Issue 13 - Happy New Year

Page 1


Vol. 83

Issue 13

13 July 2020 1

Contents EDITORIAL.......................................................................................................................................................................................... 03 LETTERS




NEWS VUWSA Appoints President From Its Own Ranks......................................................................................................................... 05 VUWSA Referendum Sparks Halls Investigation........................................................................................................................... 06 VUW Law Students Concerned For Education Quality Throughout Pandemic........................................................................ 07 Opinion................................................................................................................................................................................................. 08 In Other News...................................................................................................................................................................................... 10 Shit News............................................................................................................................................................................................. 14 FEATURES We Will Be Heard................................................................................................................................................................................. History Class........................................................................................................................................................................................ Academic Cuts.................................................................................................................................................................................... Unearned.............................................................................................................................................................................................

12 14 18 22





COLUMNS Liquid Knowledge.............................................................................................................................................................................. To Be Frank......................................................................................................................................................................................... Off Record........................................................................................................................................................................................... Politically Minded............................................................................................................................................................................... Bachelor of Parenting....................................................................................................................................................................... Disabled Students Association....................................................................................................................................................... UniQ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... PSC: One Ocean................................................................................................................................................................................

24 25 26 27 28 28 29 30

REVIEWS Jean-Daniel Cadinot............................................................. 32 Sonic For Real Justice........................................................... 33

35 38

Salient is funded by VUWSA, partly through the Student Services Levy. Salient is kinda, sorta editorially independent from VUWSA. It’s a long story. Salient is a member of the Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA). The perspectives and opinions in any issue of Salient do not necessarily reflect those of the Editors.


ENTERTAINMENT Occupation Station Horoscopes

Complaints regarding the material published in Salient should first be brought to the Editors. If displeased with the Editors’ response, the complaint should then be brought to the Media Council. Complaints should be directed to info@


Kia ora e hoa mā. Nau mai, haere mai. Wassup. Welcome. Again.

that was still shit-posting. For others, it was literally rewriting history.

So last trimester was a bit of a fuck around amirite?

If you’re wondering why we haven’t covered Black Lives Matter events more in-depth over the break, we don’t blame you. Our explanation is pretty weak, but we’ll give it to you anyways. The news of George Floyd’s death broke as our last issue of trimester one was wrapped up. All of our staff were on annual leave for the following four weeks as local events cropped up. Not that that should have stopped us, but it did. We are incredibly sorry. We hope you can forgive us. If not, tell us. Write to us. We want to hear from you.

Thankfully, it’s Matariki. It’s a time to reflect, to honour those who have passed. It’s a new year, a new beginning—perfect timing for a new trimester. If you want to know more about Matariki from someone who actually knows what they’re talking about, check out Professor Rangi Matamua’s work. He just became the first Māori scientist to win the Prime Minister’s Science Communications Prize and we have no choice but to stan. So, let’s try this again. HAPPY NEW YEAR BITCHES!!! If this is your first trimester at Vic and you’re reaping that sweet, sweet, fees-free scheme, then hey, nice to meet ya. Salient is your student-run, student-made magazine—NOT the university magazine. It’s our job to hold VUWSA and the Uni to account and give you a platform to have a published yarn. All you need to know about those two parties is that one actually works really hard despite their terrible leadership, and the other fucks around with just about everything. Have fun figuring out which is which. We first started planning this issue in late May, as Salient scheduling goes. Originally, this issue was supposed to be 40 pages of absolute shitposting. We wanted to kick start the new trimester with a bang and shake off everything last trimester put us through. However, a lot has happened since May and it just didn’t feel right anymore. The shit-posting is best left to Critic anyways. This issue is now largely unthemed. The prompt we gave was “write what feels urgent”. It’s an old adage from Rachel’s writing teacher (malo, Victor) and it works a charm. For some,

In other news, VUWSA President, Geo Robrigado, resigned while we were on break. That shit hasn’t happened since like, 1950. Honestly, we’re surprised it doesn’t happen more often. It’s a hard job and we wish Geo all the best. VUWSA now has a big job ahead of them. Trust we'll be

keeping an eye on the exec and if the agenda is any more exciting than “Part A: What Starburst Flavour Are You?” you’ll hear it here first.

In general, these next 12 weeks will probably be as cooked as the last 12. So buckle in everyone, we’re in for a ride. Oh, one more thing. If you read the last editorial online last trimester, you might’ve noticed that it said Rachel was leaving. That was the plan, but she can’t be away from Kirsty for more than three days so she’s sticking around for the rest of the year. Phat syke. Gotcha. Kirsty Frame (she/her) Rachel Trow (Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa | she/her)

Brought to you by People’s Coffee Newtown


Letters As a first-year student, I like that Salient has a fearless voice. Admirable too, is Salient’s improvement on the representation of minorities. But I’m surprised to find little diversity in the political opinions expressed by contributors in Salient. The range is from American-style progressive to left-wing. It is intellectually lazy to have everyone agreeing in the largest student magazine in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. The reader should be challenged by what they read. Nearly all people I’ve known have held political opinions well outside of Salient’s margins. Most are smart, reasonable people with many of the same fears as anyone else. If I’d not listened to them, I’d be too ignorant to write this. In a university, people are here to learn how to think, not be told what to think. For Salient, this should be the first priority. Asylvia Svetlana Redgrave

The March “sex” edition of Salient was pretty good, except for one article: Soft Boi. I found Richard Limp’s words incredibly offensive and insensitive towards women. He wrote “no matter what shape, size, length, or colour your penis is, it’s worth being proud of.” This affirms the misogynistic, patriarchal, heteronormative view that penises are something to be proud of. The penis is a symbol for the oppression of women, and has always been used as a sexist dog-whistle of straight white men. Please issue an apology to women like me for printing this violence. Male oppression is not something to be made light of.

Did we do something right? Something wrong? Enlighten us. Best letter gets bean juice, thanks to our mates at People’s Coffee Newtown



Send your letters and notices to before 5pm Tuesday for the following week’s issue.



VUWSA Appoints President

From Its Own Ranks


A by-election will not be held to elect a new President of Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) after the sudden resignation of Geo Robrigado. Acting President Taylah Shuker will instead remain in the role for the remainder of 2020 after the VUWSA Executive decided it would be best to elect a replacement internally. In a statement released on 23 June, VUWSA informed students elected President Geo Robrigado would be stepping down from the role on 26 June. VUWSA said Acting Academic Vice-President Taylah Shuker would step in to serve as Acting President in the interim period. “The Executive are currently focusing on their studies and with the upcoming mid year break have not determined when the process of electing a new President will occur,” VUWSA said at the time. It has now been decided Shuker will stay on as Acting President while also serving as Acting Academic Vice President for 2020. A spokesperson for VUWSA said Shuker will share some presidential responsibilities with Engagement and Welfare Vice Presidents Joanna Li and Michael Turnbull, while delegating overlapping President and Academic Vice President tasks to other Executive members.

"Shuker will stay on as Acting President while also serving as Acting Academic Vice President for 2020." “The most important thing right now is stability and having a consistent approach heading into Trimester 2 in order to get the best outcomes for students,” VUWSA said. “If this was a normal year, it is fair to say we would probably have a by-election.”

Taylah Shuker replaces Geo Robrigado as VUWSA President for the remainder of 2020 Image by: VUWSA

According to VUWSA’s Constitution, the Executive determines whether a by-election is to be held in the event of a resignation on the basis that there is enough time for the promotion, nominations, and voting period to occur. If this is not the case, the Executive can decide to appoint an acting person to the role or to keep the role vacant for the remainder of the year. When asked why Shuker was best suited to step into the position of President, VUWSA said, “Taylah has been acting AVP since early on in the academic year and therefore has been involved in the many meetings, conversations and advocacy on these issues.” “It was felt by the Executive that current events make the AVP role best suited to ensure students are getting fair treatment for the remainder of the year.” Shuker was elected to the VUWSA Executive as Education Officer in the 2019 VUWSA elections. She was promoted to the role of Acting Academic Vice President in April of this year after Rinaldo Strydom resigned from the role for reasons unknown to Salient. VUWSA is confident any work it has planned in the coming months will “continue smoothly” despite having one less member of its Student Executive.



The Vice Presidents “have done a significant amount of work over the last couple of months”, VUWSA said, and the executive will continue to work as a team to ensure changes don’t detract from planned campaigns and events.

"VUWSA is confident any work it has planned in the coming months will “continue smoothly” despite having one less member of its Student Executive" The President of VUWSA is a full-time role, amounting to 40 hours of paid work per week. All other roles are 10 or 20 hours per week.

A spokesperson for VUWSA said Shuker will not be expected to work 60 hours a week while taking on the two roles and nor will the Vice Presidents be required to fit extra responsibilities into their 20 hours of work. Instead, there will be adjustments to the hours and responsibilities of Executive roles. In an open letter to VUWSA’s Executive and Students of Victoria University of Wellington, outgoing President Geo Robrigado said it had been “an honour and a privilege” to serve as VUWSA President for 2020. “There have been huge challenges this year and I have been battling with health and wellbeing, after much prayer and consultation with my family, I have decided I will leave my role before the end of my term,” he said.

