught possessing, supplying, or making those drugs. For example, possession of a Class B/C drug (eg. ecstasy/cannabis) carries a maximum penalty of 3 months imprisonment or a $500 fine, whereas possession of a Class A drug (eg. Acid) could land you with a maximum of 6 months imprisonment. In addition, amongst the myriad of black marks you may incur against your name in a lifetime, drug offences are taken particularly seriously when you are travelling overseas, especially to the United States. Those are pretty hefty consequences for getting caught with half a tab at a music festival, right? Of course, those are the maximum penalties; discretion will be exercised given the circumstances, and diversion may be available to you (see above).
We’re not out to scare you all by claiming that one instance of drug experimentation will make you an addict, but it is important to know that there are very real consequences should you get caught. We’re all adults here, so while Salient does not in any way endorse the use of any illegal drug, if you’re going to indulge, be smart about it. ▲
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SPE A KI NG THE
UN S PE A KA BLE G
od hates fags” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” were recurring phrases. The right of these religious bigots to denigrate and offend others at their funerals was upheld 8-1. Chief Justice Roberts closed his speech with these words:
“Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and—as it did here—inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a Nation we have chosen a different course-to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.”
DUNCAN M c LACHLAN
FREE SPEECH FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT DESERVE IT. IN 2011, THE WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH WAS TAKEN TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR PICKETING NEXT TO MILITARY FUNERALS. AT FUNERALS, CHURCH MEMBERS HELD SIGNS DECLARING THAT DEATH IN THE WARS OF AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ WAS AMERICA’S PUNISHMENT BY GOD FOR THE TOLERANCE OF HOMOSEXUALITY.
Unfortunately, this tolerance of free speech is the exception and not the rule around the world. In most countries, free speech is only granted to the voice of the majority; the voice of those expressing favourable, morally appropriate views. Under the guise of hate speech legislation, governments worldwide seek to restrict and limit the thoughts of the populous. Freedom of speech is a right and not a privilege. That right becomes devoid of value as soon as the state steals it from the mouths of the extreme.
ju stic e People normally support hate speech laws because they believe the words spoken sow the seeds for harmful acts of violence against vulnerable groups. Their logic is flawed. Voices should never be silenced even if the indirect result of their speech would be more suffering and deaths. In many other areas of our lives, we would not ban an activity just because it is distantly responsible for future physical harm. Consider this: guns can kill people. Yet, they can also be used quite harmlessly for playful sports such as duck shooting. Should we lock up those who sell hunting rifles just because some people who get them then go out and use them in murderous killing sprees? We wouldn’t punish a boxing coach just because his boxer went out and beat someone up even though the coach is responsible for his boxer inflicting such harm. Hopefully, you would also find it bizarre and wrong to punish the boxing coach and the gun seller for their distant role in the eventuating harm. They didn’t actually physically harm anyone and so they shouldn’t be censured. That same logic applies to the committers of hate speech. Their words may move others to violence but we should grant them the benefits of having free speech because their own thoughts are too distant from the actual harm to be considered materially relevant. What’s more, there is value in airing these despicable ideas. For, just as one person may be moved by them to violence, many others will respond and rubbish them in the public arena. Extremist views need to be critiqued, not banished from examination. In America, free speech has been protected and the views of extremists are debated and dismissed. That discourse disappears when you force extremists to only talk in private. It is impossible to change extremist opinions when we aren’t even granted the right to listen and respond to them. Last year, Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, allowed UK buses to display advertisements which exclaimed that “there’s probably no God.” This year the same London mayor banned the Core Issues Trust, a Christian group, from displaying on buses that being Gay was something one could and should get over. Both instances of free speech are extremely offensive and would cause emotional harm to those targeted. The former questions one’s belief system; the latter, their sexuality. Why was only one banned?
It is because what is deemed offensive and worthy of censure is subjective. What you and I are offended by differs because the harm hinges upon our own interpretations of the words that are spoken. Thus, politicians must rely on the subjective thoughts of the majority to decide what is worthy of hate speech. Even though hate speech laws weren’t employed to ban the religious ads on buses, the example aptly illustrates the random approach to the right to free speech taken by legislators.
version is criminal. That has led to the arrest of British Historian David Irving for suggesting that Hitler did not in fact intend to exterminate the Jewish race. David Irving’s ‘opinion’ is grotesque but we must protect his views in order to not restrict the proliferation of more legitimate opinions and revisions to the history of the Second World War.
In New Zealand, our understanding of the interaction between Maori and Pakeha remains a hotly debated issue even though "EXTREMIST VIEWS NEED TO BE CRITIQUED, many of the conclusions NOT BANISHED FROM EXAMINATION." are offensive to Maori. Concluding that Maori had no control over their future and Free speech is curtailed only in instances instead were overwhelmed by Pakeha is where the majority considers the group a legitimate interpretation of our history. offended particularly important. One We allow that opinion because the pursuit is punished for inciting religious, of greater historical certainty is considered ethnic or homophobic hatred but not more valuable than the potential for for inciting hatred based on wealth or people to be offended by our perception of age or employment. If someone was to their ancestors. write about how disgusting it is to be a prostitute, it would be hugely offensive World War II is rightly an important to everyone who worked in that industry, issue for Germany and Austria. However, yet it wouldn’t be considered hate speech. the Government’s blunt use of hate Why is their emotional harm considered speech legislation doesn’t inform the less valid? public of the ills of the past. Instead, it stifles discussion, preventing true The subjective nature of hate creates appreciation of the past. No one wants laws that do not treat groups equally. It to learn about the past if there is only is a lovely idea for the State to seek to one version of it, especially when the protect individuals from emotional harm. Government preaches that version. For However, the State only exacerbates the the value and desire to understand history emotional trauma of others when it sends comes through continual revision and a signal that society does not value their debate. You want people to engage in issues; when the Government protects history. That only happens when they’re against race-based but not employmentable to see more than one opinion: when based hate, it makes many members of they’re not just given a spreadsheet of society feel excluded and abandoned facts by the Government and ordered to by their society. That is an institutional consider it ‘the truth’. It is unfortunate problem of hate speech, which, without that that means David Irving’s thoughts one of Plato’s mythical philosopher kings, will be listened to but it is necessary to cannot be solved. allow them for real and valuable historical Hate speech legislation doesn’t content debate. A state censured version of the itself with restricting people's views of past is stale and disconnects society from the present but grants the State the right valuing and remembering actions in to limit our interpretations of history. history. The study of history depends upon an Justice Roberts and seven other members appreciation of its continual evolution. of the Supreme Court rightly considered Pieter Geyl, a Dutch historian, accurately freedom of speech more important than claimed that history is “an argument the emotional harm and indirect physical without end.” Our understanding of our harm it engenders. The world does not past shifts due to our different points need a First Amendment to realise the of reference, our focuses, our intentions value of speech. It is essential for our and preconceptions of the narrative of ability to live in an intellectual society. It the past. Yet in Germany and Austria, is invalid when only granted to those with historians are put in jail for suggesting which we are comfortable. Hate speech a different interpretation of World War legislation must be repealed. We must II. The State has declared one version of fight for free speech. ▲ events to objectively be the only version of events and any deviation from that
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HUGO M c KINNON
A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO THE UREREWA FOUR AND THE SEARCH AND SURVEILLANCE ACT.
n 2006 it came to the attention of the New Zealand police that “military style training camps” were being held on private land in the Urerewas, headed by Tuhoe iwi separatist Tame Iti. Attendees were taught how to use firearms and molotov cocktails. They included Pakeha anarchists and environmental activists. On October 15 2007, the police began a series of raids across the country, detaining sixteen people in connection with the camps. Four more were arrested later. Initially there was little protest from the rest of the country; citizens need to be protected from armed protesters. But then the police accused the arrested of being terrorists. In turn, the police were accused of overreacting and harassment.
When the police tried to charge twelve defendants under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 they were unable to do so. The act was so poorly drafted it couldn’t be applied in domestic cases. Ultimately, eighteen were to be tried under the Arms Act 1983 instead. Five, including Iti, were also charged with participation in an organised criminal group. One defendant died, leaving four. The police gathered much of their evidence using warrants under the Terrorism Suppression Act but, because they could not press charges under the act, the evidence was unusable. The law at the time of the investigation also provided no provision for police to lawfully place surveillance cameras on private land. They did it anyway—without a warrant. Courts
sometimes allow illegally obtained evidence to be used in prosecutions of a serious nature, but the Supreme Court ruled that illegally obtained evidence could not be used against those only facing firearms charges. The charges were dropped against those thirteen. The jury for the remaining four found them guilty of the firearm charges but were unable to reach a verdict on the charges of participation in an organised criminal group. The decision on whether there will be a retrial will be announced in May. In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, Government decided they needed to give police the power to legally obtain evidence by video surveillance, so they passed the temporary Video Camera Surveillance Act in October
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2011. But it attacked defendants’ rights. It was retroactive, applying to actions before the law's passage, meaning that video evidence gathered before the law came into effect was able to be used as evidence. Defendants that may have been found innocent under the ruling of the Supreme Court could now be found guilty by evidence that was, at the time, unlawfully gathered. Furthermore, some crimes may have been committed on the presumption that video evidence could not be used against the perpetrators. The Act constituted a form of entrapment and meant people had unknowingly incriminated themselves. Retroactivity is a slippery slope. How can an individual be confident that his lawful acts today will not be retrospectively made illegal tomorrow?
October 2007 Sixteen are detained in connection to “military style training camps” in the Urerewa mountain range. November 2007 The Solicitor General declines prosecution under the Terrorism Suppression Act. The sixteen are charged under the Arms Act instead. February - April 2008 Four more people are arrested and charged under the Arms Act. September 2008 Two of the defendants are discharged.
