Page 1




NEWS Party Line Shit News Tweets Of The Week

8 12 13



FEATURES The Messara Report on New Zealand Horse Racing Homeless World Cup The 6 People I Met at O-Week

16 19 22



COLUMNS Shit Chat Token Cripple SWAT Mauri Ora The F Word Dream Diagnosis Right & Hopefully Right NgÄ i Tauira VUWSA Boots & Beers Lost in the Sauce Liquid Knowledge POEM

26 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

REVIEWS Art Film TV Theatre Food

37 38 39 40 41



PREACHING TO THE CHOIR You’re standing outside an unfamiliar flat, a dim tungsten light hiding the fact that you’re shit at rolling durries. The faces in the circle of people around you look happy, and you make a mental note to appreciate that. It’s your third flat party this trimester and you’ve met some pretty nice people. We at Salient hope that you meet a lot of nice people this year. More than that, we hope you tune into what they have to say. Learn a thing or two outside of your own echo chamber. The sea of new faces can be overwhelming, and connecting beyond a few ten-minute conversations can be taxing. But too often, we do a shitty job listening to the people standing right in front of us. We’re thinking, “what am i going to say next” or “who am i going to talk to next” or even “oh shit i think we’re running out of things to talk about, how am i gonna brexit this” (if you missed it or can’t be bothered researching, Caitlin has the Brexit breakdown for you on page 37). There are a few people who keep me in check, looking me in the eyes when we speak, and replying thoughtfully. They stand out in this fast-paced, instant gratification- and look-obsessed society. These people slow down. They’re quick to listen and slow to talk—not worried about being productive, or climbing some bogus social ladder.

There are compelling stories and buzzy experiences around every corner. We’re made up of those things. Why not chase them? Maybe you’re the type of person who gets 50 new Facebook friends during the first night of O-Week. Or maybe you’re a fifth-year finishing up that one Law paper, pretty set in your friend group. Either way: This week, we challenge you to listen to the person in front of you.

When we listen, people open up. We earn the opportunity to learn about a world different from ours—their world. You meet people like CKW, who could tell you stories of his grandfather, aka a 1950s bonafide hustler in Hāwera (page 19). Or people like Shanti, who worked in Indonesia with an organisation that sends a team to the Homeless Football World Cup (page 21).

Kii Small & Taylor Galmiche




News. Keen eye for news? Send us any tips, leads or gossip to

NEW STUDENTS GET ORIENTATED LAURA SUTHERLAND New Students’ Orientation Week has come and gone again, kicking off another year at VUW with a bang.

Drug-related incidents were up on 2018 figures, at 14 admissions throughout the week.

This year’s line-up included the requisite toga party, a comedy show with Melanie Bracewell, and live music headlined by Rudimental, Netsky, and Winston Surfshirt.

Two students were also admitted to hospital, one for continuous vomiting and one for a head injury sustained on the way to an event.

O-Week was a wild success in terms of attendance, with the toga party and gigs selling out in record time.

While students were impressed by the quality of the international musicians O-Week attracted, some felt that the venue, the Hunter Lounge, did not do the artists justice.

In response, VUWSA added an official afterparty, featuring local artists P-Money, Church & AP, and 1174.

“It just got really crowded,” said first-year student Erin, who attended the toga party and Winston Surfshirt.

The events did not run entirely without incident, however, with 58 students passing through VUWSA’s saferoom.

Fellow fresher Eliza agreed that the events were “too busy”, and a bigger venue would “definitely” improve the events, especially the everpopular toga party.

The saferoom provides a space for students who are injured, intoxicated, or otherwise in distress, to get away from the main event and be looked after by trained staff.

The university also held orientation events for Māori, Pasifika, postgraduate, mature, refugee-background and rainbow students, as well as a variety of academic workshops.

The majority of students admitted to the room were from halls of residence, mostly for alcohol-related issues.

VUWSA President Tamatha Paul summarised the week for Salient, “it was great.”

Toga Party. Victoria University of Wellington. Photo by Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association



WORLD UNIVERSIT Y RANKINGS, HOW DID VUW FARE? FINN BLACKWELL They say you are judged on your merits rather than your weaknesses. This might be a problem for New Zealand’s universities, with the release of world tertiary rankings this week.

The ranking drop is detrimental to the universities’ images, as these rankings influence (local and international) students’ enrollment decisions, as well as affecting potential employers.

London-based ranking agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranked the country’s nine universities alongside those from the rest of the globe.

If employability is our problem, QS may have made things worse.

New Zealand’s university system as a whole tumbled down from 14th place last year, to 18th. The University of Auckland seems to have been hit the hardest, losing all of its subjects ranked top 20 in the world. The University of Otago is now the sole New Zealand institution with a top 20-ranked subject, with their School of Physical Education sneaking in at 20th.

VUW has said that “the international competition [...] becomes more intense each year as some governments invest more in their university systems than New Zealand does”. VUW added that they “outperformed the New Zealand university system this year. [With] only 9 of the 73 subjects across New Zealand whose rankings fell.”

VUW only holds two subjects in the top fifty ranking.

With education in the limelight, following teachers’ strikes and polytechnic reforms, students will be interested to see how this latest issue impacts the country, and how the Ministry of Education attempts to resolve it.

According to the QS research director, New Zealand’s sudden plummet is due to our lacklustre “employability” ranking, which has “slightly decreased”.

The QS “Subject Ranking” provides data comparisons and breakdowns by subject area, employability, system strength, and even location. They also provide data on the world’s top student cities.

STEM FIELDS CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE WITH DIVERSIT Y MELISSA OLIVER A prominent Engineering academic at the University of Canterbury has called to diversify the engineering industry, but how does Victoria compare? During a recent talk, Intermediate Dean for the College of Engineering Philippa Martin acknowledged an increasing number of women in engineering, but argued that the increase was too small, and that she considers the numbers of Māori, Pasifika, and LGBTQI+ remain too low. Martin has said the industry has an image problem which puts people off. “People don’t understand what we do and then they think that engineers are all blokes and it’s a very masculine culture,” she said. Radio New Zealand reporter Charlie Dreaver revealed that at industry stalwart Transpower, “six of their 10 graduates were women and two were Māori or Pasifika.” Transpower CEO Alison Andrew said that more programmes aimed at younger children to promote maths and science need to be available to attract more under-represented groups.

Victoria University of Wellington Women in Tech (VUWWIT) said that the under-representation issue is compounding, with the lack of diversity itself making STEM environments feel unsafe for minority groups. Dr Stuart Marshall, Head of School of Engineering and Computer Science, told Salient that under-representation is “a known issue” in the industry, and at VUW. Dr Marshall anticipates that representation in 2019 will be similar to previous years, with less than a quarter of first-years in the School being women or gender-diverse, only 10% Māori, and 2% Pasifika. Postgraduate representation is expected to be similar. The school is still waiting for final enrollment confirmations for 2019. They do not collect information on the number of queer students enrolled. Despite the disparities, the faculty is “actively committed” to increasing accessibility and success for under-represented groups. Initiatives to achieve this include, but are not limited to, a pre-tertiary outreach team, working with VUWWIT, and bi-monthly hui for ongoing assessment.




RIMMING: THE NEXT P UBLIC HEALTH CRISIS? JOHNNY O’HAGAN BREBNER It may sound tongue-in-cheek, but more people eating ass might increase the rate of Hepatitis A in New Zealand.

Non-MSM individuals, who have lower recorded rates of such high-risk practices, are not included under the same recommendations.

Although not usually fatal, Hep A can be debilitating and cause vomiting, pain, tiredness, and discolouration of the skin and eyes. Recovery can take several weeks or months.

A problem presents itself with the anecdotal rise in rimming amongst non-MSM, after the release of the 2017 guidelines. Reporter Madeleine Holden outlined this trend in a recent article in MEL magazine, titled “Do Straight Men Really Eat A Lot of Ass Now? An Investigation”.

Transmission is usually facilitated by poor sanitation, but can be transferred through sex acts like rimming, making it a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

In the article, Holden talked with 60 straight men across the USA.

The Ministry of Health describes Hep A as “rare”, but it is sufficiently prominent that the New Zealand Sexual Health Society (NZSHS) included it in their 2017 STI Management Guidelines.

She concluded rimming is on the rise. Holden suggested ‘straight’ attitudes in the USA and New Zealand could be similar.

The guidelines, used throughout New Zealand, only recommend regular Hep A testing for men who have sex with men (MSM).

This means that people not covered by regular Hep A testing could be increasingly participating in a practice known to transmit the disease.

Sexual health physician Sunita Azariah, speaking on behalf of NZSHS, said that Hep A testing was recommended for MSM because of the greater prevalence of certain high-risk sexual practices, including rimming.

The world holds its breath. If you are concerned you may have Hep A, contact a GP or sexual health clinic.

Azariah also cited a recent “major” Hepatitis A outbreak among MSM in Auckland in the 1990s.

Mauri Ora: (04) 463 5308 Wellington Sexual Health Service: (04) 385 9879

VUW TAKES THE LEAD WITH ADOP TION OF VOICEQ SOF T WARE HANNAH POWELL The software is used globally, being offered in some of the most cuttingedge film education and audio industries across Europe as an investment in new technology, such as at the highly reputable The International Film & Television School Paris.

Victoria will be the first university in Australasia to offer the innovative new VoiceQ software in its courses.. VoiceQ is a software used by the television, film, video, and gaming industries to efficiently synchronise voice with pictures when dubbing in post-production. Voice synchronisation, or voice translation, is where the new audio is recorded over the original audio track.

“It became very clear that we would save enormous amounts of time and costs while improving quality of voice acting”, said a spokesperson of the French audiobook company Novelcast.

What puts VoiceQ above others is its versatility, making it suitable for the beginner as much as the expert.

Nationally, VoiceQ has been used to dub the Cartoon Network series We Bare Bears from English to te reo Māori for Māori Language Week 2018. Disney film Moana was also dubbed in te reo using VoiceQ software.

VoiceQ offers to its users a reputable, easy-to-use, enhanced user interface; locked sync; scrolling visual dialogue; and real-time script editing with multi-language capability.

VoiceQ’s intention for it to be a “pick-up” for the beginner is good news for VUW students about to start using the software this year.

In 2019, VoiceQ will offer its leading industry software for VUW students from all disciplines.



