E I L N A T S 1938
t h e
monday 18th march 2013
Y I R T H D A
i s s u e
E I L N A T S 1938
victoria university of wellington student magazine
VOL 76 ISSUE 03
student media darlings Editors: Stella Blake-Kelly & Molly McCarthy firstname.lastname@example.org Designer: Laura Burns email@example.com News Editor: Chris McIntyre firstname.lastname@example.org Arts Editor: Philip McSweeney email@example.com Chief Reporter: Phillipa Webb News Interns: Sophie Boot & Alex Lewin Film Editor: Gerald Lee Books Editor: Alexandra Hollis Visual Arts Editor: Sharon Lam Music Editor: Philip McSweeney Feature Writers: Henry Cooke & Patrick Hunn Chief Sub-editor: Nick Fargher Web Editor: Laetitia Laubscher Distrubition Specialist: Joanna Judge
Contributors Gabrielle Beran, Rose Cann, Chun Cheah, Caitlin Craigie, Chloe Davies, Matthew Ellison, Freddie Hayek, Hector and Janet, Simon Howard, Ashleigh Hume, Mike Jagusch, Eve Kennedy, Michael Kumove, Jess Legg, Rory McCourt, Miranda McGregor, Carla Marks, Ngai Tauira, Officious FirstYear, Pasifika Students' Council, Cam Price, Sofia Roberts, Janne Song, Nick Truebridge, Julia Wells, Rick Zwaan Contributors of the Week: Laura Burns. Thanks for putting up with our shit.
Contact Level 2, Student Union Building Victoria University P.O. Box 600. Wellington Phone: 04 463 6766 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: salient.org.nz Twitter: @salientmagazine Facebook: facebook.com/salientmagazine
Advertising Contact: Ali Allen Phone: 04 463 6982 Email: email@example.com
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 Aoteroa Student Press Association (ASPA). Salient is funded by Victoria Univeristy of Wellington students, through the Student Services Levy. It is printed by Printcorp of Tauranga. Opinions expressed are not necessarily representative of ASPA, VUWSA, Printcorp, Mighty River Power, #Pussyriot, but we of Salient are proud of our beliefs and take full responsibility for them.
Other Subscriptions: Too lazy to walk to uni to pick up a copy of your favourite mag? We can post them out to you for a nominal fee. $40 for Vic Students. $55 for everyone else. Please send and email containing your contact details with ‘subscription’ in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org this issue is dedicated to:
our parents, we wouldn't have a birthday without you.
twenty“"The first might be a
tradition that is only sort of a tradition because people like the excuse to throw a party, but it’s a tradition nonetheless."
21: What's the Key?, Page 18
E I L N A T S 1938
An Organ of Student Opinion Since
weekly content 4. 5. 6. 14. 16.
Editorial Top 10 News Politics Campus Digest
features 18. 20. 21. 22. 24. 26. 28.
21: What's The Key? Boom & Bust A Salient Birthday Who Killed The Radio Star? Silver Linings Fuck the Greytriarchy Birthdays - The Worst Days
columns 30. VUWSA 32. Bent 32. Secret Diary 33. Fixing Your Life 34. Mad Science 34. Weekly Rant 36. Food & Drink
arts 37. 38. 39. 40. 41.
Books Music Visual Arts Film Theatre
salient <3 you 42. Puzzles 44. Letters 46. Notices 47. VBC 47. Gig Guide
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E D I T O R I A L
This week Salient celebrates its 76th birthday as Victoria University’s student magazine. As per tradition, the birthday issue must always feature a cat on the cover. Like most traditions, such as receiving a key on your 21st birthday, or making a wish as you blow out your candles, we have no idea how or why this started. Birthdays are an interesting time for all of us. When you’re younger it’s a pretty simple affair: presents, cake, and pin the tail on the donkey. Someone inevitably cries, but at the end of the day everyone leaves with a goodybag in hand.
As we get older, we assume that with new age will come new responsibility. Some of these milestones are more distinct: at 16 we were allowed to get freaky, and at 18 we were allowed to get smashed. Others, like when we’re finally meant to feel like an ‘adult’, are less clear. 21 is sometimes said to be the point at which we reach ‘maturity’; last year we both wore pretty dresses and got inappropriately intoxicated in front of our families. But while we’re sure that we’re one year older, we certainly don’t seem any wiser. Most students already bear the burdens we would traditionally associate with being ‘old’ and ‘responsible’: we have jobs, we pay rent, we are in
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debt, we do our own washing, and we are capable of feeding and bathing (we hope) ourselves. But does anyone actually feel more mature? We certainly don’t. On Wednesday Stella underlined “TIT” in ‘Constitution’, and Molly laughed so much she was asked to leave the VUWSA meeting we were reporting on. Maybe we’ll never feel like we’re all grown up; maybe we’ll forever feel like we still haven’t got it right. But maybe that doesn’t matter so much after all. If we keep blowing out those candles and hoping that we at least enjoy ourselves while we’re trying to work it all out, maybe, in the end, that’s the best we can wish for.
es of life (in ag st
er) rd o
top ten ca
u lo -@ salizzo
9 irritating little shit
8 cute again (thank god)
7 Frustrating Incapacity
6 Frustrating Overconfidence
5 Way Too Drunk
4 Sexual Prime
2 [Pharmaceutical] Sexual Prime BY SAM NORTHCOTT
♦ NEWS ♦
Having trouble getting your bond back? Email: editor@salient. org.nz
light the CANDLES ON THE CAKE OF THE NEWS– give us your news; news@salient. org.nz
Uni can’t get it up Fee rise swears this never happens Phillipa Webb
The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) rejected the University’s application to raise fees for Education, Humanities and Social Science papers by eight per cent—double the legal limit—in December last year. As usual, all students will feel the same fee burn with a four per cent increase in fees across all faculties and courses. The TEC can grant permission to exceed the four per cent limit in “exceptional circumstances”, but spokeswoman Kate Richards said Victoria’s application was declined because it failed to meet 11 of the 18 criteria and subcriteria needed for eligibility. Criteria include financial need and support for key priority groups under the Government’s 2010-2015 Tertiary Education Strategies, such as Māori and Pasifika students. Former Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh said the additional revenue from the fee hike would allow the University to support the high proportion of Māori and Pasifika students in the Humanities and Social Sciences. “The government is focusing on increasing Pasifika and Māori achievement, and we have been challenged to achieve outcome parity by 2018”, he said. Walsh said that if the application was approved, the additional revenue would be put towards a “programme of learning support” to benefit all students in the faculties.
However, the TEC concluded that Victoria’s application did not provide financial data on how the additional funds would be allocated to support the success of Pasifika and Māori achievement. The University is producing “positive financial results” currently, resulting in not meeting the criterion based on the contribution of fee rises to financial viability. The decision to apply for an exemption divided University alumni. As Salient reported last year, former Pro-Chancellor Helen Sutch opposed the increases to Humanities and Social Sciences because of the high concentration of students from poor backgrounds in those areas. Last week Salient reported that Helen Sutch was ousted from her role as Pro-Chancellor late last year. Individuals involved with University processes for a long time believe Sutch lost her position as a result of her decision to vote against the eight per cent rise. If approved, the per point fee in Education, Humanities, and Social Sciences would have increased from $52.55 per point to $56.75 per point. Chancellor Ian McKinnon said TEC’s decision meant Victoria would continue to operate at a disadvantage. “All universities in New Zealand are measured by the same criteria, and are required to meet
Copyright copywrong Universities pin hopes on Limewire CHRIS MCINTYRE
New Zealand’s universities are being investigated by the Copyright Tribunal after refusing to pay a 30 per cent rise in annual licence fees. Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) filed a case with the Tribunal last week after a year of failed negotiations with Universities New Zealand, a body made up of representatives from New Zealand’s eight universities. Licence fees, currently $20 per student, allow lecturers to copy learning materials for students’ use, and include authors’ work on online databases.
performance commitments that are the same for all. “Victoria is operating in this environment with significantly less resources than others, which is an unreasonable expectation.” At the time, 2012 VUWSA President Bridie Hood said she was delighted by the TEC’s rejection. “The response we’ve got from students is really positive – an increase in costs doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in quality. “We don’t think there was enough evidence in Victoria’s application to be granted an increase, so we’re really excited by TEC’s decision.” Massey’s application to raise fees by eight per cent was also rejected because it was received after the closing date for submissions—instead they have also raised fees across the board by four per cent. Now that the application has been rejected University Chief Financial Officer Wayne Morgan told Salient that no extra allocation of funding towards Maori and Pasifika achievement has been made. Morgan could not rule out any future fee increases, and says decisions about fees are made by the University Council each year. “It is too early to say what these might be for 2014.”
Licensing ensures publishers and authors are fairly reimbursed for their work. Universities’ licences have expired, with last December’s expiry date and a February 28 extension both now passed. The rise would cost universities an extra $820,000, or $6 per student. CLNZ Chief Executive Paula Browning has highlighted the legal obligation universities have to obtain appropriate licences under the Copyright Act, and says the fee rise requested is fair. "Despite increases in the average number of pages being copied per student, and the ability the licence gives universities to provide copies electronically to students, the universities aren't prepared to agree to the modest $6 increase in the annual fee sought, which hasn't been adjusted in over five years." Universities have refused to comment as they consider their responses. There is no date set for the Copyright Tribunal hearing.
Two weeks ago, Salient reported sexual health appointments for casual and international students will now cost $67 for a 15 minute appointment with a doctor or a 30 minute appointment with a nurse. This is not accurate, as the casual student fee is $36, not $67. Salient regrets the inaccuracy.
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♦ NEWS ♦
StuFor in Stupor Pre-meeting meeting no meeting of the minds stella blake-kelly
The University-managed student representation model, the Student Forum, is in disarray, leaving the future of student representation at Victoria up in the air. VUWSA, Ngai Tauira and Pasifika Students' Council all indicated that they will be withdrawing from the Forum at a meeting held last Tuesday. The Forum, which is administered by University management, held the informal meeting to discuss the background of the Forum and the processes for its review later in 2013. However despite the upcoming review, these groups will be departing and taking with them a membership base containing around 70 per cent of students. This may be an indication of a lack of confidence in the current student representation process, and its affect on accountability and transparency to students. It is not yet known whether these departures will have financial implications for the groups’ members, as much of their funding comes from a contract with the University on the basis of their participation within the Student Forum. Salient understands that VUWSA has been speaking with representational groups which were and weren’t included in the University’s original composition of the Forum in order to produce a new model for representation at Victoria, which they will take to University Council. Chaired by Chancellor Ian McKinnon, the Council governs the
University, handing down directions to management to implement the University’s strategic goals. University Council student representative David Alsop, who was at the meeting on Tuesday, said he would be taking his concerns about student representation and the Forum to the Chancellor. He said that in 2013 the disorganisation with the Forum has seen a reduced capacity for student representation within the Council’s committees. The Chair of the Student Forum now occupies the seat on Council which, prior to the introduction of VSM legislation, was reserved for the VUWSA President. At the end of 2012, the then VUWSA President and Student Forum Chair Bridie Hood requested that she be co-opted onto the Council at the start of 2013 as the Forum would not be electing her successor until March. This was accepted by Council, however this perceived need for interim flexibility of student representation has not been reflected in other areas of University management. On Thursday the VUWSA President, Rory McCourt and Vice-President (Academic) Sonya Clark, were informed by the Academic Board’s Chair Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Penny Boumelha, that they were not permitted to be members of the Board according to the current statute excluding them from the confidential part of the meeting, and removing their entitlement to vote. Last year, as appointed by the Student
Following the introduction of Voluntar y Student Membership, Victoria was the only university to interpret the legislation to mean that it could no longer recognise VUWSA as the primar y representative body for students. As a result, University management recommended that representation at Victoria be restructured into a new model, whereby the Student Forum became the new primar y representational body. T he actual purpose of the Forum has been plagued with confusion, with members of University management alter nating between labeling it a ‘consultative’ and ‘representative’ body. Perceived attempts to create a primar y representational body for the entire student voice were eventually halted when Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Penny Boulmeha told University
Forum, the then President and Vice-President (Academic) were members of the Board, as was practice pre-VSM. Despite the impasse at the meeting of the Academic Board, both McCourt and Clark’s names were listed on the member’s roll for the meeting, and they had been sent all relevant materials—including the confidential section. This year VUWSA has already attended meetings, such as that of the Academic Committee sits below Board, as it was their and some staff ’s understanding that the student positions held by VUWSA and others remained on those Boards until the Student Forum appointed otherwise. Tuesday’s meeting of the Forum was presumed to be a formal one, due to timelines previously indicated, however on the day a University spokesperson told Salient it was a meeting prior to the first meeting as a number of places on the Forum had yet to be determined. Those at the meeting partook in discussions of a similar nature to those of the three Student Forum meetings last year—which were budgeted to cost $100,000—with members questioning how they got there and whether or not the processes were democratic. “Does getting an email from [the Student Forum administrator] count as being elected?” one student asked to a resounding awkward chuckle.
Council that the Forum was not meant to be the representative body, and that had been a “typo”. Despite this, the body still had representational powers—for merly VUWSA’s—to appoint students to representative positions within the University. T he change in legislation saw the Chair of the Student Forum assigned what was previously a seat on University Council guaranteed for the students’ association President. However the altered legislation only specifies that whoever takes this seat must be part of an unspecified election, essentially meaning the University decided to consider the Student Forum Chair election, as opposed to the VUWSA election, in delegating the seat.
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♦ NEWS ♦
Former salient editor passes away
Smartphone, dumb thief
Obituary: Colin Bickler
Privileged white male loses for once
Salient’s 1959 editor Colin Bickler passed away on January 12 at the age of 78. Bickler was born in Leeds in 1934 and migrated to New Zealand as a teenager. Always having a love for theatre, Bickler belonged to the drama club at Victoria. Bickler toyed with theatre as a career, eventually incorporating it into his journalism career. In the early ‘60s, he wrote theatre reviews for the Dominion and hosted a Sunday morning radio programme reviewing films. Bickler began his journalism career in Wellington at the Dominion, before joining the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. In 1965, he moved to the Eastern desk of Reuters in London where he worked for 26 years. During this time he served in Kuala Lumpur, Tel Aviv, Manila, Jakarta, Nairobi, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Turkey, and reported on Malaysian conflicts and the Yom Kippur War before moving to London. Subsequent to his retirement late in 1990, Bickler mainly worked at London’s City University with Journalism students. His passion for journalism across borders continued into his work with the United Nations Organisation for
Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO). A UNESCO panellist on press freedom in the Caribbean, Bickler also conducted seminars for the International Press Institute and was a member of a number of committees. These included the Foreign Office’s Freedom of Expression Advisory Panel, the Human Rights Consultative Committee, and the Communication and Information Committee of the UK National Commission for UNESCO. While at City University, he enjoyed telling students stories of his experiences. Salient spoke to Shirley, Bickler’s wife, who shared a story he loved to tell concerning the high costs at the Student Union cafeteria in the late ‘50s; “In his typically probing yet humorous manner, he discovered that she was buying all her supplies from local grocery shops rather than through wholesale outlets. He ran an exposé in Salient and of course appropriate action was taken!” Bickler is survived by his wife, Shirley, their son, Simon, daughters Rachel and Deborah, and their grandchildren.
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The University employee accused of stealing a student’s phone pleaded guilty to the theft in Wellington District Court on Wednesday. Arana Kenny, a 21-year-old University caretaker, is still employed by the University. Salient observed Mr Kenny working on-campus in uniform on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. A poster campaign and blog regarding the University’s inaction were started by the victim of the theft, Chris Cherry, as reported by Salient last week. Cherry has withdrawn from his PhD program following the theft, stating he did not accept the University’s actions. “The only solution the University could come up with was for me not to use the campus, so I feel that I have no other option except to give up my scholarship”, he wrote on his blog. Cherry also no longer holds his tutoring position. Kenny intends to apply for a discharge without conviction at a sentencing hearing next month.
♦ NEWS ♦
A Man Doesn’t Walk Into A Bar New legislation not a joke; forces bars closed Mike Jagusch
Ha! Gaaaaay! Major blow to heterosexual marriage as Bill passes second reading SOFIA ROBERTS Heckling, applause and Macklemore quotes saw in the successful Second Reading of the Marriage (Equality) Amendment Bill in Parliament on Wednesday night. The Bill passed its Second Reading with 77 in favour and 44 votes opposed. The Bill must now go through a committee stage, and a third and final reading. Labour MP Louisa Wall submitted the Bill on May 30 last year. The Bill seeks to redefine marriage as the “union of two people regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity". The Bill also clarifies that marriage celebrants don’t have to perform nonheterosexual marriages if it goes against their beliefs. Wedding celebrant and National MP Chris Auchinvole said that he had been “internalising a complicated situation” in his heart and head and was all for the bill. Wall quoted Macklemore’s ‘One Love’: “And I can't change, even if I tried, even if I wanted to, I can't change.” Youth representatives from all eight parties represented in Parliament met on Parliament grounds on the March 11 to show their unanimous support for equal marriage. “This generation will not tolerate any form of discrimination, whether by race, gender or sexual orientation”, said Māori Party kaikorero rangatahi Teaonui Mckenzie. The Young Conservatives were the one Youth Party not to support the Equal Marriage Bill. Conservative Party leader Colin Craig likened the difference between civil unions and existing heterosexual marriages to separate toilets for men and women. “There are grounds to discriminate on certain things. If you said to me, ‘do I think there should be separate toilet facilities when
it comes to men and women’, ‘yes I do’”, said Craig. VUWSA gained a mandate to support the Bill after a Special General Meeting last year. “This is an issue of civil rights and ending discrimination based solely on gender and sexuality”, said Equity Officer Matthew Ellison. Winston Peters suggested that the Bill be voted on by the public in a referendum in the 2014 election, stating that there is “nothing worse than a politician who thinks they know best”. This call is supported by NZ First Youth. “A referendum is the fairest, most inclusive and democratic method of achieving this. It is our hope that MPs of other parties will realise this and join our call for a referendum,” he said. During the Second Reading, the members voted against an NZ First amendment proposing a referendum, with 83 votes against and 33 votes for. National MP Tau Henare accused Winston Peters and his fellow National Party members of stalling and general bad behaviour in relation to the bill, saying he was "appalled” at their behaviour, accusing members of “outright not telling the truth". He went on to say that he disliked his colleagues' attempts to get him to oppose the Bill and back a referendum, much to Labour’s delight. “If I was to believe them then why aren’t we having a referendum on asset sales?" quipped Henare. The next step is a Committee of the Whole House, where members will vote on the Bill clause by clause, and further amendments can be submitted by members for voting. After this has been completed, the Bill will go through its final reading, a date for which is uncertain.