The Act was succeeded by the Search and Surveillance Act on April 18 this year. Many say this continues to violate the rights of citizens. The act gives the ability to conduct covert surveillance to over 70 government agencies, many of which do not have a complaints department through which they can be held accountable. It is puzzling why many of these departments need the power to conduct surveillance. Under the Act, colleagues, friends and family of a suspect can be put under surveillance even before the suspect is even charged.
October 2008 Five of the defendants are charged with participation in an organised criminal group. July 2011 One of the five defendants dies. September 2011 The thirteen defendants facing charges under only the Arms Act are discharged after the Supreme Court rules that unlawfully obtained video evidence cannot be used against them.
It is Parliament’s responsibility to ensure the law gives the police the necessary powers to investigate legally and efficiently. They have now overextended these powers. It is also their responsibility to ensure citizens are protected from the abuse of these powers; they have not. People are concerned that Parliament is not acting in the best interests of its citizens, and even if it were, whether they can rely on the
October 18 2011 The retroactive Video Camera Surveillance Act 2011 becomes law. Police can now conduct video surveillance legally.
"DEFENDANTS THAT MAY HAVE BEEN FOUND INNOCENT UNDER THE RULING OF THE SUPREME COURT COULD NOW BE FOUND GUILTY BY EVIDENCE THAT WAS UNLAWFULLY GATHERED." police to act within the bounds of the law. If Parliament believes that it is acting in citizens best interests then its perception of the right to privacy differs greatly from those who oppose the act. ▲
February 13 2012 The trial against the remaining four defendants begins. March 20 1012 A jury finds the four guilty of their firearm charges but is unable to reach a verdict on the charges of participating in an organised criminal group. April 18 2012 The Search and Surveillance Act 2012 supersedes the Video Surveillance Act.
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FINDING FOOD FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS ‘ON YOUR WAY TO WORK, YOU PASS A SMALL POND... A CHILD IS SPLASHING ABOUT IN THE POND’, ETHICIST PETER SINGER BEGINS, RETELLING HIS FAMOUS THOUGHT EXPERIMENT (IF YOU KNOW IT, BEAR WITH ME). YOU REALISE THE CHILD IS DROWNING, AND ‘WADING IN IS EASY AND SAFE, BUT YOU WILL RUIN THE NEW SHOES YOU BOUGHT ONLY A FEW DAYS AGO, AND GET YOUR SUIT WET AND MUDDY... WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?’ SINGER USES THIS NO-BRAINER TO CONFRONT US WITH THE SUGGESTION THAT WE’RE ALL ACCESSORIES TO NUMEROUS ‘DROWNINGS’ EACH TIME WE GO SHOPPING. OUR SUPERMARKETS ARE ALL ASPLASH WITH UNDERPAID WORKERS, ENDANGERED ORANGUTANS, CAGED HENS AND WATERWAYS SACRIFICED FOR FICKLE STOMACHS.
ju stic e food for sale" through more centralised regulation of small scale food trading. The amendments will require anyone wishing to, for example, sell homemade jam at a market or supply surplus plums to a local dairy to register with a fee and Food Safety Plans, or apply for exemption. They will be subject to inspection by designated
“A 2009 OECD STUDY RANKED NEW ZEALAND AS THIRD TO BOTTOM FOR CHILD HEALTH, ALONG WITH MEXICO AND TURKEY."
et if you ask cultural critic Slavoj Zizek, supermarket purchasing has become an overloaded activity. Advertisers know that we don’t neglect our consciences, and appeal to them constantly: "You don’t just buy coffee... you buy your redemption from being only a consumerist. You do something for the environment, you do something to help starving children in Guatemala, you do something to restore the sense of community here, and so on."
So perhaps the problem we really face is which submersion to prevent first. The underpaid worker, the caged hen, paltry bank balance, sustainable local business, the economy's backbone, its carbon footprint, algal rivers, overfished seas, disappearing bees, our own good health. A responsible choice is hard to make if your conscience resembles the world in a food fight.
One cause could be considered the encapsulation of all of these competing goods and interests: the need for New Zealand children to have sustainable access to locally produced nutrition. I can’t find a compelling argument against striving for that, so let’s see if we can beeline through Singer’s pond to fish this one out. It will require us to consider policy, purchasing— and beware of algal bloom. Up and down Aotearoa, dairy waste pollutes waterways with nitrogen, phosphorous and faecal bacteria (in 2010 it was reported that our dairy industry also accounts for half our greenhouse gas emissions and consumes a quarter of the world’s production of palm kernel extract). Perhaps then, supporting small dairy cooperatives and local farmers’ markets would be a good start. If you agree, you’ll be interested in our Food Safety Minister’s proposed ‘updates’ to the Food Bill. They aim "to achieve safety and suitability of all
Food Safety Officers (rather than local authorities—an additional ‘update’ also enables homes to be searched).
The rationale is that food products make up 50 per cent of New Zealand’s exports, and according to the Minister, "a domestic food regulatory regime is the basis for exports." The regulations are not intended for backyard and neighbourhood food growing and swapping, but the cost and red tape will present a major disincentive to small, local growers wishing to supply local businesses and consumers such as yourself. The bill is shrouded in rhetoric about minimising health and safety risks, but is attempting to protect the status of all food items as commodities really in the interest of public health? Public health is after all an urgent interest: a 2009 OECD study ranked New Zealand as third to bottom for child health, along with Mexico and Turkey. Something tells me this statistic has little to do with excessive unregulated trading of fresh, locally grown produce. It might however be influenced by our status as the only country in the developed world taxing fruit and vegetables. In a nation suffering from epidemics of child diabetes and obesity, sensible moves in the interest of public health might entail removing GST from fruit and vegetables and encouraging the easy movement of fresh food within communities. Over-regulation to protect revenue from food production seems less clearly helpful.
Consider that this Food Bill is coming from the same Government that reintroduced junk food and sugary soft drinks into schools. The initial removal was legislation in the interests of public health—protecting children from aforementioned diabetes and obesity epidemics as well as the associated strain on our health system. When that legislation was revoked, Anne Tolley stated her opposition to the "confusing" red tape and top-down policing of what she said were domestic decisions. A change of tune
now: confusing, top-down overregulation of trade in food seems not, anymore, to be such a big problem. Another factor in our child obesity epidemic: New Zealand children on their way to and from school are major sponsors of the fast food industry, according to Canterbury University studies. These revealed that fast-food outlets are 5.5 times more likely to be clustered around schools than other areas—so the Secondary Principals’ Association (SPANZ) is now appealing for restrictions on what these outlets can sell during certain hours. They are also three times more likely to be in poorer areas than rich (poor areas had 24.5 fast-food and convenience stores per 1000 pupils within 800 metres of a school, compared with 9.7 in richer areas). The children targeted thus, are the same children affected by the GST on fruit and veges; the over 80,000 New Zealand children reported in 2007 as not getting breakfast before school each day. Welcome to the poverty trap.
Ironically, this commodified food industry also churns out a major global food surplus. Last year, a UN study confirmed that roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — is lost or goes to waste. Wellingtonian Robyn Langlands initiated Kaibosh to address this situation at home. Kaibosh is New Zealand’s first ‘food rescue’ business, with a mission to ‘see a Wellington where no food good enough to eat goes to waste’ and match food surplus with need and hunger. Kaibosh picks up about 700 kilos of surplus food per week - mainly from small businesses like Wishbone, Bunnings Cafe, Simply Paris, Bordeaux Bakery as well as the Newtown and harbourside markets. The logistics of managing food safety regulation largely prevents them from receiving goods from supermarkets, and Kaibosh advocates the inclusion of a ‘Good Samaritan’ clause in the Food Bill. The food industry surplus, fast food and its target markets, GST on fruit and vegetables, the environmental impact of our dairy industry, the Food Bill. All these influence the capacity for us to provide New Zealand children with easy and sustainable access to locally grown nutrition. How we choose to address the situation through our consumer decisions is up to us as individuals. Collectively, let’s make sure our legislation supports the health of our kids. It’s not that complicated. It’s just food. ▲
I n a c w Ho vice seek ad lp? and he VUWSA can provide help with lots of general issues. These may relate to academic matters, disability, mental health, appeals, accommodation, WINZ, Studylink, Hardship Assistance or general complaints. For more information or to arrange an appointment please contact our Student Advocate directly on email@example.com or 463 6984. Alternatively check out www.vuwsa.org.nz Feel free to visit us anytime at the VUWSA Kelburn Office, Level 2, Student Union Building
✏ ARTS ✏
VI S U A L A RTS privilege at having been allowed in to this hallowed sanctum. But, as I was to discover, this was only the beginning.
PHILLIP BEESLEY’S VESICA ✏ ROBERT KELLY (VISUAL ARTS EDITOR)
The visual world of Phillip Beesely’s Vesica is utterly intoxicating and enchanting. I got into the exhibit just after the City Gallery opened and had the privilege of being the first into the work on that day. This meant that the scene which I encountered was still and serene, a contemplative prehistoric garden just waiting for my arrival.
This in itself is a remarkably humbling experience. Often to instill a sense of awe, sculptors and artists work on a large scale to make the viewer feel tiny and insignificant. Beesley has travelled down the opposite path in this exhibit, creating a manicured and gentle little world that leaves the viewer with a real sense of
Vesica is a structural work, but the viewer is invited to stroll inside it, interacting with the plethora of different forms. It took me by surprise when a paper flower next to me began to unfurl, until I worked out that I had touched the tendril of wire descending from it. The next half hour was a frantic journey of exploration, driven by a compulsion to discover what else in this bizarre dimension I could affect. This meant that, when the German tourists arrived into Beesley’s work, it was well and truly alive in a way that it had not been for me. Booming sonic resonances, twittering and gyrating wires, lights illuminating small flasks of olive oil suspended in the air by barely visible wires; all contributed to a graceful symphony. The gallery assistant described the scene as futuristic, but, to me, it spoke of the first life forming in warm waters, a world beginning to drag itself into life. Although somewhat unnerving, Vesica is more than an exhibit; it’s a challenge and an adventure, one which everyone should experience. Take a friend, create a world. Vesica is completely free and is running until the 10th of June.