HOW I T WO RK S : T H E W E L L B E I NG B U D G E T JOHNNY O’HAGAN BREBNER & RACHEL SALAZAR You may, or may not, have heard about Grant Robertson’s “Wellbeing Budget”. Announced last December, the new approach to the government’s spending looks through an entirely new lens: that of wellbeing, rather than just fiscal and economic. Ministries and agencies would be collectively responsible for achieving the budget’s goals, including a wellbeing cost–benefit analysis when applying for funding. The diagram below is a simplified representation of the proposal in last December’s Budget Policy Statement, presented by Minister of Finance Grant Robertson.

Half-year Economic and Fiscal Update

Economic and Fiscal Outlook

Wellbeing Approach

2019 Budget Priorities

The 2019 Budget

Transitioning to a sustainable economy Supporting innovation in the digital age

Wellbeing Outlook

Lifting Māori and Pacific incomes, skills and opportunities 2019 Summary:

Reducing child poverty

‘High standard of living but too many being left behind’

Human Captial

Supporting mental health

Living Standards Framework

Wellbeing Approach Cycle


Decide Wellbeing Priorities

Social Capital

Natural Capital

Financial & Physical Captial

Necessary Changes

Propose Initiatives

Impact Assesment

Initiatives Assessed Decide on Initiatives




SC HO OL C L I MATE ST R I K E I N WE L L I NGTON REC EI VES M I XE D R E S P ONS E S SHANTI MATHIAS Maeder, who is a VUW student, said that the organisers are “predominantly secondary students,” but parents, teachers, and even primary students are involved.

School students in Wellington are planning to ‘strike’ from school on March 15 to protest political inaction on climate change. The movement is part of a national and global network of protests, inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish activist.

“We’ve contacted all the schools but they won’t get back to us [...] it’s been really difficult to know who we’re reaching and who we’re not reaching,” Maeder said.

In Wellington, the students will march from Civic Square to Parliament, down Lambton Quay.

Indirect responses from schools vary. Some parents and teachers are extremely supportive; Thorndon Primary is planning to bring approximately 80 kids to the strike. Other schools “do not want to condone striking,” according to Maeder.

Raven Maeder, organiser of both the national movement and Wellington strike, said that the sacrifice of education for political action is emblematic of how leaders should be prioritising legislation and reducing emissions above political concerns.

Despite this, Maeder expects anything from 300 to 800 students to attend the strike, but the movement is “inclusive” and anyone is welcome.

“This is the most important thing we could be doing right now. If we did this on the weekend, it would be a cute action of young people,” she told Salient.

Some politicians, including James Shaw and Chlöe Swarbrick, have said that they are supportive of the event and will attend.

Some parents interviewed for One News said “they can protest in their own time”. Another parent appealed to older viewers, “those kids will feel like they’ve achieved something for the day, but you and I know they haven’t.”

SchoolStrike4Climate’s “An Open Letter from the Youth of Aotearoa” campaign can be found on ActionStation for interested students to sign.

THE PART Y L I NE Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters’ recent tour of the Pacific Island nations included the announcement of regular Ministerial talks with Fiji, and a support package for Kiribati. What direction should New Zealand take in its relationship with our Pacific neighbours? Why? Greens@Vic


ACT on Campus Wellington


Aotearoa must start taking a bold & unapologetic stand for the rights of our Pacific neighbours, who are uniquely vulnerable to climate impacts & exploitation. Developed countries are happy to sacrifice the homes, livelihoods, and cultures of Pacific peoples for their own profit through pollution, and we have an obligation to ensure the long term security of the Pacific: their homes still existing in the next decade is not guaranteed. We must also fight the brutal and violent occupation of West Papua. Since 1963, Indonesia has occupied half the island, banning political parties, crushing moves towards self-determination, with ~100k Papuans killed. Indonesia has prohibited international media from West Papua, places foreign visitors under surveillance, and campaigns against the work of activists around the world. Aotearoa must back other Pacific nations like Vanuatu, and demand selfdetermination for West Papua. That may mean standing up to our allies like the UK, who will gladly prioritise comfortable relations with Indonesia over the rights of Papuans, but never should Aotearoa stand silent & complicit in the violation of human rights.

New Zealand currently stands as one of few developed nations that are closely allied and cooperative with a number of Pacific nations. Many of these places struggle with basic needs and services that we all take for granted and they are the most at risk of rising sea levels from climate change. The direction that we should be taking with our Pacific neighbours is the same as the shift we saw under the leadership of the current coalition government with increased international aid and communication to achieve common goals. New Zealand should be undertaking a leadership role in the Pacific to advocate for democracy, human rights and climate change action. Supporting peaceful transitions of government and increasing representation for Pacific communities within multinational organisations is key to ensure Pacific communities are represented in their fight for a better life and our united fight against climate change.

ACT believes that New Zealand should continue a positive relationship with our brothers & sisters in the Pacific Islands. The relationship between New Zealand and the Pacific region has long been one of mutual gain, and going forward we must ensure these ties continue to strengthen. New Zealand provides sensible defence and infrastructure support, and in return the region provides more than $1 billion to our economy through trade. To call this smart investment would be an understatement. ACT would support government action to improve our relationships in the region, so long as they can ensure it benefits both New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

The Young Nats strongly support the idea of being a good global citizen and providing assistance to those in our own neighbourhood and abroad. That is why we have always advocated for working with, and assisting our Pacific partners in all things. This is why the last National Government spent more than three billion dollars on foreign aid between 2012 and 2017 with over 50% of it going towards our Pacific partners. This has allowed for huge development in the region and has provided invaluable assistance in their recovery after natural disasters. With respect to this proud tradition the Young Nats believe that the Government must continue to support our Pacific neighbours. With the issues faced by Pacific Island nations increasing, it would be both irresponsible and immoral for the Government not to provide support and relief where it can. Be it on law enforcement, climate change or other issues.

- Jackson Graham

- Grahame Woods

- Not Attributed

- Lachlan Patterson







How long have you been involved with the group?


If you got into a fight with any other club here, which would it be?


Why should people join your group?


What’s the coolest, biggest thing your club is doing this year?

Do you think you would win?

Note: responses reflect the views of respondents only, and not necessarily those of the group.



1. Since 2018.

1. Four years with CanDo.

2. VUWLSS is all about making walking through the OGB corridors less scary. Also mean discounts.

2. For disabled people to find a community. 3. A big advocacy campaign around reducing stigma.

3. Competitions. Specifically, legal competitions.

4. [redacted]

4. I don’t know any other clubs here? Young Nats?

5. Fuck yes.

5. Hell yeah.



1. This is my second year, been here since the start.

1. A year.

2. Social, funny, great laughs.

2. Because it’s great.

3. ImPop fest, which runs alongside the NZ Improv Fest in September.

3. Playing netball.

4. The Go Club, because they’re always ready to go...

4. The rugby team. 5. We’d hope so.

5. … but we could still beat them.

Zi, 21, V-ISA


1. This is my second year.

1. Third year here. 2. Because we’re like a family, it’s a fun time.

2. Because V-ISA is great and we help international students feel at home.

3. Ama, it’s like a conference in July.

3. Horror night.

4. The Samoan Association.

4. None.

5. Nah.

5. Obviously.



Local homeowner, Ian Samuels, was “surprised” students were allowed the privilege of shelter, but was ecstatic at the financial implications. “Students are usually just a nuisance, especially when I can tell they’re enjoying themselves. But now, with unregulated exploitation, I can exponentially double the value of my house.”


In a recent statement, Vice-Chancellor Grant Guilford told press, “We just want to show students how much we care”, while hurriedly stuffing $100 notes into his shirt and jacket pockets. All rooms are reportedly booked out until 2025.


There is growing speculation at Otago University around the relationship between student magazine Critic Te Arohi and its most popular son, the Critic Booze Reviews (CBR).


After seeing an opportunity in the Wellington housing crisis, Victoria University has started offering short-term rentals. The cheapest deal, at $358.99 per night, includes only a mattress and pillow tucked under the computers in the Kelburn Library. At the complete other end of the spectrum, VUW is charging only $1600 per night for the generous addition of a blanket and unlocked bathroom. A honeymoon suite is even available in the science buildings, with bunsen burners creating a romantic setting and discarded lab coats a comfortable bed for two. Food is also provided, with guests invited to fight over leftovers in the bins behind Rankine Brown. “It’s just capitalism,” said Richie Whitney, head of Student Housing, “turning real world distress and an exploitative rental market into profit.” The incoming first-years, however, showed concern. “Seriously? This is upsetting the natural order. I’m supposed to stay in halls for my first year, and now other people are paying a premium for that space.” How am I supposed to be bitterly disappointed at the quality of student housing if I can’t spend my first experience in an insulated building with cooked food and people who want to talk to me?” said Jax Noeman, currently living on Te Puni Village’s roof. Kelburn residents seem excited at the prospect.


What began as a playful, fun review of alcoholic beverages intermingled with quality banter has turned into a bloodthirsty power struggle. CBR has exploded in size in since 2017, amassing triple the following of its maternal magazine. At time of publication, CBR had approximately 41,000 likes on its Facebook page, while Critic had a measly 15,000. Queries as to whether Critic is still a ‘real magazine’ have arisen within the student media network. Massey is no longer the central point of tertiary ire and skepticism. CBR authors Swilliam Shakesbeer and Sinkpiss Plath have been commended for their recent ascension. When asked about Critic magazine, local clout-master Callum Turnbull said only, “Who? Is that like a film review magazine?” “I didn’t realise the Booze Reviews owned their own magazine. That’s really a hustle, good on them.” Negotiations have begun, but the financial fine print is currently undisclosed. Salient can only speculate which assets Critic has to bargain with, but experts suggest they may be limited to three remaining copies of the infamous menstruation issue, a half-decent designer, and a charred couch cushion. Though nothing has been confirmed yet, close sources tell us that the magazine has accepted the offer in the form of a “brick through their fucking window”. Tensions may have abated for now, but if they begin to rise again, the southern stalwart may face a coup d’etat of style and scale comparable only to Oedipus.