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MPs have put the cork in the bottle, passing new legislation forcing bars to close between 4 and 8am, limiting alcohol promotions, and restricting supermarkets to displaying alcohol in a single, non-prominent area. The legislation, to be implemented over the next 12 months, is aimed at reducing the heavy drinking culture of our country. Additionally, the reforms introduce an Alcohol Management Strategy that gives local city councils the ability to self-regulate in regards to aspects of the new Act. Justice Minister Judith Collins has said the reforms will lead to better practice. “Improvements in the way alcohol can be sold… but it's not going to be the full answer, obviously people need to change the culture and their own behaviour". Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell believes that the new legislation represents the Government missing an opportunity to tackle New Zealand’s harmful binge drinking, and suggests alternative methods. “Increasing price of the cheapest alcohol, reducing marketing and advertising, and lowering the BAC [Blood Alcohol Content measure] are both proven measures that will reduce alcohol-related harm”, he said. Wellington bar owner and Capital Host Clinton den Heyer believes the legislation does nothing to address societal attitudes to intoxication, and steers clear of the minimum pricing and pre-loading arguments in favour of the “soft target” of on-licences. “There are two aspects to the new Act which I believe are of real concern: one, the Government is now stipulating that every New Zealander has a bedtime, and that bedtime is 4am; and two, the Government thinks it's better for all of the partying to happen in suburbs rather than in a contained area such as town,” den Heyer told Salient. The Alcohol Advisory Council show one in four people under the age of 25 regularly drink five or more drinks on a single occasion risking alcohol-related brain damage.
♦ NEWS ♦
Can you hear me now?
99 problems; per cent ain’t 1
Massey man seeks 2° of seperation
A new Government policy cutting the enrolment-based funding threshold has has made life more difficult for tertiary education institutions, some of which are facing higher repayment rates of funding money. Under the current system, education providers do not have to repay funding if they fall within three per cent of their target number of enrolments. The Government's cuts reduce this threshold to one per cent. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce believes the new margin of error is reasonable, and does not think the changes will have any effect on jobs. "It's just trying to get absolute value, and wasting $35 million a year on a funded provision which is not being used is a bit tough to get taxpayers to accept", he said. Universities, polytechnics, wananga and private tertiary institutions are all affected by the change, which Tertiary Education Union president Lesley Francey sees as sly. “[It’s a] cynical attempt by the Government to slash funding”, said Francey.
“The Engine of the new New Zealand” spluttered into life last week, as the Guinness World Record for throwing a cellphone was broken by a member of the Massey Academy of Sport. Ben Langton-Burnell threw his broken Nokia N5 120.65m at the University athletics track, surpassing the previous record by 17.96m. The AgriCommerce student decided to try his hand at phonethrowing after stumbling upon information about the record on Facebook. Mr Langton-Burnell’s talent with the javelin will take him to regional and national competitions, as well as to a competition in Australia in April. Having thrown a personal best of 70.02m on the same day he broke the record, it seems he is in good shape for the upcoming events. Despite his success after such a short time in the discipline, Mr Langton-Burnell has no plans to continue throwing phones. “My cellphone throwing days are over now I’ve broken the record”, he says. Salient is left to wonder if there are, perhaps, better ways to gain reception.
Proposal hits flat notes But not just yet
Miranda McGregor Plans to introduce a minimum housing standard for rental properties is on the Government’s to-do list, prompting a positive reaction from students. Housing Minister Nick Smith announced the plan to introduce a rental ‘warrant of fitness’ last week. Although Housing New Zealand properties will be subject to regulations first, students have welcomed the longer-term goal to introduce minimum standards into the private rental sector. “The government seriously needs to do something about the standard of housing. It’s appalling, and the rent is outrageous for what you get,” said one Victoria student who has spent a year living in a substandard Wellington flat. “I definitely think my flat is below par in terms of heating and insulation.” However, there are also concerns that improved standards of living would inevitably raise the already high cost of renting in Wellington. Some students, facing rents of over $185 per week, have resorted to the Wellington Night Shelter, as reported in Salient on February 25. “I can’t really stretch my budget any further,” another student reported. Since 2011, National has promised to improve the quality of housing for New Zealanders, beginning with the development and refurbishment of state houses. Standards of rental properties have been largely unaddressed in government housing reforms to date. Prior to Smith’s comments, the Government had indicated caution towards following Labour leader David Shearer’s plans to introduce a
minimum housing standard for rental properties. Labour committed to a Healthy Homes Guarantee in 2012. There is no timetable for the introduction of the minimum standard to the private sector as yet. Substandard housing is blamed for causing preventable health concerns, with research showing that every $1 spent on improved housing saves $5 of healthcare.
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♦ NEWS ♦
Scales out of balance Scientists payed more than lawyers SOPHIE BOOT
Tutors have been left scratching their heads as pay disparities come to light, with Salient discovering tutors with similar experience and responsibilities are being paid vastly different hourly rates between faculties and schools. A fourth-year Honours Law student tutoring 300-level Law is on $17.54, 25 per cent less than a Faculty of Science Honours student tutoring at 300-level, who was offered $23.50 up-front. “As far as I know, that’s the going rate across the school—though I don't know if there's any differences across what we're paid for tutoring courses at different levels, or if it varies depending on what qualifications we have," he told Salient. One Political Science tutor reported to Salient that he is on an hourly rate of $20.75, which has increased each trimester from his starting rate of $17.50. Another POLS and Film tutor was on between $19 and $20 during his tenure for both positions. The Tutors’ Collective Employment Agreement for 2013 states that undergraduate tutors are to be paid at rates between $17.54 and $21.09 per hour, and $19.87 to $25.16 per hour for graduate tutors. It also states that “when determining the hourly rate, relevant qualifications, relevant experience and any additional duties shall be taken
into account.” The Collective Agreement is negotiated between the University and the Tertiary Education Union. Director of Human Resources Annemarie de Castro told Salient responsibility for pay disparities lies at the school level. “Heads of School are responsible for the employment of tutors in their respective School,” she said. The University did not respond to questions regarding which faculties spent the most and least money per tutor. Victoria’s tutor pay rates compare favourably to those of Otago, where, as of January 1 2013, an undergraduate tutor is generally paid $14.17 an hour and a graduate tutor $17.73. A Masters graduate would be paid $21.74 an hour, and a graduate with a Doctorate or a senior PHD student $28.44 an hour. The Otago guidelines state that placement on the pay scale may vary as educational qualification “is only one of the criteria to be considered”. Salient suggests that instead of schools deciding tutors’ pay, hourly rates should be contingent on words spoken per student per tutorial—a measure sure to reduce expenditure across the board.
Fuck Scarfies, Get Money! Vic students make bank with Student Job Search
University takes tough stance on harassment
Phillipa Webb Construction workers on campus have been given a 'tough love' approach by the University for harassing female students. The University has been made aware of two incidents related to construction workers in the past year. One resulted in the workers involved being reprimanded, and the other resulted in a worker’s dismissal from the University site. University Campus Services Director Jenny Bentley says all building contractors are required to sign an agreement, ensuring that they respect others’ rights and do not behave in an offensive manner. “Breaching these conditions can result in dismissal from the University site,” she says. VUWSA President Rory McCourt says the Association has also received complaints from students. “The University took fast action and the students were taken seriously with no compromise to their privacy.” he said. “We are very happy with the university’s response to the complaints,” he said. Salient was unable to obtain an official statement from contractor LT McGuinness before the story went to print. In Christchurch, earthquake repair contractors working at Canterbury University have also been warned of serious consequences if they harass female students. The move comes after two students complained they had overheard two construction workers talking about another female student in a “derogatory manner”. Hawkins Construction—the construction company on campus—said workers who broke the rules would be forced off-site. All workers were also told to take off their high-visibility vests and helmets when on their lunch breaks to blend in with students and appear less intimidating. If any student or staff member feels concerned about harassment at Victoria, they are advised to call Campus Security on (04) 463 5398.
Victoria University students seem to be getting amongst the best of the student job market, as Student Job Search (SJS) figures obtained by Salient show a general increase in student job fields. Job placement is up seven per cent, with average income per placing steady at $2,223. Yearly earnings have grown from $8,583,826 to $9,002,148 for the 4862 students enrolled in the free service. Enrolments increased 36 per cent from last year, which equates to 1281 students. SJS emphasise that while financial results are important, the benefits surpass remuneration alone. "It’s not just about the money that students earn getting jobs through Student Job Search, it’s also about them gaining valuable work experience before they graduate." Students reported a mix of experiences with SJS. A first-year student spoken to by Salient reported positive outcomes with the service. “For me it was good, I found two jobs on there which I currently have,” she said. One second-year student Salient spoke to had not had such an easy time. “When I tried to use [SJS] a while back, it seemed that most labour, nanny, other jobs you needed a full driver's licence for. Boy, I’m a student, I walk everywhere,” she said. Otago University students are not so lucky, and will have to take their place not in the world, but on the dole registry. SJS figures from Otago have shown an overall decrease in student earnings and employment rates. The rate of Otago students placed in work is down 15 per cent from 2012, which has reduced the total student earnings from $1,657,858 to $1,569,297 a year. Student job-seekers can find SJS online at sjs.co.nz, or visit Vic Careers at 14 Kelburn Pde or at victoria.ac.nz/st_services/careers.
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♦ NEWS ♦
Universities spend large on advertising Chris McIntyre
Victoria University spent over $2.8 million on domestic advertising last year according to figures recently released to Salient, prompting questions regarding the value of this spending to a University with an already-full roll book. The data, released by New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) and compiled by ACNielson, details the advertising spending of every tertiary education institution in New Zealand. Student enrolments were effectively capped in 2008, after Government changes to funding criteria meant only a certain number of students were funded at each institution. In 2010, over 1500 domestic undergraduate applicants were shut out by Victoria’s cap.
Victoria’s total spend in 2012 was $2,870,521—$170.15 per student. Of this total, $1,088,159 (39.7 per cent) was spent on television, $844,178 (29.4 per cent) on outdoor mediums, and $674,041 (23.5 per cent) on newspaper advertising. The remaining 7.4 per cent was split between radio, online and magazine advertising, in that order. VUWSA President Rory McCourt is not surprised by the figures, and blames the current funding structure. “These latest figures are hardly surprising, given the competitive model we have in New Zealand where each university boasts of its worth through TV, radio and newspaper ads, while its current students are desperate for tutorials and a decent lecture theatre,” he told Salient. “These are dollars which could have been going into providing tutes for 300-level courses, or even a cut in our fees.” Of the universities, Lincoln University had the highest per student spend in 2012 at $527.23
for each of its 3483 students; a total spend of $1,802,629. Lincoln is expected to post a deficit later this year. Most economical was the University of Auckland, spending $42.97 for each of its 32,193 students. Of all New Zealand universities, the University of Canterbury (UC) spent the highest total amount: $3,374,071. Despite this spending, UC have still not met their target enrolments and enrolment numbers continue to decrease. Their high spending comes in a year in which UC recorded a $67 million deficit, prompting a Government bailout likely to take place in 2013. The total combined figure from all tertiary institutions is $37,340,596. The data do not include advertisements for staff. Salient will provide further breakdown of these expenditures and seek comment from Victoria University next week.
International students go down
pat finally graduates
University left unsatisfied
Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh will not be seeking a third term in his role when it lapses at the end of the year. Though it is not year clear where this decision has come from, Walsh said it had been “an honour and a privilege “It has been an honour and a privilege to be Victoria’s Vice-Chancellor since 2005.” “I have been inspired on a daily basis by my first-hand knowledge of the many extraordinary achievements of our staff and students.” Chancellor Ian McKinnon, who was on the University Council which appointed Walsh, said he had “shown very strong leadership, and very good managerial skills.” “He has lead and managed Victoria at a time of increasing fiscal challenges and constraints while, maintaining the quality of a Victoria institution, well supported by the development of new and refurbished facilities,” McKinnon said. Walsh oversaw the development of Te Puni..... and the yet to be completed Campus Hub. McKinnon would not say when the process would be completed, but said it would be done so over the course of the year. “It’s the most important decision a governing body will make. So considerable attention must be given to the process to make sure one gets the calibre of applicants [we] [wish] to see.” He stressed that it would be “robust and fair”, and was ultimately the Council’s decision. A committee of Council members will be selected to run the process and discuss with stakeholders what they perceived the be the key challenges Victoria will face in its next term, and what direction it should be heading in. Student representative David Alsop, as well as the yet to be appoint Chair of the Student Forum will both have a vote on the new appointment.
The number of international students approved to study in New Zealand has dropped nearly a quarter since 2009, prompting scares for the industry worth up to $2.5 billion annually. Despite Government attempts to increase the number of international students, the Christchurch earthquake, recession and high dollar have all contributed to fewer international students in New Zealand. Fewer than 34,700 first-time student visas were approved last year, in comparison to 46,000 in 2009. Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says the Government is encouraging growth in the international sector. “The export education sector contributes over $2 billion a year to the New Zealand economy, and the government has set an ambitious target to double that contribution by 2025”, he said. Universities around New Zealand are feeling the financial impact of the declining rate of International students. Victoria University had met just 47 per cent of its 2013 internationalstudents target as at February 15, University Council documents show. 916 more students were required to meet the target of 1730, though this target is expected to be met during the year. Victoria were unable to comment before Salient went to print. Deputy Vice Chancellor of Waikato University Alister Jones said although the figures were “very concerning”, international student numbers had been dropping in New Zealand since 2004. Immigration New Zealand General Manager Stephen Dunstan concurs, pointing to the Canterbury earthquakes and global trends as causes. "The earthquakes have meant a reduction of 36 per cent of international students in the region since 2011. "It's important to note there has been a drop in international education student numbers worldwide." China is the largest source of international students on 26 percent, followed by India at 13 per cent and South Korea on ten per cent.
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♦ NEWS ♦
Scarfies off the piss
INFAMOUS Keg party to go into Hyding? Nick Truebridge The Hyde St keg party—one of Otago University’s last remaining pillars of Scarfie-ism— could be abolished, should the 2013 edition mirror the 2012 event. The Dunedin City Council (DCC) and the University intend to ban the party and introduce a liquor ban to the student area of North Dunedin should the level of mayhem again become excessive, Critic reports. The Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) met with tenants, landlords, the DCC and emergency services to find ways to make the event safer this time around. In 2012, 80 people were admitted to Dunedin hospitals and nine arrests were made over the course of the day. The damage to properties caused by last year’s event—which included the collapse of one flat’s roof by dozens of students— is also a cause for concern among all stakeholders. After the raucous nature of the event in 2012, former Hyde St dweller Anthony Phillips told Salient students have been portrayed as “drunken destructive animals”, but weren’t to blame. “It’s not the students that do all the bullshit, it’s the dickheads from out of town.”
Otago students claim media exaggerated the number of student arrests last year, with only one Otago student taken into custody. OUSA has proposed capping the number of attendees at about 3500 by handing out tickets to tenants on Hyde St and adjacent streets to give away to others. Hyde St’s residents, among them third year Otago student Michael Lowe, have warmed to the idea. “The more you think about it, you realise that it would make the party way better with more people that you know, and so it’d probably be more fun and less shit fucked up... I would like Hyde St to continue so obviously I want stuff to be done to control it,” Lowe told Salient. Otago is no stranger to drunken havoc; in February, two students broke their hands after falling off a roof in North Dunedin.
in Swift’s back catalogue, of which Salient is informed a large proportion is about being dumped.
Teachers in Israel have been left red-faced as an Excel spreadsheet containing a guide to potential misbehavers on an upcoming school trip was mistakenly sent to students. The spreadsheet detailed exactly what staff thought about particular students, including the descriptors "Not too bright", "Liar", "Tactless", "Big Baby", "Anti-social", “Sicko”, and "Has a thing for boys". Not too bright, Liar, Tactless, Big Baby, Anti-social, Sicko and Has a thing for boys were not available for comment.
A woman from Nashville, Tennessee was shocked to find hundreds of “colourful, glittery” letters addressed to Taylor Swift in a dumpster last week. The letters, covered with “pictures, hearts, and sparkles” had been sent to a PO box at a local mall, where they were supposed to be picked up by a member of the singer-songwriter’s crew. Fans will undoubtedly find consolation
“Don’t cry for me, Argentina”, say the Falklands after a further setback to Argentine sovereignty attempts has seen voters in the Falklands backing British rule in a near-unanimous referendum. Observers called the result early after numerous reports of orderly, polite queuing at polling stations. It was secret concubines to secret conclaves for Catholic Cardinals last week, as the Vatican shut down to elect a new Pope. While the Argentines may have lost the Falklands, they’ve won the papacy, blindsiding the Church of England in a sneaky turn of events. Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis I, ushering in a new era (read: error) of homophobia and other backward views. Aung San Suu Kyi has been reelected as leader of the Burmese opposition at the first national congress allowed since concessions from the ruling military dictatorship. Neighbouring Thailand denies any involvement: “Burma?! We barely knew ‘er!”. A big snow dump has paralysed Europe, including chaos across transport routes and making a lot of people very piste off indeed. Salient has snow jokes to make on the matter.
WOULDN’T JEW KNOW IT!
SWIFT FANS RUBBISHED
stay classy, world
SHANGHAI GOES H.A.M Shanghai residents have been squealing like stuck pigs, after 900 dead pigs were fished out of a river. ‘¿Por qué?’, you may ask—well, the river makes up part of the city’s water supply, meaning locals were drinking boar water. Salient suspects the problem would have been cured had the pigs ended up in salt water.