The artist pokes fun at the cosmetics industry by identifying each of her models with names given to actual lipsticks like ‘Rouge Pur’, ‘Red Temptation’ and ‘Forbidden Red’. These titles eroticise the ‘feminine mystique’, using it as a marketing ploy. The juxtaposition between sexualised marketing and a supposedly vulgar substance raises questions about what aspects of femininity are deemed presentable and why.
REIMAGINING MENSTRUATION ✏ THOMAS PHILLIPS
Ever since Leviticus taught us that a menstruating woman contaminates everything that she touches, periods have been getting a bad rap as ‘impure’ or ‘filthy’. Luckily, in the wake of the Woman’s Rights Movement, the notion of menstrual taboo began to be redressed and menses became a symbol of female oppression. Period blood subsequently became a powerful medium in feminist art, spawning a genre called ‘Mensala’. One such example is Ingrid BerthonMoine’s 2009 photographic series Red is
the Colour, in which twelve women are depicted wearing their menstrual blood as lipstick. The photographs call on their viewers to question the socially constructed view that menstruation ought to be a private ordeal. Berthon-Moine drew inspiration for the project by comparing modern Western behaviour to that of ancient Austrian tribes, many of which venerated their monthly blood by smearing it around mouths—arguably making lipstick one of the world’s first cosmetics. 31
Berthorn-Moine lampoons this unnecessary secrecy further by presenting menses as an integral part of every woman’s life. Each portrait follows the conventions of a passport photo, symbolising menarche, a kind of passport that signals the journey towards feminine maturity. Inevitably, many forms of Mensala are dismissed as shock-mongering and indecent, often highlighting how relevant the menstrual taboo still is. Red is the Colour, while undeniably provocative is, is in no way transgressive or culturally polluting. The work is forward-looking; it asks people to consider the feminine reality in a far more direct way than they are used to and stimulates cultural evolution.
✏ ARTS ✏
style by lead vocalist Mark Turner.
THE EVERSONS - SUMMER FEELING ✏ ADAM GOODALL (ARTS EDITOR)
There’s something perverse about a indie band slapping a name like Summer Feeling on their first LP. It’s the kind of uninspiring, noncommittal, utterly beige title that would have been derided as such in the late 1950s. The album cover, as hilariously awkward as it is, doesn’t do much better—all it suggests is a whitebread johnny-come-lately to the surf rock revival of 2009-2010, albeit one with a little bit more self-awareness than most. Make no mistake, surf rock revival is an influence on The Eversons, with hints of Best Coast and Surfer Blood milling around in the mix. But nothing on
Summer Feeling ever feels like the goofy, socially-awkward little brother of Crazy for You, which is a damn relief. Rather, the album owes its greatest debts to Pavement and that New Zealand institution, ‘The Dunedin Sound’. Like national indie icons The Clean, The Verlaines and The Chills, The Eversons peddle a sound driven by jangly guitars and backing harmonies that play off both the lead vocals and the instruments themselves, echoing guitar lines and choruses to create a lighter, more layered sound. And like the seminal Pavement, the lyrics are often smart, witty and delivered in an unproduced, honest could be manipulated to do whatever the holographic director wanted. ‘Pac never went to Coachella or gave a shout out, yet there he was, yelling “what’s up Coachella!?” in an alarmingly realistic way. For many viewers, this left many bells ringing: if they can imitate his voice, music and style, what exactly is stopping them from literally re-inventing Tupac as whatever they want?
TUPAC AIN’T LED ✏ PANAYIOTIS MATSIS
Fans of old school Gangsta rap were treated to an unusual resurrection at this year’s Coachella Festival, a desert weekend of cutting-edge music in California. Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg, notorious for being the greatest commercial sell-outs in the history of hip-hop, were tired of rehashing the talent of other producers and stooped to the lowest level of musical plagiarism: they recreated the deceased Tupac Shakur in holographic form to add to their own stage show. Technologically, it’s nothing new: we’ve had the capacity to create holograms at this level of detail for years. What is alarming is the ease of which Tupac
One must first realise that, for the majority of the people at Coachella, this was their first real exposure to Tupac himself. The youth of today didn’t really grow up with ‘Pac on the boom box; many only know him by his name and infamy. They have no point of reference to what Tupac Shakur was all about, what his deal and background and message was. Thusly, there is a real and distinct possibility to ‘reinvent’ Tupac into whatever Dre or Snoop want the man to be. The outcome won’t be necessarily negative or wrong, but there is no real way that we can assure we are acting in ‘Pac’s best interests. Tupac has been dead for over 15 years, and while he was resting in peace, the rap game most certainly was not. No longer...
continued on pg 43 32
The half-hour LP isn’t without its missteps, in particular the Phoenix Foundation-meets-'Most Beautiful Girl in the Room' blob of nothing that is 'Sell It To Me', a song where Turner’s normallyreliable delivery injects a horribly cringeworthy pun into the lines “A cure for cancer, for AIDS, for the common cold/I need security before I get old.” However, Summer Feeling regularly transcends its tragic title with a spirited, appealing riff on the Dunedin Sound and a solid helping of self-deprecating humour; indeed, the album is at its best when it focuses on that latter element. Tracks such as ‘So Down’, ‘Creepy’, and ‘You’re Just a Friend’ play on the interaction between Turner’s earnest, conversational delivery and the backing vocalists, their blunt reality bombs infusing the tracks with a mocking self-awareness; the technique comes to a head in ‘Marriage’, which casts Turner against type as an asshole who dreams about getting married, but is shot down by backing harmonies declaring him a “fucking jerk” and “unattractive man,” only for him to run with these labels and start singing about knocking up his girlfriend so he can trap her in a marriage. It’s the best track on a great album, one that continues The Eversons’ surprisingly speedy rise to the top of the Wellington indie scene.
THE VBC 88.3FM
TOP 5 SONGS TO LISTEN TO BEFORE YOUR
COURT HEARING 1. PUBLIC ENEMY YOU'RE GONNA GET YOURS
2. JUSTICE D.A.N.C.E
3. BOB DYLAN
4. NELSON MANDELA THE SEPCIAL A.K.A
5. POLICE TRUCK DEAD KENNEDY'S
F I LM
✏ ARTS ✏
surprisingly self-deprecating, relentlessly ribbing its own genre conventions, as well as the fact that it is a remake (at one point, the police chief dryly tells Schmidt and Jenko that the police bosses are out of ideas, and have to start recycling old ones).
But about halfway though, things start to go awry. The film ditches its situational, role-reversal comedy and metamorphoses, strangely, into an intense action flick. Schmidt and Jenko find themselves dashing from car chase to shoot-out, and back again. It seems almost as if the writers got tired half-way through the screenplay, and simply injected standard action fare into what had previously been a witty and amusing film. The second half is still entertaining, and occasionally very funny, but it doesn’t scale the same heights as the first.
21 JUMP STREET ✏ MICHAEL KUMOVE
DIRECTED BY PHIL LORD AND CHRIS MILLER 21 Jump Street promises a lot. It’s been wellreviewed, and the premise is entertaining: two new police recruits are sent undercover in their old high school, with the aim of busting a teenage drug ring. The film stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as Officers Schmidt and Jenko. In their own high-school years, Schmidt had been a dork and a loser, while Jenko
was a popular jock. They head undercover expecting to reprise their old high-school personas—but of course, the opposite happens. Schmidt manages to fall in with the cool kids, and Jenko is relegated to hanging out with a group of science geeks (spoiler alert: hijinks ensue). The film is genuinely funny, with much of the comedy coming from Schmidt and Jenko’s unexpected role reversal. It‘s also
21 Jump Street could have been a great film, but given the second half, it is merely very good. Hill and Tatum’s chemistry is really the beating heart of the piece—they play off each other well and although Tatum isn’t the most talented actor out there, he is a natural choice for the likeable knucklehead Jenko. The film has wit, heart, and self-awareness, and these qualities ensure that it is entertaining from start to finish.
ways. There’s something so absurd and darkly humorous about so many of the realities these people must endure, particularly in regards to religion, yet never does the film feel phony or forced.
A SEPERATION ✏ MARK ROULSTON
The latest success story from the fascinating Iranian New Wave cinema, A Separation follows the legal struggle between middle class Nader (Peyman Moadi), juggling a career and the responsibility for his daughter while caring for his alzheimer’s stricken father, and housekeeper Razieh (Sareh Bayat), equally burdened by her pregnancy and the need to earn money following her husband’s redundancy.
When their two lives clash following a disagreement that ends in tragedy, such an endlessly frustrating situation is born that the film is at times exhausting to watch, yet always completely compelling. A Separation is a glimpse into a world not often seen by foreign audiences, the day to day minutiae of life in relatively affluent Iranian society, where class and religious beliefs come into conflict in unexpected
Writer/director Asghar Farhadi imbues the film with a delicate exploration of what constitutes sin in Iranian society. As each character gets drawn deeper and deeper into the dilemma and the blame game spirals out of control, so too does the narrative style constantly circle back on itself, while often seeming to overcomplicate rather than heading towards a resolution. A Separation is maddening by design, representative of what seems to be an incredibly intricate and baffling bureaucratic system, and compounded by archaic religious doctrine and difficult social politics.
At times heartbreaking in its exploration of morality and faith, it’s by no means an easy film. However for anyone willing to step outside their comfort zone, it’s a rewarding experience, with much to take in and no doubt discuss afterwards. DIRECTED BY ASGHAR FARHADI.
Correction: In last week’s issue, the online review of The Swell Season was incorrectly attributed. The correct author was Erika Webb.