VUWSA Referendum Sparks

Halls Investigation FINN BLACKWELL | HE/HIM

Last month VUWSA launched a referendum to gauge what students believe the exec should focus their efforts on. “By knowing member opinion on these will help the executive advocate on issues in the lead up to the General Election and Referenda or drive action such as independent reviews.” Stated the VUWSA 2020 Referenda page. “This helps the executive with external policy and advocacy.” This included seeing whether an independent investigation into VUW’s COVID-19 response should occur, and whether the exec should take a position on the legalisation of cannabis and euthanasia. As an incentive to participate in this referendum, VUWSA gave students the chance to win a Xiaomi Mi M365 Electric Scooter valued at $689. Results from this referendum show that 85.38% of participants support an independent investigation into VUW’s pandemic response. Further, 80.08% of those taking the survey support a universal student allowance in NZ.

The VUWSA Building on Kelburn. Image by: Salient

85.91% of survey participants support an investigation into the University’s accommodation services. This follows a series of controversies surrounding VUW during the COVID-19 crisis in regards to students who remained in the halls of residence during lockdown, as well as attempting to charge students for rooms they couldn’t access.

VUWSA commented that “Our political positions are

Since the referendum, VUWSA have made a written submission on the Inquiry into Student Accommodation.

“Some of the questions will help frame the campaign and policy demands for the General Election and National Referendums.”

The submission for their halls of residence investigation is a comprehensive document outlining VUWSA’s belief that there is a duty of care for tertiary accommodation providers to ensure that residents’ wellbeing is protected.

informed by referenda.”



The submission states that “This is because the quality of accommodation and pastoral care provided by Halls directly impacts student's academic success, physical and mental wellbeing.” “Students have long been affected by historic and systemic issues within Halls, and these havebeen exacerbated by COVID-19.” they continued. “To highlight the inadequacy of the current operations and lack of guidelines, we have included personal student experiences and accounts. We have also provided our recommendations of how these issues can best be mitigated.”

required to deliver adequate services.” VUWSA specified that the need for specific legislation

mandating a certain standard of care that accommodation providers are to be held to is clear and present.

“The wellbeing of our students depends on it.” The VUWSA submission also includes an outline of the impact COVID-19 had on halls residents. With VUWSA following through on their promise to investigate the halls of residence, many are eager to see how they approach their proposed investigation into VUW’s COVID-19 response. VUWSA stated that “The University also failed to consider the

In their submission, VUWSA details issues that have arisen regarding Residential Advisors and pastoral care, sexual violence within the halls, cases of racism, hall fees. The submission concluded with what needs to change for halls to reach the level of esteem placed on them by the University.

self-catered halls, and the students who it was unsuitable for them to move (such as the immuno-compromised student) and it was only when VUWSA raised these issues that they re-considered their decision and told some students they could stay where they were.”

“Student Accommodation in Aotearoa New Zealand is currently poorly defined within government legislation,” VUWSA explained within their submission.

As students wait for the submission of an independent investigation into VUW’s COVID-19 response, this first proposal highlights the in-depth nature of VUWSA’s commitment to upholding suggestions from students, made clear through their referendum.

“This opens up the possibility of students being taken advantage of financially, without tertiary providers being

VUW Law Students Concerned for


VUW law students have expressed concern for the quality of education they are receiving due to changes caused by

of how severe the impacts on students were going to be long term.

Changes included a loss of exam breaks and study periods, an increase in workload, and a delayed response from the law school towards student feedback.

“The law school itself sent out a survey after the university wide one was sent out. That was good to see but came a bit late and I don't really know if it was or even could have been implemented.”


Students felt that during the pandemic the Socratic method was limiting. One student, Johnny O'Hagan Brebner, said there is a selection of lecturers and tutors who are working really hard to respond to students and the issues being faced. “Lecturers were generally good at adapting and formatting online content.” “Some lecturers […] acknowledged the time pressures on students and outlined clearly which lectures would and would not be assessed in the trimester's content.” Brebner was concerned that the law school was fully aware

“The law school’s last academic review was in 2017 and they had a lot of recommendations and very few of them have been fulfilled.” A representative from the Māori law students association, Ngā Rangahautira, told Salient “Trimester 1 was a difficult time for Māori law students, particularly given the 9 weeks of consecutive teaching following the 5-week pause." Some lecturers had to decide whether to break up assignments and make them more regular during lockdown or keep things the same but risk students becoming overwhelmed in the final week by larger assignments.



“Feedback was also hard for the faculty to obtain, given that often the students that are in the most difficult situations aren’t the ones who are engaging with the surveys and forms,” said Ngā Rangahautira. Another law student, Rose Byrne, spoke about the obstacle of needing to engage with course material through online platforms due to COVID-19 saying, “In terms of the quality of education we have been receiving, it has definitely diminished.” “The recorded lectures are nothing like the ones you receive in person and I feel like the information is just being shunted at you and you are the one responsible for absorbing and then applying it later on.” Victoria University commented that “...students were encouraged to give feedback to individual course coordinators, to class representatives, and to respond to a survey designed to find out how students could best be supported by the Faculty in preparation for Trimester 2.

Results from this survey are still being analysed.” Engagement and communication with law students according to the university was supported through newsletters, talking with VUWLSS (Victoria University of Wellington Law Students Society) and a feedback survey. The results of this will not be fully addressed until trimester 2. Law student Rhianna Morar explained that the Faculty of Law was efficient in delivering a communication model throughout the pandemic with student representation. But, Morar also stated that the trimester was taking a toll on their mental health especially. “My understanding process was inhibited by having content dumped.” “I’m a person who likes to experience things and really talk about things and be really immersed and that helps me actually understand the content.”

Opinion Austerity is not the answer to VUW's COVID-19 woes VUW TUTORS’ COLLECTIVE

We're on the brink of the biggest economic downturn in history, and it is going to hurt everyone. At Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), we're facing huge uncertainty. Tertiary institutes around the world are implementing devastating austerity policies, that we, as tutors and early career researchers, are worried will impact an entire generation of students, not to mention our own futures. This looming threat is nothing new. Tutors and other precarious staff at VUW have for years endured low wages, unpaid overtime, insecure jobs, and an employer that refuses to materially support its staff and students. We’re often the first point of contact for students who are struggling, but we aren’t supported to take on pastoral care safely and most of us aren’t recognised or paid for it. The University is happy to exploit our care for students as unpaid labour; they know we’ll do this crucial work anyway. We worry that austerity measures will further compound teaching, learning, and labour issues that have plagued our university for years.



Our University leadership’s response to the financial pressures of the pandemic has been vague so far, so we must look to other institutions for what to expect. Recently, the Massey University science faculty axed its casualised staff without any clear plan for how their workloads would be handled. Meanwhile, Massey’s ViceChancellor advocated universities ‘Spotify’ students’ learning experience, transforming education into bite-sized, interchangeable chunks that sacrifice quality for ease of consumption. In Australia, the response has been similarly severe. Melbourne’s Deakin University is cutting 400 jobs. The contracts of some casualised and fixed-term staff have quietly not been renewed—employees who were not even given the dignity of being let go. At the University of Sydney, casualised employees and courses have been slashed. The history department lost 35% of its second semester courses, including courses on American slavery and antifascism— important subjects in the present political climate. To justify these cuts, each institution points to a revenue

shortfall caused by the drop in international student enrolment due to COVID-19. Clearly, a business model reliant on harvesting inflated tuition fees from international students is as fragile as it is exploitative. In response, staff and students have mounted organised resistance against university austerity. A coalition of Deakin staff and students demanded financial transparency. University of Sydney staff and students staged a sociallydistanced protest to demand their Vice-Chancellor reverse cuts to casualised employees. In the United States, before COVID-19 spread widely, University of California graduate students took strike action, withholding grades because they couldn’t afford their cost of living. So, what does VUW’s response to the COVID-19 financial shock look like? The leadership’s major response so far has been a hiring freeze, meaning no new staff unless there is external funding or exceptional circumstances. The rest is (still) vague. Several voluntary options were proposed, with the clear implication that further action might be necessary if staff don’t make voluntary sacrifices. Among other things, leadership has suggested staff use their annual leave balance, take unpaid leave, or adopt a 4-day work week—accompanied by a 20% pay cut. Most offensively, the VC has encouraged staff to contribute to the “staff giving programme”. This programme asks staff to donate part of their income to “directly support particular areas of the University (e.g. to pay for short-term roles such as tutors, teaching assistants, research assistants, residential assistants and other such roles...).” Treating those who do essential work at the university like charity cases is insulting. Given tertiary education’s reliance on exploiting international students and the shortfalls this implies in the wake of COVID-19, we cannot trust that extreme austerity won’t also come to VUW, threatening jobs and the quality of education. Let us be clear: the issues with compensation, insecurity, and lack of support will be exacerbated by new austerity measures, and the impacts on casualised and fixed-term staff will disproportionately affect those the university has historically failed to support. Despite making up the majority of tutors and lecturers, less than one third of senior academics are women. Māori and Pasifika scholars are severely underrepresented within our universities and are often in precarious roles that are the easiest to discontinue. This is reason enough to question VUW’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its own equity and diversity policies. University leadership must account for how fiscal decisions they make will affect precarious workers and further undermine those among us who are already structurally marginalised and made vulnerable.

unacceptable. It is poison to a functioning education system; it means fewer opportunities for postgraduates, more precarious contracts for tutors who must do more work for less pay, more responsibilities for full-time academics, and for students, less courses on offer, larger tutorials and less contact with academics. Teaching conditions for academic staff are learning conditions for students. There are better ways to deal with crises, and they start from a place of transparency and accountability. As our casualised colleagues at Australian National University said, it is the structural inequities in our institutions that this pandemic has revealed, not low cash reserves.