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A recent legal decision made by a judge has shocked some and elicited support from others. Lawyers from one side expressed dismay at the verdict, while simultaneously, other lawyers experienced joy. “My client has no comment,” said the defence.
headlines that weren't Out with the old, in with the old as new Pope elected US Calls Russia’s Bluff: Putin “Typical Gemini” says Obama Dude sits where he told Hunter Lounge staff he would Shocking confession from firstyear: “Ugh, I can’t stand seventhformers” Everyone who's ever been a VUWSA Exec member denies sleeping with anyone else who's ever been one; Salient quiet
P O L I
left leave those kids alone By Carla Marks In 2013 we will celebrate the 65th birthday of the first baby boomers. Members of the first wave of this generation begin their inevitable descent into pension-funded geriatric orgies, young people can look towards the future with an ever more pessimistic outlook. Baby boomers will be the parents of most Vic students and essentially, they are acting like dicks. Our Parliament, like most Western parliaments, is mostly composed of old white dudes. Said old white dudes have not shown much inclination to take progressive action in tackling the issues that they themselves present. The imminent increase in the burden on our pension, health and aged-care systems has not been accounted for. Our retirement age sits at 65, and it doesn’t take an expert in demographics to tell you that the cost of superannuation is going to skyrocket over the next decade. Had Muldoon not taken to the Super Fund in 1975 with an axe, there would’ve been a whopping $340 billion to ease the drain of these sexagenerians. In the 2011, election Labour pledged to slowly lift the retirement age to 67, a move that would’ve saved the country over $100 billion over 30 years. In spite of the unlikelihood of this policy eventuating, it has at least triggered a dialogue about the problems that our ageing population poses. David Cunliffe recently referred to the “intergenerational swindle” taking place in New Zealand and he is so very, very right. Basically, young people are being asked to pay their own way where the older generation never did and, on top of this, support their parents and grandparents. It is hardly surprising that young New Zealanders are moving to Australia in droves, disengaging with politics and try to block out the non-future being offered to them. So, what can we do? Short of mass extermination, there are limited options. We might just have to grit our teeth and realise that we are going to have to pay a bit more tax and live a less luxurious life for the benefit of the temporally advanced in our society. But, in doing so, we need to ensure that we don’t pose the same problem to our children. A 'Future Generations Commissioner' has been implemented in Hungary, with the purpose of scrutinising government policy in light of its future impact. With a constitutional review in progress, perhaps now is an opportune time to look into the possibility of implementing such a concept in New Zealand. This would not only help to alleviate future financial burdens but to address issues such as climate change as well. Groups like Generation Zero prove that young people have the potential to be forward thinking and proactive about issues that have long term consequences. Young people are (allegedly) narcissistic, entitled and apathetic. Those making these claims, our parents, are likely to have attended university for free, got a solid job and bought a home. None of this is certain for us. They look at our iPhones and see a disconnected and consumerist cohort. We look at our student loan debt, the prospect of a huge mortgage and decide that yes, we will play another game of Angry Birds because nothing else is looking quite as achievable.
letters from a young contrarian
Butt Out By Cam Price Dear comrades, Having been restricted to sneaking a puff here and a drag there during my twomonth stint visiting family in Perth over the New Year break, when I arrived back in Wellington I decided to buy a pack of my beloved Marlboro Reds and indulge in some uninhibited inhalation. When it came to paying, I was shocked to find that the excise tax on each packet of cigarettes had increased for the third time in as many years. I was further dismayed to learn that Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia’s levy increases were set to continue until at least 2016, when a pack of 20 smokes will cost over $20. At that price level, Government revenue from smokers will have increased from today’s astronomical $1.3 billion to a truly diabolical $1.7 billion. That’s billion, with a ‘b’. $1,700 million dollars is enough to give every New Zealander $400 each. In short, it’s a shit-ton of money. So how does Tariana ‘the Taxman’ Turia justify such a figure? By claiming that smoking costs the New Zealand health system $1.9 billion a year and therefore smokers should be forced to recompense their fellow taxpayer for that loss. I agree that governments should tax activities at a level equal to that of the cost to others (economists call this ‘externality pricing’), but that number is too damn high to be believable. The figure is based on a report by the Ministry of Health, which failed to take into account the fact that smokers die earlier, thus saving the Government millions in superannuation and old-aged care. The true public cost imposed by ciggies is more likely the $350 million estimated by Dr Des O’Dea in a 2007 Otago University study, commissioned not by Big Tobacco but by New Zealand’s largest anti-smoking lobby group, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). It is not true that smokers are a drain on the
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system; in fact it is the other way about. You may say, well, so what? Who gives a fuck if smokers pay a billion dollars extra; that’s a good thing as the extra money can subsidise programmes like interest-free loans, tax the heathens to the hilt. But to say that is to ignore the simple truth that tobacco taxes transfer wealth from the poor to the middle and upper classes. Which group of people smoke but doesn’t go to uni? Poor people. Which group doesn’t smoke but does go to uni? Well-off people. Add to this the fact that the addictive nature of cigarette smoking means that more than likely poor people will have to buy less food and clothes for their kids in order to make up for the increased cost of smoking, and it becomes clear that higher taxes are a beat-up on the most vulnerable people in society. Won’t somebody please think of the children? Besides, I find it ultimately bizarre to impose a socialised healthcare system out of which one cannot opt, and then use the costs of that system as justification for regulating behaviour. If you don't like the fact that the public health system spends so much money on smokers, why not force them to get private health insurance instead? The misery tobacco has wrought on the human race is immeasurable, and there are good arguments to be made for increasing the sin tax on fags or even banning them outright. But recovering costs is not one of them. The audacity of politicians and non-smokers alike to claim that we impose a financial burden on them, when the truth is that without our money their taxes would need to increase to make up the shortfall, is loathsome and it needs to stop. They owe us that much at least. Best, Cam
T I C S
RIGHT Everything you wanted to know about Asset Sales but were afraid to ask By Freddie Hayek
Last week Labour, the Greens, NZ First, Mana and their trade-union allies deposited the Keep Our Assets petition at the steps of Parliament, claiming they had gathered enough signatures to trigger a Citizens-Initiated Referendum (CIR). In order to initiate a CIR, 10 per cent of those enrolled on the electoral roll must sign a petition, in this case, 393,000 people. I pity the poor clerk of the House of Representatives, who now has to go about the arduous task of counting and authenticating the signatures. It did not have to be this way.
Send us your best caption for this picture to email@example.com, subject line: 'Caption Contest', by 5pm Friday 1st March for your chance to win a free coffee. See facebook.com/salientmagazine for the winner
For a start, the Government is not actually selling any assets. I repeat, the Government is not selling any assets. What the Government is doing is going about raising capital through a share-float program. At best this could be called a partial privatisation. 49 percent of various state owned enterprises will be offered on the New Zealand share market for people to buy. Critics of the programme say “we already own them!” Bullshit. The government as the sovereign political entity, owns them in trust for all New Zealanders and can do with them what they like, pending the results of our triennial elections. I don’t think any New Zealander can walk into the offices of Genesis or Meridian and steal a desk can they? Physical impracticalities aside. Partial privatisations have a pretty good history around the world. To use one example, in her second term Margaret Thatcher opted to partially privatise British Telecom (BT). Analysts in the City of London financial markets predicted it would be a flop. Instead there was a massive oversubscription for shares. They could not sell enough to satisfy demand. Most buyers were yes, the fabled mum and dad investors of legend. Mrs Thatcher called this 'popular capitalism'.
shit politicians say
You know who did sell an absolute shitload of assets though? We had a government between 1984 and 1990 that sold many things the state owned, many for good reason. While I am not going to give the exhaustive list of the silver hocked off, it includes what is now Telecom, our Railways (since repossessed by one Dr M Cullen), Forests and Air New Zealand. It was a Labour government. Do you also want to know who invented the partialprivatisation model National are now using to raise capital for housing, schools and infrastructure? Labour again! Labour bailed out the failing Air New Zealand in the mid-2000s, then floated (shock horror) 49 per cent of it back on to the share market, keeping 51 per cent and retaining FULL CONTROL. Labour are protesting against an economic mechanism they brought into New Zealand. The hypocrisy over the Keep Our Assets campaign is so rank it stings the back of my throat.
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~ CAMPUS DAY ~
amongst " the best" Overheard @ Vic: History lecturer: "Plagiarism is one sure fire way to get yourself the ultimate punishment... A one way ticket to Massey Palmerston North" Overheard in 252: "sperm are the James bond of cells" Overbridge: Girl: You could wear my skin like a onesie... OMG vuw Confessions: #362 Meeting hot brown boys is still just as hard as at college because there's still an army of brown girls surrounding them constantly, let a white girl try her luck... It's so intimidating with all you girls around them. #354 Just wanted to tell y'all that Beyonce is my fucking life #350 Anon please >.< I found a new uni textbook in reading cinemas and I sold it. #348 I wish there was a place at uni where all horny people can get together to play. No string attached.
an apple a day
#343 As a joke i applied to beauty and the geek, thinking there was no possible way anything would happen...Ive now been emailed asking for an audition. Why did i say i specialized in Tudor/Stuart England history?!? #339 Confession- I had to google 'sneans' to find out what it means. And now that I know, I dont give a shit. Honestly, who the fuck cares? Stop being snarky shits. #332 ANYONE GOT ANY HELL PIZZA DISCOUNT CODES? HIT A FELLA UP I'M TRYING TO WINE AND DINE THIS BOOTY TANITE
If you are using your reliever inhaler more than three times a week, or needing to use it duringthe night you may benefit from reviewing your asthma medications with one of the doctors at theStudent Health Service.
GOING UP The Pope's Twitter (@pontifex) Rihanna Marriage Equality
GOING DOWN Contrast pockets
Contact the Student Health Service to make an appointment with a doctor to discuss ways to manageyour asthma. By working together we can help you breathae easy!!!! Keep your teeth and show us your smile!
Rain Tutorial ice-breakers
~ CAMPUS DAY ~
21: What’s the key?
By Patrick Hunn It’s hard to say why turning 21 is a big deal. By almost every measure there isn’t much about that age that feels all that significant. You’ve been more or less technically an adult for three years—you can drink, you can smoke, you can vote, and you can drive. You can get married and sign contracts and you’ve been legally in charge of your own affairs for a while. In legal terms, the age of majority in New Zealand sets adulthood at 20 in spite of this, which is comical considering all the essential rights given to adults have been handed over to 18- year olds. Turning 21 does not open up a magical cache of new adult delights to gorge yourself on, yet 21sts are a big deal for some—often celebrated in a more lavish way than any other comparable milestone. That said, it clearly isn’t universal. Opting out of celebrating what is really a ridiculously arbitrary date isn’t the huge deal that similar behaviour
in another country might be. Perhaps this comes from the fact that nobody is really sure where 21sts come from, so if you choose not mark yours flamboyantly it isn’t clear what you’re missing out on. It used to be the drinking age, of course. 50 years ago, in 1963, the drinking age was 21. If being able to drink legally is our sole cultural marker for adulthood, then maybe we’re doing
the last 60 years or so. It is now certainly the object of some consternation when a person in their early 20s ends up pregnant. The significance of the 21st birthday is not without some precedent—it’s just that most of them are ancient and it’s difficult to imagine that they have any bearing on the way we think of age today. In the Middle Ages it was around 20 to 21, for instance, that young men were usually knighted if they’d completed their training on time. So there’s that.
our early twenties have become a time for many to saddle themselves with debt and ‘explore their options,’ which invariably for most people means a protracted period of self-doubt and anxiety. something wrong. Asking whether or not 21sts are the right time to celebrate adulthood might be a dumb question, because it’s not clear whether or not it ever was. Increasingly, it seems like in many ways it can’t possibly be. The average age at which mothers have their first child, while still lower than most countries in the OECD, has crept steadily upwards in
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People in their early 20s have, in recent years, occupied a nauseating new space all of their own. Increasingly fetal in nature, our early twenties have become a time for many to saddle themselves with debt and ‘explore their options’, which invariably for most people means a protracted period of self-doubt and anxiety. Teenagers are traditionally the age group we rag on, largely because they lead their existence as inbetweeners: it’s not
totally clear what they’re there for other than to consume things. The teenager as a group with their own culture separate from both children and adults is an idea that is quite recent. Never before has history given us a large group of the population who produce almost nothing as they prepare themselves for adulthood. In many ways, that description now seems fit for the decade that comes after it, too. A 'quarter-life crisis' is a term that has now entered the lexicon, apparently, with an accompanying avalanche of media seeking to cash in on young people who don’t feel like they’ve grown up yet. The world isn’t helping things: barely a week passes without a story somewhere gravely telling us that young people have limited opportunities and that the only reason they exist is to look after their ageing baby-boomer parents.
This schism becomes easier to understand in the context of other cultural practices that celebrate coming of age: many cultures that have an age-based rite of passage put the emphasis on a much younger age in a way that is absent in New Zealand. In many Latin American
spiritually mature at 15. Confirmation is an important moment for many young Christians. Islamic circumcision can be performed between birth and the age of 15 and can coincide with a coming-of-age event—betrothal, the first recitation of the Quran in its entirety, and so on. Most of these rites, and others like them, tie adulthood to a person’s capacity to fully participate in and understand religious life. In Germany, and some other parts of Europe, the need for an irreligious version of the confirmation resulted in Jugendweihe, or ‘youth consecration,’ which is essentially the same thing minus the Bible-y bits.
What makes the twenty-first so special in comparison to similar things practiced across the world is that it is so non-specific, which makes it all the more personal
What, then, is the 21st actually celebrating? A party of uncertainty? A melancholy fiesta? A bash for the almost grown-up? Of course, not everyone is that vile at 21. A lot of people are, though. Our method of celebrating adulthood is shared by only a handful of other, vaguely similar countries. 21sts of a similar kind are held in Australia, most of northern Europe, including the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia, and in Ukraine and Poland. In others, like the United States, turning 21 might be cause for a celebration (especially given the drinking age is 21) but it would be unusual to mark it the same way we do.
countries, for instance, what is called the quinceañera (literally ‘one who is 15’) in Spanish-speaking countries is widely practiced. The North American fixation with the ‘sweet sixteen’ is welldocumented. These events coincide with the most elegant parts of adolescence: when the adult in the child becomes more discernible. It could also be that as people shed themselves of inherited cultural traditions and religious practices (which we are apparently doing at a rate unmatched anywhere else in the developed world) moments like the 21st become increasingly important without dogmatic rituals to guide us through life. While there are far too many traditional markers of maturity to list in any real depth here, there are a few that most people will either be aware of or have experienced first hand. Most people are familiar with 13-year olds having Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, for instance. Judaism guides its young through a series of important moments grounded in religious meaning into adulthood. The Bahá’í are considered
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Perhaps the lack of specificity around 21sts is really quite a lovely thing. Consider the key that is sometimes given to the birthday girl or boy on the night of their 21st: while its origins are unclear, the general idea is that the recipient is now mature enough to come and go as they please. The concept is a nice one. What makes the twenty-first so special in comparison to similar things practiced across the world is that it is so non-specific, which makes it all the more personal: now you have to make your own mind up about things, and we’re going to do that by giving speeches, telling stories you’d rather we wouldn’t, and getting you so fucked you can see the inside of your skull. The 21st might be a tradition that is only sort of a tradition because people like the excuse to throw a party, but it’s a tradition nonetheless.
Boom & Bust Salient contrasts the milestones from birth of our parental baby boomers and our fellow generation Y's
Baby boomers (born 1960) 1960: On average, you were born into a family with 4.1 children. Only 3.2 per cent of marriages ended in divorce, so chances are your nuclear family stayed together. 1960: You went to school at a time where 17.8 per cent of Government expenditure was in Education.
1960: Cost of your tertiary education? Free! (Mostly, with bursaries giving you enough to live on.) You and about 120,000 others, or 0.037 per cent of the population, spent your time at the free tertiary-education trough having free thoughts and free love, building a picture of 'radical' students sticking it to ‘the man' that future generations would never live up to. 1960: Your young-adult years see you probably employed, with unemployment at just four per cent. Your job also sees you supported by a median weekly income of $875.93 (in today’s dollars).
1960: With no student debt, low rent, and high chances of being married, you’re well on your way to saving for a well-heeled slice of suburbia.
gen y (born 1990) 1990: Your mother, an average New Zealander at the time, only popped out 2.2 children. This meant more attention from your parents and having to buy fewer Christmas presents throughout your lifetime. As 12.3 per cent of marriages now ended in divorce there was a higher chance you would grow up in a 'broken home'. 1990: The Government only thought you and your classmates’ education was worth 16.1 per cent of their total expenditure. 1990: Your time at the education trough is a lot more crowded, with about 456,000 people or 0.1 per cent of the population also feeding. But this time around, you have to pay for the privilege! At a cost of around $13,000 per year, the tuition fees and living costs will probably be paid by future you, and are contributing to the current $13 billion of student debt by an extra billion dollars a year. 1990: Trying to get your foot into the workforce is a little harder than it was for your parents, with unemployment at 6.9 per cent. Fortunately Australia is three hours’ flight away, although there’s that awful ball and chain of a student loan. The $0.12 per $1 compulsory repayments are also making it hard to live a bourgeois lifestyle when the median weekly income is only $806. 1990: The high rents that are more than double what your parents had, and student debt that your parents never had, are making it hard to save for a deposit, let alone a house. Fortunately, some of our middle-class baby boomer parents are capitalising on the housing shortage, and our inheritances will be ever-larger. If life expectancy ever stops increasing that is.
1960: With the median age of first marriage for women at just 20.8, and 22.9 for men, chances are you will quickly find love and join the 59.5 per cent of the population that are married. Those who didn't feel the need to wed are few and far between, with only 3.85 per cent of people in a de facto relationship.
1990: Those who liked it but didn't feel the need to put a ring on it have surged, with 44.8 per cent of people in a de facto relationship, and only 11.8 per cent of people wed-locked. If you do decide to wed, you've usually left enough time to 'find yourself' and 'try new things', as the median age of marriage for women is 28.3; men, evidently, are more reluctant, with their age at 29.9.
1960: As you were the first generation of young women with easy access to the pill, your reproductive control saw the birth rate drop to an all-time low of 1.8 children per woman. This didn't stop most from increasing their chances of achieving MILF status, with the median age of mothers being a young 26 years old.
1990: Ladies, you're most likely not going to pop any out until you're in your early 30s. This is probably due to a number of reasons, such as the competitive nature of the career ladder, the limited amount of willing fathers, that student loan, or the ease of access to contraception and morning-after pills. Though if you do start a family, you will probably have about two children.