B O O KS
✏ ARTS ✏
journal. Veronica is reluctantly pulled back into Tony’s life as he attempts to decipher exactly what happened all those years ago. In terms of characterisation, the novel leaves something to be desired. Veronica’s enigmatic aloofness becomes frustrating when we meet her again—she seems to have failed to develop at all, and the reader is left questioning this: is it a deliberate ploy to show us the debilitating effects Adrian has had on her life, or just producing an unlikeable character? Her stunted growth, and Tony’s infuriating obtuseness, contribute to the claustrophobia of the second half of the novel, which fails to measure up to the promise of the first.
THE SENSE OF AN ENDING
✏ ALEXANDRA HOLLIS
The Sense of an Ending is Julian Barnes’s eleventh novel and was seen as a triumph on its publication last year. Amongst numerous other accolades, it won the 2011 Man Booker prize, and for good reason. Barnes’s prose is clear and melodic, exploring the fallibility of memory in subtle and exciting ways. He bends and manipulates time, proving to his readers that the past is never really dead.
The novel is told through the eyes of Tony, who falls in love with a girl named Veronica. They date for a while, break up, and she begins an affair with his old friend Adrian, who later kills himself. Years later, Tony is a retired divorcee when he receives a letter from Veronica’s solicitor. Her mother has left him money in her will, along with pages from Adrian’s
Ultimately, The Sense of an Ending does what it says on the packet. It is a bleak, uncompromising account of that fear that we all have; that one day we will look back on our lives and be disappointed and confused by what we find there. Tony is left clinging to failed acquaintances and old mistakes (his closest relationship is with his ex-wife), living in the past as a way of avoiding the future. It’s not a laugh-aminute page-turner, but it is a gorgeous book and well worth reading.
the production of the Symphony, a realistic (and historically accurate) account that emphasises the heroism and sacrifice that lead to the Symphony, and how important that symphony was to the people of Leningrad at the time.
THE CONDUCTOR ✏ KURT BARBER (BOOKS EDITOR)
Having only a minimal interest in classical music (at best), I was wary of picking up Sarah Quigley’s The Conductor. It’s an historical novel which details the development and eventual performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, a performance hindered by its being produced and performed in Leningrad during the 1941-42 Nazi Siege of Leningrad.
This juxtaposition creates a perfect source of conflict that lingers throughout the novel. Quigley’s characters are almost exclusively involved in the music industry,
and Quigley’s depiction of the craft of music is incredible, creating a true sense of every stage in the orchestral process, from Shostakovich’s obsessive composing to Eliasburg’s rather pedantic but dedicated role as the orchestra’s conductor. This depiction of high culture is offset by incredibly visceral and gritty depictions of life in a besieged city—starvation, bombing runs and exposure are constant threats to every character in the novel. No one is ever comfortable or safe after the siege begins, a fact depicted as feeding into 34
The characters of The Conductor are so well-developed it is impossible not to be drawn in by them. The external conflict of Leningrad is mirrored in the internal conflict of the characters’ lives. Shostakovich is depicted as emotionally distant but inherently sympathetic, a man whose domestic life suffers for his near obsessive love of Leningrad, which he expresses via his music and by his service as a fire-watcher and ditch-digger. He makes the perfect contrast for Karl Eliasburg, the eponymous conductor, whose constant attempts to gain recognition for his ability are marred by his pedanticism, his lack of confidence or social grace, the domestic problems that plague his own house and his inferiority complex contrasted with the godlike Shostakovich. The ultimate effect is that Quigley’s story feels less like a historical period piece or drama, and more like a snapshot of real people responding to a horrible situation, using the medium of music to express and sustain themselves in times of terrible turmoil.
✏ ARTS ✏
TH EATRE WHATS ON ABOUT TOWN BATS Bombs Away! Created and Performed by Barnaby Frederic, Ryan Richards, & Nic Sampson. The tag-line “an explosive new bomb-themed musical” is interesting enough... Runs 1 to 5 May, 6:30pm. Tickets: $20/$14 The Pitch Irene Pink and Justine Smith. A sketch show combining multimedia, music, and spoken comedy. What fun! Runs 1 to 5 May, 8:00pm. Tickets: $20/$14 Constantinople Theatre Beating. Like the song asks—why change the name of the city? Well, just watch as Constantine explains the history to you... Runs 2 to 5 May 9:30pm. Tickets: $20/$14 CIRCA Shortcut To Happiness By Roger Hall. Directed by Ross Jolly. A young, beautiful immigrant and a middleaged widower are thrown together during dance classes. A touching portrayal of immigrant experiences. Runs until 26 May, Tuesday and Wednesday 6pm, Thursday to Saturday 8pm, Sunday 4pm. Tickets: Adults $46, Students $38, <25 $25 TOI PONEKE GALLERY Lucrece: An Adaptation of Shakespeare's The Rape of Lucrece By Binge Culture Collective. A stirring performance that interrogates the power balances inherent in rape. Runs Thursday and Friday until 11 May, 6:30pm. Entry by koha. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
RAPE: NOT OUR FUTURE ✏ NEAL BARBER (THEATRE EDITOR)
The perceptive reader may have noticed that the lofty organ of student journalism you are currently fondling is loosely themed. The even more perceptive reader may have noticed that said theme has, until now, not invaded the sacrosanct space of the theatre section. Oh no, gentle readers all, it is just that I couldn’t be bothered aligning our weekly missive with the theme. Theatre lecturers constantly spouted a mantra at their fledgling practitioners: “break the routine.” Good advice. And when the theme of justice coincides with a new work about rape, one of the most destructive crimes? Well, that is just an apposition too perfect to be let go without at least a gesture of indulging it.
A couple of weeks ago, Lucrece—a dramatisation of Shakespeare’s narrative poem, The Rape of Lucrece, premiered. This production—conceived and directed by VUW Masters student Fiona McNamara—staged an abbreviated version of the first third of the poem. And what a challenging abbreviation it is! My intention here is not to review the production (this is available online), but to consider gender, power, and rape.
After the production there was a forum so the audience and creatives could interrogate issues arising from the evening. My companion commented afterwards that “the play was good but the discussion was positively terrible.” I disagree. One interesting point that arose is the prevailing belief that only women are raped and all men are rapists. This view reached its apotheosis when one of the audience members suggested that all young men grow up to be rapists if they do not learn to control their desires for the female body. Here is not the place to unravel such a comment completely, but it does illustrate how one of the purposes of rape is to police gender codes. In a way, it also reduces the subject positions available to women who, in this conception, are only the vulnerable, powerless, subjects at the mercy of the active, violent, objects that are men. Why is it that a female rapist just doesn’t occur to the general public? Is it because a women in such a position is too abhorrent to even contemplate? Thankfully, this is not a question Lucrece tries to provide a neat, succinct answer to. 35
McNamara writes in the “Director’s Note” that she was interested in investigating “what happens to a performance and to an audience when the female body is present and the male body is absent.” She could have gone further to say, "what happens when the female body stands in for a male one?" The ravisher is at once the 'female' body, the 'male' character, and the 'female' actor. What she makes clear throughout Lucrece is not only that females can be survivors of female-onfemale rape, but also that anyone is able to take that one step too far and take what someone else is not willing to give; the act of stopping upon hearing that “no” is at once one of the easiest and one of the hardest things to do. As one of the audience members succinctly summarised the issue: rape is about entitlement. That is, we become rapists when we feel we are entitled to something that we are, actually, not. Thinking in these terms, we leave behind the constraining conceptions of the aggressive male and victimised female. Instead, we have a personalised understanding of just how easily our desire turns dark.
REPRESENTATION & SERVICES ✋
PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS ✏
BRIDIE HOOD YOUR STUDENTS’
At the VUWSA Initial General Meeting a few weeks ago, students voted to pass the 2012-2015 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan highlights the goals and projects that students have directed VUWSA to achieve in the coming 3 years.
One of the key projects in the Strategic Plan is to review the current structure of the Executive, which governs VUWSA. The last time that the governance structure of VUWSA was reviewed was in 1989. The purpose of this review, as I understand, was to make VUWSA operate under more of a business model—with a small Executive focused on high level, strategic operations of the Association. A lot has happened to VUWSA’s governance structure since 1989. We’ve had new portfolios established (Women’s Rights, Queer, Environment and International Officers), new committees established, significant staff restructuring and most recently the introduction of Voluntary Student Membership. When running for VUWSA President, I campaigned on the promise of holding a Governance Review. Given the large amount of time it has been since we last properly looked at our Executive and the new challenges VUWSA now faces, such as VSM, it is about time we had a decent
look at our governance structure. Not only what portfolios we should have, the review encompasses other issues and activities related to governance such as elections, remuneration and general meetings.
To ensure that VUWSA continues to develop as an effective student-led organisation we need to ensure that we have a robust, effective and accountable governance structure. If the overarching goal of the VUWSA Executive is to further the nine goals outlined in the VUWSA Constitution, then what sort of governance structure best achieves this task?
This is the ultimate goal of the Governance Review—to find this ‘best structure’. The first step of this is through the release of a Green Paper. Over the last few weeks the Governance Review Committee, comprised of VUWSA, alumni and student representatives have been hard at work putting together an initial document for student and stakeholder consultation. The purpose of this Green Paper is to get you starting to think more broadly and creatively about our current governance structure and how we might do things a bit differently. In the paper we have set out how things currently run, but we have also provided readers with some ideas on how other students’ associations nationally and 36
internationally do things a bit differently.
The main thing to remember about this review is that everything is up for revision. Come 2013 we might have a radically different Executive or we might have the status quo with a few tweaks here and there to get it performing a bit better. But none of this will be possible without your contribution. VUWSA is your students’ association. And because of that we want to hear your views. So check out the VUWSA website or facebook, download the Terms of Reference and tell us what you think. You can send in a submission, fill out a survey or else you can attend one of the Forums we will be holding and give us your opinion right there and then. Such big change like this does not come around very often—so make sure you get involved and take ownership of your students association.
And while you are submitting on the governance review—don’t forget to fill out the Student Experience improvement Survey that would have landed in your inboxes last week! Fill out ALL OF THE SURVEYS! Have a great week!