"Most offensively, the VC has encouraged staff to contribute to the “staff giving programme”. This programme asks staff to donate part of their income to “directly support particular areas of the University" As tutors, we have no clear idea what our futures look like, despite our crucial role at the University. Many of us may not be here next semester. We’re scared. We’re scared that the university will cut our jobs, or let them quietly disappear when many of us are already struggling to make a living. We’re scared that courses will be cut and students’ education undermined in the name of saving money. We’re scared teaching will be changed beyond recognition. We’re scared that a period of austerity will leave a scar on this university that lasts for years—that COVID-19 could erase the next generation of New Zealand researchers. We’re scared because leadership seems to see its staff and students as numbers on a balance sheet. We’re scared that VUW, in its rush to return to surplus, will make decisions that undermine the quality of its teaching and its longevity as a public institution. But we know we can get through this if we stand together and support each other. The university has a legislated role as the critic and conscience of society. As such, it should be a democracy, but that’s not currently the reality. To that end, we’ve joined our unions, the TEU, VUWSA, and the PGSA, and we encourage others to join us. Our voices are louder together. However we as a university manage this crisis, it should be on our terms. A version of this op-ed was first published in The Spinoff on 8 July 2020.

Leadership’s enthusiasm for returning to surplus to save future generations from financial burden must not come at the expense of staff and students here and now. Austerity is






Leaves hotel isolation to go to Countdown then tests positive for COVID-19

Announces that he will run for president in upcoming US election

Passes Hong Kong security law following continued protests

AIR NZ Places temporary ban on new flights into the country

WELLINGTON COUNCIL Begins planning improvements on city’s Golden Mile

NATIONAL PARTY MP Hamish Walker admits to leaking details of COVID-19 patients

STUFF.CO.NZ Quits Facebook and Instagram in support of the international Boycott Facebook movement





Will re-enter lockdown for six weeks, following a massive spike of cases throughout the state

Replaces David Clark as Health Minister

Considers banning Tik-Tok after designating Huawei and ZTE as national security threats



MONDAY 6TH JULY Good morning and welcome to The Bulletin Salient. Investigation launched into who the fuck leaked the personal details of NZ’s active COVID-19 cases. State Services/Education/Health Minister and former VUWSA president Chris Hipkins is pissed. The State Services Commission begins an investigation, which is fast-tracked to be completed in weeks, rather months. TUESDAY 7TH JULY National MP Nicola Willis, a champion for us Vic students, has admitted her old mate’s John and Bill sold far too many state houses. It feels a bit like having to apologise on behalf of your flatmates to your neighbours/landlord for the 4am noise complaints when you yourself had gone to your aunties’ for dinner the night before.

Exiled Simon Bridges is absolutely glowing, posting a video of him walking a baby yak in the countryside like a recently single thotty on insta. Bridges is really living his best life. peace out haters x

Winston Peters denies hiring controversial UK political campaigners to help with NZ First’s campaign. The “Brexit Bad-Boys” were supposedly asked to help run NZ First’s campaign ahead of the election with one stating "I'm going to be on the ground in New Zealand causing trouble—mischief, mayhem and guerrilla warfare in the New Zealand election..." Some speculate this is a bid to make NZ First more interesting. Others say that the ‘Bad-Boys’ are the same guerrilla team that turned the Tino Rangatiratanga Flag upside down behind Muller in that campaign photo.

Boag resigns, and National leader Todd Muller strips Walker of his portfolios. What a fucking day. WEDNESDAY 8TH JULY Walker demands trial by combat, instead has his fate decided at the National party’s board meeting. Hamish Walker resigns but will remain in parliament until the election. The Clutha-Southland electorate thus loses its second MP to scandal, motion is put forward to rename to Cursed-Clutha-Southland. After an exhausting day re-announcing the same road plan Bridges and English announced during their leaderships, Todd Muller declined an interview to have “a cup of tea and a lie-down”. Did anyone ask him any questions about the roads tho? Bridges posts more yak content. THURSDAY 9TH JULY Todd Muller buttering his cheese scone like a fucking savage. South Islanders disgraced. Winston Peters takes unexpected medical leave for surgery following food poisoning earlier this week. Sincerely hope the bro’s okay. Boag has additionally resigned from Simplicity KiwiSaver board, Walker hasn’t been active online in a hot minute and as at 1pm his twitter bio still reads “MP for Clutha-Southland”. We’ve turned on notifications for Simon Bridges instagram for any further yak updates. We’ve requested comment for the names of said yak’s, and are still awaiting response. FRIDAY 10TH JULY Who the fuck knows, we wrote this on Thursday.

IT WAS HAMISH FUCKING WALKER. In a joint statement, Walker reveals Former National Party President Michelle Boag gave the information to the Clutha-Southland National MP. Twitter is sent into a frenzy. Many speculate National is trying to blow the racist af letter Walker sent to his electorate just days earlier out of the media.



We Will Be Heard A conversation on culture


Being a minority in Aotearoa is a voyage many have had to navigate, well before the internet and information era we find ourselves in today. I often wondered, how?


How did the older generations deal with the covert racism that plagues New Zealand? How did they cope with having to coexist with such a Disney Channel, bright-eyed, smileyfaced oppressor? The answer is in Silence. White New Zealand has cast upon the minorities here, the delusion that we cannot speak up about the issues weighing down on us. There is a delusion that the Minorities in New Zealand don’t suffer from a great deal of prejudice and discrimination


from institutions allegedly designed to aid our lives such as the New Zealand Police force or the bruised appendages we call our education systems.

With a new generation comes new coping mechanisms. And to the ruin of the old, white, and stuck, our coping mechanism is found on the other side of the coin.

We Speak and we Speak Loud

Your microaggressions, your twisting of history, and your overtly biased government practices will no longer be met with silence, but with a wall of voices, 20,000 of them to be precise. These voices are here to stay, not only until you change your practices, but change your hearts. Tinomuda Mahowa

A conversation with Wasa What was it like being in front of that crowd on that Sunday morning? Maaaaan! The feeling was so surreal and I was taken aback seeing that number of people in one location. As the day approached, I was so optimistic that hella people would appear. But to have 20,000 people of all ages, colours & backgrounds unified for a significant cause was more than any of us expected. On the day, I distracted myself from looking at the crowd by setting up the wires for the sound. But as soon as I looked behind me, I couldn’t help but think about the scene from Lord of the rings when they are on the hill and the enemy is like “ DAAAAAYM WE FIGHTING DAT LMAO”.

What does the Banner BLACK LIVES MATTER mean to you? The name isn’t what appeals to me. But the cause & significance of standing for something bigger than myself. It’s life-giving, it’s full of purpose and it's enough fuel to keep me going. I see people being impacted, people changing their perspective, and even getting rid of the inner racism that has been instilled upon them from birth. The Marathon Continues.


Tinomuda leading the Black Lives

After the event, I was high on adrenaline for another 24 hours.

Matter March down Lambton Quay. Below:

Thousands gather on Parliament grounds.





St Frances’ Catholic School for Girls. Level 3 History, MB Building. Aotearoa, Present Day. Natasha

Her hair is somehow slicker than mine but her uniform is in disarray. She’s lugging not only a backpack but a sports bag too. She strides straight for my desk, sincerity painted into her features. “Miss I’m really sorry I’m late. I had to help out my cousin’s group with their performance at lunch and—” “What performance?” Sophia cuts in. “I thought our school wasn’t performing in any comps this year?”

The seniors don’t really care that much. It is summer. The white blouses of my students release body odour as they drift in from lunch, tote bags slung over one shoulder. The older they get, the less they have to pack—no longer the Year 9’s who carry their whole lives under their turtle shell Jansport backpacks. One by one, they enter and I watch, sitting behind my desk, legs crossed. My hair grows in volume each second and the heated air is recycled with each breath I take. Today is too fucking hot to function, let alone teach. The girls pay no mind to me, as I had predicted, each table attending to their own agenda. Ball is in Week 11, and I am already sick of hearing about who will be wearing what and who is taking who. “...It’s such a struggle! Harry and I haven’t spoken since New Years but I can’t imagine going with anyone else. Plus he’s so photogenic. What am I going to do?” These girls have no idea. The group closest to the back erupts into laughter as I stand up, reaching into my desk drawer for my whiteboard marker. “Okay girls, break time over. Today we will be voting from these two topics for your partner project and investigation. Please consider each one carefully and think about how it is a privilege to learn from other cultures and histories. What you decide ultimately helps us determine what students would like to learn.” I try to smile brightly. Only half the class have their eyes on me. Six students have actual refills and pens out but I can still see more iPhones with Instagram feeds open than today’s date and lesson objective written. The discussions have dropped only a fraction in volume. “Girls. That’s enough. Please take down what’s on the board, and start moving into the partner groups to discuss. I’m going to take the roll now. Once you and your partner have properly discussed each topic—and I encourage you to use this time to do some research—we can keep a running tally on the whiteboard on which topic you would prefer to study.” One of the girls from the laughing table, Sophia raises her hand, “Miss! My partner isn’t here! I can just decide for us, it’s probably easier…” At that moment, Ella rushes in. 20 minutes after the bell.