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a salient birthday salient, counting on accountability
This year Salient celebrates its 76th year as “an organ of student opinion” at Victoria University. We think we’re looking pretty good for our age.
2007, VUWSA’s acting Women’s Rights Officer Clelia Opie was dismissed from her role after Salient discovered that she had used over $4000 of students’ money to pay for calls to a psychic hotline. It appears that the psychics hadn’t seen that one coming.
Founded in 1938 by one A.H. “Bonk” Scotney, Salient began as a fairly simple-looking newspaper, printed single-sided on thin paper slightly larger than A4. The yellowing copies we have of Salient’s predecessors featured articles produced on a typewriter, and headings drawn by hand. Yet for all its differences in appearance—the distinct lack of trendy fonts and colourful design—the spirit and content of these earlier magazines were largely the same: A 1940 issue of Salient boldly affirmed its commitment to vocalising student opposition to the war on one page, while on another page debated whether or not first years “possess a mind”.
For as long as Salient has existed, it has relied on student money to fund its existence. In the early days the magazine cost threepence a copy, but for a long time it has been funded more directly through fees paid by students at the beginning of the year. Before Voluntary Student Membership (VSM) was introduced, all students paid a levy to VUWSA at the beginning of each year, and part of this money was given to Salient. Despite this reliance on the Students’ Association for funding, Salient has always enjoyed strong editorial independence from VUWSA, and as such were responsible for keeping the Association accountable and transparent in their use of student money.
As the magazine has matured, the primary role of Salient has remained the same: to provide a voice for the students of Victoria University. During its 76 year history, this voice has been used to entertain, to inform, and to hold the powers that be accountable. naturally, the magazine’s history has not been without its controversies. Throughout the second half of the 20th Century Salient kept students entertained through features such as ‘Girl of the Week’ (a sign of the times; we’re showing our age); informed with instructions on how to make a bomb; and kept the University on its toes with its lobbying on behalf of students (such as the campaign to introduce internal assessment throughout the academic year).
Following the introduction of VSM, student media is funded by a grant given to VUWSA by the University in their distribution of the Student Services Levy that all students pay at the beginning of each year. When VSM was introduced, the University negotiated with VUWSA which of the Association’s services the University would fund with the Student Services Levy. Each of these services fall under a separate contract (eg. for O-Week) or grant (eg. for student media) between VUWSA and the University. On the one hand, these changes have gone a long way to ensuring that Students’ Associations around the country must be much more stringent in their spending of student money. On the other hand, it has made Salient’s role of accountability harder to fulfill.
By Molly McCarthy
In more recent years, the magazine has made mainstream media headlines for a number of its bolder stunts. In 2005 the University obtained a court injunction to stop an issue of Salient from being distributed, as it contained information from leaked University Council documents indicating a proposed 5 to 10 per cent fee increase. Before going to print the story had already been leaked to other student magazines around the country, and was published in those magazines, on the internet, and picked up by mainstream media, despite Salient being gagged by the University. The leaked documents were returned, and Salient was distributed four days later. This is believed to be the only time that the University has attempted to prevent the publication of the magazine. In addition to acting as a check on the University, Salient has also played a strong role in keeping VUWSA accountable to students over the years. In
Under the previous model, Salient was explicitly allowed to attend VUWSA’s meetings and question their decisions in order to ensure that your money was being spent on services rather than psychics. Under the current model, the decisions about how student money will be spent are contained in confidential contracts. Requests for details of these contracts can be rejected on the grounds of ‘commercial sensitivity’, and Salient is unable to report on most of what is discussed in VUWSA’s meetings, as it refers to the contents of these contracts. Despite these difficulties, Salient continues to entertain, inform, and—to some extent—keep the powers that be accountable. And, if all else fails, there’s always lolcats and dick jokes.
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Who killed the radio star?
While Salient triumphantly turns 76 this year, its vivacious younger brother, the VBC student radio station, turns six with more questions than answers. The VBC is stuck in limbo, with near-to-no funding, no clear goals, and no guidance from either VUWSA or Victoria University. How did they get into this hole, and how will they get out?
By Henry Cooke I have a terrible confession to make. The first time I listened to the studentrun VBC—a station my Student Services Levy helps to pay for—was last week. Sadly, I’m not alone in my neglectfulness. In fact, the largest simultaneous online audience the station has seen in the last year was of 33 listeners. The Victoria Broadcasting Club, the VBC, or the 'veeb', is a labour of love. Every week, numerous volunteer DJs come in from around the University to play music and talk shit. There are shows about politics, shows about electronic dance music, and shows about metal. There’s also dead air, Facebook beeps, and a drastic lack of funds. The VBC has seen better times. It’s seen worse too—in 2011 the station was completely rudderless, with long periods of dead air, but 2012 hire Rhys Morgan was supposed to fix this. As a part-time Station Manager with considerable radio experience, he
brought much-needed attention to the station. It’s certainly come a long way since then, with volunteers filling most of the schedule and even a sponsor or two, but in Morgan’s words: “we’re limping". When Morgan was hired, he was promised a paid assistant. He never got one. He was told the inactive VBC Trust was going to dissolve, leaving room for VUWSA to step their involvement up. That hasn’t happened. He expected some level of investment in the station, other than his wages, which hasn’t exactly happened. “Apart from me getting paid nothing is being invested in the station”, he explains, “It needs all-new computers and a new printer, a couple of new mics, some new monitors, and none of this is happening.” His volunteer DJs agree—three spoken to all described the situation with a negative adjective, ranging from “terrible” to “just shit”. Morgan doesn’t have the time or money to train new volunteers properly, or to sell ads on the station. “The receptionist
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[at VUWSA] won’t even play us.” VUWSA President Rory McCourt agrees that something needs to be done. “There needs to be a plan.... There’s no strategic focus. Poor Rhys [Morgan] is all by himself, and he has to have support around him.” Currently VBC’s funding situation is a little uncertain. The VBC are allocated a portion of the student media grant the University gives VUWSA; money that comes from the compulsory Student Services Levy we all pay each year. It’s up to VUWSA to decide how the money is split up between the fine pages of Salient you are currently reading, and the VBC. In 2012 (a decent yardstick for 2013’s financials as well), the VBC got close to $30,000, with Salient receiving close to $130,000. There are some clear differences between Salient and the VBC however, as McCourt is quick to point out. “I think every dollar that’s going to student media should be
there... The Student Experience Survey measures how much students value particular student services; Salient consistently scores highly in that, the VBC not so much.” Salient requires a full-time editor (or two part-time coeditors) and a full-time designer, not to mention printing costs. Along with these requirements, Salient boasts readership goals, advertising money, budget
Both McCourt and Morgan agree that something needs to happen. A decision needs to be made. “They might decide to axe the VBC, which would make total financial sense”, concedes Morgan. While not the ideal outcome, at least that would be something, some kind of direction. Morgan questions VUWSA’s level of commitment— he wants them to either go hard or go back to making wall planners. Asked whether being part of the constitution would help, he thinks it would, “But only if they throw their full weight behind it and start believing in the VBC.” McCourt is keen to assess the viability of radio at Vic. After all, all the other major universities manage a station; even Massey Wellington has Muse Radio. “If [demand for a radio station] is there and students value it, we need to decide how we can make that happen and how we can allocate funds to make that happen.” If the funds aren’t there, McCourt is open to other ideas. “We could have a joint radio station with MAWSA. We could be joint with the radio network. We just need a strategic focus first.”
it’s certainly come a long way since then, with volunteers
filling most of the schedule and even a sponsor or two, but in
Morgan’s words: “we’re limping". proposals, a 76-year history (happy birthday!) and a mandate in the VUWSA constitution. The VBC (as a station) has existed since 2007, is not in the VUWSA constitution, has no specific goals, and barely any assets. Without clear goals it makes no sense for VUWSA to invest in them, but Morgan doesn’t have time to write proposals and budgets if they won’t go anywhere. “It’s a crazy kind of catch-22.” Furthemore, VUWSA has no official stake in VBC. The VBC Trust, an inactive group, 'owns' the station. They agreed to dissolve and hand over the station to VUWSA, but this has not happened. McCourt claims that the VBC Trust won’t disclose their liabilities, leaving VUWSA unwilling to take them on. Trustee Matt Davis, one of the original founders of the VBC, indicated a willingness to answer questions but then failed to reply before the magazine went to print. VUWSA pays Morgan, but McCourt refers to the VBC as “a completely separate entity”. Let’s slow down and take stock here. Victoria grants money to VUWSA for “student media”, which it specifies as Salient and the VBC. VUWSA gets to split this limited money up, and for the reasons explained above, decides that most of this goes to Salient, especially given VUWSA don’t technically own the station, since the VBC Trust has yet to dissolve. They do use some of it to pay a part-time Station Manager, Rhys Morgan, but he claims the station is drastically underfunded in other areas.
But is the demand there? How many of you actually listen to the radio, streaming or analogue? In a world with podcasts*, Spotify and Pandora, is a live audio service really the best use of student media funds? Is student media really the best use of our Student Services Levy funds? Well, yes. Student media really fulfils two roles. One, obviously, is to inform and entertain students. Universities are complex beasts, and something student-focussed is needed to present
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these complexities to students, and to keep both the Students’ Association and the University itself on their toes. In this way, student media acts a “public good” that the University and students fund, not expecting it to turn a profit; much like how the Government sees Radio New Zealand. Secondly, and less obviously, student media acts a training ground for future media professionals. Station co-founder Matt Davis now works at Flying Nun Records, and Former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer once edited Salient. Student media at Victoria ultimately relies on an ongoing financial contribution from the University to operate; it is essential that someone within the University appreciates the roles that student media fulfill, and is accountable for its ongoing success. In that vein, Salient asked the University “what is the function of studentrun media, and is a student radio station a necessary aspect of Victoria University?” A university spokesperson responded, “The University received a proposal from VUWSA which outlined a request to receive Student Services Levy Funding to cover Salient and VBC in 2012. We are still in discussions about student media services to be covered in 2013.” Effectively wiping their hands of VUWSA operations has been somewhat of a trend for the University lately, despite the growing amount of control they exert via the post-VSM contracting process. Student media is never going to be financially viable. It’s always going to feel just a little underfunded, a little scrappy. But as Morgan says, if we want a radio station we have to commit. VSM’s thrown everything out of whack, but shit, it’s been a year. The VBC online stream has a limit of 250 individual connections. This should be an annoying restraint, not a far-fetched goal. *VBC are too small to move into podcasting, as the royalties situation with podcasts is much more stringent.
Silver By Julia Wells Julia Wells talks to Frances [not real name] about her life at London University in 1948, horse-meat deliveries, and the problems in buying lipstick... Julia: So, where were you when you were 21? Frances: I was in London as a student, living in student digs, sharing a room with another girl. We lived as members of the family of our landlady, so we had no degree of independence, but also we didn't have the burdens of housekeeping that student flatters have now. J: You were at university? F: Yes, at that time I was in my third year of an Honours degree, which at that time was the final year, because wartime arrangements had allowed us to telescope it somewhat. J: Was there much of a student life? Parties, drinking, dances? F: There was a student life but first you have to allow for the very different conditions. This was London still almost under wartime conditions, only no one was throwing anything at anybody anymore. But the shortages had continued long after the war ended, and there was certainly no general culture of drinking. I don't say that the male students didn't have a binge every now and again... There were a couple of organised events, one of which was the November 5th march on Parliament, a mock attempt to follow in the footsteps of Guy Fawkes and menace Parliament... It was all good for a laugh. J: You mentioned shortages. What kind of stuff couldn't you get? F: Food. Almost any consumer goods, because production, of course, had all been directed in the war towards war materials. After the war, it had rejigged itself towards exports, which would earn the foreign exchange that England was now so very short of, and so everything was
in very short supply. Clothing was not too bad, because everyone who had served in the forces had their own uniform. They usually weren't too warm to wear inside, because heating was also in short supply. Our place was quite chilly. J: Sounds like today! F: For the people who hadn't been in the forces, a whole lot of surplus to requirement government stores had come onto the market. I had a beautiful close-fitting jacket that had belonged to the fire service which did me for years, and was very warm and trim. Another notable one was cosmetics, and most creature comforts. The chemist at the back gate kept a waiting list of people, so I had to wait a whole term to buy my lipstick—Geranium shade—costing at that time one and ninepence. It took me a whole term to get it, but once I'd got it I made it last a very long time. J: Was there much of a black market? F: Yes, there was [laughs]. Almost anything could be got on the black market. The locality I went through on my way to Bloomsbury had a little enclave of the dodgy dealers doing their affairs on street corners. They looked menacing: they had the standard thing of wide-lapel trenchcoats, tightly belted; trilby pulled down over the eyes; collars turned up, sometimes, but not always, dark glasses... But they were of no menace at all to the average passer-by. J: What about the rest of the sleazy side of London? F: We did walk through Soho. In the mornings they would be cleaning out the nightclubs from the night before, with some very unlovely swilling of pavements. They didn't look at all glamorous with the neon lighting off and everything exposed to the cold light of day. Soho was also a place for nice little restaurants, and we were probably some of the very few people to see the carts delivering horsemeat parked discreetly round the back, away from
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the façades with their tempting menus outside of steak. In spite of shabbiness, London was still London, and a wonderful place to be. J: What are the biggest differences that you've noticed between education today and when you were young? F: There were far fewer people with a university education, and you could confidently expect to get a job. There were also fewer women science graduates, and fewer going into industry. Most women would have gone into teaching or the civil service, which surprisingly did recruit women quite freely. The sting in the tail of that was that before the war it was necessary for a woman civil servant to retire on marriage. J: If you had any advice to offer students today..? F: I would say that they would probably develop certain powers better by choosing a limited range of subjects, within a body of related knowledge, rather than by taking a large eclectic set. It's wonderful to think about doing that, but whether subjects cross-fertilise each other is an important thing to think about. J: Last ofall, how doyou think it is being a student now compared tothen? F: Hard to judge. As far as student life goes, it's the conditions of living really that allow students now such greater freedom. They almost always go flatting, which in the post war shortage of accommodation just was not possible. J: Are we all selfish and degenerate? F: Not the ones I notice. Now that conditions for student support have become so difficult, you could hardly be judged selfish for making the sacrifices necessitated by getting yourself to university these days.
Linings Julia Wells talks to Lindis Taylor about student idealism and Victoria University in the 1950s... Julia: Could you tell me about where you were when you were 21? Lindis: When I was 21 I was not in a place very different from you. I was at Vic, doing an MA in English and finding it very heavy going. In those days there was no BA Honours, you just finished a BA and went straight on to an MA and could do it in one year. In a subject like English, there was no requirement that you do a thesis, and you could do it by eight papers. It was a challenging year. J: It sounds completely terrifying! What was Victoria like back then?
social events? L: I didn't go to them all, by any means. There were fairly regular dances, particularly Orientation Week. There were different activities: dances, a band playing popular music of the day. They were very sedate. There was no liquor for sale, but students used to bring beer to consume outside. J: Nothing changes. L: We had great fun, but there wasn't a great deal of drunkenness, and nothing in the way of drugs. I gathered later that there were people who played around with drugs, but it was totally unknown to me and to all the friends I had. It was an innocent and very enjoyable experience. You didn't have the sort of pressure that prevents students today from joining clubs and societies. I didn't join many, but there were people who were very involved in the drama club, and in various clubs associated with their academic interests. I was involved with some
L: This was a period when the true horror of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe (and of course China) had not really been revealed. I think there were plenty of people, although I wasn't one of them, who did believe that Communism in some form was the way to make progress. I had a feeling that large numbers of students shared those idealistic attitudes, believing that the world was slowly getting better, and that there was an inevitable move towards egalitarianism. There was also an awareness of the anti-colonial movement. At that time the Empires were still intact, and the moves towards independence were becoming strong. You were aware of the independence movements in Malaya and in parts of Africa. We believed that there was the opportunity for all those ex-colonies to set up governments that were enlightened, and controlled by forces that were moderately on the left.
L: The main building that existed was what J: Finally, if you could give some is now called the Hunter building, and the advice to young people today, Law and the Arts faculties were in that. To looking back on your life, what the South were the two main Science would you tell us? faculties, Chemistry in the wing to the I had a feeling that large numbers southwest, and physics in the wing to the L: One of the things that strike me today of students shared those idealistic southeast, overlooking the city. The Music is that students don't have the time for attitudes, believing that the world department was tucked in to the first floor interests and politics, and so become of the Chemistry block, and the newest cynical and uninterested in political was slowly getting better, and that building was immediately behind the Kirk activity. The way states have developed, there was an inevitable move towards building. Biology and Botany were there. and the swing towards globalisation, Behind that there was nothing, just a few egalitarianism. have tended to undermine democracy prefabs. It was kind of a wilderness where and principles of fairness and equality. Rankine Brown [the library] is now, and the other students in setting up a social democrat Consequently, I think young people are Easterfield building was being built during that time. club. We decided that we weren't exactly disillusioned about the hopes of making This was in the late 1950s. Where the Student Union Communists, but were definitely on the left. I changes. In terms of advice, I would still is now was occupied by tennis courts. It was a small don't know how long it survived. I was also one say that the only hope for the creation of a institution, no more than 1000 full time students. of a few students who set up the film society. fairer world is for young people not to lose J: That's tiny! L: Most of the students were part-time students, particularly those in Law and Commerce. You sort of knew everybody, it wasn't much bigger than secondary school. J: Can you tell me about the
J: Looking back, when you were our age, what did you think was going to happen? Was communism going to take over? Was New Zealand going to get richer, or poorer? What did people see as the future?
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the idealism, not to lose hope in making change, and in pushing back the overwhelming pressure towards unfettered capitalism. To me, civilisation depends on individual citizens accepting the sharing of power with each other, through an elected government. The opposite is really barbarism and anarchy.
Fuck the Greytriarchy
New Zealand is facing an upcoming fiscal crisis. Its source? Our parents. In an unprecedented and worldwide scenario, our population is getting older faster than we are getting it on. As the number of pensioners increases, greater financial pressure is put on a decreasing number of taxpayers (read: us, when we finally leave the comforts of university). Laetitia Laubscher explains how our ageing population will affect your wallet.