T W E E T S O F T H E W E EK “Just saw a guy in Cuba Street with a cigarette in one hand and a vape thingy in the other. That man is traveling in his own nimbus” - @domesticanimal

“ok ok the big daddies from bioshock smash or pass” - @Veggiefact “always haunted by the time I went to a wedding between two improv people who said “yes and” to each other instead of “I do.” I think about this every day.” - @FanSince09


“tfw u r ugly and lacking motivation but still have to go into meetings like “WOMAN VERY CONFIDENT POWERFUL MONEY LADY YES ALWAYS EAT MEN FOR SNACK RAR” *beats chest like gorilla*” - @friesfanclub

“Instead of "anti-vaxxers" we should call them "plague enthusiasts"” - @EvilCEOE

“I’m a bit gutted i missed the Newtown Fair but not gutted enough to leave my house and travel the one kilometre to the Newtown Fair.” - @AceMcWicked

“[ASMR GF ROLEPLAY] *whispers* it’s ok to not know a single thing baby it’s fine to be a dumb ass” - @Waif0000 “Momo says she’ll leave us alone if ya’ll just vaccinate your kids.” - @nateismfof “I don’t think i’ve ever seen a company market a film so aggressively as Event Cinemas is marketing that Rob Brydon synchronised swimming nightmare” - @AdamGoodallYes

“the hot cross bun m&ms are a crime against nature and me” - @sbrookbrooks

“all of humanity puts down our weapons and join hands for one beautiful moment of peace where we all come together to absolutely fucking ROAST liveaction sonic. just goddamn BLAST him” - @alexisparade

On Netflix making the Babysitters Club into a tv series. “watch as the BSC gets the Riverdale makeover and they’re all edgy 25 year olds with like alarming amounts of sexual tension with each other and a hip 1990s soundtrack with loads of neon… i’d watch it.” - @em_ma_maguire

“I just saw someone using an actual segway to get around @VicUniWgtn in this the year of our lord 2019…” - @hjbanks


Each week we’ll award our favourite letter with two tickets to Zealandia.

Send your letters to Dear Editors, I have been a reader of the Salient for over a year now and in your most recent issue (volume 82 issue 1) I discovered a change that has devastated me:

Good evening fine writers of Salient,

There is no Sudoku.

First. Thank you for your time.

In the past Sudoku has helped me through many hard times and not seeing it on my first week back has already sent me into a fidgety spiral. How will I pass the time now? I do not wish to dive into the ad infested stream that is Facebook or listen to another “please like and subscribe” from a generic Fortnite gamer. Even CoolMathsGames cannot satisfy my need for procrastination.


Finally got a Salient.

I suggest that you consider adding the Sudoku back even if it is just one of the difficulties. It would greatly help me through the troubling time that is University.

Can the record please show that I guessed Putin for the dad bod on my first guess. SB

Thanks in advance, A concerned Sudoku enthusiast/addict


Interested in Taekwondo? New to Taekwondo? Learned Taekwondo before? Come along and join us! Great way to keep fit and have fun!

Send your notices to

Training times: Wednesday 6.30 p.m.–8 p.m. Dance Room, Victoria University Recreation Centre Saturday 3.30 p.m.–5 p.m. Dance Room, Victoria University Recreation Centre

UNIQ IGM UniQ will be hosting its IGM at 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19 2019 in SU217.

What you need: Drink bottle, comfy trousers/shorts, t-shirt

This year we will be making some constitutional changes before electing our entire team from President to general executive so come on down.

Contact us:

Check it out on Facebook at

We are affiliated to the Taekwondo Union of NZ (TUNZ)

sponsored by


Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi – your gallery on Kelburn campus

FREE ENTRY Tuesday–Sunday, 11am–5pm Victoria University of Wellington Gate 3, Kelburn Parade

Florian Hecker, Formulation, 2015, processed installation photography

Passages: Luke Fowler, Florian Hecker, Susan Philipsz 16.02.19–21.04.19



My mum’s family loves a “flutter”. A “flutter” is Kiwi slang for betting. Usually on horse racing, but we’re also partial to the odd greyhound meet or two. In April 2018, the Minister for Racing, Winston Peters, released the Messara report, calling for the closure of several small racecourses around the country. Of the current 48 thoroughbred racetracks in the country, 20 would close. On the West Coast, for example, small venues such as Reefton, Greymouth, and Hokitika would fold and be amalgamated into the larger Kumara racecourse. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Racing in New Zealand is, in the words of the report, in a “deeply distressed state”. Many of the small racecourses hold one meet a year, sometimes less. The sale of the closed courses would finance the renovation of the remaining, larger courses in order to bring them up to an acceptable standard. The Messara report was inevitable; our small racecourses were always in a terminal state. But it doesn’t make it any less sad. Horse racing in New Zealand used to be central to everyone’s lives. My grandad was a bookmaker. He ran a bookie. A bookmaker accepts and pays out on bets, making money by charging a fee. Back in the 20th century,


New Zealand carried a ban on betting. So, my grandad, a first-generation immigrant, ran an illegal scheme. What else was he to do? What every gambler knows is that betting is a dichotomy: You’re either a villain or a victim, and most of us placing bets are victims. My grandad played his part of villain. He was a bonafide 1950s New Zealand hustler—I’ll always be proud of that. A cynical person would say he sold hope to the hopeless, while a more optimistic person might call him an entrepreneur. When I asked Mum, she said she knew nothing about it—As she should; she wouldn’t nark. Or maybe Grandad kept his family away from it, making sure his two worlds never intertwined. Both are plausible explanations. Regardless, like so many other Kiwi families brought up in unique venues all across the country, gambling is in our blood—especially horse racing. Mum said that the races were a community event, something that united a multitude of different ethnicities and religions in Hastings, resplendent in their Sunday best. On any given Saturday afternoon, the static voices of transistor radios playing from sheds, gardens, and cars would sit on the still Hawkes Bay air. Whether Māori, Middle Eastern, Chinese, or Cook Islander—everyone followed the races. The area


Mum grew up in was largely working class, and the religion of the working class family was often Catholicism. Some religions didn’t gamble, but according to Mum, Catholicism has always been guided by the idea of being relevant to people. You “take it to the people and meet the people”. This might seem odd to the atheist reader, but it makes perfect sense for a Catholic rationalising their vices. Mum is Lebanese and Irish; you’d be hard-pressed to find two more doggedly Catholic ethnicities. For her, betting on the races “had a certain intelligence to it”. At this point, you can be sure this is Mum justifying horse racing, and that she’s probably wearing rose-tinted glasses. But there’s nothing wrong with making good to yourself your escape from the mundane.

labour—and Dad got to scone some poor fool in the face with horse poo.

Racing has never been about flash new buildings or stateof-the-art synthetic tracks in New Zealand; it’s an escape for the people. This is why betting is called “having a flutter”. For a demonstration of how important racing is to New Zealanders, read (or watch) the 1964 novel Came a Hot Friday by Ronald Hugh Morrieson, made into one of New Zealand’s most successful local films in 1985. Arguably New Zealand’s best novel, written by (arguably) New Zealand’s best author, it stars New Zealand’s most famous personality, Billy T James, stealing the screen as the Te Whakinga kid. The villains of the novel are local bookmakers, who the protagonists attempt to outwit. Racing is authentic Everyone benefitted from horse racing. Back then, going New Zealand, through and through, and Morrieson to the TAB was an event. For Mum and her siblings, the paints a vivid scene of the gambling dichotomy—villain entertainment was the car ride itself. They’d park outside vs victim—played out in the small towns of rural Taranaki. a set of flats, and the kidss would walk along the concrete What Morrieson knew is that sometimes, when you win, block wall, practicing their balance. Grandad would place you represent a third factor: the victor. By removing these his bets, because even the villain falls under the spell of small racecourses, which are as integral to small towns favourable odds. He’d come out, and by that time, they’d as the dairy and the bottle store, you remove a piece of be hiding on the floor of the car—you could do this back heartland New Zealand. No longer will anyone be the then; back when cars were mini victor; the Te Whakinga kid will houses and everyone drove 180 never ride again. Ironically, two km/h without seatbelts and there RACING HAS NEVER BEEN ABOUT of the racecourses that formed were 900 deaths on the roads. FLASH NEW BUILDINGS OR STATE- the setting for Morrieson’s book, He’d play along, saying, “Where OF-THE-ART SYNTHETIC TRACKS Hāwera and Stratford, are are the kids?” He would mark his IN NEW ZEALAND; IT’S AN ESCAPE among those slated for closure. racebook, knowing what he was FOR THE PEOPLE. betting on ahead of time—and There is nothing wrong with a when he got sick, Nana would do it for him though she flutter, every now and then. You can always hear the drone hated it, because Nana was an honest woman and would of the greyhounds “at the fourth annual Edward Peterson rather her husband was neither villain nor victim. meet in Timaru, racing for the rose plate”, coming from my uncle’s flat and ute. This is what he knows; this is what he For Dad, who grew up in rural Southland, the Riverton was brought up on. He doesn’t have a gambling problem; Easter races were an institution. Everyone went, from West he can’t afford one—years on ACC after a hernia from Otago to Central, to the Catlins and all the small towns in being kicked in the stomach by a cow will do that to you. His between like Nightcaps, where Dad was born—that, you’d previous wife Jenny had an unhealthy interest in gambling, only know if you’d lived there your whole life. The races which, in his sister (my mum)’s words, “got in the way of spanned three days, during the last of the good weather. things”. But every now and then, he might bet on the result They were a seasonal event for a rural community who of a race at Whanganui, “a bob each way”. You might buy lived according to the seasons. You would go as a family, a cup of coffee—my uncle puts money on the horses. This is bringing food with you. It was one of the only times of the his culture, and his soul refuses to be gentrified. year when you ate chicken. Chicken, because the hens had stopped laying. Not one for attaching sentimental value to I hate horse racing. You can’t be a villain or a victim if you animals, the family put the chickens under the meat cleaver. simply refuse to play the game. But I’m a prude, a killjoy. It Back then, it was a treat. Hard to imagine, I know, in a world is as much a part of our culture as the name Koorey; another of $9.99/kg breasts. The adults would bet on the horses part of an immigrant life. You see, gambling is but an escape and the kids would run around picking up coloured tickets. from the mundane. Something to take your interest and help It was there that Dad got a “nasty crop of boils”—probably you forget about life for a while amongst the wheeling lights from horse poo. Horse poo is great for throwing and makes of the Nag ‘N’ Noggin pub in Westown, New Plymouth. for great ammunition; you just had to pick the ones with Somewhere along the way, the Messara report will softly the hard tops ‘cause the soft ones would go all over your kill our flawed but beautiful gambling culture. And the Te hands. Again, everyone benefitted from the races. The Whakinga kid will never ride again. adults got to enjoy a rare social occasion, away from the demands of farms and mines and backbreaking manual



Homeless World Cup

There is a football competition for “people who are unlucky”, Jaka Arisandy told me, his hair perfectly coiffed and swished to the side. It was September 2018 and I was in Indonesia, as an assistant for an external evaluation of Rumah Cemara, the Homeless World Cup’s National Partner there. Jaka’s parents were separated, an alarming anomaly in conservative and Muslim Indonesia. He was living on the streets with a drug dependency, something he found hard to talk about—he kept turning the conversation back to soccer. He heard about a soccer tournament, tried out for the team, and ended up playing in Amsterdam, where the Indonesian team won the third tier of the tournament. The next year, he returned to the tournament, as a referee this time, in Glasgow. He refereed again in Oslo in 2017 and in Mexico City in 2018, as well as getting accredited as an international referee through a programme in Manchester. Now, he works as a sports coordinator for the Rumah Cemara NGO, getting more people involved.