REPRESENTATION & SERVICES ✋
Holy mother of Steven Joyce, it’s week seven. Those of you who have transcended past the floaty and tractable pastures of first year will understand thoroughly, by this point, what week seven entails for unprepared students.
Week seven is the weaker-spirited sobbing in toilet cubicles post-test. It is the procrastinator’s comeuppance. It is the superficial, hostel-borne relationships obliterated by stress. It is petty in-fighting in the flat about whose shit has blocked the toilet again. If you live at home, you might get in trouble with Mum for inadvertently neglecting to do the dishes or wash the windows (NB: people who flat don’t do either of these things). In week seven, if you don’t have yourself sorted, everything begins to turn to shit. It is with considerable remorse that I remind you that the rotten word ‘studying’ is a malicious compounding of the sweet, spritely words ‘student’ and ‘dying’. Please
understand: this is no coincidence.
Honestly, I grimace when I think that you’ve all chosen this for yourselves. You’re all sadomasochists with a common penchant for spending thousands of dollars on education. When you opted to stay in your course of study without withdrawing before the end of week two, it meant that the chunky course outline you were handed out in the first week became a binding, formal contract between yourself and the university. If it sounds like I’m bitching, it’s only because I’m soured through my experiences riding on the same metaphorical circus wheel. Essentially, all of the assessment, academic policy, course content, and little niggly details became entrenched and unchangeable when you woke up still mournfully drunk in the Kelburn Park fountain on the third Monday morning of Trimester 1 (yes, all of you).
So if you’ve gone and caught yourself a bad case of week seven blues, I’m not about to stand beside you in false empathy. How’s this: pony up, suckers! You’re in this contract no matter how much you wallow on about it, so unless you want to lose your ~$750 investment per course, I suggest you stop reading this column and start doing some work.
While I can’t help you write your essay, I can help in other ways. We have all sorts available at VUWSA: if you have an individual academic grievance, or a complaint about something directly affecting your own study, you can have a chat to our independent advocate, Lorraine. She’s fantastic. Otherwise, if a lecturer pulls a surprise test change on a class, or if they change anything in the course outline, then you can set Fiona (our Education Organiser) and I on the job to patch things up. www.vuwsa.org.nz
THE ROLES WE PLAY ✏
Roles need to be defined as this helps any unit work efficiently. If the lines start to blur then we can lose our own identity if not put in check we can become good for nothing.
Our identity isn’t just developed in our lifetime, it’s found in those who have gone before us. Honour is important because we carry the mantle that they have passed on to us. We can’t forge our own destiny but we are the stewards of the destiny of our people. It is a good thing to look back at what has been achieved and what your tupuna believed. This is our model or point of reference. Do you think they would be happy with what you have become or ashamed? It’s a tough question. But it is important to realise that somewhere along the line someone did something with you
in mind, even if you weren’t even born yet.
Whether we like it or not we have to make a choice - to follow through on the work already begun knowing that we may never see its completion or receive honour for our part. The other option is to start from scratch; to overlook the path that has already been laid out for us and go our own way. The latter option may give you a life of enjoyment but it will not give you a life of fulfilment. In the days of old the women would take care of the young ones and keep the house in order while the men went out to war; today war would be more like taking care of business. These were specific roles and there was purpose to them. The women made sure the men were equipped to face whatever challenge came their way. They created clothing and other tools needed to 37
keep things in order. This allowed men to focus on what they needed to do, whether that was making sure there was food on the table or protecting the community from danger. Men and women complement each other; you can’t have one without the other. Men are no more important than women and vice versa. One offers something the other lacks. If we choose to live for the destiny of our people then we must choose to live according to the patterns that have already been established.
It means that each of us has our own role to play and we have to accept that role. We also must respect the role of others and realise its importance. Just as in the days of old when the man and the woman would serve one another we serve each other with our strengths.
‘HELLO’ FROM YOUR QUEER OFFICER ✏
Does the word ‘queer’ sound silly to you? Well, it shouldn’t. Recently, I’ve found myself in all sorts of interesting conversations, having divulged what my new (and awesome) role with VUWSA is this year.
‘Queer, like weird?’ ‘Uh, well, why don’t we have a straight officer?’ ‘Ha! Is that really a thing?’ ‘Do you actually get paid for that?’ Yes, really. Ladies, gentlemen and variations thereof, please withhold your shock and awe. I am the VUWSA Queer Officer.
My role on campus is really quite a simple one. The portfolio falls under the equity provision in VUWSA’s aims. For the same reason that there is an International Officer and a Women’s Officer, Queer Officers exist
REPRESENTATION & SERVICES ✋
throughout New Zealand universities to help ensure that the experience of tertiary education and the Uni environment is to an equal and exceptional standard for everyone. Language barriers, international fees, unawareness, sexism, homophobia and transphobia amidst factors too many to count entail that not everyone steps into university education on an even footing. We address inequalities and disadvantages, help create supportive, inclusive, likeminded communities and promote visibility and education.
Unsurprisingly, those who question the legitimacy of my position are also typically unacquainted with minority issues. These usually very charming white, intelligent, upper-middle class heterosexual gentlemen are merely expressing their well-meaning assumption that others share in their unwitting privilege, and are shocked to discover that not everyone belongs to their peachy insiders' club. Here’s a crash course: queer youth are still six times more likely to attempt suicide, phobic violence still occurs regularly in this very city and trans* and gay rights protections and legal entitlements are
still far from equal. Prejudice against gay youth still wrecks families and the research combatting this misinformation is hardly substantial—the cocktail of generalisations and homophobia in the media certainly reflects this. So, for those of you acquainted with my usually unfailingly bubbly writing style, the laws of the universe have seemingly been turned on their head. I’ll attempt to reset the balance with a few words of wisdom: Be nice to your gay mates, be open and understanding. It might mean more to them than they let on. Go read a blog or two about gay current events or sexuality issues. Remember, liberal straights are sexy straights. Finally, the issues that affect homos really do affect everyone. Equal rights, prejudice against alternative identities, rigid gender stereotypes, ignorance; issues such as these are never isolated to a single demographic. So get informed, get involved and most of all, get supportive. And as for my queer officer-ship? I’m hardly going to cure the whole world of these evils overnight. But y’know, one can try.
Tips for dealing with body image concerns: ▴▴
LIKE YOUR BODY ✏
LINDSEY PAUL, COUNSELLING INTERN
Have you thought if only you could be happy with your body, life would be much better? We are inundated with images on TV, in adverts, and in magazines of how we should look. And we’re often comparing ourselves to the airbrushed images we see everywhere—as well as comparing ourselves to how others look. Many students seeking counselling express having low self esteem and body image concerns. When asked about what they think of themselves, many students point out specific “flaws” and have a clear idea of what they would like to change, even if others (friends and family members) don’t see the same thing. Instead of seeing our qualities as “flaws,” can we learn to adopt a sense of beauty that’s more respectful and kind to all body types and features? Dr. Katherine Philips is a lead researcher on body dysmorphia and argues that being preoccupied with a physical feature
is much more serious than just having another “bad hair day”. Students struggling with this on a more severe level constantly find themselves looking in the mirror and have difficulty with daily activities. Typically, students with body dysmorphia focus on one or more physical features. For example, thinking their nose is too wide, their skin is too red, their hair is too thin, their breasts are too small, or their legs are too large. Both men and women can experience these feelings. This can have serious impacts on your life, as these worries can affect you on many levels like your uni-life, social life, and family-life. And it can lead to isolation and further anxiety. Often, students worry about being perceived as “vain” if they want to talk about some part of their body they don’t like. But this isn’t about being vain, it’s a serious issue—especially in our society where there’s loads of pressure to look a certain way. 38
Don’t shy away from seeking out support because you think others will view you as vain. When getting dressed, highlight certain features you like about yourself. Trust when friends or loved-ones say they don’t see the same characteristics as you see in yourself. Instead of viewing a part of yourself as negative (which creates a vicious negative thinking cycle), try to perceive it in a way that’s more neutral and accepting.
The Bodysense Group for Women:
For students who may have eating concerns, the Counselling Service offers a group called Bodysense. This is a women’s group that teaches body-focused nutrition and encourages students to think about food from a different perspective. The Bodysense Group meets for 6 sessions, and is offered twice during Trimester 1 and again in Trimester 2. To enrol into the Bodysense Group, or to make an appointment with a counsellor to talk about eating or body concerns: Call the Counselling Service at 04 463 5310 Email us at email@example.com Visit the reception desk on Level 1 of Mauri Ora (Student Union, Kelburn Campus)
⚡ COLUMNS ⚡
get into, because lube makes all penetrative sex a whole lot safer and more pleasurable for both parties. Roxy <3 Hi. Is it true that men can break their penises? I have a friend who says a friend of hers broke a dude’s penis, but I don’t believe her.
Men, please hold on tight, because this may be a bumpy ride. Yes, men’s penises can break during sex. It is not fun.
Yo, Roxy. I kinda have an issue. I’m a male arts student with an amazing girlfriend. We get on awesomely, but the sex just isn’t that good. Now, she is my first, but she complains that I take forever to cum and nothing she does seems to work like it should. She’s much more experienced than I am, and is pretty confident in bed, but her blow jobs and hand jobs and stuff just don’t feel that great. I know that it’s not me because when I masturbate it feels great and I have no issues, but with her I just don’t feel that it’s working. How can I help her get me off without her getting mad at me?