By Laetitia Laubscher It all started with one baby somewhere in 1947. In the period we endearingly refer to as the ‘baby boom’, from 1947 to 1973, New Zealand women were producing, on average, more than three little ones each—even peaking at 4.3 kids per woman in 1961. Then, in a reversal of priorities, women and men found other things to do with their time—like careers, or divorce—thus delaying having babies, and decreasing the quantity of said babies. The average fertility rate started to slowly decline to 2.18 in 2009. This is currently still enough to ensure that our population replaces itself ('replacement level criteria'), but is a poor comparison to the past, resulting in a serious thinning at the younger end of the age demographic pyramid—the beginning of an ageing population. Since 2010, this sizeable baby-boomer
section of the population has started to stroll into retirement with their palms open, ready for their piece of the New Zealand Superannuation pie. While they may seem like a harmless bunch, the fact that we are faced with a substantially higher population of retirees is no light matter. Currently there is one dependent member (those under 15 and over 65) of the population for every two taxpayers (those over 15 and under 65). According to a forecast cited in the a March 2002 Treasury Report The Economics of Population Ageing, the amount of people in New Zealand over the age of 65 will have more than doubled from being 12 per cent of the general population in 1999 to 26 per cent in 2050. As medical advances have led to increased longevity, this growing grey crowd also boast a current life expectancy of around 23 years for males and 25 years for females after retirement. But someone’s got to look after grandma and grandpa. New Zealand first started showing some
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universal love to our older folks in 1898 with the introduction of the Old Age Pension Act, which provided each retiree with a taxpayer-funded £18 a year. Originally, a state pension was considered to be a mutually beneficial intergenerational agreement between those who enjoy the benefits of tax—the elderly—and those who pay the taxes. After working to pay taxes to support the elderly, at age 65 a taxpayer can retire and be supported by other taxpayers. In 2013 the New Zealand Superannuation is a fortnightly payment to New Zealand citizens and residents over 65; our ageing population is placing increased pressure on this taxpayer-funded system of care. Greater economic strain is placed on the taxpayer to fund an increasing number of Superannuation payouts, not to mention healthcare and other expenditures related to the elderly. In New Zealand, this situation is forecast to continue to worsen as the growth rate of New Zealand’s workingage population is predicted to decline and
were installed today it would lead to a saving of 10 per cent of taxpayers’ money,” claims Dr St John.
become negative by the year 2041. Where to from here? Beyond increasing the working class’ taxes, increasing immigration, or diverting funding from other essential areas, three other solutions are being debated. The first solution under investigation is to raise the retirement age. This seems like an easy solution, considering it would increase the size of the workforce and decrease the amount of pension pay-outs. However, some commentators argue that if a higher number of older and more skilled and experienced workers stay in the workforce, this may increase unemployment amongst youth who are comparatively inexperienced. (Although this seems to be more of a concern in countries already facing high unemployment rates.) On the other end of the spectrum, the Treasury Report indicates that elderly workers are discriminated against in the workforce on the basis of technological illiteracy as well as their expectation of higher wages for longer terms of service. Another consideration in raising the retirement age, raised by Dr Susan St John, Associate Professor of the Retirement Policy and Research Centre of Auckland University, is that “there would be equity problems with raising the retirement age, especially for groups who have to ‘hang on’ until a pension is available to them, and cannot work due to illness or other reasons.” A second solution would be to cut the burden on the working population by decreasing the value of pension a retiree receives. According to Dr St John, this solution is problematic, as “40 per cent of pensioners rely solely on the Superannuation fund.” The potential consequences of pulling the financial rug out from under our ageing population aren’t pretty. In Germany, a country with one of the fastest ageing and slowest growing populations, an increasing number of pensioners are unable to afford retirement
A murky horizon.
homes. The solution? Thousands of pensioners have been sent abroad to cheaper rest homes in Eastern Europe and Asia, left to age alone in a foreign country, far away from their families and home. There may be hope though. Dr St John
"As the problems of an ageing population are unprecedented on a worldwide scale, there are many more areas which are likely to be affected, but for now the exact outcomes are unknown." suggests that there is a third alternative. In 1985, the Labour Government introduced a surcharge tax of 25 cents per every dollar of income earned by pensioners other than their pension. This essentially worked as an income test for pensioners, effectively ensuring that those who were able to support themselves through ongoing employment were less of a burden on government funds. In its first year, this surcharge saw 10 per cent of pensioners paying the value of their pension back entirely, and 13 per cent making a partial pay-back. Unfortunately, half a decade later this surcharge was abolished. “If that system
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Beyond the economic impact, an ageing population has further effects on the greater fiscal structure of New Zealand. For us students, a growing need for healthcare professionals and support workers may affect our choice in careers. An ageing population can also affect the affordability of certain services. “Some government provisions will get more expensive, superannuation and healthcare especially,” explains Treasury Analyst Rebecca Prebble. As the problems and shifts in our society’s structure as a result of a highly-dependent ageing population are unprecedented on a worldwide scale, there are many more areas which are likely to be affected, but for now the exact outcomes are unknown. “There are many options to explore [in managing this demographic shift], but it is a decision that has to be made within the next 15 years,” says Prebble. In the lead-up to the 2011 General Election the Labour Party announced their intention to raise the age from 65 to 67 by 2033 if successful. United Future proposes a flexible pension rate which increases as older workers choose to defer retirement, leaving the choice to retire between the ages of 60 and 70. The Green Party has no exact policies addressing the issue in place, but say they continue to aim to provide policies “that will benefit all New Zealanders and the environment.” And as our population gets increasingly older and the issue creeps slowly closer, the Government appears to be leaving the problem for future politicians—and future generations—to deal with. Encouraged last year by the Retirement Commissioner to begin gradually increase the retirement age from 2020, Prime Minister John Key responded, “[That] may be for another day, but not for today.” When that day is exactly, and how many problems we’ll have to deal with then, is yet to be seen.
Birthdays - the worst days? Salient shares your birthday regrets I went to town on a Thursday to celebrate turning 18 with a boy I had a crush on. We drank vodka out of a straw on the waterfront. Blanket Man called me a cunt. We lost a karaoke competition and then went skinnydipping in the mid-winter sea.
I took an open bar a little too seriously at a 21st and fell asleep on the toilet. Was woken an hour later once the party had ended after being discovered by a friend’s sister. Then I was waiting for the bus and was busting, so I urinated in the bus stop by Parliament. But I did it as I was sitting on the seat so that security cameras wouldn’t catch me. The puddle said otherwise.
At my brother’s 21st, one guy was sufficiently drunk/on codeine to give an unprepared speech about how this one time my brother made out with someone, not realising said person was a transvestite (he made the whole story up!). This was in front of my parents and many extended family members (who are very religious). It just got progressively worse until someone had to take the mic off him.
I was at my friend's sister's 21st and her dad went on stage to do his speech. He was telling a story about how when she was younger she was quite sick and had something wrong with her tonsils or something like that, and because of it she couldn't suck her bottle. So he proceeded to tell the story and ended it with: “But it's fine because today she's now a great sucker!” There were several gasps and then everyone pissed themselves while her dad was standing on stage wondering what people were laughing about, realised what he said, went bright red, finished his speech mighty fast and went and sat at the back of the room.
My friends and I all figured we would be on different sides of the world when we turned 21 (we all still live in Wellington) so we all did speeches at each other’s 18ths. 18-year-olds have all the stories with none of the restraint, so my mother learnt my horrific virginity story, while I explained my best friend’s first night with Ibanov Vodka to his grandparents in excruciating detail.
When I was in second year I went to a friend’s 21st. It was a real formal affair—streamers, parents, grandparents, the whole shebang. So things were running smoothly, everyone was having a good time when another friend—let’s call her ‘Sandra’—gets really drunk, to the point that she’s shouting the word “slut!” repeatedly at the birthday girl while the birthday girl’s dad is doing his speech. And this wasn’t because of some sexual rivalry between the two but just because she thought it was funny. Naturally, everyone was shocked by this—including Nan, unsurprisingly—and turned to find the source of the hollering, at which point ‘Sandra’ laughed, stumbled, then fell over in a pool of beer.
I was staying with a friend around the time of my 21st at her communal/ hippy flat in Aro Valley. The evening of my birthday we had drinks; I ended up having quite a few, as well as some lines of a mysterious white powder. Sometime later, I was half-naked and yelling "FUCK YOU SOCIETY FOR MAKING ME INTO A SHEEP, I WON'T TURN INTO MY MOTHER!". Later I woke up in the bed of a guy whose full-time job is quite literally making dream weavers to sell on Etsy.
I went out for a few drinks with my friends, had a couple of drinks, didn’t get laid.
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On my 18th my friends decided to take me to a strip club. It was a Thursday, so a pretty quiet night. Not wanting to pay the Mermaids door charge, we went to Dreamgirls. Sitting at the back and drinking our $13 Mac’s Golds, we watched a woman on stage gradually denude herself. This was expected. Next, she pulled out an array of three dildos. A front-row observer chose one and away she went, leaving no hole unworked. The same followed for the second and third dildos ('dildoes?'—never thought I'd have to pluralise it). The girl sat down, sipping from a bottle—fair enough, she was probably thirsty. Then, on her back she lay. I'll save you, dear reader, from the next part of the story, only to say the front row was soaked by the contents of the aforementioned bottle, and they loved every minute of it. We promptly left— to Hope Bros, if you're interested.
It was my 13th birthday and I was in Gore. Please don’t ask why. To celebrate my entrance into adolescence my family and I—which included my four young cousins who were Gore locals—went to the only Chinese restaurant in the village. We sat down around the circular table (which I am told is called a ‘Lazy Susan’), a Chinese tour bus walked in (not the bus, the people in it), then my cousin, aged five, crawled beneath the table and starting shouting “PENIS! PENIS! PENIS!” I wished I was still a child.
Early morning on my girlfriend (now ex)’s 21st, she left to drink at a beach (/bang my best friend all day). We then had dinner with her mum’s family, where she threw a tanty and started crying, her uncle decked me, I threw a bowl of cream on her grandma, and she threw the necklace I’d carved for her into the ocean. It took another fortnight for us to break up.
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your students' association
THE McCOURT REPORT
be introduced, reduced or changed. You might want a dental clinic at Vic, or less funding for that awful Salient rag. The point is, it should be your choice to make, it’s your money. Keep an eye out for the Student Experience Survey; it’s another great way to have your say. The idea of students speaking for students in the ways they find comfortable is one you’d think is pretty basic, and pretty widely held in a place like Vic, right? Well, many student leaders are worried that Vic has switched off to hearing your voice.
By President Rory McCourt Time for the Student Voice to be Restored. Making sure you’re heard by the Uni is the single most important thing that VUWSA and I do. It’s why we were founded 114 years ago, and it’s why we’re still around today. While the foodbank, diaries and wall planners are great; students’ associations are here to facilitate the student voice and represent the wishes, needs and ideals of you, our students. Why? Because uni is a community. It’s a community that you’ve paid thousands of dollars to join, that you’ve worked hard to arrive at. It’s only right that you should get a say in how those dollars are spent, and how your education is delivered. Not as a consumer, but as a valued member of this community, as a student. The people who sit in the place you now occupy in the decades to come will thank you for taking the opportunity to make Vic better. That’s why we as students helped to fund the Boyd-Wilson field redevelopment, and the construction of the Hub through the VUWSA Trust. Having students involved in decision-making, consultation and the planning of a university’s future can do wonders for lifting educational quality. The research suggests that universities with strong student representation and consultation systems have higher pass rates, more responsive staff and better policy-implementation success in all sorts of areas. Any successful organisation understands the importance of quality feedback. How does it work? Well, let me give you a fictitious example: Rory is a class rep for POLS111. Rory’s mate, Akino, says the lecturer talks too quickly, and the lecture theatre is too cold so no one comes on Tuesday at 9am. Rory then talks to the lecturer as part of their Monday coffee catch-up and by Tuesday the lecturer has slowed down her quick Kiwi slur and the room is a comfortable 20°. The fact is that small, proactive interventions like this can mean a world of difference, not only for students freezing their arses off, but for any university which seeks to understand how students are doing in a given course, school, programme or faculty. Victoria is actually really good at acknowledging the value of this kind of approach. That’s why they run the class-rep and faculty-delegates system in partnership with VUWSA: because it’s valuable to have students speaking up for students. It’s also why the University has made sure we’ve had a strong, independent students’ association. Voice goes beyond the kind of smaller interventions I mentioned: it includes students having a say on those major changes which will affect those who have yet to study here, like programme reviews and the funding of crucial support services. In this year’s review of services, as an example, students have huge opportunities to let VUWSA and the University know which services you think ought to
Why would we think that? Well, in late 2011 senior University Management recommended dropping VUWSA as the primary representative body at Vic. It was in response to ACT MP Heather Roy’s Voluntary Student Membership (VSM) Bill. The bill said nothing about primary representative bodies, it just said that the Uni couldn’t force you to join a students’ association (which is fair enough). The rest was really up to each university. In a misguided rush to comply with the law the Student Forum was born. "But what is the Student Forum, Rory?" I hear you eagerly ask. The Student Forum is the University-created primary representative body that appoints student reps to over a dozen important boards and committees across the university. Its delegates can and do cast votes on behalf of you for everything from course changes in Japanese studies to the level of fees for Law. Last year, some students who sat on the Forum were appointed by the University itself. The three meetings that did occur in late 2012 were dominated by members of the Forum wrestling with fundamental questions: who am I representing, How did I get here? Legitimacy comes from the student body, not from a document. You have to earn representation. What is most concerning is that students have paid over $100,000 to have it set up and run in its first year, despite the fact we have never had a say about whether we even want it. VUWSA raised concerns in 2011, and numerous times in 2012 about the legitimacy, accountability and undemocratic nature of the Forum. Management has not sufficiently taken those concerns on board, and in frustration VUWSA, Ngāi Tauira (the Māori Students’ Association) and the Pasifika Students’ Council have announced we will be not attending another Forum meeting. We’re pulling out. We’ve said we all want a place for discussion with everyone at the table, but that the Forum isn’t that place. We need a system that recognises and values a strong, independent student voice, that allows us to come together as a student body. It makes sense that the democratic and accountable students’ association is at the heart of that, with the resources and history to be able to facilitate conversations and champion the voiceless. The law does not require the Forum to exist. VSM-paranoia has pushed otherwise cool heads to implement a solution to a nonexistent legislative problem. Some have forgotten the importance of an independent student voice in the process. Student voice does not exist merely to tick a consultative box. It exists because people are entitled speak for themselves. Mistakes like the Forum can be avoided simply by listening to students and their representatives, and by empowering students to have some selfdetermination around how that voice is heard. This isn’t about student politics; it’s about learning from our mistakes and restoring a crucial voice for everyone’s benefit.
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wellbeing & sustainability officer
NGAI TAUIRA Kia ora anō koutou,
By Rick Zwaan Oh, hey there. First off, congratulations and thank you to all who supported the Campaign for Marriage Equality. It was inspiring to watch the great speeches in support of the Bill as it went through its Second Reading last week. The power of a collective voice shone through, so massive kudos to those who coordinated campaigns so this could happen. VUWSA has been behind this campaign all the way, thanks to a motion at the AGM, and an overwhelming majority on last year’s student-initiated referendum. This year, I’m hoping we can use the same enthusiasm to ensure all tertiary students can get to Uni and around town without breaking the bank. You’re probably a bit short on cash at the moment; bond, rent, food and those expensive compulsory textbooks have put a dent in all of our wallets. Paying for the train or bus to get to Uni simply costs too much.
This week we’re introducing Ngā Rangahautira, the Māori Law Students association at Victoria University. Ngā Rangahautira is based in the Old Government Building at the Pipitea Campus, Room 140C. It is focussed on the enhancement of the understanding of law; encouraging academic excellence among Māori Law students, and a commitment to kaupapa Māori. NR hosts a number of social, academic, cultural and political events to create opportunities for networking through socialising with fellow Law students, lawyers and judges. They coordinate study sessions for students in the early stages of their degree, and often work alongside the Māori Law Students' Coordinator. One particularly popular event they participate in is Te Hunga Roia, an annual meeting of Māori Law students and professionals designed to foster relationships throughout New Zealand and across different sectors of law.
During O-Week you might have seen postcards floating around for the campaign to get fairer fares on buses. I’m stoked to say that my desk is littered with over a thousand signed cards so thanks to you. I’ve also got a few from some regional councillors who are already behind the campaign. Most of our local MPs, heaps of community groups, other students’ associations and our fine University have also signalled their support. This is the year we will get Fairer Fares. However, this will only happen if you get on board with it. Check out www.fairerfares.org.nz and let the Regional Council know that you need tertiary fares. We need it, our communities need it, our businesses need it, and our climate needs it. Our region needs Fairer Fares.
This Friday is Ngā Rangahautira’s AGM. It kicks off at 6pm in the Library MPI room, Old Government Building on Level 2. The evening will be a great opportunity to learn about the rōpū and meet other Māori Law students. Membership is open to all levels and if you would like to know more about the AGM or the group in general, contact details are: email: vuw_nr@myvuw. ac.nz, and phone: (04) 463 6329.
If you live in the Hutt, there is a forum happening on Thursday night where you can let your regional councillors (Peter Glensor, Prue Lamason and Sandra Greig) know that they need to take leadership and introduce fairer fares. Check out fairerfares.org.nz/whats-happening/ for more details. This year I’ll also be working on some other things to help out your wellbeing and the sustainability of campus; I’ll let you know about these when they happen. Hope you are all having a choice time in and out of class. Chur, Rick. P.S. Save water and share the shower, it’s good fun.