After an initial group stage, the tournament splits into a number of tiers, as determined by number of points scored. This tiered system means that each team gets more playing time, and cups are awarded to the winner of each tier. The halves of each game are seven minutes, meaning the games are really fast. Players are only allowed to play in one tournament “to ensure our event has a positive impact on as many people as possible,” according to Mercado. In Mexico City in November, the Indonesian team finished at tenth place out of 47 countries, beating Russia for the Carlos Slim Trophy. They also won an award for fair play; after being at the tournament for a number of years, they have a reputation for being the “most fun” team. While the numbers are important, it’s not the statistics which transform people’s lives. One sweaty evening in Bandung, I watched a game of football. The street soccer stadium was compact: 22 metres by 16 metres according to Homeless World Cup regulations. It was nestled under a motorway flyover in the city of Bandung, about 150 km from Jakarta.

This is a simple story of The sun was setting, the light transformation. “[There were] THE SUN WAS SETTING, THE LIGHT mellow and elastic. I‘ve never lots of changes after I returned,” MELLOW AND ELASTIC. I‘VE NEVER understood football, really; he tells me, laughing. “I kept UNDERSTOOD FOOTBALL, REALLY; apparently, you’re supposed to playing football, and I joined APPARENTLY, YOU’RE SUPPOSED kick the ball? After a week with the Professional Futsal League, TO KICK THE BALL? the people from Rumah Cemara, just for one year. After that I went though, I felt compelled to pay back to college, got a job. I have attention. I followed the electric a girlfriend as well.” In their pride at his accomplishment, lines of the players on the field, admiring how a called his separated parents even came together to welcome him command switches and twists into footwork, passes. They home from the airport. spoke in Bahasa, Javanese, occasional English words too Perhaps there is some truth to the maxim that soccer is the Players qualify for the Homeless World Cup if they have universal language, because I didn’t need to understand. been homeless at some point in the year preceding the tournament, are in drugs and alcohol rehab, or make their This is the miracle of football: compared to the honks of the living by selling newspapers on the street. “Homelessness streets, the noise of the markets, this place offered peace. definitions vary from country to country, so we do not have There were swift streaks of people on the field, the best a definition that fits all. We defer to the judgement of our players yielding to the weaker ones, giving them the ball. Street Football Partners when selecting their competing Even I was cajoled to join in. I was reluctant, but I did it teams,” said Mariana Mercado, the Homeless World Cup anyway. communications manager. Another miracle: I did not know how to play football. I did In Indonesia, the team is selected “by taking a background not know the rules, much less their rules. I was given the ball, of people with HIV/AIDS, drug consumers, poor cities, and and I stumbled over it, shot at the goal, missed, again and also seeing the basic technical skills of playing football again. None of this felt like failure; I felt like one of the team. before they passed the selection following training,” said Indra Simorangkir, who is the Community Service leader The team rotated again, and I watched, talking to Jaka’s for Rumah Cemara. Players who aren’t selected can still girlfriend, who came to play too. Some of the players were play in Rumah Cemara’s local and national tournaments recently homeless, and their bodies echoed that in hollow for disadvantaged players, and try out for the international edges, but they handled the ball with grace. Some were team in the next year. Rumah Cemara also frequently hosts HIV positive, but I didn’t notice which ones. All players were casual games where anyone can play. welcoming.


Shanti Mathias

I didn’t know much about the Homeless World Cup before I went to Indonesia, and I had several criticisms and concerns. Why spend all the money on visas and transportation when only so many people can go to the tournament? Couldn’t that money be used to support more homeless and vulnerable people, most of whom will never see or hear of the tournament? Though these are valid points, the tournament itself is but the tip of the iceberg, part of an interconnecting global network of local, national, and international football programs. Alongside their partners, The Homeless World Cup organisers claim to reach 100,000 homeless people annually, and that they have created connections with nearly one million people since the programme began in 2001. 94% of players say that participating in the Homeless World Cup has had a positive impact on their lives; a vast majority say that it has changed their social relations, motivating and helping them to work towards their goals with confidence. The tournament also provides community. As a conservative, majority-Muslim culture, Indonesia’s national rhetoric is virulently against people who do not fit into imposed societal norms, including homeless people, HIV positive people, and drug users. Rumah Cemara creates an open and accepting space for those who are excluded to find connection with each other through sport. The organisation also offers a boxing programme and an alternative music branch. This organisational culture is so compelling that even those who are not part of these target groups want to join in. It felt almost jarring to enter Rumah Cemara’s


headquarters from the streets, where I received hostile stares for going for a run in loose trousers and a t-shirt. People from all walks sat in the open air, playing music, juggling a soccer ball, or smoking on worn-out couches. It was profoundly chill. Messages of support for LGBT and HIV+ people on the walls emphasised that I had entered a totally different environment. The culture created by Rumah Cemara, especially around their soccer programme, allows them to reach people who would otherwise never hear about this small organisation, simply because they want to play street soccer with others. This reach extends internationally. The tournament itself also exposes spectators in the host cities to homeless people from around the world; at Glasgow in 2015, there were 80,000 fans in attendance, and 30 million viewers combined across their Facebook, Youtube, and website. The social value of the Homeless World Cup has been valued at nearly $13 million, more than eight times the cost of hosting the tournament. Simorangkir has seen how football—one of the few national interests in Indonesia, which is itself one of the most diverse nations on the planet—can bring people together. “[Football] can reach other people outside the key population of the general public,” he said. The sports programme reaches vulnerable people who are interested in football even if they don’t otherwise know how to change their lives. Still, it is just “one way” to make a change. In Bandung, the players are going to keep playing soccer. “We’re like a family, because we talk to each other and share with each other,” Jaka tells me, and in that moment I’m part of family too.

THE 6 PEOPLE I MET AT O-WEEK TESSA KEENAN You might be surprised to know that I can remember some of the people I met this week. You can bet a Year 5 camp-like week of circle icebreakers (and the inevitable trip to Estab) will dump some interesting characters into your life. Before my first week at university, I had worked with the same people, lived with the same family, and patted the same cat. Now I’m watching and marvelling at the people who have waltzed into my life because of a shared desire to make new friends. It is likely that, out of context, they are regular, cool, struggling teens. But I’ve got an O jaw at these peeps.



You invited him to explore Cuba Street with you, but Pegasus Books is where he turned and went home. He doesn’t want to walk up or down the hill. Has spent over $25 on cable car rides already. Wishes he was at Eminem but didn’t get tickets in time. Fills his plate with Wattie’s baked beans, and when there aren’t any, he just eats bread—seven slices at a time, half with marmite and the rest softly buttered. You thought he didn’t speak much until he went hard out in the hall chant, and is likely the reason why everyone’s now got a sinus infection.

You want to be her best friend until you find out that her favourite poet is Rupi Kaur and she’s actually trying too hard to be a Wellingtonian. Moving to Wellington has been a pivotal point in both her fashion choices and spirituality. Even went to town in one of those orange Tui bucket hats. Has frequented Courtenay Place four times this week and has ridden the mechanical bull twice. Wants to read tarot cards and your palm when she actually learns how to. Hosted pre’s and didn’t get busted because in truth she wrote an extremely long answer to every question on the hall survey.


THE GIRL WHO’S NEVER DRUNK BEFORE AND IS NOW A NOTORIOUS FUN TIME She didn’t start the night with you, but now you’ve gotta make sure she gets on the safety bus. It’s okay because it was priceless to see her twerk to Wagon Wheel. Pulls shaka at you from across the hallway, but also 50 metres across the courtyard. Is yet to realise that Scrumpy tastes like puke and you’ve been counting your blessings that you haven’t had to hold her hair back as she vomits into the gutter by a shady Mystery Machine van. You will probably be seeing her in your LAWS 121 lecture on Tuesday.

HE MIGHT HAVE A GIRLFRIEND BUT YOU’RE NOT SURE By far the nicest guy you’ve met since the head boy of your primary school. Starts hooking up with a girl in the mosh, and you realise that first impressions are actually very inaccurate (don’t use them as substantial academic evidence). He’s studying music composition and classical performance in melodica. Was the first person to walk past your room and acknowledge your mandolin without calling it a violin banjo. You’re not gonna deny that he’s hot. He makes coming into co-ed after being at a single sex school a map to navigate. Wants to advise you on the best choices of fashion, and insists he take you to Slow Boat Records to get matching posters of The Clash.

THE SUPER COMPETITIVE, HYPER FRIENDLY, LOVELY AUCKLAND GIRL Let’s be real—she introduced herself to you first, right after your parents left and all you wanted to do was unpack your clothes and cry. She has a light matte wood desk lamp from Kmart and she’s most certainly got a fluffy teal pillow that disturbingly resembles human hair. She’ll be running for Class Representative in all of her subjects, and already knew your RA from rep tennis. Doing a conjoint Law and Arts degree double majoring in Sociology and International Relations because “I’m not sure if I’m going to get into second semester law and I need a fall back degree.” You loved her during O-Week, but are unsure whether any drama will now unfold.


THAT PERSON YOU KEEP SEEING AND KEEPS SEEING YOU, LITERALLY EVERY DAY, BUT YOU ACTUALLY HAVEN’T MET YET Everyone’s got a weird connection with that person who they keep making eye contact with on the dance floor and in the dining hall. They were a presence when moving in, they follow you on Instagram, friended you on Facebook; you know their hobbies and their dog’s name. But you will probably never meet. At this point you think they might be a figment of your imagination. You swear you only see them when you least expect it; in the elevator to your first lecture, by the vending machines getting the same UP&GO as you. But as fate would have it, neither of you are ever in the right headspace to engage.