Let’s see, your experienced girlfriend (and let’s not doubt a woman who is willing to admit she is experienced; goddam slutshamers) tells you that her usual tricks aren’t working, and your first instinct is to blame her? Fo’ shame sir, fo’ shame. Roxy is going to have none of this, because when she puts her letter sleuthing-hat on, she can pretty clearly see what the problem is: you have broken your dick. Okay, so Roxy may have been a little over-dramatic, but the combination of “first girlfriend”, “wanks a lot”, “not feeling it” points pretty clearly to a single culprit: masturbation death grip. You have literally rubbed the life out of it. Now, let’s not be silly here. You haven’t actually destroyed your dick. It’s still there,
and it still works. In fact, while it may be red and sore every now and then (and I bet it is, isn’t it?), all of the nerve endings and stuff are still there. What will have happened is that you will have conditioned your brain away from enjoying wide ranging stimulus from your dick. Think of it like Pavlov’s dogs, but with pre-cum instead of saliva. Instead of salivating for food (i.e. touching), your brain now only reacts erotically to the very narrow feelings caused by the exact method you use to wank.
The solution? Basically, you need to take your dick on holiday and rekindle your relationship. Treat it nice. Be romantic. Rather than beating it to within an inch of its life as quickly as possible, set aside some quality time, go slow and try to experiment with subtler feelings and sensations. Try different hand positions, finger positions, and orientations. Try using less pressure, for longer. Try varying the pace. If you don’t already, Roxy also recommends you use lube. It will make the whole experience gentler, and give new avenues for experiencing the pleasure your body can offer. Also, it’s a good habit to
Perhaps the more common issue is tearing. Like any other fleshy part of the body, the penis and particularly the foreskin, can get caught on things (including in unfortunate cases, a vagina, if the sex is vigorous enough) and rip. Bleeding will ensue. Less common is what is called a “penile fracture”: the membrane that contains the spongy tissue that fills with blood during an erection tears, leaking blood into the surrounding flesh and causing bruising and intense pain. If this happens (and you will notice) Roxy is told a trip to the doctor is needed: they will stitch everything back together under anaesthetic. If this isn’t done, “complications” can arise. Roxy is no doctor, but “complications” and “penis” don’t sound like something a man should chance. Both of these sound frightening, but don’t worry: they’re pretty rare. Usually the problem will be careless thrusting into things that don’t yield (don’t drunkenly miss the vagina entirely), or attempts to do “novel” sex positions that go horribly wrong. Roxy’s advice is to use lots of lube, stop if anything hurts, and avoid putting the penis in load-bearing positions. Roxy <3.
If you have issues or concerns that you wish to discuss privately and confidentially with a professional, rather than a magazine columnist, Student Counselling Service can provide a safe place to explore such aspects of your life. The service is free and confidential. Phone 04 463 5310. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Mauri Ora, Level 1, Student Union Building.
JAMES REAVIS, BARON OF ARIZONA
OBSCURE HISTORICAL ODDITY OF THE WEEK
James Reavis was a man who tried to steal the state of Arizona–and nearly succeeded. Born in the deep American south in the distant 1840s, our Reavis made a living using his skills of forgery in the property market, correcting imperfect property titles for fiscal gain. But it was in the 1870s that our hero’s big break arose, when–in a fit of delirious self-grandeur–he hatched a sinister plan to become baron of Arizona. To snatch this stately prize, Reavis wove a wonderful web of deceit, manufacturing trails of false documents that asserted title 39
over thousands of acres of land, leaving a litany of lies in his wake and throughout the pages of history. But suspicions started to surface. People started asking questions. Reavis’ hefty claim was dismissed. And it was here that our tragic hero’s ego finally got the better of him, as he sued the US government for millions in damages, swiftly prompting a comprehensive investigation in which all of Reavis’ sordid lies were uncovered and Reavis was briskly sent to gaol. Several decades later, postpenitentiary, broke and destitute, the sorry life of James Reavis wound quietly–and unremarkably–to a close.
⚡ COLUMNS ⚡
YOU ALREADY KNOW
BUT JUST NEED
TO BE TOLD
SOMETIMES I REALLY JUST WANT YOU TO CHOKE TO DEATH ON YOUR OWN MISJUDGED IRONY ✏ UTHER
DEAN (CHIEF SAGE)
I am very well aware that beginning anything with the phrase ‘there are two kinds of people in the world’ is to readers what chewing tin foil is to teeth. It is the kind of lexicographic crime so heinous that I am sure you are tearing apart this very magazine right now or, if you are reading this online, you have just hurled your computer so hard through your wall that it is mere minutes away from completing its circle of the Earth to bop you on the enraged noggin. I know this, I know it’s shit and I’m sorry, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are two kinds of people in the world. There are the people who think they are hilarious but aren’t, and there are the people who think they are profound but aren’t.
Your problem is that you are both. And you are both because everyone is both. Just because there are two kinds of people in the world, that doesn’t stop everyone being either and both of them. It is your sense of humour that I want to talk about this week. See this collision of your twin beliefs in both your own hilarity and profundity have resulted in you being horrifically boring and deeply unamusing. You already know that you live your life in quotation marks, you exist at a self-enforced remove from everyone and everything around you. How this and your being both kinds of people manifests most obviously is in your bland over-reliance on irony and sarcasm. You know what’d make something funny? Stating the opposite of
it. Want to be edgy? Express a view that you know is not only incorrect but also is deeply offensive.
You think you subvert the world. You think you are rye and dark. You think that you are forcing people to think outside of their own paradigms. You are an iconoclast. Remember that rape joke you told? The one about how they’re like windscreen wipers? You were totally just being ironic. You were subverting the hell out of that shit. Anyone who was listening was either never surer of your abhorrence towards sexual violence or just having all their preconceptions about whether men should ask before putin’ in they pee-pees blown out of their minds like the scum they are. Right? That is what you think. You already know that saying shit like that is bad, wrong, and promotes all kinds of horribleness. What you need to be told is that knowing that while still doing it to get jollies and giggles from the wrongness of it is not an acceptable action either. You keep justifying your horrible jokes and persistent negativity to yourself. You have so many reasons and intellectualisations for how, well, really, of course, you don’t really mean it and no one would really think that you thought those things, that you’re even starting to believe them yourself. Well, guess what? Shut your mouth until you have something to say that is actually worth saying. We’ve gone over this before and we will go over it again, but sometimes you just really need to clamp your gnashers together. Seriously. Every single time you have to convince yourself that what you have done or said in the case of your snarky mouth-death, is okay rather than just knowing it is, well, that’s a sign that you’re doing something that isn’t. So you need to train yourself out of that. You actually have to, if you are going to become anything approaching an actual human being. People can be funny without shitting on other people or being horrific, and people can be smart without being stroppy snarky little meat-wallets. Even you could be.
EAT YOUR FUCKING GREENS
⚡ COLUMNS ⚡
CAMPUS PROFILING ESTHER LEES ✏
After spending a gap year in England working at a performing arts school and travelling around Europe, Esther returned to New Zealand keen to pick up Spanish—having also studied French at school. Esther comes from an arts family and is now two years into her BA—doing a triple major in Political Science, English Literature and Spanish. Esther would like to combine languages with her interest in politics and is looking at a potential career in diplomacy. An ex-dancer, Esther also enjoys Muay Thai kickboxing and trains as much as she can while juggling study and work. Esther
also loves reading and tries to convince me to read Game of Thrones… Her favourite band is Radiohead and is stoked that she managed to get tickets to their concert in November!
ESTHER WEARS: ▴▴
Karen Millen denim shirt
Ziggy maroon jeans
Scarf from market
Granddad’s leather jacket
CARE NOT FOR THE GRANDCHILDREN ✏
One way of thinking about justice is in terms of what we owe to other people. But what about people who haven’t even been born yet, and so don’t exist? One obvious answer is to say that we owe it to future generations to avoid acting in ways that would make them worse off. Sounds easy. Unless you ask a philosopher. Oxford superstar Derek Parfit would say that this solution runs afoul of the ‘non-identity problem’. Imagine that we are deciding on whether to deplete or preserve natural resources. We could try and compare the fate of individual members of a future generation under one policy with their fate under
the other and avoid the one that leaves them worse off. But Parfit says this is not possible. Why? Because the genetic identity of individual members of the future generation will change depending upon which policy we choose. Almost every one is the result of sexual intercourse between their parents. I hope that this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. If that sexual intercourse had not taken place pretty much exactly when it did, some other sperm and egg would have been joined in glorious union. Environmental and economic policies shape our opportunities for work and moving around. 41
They affect who we meet and when we have sex, if we are so blessed.
So what does this mean for intergenerational justice? Well, if certain future citizens wouldn’t have existed except for the policy we choose, then how can they be harmed by our choice? So it makes no sense to say that we harm future generations by burning all our resources now. Therefore it is wrong to think we can act unjustly towards future people. This would probably come as scant consolation to anyone reading this by candlelight in some post-apocalyptic cave.
⚡ COLUMNS ⚡
NOTHIN BUT NET
BREAKERS BREAK GLASS ✏
A grand final, a third finals appearance and now a title on paper looks like a good return for New Zealand in the past six months. No doubt the Warriors, Phoenix, and now Breakers are starting to seriously establish themselves in Australian leagues, but there’s still a tiny representation of Kiwi talent in these competitions. And we know we can do better.
Another triumph for the Breakers last Tuesday night saw them not only become the first side to win back-to-back titles in Australia’s basketball competition but also suggests that out of nowhere, basketball has become our most telling and incisive venture into Australian sport in the past fifteen years.
Few would have predicted at the beginning that it would be basketball, not league or football, which has made the first
major inroads into calming our niggling inferiority complex against our rivals across the ditch. They’re a perfect example of how to run a franchise, have two titles and two minor premierships, while the best the others have to offer are two grand finals for the Warriors and a sustained level of mediocrity at Phoenix HQ of which fans like myself are dangerously accepting.
Even more impressive is that the ANBL is the only one of the three competitions which doesn’t buy into the questionable strategy of allowing half of its participants to compete in its finals’ series each year. And so, just like it would had the Phoenix or the Warriors conquered Australia, why hasn’t the question been raised as to whether New Zealand can sustain a second franchise in the ANBL. A follow-up question: what’s stopping that franchise basing itself in Wellington?