PASIFIKA STUDENTS' COUNCIL Congratulations, you’ve made it to Week three. Hopefully you’ve found all your readings and all your books, remember to ask us if you need help with anything. Loto Aho Study Session Wednesday, 4-6pm at Pasifika Haos (feed provided). Ema Sanga Critical Thinking Workshop Tuesday and Thursday, 12-1pm at Pasifika Haos (no need to sign up). Library Tool Workshop Friday, 1.00-1.50pm; 2.00-2.50pm; 3.00-3.50pm at KK217 Cyber Common (find out how to look for books and online resources). Take care of yourselves, drink heaps of water and enjoy life. Get those assignments in and get them A+. Text: 021 207 4733 Phone: (04) 463 6242 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.victoria.ac.nz/vicpasifika/
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~ COLUMNS ~
bent By Matthew Ellison
On Wednesday night I sat in Parliament to watch the Second Reading of Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill. A friend had posted on Facebook earlier that day the rules to a drinking game: “Who wants to play a responsible drinking game for the Marriage Equality reading tonight? Drink every time someone says 'bisexual'. I guarantee you’ll still be fairly sober at the end.” I counted. The grand total was three. Many MPs who spoke talked about the gay and lesbian people who would be affected by the bill. A couple of them spoke about the straight people who would (somehow) be affected by the bill: a couple talked about how trans* people would be affected. Almost none talked about bisexual people (Jan Logie gets bonus points, though, for being the only MP to talk about queerdom in an inclusive sense – her speech was my favourite). This is indicative of the problem of biphobia
and bisexual invisibility. Another friend, who identifies as bisexual, recently left a relationship with an opposite-gender partner. She said she was now considering getting more involved in some queer things because she wouldn’t feel weird about being in a queer space while in a relationship with a man. People would assume she was straight, and she felt like she was less welcome in the space. It’s not her job to just ‘be more comfortable’. It’s our job to make her feel more welcome. Biphobia exists both outside and within the queer community. Hurtful, harmful accusations like bisexual people are "just being greedy", or "unable to commit", or "they’re actually gay and just pretending", "it’s just a phase", or "they’re just confused" are commonplace and believed by many. None of them are universally true. All of them are harmful. How do we fix this? Language would be a good place to start. When you’re talking about issues that affect people who are attracted to more than one gender, use descriptors like queer, or non-heterosexual, or LGBT to be
properly inclusive and not further marginalise a group that is already a minority. Don’t treat bisexuality like a dirty thing, but recognise it for the genuine identity that it is. If someone mentions a previous partner of the same gender, don’t immediately assume they identify as gay or lesbian. If someone who has previously only had heterosexual relationships enters into a same-sex one, don’t assume they’re gay or lesbian! You’re probably wrong! Sexuality is fluid without being a choice (this is my mantra). I’m really attracted to bisexual dudes. Let’s not maintain an environment that makes it harder to come out as bisexual! Let’s put in the tiny amount of effort it takes to remember that bisexuality exists. It’ll be much appreciated. If you have any questions, comments
or feedback, please feel free to email
email@example.com, visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/uniq.victoria.9, or at our website: uniqvictoria.co.nz. Tell us what you’d like to see here - we’d love to hear from you!
secret diary of officious first-year Secret Diary of Officious First-Year 2: Melancholy, exhaustion. I lie alone, staring out through a drizzle-speckled window at a vile Wellington morning. The window is wide open, yet the radiator is on full, in a cunning tactic to maintain the constant temperature of my Weir House room. The Generation Zero poster Blu-tacked to my wall flutters gently in the breeze. I pull myself from my goose-down cesspit of misery, and wander begrudgingly down the hallway for the shower to wake me from my 11am exhaustion. Stepping into the cubicle, my foot lands firmly on the bathmat, strewn casually across the floor by the previous occupant. Cold soapy water oozes out of it, the body-washing residue of the earlier few. How inconsiderate! I reflect on the miserable situation awhile in the lukewarm water before returning to my room. I carefully leave the bathmat as I found it, so as to spite those who left it in such a state in the first place. Nor can I be bothered hanging it up. I’m sick, you see. Sick as a dog. The doctor even told me so, at Mauri Ora (as my politically correct friends like to call it). She said to me that I should have plenty of time to myself in my room, not to
overwork myself, and spend some time getting over an acute case of homesickness. Disability services even offered to deliver me by van to my classes if I like. Very kind of them. There’s only room for one, so the boy on crutches has to wait in the rain. There’s also a big sign on my door saying: “ROOM IN ISOLATION. DO NOT ENTER.” I wouldn’t want to give my homesickness to anyone. My 'fresher five' belly rumbles. Breakfast ended at the hellishly early time of 9.30, so tragically, I missed it. Oh, for shame! I should have eaten more rice last night at dinner, but I couldn’t be bothered— grabbing Maccas was way easier. I pop downstairs to pick up the daily care package from my mum, and sit on my bed to further mull my misery over. Oh to be at home, where breakfast in bed gets delivered to sick children when it suits them. I look longingly out the window, and gently nurse my beleaguered body back to a well-deserved sleep. Keep me company on Twitter: @GMo4Lyf
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~ COLUMNS ~
e f i L r u o Y g n i x i F
[BECAUSE OURS ARE WRITTEN OFF]
Hector, Janet— I've never had particularly burning views about social class in New Zealand. I always just tried to assert my superiority over others by correctly using semicolons. I thought it had worked. Recently, however, I keep hearing all this talk of 'privilege' and 'entitlement' and “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVE A BEACH HOUSE? WELL IS IT A BACH OR A REAL HOUSE?”. These kinds of politically minded conversations seem to be carried out by people who know way more than me and would beat me around the head with statistics if I ventured an opinion. What is my basic guide to yarning about this stuff? Yours, Gretchen Wieners.
Hector Hi G, Frankly, I don’t know much about politics or economics because that shit is boring to me, but if three years of living in Wellington has taught me anything, it’s that privilege is everywhere. Here’s my personal guide to navigating the potential pitfalls, but bear in mind that in my case I’m talking from a pretty privileged position. In case that was absolute gibberish to you, ‘privilege’ describes the idea that life is not an equal playing field, as Ayn Rand would have us believe. We’re all born into different circumstances, and those among us who happen to have the benefit of society’s favour may lack an understanding of what life is like on the other side of the coin. It’s a reminder to take a step back and think
about things from another perspective, particularly if you’re white, male, ablebodied, cisgender, straight, or a multitude of other things. Heck, we’re all privileged in that we can read, write, own property and attend university. It shouldn’t be an insult, but it’s something to be aware of. That said, if all you do is sit around internalising and feeling sorry for yourself or others, you’re entirely missing the point. This is a chance to learn, to teach, and hopefully even to make change. You might be incredibly keen to discuss feminism and its application in the video-gaming industry, but might know nothing at all about race issues, or trans* issues, or a multitude of other things. University is a big place, and an amazing opportunity to learn about these things even outside of lectures. If there’s anything you don’t know, even about something as simple as terminology, don’t be afraid to ask. After all, activist types love nothing more than to spread their message! That said, there are a few things you might want to avoid. Remember that small communities, particularly online, can be real echo chambers. People often take fundamental outrage to anything that offends them; often because they feel obliged to, and by bouncing off each other they only build upon the gulf that separates them from everyone else. Work out which issues are actually important to you, and avoid spending eight hours a day signing petitions to end the racial discrimination inherent in the lunch menu at the Hunter Lounge. I think Martin Luther King, Jr. put it best when he said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” That sentiment has been echoed by many others throughout history in relation to all sorts of causes, from feminism to queer
Janet and Hector are our resident advice columnists for 2013. If you've got a problem you'd like them to solve, send your queries through to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject: 'ADVICE'.
rights. It’s definitely not easy to live that way, but it can’t hurt, right? At the end of the day, if you can acknowledge that there is plenty of darkness in this world, and that we’re all a product of our experience and upbringing, you’ll do fine. Once you’re aware of how you’re placed, and you remember to check yo’ privilege before making big statements, you’re much better placed to navigate the potential minefield of social justice. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, be proud of your own opinions and respect everyone else’s. FTP (Fuck the Patriarchy), Hector.
Janet My dad told me once that he wished my brothers and I were less sheltered. It was hard to take him seriously because he said it across the plane aisle on a flight to Tahiti. Needless to say, upon my arrival at university I was more sheltered than I would admit sans nom de plume. My one saving grace was that I no longer walked around in a private school uniform that would have allowed people to make all of the necessary inferences and more. (A pity: the skirt was a nice cut.) I have learned a couple of things. Your assumptions about people’s finances will most likely be off, so don’t make them. Humility is necessary. Be grateful if your safety net is a phone call away. Do not resent people that you feel are better off than you (any more than is absolutely necessary). Remember how it’s meant to be about happiness? And how that’s not the same as money? Look, I’ll run you through it at the driving range. Janet.
If you have issues or concerns that you wish to discuss privately and confidentially with a professional, rather than Hector and Janet, 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 email@example.com. Visit Mauri Ora, Level 1, Student Union Building.
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~ COLUMNS ~
time to get a grip
Being international Chun cheah On the survey form for the Performance Arcade recently held at the waterfront, I immediately circled my home as ‘Wellington City’. Then my eyes caught sight of another category, and I circled that as well, connecting both circles with a primitive ampersand to denote that I was, in addition, ‘International’. Come May, it will be two years since I first set foot in Wellington. I tell my friends, colleagues or anyone who will listen that I feel, and have felt, very much at home here. My friends, colleagues or anyone who will listen would also be quite aware of what I think of my 'home' country.
caitlin craIGIe Most people reading this have probably taken a bath before. This first experience probably occurred as an infant whereby your family took pictures of you naked in the bath, and then distributed these photos—without your verbal or written consent I might add—in family-album form. Charming. There are many possible reasons why you may have taken a bath more recently. You may be the daredevil of your flat, who exhibits a reckless abandon for electricity bills and the budgets of your flatmates. You may be a ‘real bloke’ who likes to watch your gastrointestinal effervescence travel through an aqueous medium. You may even be a narcissist—not that anyone could blame you—who bathes in your own, perfectly scented, socalled 'filth' in order to help preserve your awesomeness (incidentally both the water and taps provide potential reflective surfaces for you to gaze at). Or you may be like me, who bathes when standing up in a shower just seems like a smidgen too much effort.
You may even be a narcissist who bathes in your own, perfectly scented, socalled "filth"
Where before I was always the odd guy always smiling to people in the streets, now I finally feel normal and welcome. Within two months of my arrival in Wellington, I was interviewed for a YouTube video campaign by Education New Zealand. In that video, I effused praise for Wellingtonians: "It doesn't matter who you are or what you do; the people are very open and friendly". I'm glad to say that those early words still ring true, and weren’t just fluky first impressions. Now, almost two years later, my Physics research has taken me to Christchurch and Auckland, allowing me to tour those cities as well. However, in those places I never found the things which have made me fall in love with Wellington: its walkability, its delicate balance of working professionals and students, and its surrounding hills which provide refreshing solitude. In the Performance Arcade, my eyes were caught by a girl on rollerskates dressed in a sailor-like beige jacket. Below those were tights and kneepads, on her back the words "Take Me Somewhere", her eyes blindfolded. After ogling for a moment, her companion spotted me and asked if I would like to take her somewhere to which I agreed. I asked the Blind Sailor where she'd like to go and she replied, the beach.
Regardless of your motivations for bathing, if you are exceptionally observant and intelligent you may have noticed that your skin goes wrinkly if you stay in the water too long. If you are unequivocally a genius, you may have noticed that this only appears to happen to your hands and feet. If you are a pleasure to teach because of your inquisitive nature, you may have even questioned why this might be.
As I took her hand and we plodded along—her unsteadily as I realised how terrible a guide to the blind I would make—we introduced ourselves and Beth, the Blind Sailor, commented that it was strange to meet a person by only hearing their voice, without seeing their face. She then very hesitantly asked if I was raised in another country.
The short answer is that it’s your body’s way of getting a massive grip. How was this discovered? Basically, some people with obviously far too much grant money did a study whereby people with far too much free time (but not quite enough to become an unpaid science columnist) let their hands simmer for 30 minutes in water and then tried to pick up marbles. What they discovered was that the wrinkly hands provided better grip. Also, Science found that individuals with nerve damage in their fingers do not experience this wrinkliness. This is probably due to the fact that all people with nerve damage feel compelled to apply Olay moisturiser liberally. The conclusion drawn from these studies is that it’s your brain that decides that your fingers and feet go wrinkly, not the water itself.
I then realised that even without seeing my face, my international origin was still apparent. Perhaps I'm not alone in this situation—of finding myself at home in an adopted country, yet finding that the adopted status might never disappear. Perhaps there is a beauty in this duality, just like in quantum mechanics, of being both from Wellington City and being international.
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'Weekly Rant' is a space for one-off opinion pieces. Want to write your own? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to let loose.
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~ COLUMNS ~
nigella lawstudent For this issue, I thought I'd do something oldtimey, classic and perfect for a mature Sunday lunch; except studentstyle, by which I mean cheap. When I think of having lunch at Nana's place, I imagine a quiche, a green salad, and a side of heavily-salted radishes for Grandad. The origins of quicheare as a French eggy pie but without the top. The classic quiche lorraine is bacon and cheese, but the alsacienne variation adds onions. I am not of the meat-eating persuasion but feel free to add some into your quiche, perfect for entertaining even the fussiest of Nanas!
FOOD & DRINK
Pastry recipe: 1 cup white flour 1/2 cup butter (preferable) or margarine (cheaper), cut into small cubes 3 tablespoons water Pinch salt
Filling: 3 onions, chopped in rounds 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 3 eggs 3/4 cup milk 1 cup cheese, grated (cheap, or gruyère/Swiss if you're fancy) Salt and pepper
Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the butter/margarine. Using your fingers in a pinching motion, mix the butter through the flour gently. The mixture should become sand-like. Mix one tablespoon of water through with your fingers at a time. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for 15 minutes, then take it out and knead it until it becomes a ball of dough. Let it sit refrigerated for another ten minutes, before rolling it out and placing it in a pie dish. Bake the pastry for ten minutes at 180°C before adding any filling.
Cook the onions with the garlic on a low heat. Don't rush them: you want them soft and sweet. You could also add leek, spinach, mushrooms, or anything you desire to your quiche; I added half a leek instead of the third onion. Beat the eggs lightly, then add the milk. Add the cheese to this mix. Once the onions have cooked through nicely and are just starting to brown, take them off the heat. Put the onion mixture on the bottom of the quiche, then pour the egg-and-cheese mixture on top. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 180°C or until golden. Serve this al fresco, or at least with the window open if you live in the central city, and some asparagus rolls, salads and lamingtons afterwards. You can also make miniature singleserve quiches, as I did, they're eggcellent for uni lunchboxes (har, har).
4x 2min noodle hacks Spicy chicken noodles
Peanut Noodle Salad
Asian Noodle Soup
1 packet 2min noodles (chili flavour) 1/2 cup of shredded cooked chicken Chopped spring onion 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp chopped coriander Pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper Squeeze of lime (optional)
1 packet 2min noodles 1/4 cup peanut butter 1/8 cup each, water, vinegar & teriyaki sauce 1/4 tsp minced garlic Pinch red pepper flakes 1/2 cucumber seeded, sliced 1 carrot, shredded 1 spring onion, sliced
1 packet 2min noodles (mi goreng/Asian flavours prefered) 1 stem of spring onion 1 egg 1 Chinese sausage or chorizo
1 packet 2min noodles 2 eggs 1 cup of cheese Salt and pepper to season
Cook noodles then drain, leaving a small amount of water in the bowl. Mix noodleflavour packet, garlic powder and red (or cayenne) pepper in the water to create a sauce. Mix in spring onions, heated up chicken, coriander and fresh lime juice to taste.
Cook noodles, drain and rinse under cold water, drain again. Whisk peanut butter, water, vinegar, teriyaki sauce, garlic and crushed red pepper in a bowl until smooth. Add noodles, cucumber, carrots and spring onion. Toss to mix.
Chop up sausage and spring onion. Cook noodles in an inch and a half of water. When soft, add flavour sachets and mix. Then add sausage and spring onion. Stir. Make a hole in the middle of the noodles mixture (so that it looks like a donut shape) and crack the egg into it. Let the egg cook so that the yolk is still runny. Pour/slide the mixture into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Use your fork to pierce the yolk. It will ooze into the noodles making the broth thick and delicious.
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Cook one packet of noodles with flavouring, pour water out, add two eggs, stir, put in a small frying pan and wait for the egg to cook a bit. Then put the cheese on top, and put in the oven on grill until the cheese has melted. Take out when brown, and season with salt and pepper.
In My Home There Is No More Sorrow – Rick Bass alex hollis
“Every word I spend here without getting to the bones feels like I am shirking or betraying the obligation of witness.” In the 1994 Rwandan genocide, between 500,000 and one million people were massacred, and yet it's still rare for stories from the genocide to reach Western audiences. Published by McSweeney’s last year, In My Home There Is No More Sorrow is an ambitious and considered piece of long-form non-fiction writing. This is the result of the ten days Rick Bass spent travelling through Rwanda with his wife, their 16-year-old daughter, and his writing colleague Terry. The ostensible reason for their trip was to teach a two-day writing course at the National University of Rwanda, and this forms the organising consciousness of the book, as well
as the bulk of the narrative. Also chronicled are their experiences visiting memorial sites across the country; by far the strongest point of the book. Bass's depictions of bodies piled up in churches—simply left there after the genocide ended—are harrowing. He forces himself—and, by proxy, his reader—to fully realise the extent of the genocide, and the horror contained therein. It's awful, unavoidable, and beautifully written. There is a preoccupation with being a Westerner pervading In My Home There Is No More Sorrow. Every one of Bass’s thoughts is mediated through a layer of discomfort, which is not exactly guilt or shame—because he is overwhelmingly aware that it is a luxury to feel this from an outsider's perspective—but is close to being characterised as such. His discomfort is mostly from his being a white American in a country devastated by genocide, with the full knowledge that UN intervention could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. He skirts around the edges of cliché at times, just avoiding falling into the trap of the Westerner captivated by and envious of 'native' beauty. In
fact, he avoids this trap by openly falling into it, then negating this by pulling himself out. At times it’s as if he forgets the significance of Rwanda, and is openly envious of its people and beauty, before he remembers and berates himself; envy is astoundingly misplaced here. Although this is relevant, and perhaps even necessary, these pontifications can become a bit tedious. This is especially relevant towards the end of the book, when they go to see gorillas in the mountains. Surrounded by jungle, watching a family of gorillas, Bass continues to ruminate on the nature of guilt, evil, and terror. Away from scenes of genocide, this feels less relevant, and has less impact than in other areas of the book. I was inclined to read this as verging on self-indulgence, until his final passage: a consideration on the nature of bearing witness. The philosophising, when taken in this light, becomes both an admirable act and the only option available. This, I think, is his final point: that some things are so terrible that we cannot escape them, and nor should we.