SASHA BEATTIE It’s our time, kia ora! Talofa! It’s our time, a special time of day. It’s our time, just you and me together, it’s our time—time to delineate exactly how to spot a Softboi™. We’re all likely familiar with the Fuckboy archetype: a womanizer; a “Chad”; an often-times conventionally attractive bro-type who’s hornier than Hugh Hefner. He seems to hibernate during the week, only to leave a hearteyes emoji on your IG thirst-trap or hit your DMs with a silkysmooth “wuu2” at 4 a.m. on a Saturday. He talks a big dick game, but is confident that relentless jackhammering is a oneway ticket to cum-town. He maintains a steady roster of girls, and will bail on plans at the last minute if something (read: someone) better pops up. He thinks unsolicited dick-pics are foreplay. Softbois, by comparison, make one yearn for the bygone era of the Fuckboy. Frankly, I love Fuckboys. At least Fuckboys are honest about being exclusively motivated by the urge to get their dicks wet. Softbois are a special breed of philanderer: they’re manipulators, they’re liars—or at best, half-truthers; pertinent-information-omitters—and they’re the magnum opus of Wellington City. The Softboi is “emotionally arrogant”, to use the terminology of IG user @beam_me_up_softboi. He weaponizes vulnerability, exposing his “sensitive side” just enough to get into your pants, before ghosting you, or—my personal favourite—weaving a narrative that gaslights you into thinking you misinterpreted the situation; that you are the problem.


Like with any archetype, The Softboi™ manifests on a sliding scale: from mostly-harmless time-waster to sinister mastermanipulator. Having dated many a Softboi in my time across both ends of that spectrum, welcome to my masterclass in how to spot ‘em—in other words, a 1200-word sub-tweet directly referencing my exes. In terms of physical appearance, the Softboi is unlikely to be ‘classically’ attractive. Speaking from experience, this ranges from slightly odd but undeniably beautiful, to straight-up downright ugly. He probably has tattoos that he mistakenly thinks are an adequate substitute for a personality. He’s probably in desperate need of a haircut. He probably has some ostentatiously quirky dress feature like intentionally mismatched shoes, or broken glasses that he can afford to fix but doesn’t for the sake of the #aesthetic, or excessive amounts of big-ass rings that he won’t take off even as he fingers you leading to a week of light vaginal bleeding. He probably stares at his own reflection a lot. Like, a lot. The hallmark of the Softboi is that he’ll find a way to let you know he’s a feminist within three minutes of meeting you. He’ll have stickers from the Freedom Shop all over his laptop. He’ll have “intersectional veganism” or some such other performative bullshit in his social media bios. He’ll click “attending” to various activist events on Facebook, but you’ll never see him there. He’ll be desperately vocal as to how w0ke he is, because he can’t rely on his actions to demonstrate this for him.

Your Softboi will probably tell you he’s a “writer”, and carry around notebooks that you’ll never see him write in. He will, however, probably try and read you original poetry from his notes app in the wee hours of the morning on the ass-end of an MDMA bender. He might even be a self-proclaimed ~artist~ with absolutely no background in art. He’ll send you song lyrics, and will allude to Garden State or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with unnecessary regularity. He’s probably constructed an impenetrable superiority complex around having read Infinite Jest. The Softboi probably also has an inflated sense of superiority regarding his taste in music. He’ll make you a 14-hour long playlist to educate you because what you listen to is “trash”, or consider himself an elevated being because he listens to field recordings of trains. The Softboi will probably talk a lot about how much he ~lOoOves~ eating pussy. He’ll probably exclaim some shit like “FUCK I love sex” after he nuts, and fall into a coma approximately 0.02 seconds later. He’s probably really into butt stuff. The Softboi will probably tell you he’s polyamorous. Now non-monogamy is totally valid, don’t get me wrong, but the Softboi lacks the honesty and communication skills required to make it viable. Alternatively, your Softboi won’t tell you he’s non-monogamous in explicit terms—he’ll simply sidestep any conversation that might establish labels, constructing your notquite-relationship within the steaming-horse-shit parameters of “chill”. Let’s be clear—no matter what your Softboi tells you, “chill” is not necessarily a state of being to aspire to; “chill” is a frame of reference implemented by your Softboi in an attempt at convincing you to make yourself convenient to him. Remember, dear ones, Alana Massey’s advice: “putting labels on things are how people find the exit during a fire and make sure they’re adding vanilla extract to the cake instead of arsenic”. Despite the large amount of time you may spend together, the Softboi probably won’t tag you in any posts on his socials, so that other girls won’t be put off pursuing him by the fact that the two of you message each other almost constantly and spend at least three nights a week co-habitating.

Your Softboi will probably exclusively call you by ostensibly endearing pet names—“my lovely”; “babe”; “darling”. Again, let’s be clear—it’s not endearment—it’s a safeguard against accidentally calling you by the name of one of the other girls he’s covertly fucking. All of the Softboi’s exes will be “crazy”. Ask yourself this, my loves: is every single one of his exes crazy, or is he just a piece of shit? Alternatively, the Softboi will have a mysterious and ever-looming ex that he’s just not over yet—which totally and absolutely justifies him treating you like you’re disposable, of course. Last but not least, if you’ve got a Softboi on your hands, your friends probably fucking hate him. Cue the Bojack quote that made every cunt on the internet lose their minds: “when you look at someone through rose-coloured glasses, all the red flags just look like flags”. You may be under the shady little fucker’s spell, but my dears, I almost guarantee that your friends are not. They’ll see right through his charismatic bullshit, through his faux-feminist drivel and his knack for constructing a sympathetic narrative wherein he is always the victim. They’ll see how he treats you, while you’re busy doing mental gymnastics trying to rationalise why and how he somehow makes you feel like you’re too much and not enough all at the same time. If you’re experiencing any of these Softboi symptoms, dear friends, you probably need 30cc of reality injected straight into your frontal lobe, stat. The modus operandi of the Softboi is the “pick me” schema: he knows you’ve been treated badly in the past, and he wants to convince you he’s not like other guys; he’s different. He’s not. Heed the words of this battle-hardened Softboi-connoisseur and let me leave you with this, cherished readers: you know you’re past reason when you start thinking this one might be different. Love you more than he ever, ever will, xoxo

Adding insult to injury, the Softboi will constantly be on his fucking phone. He might get a lot of calls from “work”, but has to leave the room to answer them. He might lie naked in your bed blatantly texting that really hot AND smart AND funny art-scene girl you met and hit it off with at New Years that one time. You might catch yourself getting little dopamine hits when, every now and then, he condescends to tear his eyes away from some other girl’s Instagram and treat you to a bit of eye-contact.


ALICE MANDER When respectful, politically correct adults ask what the title of this column is, I have begun to expect the same reaction: raised eyebrows, followed by an uncomfortable “oh!” This reaction had me doubting myself—was the use of the word “cripple” really just too shocking and off-putting to have as the title of a column which is supposed to be about acceptance and education? The thing is, I totally get most people’s reaction to the word. It is, without a doubt, one of the most offensive words you could call a person with a disability. The word “cripple” is tinged with connotations of scary sidekicks in black-and-white movies or the painfully mopey boy in The Secret Garden. It’s a word that can be used as a weapon against those with disabilities by those without. And it is for that reason it can be so powerful for the disabled community to reclaim it if they choose.

disability, you can’t go around calling people cripples. You may have a friend with a disability who uses this type of language (and, I reiterate, I can’t speak on behalf of an entire community) but as a rule of thumb, stay clear from all language that has a harmful history against a minority group you’re not part of. And please, that includes describing your mate who twisted his ankle in Dakota as a cripple because he’s using crutches for a week. He’s not. He’s just an idiot. Language can be a niggly little issue for the disabled community. When I was on a school placement at a school for children with additional learning needs, we were encouraged to use the word “impaired” rather than “disabled”. Similarly, some use the very politically correct term “differently abled” or “difable”. I used to be in this camp—believing that the word “disabled” didn’t describe me because I wasn’t really not able I was just “different”, and that I wasn’t really disabled because I didn’t fit my own narrow perception of disability. Even now, I still tend to refer to myself as a “person with a disability”—using what is known as “person-first language”.

Using a word that was once used against a minority group by a dominant majority can be empowering— more, it can be a sign of pride and solidarity. And, yet, it is an idea which is troubling for some. So, for the sake of legitimising the title of this column once and for all, let me simplify it for you. Firstly, if I hear “it’s unfair if you can say it but I can’t!” ... you will hear “inequality is also unfair”. Secondly, imagine this: you are at a party with your girlfriends, and a seedy drunk guy you have never met comes up to you and says, “Sup, my bitches?” But, come on girls, it’s okay isn’t it, because you say it to each other all the time and in, like, an ~empowering~ way?

But, really, why am I so afraid of admitting that, yes, I am disabled? Is my fear of boldly stating “I am disabled” rather than “I have a disability” really just a manifestation of my inability to accept who I am, due to a deep-rooted sense of internalised ableism? Is this a by-product of a discriminatory society which subconsciously taught me not to be proud of my disability, and that I am not wanted or valuable to my community because of it?

Yeah nah. It’s not okay. It’s not “just a joke, bro”.

Introspective shit, man.

While not everybody with a disability is the same (*shock*), it’s a safe bet that if you don’t have a

But really, the message of this is quite simple: just don’t be a dick. Listen to the language people with disabilities use for themselves, and respect that. Nice and easy, really.






Anxiety is a scary thing.

Wellington is packed with sport, but it’s hard to watch some of New Zealand’s biggest sports on a student budget. Forget the All Blacks—two hours on a cold day at Westpac Stadium isn’t worth eating ramen for a month. It’s all about watching the most games you can at the cheapest prices.

Imagine you’re walking through the Hub at around noon on Wednesday. You know what’s it like—absolute pandemonium! Students swarming everywhere with their sushi and coffee and noodles. You have your earphones in, but even the Shrek soundtrack can’t quite drown out the rising tide of voices.