Ella grits her teeth and lowers her eyes to the ground. “Yeah… It was a video call.” She lifts her head to me and I know what her eyes are looking for. “I’m really sorry Miss, I take full responsibility. I know I lost track of time, and their lunch period is different to ours. I never meant to be disrespectful. It’s just it’s really important for our family because—” I hold up my hand before she can finish, “Ella, I expect better from you. You know how important this next assignment is. Aren’t you doing Scholarship in this subject? This will help with your preparation. Next time, try to be more organised with your time management.” She nods, her face determined, but her eyes look lost. I know how she feels. For the first time this lesson, my entire class is quiet, watching us. Entertainment. My voice softens and I direct Ella into the available desk opposite mine. “I’ve just asked everyone to start exploring their thoughts and ideas around the two topics on the board. You and Sophia can discuss further here.” “Yes. Sounds good.” Sophia heaves an echoing sigh, as she migrates from the back to the front, clutching at her Stolen Girlfriend’s tote. “Ella, I saved you a seat at the back though, but it’s fine.” For the next 30 minutes or so as I work on my laptop, the rest of the class buzzes with conversation. I can hear snippets of brainstorming between pairs, but it’s the dialogue between Sophia and Ella that overcomes the static. “So do you think you can make it next Saturday to my birthday brunch? I know the change is late notice, but it’s the best Mum could do. We had to ask her friend Lisa to cater instead as a favour. She owes Mum anyway.” Sophia is expectant. Ella is doodling tatau patterns in her margins. I sneak a look at her book from behind my laptop screen and see it bursting with words and rough sketches already. “Soph, you know I would do anything to be there but I can’t. I really can’t. I told you ages ago that I would be going Poly with my fam on those dates. It’s nothing personal I just—” “Yeah I know you did but come on, Ella! Polyfest happens every year, you can go another time. And it’s not like you’re performing! It’s my 18th! Out of all my friends, you’re one of the only ones who I can trust and rely on. This is important to me.”



Ella is silent for a moment. “Polyfest is important to me and my family Soph,” she mumbles, her fingers flicking the corner of her exercise book and her eyes on the whiteboard. The tally is increasing, as one student from each pair comes up and votes on a topic. Scrolling on her phone, Sophia sighs loudly. I bet I could recognise it anywhere, she does it so often. “Okay, I get it. Ella, I get that it’s a family thing. I understand how you sometimes have to do stuff you don’t want to—like you said that one time with your cultural stuff? Shit, my family makes me do stuff I don’t wanna do either. But can’t you just say you have work or something?” She stops scrolling and glances over at Ella’s book. “Wait what?” Her eyes narrow and she looks up at the board for the first time this lesson, before pulling Ella’s book closer to her. “Ma… Ma-you? Ma-you Movement? You want to do this topic? What about the French Revolution? We could use some French words from Monsieur Aubert’s class in our presentation, try and get some points for creative thinking or something.” Ella’s shoulders curl inwards and she rests her face in her hands, still looking at the board. Her face is shielded from my view but I can see Sophia’s expressions clearly. “The French culture is so sophisticated. I’ve read about Napoleon before and I think it shouldn’t be too hard to find information and books and stuff. I don’t know anything about… this Ma-you Movement.” “It's Mau.” “What?” Ella releases her face from her palms and folds them into her lap. “It’s pronounced Mau. It’s the Mau Movement. It’s how Sāmoa gained its independence as a country. I don’t know much about it, but my grandpa knows a lot. We could always interview him? I’m sure he wouldn’t mind and I think it would be a cool angle.” Sophia laughs and smiles at Ella. It looks almost mocking.



“Hun, I think it would be way more convenient if we just did the French Revolution. We wouldn’t have to do so much work, especially because we BOTH don’t know anything about the… the… the Independence thing. I’m sure your grandpa would be happy to chat with you anyways. You’re doing so much already and Scholarship on top of it all—wouldn’t you want to make less work for yourself? That way we can just use class time to research.” Ella bites her lip and looks down at her brainstorm. She blinks and stares; I can almost see her thoughts. “Yeah… you’re right. I’m sorry. Let’s just do that instead. I can get some books out after school and get a start on reading tonight.” “Yay! Okay great. I probably won’t be free tonight but we can talk more tomorrow?” I sweep the classroom and see that everyone has started to pack up. I haven’t even said anything about packing up. “And Ella? Please think about next weekend. Polyfest is a two day thing, isn’t it? You could always go on Friday instead!” Ella nods, still doodling in her margins. The bell rings, and students evacuate my class like it was a fire alarm, no turning back. I hover, watching Ella say goodbye to each student, mechanically placing her belongings into her school bag. Her shoulders were still curved inward. “Ella?” She grips both bags on one shoulder and slowly edges to the door. Her eyes are on the ground. “Miss. I know you tried. But it looks like the class wants to study the French Revolution and not the Mau. I’m sorry for being late. Have a good weekend.” As she exits, I turn to face the board and feel my shoulders drop. She was right. French Revolution it is. Third year running.

"Ella releases her face from her palms and folds them into her lap. 'It’s pronounced Mau. It’s the Mau Movement.'"

*** 2 weeks later Ella “Do you understand why I have called you in here today?” I wonder if she’s called Mum. Surely not. I can’t believe I was smiling like an idiot when I walked in. Her face is stern, her lips pursed and her pink lipstick is a bit smudgy in the right corner. Too much talking perhaps? She’s wearing Kate Sylvester, I recognise the print because Sophia won’t shut up about it. I’m staring at her eyes. They are a really cold blue. I guess you would have to be this close to feel it. Oh shit. She’s expecting a reply. “No Miss. If this is about my lateness I can explain. I work late in the evenings and—” “No Ella, it’s not. Although there is no excuse for tardiness.” She unfolds her arms and places them on the table, chin jutted towards the ceiling, her gaze peering down at me. “It’s about truancy. From my understanding, you were absent from school on the Friday just gone, because you were attending the Polyfest Festival. Am I correct?” Ok. Now I’m confused. “Yes. My Mum wrote a note, giving me permission and—” “No Ella. I strictly said that no Pacific students were to skip school to go to this Festival. Do you understand how it looks for you to be attending? To our Juniors? As a school leader? Do you understand that your actions have a ripple effect to other students on what rules you follow and what rules you don’t? This says to me and your school community that you care about Polyfest.” Is she for real? “With all due respect, I do care. It does matter. I am fully aware of the expectations and responsibilities on me as a Pacific student, more than you know. I believe in attributing one’s cultural identity to pursuing excellence and success.

There isn’t much opportunity to—” She interrupts me. Again. “Ella I am deeply disappointed in you. Our school fosters an inclusive environment. We have an annual Cultural night. Polyfest is at the beginning of the year, it is a vital time for assessments. I didn’t realise I had to explain to you why we do not participate. If anything, I hope you can take the time to reflect on your actions and think about what you will say to other students when they approach you. I am very disappointed in you.” *** Polyfest, a few days earlier. “Chhhhhhehoooooo!” Everyone was cheering on my cousin’s school, this year they were the ones to beat. I admired their harmonies. Their bodies celebrated the grace and power of our dances, flowing with joyful ease. Transitions were seamless and their smiles tiptoed between pride and true joy. Everyone’s skin glowed in the sun, the smell of coconut oil strong as I reached to adjust my sei. The fala beneath us shifted as my nephew clambered onto my knees, gripping an ice cream. Crowds of people had been gathering since 8am. The sun—and us—were gleaming from early on. We were at the Sāmoan stage, sitting near the middle. I surveyed the people around me and absorbed the love, breathing deeply. Someone near the front broke out into a familiar Sāmoan tune and soon the whole crowd was swaying and singing as we waited for the next performance. I laughed, lifting my nephew into my lap. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the most gorgeous flame coloured dress, with white frangipanis, the person was standing near the fence. She was hugging one of the boys from the previous performance and adjusting his green lavalava. I blinked. It was Mrs. Faletulu, my History teacher. She must have sensed someone was staring and her eyes found mine. She waved and we grinned at one another. It was around 2:30 on a Friday afternoon. We were both taking History.




Frantic desperation is the only constant in student life. Most of us will get our first taste in halls, eyes dried out and back curled as we press ourselves into the laptop screen —the only light in the sealed cinderblock room. Who actually wrote The Leviathan? Is APA actually different from Chicago? Did someone actually say “this is the end of history” or did I dream that? There’s no way of finding out in the three hours between now and your 8am deadline. Maybe you remember promising Ruth Richardson your firstborn in exchange for a speedy CRC payout to cover the print cost of your 6-pt font, incomplete cheatsheet. Or perhaps you just had to read the tutorial question during the icebreaker after ten too many at Siglo. I used to think it was a beautiful thing—to lick your fingers ‘clean’ of lime salt corn chip crumbs before slapping away at the keyboard again. It’s the mark of the true student, to suffer without thanks in the slog towards a $50k degree. We smoke and drink and punch cones and live in mouldy shoeboxes not just because we have to, but because that’s what students do. Of course, we know this is bullshit. More boomer ideology. What is actually beautiful is the way we get around our desperation. Cutting corners, paragraphs, and courses is the ultimate skill of a student. Surviving the sea of shit that comes with being a student requires you to know what you can and can’t do, knowing what’s required to get the job done, and coming up with creative solutions. It’s a jug of Castle Point, it’s not great, but fuck it’ll get you through. These academic sleights of hand sit on a spectrum. Sitting at the least extreme end of that spectrum is getting lecture notes off your ‘mate’ (the only thing you know about them is that they also take torts and grew up somewhere in Auckland). Further up is the cheeky request for an extension, the acronymization of any phrase over two words, and deleting the 200-word paragraph you couldn’t find a source for.