Li twit ure: The Secret History @RICHard_BC: hey @HenryHerodicus @Charles_Macaulay @ Camilla_Macaulay @bunnybro @francissss how do I join your ancient greek class?
@RICHard_BC: @bunnybro @HenryHerodicus @Charles_ Macaulay @Camilla_Macaulay @francissss wait, what secret??!!
@HenryHerodicus: @RICHard_BC you don’t. Julian’s very picky. #standards @bunnybro: @RICHard_BC what up, man? dont suppose you could help me with more greek composition? #grammarishard @RICHard_BC: @HenryHerodicus @Charles_Macaulay @ Camilla_Macaulay @bunnybro @francissss class next week?! Super pumped. @RICHard_BC: @francissss dude, your house is AMAZING #opulence #platonicideal @RICHard_BC: fuck it’s freezing! Hope Italy’s fun @ HenryHerodicus @bunnybro @HenryHerodicus: @RICHard_BC it isn’t. I’m on my way home.
@bunnybro: @HenryHerodicus @Charles_Macaulay @Camilla_ Macaulay @francissss I know your secret.
@bunnybro’s account has been deactivated @Charles_Macaulay: @Camilla_Macaulay come over... I miss you xxxx @Camilla_Macaulay: @HenryHerodicus stop texting me! C might find my phone... I’m on my way. @Charles_Macaulay: @Camilla_Macaulay why are you tweeting Henry? Why are you going over there? @RICHard_BC: @francissss fuck. @Camilla_Macaulay ...might want to get out of there? @HenryHerodicus’s account has been deactivated
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MUSIC Bloc Party, March 7, The Powerstation henry cooke
I was late to the party (I’m sorry) on Bloc Party. Granted, Silent Alarm came out when I was 11, so getting on board with A Weekend in the City wasn’t exactly a cardinal sin, but I still feel bad about it. Of course, I soon found Silent Alarm, and with it the soundtrack to my mid-to-late teens, from the tensely sprung brilliance of 'Like Eating Glass' to the sterile grandeur of the hidden track, ‘Every Time Is the Last Time’. Needless to say (I will anyway), I was plenty excited for their Auckland show. And they (mostly) didn’t disappoint. Kele came out in pigtails, Russell came out still bearing a fringe, and Matt came out shirtless. Starting with a newer song, ‘So He Begins to Lie’, Bloc Party got the crowd excited and dancing from the outset. After another less popular song (‘Trojan
The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake Philip McSweeney
Justin Timberlake’s (or, as I affectionately refer to him: JT <3) new album, The 20/20 Experience dropped last week. The furore has been positively gargantuan. Already, internet boards are awash with comparisons to last year’s Channel Orange, or even House of Balloons. But if I had to pick an album as a reference point, I’d go with Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (MBDTF) in the sense that both are ALBUMS’ albums. Both sound like their artist’s creative zenith. Both are immaculately polished and probably their greatest achievements to date. And both lose an ineffable something in the process; in the same way that nothing on MBDTF moved me as much as ‘Heard ‘em Say’, or ‘Gone’; nothing on The 20/20 Experience quite captures the effervescent synth pads that begin ‘My Love’, or the drunken familiarity of ‘Senorita’ or ‘Rock Your Body’. There’s scepticism in some circles. This album seeps with ambition, and the song-lengths reflect
Horse’), they really got us going with ‘Hunting for Witches’, loosening up the crowd enough to enjoy two bangers from Four. Following that was perhaps my favourite four-live-songs-in-a-row ever: ‘Waiting for the 7:18’, ‘Song for Clay’ (with the intro from the demo version, so the nerds could pick it first), ‘Banquet’ and ‘Blue Light’. I won’t just bore you with the setlist though; you can find that online. Matt is still my favourite drummer. Kele can still hit all those notes perfectly, as can Russell and Gordon. The sheer energy from a band in their middle age was impressive, from Kele climbing and running around the balcony to the ever-present pounding drums of Matt Tong. The mostly male audience were obviously after the more guitar-based stuff, and I couldn’t really blame them, as ‘Signs’ and ‘Flux’, two songs that I adore, weren’t really pulled off onstage, despite a Rihanna intro. An almost pure delight, for both old-school fans and new—let’s hope, as Kele said on stage, “it won’t take us five years next time”.
that—there’s not a single track on here that has a duration of less than five minutes, with most treading the seven-minute line. As such, there’s an influx of commentary—dominated by NirvanaT-shirt-wearing, Led-Zep-listening, ‘I-was-born-inthe-wrong-generation’ Redditors—that gleefully points out the palpable irony in a former member of N*Sync saying “If Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin can do ten-minute songs and Queen can do tenminute songs, then why can't we?”. The uproar here seems to be that a mere pop star has the gall— nay, the temerity!—to attempt to pen intricate, long songs, free of bloating. And hey—remember earlier when I called The 20/20 Experience an album’s album? The longer songs are part and parcel of that. What are pop songs for if not to repeat, again and again? How often have you heard the end of a pop song and said “I wish this song didn’t have to end”? On the The 20/20 Experience, the songs don’t end; or at least, they go on for long enough to satiate the listener without boring them. Paradoxically, then, the longer, fleshed-out songs make sure the listener’s attention is devoted to the album, not to specific songs. And what songs they are. Though I go through
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lapsed periods when it comes to Timbaland, my faith has been restored. The production is absolutely pristine, combining Timbaland’s pop nous with intricate details (example: how fucking good is that typewriter effect on ‘Blue Ocean Floor’?. Honestly.) and textures that demand a headphone listen. The stellar ‘Don’t Hold The Wall’ along with ‘Tunnel Vision’ and ‘Let the Groove In’ are straight-up bangaz twisted and mutated into something sophisticated that you’ll wanna dance to (even you, honky). ‘Blue Ocean Floor’ is a damn-near perfect album closer, simultaneously serene and unsettling. The song carries such a tightly-coiled energy in the haphazard drums and reverb-heavy samples that you expect chaos to unleash any second, à la Radiohead’s ‘Videotape’. That it doesn’t is a testament to the album’s maturity and subtlety. Even Jay-Z’s piss-poor verse doesn’t entirely ruin ‘Suit and Tie’; that it’s the least-accomplished song on the album should give you an indication of the album’s quality. Haters be damned; I’m boarding the hype train. Next stop: 9.8 from Pitchfork (called it?). 4/5
visual arts A PEeK AT 'PEaK' SHARON LAM
The Progressive Experimental Artists Kollectiv (PEAK), is an exhibition dedicated to works by previously institutionalised people with physical or mental difficulties. PEAK is the joint effort of Living Plus and MASH Trust, both organisations which provide support and services for those with such difficulties. The joint endeavour saw PEAK’s third showing recently at the Thistle Hall Community Gallery, featuring an energetic and dynamic range of artworks. Variety is found heavily in the exhibition, with paintings and mixed-media pieces by a number of artists. The authorship of the pieces is also varied, with most of them having being collaboratively created with support from local artists who have become involved with the MASH Trust programme. The result is an array of exciting pieces that would not have otherwise been created by either party alone. The supporting artists come to know and understand the creative specialities of the originator, and work together to elevate these to create pieces of a professional level.
Examples of this are the mixed-media sculptural pieces Scream Catcher 1 and Scream Catcher II by Bruce Vause, an autistic man who would often weave and knot pieces of string together. The staff at the Levin-based day service Living Plus provided Bruce with a foundational hoop structure, along with various string materials, resulting in a joyfully abstract piece that is compelling enough to be featured in any contemporary art collection. PEAK frontman Mark Grimshaw believes that such a collaborative process provides people like Bruce a rare environment where they feel comfortable interacting socially with others. Another piece, See No Evil, by Mark Butler, was created by bringing out the repetitive characters he would often draw by placing them upon a fluorescent canvas rather than his usual pieces of white paper. Other pieces that are more orthodox and guided, such as geometric string and nail designs, encourage not only social benefits during the process of creation but also the development of hand-eye coordination. Physical and mental traits of the artists aside,
the pieces are strong on their own merits. An overall strength of the pieces is their tangible honesty and joy, in stark contrast to the sterile nature of today’s modern art galleries. The support from the established artists can be seen compositionally, but the true original sparks of the pieces can be seen to be from the minds of those such as Bruce Vause and Mark Butler. Overall, the collection celebrates art as a vehicle for people who may otherwise selfexpression difficult. Mark Grimshaw states that the underlying message of PEAK is to accept people as they are, and that what they express is valid, regardless of what that may be. By bringing such pieces into a gallery environment, personal imaginations are brought into public awareness and celebrated. With the profits from the sale of the pieces being returned to MASH and Living Plus, the entire PEAK effort is a creatively stimulated project which is both refreshing in terms of art quality and enriching on a community-wide basis. For more information on the organisations involved and upcoming events, see www.mashtrust.org.nz/
Thistle Hall RED BULL COLLECTIVE ART Red Bull Collective Art is now giving Kiwi students the chance to get amongst a giant digital work of art, which utilises the creativity of people from 85 different countries to create one, continuous piece of art. Cadavre exquís is a method by which assortments of images are collectively assembled, where participants are able to see the end of the previous person’s contribution before adding their own creation. Red Bull Collective Art brings this technique to the digital world, as each art work can be completed online.
The heart of Red Bull Collective Art is the website www.redbullcollectiveart.com. The website allows global interaction across the project. Interested artists register online and choose a time slot for their contribution. Time slots must be booked before March 22 to ensure participation. Each time slot will allow the artist four hours to complete their work. Participants simply download their template to work on the image, which is then uploaded and added to the entire artwork. The artist may use any format to work on the image, such as Photoshop or Adobe, including freehand, and the image is scanned before uploading.
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Red Bull Collective Art will see contributors from across the world participate in a unique creative process, the end product being a next-level piece of truly international art. This will be displayed in local galleries all around the world. Red Bull Collective Art is a great opportunity for students to work within a set time frame and become part of an innovative global digital project, inspired by artists contributing before them. So go on, book a time slot today at www. redbullcollectiveart.com. Become part of something bigger than you, be part of the Collective!
OZ THE GREAT and POWERFUL
Silver Linings Playbook
Director: Sam Raimi Review by Simon Howard
Director: David O. Russell Review by Michael Kumove
Director Sam Raimi takes us back to the magical world of Oz with this fantasy prequel, which tells the story of a magician coming to terms with the greatness he finds unceremoniously thrust upon his shoulders. Inspired by the L. Frank Baum novels, this is a family-friendly adventure that may please younger audiences but left me feeling completely underwhelmed.
Is anyone else surprised by how successful this film has become? True, it features two very bankable stars in Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, but fauxindie films about mental illness with names as clunky and unmarketable as Silver Linings Playbook are rarely predicted to become blockbuster hits.
The visual effects and landscapes are a joy to behold, but that fails to hide the film’s fundamental problems. Despite its beloved source material, Oz the Great and Powerful is completely charmless and unimaginative, thanks to a bland storyline that fails to excite or intrigue. The talented trio of Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams all provide glimmers of entertainment as the three Witches, with Williams in particular excelling as Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. However, they cannot prevent the movie from drowning in a sea of humourless mediocrity. The dialogue is leaden, and despite a promising opening sequence in Kansas, once we reach the glittering land of Oz the dazzling CGI backdrops are all there is to hold the audience’s attention. One of the main problems is James Franco. As smalltime magician Oscar Diggs, he lacks the charisma and personality to carry this film. By the third act, I found myself struggling to care too much about the fate of his character, a damning indictment on the script perhaps, but also a result of his failure to deliver anything more than a smug or wry grin as events unfold. Oz the Great and Powerful may well pack a punch at the box office due to its legendary brand and iconic world, but this visually stunning Disney fantasy ultimately fails to deliver. Verdict: 3/5
Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised, though. Silver Linings Playbook is really very good. Bradley Cooper is brilliant as recently-released mental patient Pat Solitano (aside: who knew this guy could act?!), and so is Jennifer Lawrence as his love interest. You probably have at least a vague idea of what the film is about from all the hype it has received in the wake of Lawrence’s Oscar win. Pat is released from a mental institution and sets about trying to rebuild his life, and in the process meets Tiffany (Lawrence) who is on much the same mission. Positives? The humour is quirky and almost always hits the mark, the performances are excellent, and the film is refreshingly devoid of the self-help-book feel of other, similar films à la Alexander Payne (the characters aren’t actually all that empathetic–we enjoy them voyeuristically, not vicariously). Negatives? Very few of note, though the plot does veer towards the predictable and the main source of conflict—a dance competition—feels like it has been inserted arbitrarily, with no connection to any of the other events or characters in the film. The ending is also a little bit mushy in a happily-ever-after kind of way, which seems out of keeping with the adventurous, risky feel of the rest of the picture. This is nitpicking, though. Silver Linings Playbook is clever, funny and well put together, and the acting alone makes it worth a watch. Verdict: 4/5
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Wellington Underground Film Festival March 21-23 New Zealand Film Archive, 84 Taranaki St By Gerald Lee
Low-budget filmmaking is something mainstream audiences have very little contact with. This is a pity, given the breadth of talent in local filmmaking circles, and the fact that having limited resources usually fosters some of the greatest examples of innovation. Thankfully, the Wellington Underground Film Festival provides an opportunity for movie enthusiasts to get a sense of what our local filmmakers are capable of producing. Pure creativity is the primary aim of the festival, with an emphasis on pushing beyond creative boundaries and nurturing unique cinematic voices. “The lack of money, equipment, resources and sometimes even technical skills express an attitude and ethos you can’t find in the dominant narrative form”, says festival organiser Rosie Rowe. Students interested in unconventional filmmaking—particularly those of you studying Film Production—should definitely head along.
The Salient Arts Rating Guide: 5 Stars: 'Birthday' by The Beatles 4 Stars: 'Happy Birthday' (traditional arrangement) 3 Stars: 'Happy Birthday' (performed by your drunken extended family) 2 Stars: 'Happy Birthday Mr. President' by Marilyn Monroe 1 Star: 'Happy Birthday' by Alvin and the Chipmunks 0 Stars: 'Happy Birthday' by Krusty the Clown
theatre Last weekend saw the close of the New Zealand Fringe Festival. But before they closed the curtains on their final show, Salient went along to one of the tail-end acts, and sat down with Stand Up For Charlie’s writer and director duo Will Agnew and Chris Swney.
NZ FRINGE FESTIVAL 2013 DEFINITION OF ME ROSE CANN
Many months ago, four young whiz-kids from the Wellington improv and stand-up scene got together to share some of their most personal stories—and then fucked with them until they were a set of poignant and comedic scenes, appropriate for presentation to the public. Housed in an apartment on Cuba St, (the kind with exposed industrial arches and a chic wooden floor), the setting for this piece is intimate and inclusive; the perfect spot for a deceptively interactive show. After being enthusiastically welcomed into a children’s birthday party, the
Interview with Stand up for Charlie ’s director Chris Swney and writer Will Agnew Gabrielle beran
Fortunately, the two gracefully ageing ladies at the next table do not run for the hills as Will Agnew, writer of Slave Labour Productions’ Fringe Festival success Stand Up For Charlie, quotes his favourite line from the play: “I would grudge-fuck you, but I don’t think my cock is big enough to fill up that much cunt." Stand Up For Charlie is a dark comedy. Agnew explains that it’s about a group of comedians who have to deal with guilt, grief, responsibility, and the consequences of their words when their celebrity friend commits suicide after they roast him. Despite its seemingly morbid premise, Stand Up For Charlie sold out before the season had even begun, which was more than director Chris Swney could have asked for. Agnew and Swney became friends while working at the Embassy Theatre. Agnew has an MA from the Institute of Modern Letters, while Swney is finishing up a BA with Long Cloud Youth Theatre, which he calls “the best training you can have in Wellington”. Apparently, Swney-Facebook messaged Agnew with “Hey man, write me a play
to direct”, and Stand Up For Charlie was born. Swney says the decision to use the Fringe platform was an easy one. “Why we did the Fringe is why everyone does the Fringe, but is too afraid to admit it. It’s a nice big safety net. You’re allowed to fail." Agnew cuts in—which is typical of the pair’s overlapping banter—“[audiences] go in with the expectation that it might be half-shit,” so that took the pressure off. This allowed the company, joined by “very, very talented friends” of Swney’s to “fuck [the Wellington theatre scene] up a little bit”. Swney says it is a scenario that asks some pertinent and polarising questions about the entertainment industry auch as “how far do you go for fame and for laughter?” For Agnew, “my issue is everything is a little bit safe… We want it to be like a stone in your shoe. You feel it, even when you leave. It isn’t comfortable, but I don’t think it should be.” So far the reviews have been favourable, and there are intentions for a re-run for the end of the year. Their attitude and immense gratitude—towards parents, the Victoria University Theatre Programme, their producer Bronwyn Cheyne— puts Agnew and Swney in good stead for future projects. With a debut like this, it doesn’t matter that Swney says he’s “not good at anything else”, because this partnership should keep them both busy for a while yet.
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audience is transported via a series of short scenes into a variety of private conversations, appointments and interactions. Exploring themes including relationships, familial affection and gender identification, Definition of Me inspired my tear ducts to get active rapidly, with both sadness and hilarity. Although this show confronts some very personal issues, it does so in a manner that will virtually split your sides. With the vibrancy and energy of an improvised comedy, and the delicate scripting of a polishedto-perfection play, these four young thespians find the perfect balance between raw and refined.