The holy grail of cheap Wellington sports is the Wellington Phoenix. The quality of the product typically matches the membership fee, but $45 for (at least) 13 matches a season is unbelievable value. This is particularly true in the Yellow Fever section, which has some of the best atmosphere to be found in New Zealand sport. And as a club on the rise, incoming freshers have a more reason to go to Phoenix games than ever before.

Still, you’ll be okay, right? You’re heading for the library. It’ll be quieter there. You’re listening to I Need A Hero and it’s an absolute classic. You’ll be okay. Then, you see a familiar figure standing in your path. It’s one of your good friends. They wave and smile and— Panic.

Being a Hurricanes member also has benefits. At $80 for an eight-game home season it’s quite a bit pricier, but on the flip side, Hurricanes fans typically have a much greater chance of seeing home playoff games. Another way to get to Hurricanes game is through a hall of residence—in recent years, halls have had tickets for $15 a game, half the regular price. This isn’t an option for everybody, but if you can, making a few games for cheaper is a great alternative.

Your heart drops like you’ve just seen a spider in the shower. Hot flashes of fear attack your brain. You’re walking through the Hub and a friend is waving but all you feel is a desperate desire to disappear entirely, to vanish from the world all together. That’s what anxiety does: it turns situations that shouldn’t be threatening and makes you believe your life is at stake. Think about how you feel when you trip over something but manage to catch yourself at the last minute. That moment when you’re suspended in the air and realise that you’re going to fall is exactly what social anxiety is like. The same panic, except applied to seeing a friend wave at you in the Hub.

Domestic cricket isn’t the most-followed sport, but the Wellington Firebirds are ideal for passionate fans: First Class and One Day matches are usually free, and are a great way to spend a summer day, enjoying the Basin Reserve, even bringing notes during exam season. Both the men’s and women’s teams’ games are free outside of T20s, and make for greatly enjoyable viewing.

What’s really bizarre is that sometimes you don’t feel it. Sometimes you see a friend in the Hub and it’s the most exciting thing ever. It may even be that friend you panicked about seeing just the other day.

It’s hard to be outright broke and still make it to games: Sometimes, it involves saving or borrowing money to get a season pass. Sometimes you’ll have to miss out. But when you can get seasons of football, rugby, and most of the cricket available for $125 a year, Wellington can be a great place to love sport.

Maybe that’s what we should remember. Anxiety is a scary thing, but there will be be a day when you conquer it. It doesn’t matter if it’s only temporary. If you can conquer something once, you can conquer it again.





Dream: Dreamt I trimmed my pubes which blocked the shower drain and flooded the house, dream diagnoser pls interpret.

This is it. The first ‘F Word’ column of the year, and I went into it as I go into everything: with raging indecision. Would it be a celebration of R. Kelly’s downfall? A super-fresh Donald Trump hottake (surprise: he’s still the worst)? A yes-I-know-everyone-and-their-greataunt-has-already-said-this-but-what-the-fuck-howdid-Green-Book-win-best-fucking-picture-are-youkidding-me rant?

Dear dreamer, This dream shows, mostly, a lack of imagination. A neardead subconscious. Causation is the focus here. You’re repressing or dwelling on parts of your life—the hidden parts, the parts below the belt.

It turns out, a lot of pressure comes with the first of anything. Fortnightly university magazine columns included.

The fact you don’t mention what tools were used in the trimming, or the shower’s location in the house, shows a dreamer who doesn’t care for details. That’s not intended entirely as an insult. Mostly, it shows that location and specifics aren’t important, that the general here is greater than the particular—maybe more so than even you realised.

(I may have also, predictably, left it until the last minute but we don’t need to talk about that.) I’d like to say that I overcame this pressure, and pumped out a Pulitzer-worthy piece without breaking a sweat, stopping only to shed a single tear as I witnessed the conception of mine own masterpiece.

Had you gone into detail, we might have gotten somewhere, but dreamer: we don’t know if the cutting hurt; if you used nail scissors or sheep clippers. We don’t know if it was a flurry of little hairs or one thick clump. You were too good, too busy, to provide any detail.

But nope. Not today, I’m afraid. Because we all have our off days, and sometimes the bars we set for ourselves are a touch too high, and that’s okay. Sometimes our daily victory isn’t getting the A+ we were hoping for, but instead just making it through in one piece. If today is one of those days, then give yourself a pat on the back. You’re doing fucking superb, you funky little reader.

I hate to say it, but a few of your pubes flooding a house speaks mountains about a clearly inflated self-worth. You envision flatmates spilling out of their bedrooms pointing their fingers at you. No doubt you stand there absolutely guilty, wet scissors in hand, somehow victorious, undoubtedly smug from all the attention.

So instead of an angry feminist rant (trust me, there will be plenty of those in the future), here is a mini-list of other super awesome ‘little victories’ that you should be proud of. And before anyone says that this isn’t befitting of a ‘feminist’ column, stop right there. Because feminism is about treating people with fairness, love, and respect—and that includes yourself.

It comes back to a certain worry you harbour, a worry about all those little decisions you’re making every day. You fear these little stop signs on the road towards death, because you don’t know how to brake. You just keep chopping the coarse hair, you can’t slow down, and it’s this manic lifestyle, that’s bursting through—you fear you’ll reach a point where the consequences are so great you won’t be able to cope. You fear flooding the house. But even as you’re descending into the abyss, you like the thrill, and you like to let people know.

Congratulations, reader, if you: Had breakfast Made someone smile (yourself included) Went to your lectures (because we both know that you will never get around to watching those VStreams) Are a fresher and wore/wear your lanyard proudly. As a fresher, you are entitled to your lanyard-accessorised fashion moment! Screw the haters!

Stop wasting my time or send me something worth diagnosing.



Free Speech. An exhausting sub-demographic of libertarians seems to have become inescapable, particularly online. They’re lamenting “social justice warriors” in all-caps Twitter posts and alarmist YouTube videos. They’re smug and terribly upset. Freedom of speech is dying, if it isn’t already dead.

I should note that, officially, Molyneux and Southern were banned from council venues due to safety concerns regarding their event itself. This is almost palatable, but not good enough. Auckland Council’s safety concerns were a response to threats of violence and disruption. By acquiescing to a hostile minority, the council set a dangerous precedent: that aggression can legally undermine others’ free speech.

This characterisation of the status quo as being at crisis point is fearmongering, dogmatic, and boring. And it tends to be accompanied by a sneering dismissal of the barriers faced by marginalised people striving for their own freedom of expression.

This isn’t about letting jerks off the hook. People who espouse bigoted or hateful viewpoints shouldn’t expect others to patronise their businesses or treat them with respect.

But, despite my criticisms, freedom of speech is fundamental to a free society. And while we’re not living in an Orwellian nightmare, our societal response to extremism and offence has shifted. I’m a young, feminist woman. Sympathising with these ideas is uncomfortable. Nevertheless: we need to talk about them.

Usually, if someone is saying something particularly awful, the response will be blithe dismissal. And should something harmful seem to be gaining traction, it’s your right to protest against it and offer counter-arguments. Kill ‘em with reason.

The erosion of free speech by government has become tolerable, even desirable. Many celebrated when Auckland mayor Phil Goff denied two controversial speakers, Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern, access to public venues last July.

But the threatening and silencing undertaken by the antiMolyneux and anti-Southern crowd wasn’t a defensible use of freedom of speech. It was censorship, and unhelpful. Not everyone has equal access to impactful expression, and believing in this process requires a leap of faith. All we can do is amplify disadvantaged voices and challenge dangerous ideas.

I promise: I understand why they did. Genocide has been effected in pursuit of theoretical utopia. Smallerscale instances of prejudice, harassment, and abuse could become more frequent. And excellent orators and debaters, such as Molyneux and Southern, can be very compelling, even if their ideas aren’t rational.

It’s easy (and fun) to laugh about overly earnest free speech proponents. Jordan Peterson, another controversial speaker, hosted uninterrupted events and was interviewed on television at prime time. Clearly, New Zealand is not Stalinist Russia.

There is such a thing as dangerous speech. But it doesn’t follow that dangerous speech (with the usual exceptions of incitement, etc) ought to be illegal speech, or subject to censorship. In part, that’s because no one individual (even you, Phil) or organisation is capable of making objective decisions. Personal interests, biases, and echochambers will inevitably be influencing factors.

But, notwithstanding its guarantee in our Bill of Rights Act, Molyneux and Southern are a reminder that freedom of speech is, to some extent, under threat. Those vocally defending that right are protecting something of critical importance.

People should be free to express even universally, or near-universally, reviled views, too. Our society’s understanding of morality is constantly evolving. Assuming otherwise stalls growth. And allowing the majority to act as the arbitrator of righteousness by definition allows for censorship against the interests of minority groups.

I’m still sceptical that ridiculing trigger warnings is helpful. I’m unsure why the “Brash ban” was rallied against, while the 2011 cancellation of Hone Harawira’s talk was largely ignored. Perhaps, if we were willing to engage with “free thinkers”, everyone might stand to learn something.


NĀ TE AOREWA ARETA Ngā hoa, ngā whānau Aunty Laura—“University is about making lifelong friends” People come in and out of our lives all the time, but those connections close enough to become whānau are made by those who leave an impact long after they’ve left. If there is anything that I’ve learnt about whānau, it is that they are the people who change you, uplift you, but also pain you. When you form a bond with someone— whether they’re related or not—this bond will be incredibly multifaceted and heavily complicated. The connections we form within a university setting are no different; however, they can turn out to be vastly different from those we previously manifested during our time at kura. You might also discover that the relationships you have formed during your marathon time at school have been strongly influenced by that space and the experiences you had there—hierarchy, classrooms, rejection, heartbreak, sports teams, partying, rebellion, freedom, etc. These are all aspects which have facilitated the people you have met and grown closer to. Change, I feel, is something that sentimentally reveals the importance of quality relationships. When we leave kura, we are leaving one environment and immersing ourselves in another—this transition also causes ourselves as individuals to experience change. We are facing new obstacles which foster new parcels of knowledge and perspectives for the future, so it is not something to feel maemae about if those friends you formed in kura are not able to change and transition with you. Just appreciate the time you’ve had with them but always keep the waka moving forward.

exposure—mostly because you are one fish in a big wide ocean and are free to roam wherever you please and thus you are not limited like you were at kura. This is when tauira will seek people who they can relate to and who can fulfill that one main aspect—to simply be there for each other. As Māori, and furthermore as an indigenous people, we will always be able to depend on one another for those unconditional relationships. It is these connections that extend beyond the physical face-to-face conversations to reach an emotional and spiritual understanding, motivated by our history, our language, and our future as people. However, e hoa mā, you may also find out after being at uni for a bit that connections don’t always need to be defined by ethnicity, your upbringing, financial situations, or gender. Essentially, they’re based on who you can count on and who you can really trust. Trust is not a light word—it’s dense and it’s meaningful. The people you meet who possess that “quality” we need are there to stay for a long time, not just a good time. They do what real friends should do—they keep you in check and they keep you humble. Nō reira, e te whānau—your whole āhua around relationships changes here at university because we realise no person is perfect, but the value they offer to your life is immeasurable and in many circumstances intangible. Tertiary education will exhibit to us all a microcosm of the outside world and thus it will hit you hard from all areas and all facets of life. So when it comes down to those deep and dark moments in our time here at university, we need more than friends, guys—we need WHĀNAU.