But the desperation pressure in the temples really sets in at the upper end. Sometimes when all you’ve got left is a 40 percenter, not doing it and settling with the C+ looks pretty tasty. I dropped a course and my whole BA last year. Some of these are just wilder versions of earlier workarounds. A friend once wrangled themself a two month extension for a paper. Apparently, “the key is to be a crying blonde girl”. But this end of the spectrum gets tricky quickly. Dropping out entirely is messy but might be the only thing that will stop your life falling apart. Medical certificates aren’t always a guaranteed pass. Disaster is a real and likely risk at this end. But there is one option, only ever whispered throughout these ancient, labyrinthine halls. It’s dodgier than your mate’s mate’s molly and will do less for you than an Ivy G&T —the essay writer for pay. One of them popped up on my twitter recently after a night of hollering into the electronic void, a reply and a DM request: “Hi, I provide high quality essays at affordable prices. Rest assured you will get your essay on time and with zero plagiarisms. For more details please dm.”

"It’s dodgier than your mate’s mate’s molly and will do less for you than an Ivy G+T—the essay writer for pay." At this point, I had completed the essay 700 words below wordcount and 40 minutes late (I look forward to the D). Burnt out and definitely sober, I made the mistake of mentioning it to my own study-hammered Salient editor. She pencilled it in for a feature.

With a friendly but firm reminder that this article was due in two days, I contemplated the obvious. Dare I? Could I? Did I have the money? Could I even pull it off? Who’s to say. I was definitely short of time, with other content due, had a roadie to get hammered on, and just really really wanted a decent sleep. The website I checked out confirmed that the writing would legally become your own work and had a plagiarismfree guarantee. It wasn’t obscenely priced, course related costs could easily cover it. So, what’s the issue? It sits wrong down in the gut. It’s dishonest and may even feel like a betrayal; the shame I felt even asking for a mere aegrotat once brought me to tears. There are practical problems as well. An assessment not only does what the name says, assesses your knowledge, but is also important for developing how you write, research, think, and argue. Talking up your issues with a doctor to get a medical certificate you probably don’t qualify for is one thing. Claiming someone else’s essay as your own seems like the biggest corner you could cut. Is the essay writer for pay really that different though? Every corner we cut is the same: we sacrifice something to get over another arbitrary hurdle that the uni puts up for us. An extension gives you more time than everyone else. A medical certificate might get you a K grade even though you definitely could have gone to more classes. Occasionally not citing that one report you can’t find seems okay, even though it’s plagiarism.

We’re at a uni that keeps putting up barriers that make life shit, sometimes unbearable. Desperate students in desperate circumstances need to make these choices. The more desperate you are, the more extreme the choices have to be. Cutting that corner is a big step. It feels dirty, fraudulent. But, fuck, life can be absolute shit. It feels different, and probably is different, from all the other corners we admirably cut. But hard days, weeks, months, years, and lives are a reality. When you’re drowning, is it so bad to want a gasp of air?

For those who need support: VUWSA Advocate, Erica Shouten: 04 463 6984 Mental Health Support: Lifeline is available 24/7 on 0800 543 354 In an emergency, call 111

If you’re desperate enough, the essay writer could be the way out. When you’re being crushed from all sides by anxiety and depression and late bills and possibly getting fired and horrible flatmates and a dysfunctional family and everything else, it might be the only way to stay in uni, let alone survive.







Someone I love has his rules for life inscribed in neat handwriting above his desk. "Never say anything that will cause permanent pain" is one. "Always try your best" is another. While I agree with many of his rules, one is something I disagree with: "earn what you are given," it says.

The pandemic has not ended, but here, facing twelve more weeks of university, and all that comes afterwards, it has receded to the background a bit. My life is normal, really, and I am thankful that I can study and run around seeing my friends, and stay up late talking to people and drinking wine my flatmate gave me. I have not earned this. We have not earned this. I have been given citizenship of a country with relatively good governance. I have been given a stable and supportive family. I have been given a warm and dry flat. If I start telling myself that I have these things because I have earned them, then perhaps I will start believing the inverse: that the people who have lost their jobs, live in countries with science-denying leaders, and live in damp flats are somehow less deserving than me. In this moment—in the emptiness, in the new start of each trimester but especially this trimester, in the sameas-before-but-also-different—I feel a need for an urgent generosity. I want to cultivate a practice of generosity: giving to those who have not earned anything, knowing that I am given so much I have not earned. Here is an incomplete list of kindnesses I have received in the last month: a friend’s mum invited me to her house in Picton, although I hadn’t met her before. She gave me chocolate cake to eat on the bus. A friend bought me hummus as a study snack. A waitress told me that my bus was leaving. A friend of a friend gave me a ride home in the rain. I was looking slightly morose and one of my flatmates offered me a hug. Another friend made me muffins, even

though she was in the middle of moving house, and spent an hour talking to me. Receiving generosity is awkward. Pleasantries don’t walk. "Oh you shouldn’t have," I could say: but they have done it anyway, and I am so thankful. "I didn’t need that," I could say: but I have been given nonetheless. Generosity is, by definition, unasked for and unneeded: there’s something a bit radical to going over the top, doing more than the bare minimum, noticing what someone wants, and not just what they need. I try to say thank you as sincerely as possible and trust that the other person will know it is enough. Generosity is important. It is an affirmation that people are valuable not because of what they can do or who they are, but just because they’re people. Of course, things I get for achieving something—a thank you gift for doing some writing for someone else, a meal paid for because someone owes me a favour—are things I appreciate. There’s something deeply affirming in being able to receive something I could never earn. Marcel Mauss, a famous anthropologist (much debated now of course, because anthropologists' favourite topic of critique is themselves) has a concept of the gift economy. Around you are the people who you give things to with the expectation of an ongoing relationship rather than something of the same value back: children, close friends. You would willingly host all their birthday parties, and buy them a present besides. Next are the people who you want something reciprocal from: friends, acquaintances, colleagues. If they invite you to their birthday party, you invite them to yours, even if you don’t know them that well. In the circle beyond that are people who take things from you without offering any compensation. They gatecrash your birthday and steal a bottle of gin on the way out. The people beyond that are those with whom you have no relationship. (Apologies to my hardworking anthropology lecturers for this drastic oversimplification). Generosity is a way to look at people that goes beyond diagrams of reciprocity. It’s a practice of learning not to expect anything back from the person in the lecture who needs a pen or notes, from the friend who could do with a hug or you buying them coffee, from the next-door neighbour who could do with some fresh produce. Generosity is a practice of attention, and a way to act against the individualization, the longing to handle it on your own, that is so easy. I have a lot to learn about generosity, and I hope to get better at giving and receiving all I cannot earn. I feel so helpless against the new and old problems of the pandemic, the way case numbers reduce people to statistics, the electric unfairness of the powerful people staying safe and wealthy while so many others have their stability wrenched from underneath them. And yet there is nothing I can do about The Economy and The Politicians and The Society and The Rental Market and The University Management and all the ways that these individual institutions are failing the people within them. I can be generous.




DECOLONISATION, IRISH SUMMER CAMPS, AND MY DUMB MĀORI DAD In a recent job interview, I was encouraged to share my pepeha. The interviewer frequently spoke te reo, sans translation. Somehow, while the uptake of te reo Māori is flourishing in various sectors, our national language is still not compulsory in schools. Karens on talkback continue to bleat about how "Pākehā" is a slur and Kirikiriroa is too hard to pronounce. Meanwhile, they’re all je ne sais quoi and ¡Buenos días! on their annual Euro jaunt. This Matariki, we're talking decolonisation at the pub. For a pithy explanation of why decolonisation is urgently necessary, I suggest Imagining Decolonisation. The authors envision decolonisation via Kaupapa Māori: work by, about, and for Māori in accordance with Māori ideology and principles. Kaupapa Māori is seen in moves to revitalise te reo, particularly with initiatives in the education sphere like kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa and whare wānanga. The revitalisation of te reo intensified in the 1980s after generations of young Māori were encouraged (forced) to kōrero Pākehā. Until WWII, te reo was the first language of most Māori. Post-urbanisation and increasing alienation from their Māoritanga, less than 20% of Māori could be regarded as native speakers. Māori language week was launched in 1975. Our first officially bilingual school opened three years later at Rūātoki, followed by language recovery programmes like the kōhanga reo movement. After the Waitangi Tribunal determined that te reo was a taonga entitled to protection, it was made an official language of New Zealand…. in… 1987… the same year the first Simpsons episode aired and my dad turned 16. I can contrast my experience with te reo against that of my Irish ex who can speak and write Gaeilge fluently. Te reo is not a compulsory subject in our schools, while Irish is a "mandatory language" in the Irish secondary school Leaving Certificate exams. My education in te reo consisted of a few bops about colours and numbers. Meanwhile, he spent his summers at residential Irish language camps, attending



classes and participating in activities while completely immersed in the language. Irish is the "first official language" of the Republic of Ireland. Numerous public bodies exist to further the language in education, and wider society, through the implementation and monitoring of government policy. Similar in size, population, landscape and patriotic affection for pints, Ireland proves a sensible comparison for how indigenous languages can be supported. Many of their initiatives are worth replicating, especially their Gaeltacht system. Around 39% of Ireland’s population can speak Irish, but barely 4% of New Zealanders can hold a conversation in Māori. Without meaningful investment and commitment to promoting te reo in New Zealanders’ everyday lives, decolonisation can never occur. My pāpā grew up as James, but now everyone calls him Hēmi. He's often stereotyped as a ‘dumb Māori’. Contractors on his company’s building sites defer to his Pākehā apprentice. A client was visibly surprised when he revealed that both of his daughters have law degrees, and no, they weren't "just in first year and trying to get in". Bit by bit he's reclaiming his Māori-ness, learning his pepeha, muddling through te reo, reading about the alienation of Māori whenua and exploring his tīpuna. Growing up, dad never had the chance to learn his language, it was actively discouraged. In recent years, he’s relished the chance to make up for lost time and he can't wait to send his grandkids to a kōhanga reo. Hēmi carved a kōtare from a tree stump with a chainsaw one Sunday just because mum likes them. He can measure anything to the closest millimetre with his eyeballs, makes homes with his bare hands, plaited my hair for every Saturday morning netball game, and built a flying fox in our back paddock. Aroha nui pāpā. Not bad for a dumb Māori.