You have to argue that in league and in soccer, expansion around the country is unprofitable, but should a second Kiwi basketball team come about, follow the same model as the Breakers and generate a passionate, bandwagon-jumping fan base, there is little to suggest that we couldn’t keep a challenger to the Breakers afloat.
Not to mention that unlike football or rugby, basketball protects its fans from the weather, another team in the country creates an exciting new derby match and— most importantly—leaves the door open for Frankie Stevens to MC in professional sport—a prospect I think we all agree is in the best interests of New Zealand sport in a big, big way. The point is that basketball should now consider itself largely profitable in New Zealand and could be a giant leap forward for the sport in this country. The fact that our media still refers to the NRL, A-League and ANBL as ‘Australian’ competitions is telling. In a combined thirty seasons in these leagues, the current teams have only four finals, and two titles to our names.
The success of the Breakers might be the catalyst for New Zealand sport not to view itself as a participant, but as a dominant force. But for now, at least, let’s celebrate a Breakers’ double which has well and truly injected a great deal of impetus into the sport in New Zealand.
TOMATO SOUP WITH GARLIC BREAD ✏
When I think of comfort food, the first thing that springs to mind is always a good, chunky tomato soup with crusty garlic bread. I’ve tried many different methods, but this is far and away the easiest way of making tomato soup that I’ve found—and, best of all, it’s stripped right down to the basic ingredients so there is nothing that interferes with the flavour of the beautiful tomatoes! Tomato prices typically spike to ridiculous levels during winter, so jump in quick and make this while it’s still an affordable meal. 1.5 kg tomatoes 4 cloves garlic 1 large red onion 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar bunch of fresh basil, or 2 Tbsp out of the tube loaf of ciabatta bread 4 cloves garlic 75g butter
Heat the oven to 220°C. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and put into a baking tray. Crush the garlic with the side of a knife and add to the tray. Drizzle tomatoes and garlic with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until tomatoes look wrinkly and cooked. Peel and chop the onions. Fry in a pan on medium heat until they soften, about 5-10 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and let it reduce a little. Once the tomatoes are done, add to the pan with the onions. Stir in the basil and take off the heat. If you have a blender, blend the soup in two batches until smooth. If you don’t, then use a masher or fork to smash the tomatoes up as much as possible (if you’re not using a blender, you might like to grate the garlic and chop the onions very finely, to make things easier). 42
Season and add a drizzle of olive oil, then serve with the garlic bread. If you want a creamier texture, add dollops of crème fraiche on top just before serving. Garlic bread: ▴▴
Soften the butter in the microwave in 10-second bursts, mixing in between – you want it soft enough to spread, but not melted! Grate or finely chop the garlic and add to the butter. Cut the ciabatta in half and spread the mixture over top. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “30 Minute Meals”.
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D ES S E RT E V E N I N G
P H I LOS OP H Y C LU B
REC RU I TMENT
VICIDS HOSTS FAIRTRADE DESSERT EVENING
2012/13 INTERNSHIPS AND GRADUATE JOBS!
Salient provides a free notice service for all Victoria students, VUWSA-affiliated clubs and not-for-profit organisations.
Wednesday 9 May, SU217 + 218 We will hear short talks by a Fairtrade producer from Papua New Guinea about the impact Fairtrade has for him, followed by a discussion by FTAANZ about becoming a Fairtrade University. To end the night, there will be free fairtrade dessert & a mix and mingle with Trade Aid and All Good Bananas.
TAE KW O ND O VICTORIA UNIVERSITY TAEKWONDO CLUB Interested in Taekwondo? New to Taekwondo? Learned Taekwondo before? Come along and join us! Great way to keep fit and have fun! TRAINING TIMES: Tuesday 6.30pm - 8.00pm Long Room, Victoria University Recreation Centre Saturday 3.30pm - 5.30pm Dance Room, Victoria University Recreation Centre WHAT YOU NEED: Drink bottle, comfy trousers/shorts, t-shirt CONTACT US: firstname.lastname@example.org Vic OE – Vic Student Exchange Programme
All are invited to attend the first Annual General Meeting of the new VUW Philosophy Club, on Wednesday May 2nd at 2pm in OK406. This meeting will be for the purposes of establishing the club, electing a president, secretary and treasurer, and creating a list of members so that we can register the club with the university. The Philosophy Club will host an informal discussion group each week for students to discuss a particular philosophical topic. We’re also looking at hosting a monthly debate, as well as social events. If you have any ideas for other things you’d like the Philosophy Club to do, please come along and share them!
TOASTMASTER!!! WEDNESDAYS, 12-1PM, ROOM 219, STUDENT UNION BUILDING Because communication isn’t optional, Toastmasters is a club dedicated to helping people practice public speaking in a fun and supportive environment.. Everyone - no matter what your current public speaking ability – is welcome. Come along and see what Toastmasters is all about. Visit us online at vicuni.freetoasthost.info
continued from pg 32
Get your CV ready—attend workshops, CV checks…
Applications closing SOON: ORGANISATIONS
Microsoft, Asia NZ Foundation: Berlitz, KPMG (Vietnam)
Delegat’s Wine Estate
ANZ, Bank of New Zealand (Agribusiness)
Tonkin & Taylor
COMSOL, Datacom, PKF Martin Jarvie
CAREER EVENTS BOOK ON CAREERHUB: 7-May
Allied Telesis NZ
*Campus Careers Expo (17 May), 11am – 2pm, Alan MacDiarmid Foyer *ICT Careers Expo (18 May), 12pm – 2pm, Alan MacDiarmid Foyer
For more/full details/RSVP, go to CareerHub: careerhub.victoria.ac.nz email@example.com, (04) 463-5390
TUPAC AIN’T LED
✏ PANAYIOTIS MATSIS
a hot beat and a catchy hook. The goal of the modern, affluent and ultimately talentless hack is to go viral on YouTube and eventually host a reality TV show. No one who is truly passionate about Tupac or Hip Hop want to see him bought down to the level of the many corporate drones (like Flo Rida or Pitbull) that dominate the contemporary scene. If this Tupac was really a tribute piece, not some moneygrab, one would expect a reflection of the man’s ideals in his performance. Instead, we are all left with glorified husk of what was once great. His abs were perfectly sculpted, but his message was most certainly not.
For all of these words, though, the hologram doesn’t signify a drastic shift in very much at all. For the foreseeable future, living artists will still give live performances and their devout fans will flock to them: nothing can compare to your favourite band in the flesh. Further, the corporate music industry has never treated deceased artists with dignity or respect. Why should they start now when there is an obvious demand and a lucrative profit to be made? We’ll just have to run quick and see. What do we have here now, are we gonna ride or die? La dadada la la la la.
VIC OE – VIC STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAMME ▴▴
Upcoming Deadlines: For Tri 1, 2013 exchange - July 16th, (UC May 29th) ▴▴ Weekly seminars on Wednesdays, Level 2, Easterfield Building, 12.55pm - 1.05pm ▴▴ Why not study overseas as part of your degree?! ▴▴ Earn Vic credit, get Studylink & grants, explore the world! EMAIL: VicOE@vuw.ac.nz FIND OUT MORE: www.victoria.ac.nz/ exchange VISIT US: Level 2, Easterfield Building DROP-IN HOURS: Mon & Tues 9-12, Wed-Fri 10-12
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LETTER OF THE WEEK WINS TWO FREE COFFEES FROM VIC BOOKS!
LETTER OF THE WEEK HARDCORE CORNOGRAPHY Dearest Editors, The mostdisturbingthing about corn on the cob is the way it revels in its fickle nature in such a way not seen since the Great Tomato Fruit-orVegetable Debate. It is labour intensive to eat, making the endeavour hard to justify for such little reward. If natural selection praises survival of the fittest, I’m not sure where corn lies. Is it better to be difficult to eat, ergo not be eaten? Or to be easy to eat, ergo eaten, so that it can somehow reproduce through processes which scream of Satanic sacrifice. At this point I must admit, I am no expert in the reproductive capacity of corn (though I do assume asexuality, I’m not taking any chances), but it all looks a bit dodgy to me. It demands choice, putting itself in the drivers seat during any encounter. Do you eat sparingly, to a shallow depth, and save your teeth while missing out on most of the substance? Because if you dig in, going for as much corn as close to the center of the cob as possible, you will be punished; your teeth marauded by small bits you know the feeling, I’m sure - to the point where you would sell your own grandmother for a length of floss. It’s a lose-lose situation, and corn laughs in your face the whole time. Corn, reveal your true nature, you swine! What do you want from us?! My personal opinion is that it’s a distraction, a clever ruse designed to throw us off the scent of the true matter: Is there even a difference between corn and maize? I would figure it out myself, if only I could get this damn shit out of my teeth.
THREE DIVERSE POINTS I’m a gay guy. This is relevant to two of the following three points: 1: Prudence, please return – your brand of religious ultra-conservative parody was brilliantly written and brilliantly offensive.