The question, however, is how do we facilitate “quality” relationships? The type of bonds that will withstand hardship and crisis, that are built on sincere honestly (rather than jealousy), and are heavily infused with aroha, tiakitanga, and more importantly, whanaungatanga? I think university is the space where you will get the most

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Student Health Immunisations for students

Every week, I meet with organisations from Wellington and beyond, and the number one thing they’re always asking me is, “How do we get students engaged?” They then proceed to talk about how apathetic students are. We have a massive focus this year on mental health and sexual violence prevention—we know that both of these issues not only interact, but intersect: A lot of our students struggle silently with mental health issues, as a consequence of experiencing of sexual violence.

Registering at Student Health with a doctor of your choice provides continuity of health care while you study at Victoria University and allows you access to locally funded health pathways which might not be available if you are still enrolled with a doctor outside of Wellington. Appointments with a doctor or nurse can be booked by phoning reception, and are free if you register. Most international students will have insurance that covers the majority of the cost. If you have a more urgent health concern, speak with a nurse, and they will arrange an appointment for you if necessary.

So VUWSA outchea, trying to CHANGE. THE. CULTURE. Over O-Week, we had sign-up forms for those wanting to be engaged in organising and/or participating in these kaupapa. We were absolutely inundated with sign-ups from so many tauira keen to get stuck into the good mahi. Which is why it makes absolutely no sense to me why these external people feel that students don’t want to engage, or why organisations (more broadly) struggle with representation.

Student Health will always see students who are in crisis or present with a medical emergency. If you do not wish to enrol you can still access some services, such as free HPV and flu vaccinations, counselling, and applications for an aegrotat.

Representation is about being engaged at every step of the process—not just as an afterthought. I believe that students and young people are always keen to get involved in different kaupapa if they believe that their participation can have a real impact.

Living in close quarters, such as in crowded flat and halls can expose you to contagious diseases. Viruses that cause coughs, colds, and flu can spread rapidly, as well as rarer but more severe infections such as meningococcal disease. We recommend all students get fully immunised, including against MMR (Measles, Mumps & Rubella) and whooping cough, as well as bacterial meningitis.

So this year, we’re gonna focus heaps of our energy on seeing VUWSA facilitate and equip students with the tools to make positive change happen. We want our students leading our campaigns and projects, engaged at every step of the way. We’re kicking that off this year with our two big welfare kaupapa: focussing on Mental Health and Wellbeing, and Sexual Violence Prevention. We’re kicking off Friday and Saturday, March 15–16, with a solutions-based wānanga at Tapu Te Ranga Marae running workshops with students around our plans for improving mental health and wellbeing in our VUW community. Then in the first week of April we are bringing you our premiere sexual violence prevention event of the year—Sex Week 2019. We’ll be at all three campuses with our students leading the way.

Flu injections are available yearly from early April and are free for all students. Gardasil is a safe and highly effective HPV vaccine that protects against genital warts and throat cancers. If you haven’t already had Gardasil at school, you can start the course of injections now; it is free for under 27s. Vaccines for meningococcal disease usually range from $103 and $111 per dose, but we highly recommend you think about getting them, sooner rather than later. The varicella vaccine is also recommended for students who have not had chickenpox or have not already completed a course of the vaccine.

Keen to get involved? Flick me an email president@



A five-pack of Indomie Mi Goreng noodles—the instantly recognisable red-and-white packaged noodles which are manufactured in Indonesia under the Indomie brand—goes for $2.79 at New World. The company launched in 1972 as an instant, massproduced take on the ubiquitous and ever-popular Chinese-influenced dish.

In fact, in 2013, an international group of food experts led an investigation into the viability of instant noodles as a solution to world hunger. Dr Deborah Gewertz of Amherst College, who headed the team, described them as a “protean food designed for quotidian consumption” capable of penetrating any market. However, I’m not just here to heap praise; I don’t want you to think I’m in the pocket of big noodle. Not particularly nutritious but very calorie dense, the wheat flour in noodles has a high glycemic index (which basically means it’s not going to keep you feeling full for very long). But instant noodles are also very high in fat because they’re fried in palm oil. The bad one. The oil we all know and love. To barely touch on the dilemmas involved but the supply in palm oil production is heavily reliant on child labour.

If we look further back, the first-ever instant noodles were created by Taiwanese–Japanese business man Momofuku Ando in post-WW2 Japan. They were created under austerity; a response to the extreme food shortages of the era. The flash-fried ramen noodles were extremely durable, with a shelf life even exceeding that of frozen noodles. The ramen noodles were made from wheat flour—wheat being the primary ingredient here, a surplus crop heavily given as aid from the US during their occupation. Thus, the global staple was born. From here, the noodles have made their way into virtually all global markets—including, eventually, to the shelf of your local New World.

How do we talk about a cheap and tasty noodle when we know it’s reliant on race to the bottom labour practices? Eating is such an ordinary act, an approachable way to talk about much more esoteric issues around consumption and culture. It’s best for both of us if I take a more considered and esoteric approach to talking about food.

The cultural milieu associated with “2 Minute Noodles” is probably familiar to you: lazy, broke students surviving on a few packets to save money for booze; or the meal of choice when you got home after school, when your parents weren’t quite home from work yet. Both have become clichés due to the low price and extreme ease of preparation. The choice to eat a quick packet of Mi Goreng almost seems passive; it’s the bare baseline of meals, easy to make and light on the wallet. Yet the series of mechanisms that led you to those noodles is impossibly vast and complicated.

Food writing shouldn’t just be about how to properly sous-vide a pork belly or how to cheaply stretch the classic student stir-fry for cheap. We can have so many more conversations through the lens of food. Through Mi Goreng noodles, we can talk about how a dish brought by Chinese immigrants to Indonesia in the 13th century became a ubiquitous global stable. We can talk about the rise of industrial food production, global labour practices, resource scarcity. We can venture to discuss the ethical, cultural, and sustainability aspects of our diet. After all, eating is a political act.

The world appetite for instant noodles is so ravenous that 100.1 billion servings of two-minute noodles were eaten in 2017.

What do you think is the most Kiwi version of instant noodles? Is there a version of the dish that you could say reflects the cuisine of Aotearoa?



This summer I visited Dublin, a city whose tourism really just consists of pints. Exposed to a hideous amount of Brexit Pub Chat, it was impossible not to pick up a few things. With the withdrawal date of March 29 rapidly approaching, here is (very briefly) everything you need to know about Brexit—straight from the mouths of some proper Pintmen.*

Without an agreement, they can still leave in a “no-deal” Brexit, sans transition period to tie up the loose ends. In this clusterfuck of an outcome, trade barriers would go up overnight and uncertainty would permeate every area of society: from immigration, to pharmaceuticals, to nuclear regulation. Despite the fact that the UK could, technically, still cancel Brexit and bashfully apologise for momentarily losing their minds, May has signalled that she will leave even if a deal is not reached. May recently suggested that if her deal is not accepted, she could request Article 50 be extended, and put the whole ‘Leave’ thing off for a few months. This dilly-dallying has, historically, been her preferred tactic.

In 2016, some people in the UK decided that they quite fancied the idea of making all of their own rules, controlling all of their own money, and “protecting” all of their jobs/resources/fragile egos from EU immigrants. In June, a referendum to leave the EU passed with a 51.9% majority. Shortly after, Prime Minister David Cameron stepped down and was replaced by Theresa May. In March 2017, May took the formal steps under the EU Treaty Article 50, giving the UK two years to leave. They have since been in negotiations with the EU about the conditions of withdrawal, which must be set out in a formal agreement.

Also, there’s the Irish Question. Ireland is in fact made up of two countries on one island (Northern Ireland, and the Republic of). Northern Ireland is part of the UK and the Republic is not. Brexit will mean that half of the island of Ireland leaves the EU, while half does not. The 310-mile border between the two countries will become a land border between the UK and the EU. Nobody wants to see a “hard” border with checkpoints, towers, and surveillance (cf. the Troubles), but a “soft” border allowing free flow of trade and people is difficult to negotiate. The UK and EU have agreed to a “backstop” to ensure that there is no hard border, whatever the outcome, but this is an imperfect solution which keeps the UK tied to the EU—missing the point of Brexit in the first place. Many MPs are calling for a second referendum, but with 18 days until Brexit Day, there’s a slim chance it’ll happen.

Amid this clusterfuck, notable events include: June 2018: May calls an early election in which her Conservative party loses its majority and scrambles to stay in power. November 2018: a 585-page withdrawal agreement, published after months of negotiations, faces unbridled criticism—including from May’s own party. December 2018: May narrowly survives a vote of no confidence in her leadership. Still clinging on for dear life, she fixes a date for the UK Parliament vote on the withdrawal agreement (it must pass to come into effect). She cancels the vote at the last minute because she thinks it won’t pass, and delays it. January 2019: Vote time! Biggest defeat for a sitting government in Parliamentary history. Back to the EU to get a “better” deal. In progress. February 2019: UK Parliament in bits as 11 MPs leave both Labour and the Conservatives to form the Independent Group, all pushing for a second Brexit referendum. May is shuttling between London and Brussels continuing to “negotiate”, though she has delayed the second vote on the current draft agreement until March 12.

The three-year headache that is Brexit is tough to condense, and the landscape of the negotiations and UK Parliament is literally changing EVERY day, so this about does it for a hot take. Go forth, read up, form your own opinion, and make the most of the chance to share a passionate political perspective over pints. *Facts checked against reliable, (sober) sources too!