EAT PUSSY, NOT YOUR WORDS Talking to a guy wearing ripped acid wash jeans, boat shoes, and a leather bracelet was one of the many downfalls of my post COVID celebrations. It certainly didn’t help when he said: “Being a preppy feminist isn’t hot… you have to look at it from all sides, all lives do matter and that’s on period dawg”. He continued to ramble something along the lines of “White privilege doesn't exist, I believe in the term ‘black disadvantage’”. Whatever the fuck that means. Gross. I wondered why no one had the capacity to speak up or even make eye contact with this bigot. Maybe it’s the desire to be validated by the male gaze—I am so guilty of this. As his girlfriend stood there slightly defeated and clearly embarrassed, I felt for her. The need to feel validated by a guy is so common. I have a fear about speaking up in general, even if it’s something simple like telling my dad he took the wrong turn due to my mistake on Google maps. Or the other week when a guy bit my vagina and I didn’t say anything. I found him about as threatening as a small animal but I still couldn’t muster up the strength to tell him I was in pain—WTF is that about? Before I considered jamming my vape into my eyeball, I thought to myself… I need to go home and rub one out to Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech. As I looked down at my once white now red bed sheets I realised something wasn’t quite right… my Instagram boo turned certified gynaecologist diagnosed my lacerated vulva with something I am quite familiar with—my period. No, I thought to myself, this was not my period.

his diagnosis was reflective of my own unwillingness to speak up. For those of you who don’t know me, it’s a widely known fact that I am extremely self-destructive, bordering on marginally toxic. I’ll give you an example. Last week I saw an ex-lover on Cuba Street and they looked genuinely terrified of me. It's fair, the top of my nipple was hanging out of my crop top and my camel toe was strikingly visible. It didn't help that I smelt of puke. Nonetheless, I approached him and made a weird joke about how he looks way less creepy with his new haircut. Sorry, but you low key did look like Charles Manson. Honestly, I am pretty fucking over being in a flippant state of absolutely emo or completely elated. Being down because you’ve been doing too many drugs or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol may be due to the depressing world we currently live in. It is honestly so exhausting and I refuse to keep going down the same track as a really ugly, poor version of Paris Hilton. So if I can launch myself on the general public of Wellington, why can’t I call out that dude at the party. Why can’t you? Take it from a girl who’s clit might never recover, we have to normalize speaking up. It doesn’t have to be in an aggressive manner, but if that’s how you roll, power to ya. Please, for the love of god, ASSERT yourself. Speak up to that Young Nat kid at your next flat party. Speak up for your own sexual pleasure. Anything else is complacency.

It was the product of his unnecessary use of teeth and the hangnail I spied earlier. I justified to myself that I couldn’t be ‘bothered’ correcting him. Making him accountable felt pointless. But I realise that my own willingness to accept




A QUICK CHAT WITH ARLO MAC Having just released two singles, up-and-coming band Arlo Mac sure know how to make some sweet, sweet sound. As a four-piece band based in Havelock North, the boys have been lucky in their rise to fame. The ensemble consists of guitarists Ben Bush and Harry Mason, bassist Joe Ledword and drummer Thomas Grant. The band entered Rockquest in 2019, “not really expecting anything. It was quite a casual year,” lead vocalist and guitarist Harry said. “We’d just started in a band”. With only a handful of originals under their belt, Arlo Mac placed second in Smokefree Rockquest’s Regionals, before winning Nationals only a short time later last year. They recorded their first single “Ease My Mind” at Roundhead Studios with producer Simon Goulding, having received an $8000 recording and video grant. The band received mentoring from Six60’s Chris Mac with “Ease My Mind”. With their debut being aired on all radio stations in New Zealand and Australia, Harry described “to be classified now as an up and coming artist is pretty cool”, Their two recent singles, “Mr Entity” and “Shifter”, were released early in June. Since then, the reception has been grand. “Shifter” is a more pop-influenced track, similar to their debut “Ease My Mind”, whereas the band describes “Mr Entity” as a “different side to our sound”. For one of their new singles, they collaborated with the keyboardist from the band Charlie Whack, as well as with stunning vocalist Tayla Hartemink. “Shifter is about forgetting about things that have happened in the past without cutting ties,” they say. “Mr Entity—it’s just out the gate. It’s just random, totally random,” they laugh. Although expecting "Shifter” to go better with its pop sound,



“Mr Entity” has been the underdog with a dirtier, sexier rock sound. With the boys describing the new tracks as “raw”, they’re straight to the point. “It sounds like a band,” they say. Both singles were recorded at Newtown’s Surgery Studios. Having previously interviewed them there amongst an old 1970s aesthetic, at the time they were recording their recently released singles. Looking back, “we really enjoyed the process as we got to have a lot of fun while creating,” Ben said. “Experimenting with different sounds and instruments,” Talk of an EP crops up. I ask if "Mr Entity" will be similar to the sound of what’s coming. They agree. “Our sound is getting better with each song we write,” they say. With influences from rock, blues, jazz, and indie, they admit, “we’re all just riding the wave a bit”. When asked if they believe they would be where they are regardless of winning Rockquest last year, all members agree they wanted to get far as artists. The goal is to play a big festival, they say, hoping for Rhythm & Vines or Soundsplash to be the next step forward this summer. Overall, they’re keen to “target our demographic”. Next up for them will be opening for the Hot Donnas at CUBA JIB down south in Christchurch on 22 July. And if you’re feeling like a roadie in the mid-tri break, catch them with Dolphin Friendly in Napier on 28 August. A bit of a local legend, they’re only just up the road.

Politically Minded NIVA CHITTOCK | SHE/HER

GET YOUR VOTE ON Voting. Ticking a box on a piece of paper. It’s simple. Yet for some reason, young people baulk at the idea of it. Yes, voting is traditional—it’s no Insta protest picture—but it’s equally as important. And it’s so easy! Electoral Commission data shows that over 100,000 young people (aged 18-24) enrolled but didn’t vote last election. WHY? This isn’t a situation where ‘cba’ is an adequate response. You were already enrolled. It’s a peculiar phenomenon. The 18-24 age group in 2017 was only second in size to the Boomers. We have the numbers, and this makes us desirable. We are capable of swinging the vote and it’s for this reason that we’re a target group for political parties. Take the School Strike for Climate (SS4C). Young people are the mobilisers of this movement, largely because we are the ones who are going to feel the brunt of climate change’s effects. According to Sally McManus, a prominent Australian political activist, Aotearoa’s climate change protest turnout was 3.5% of our total population, making it the highest level of engagement in the 'developed' world. Our young presence continues to be felt through the #ArmsDownNZ and Black Lives Matter movements too. Solidarity and support remain central despite many interactions being conducted through screens. It doesn’t faze us. We have a natural knack for utilising technology to our advantage. Whether it be educating ourselves about new movements, spreading information or creating a global network of like-minded people, we can do it all, most of the time without a second thought. New Zealand also has one of the most transparent political systems in the world. Before we even begin, we’re in a good position. Our opinions and stances matter to our political elites in a system where public opinion is highly valued.

We can see change happening before our eyes, like how the Zero Carbon Bill passed and armed police trials were not continued after public backlash. We understand the notion of collective power and how change will happen if we yell loudly enough. Despite all these upsides, a stubborn attitude remains amongst youth when it comes to voting, usually along the lines of ‘well, what’s the point?’. It certainly isn’t the cure for the vast issues facing us. Poverty, climate change, and racism (to name a few) aren’t able to be fixed through voting alone. But while we’re fighting to throw the whole system out, taking a few minutes to tick a box on paper allows people to live better now, and adds fuel to other movements' fires. Think about it. If we can halt armed police trials in Aotearoa from one six-month movement, imagine what we can do if we branch out to other participation channels. The more pressure, the higher the chance of change. We can sign petitions and raise money for a cause, partake in protests and vote! They build on one another. 2020 is a pearler for Kiwi diplomacy. Alongside electing the government for the next three years, it also brings the cannabis and euthanasia referendums. Weed, assisted dying, and electing a Prime Minister: it’s our own holy trinity. Very rarely will you have the opportunity to get three for the price of one in politics. So, make the most of this sweet deal and enrol to vote now at If nothing else, at least you have the opportunity to perhaps say that you were one of those who made weed legal in NZ. Oh, but you’ll have to vote for that.