Salient welcomes, encourages and thrives on public debate—be it serious or otherwise—through the letters pages. Write about what inspires you, enrages you, makes you laugh, makes you cry. Send us feedback, send us abuse. Anything. Letters must be received before 5pm Tuesday, for publication the following week. Letters must be no more than 250 words. Pseudonyms are fine, but all letters must include your real name, address and telephone number. These will not be printed. Please note that letters
Googling for the G-spot, the Chest of Shame and your kid’s Ugandan summer camp were all excellent. 2: the Bent column: Cruz, your writing is great - just remember there’s a cohort of gays and gals who don’t see their sexuality as a major part of our day-to-day identity; we’re not fabulously rainbow-covered. For some of us, curling up with Skyrim or a quiet book is more interesting than grooving to remixed Gaga. Related: while Ivy is a huge loss to the LGBTQ* community, it’s a club/bar. Others will appear. 3: The crossword – I keep seeing complaints about this. Get the guy from last year’s Salient, didn’t he do some really interesting ones? Or has he gone from Vic? Addendum: If you’re LGBTQ* or confused, do turn up to UniQ at least once, and remember the queer mentoring service. If that’s not your style, try an alternative club – gamesclub, movie nights, Toastmasters, whatever. Don’t be afraid to get involved, people are actually pretty awesome. Dovahkiin Drag Queen
THE HUNGER GAMES: A NECESSARY SOURCE OF MORAL FIBRE Dear Salient, I went to see The Hunger Games in the break, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I haven’t read the books, but it’s now on my to-read list, along with my course notes (so don’t hold your breath). It’s set in a not-too-distant dystopian society, where the extravagantly coloured Capitol rules the surrounding districts. They entertain the masses by creating a Survivor Extreme type show, where teenagers fight literally to the death, hoping to outlive the others. Not content to simply leave the combatants to fight it out, the powers that be introduce many more lethal challenges, fires, and copy and paste beasts to make their show more entertaining. Because entertainment is what rules. Then I read Salient last week, and it describes the birth of this viewpoint- the rise of sensationalist journalism. In general, what is interesting is what we value. Back in the day, you only had limited input from the world around you, and so you could focus on
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what is factually true and useful. Nowadays, we have so much input from all directions, and we can’t cope with the information overload. Our screening mechanism is to focus on what is entertaining, even if it’s not useful, even if it’s not true. It’s all about the story. But is entertainment-value really the best way to decide what is true? Hopeful Cynic
BUT AT LEAST YOU STILL HAVE YOUR SOUL. Dear salient, The highlight of my week is waiting for Friday night so I can watch Smackdown. I just go through the motions week in, week out,I cram near the end of the semester, and repeat the process, until I earn a piece of paper. However a few weeks back I picked up a copy of the salient. I must admit the only reason I picked it up was to avoid running into an extremely irritating student who shall remain nameless. I decided to flick through it... and HOLY FUCK was I impressed, it blew my mind (no homo). I couldn’t believe a bunch of Vic students produced this awesome publication. I thought to myself “Obviously this is a fluke, the planets all aligned and this amazing issue was put together, surely they can’t do it again”. But they did! Now I had a purpose to come into uni on Monday, ‘to pick up my free copy of the salient’, as my diary so conveniently points out to me. But today as I started my assignment at the 11th hour as I always do. It dawned on me, my experience at Victoria is really shit, I don’t participate in anything and I have to write 2500 words by tonight. Whereas you good people at salient are contributing to the campus, doing something meaningful, and to that I say... FUCK YOU for making my life seem to mundane and insignificant -Just another ID no.
NO OFFENCE, BUT I DON’T LIKE YOUR SHOES. Dear Gaylient, In the wake of the furor over whether some (possibly)homophobic bouncer kicked out a
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young lesbian couple for (possibly) being rowdy, everyone forgot the most important aspect of the issue: [public] was and will remain an extremely average bar in a city full of them. I’ve been to [public] a few times and felt that everything they have can be found in better places throughout our fair city. To this end, I will not be boycotting them for their bad practices because I was never a patron of the bar anyway. Though the story did amuse me when the owner of the bar played the mean victim card “boohoo people are saying my bar is homophobic and this offends. Please pity me, I’M INNOCENT”. What a load of absolute bullshit. A quick apology would have seen this incident pass largely under the radar methinks. Though I suppose she does have a gay sister, so we know that she cannot possibly be homphobic. By the way, some of my best friends are black. Forever yours, Golliwog
WHAT THE FUCK IS THE VBC? Hey Slutlient, Cats prefer Chef. They also prefer student radio. I’m telling you this because I know how highly you value the opinions of cats. What do you think they line their litter boxes with? It’s certainly not anything the VBC produces. And since you brought up the VBC, there’s a pretty important interview coming up this Friday, 6pm; it’s with the fabulous, flame-retardant Tommy Ill. Look, we know you interviewed him last week, and therefore think you’re better than us, but you’re not. We were just letting you build up the hype for our interview. We could have interviewed him ten years ago if we wanted to. You know, before he was cool. Or an adult. You can consider this letter to be a formal announcement of the feud between Salient and the VBC. Place your bets now, kids. Here’s a hot tip: everyone in radio is half-shark. xo Best Bitch & Sluthunter P.S. VBC = 88.3fm or online atwww.vbc.org.nz Tommy Ill will be interviewed on Emma + Bella’s Super Cute Hangout (Fridays, 4-7pm)
SECONDHAND SMOKE: SHARING IS CARING Dear Anti-Smoker, You have every corner of every interior space on the university to suck in your luscious, air-conditioned air without encountering the dreaded mustard gas also known as second-hand smoke. This right is afforded you because the people have spoken and laws have been passed meaning that smokers must take their poison
sticks outside. Fair enough. Your whiney rant however is based on the presumption that your preferences come first and foremost above those of other and that of smokers should be even further marginalised for exercising what is, most simply put, a relaxing liberty. Your claim that your health is being jeopardised may have been valid ten years ago whilst drinking at your local when a smoke screen meant you couldn’t virtually high five your mate from the other side of the room but these days draconian legislation exists to hug and caress your pussy lungs. The sort of secondhand smoke you’re describing, outside and uncontained, is the definition of a first-world problem. A real man would suck it up. I have three suggestions for you: stop drop and roll when you next charge headlong into a choking cloud of ash and embers, Google image search Don Draper or James Dean to find out just how really cool smoking is, or fuck off down to the Milford region (deep south) where they say the air is crazy fresh. The sparse population down there will also allow you to live a life free of interactions with people that don’t share your anal disposition. You mentioned you were fresh out of the NCEA system which is obscenely apparent. My assessment of you is that you would have been a credit-muching monkey, far more concerned with gaining a merit endorsement that no longer means jack than the priceless virtue of tolerance for others. Think about what you’re getting out of university mate, you are eligible for a social education on the house if you would just open your mind and stop being so damn uptight. A Smoker
FROM MY ROTTING BODY FLOWERS SHALL GROW, AND PRUDENCE IS IN THEM. Dear Prudence Why did you give?? your column the only reason I woke up and came to my lectures on those monday mornings we all hate. Brighting my morning with some outragious comment about how a fetish for french maids leads directly to the catholic church and therefore to hell. Then reading the hate mail people have sent you about your last letter would always give me a good giggle. We miss you Love Straight Christian Guy
CAKE PERSON FOR CHANGE Dear Salient While my friends and I love you greatly and forever fan-girl over you every Monday - (This is an email hi-jacker: I love Dino-Cop, I just want to cuddle with him forever.) - alas, we dream back to 2010 where there was two supreme
Salient articles that caused us to thrust your magazine in front of our loved ones and scream excitedly. Those were Academic Idol (long live the Amazing Trundle and Musical Morrison) - (hi-jacked again: Martyn Gosling for King of the World!) - and the incredible ‘Salient Rates...’, whose info has caused great debate on best pie/studying/winter warming. We miss them very much, just like Georgie Pies, and would love to see them again. Please bring them back. We are willing to bribe with cake... Yours, A Nonny Mouse
UR WELCOME Dear SaliENT Please can you include in one of your issues a pull out poster. I want you on my wall. Also More alternating caps are needed yours truly dA hArDeSt Of CuNtS
THE PATRIARCHY WILL ALWAYS WIN Dear Patriarchy, Fuck you. Regards, Tits
CHECK YOUR PAGER Whitney Where you at, girl? Got us some stuff. Text me. Bobby Brown
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1. Greek vowels 5. Offspring of a 23-Across 10. Finish 13. One of the deadly sins 14. He played 64-Across 15. Protagonist of The Matrix 16. Empire centred in Peru 17. Tree also known as a wattle 18. Animal doctor 19. No matter how you look at it 22. An -ism from India 23. What Bo Peep might have lost 24. Plus 27. Plus 28. He blows a whistle 31. You'd drop it to get a PG rating 32. Sean who played Samwise 34. Disgust 35. Credit on Brokeback Mountain or Hulk 39. “___ Mia” (Abba song) 40. Goes on for a long time 41. Sans-serif font 42. Noise from a small dog 43. Green Day drummer Cool 46. Magician with Teller 47. “J to __ L-O!” (Lopez album) 50. Pale 52. Gaddafi used to be head of it 56. “Much __ About Nothing” 58. Pay no attention to 59. A long distance 60. Guy Fawkes mo. 61. Activity in which nothing is going on? 62. Arrived 63. Casual shirt 64. “The Maltese Falcon” detective 65. Leg joint
1. Biblical prophet 2. “Turn on, _____, drop out.” 3. Go up in a lift 4. Get off your chair 5. Crazy as a snake 6. “____ of two halves” 7. Tropical parrot Puzzle 1 (Medium, difficulty rating 0.57) 8. Saltwater 9. Don't go out 10. Holder of letters 6 5 7 11. Name before marriage 12. Part of a URL 14. Setting for many jokes 4 20. Sea creature with external ears 21. Tags 25. Hook's first mate 5 9 3 1 7 4 26. Rectangular (abbr.) 29. And so on 2 7 3 6 30. Be the right size 31. Flat-bottomed cooking vessel 32. Fashion designer Giorgio 1 6 33. Homer's neighbour 35. Option other than truth in a kid's game 5 7 1 2 36. Lennon-McCartney song recorded by The Fourmost 37. Towel off 5 1 2 3 8 9 38. Noise made by a 23-Across 39. Plan out 43. What the shit might hit 7 44. Put another tag on 45. Starter course 1 2 8 47. Binding 48. Accord automaker 49. Evade Generated by http://www.opensky.ca/~jdhildeb/software/sudokugen/ on Thu Apr 26 17:15:56 2012 GMT. Enjoy! 51. Give a belt to 55. “Everybody Hurts” band 53. Trash receptacles 56. Insect that might be a worker or a drone 54. Old name for Scottish Gaelic 57. Female deer
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