ϟ puzzles ϟ
PUZZLES "Swordplay" - difficulty: medium
hypotenuse 38. ___ Jima 39. Amusement park island 40. Pie ___ mode 41. Adidas or Converse 44. Herb used with salmon 45. Christchurch suburb 46. Prefix meaning 'false' 49. Symbol on a desktop 50. Fox Mulder worked for them 53. Group made up by the members in the circles 56. Dirt 57. On the sheltered side 58. Sign up 59. Bambi's mother, for one 60. One who makes predictions 61. Simple
ACROSS 1. Author whose 53-Across are this puzzle's subject 6. Jacks or Yahtzee 10. It was abolished by Francis II (abbr.) 13. “_____ my case!” 14. Site for an archaeologist 15. Daughter of Darth 16. Soap opera that ran for 54 years 19. ___ Palmas (Spanish city) 20. Rhyme scheme of “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”
21. Funeral oration 22. Ingrid's “Casablanca” role 23. Actress Stone or Watson 24. Kingsley's author son 27. Christmas mo. 30. “Come Away with Me” singer Jones 31. Pen name? 32. It needs to be paid 33. Drive a getaway car, e.g. 34. Author Roald and family 36. Result of some eruptions 37. Trig function with opposite and
DOWN 1. Part of an old phone 2. Bear in the sky 3. Baseball team in Queens 4. Baseball bat wood 5. Attribute of military aircraft 6. Singer Josh that has been on “Glee” twice 7. Surrounding glow 8. Thousandth of an inch 9. Term for species that can only be found in one place 10. Protagonist 11. Name for a Wagnerian cycle 12. Simple 15. “Be-Bop-A-___” (Gene Vincent song) 17. “Now where ____?” 18. Stomachs, to Pooh 22. Angry 23. German actor Jannings
24. Its logo is Pegasus 25. Place of action 26. Detest 27. Art photographer Arbus 28. Santa's little helpers 29. Component of some 56-Across 30. They launched Curiosity 32. Flower 34. They're given to graduates 35. Off base, in a way 39. Intoned 41. Fries or salad, e.g. 42. Heart, informally 43. Gin flavourer 44. Fight for honour 46. Some soldiers get it 47. “Get away!” 48. One of the Great Lakes 49. “Interesting...” 50. Symbol of NZ teams 51. They might have a 'mance 52. Napoleon was exiled on one 54. Suffix meaning 'small' 55. Direction from Wanganui to Napier
ISSUE 02 SOLUTION
Quiz 1) What is Drake’s first name?
6) Who edited Salient in 2011?
2) How old is the new Pope?
7) Who gave Sway his first TV, and had a rant about this fact to a radio host?
3)How many US states have legalised same sex marriage? 4)Which middle class Wellington superstore has an artesanal water fountain in its basement? 5) What is the title of Justin Timberlake’s new album?
8) Who is the CEO of Tumblr? 9) How old is the Queen? 10) Which famous fictional characters share the birthday of September the 22nd?
ANSWERS: 1) Aubrey, 2) 76, 3) 9, 4) Moore Wilsons, 5) The 20/20 Experience. 6) Elle Hunt & Uther Dean, 7) Kanye West, 8) David Karp, 9) 86, 10) Frodo and Bilbo Baggins
letters escape & CROSSWORD by puck — ANSWERS NEXT ISSUE
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ϟ puzzles ϟ
c b e
e a l r t e
By rearranging each set of letter pairings in the left hand column, you can form the name of a famous figure who was born on a date this week. The right column can be rearranged to form what each person is famous for. Then all you have to do is match them up.
EG SO EL JA NS
TH AU OR
RM ET PE KR TE AR OG
TU MA AR RA ST FU
AG YS KA AL TE
IC IR ME ER SP LS MB EG
SH IN MA BA IR RT
GO ER LF
DL DA CH YN VI
LI JO NA ST UR
CK US CK NI JA LA
AK TH RU ER ES SM AU
NT MA EM BU ON
CT RE OR DI
EE BE EL RO RT
WI TY OT OR HO RM RA ME HE OU CT
HW RT ED ON IT HA
LW LE CI ER VI AD AR
LETTERS ESCAPE SOLUTION FROM LAST WEEK: The answers (in order of the clues) are: Albuquerque (Q) Hitchhiker's (H)
Hubba Bubba (B) Hey You (Y) Knock Back (K) Taste Test (T) Bow-wow (W) Madagascar (A) Riffraff (F) Whippersnapper (P)
Non-confining (N) Restlessness (S) Judge Dredd (D) Jojo (J) Vivid (V) Mammogram (M) Dirigible (I) Terrorizer (R)
Razzle Dazzle (Z) Eevee (E) Lilliput (L) Uranium (U) Coccyx (C) Xerxes (X) Goggles (G) Oreo Cookie (O)
YEAR LONG PUZZLE: 3. Rearrange NOTHING LIKE into an animated movie based on Shakespeare (3, 4, 4)
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SALIENT ♥ YOU
letters Shit letter pal Letter of the
win a $10 voucher for the hunter lounge
come hang out at salient, you sound awesome How ya doin’ S? My 1st copy of ‘Salient’ as a first-year student, here at Vic, happened to be Issue 01, of Vol. 76. My favourite piece? ‘Secret Diary of Officious First Year’ – Yup. While I had a jolly ole’ laugh, and made everyone read the very comical piece of writing, I stopped and thought to myself… ‘I’m at Weir, I’m doing law (w – MDIA + ENGL), and I’m currently on ASOS’ What you did miss out in that diary entry of mockery though, was the mere fact of struggle to make some damn ass friends. – The very first day at Weir, I vowed to myself, that I would never enter the holy building known as ‘Hope Bros.’ – Unfortunately, I have broken this pact at least twice, in the ‘hopes’ to make some friends, and miserably failed. So here is a question I pose to you, not necessarily 'you', as in Salient, but YOU as a reader of this fine piece of literary work: Where are all the people who watch ‘Parks & Rec’, films like ‘The Third Man’ (directed by Carol Reed), listen to damn as Warpaint and Jessie Ware, and read Murakami novels? Uni is not going so good for me, my laptop just died on me. So I have no laptop, no job, no money, and no friends. Yours, Lonely first-year girl
Alternatively, try @iamseamusbrady Dear Mr Grant Robitson I read in last weeks the Salient that your fave 1D member is Niall. OMG he is mine too! ARe you on Twitter? Follow4follow? @Niallxoxonz #followback
Ahoy Toilient, All this campaigning to replace the toilet paper on campus with Salient is a marvellous idea. I could read it whilst taking a dump, what a great time-saver! Chur, Constipalient
salient advises congregating outside theatres at least 15min in advance Dear ignorant students of all levels, If you are going to rush in to a lecture theatre to be the first student there, don't sit down at the end, blocking half the row like an idiot. You are just making things difficult for everyone as the room fills up and people have to climb over you to get to the remaining empty seats. Regards, Too-old-for-this-shit.
Tel:0532-80914712 ADD:Address:09-1405-3-37,Donghai West Road,Shinan District,Qingdao City,China
salient approves of your pass-agg response Dear Ben from Biology “Not interested. I’ve met someone, sorry” is a cunty way to break it off with someone. Hope that new someone knows about the chlamydia. Douche.
'dicks' lol Dear Rainsforth Dicks How the fuck can you justify not firing not only a staff member, but a SECURITY guard for stealing? Is it because it was from a student? If he’d taken something of yours or Pat Walsh’s I doubt you would be so lax about this. Feeling a bit unsafe, Fee paying student.
no red stars out of 5 Dear sir May everything goes well! Regarding used cooking oil, now we quote for you the BEST FOB price to start our cooperation, Commodity:used cooking oil Price: USD541/MT Packing: as request Payment:30% T/T as deposit, the balance against by the copy of BL. Delivery: Within 2 weeks after receiving your workable payment. MOQ: 1MTS The price validity: 7 days Look forward to your positive respond to talk further. There are also many other products, If you need any products that in this line,please contact with us. We will do our best to meet you. Best wishes and regards. Delia Qingdao guang hui yuan commercial Co., LTD Email:email@example.com SKYPE:dddelia1
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dey be caf-fiiiine Whyyyy must the VicBooks staff be so attractive? My heart, and wallet, can’t take anymore caffine.
should've been 'keep calm' Hey Saidlient, You think you know me? U can get fucked. I saw a guy today with a sweat shirt that said: "STAY CALM AND SIT ON MY FACE". It really distressed me and you know what you distress me too so salient i say fuck you I just wanted to write letters and now ur telling me all about harry styles? I dont even know any more. Who is he and why does he have a biography? What 16 year old has a biography? WHat 16 year old can write? AND WHY ARE THE GAYS MARRYING! Im tired and im unwell so im going to make a bed out of the ash of burnt out salients and sleep on it until im better or it
SALIENT ♥ YOU
letters catches fire again. Either way, I win. PJ FUCKING LEWIS
aww, remember when we wrote out first letter First years............ Ughhhhhhh....
this performance I will be doing dramatic readings of the letters and the question/ answer section of your magazine. My dream would be to perform in MOMA and when I do I will be sure to thank all the folks who came to my first shows. Just a quick note, by attending the performance you agree to be filmed, this film is to be used for my personal consumption and inspiration.
probably doesn't have a huge! anything else Re: Huge! attractiveness last week There’s nothing worse than that sinking heart feeling when you realise the babe you’ve been lusting over all year wears a Huge! wristband :(
no, see you in hell Dear Carla Marks and Freddie Hayek You both complain about Winston Peters’ history and challenges that he brings to governmental stability. What you both ignore is a simple, and very important, point that Jon J points out to every pols111 class - A democracy is only as good as its opposition. @ Labour hacks: You’re shit opposition, who has continued to be arrogant and lazy as you wait for your turn thanks to the middleaged majority’s FPP mindset. @ National hacks: Of course you don’t like Winston. Because he doesn’t let you or Labour party walk over him, or use co-allition partners as a scapegoat when they’re in office. Lol soz ACT and the Maori Party National, if you lose it will be because you’re too selfish to be part of an MMP team. @ Green hacks: Passive pansies. Grow a pair and toughen up. You’re arrogant because you’re a better opposition than Labour. But you’re just going to get walked on all over again when Labour is back in. You should borrow some of Winston’s spine, he’s got enough to support the entire opposition side of the chamber. See you in 2014, Curwen
the next liz shaw Hi Salient, I'm wanting to establish myself as a performance artist and will be performing my show 'MYSTERY/MIND/ MEDIA' this Thursday, the 21st at 5pm in the Hunter courtyard. My schtick right now is reading aloud passages of Salient and other student magazines. This is my commentary on student media/the media in general I primarily use my body (my background is in contemporary dance) and my voice (I also sing) as tools to convey these ideas. For
SALIENT LETTERS POLICY 2013 Salient welcomes, encourages, and thrives on public debate – be it serious or otherwise – through its letters pages. Write about anything you like: Beyoncé, puppies, or the metaphysics of space-time. Send us love mail, send us hate mail, send us party invites. We want it all. Letters must be received before 12pm on the Wednesday for publication the next week. Letters must be no longer 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 will not be corrected for spelling or grammar.The Editor reserves the right to edit, abridge or decline any letters without explanation. Letters can be sent to: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Post: Salient, c/- Victoria University of Wellington Hand-delivered: the Salient office, Level 3, Student Union Building (behind the Hunter Lounge)
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SALIENT ♥ YOU
NOTICES VUW FRENCH CLUB VUW French Club presents: Quiz Night! Come join us for a fun-filled night of French themed questions. When: Tuesday 19 March, 7pm. Where: Memorial Theatre Foyer. Price: $5 for French Club members, $8 for non-members. Food and beverages will be provided, and prizes will be awarded to the winning teams! Anyone and everyone is welcome. Merci, VUW French Club Vic OE Student Exchange Fair! This Thursday 21st March Cotton and Maclaurin Foyers, Kelburn Campus March 21 11am-3pm. Come chat with exchange students, find out about over 100 exchange destinations, and win prizes! Why not study overseas as part of your degree?! Earn Vic credit, get Studylink and grants, explore the world! Weekly seminars on Wednesdays, Level 2, Easterfield Building, 12.50pm. Email: VicOE@vuw.ac.nz Website: www.victoria.ac.nz/exchange Visit us: Level 2, Easterfield Building Drop-in hours: Mon & Tues 9-12, Wed-Fri 10-12 Victoria University TaeKwonDo Club (WTF style) Interested in Taekwon-Do? New to TaekwonDo? Learned Taekwon-Do before? Come along and join us! Great way to keep fit and have fun! Training times: Tuesday 6.30pm - 8pm Long Room, Victoria University Recreation Centre. Saturday 3.30pm - 5pm Dance Room, Victoria University Recreation Centre. What you need: Drink bottle, comfy trousers/shorts,T-shirt. Contact us: email@example.com. We are affiliated to the TaeKwon-Do Union of NZ (TUNZ). RED CROSS Would you like to help out in your community and support a great cause? If so, we'd love YOU to help us collect for the
2013 Red Cross "I See Red" street appeal on Wednesday 8 May. You'd just chill on the street for an hour, receive donations and give out stickers. (Warm fuzzies guaranteed!) If this sounds like you, please contact Margaret Carson at the Wellington Service Centre on (04) 471 4334. Make a difference! Volunteer for the New Zealand Red Cross today.
CAN DO Can Do (the representative group for students with disabilities) will be having its Initial General Meeting (IGM) on Thursday 21st March at 6pm in the Memorial Theatre Foyer. Come along for some pizza and hear about what's happening this year! WELLINGTON RAPE CRISIS APPEAL
INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST CLUB Public Meeting Hosted by the International Socialist Club. Why Women Need Abortion Rights: the Socialist Case. Tuesday 19 March, 6:30pm, SU219, Student Union Building. All welcome!
Wellington Rape Crisis: Annual Street Appeal: April 12 7:30am-6pm. Calling for volunteer collectors - contact Tabby on 027 331 4507 or firstname.lastname@example.org please donate generously 2013/14 Internships & Graduate Jobs! ORGANISATIONS
Website: www.iso.org.nz Facebook: ISO Aotearoa. Victoria International Development Society VicIDS Campaign: Make Vic Fair Trade! CO304, 5.15-6.45pm, March 18 This dynamic evening will feature a short Fair Trade workshop by P3, an introduction to VicIDS's campaign, and a brainstorming session with Paul Barber of Fair Trade Wellington. Want a fairer University? Show your support and come along! VicIDS Debates: Is it feasible to speak of a global feminism? CO304, 5.15-6.45pm, March 25 Does feminism unite women globally, or does the movement primarily serve Western interests? Rae Julian, President of UN Women Aotearoa NZ, will argue for the affirmative, with Teresia Teaiwa, Programme Director for Pacific Studies, negating. BUSINESS CLUB BIC invites you to the next guest-speaker event "Kick-starting your own IT business" with John-Daniel Trask on Monday 18 March at 4pm in SU218 (just below the Hunter Lounge). This 30-year-old ex-uni student talks about his journey from boring uni lectures to delivering tailored software to US strategic command, Microsoft and NATO (as well as thousands of other variations). Come and find out about his beginnings, where his start-up capital came from, why he decided to become an entrepreneur and get motivated to do just the same! More information at www.bic.org.nz/events.
Grant Thornton HRINZ PricewaterhouseCoopers Staples Rodway Ernst & Young
Bell Gully Buddle FIndlay Chapman Tripp Deloitte DLA Phillips Fox Kensington Swan Minter Ellison Russell McVeagh Simpson Grierson Mayne Wetherell
Audit New Zealand Wilson Harle Motu Economic & Public Policy Research Trust
Fonterra Group Chevron Australia
Parsons Brinkckerhoff Murray & Co
Bank of New Zealand Arrium Palantir Technologies
Bell Gully Walt Disney World Westpac Reserve Bank
March 18 March 19 March 20 March 21
DETAILS: http://careerhub.victoria.ac.nz Start preparing your CV - attend workshops, get your CV checked…
Notices Policy: Salient provides a free notice service for all Victoria students, VUWSA-affiliated clubs not-for-profit organisations. Notices should be received by 5pm Tuesday the week before publication. Notices must be fewer than 100 words. For-profit organisations will be charged $15 per notice. Send notices to email@example.com with 'Notice' in the subject line.
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SALIENT ♥ YOU
VBC Breakfast Show
DJ MP3 Player beep....
DJ MP3 Player beep....
Raw Politik Emanuel & Neas
Wake N' Bake w/ Pearce & Duncan
The VBC Hip Hop show w/ Fabulous G
Alex, Michael & Nick
Dave & ED
Thursday Drive "Add w Aiden"
Josh King's Drive show
Craig & Pals
The Vinyl Countdown
The B-Side Revolution w/ Rich & Pals
Making Waaves w/ Kariiba & Guests
Diddakol w/ Keszia Tyler
Railroad Blues w/ Ray
w/ Sally & Maddie Sweet music, news, interviews & giveaways
DC Current w/ Duncan & Cam
The Beatcomber w/ Trent Vile
INFIDEL CASTRO w/ Philip McSweeney
Domo Arigato Mr Robato
SALIENT w/ Molly & Stella
What Is ART? w/ Virginia
Joe Sloane Drive
Ctrl/Alt/Dlt w/ Keegan &
Tbodega he Mixtape w/ Sam!
Slim Picking's w/ Slim & Bunny
The Drop w/ Gussie
Train-Spotting w/ Holly & Stumble
PRE-LOAD w/ Matt &
George Armstrong Dead Air
Chris Gilman The Night Shift
THAT'S SO METAL Mitchell
Compulsory ECSTASY w/ Kim & Nic
DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! w/ Tim
THE BEEF! w/ Matt & Alex
Want a show on the VBC this year? There are still spaces available—contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get on air!
GIG GUIDE mon 18
Loui the Zu the Wyld 8pm (free!)
Dizz1 Music Workshop 3pm
Small Sounds Orchestra
Mighty Quiz 6:30pm
Mick Harvey Trio ($25)
Kitten Tank & Hoopla! ($5)
Black City Lights & Estere ($10)
Raw Comedy 6pm ($15)
Whitireia Performances 7pm ($5)
Festa Brazil 2 feat Camerata Paitira 9pm ($15)
Big River Chain 9:30pm (free!)
san francisco bathhouse
Kyle Taylor w/ Terry Shore & Shan Jordan 7pm (free!)
Outlawed Rock w/ Fuckacybin w/ Red Sky Blues 8:30pm ($5)
meow cafe puppies
Big Band Jazz Night (free!)
Latin CLub (free)
THE Jam 8pm (free!)
Acoustic Routes 8pm
MAN/WOMAN 9:30pm (free!)
Mangle & Gruff + Tender Moonlight + Guests 9pm
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Louis Baker 9pm ($10)
MP Kentucky Bluegrass Allstars 9pm
Black Sun Empire 10pm ($30)
Ministry of Sound SessioNZ 2013 CD Release Tour 10pm ($15-$30)