Disabled Students Association



I don’t know a single parent who doesn’t like a little bit of quiet time away from their kids.

Happy Matariki to you all. Happy racial revolution. Happy pandemic. It's been a rough time to be maintaining some semblance of mental health lately, and existence has never been so exhausting.

Since picking up full-time work, however, it has quickly become apparent just how much time away from your kids is too much. Less than a week in, I already found myself missing the cuddles, the smiles, games, and maybe even some of the tantrums. Our entire lives are built around at least one parent working a 40+ hour week, and spending that time away from your kids can be really tough. Especially when your kids are younger, this time is valuable bonding time. Some people love to point out that after those 40 hours, you still have a grand 128 odd hours to spend outside of work. But to point to the number of hours available misses the point. The hours between 9am and 5pm are generally the best available times in relation to people’s sleep schedules. Not to mention an 8 hour work day can include often between an hour and three hours worth of travel. Add in meals and suddenly you find yourself with very little time before your kids’ bedtime. Not to mention the additional challenges that can come with having disabilities and trouble with your mental health, with having any kind of social life, having kids that don’t live with you or having to move around a lot for your job. All of these can impact on the time you have available for your family. I can point to any number of broader societal reasons for wanting to revolutionise the way we look at our relationships with work and money. But as a parent missing out on numerous hours of watching my children grow physically and mentally, the burden it places on your relationships is often foremost on my mind. Surely to fuck there should be more to my every waking moment than trying to stay out from under the crushing thumbs of poverty and WINZ.



Coming into the new trimester feels like we’re pretending that this year never happened, which is equally as relieving as it is confusing. Time doesn't seem to exist as a linear progression anymore. The issues that once occupied our minds suddenly don't matter as much. And to make it even more bizarre, our lectures are actually available online. Being disabled in this modern age is somehow more tiring than before. But it also feels like a fever dream in which we finally get the accessibility that we have been asking for since forever. Like, for the most part, we can actually study at home. The flexibility that allows me is off the fucking charts. I just can't believe it only took turning reality upside-down for it to happen. Astounding. If it sounds like I'm a little bitter, it's because I am. The entire world is going through this huge metamorphosis, where all those who have been rejected by society are taking the power back. However, it feels like disabled people are, once again, being told that they need to shut up and wait their turn. Progress for us is being made only as a pleasant side-effect of the more able revolution. So I guess I should be grateful that any progress is being made at all. I mean, hey, I don't necessarily have to haul ass to a quite distant lecture theatre in the hopes that I will even be able to hear what the lecturer is saying. But after seeing how fast our classes could mobilise to be wholly online? Yeah, I'm bitter. Yes, we are moving forward. It's a rough journey for all of us right now. I'm just waiting for the day where everybody turns up to our battles for us. So then maybe we won't have to hastily loot these small victories from those in power.


PLEASE STOP ASKING NATIONAL LEADERS IF THEY WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Polls and leaders getting rolled? Must be an election year. Now, I keep myself abreast of the political happenings in our fair city as much as the next self-important pols student. Which is why I’d like to discuss something that consistently irks me. When Todd Muller rose up out of obscurity and into… further obscurity—No that’s not right, infamy!—he was asked what I can only predict will be the new normal for some time to come. The question being whether he would have voted for or against same-sex marriage. His response, quite frankly, is irrelevant. The same can be said for the previous two National leaders who were also asked this question. However, I will share them so we can all bask in how inconsequential they are: Todd Muller - “I'm totally relaxed.” Simon Bridges - "New Zealand's moved on, we have, and obviously it's working very well."

change their vote is not helpful. It’s just not a useful metric anymore. Instead, let’s focus on what they’re doing for the LGBTQIA+ community and the issues facing us today. Like right now. As you are reading this. For instance, despite the noise made around conversion therapy, we have yet to see it be banned. Just last year, the Justice Select Committee was considering a ban on the practice but ultimately decided to not recommend it. What about the fact that as it stands, our laws do not explicitly provide legal protection from discrimination in terms of gender identity, expression or sex characteristics? How do our politicians fare on this issue? Or maybe we could look at the ongoing work to reduce the barriers to changing registered sex on birth certificates (and thus every other identification document)?

Bill English - "I'd probably vote differently now on the gay marriage issue. I don't think that gay marriage is a threat to anyone else's marriage."

If it’s not obvious, there are so many current issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community that warrant action and we should be asking our politicians about them. Not whether they would have voted for same-sex marriage or if they would change their vote.

Like, yay? Cheers lads, I guess. Your answers to this hypothetical scenario conjured up by journalists really means a lot (not so hypothetical for Bridges and English who were MPs in 2013 and voted no when it, you know, actually mattered).

Actions speak louder than words and I would like to see what actions politicians are going to do now. Maybe it’s my youth and privilege showing but there are still so many issues that need to be addressed, issues that our politicians can and should be addressing.

Now I’m not saying all this because I have something against the National Party (I do, I very much do) but we shouldn’t be judging politicians’ wider LGBTQIA+ leanings based on the question of same-sex marriage. That isn’t to say you can’t judge MPs on their voting records, even on same-sex marriage. By all means, go ahead. I do it all the time. But asking them now if they would have voted for it and would



BONE One day her body will be laid to rest The flesh will wear and all that's left is bone Bone that was fuelled with fire, love and care

PSC: One Ocean LANI

Bone that held the knowledge of past and presents Bone that held the strength to carry the burdens of her family Bone that carried the fruit of her love Bone that carved and moulded the foundation of respect in her kin Bone that held up her descendants in their times of trials Bone that breathed her mother tongue Bone that bear the marks of mana from her homeland Bone that siva to the beat of any song Bone that longs to return Bone that was rejuvenated by the sea Bone that threaded the family as one Bone that ached when those she loved were hurting Bone that creaked from the countless prayers Bone that bestowed blessings Bone that sang the songs of her village Bone that wore near the end And when the bone wears It will be time Time for me to step forth Time for my bones to replace hers Time for my bones to support her Time for my bones to do the job hers always did for me It's time for me to be the shoulders of giant our descendants stand on It's time for me to lay her bones to rest



Ode to the Hairy Lemon

Nectar of the gods. A better morning routine there has never been. One Pill. One pellet. Plop The fizz, fixated on fluorescent yellow, sparkling in the cup. Guarana and ginseng, B vitamins, vitamin c. This is what I vitamin be. A sole citrus fruit. A lemon. Very hairy.

(copyright pending)

Flip Whitehill

Send your poems to



Jean-Daniel Cadinot Pornography Review


When discussing classic French cinema, his name may not come up as often as François Truffaut or Jean-Luc Godard, but Jean-Daniel Cadinot’s original approach to filmmaking shaped the landscape of the 80s and 90s. Born in Paris, Cadinot formally trained as a photographer before transitioning to moving film in the 1970s. He was a pioneer in his genre, directing films that were beautifully shot and emphasised realism. Often casting unknowns, Cadinot used a collaborative approach and allowed his actors a long leash to produce more natural performances. In case it is not clear, Cadinot was a pornographer. This is a pornography review. Disclaimer: I don’t speak a lick of French and Pornhub doesn’t offer subtitles so take my synopses with a grain of salt. 5. Service Actif (1990) Now, this is your stereotypical vintage pornography. “Oh no we’re in the middle of the jungle and there are no women around, whatever shall we do”. Everyone loves a man in uniform and this is a great place to start with Cadinot. Although the acting is not at all subtle, there is a coherent plot and Cadinot is a master at building tension. Some of the scenes are a bit too violent for my taste, but I award points for the inclusion of a pillow fight. 4. Sacré Collège! (1983) I’m not usually one for period pieces, but this film set in a strict 1950s boarding school is excellent. Every detail is carefully considered, from the costuming to the stately building the school is set in, to the demeanour of the head teacher. Cadinot experiments with a range of film treatments, using grainy sepia to better evoke the time period. In stark comparison with his other boarding school film Les Minets Sauvages, here the covert sexual interactions are affectionate and tender—a celebration of freedom in a restrictive environment. Where Sauvages was lord of the flies, Sacré Collège is the boys of ‘Ata.



3. Aime… Comme Minet (1982) Probably the most disjointed of Cadinot’s repertoire, we are given a meta look at the lives of the young men Cadinot cast in his films. Opening with a casting call, the film jumps between the audition present day and the youths’ memories that we assume he is drawing upon to… inspire his performance. The vignettes are chronological, showing his first sexual experience (in a bakery of all places), his first boyfriend, and his dalliances with public cruising on the banks of the Seine. 2. Pressbook (1996) I truly struggled with ranking the top two entries. One of his most ambitious films, Cadinot assembled a large international cast for an inside look at the Parisian fashion industry. Every character is well developed with their own story arc. I became so emotionally invested in these characters I was genuinely upset when the hairdresser cheats on his boyfriend. There is employment exploitation, domestic life, infidelity, prostitution, and friendship. If you are looking for lingering shots of fully-clothed beautiful men eating soup, this is the film for you. 1. Gamins De Paris (1992) The crème de la crème of plot-driven pornography. Set in the 1940s, a youth runs away from his prestigious boarding school for the bright lights of Paris. The authentic costumes and set dressing are gorgeous. I appreciated the choice of a 1940s soundtrack, rather than the usual bass-heavy porno music that would really break my immersion. Despite the lead’s utter lack of facial expression, Cadinot masterfully pulls us into the excitement of this coming of age story. Adrian Vassiliu steals the show in his fourteen minutes of screentime. Smoking in bed has never looked so good.

Sonic For Real Justice Meme Review


It’s been five years. I need to get something off of my chest. What the fuck was Sonic For Real Justice? The day was the 30th of May, 2015. A new Tumblr blog was created with one goal in mind: answer asks as Sonic characters while promoting how much Social Justice Warriors sucked. The blog gained notoriety for Mod Shadow’s introduction being one of the most earnestly pretentious and assholeish things to be floating around at the time. The blog became a sensation when Mod Silver got scared of the amount of asks they were receiving and, within 24 hours of the blog’s inception (and before he introduced himself!), closed the ask box. Mod Amy immediately banned Mod Silver, started bullying him, and reopened the ask box. Honestly, this is the crux of the matter, but a lot more happened after that. Tumblr decided Mod Sonic had BPD. Mod Knuckles was hired to make peace, then banned within a week. Mod Tails claimed Mod Amy was harassing him. Mods Sonic and Amy turned out to be dating. Mod Tikal came out, and was banned for being a ‘special snowflake’. After about a month, the blog faded into history, became a Naruto RP blog. Then that died and it became a Sonic blog once again. If you are confused, dear reader, then congratulations! That is the correct way to feel. I could explain more, but I fear that would only raise more questions in your mind. Witnessing this train crash in real time was surreal, and only compounded by how obsessed everyone was with this weirdly bigoted Sonic blog. ‘Justice for Mod Silver’ was everywhere, despite the fact it later turned out Mod Silver had orchestrated the whole thing to prove Mod Amy was an asshole.

And therefore, all of Mod Silver’s actions were a performance. Making Sonic For Real Justice… performance art. So, without further adieu, I present; A review of Mod Silver in Sonic For Real Justice (as a performance art piece). I do not think that anyone suspected Silver. I mean, what little interaction we had with him before The Ban was very convincing of someone… meek. Of a Silver scared of what hubris his group had brought into the world, in the form of an overflowing askbox that could never be emptied. The original rules of the page supported this depiction: “Be nice to Mod Silver” was there from the start (and very quickly changed to “Be mean to Mod Silver”). It was also successful in colouring the public opinion of Mod Amy, with hundreds of callout posts within hours of The Ban and many more demanding justice. I cannot in any good conscience recommend this as a course of action, but it was undeniably a well-done performance. Silver destroyed Mod Amy’s reputation, his friend group, and eventually, the page. Out of the ashes of the old mod group rose Silver, in control now and having achieved everything he wanted out of his performance. I really hope it was a performance.



Write for Us UPCOMING ISSUES WEED We wanna see everything from justice reform to your desperate, 11th hour, make-shift bongs. Go big or go home. Points for creativity.

ENVIRONMENT The world is burning, and that’s on late-stage capitalism, sweaty. Also the colonisers, but same thing. Climate change is not the great equaliser. The rich, white geezers that got us into this mess will be fine in their towers. Come tear down the system with us. WHERE TO PITCH If you’ve got a pitch for Salient, send your reckons to:

Note: your pitches don’t have to be for these themes. Send us ANY pitches you have.

Poetry: Reviews: News: Centrefolds:

Everything else—features, columns, creative writing, prose, shenanigans:


Tell us about yourself. We try to prioritise current VUW students, so please let us know if this isn’t you. 2. The Elevator Pitch: A short paragraph outlining the kaupapa of your piece. 3. Why? Tell us why your column/feature/review/nudes/finsta etc. belongs in Salient 4. Who? Tell us who your target audience is and how they will benefit from reading it. 5. How? Tell us how you’ll be constructing the piece. What will the voice be? Will it be personal, funny or informative?


Contributors Wanted

Occupation Station WHAT — A Shit Posting Quiz MADDI ROWE | SHE/HER

Vine or TikTok?

You’re standing in a wheat field.

A. Vine


B. TikTok

B. Corn, fuck yeah

Your Year 11 maths teacher contacts you about the algebraic confusion Elon Musk’s baby’s name causes. Which algorithm do you use to solve the value of Æ? A. Pythagoras, bitch


B. I only know pythagoras what the fuck a algahtm?

A. E.MO.TION by Carly Rae Jepsen B. Fever by Megan Thee Stallion

Why did Pixar have to give every single mom an absolute dumptruck ass? A. Economic downturn :/

Who do u choose to get horny on the TL for?

B. ScarJo playing a white woman done fucked the movie industry

A. Pre-serum Captain America B. Every member of the Little Women cast


Brother, please pass the ŏàťś.

Oh oh ohhhh oh. What tune did u read that in?

A. Wig! I felt that!

A. Big Time Rush theme

B. When will Maddi stop acting like she eats rits for breakfast

B. Literally do not lie you ugly fuck it is only the BTR theme





Crossword: Global Finance


1. 4. 10. 11. 12. 14. 17. 18. 21. 23. 26.

27. 28.





Cogsworth and others (presumably the Beast had more than one) (6) Its flag has a black trident on it (8) It spans an eighth of the Earth's circumference (9) Rodeo rope (5) It's named after the invisible line that runs through it (7) Had deep bass and a good beat; hit broadly (7) Simple thing spelled out in a Jackson 5 hit (3) European country with the largest wine cellar in the world (7) Consume (3) Like slightly fewer than half the balls in a game of pool (7) It's very small and uses the Euro, even though it's not in the EU (7) Astonish (5) It added 'North' to its name in 2019 to settle a dispute with Greece (9) Givealittle contribution... or read another way, a hint to the answers with shaded squares (8) Complicated puzzle (6)


1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 13. 15. 16. 19. 20. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 29.

Mythological lion-goat-snake hybrid (7) Of ancient times (3) Realm; monarchy (7) President John or John Quincy (5) Lightweight wood (5) Evaporate; leave suddenly (9) Cutlass or claymore (5) One operating a comuter (4) Hesitant; to be determined (9) Tyler of the 'Lord of the Rings' films (3) Unpaired; unusual (3) Dignified poem, usually written 'to' or 'on' something (3) Supplemented, renovated (5,2) Native creature that inspired the Third Eye Brewery (7) Easel; get to one's feet (5) Fabric fold (5) Disney film with the song 'Pink Elephants on Parade' (5) It's held in place by a keystone (4) Pester; repeatedly ask (3)


Word of the Week: ‘new year’

Te Reo Māori


Tau Hou


Summer 19/20

Sex Issue's Solution

Lockdown 2020



Leilani Baker is an avid storyteller. For her, it’s all about connecting with people and transforming their experiences through the power of words. A Bachelor of Communication from Massey helped hone her craft and expand her versatility, leading to a role as a sports journalist and, more recently, a content creator for a higher learning institute. She says her degree really broadened her perspective, “It helped me develop a world view and just made me hungry to learn.” Fuse creativity and business, then join over 85% of our students who launch from graduation to employment within only 6 months. Begin your journey at New Zealand’s No.1 ranked* communication programme.




Ur astrological father has not yet come out of her catatonic state from the mixture of veg trio pizza, Red Bull, and anxiety-fuelled nightmares that was Trimester 1, so here’s an incredibly lazy rendition of the horoscopes this week. What thing in my flat are you?

ARIES Our heat pump, constantly set at 30 degrees.

CANCER The various empty cans of ginger beer for nerve-settling.

LIBRA The single bottle of $8 Moscato rosé.

TAURUS Wheat packs that smell like closet.

Rāhiri’s checkered Swanndri.


VIRGO Pegs. Just pegs.

SCORPIO The bread knife several people have cut themselves on.

AQUARIUS The Maramataka calendar.


The pack of durries Leah desperately wants even though she doesn’t smoke.




SAGITTARIUS The single razor that no one seems to claim.

PISCES The abandoned jar of verbena leaf tea.

The Team EDITORS Rachel Trow & Kirsty Frame


NEWS EDITORS Te Aorewa Rolleston & Finn Blackwell


SUB EDITOR Alfred Dennis

FEATURE WRITERS Tinomuda Mahowa Wasa Ali


CONTRIBUTORS Maddi Rowe Will Eland Vic Bell

STAFF WRITERS Lofa Totua Sally Ward Shanti Mathias

CENTREFOLD Sara Moana @saramoana

TV TEAM Charlie Myer & Julia Mattocks

POETRY Flip Whitehill

COLUMNISTS Caitlin Hicks Frankie Dale Rosie and Miia van Beusekom POETRY EDITOR Janhavi Gosavi REVIEWS EDITOR Brock Stobbs DISTRIBUTOR Rebecca Trow

Hannah Powell Niva Chittock Lani

Lofa Totua Johnny O’Hagan Brebner Shanti Mathias Puck Taylah Shuker

CONTACT US (centrefold artwork) FIND US




Community Pantry

Free Bus Passes* Lost Property


Advocacy Services Locker Hire Free Menstrual Products

Car Parking Discount For info about our services, visit or 40 pop by our Kelburn office Level 4, Student Union Building.

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