Potent Fuel “Attention passengers, we require more fuel to leave the galaxy. Please bear with us while we recharge.” Captain Blarn’s Boeing 74007 parked in the gap between Rock-Climber Phil and Stubborn Doreen who were trying to wrap up a decade-old feud. Every apology Doreen refused to accept bounced off her locked lips and into the 74007’s fuel tank. Perfect unleaded fuel. But soon Blarn’s computer projected a future where Phillip couldn’t take the silence and tried to pull Doreen’s mouth open. It had been forty years since Phillip climbed, but Captain Blarn could see his fingers tense looking for a hold in Doreen’s mouth. “Attention passengers, this current refuelling depot is becoming unstable Please bear with us while we move to a new spot.” The next gap was especially easy to park in as it stretched from Mercer Island Seattle, to a family farm on the fringes of Madrid. Looking out the window, Captain Blarn saw Trying Tim’s tenth consecutive text fly into the tank. It read “I miss you, I’m so fucking sorry.” Cold George didn’t respond to it, or the eleventh. But he was reading them, and Tim knew this. These were charged messages, potent fuel. But Tim didn’t send a twelfth message. He was about too when he received an image. It was a screenshot of George’s flight home. “Attention Passengers, we have to make one more quick stop. We apologise for the delay.” It was difficult to park between the Gravestone and its owners ex-husband, but Blarn managed. The fuel here was worth the risk of losing a wing. The daffodils clutched in Regretful Sal’s left hand and the locket resting in his still ginger chest hair served as amplifiers. Every sigh was a solar system. Blarn decided to stay here for the night and charge up for the next trip, and the next. This dynamic wasn’t going to change anytime soon. - Jack McGee

Send your limericks, elegies, and odes to


Today it hit me that uni starts next week and I was doing everything wrong. All my fellow first-years seemed to have their shit together, while I was still learning the definition of the shit that I was somehow meant to be holding together. This is why I love art. Art isn’t always meant to be perfect and organised and good. The current exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery was a refuge of utter confusion and chaos that made me feel like I had my life together in comparison to my surroundings. Or at least reminded me that having your life splitting at the seams isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Passages: Luke Fowler, Florian Hecker, Susan Philipsz is an exhibition not just for the eyes. It’s primarily an exhibit of sound. I don’t want you to feel like I did when I first entered the gallery—underwhelmed and mad. Sound was everywhere where art wasn’t, and to be honest—it stressed me out. How the fuck could I take notes on my phone when I couldn’t even hear myself think? How the fuck was I meant to finish my art column when there was no art? I simply had to find a place to just sit down and admit defeat. It was at that moment that I realised how brilliant the exhibition was. For the first time that whole day, I was sitting there surrounded by external (rather than internal) chaos. Passages is a journey through sound, through sculpture, and through art. You are the agent of change in this chaotic hybrid of feelings, sounds, and rooms. It’s a labyrinth of disaster, but this time, you get to play the role of the Mighty Minotaur who knows their way through. Two statements from the audio in this exhibit have stuck with me. First was the phrase, “Art as a means to make sense of the nonsensical.” And secondly, the catalytic conversational combination of words that formed the line “Life continues as an absurdist melodrama.” Passages is a huge, overwhelming, contradicting kerfuffle of happenings, but who’s to say that this is a bad thing? The term s​onder is defined as “the profound feeling of realising that everyone, including strangers passed in the street, has a life as complex as one’s own, which

they are constantly living, despite one’s personal lack of awareness of it.” That’s how I felt in the maze of Passages. There were a million different figs upon my tree, ripe for picking, but it was up to me to choose the one to pick, or I would end up nowhere. It’s like choosing to present your powerpoint first to ensure that you don’t end up looking like an X Factor regret, in comparison to the Beyoncé of academia who goes before you. Or like making your shorter friends stand near you in a photo so you look taller. Passages gives you the gift of control. This is the humbling thing about art that no one tells you: You don’t have to “get” it. You just need to feel it. I don’t know any more about it than any of you. I can’t tell you what the ‘right’ thing to feel or think about art is, because that’s not how art works. All I can do is spill my thoughts. Passages is beautiful in a way that is not traditionally beautiful. If you’re a music fan, it might feel like walking through the beating heart of Kanye West’s album, Yeezus. For an art fan, it could be like falling headfirst into a composition painting by Kandinsky. For you avid readers, perhaps it will be like the first time you see, “the best minds of (your) generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked” through Ginsberg’s eyes in Howl. Or maybe it’s the Tall Dwarfs’ “Turning Brown and Torn in Two” music video that you’re reminded of? The hints of Aphex Twins that you hear? Maybe you find yourself feeling like Jonah stuck in the noisy belly of a whale. If you simply have sensitive ears, you might just be appreciating the ASMR-esque acoustics. I can’t tell you how this exhibition is going to make you feel, because the way you choose to interpret art is as revealing of yourself as is the art piece. Passages is a thousand stories written in a thousand languages of the senses. To put it simply: you should go. It’s on campus, it’s free, and the volunteers at the gallery are passionate and lovely. DM me what it is to you; I’d like to know. But while you’re there, allow the outside world to only slip in through your subconscious, and enjoy.



If you didn’t watch all five hours of Oscars coverage on the 25th of February, unlike me, here’s a handy breakdown of some of the major categories for you. You want the tea? I’ve got the tea. BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Who won: Mahershala Ali for Green Book Who should have won: Mahershala Ali. Green Book was a deeply mediocre film and his perfectly restrained performance was the only redeeming aspect. Biggest snub: Timothée Chalamet was somehow, unbelievably, not nominated for his role as a young addict in Beautiful Boy. Was Timmy’s no-show at the ceremony his way of giving the middle-finger to the Academy? I hope so. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Who won: Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk Who could have also won: Any woman in the category. In my opinion, Best Supporting Actress was the tightest category this year. Emma Stone & Rachel Weisz were equally good in The Favourite and Amy Adams delivers a great performance every damn time she’s on screen yet has somehow never won an Oscar. Biggest snub: Claire Foy for First Man BEST ACTOR Who won: Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody Who should have won: Willem Dafoe for At Eternity’s Gate. In Mr. Robot Rami Malek brilliantly portrays the most complex character I’ve ever seen. In Bohemian Rhapsody he was… fine. Now imagine Willem Dafoe playing Vincent van Gogh. Yes, this is a real movie. Yes, I have seen it. Yes, it was brilliant and yes, I cried. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go home and watch any Willem Dafoe movie. You’re welcome. Biggest snub: Paddington for Paddington 2, Daveed Diggs for Blindspotting, and Ethan Hawke for First Reformed. Hey Academy—what the f**k? BEST ACTRESS Who won: Olivia Colman for The Favourite Who should have won: Olivia Colman for The Favourite


BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Who won: Roma Who should have won: Shoplifters (Japan). I’m not saying Roma shouldn’t have won. Roma should have won Best Picture, leaving room for Shoplifters to win Best Foreign Language Film. BEST FILM EDITING Who won: John Ottman for Bohemian Rhapsody Who should have won: Literally any other film that came out in 2018. Biggest snub: Every other film that came out in 2018. BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Who won: Alfonso Cuarón for Roma Who could have also won: Łukasz Żal for Cold War (Polish). Can we take a moment to appreciate that there were three foreign films nominated for Cinematography this year? Biggest snub: First Reformed BEST DIRECTOR Who Won: Alfonso Cuarón for Roma Who could have also won: Yorgos Lanthimos for The Favourite. Another moment to appreciate the three foreign directors nominated this year! Paweł Pawlikowski was also nominated for Cold War. Biggest snub: Jonah Hill for Mid90s BEST PICTURE Who won: Green Book. Yes, I wrote that correctly. Green Book, the movie that white-splains racism for 65-yearolds who haven’t heard of racism before, won Best Picture over Roma and The Favourite. In a year that saw the release of movies like Blindspotting, a powerful multidisciplinary performance piece that shows a black man’s perspective on police brutality, the Academy decided that a white man’s perspective on racism deserved the Best Picture award. Is this a dystopian parallel universe? Apparently. Who should have won: Paddington 2. Just give Paddington all the awards.


The Brokenwood Mysteries is an ongoing Kiwi crime drama based in the fictional town of Brokenwood (somewhere in the wilds, north of Auckland). It’s got an unnaturally high crime rate, as most towns in murder mystery television shows seem to, with one or more murders happening every week. Brokenwood follows DSS Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea), the new man in town, who has a penchant for country and western music and a seeming ability to solve the crimes no one else can. He’s joined by Detective Kristen Simms (Fern Sutherland), who is the human face to Mike’s deadpan; and Detective Sam Breen (Nic Sampson), who provides the comic relief. It’s an common crime show setup, but a very welcoming one. Each episode is a stand-alone, and there’s only four per season, running at roughly an hour and a half each. Longform television drama can be too slow for some, but I see Brokenwood in the same vein as shows like Midsomer Murders—they’re good for an afternoon watch when you’ve got nothing to do and you want to get engrossed in a good story. And the stories themselves are good— the show was created by Tim Balme (of Outrageous Fortune, The Blue Rose and The Almighty Johnsons fame) so it’s got the same kind of ultra-Kiwi, uber-relatable spin on things. A favourite episode of mine is Leather and Lace. Brokenwood’s rugby coach is found dead, stripped naked and tied to his goalposts with a pair of women’s underwear shoved down his throat. Suspicion falls on members of the rugby team and the coach’s ex-wife, but the detectives can’t quite figure out the identity of the

mysterious woman in the red dress, who was spotted in his hotel room the night of his death. Does the pair of underwear hold a vital clue to his death? Well, yes, as it turns out—but I’m not going to say any more than that. What I like about Brokenwood is that it’s not afraid to touch on subjects that a lot of Kiwi shows do not. While it is still very thoroughly set in rural New Zealand, there are gay and gender-diverse characters scattered throughout the show in a non-stereotypical way. While I know that’s the bare minimum in terms of representation, and it’d be even more ideal if some of the leading characters fell under the LGBTQ umbrella, it’s a nice change from shows in the ‘afternoon mystery’ genre that don’t. My favourite episode above talks about crossdressing and Kiwi interpretations of masculinity, and more recent episodes have touched on sexual assault and suicide. Brokenwood is a much lighter television show than others of its ilk, but it does find a lot of its resonance when there are episodes based around harder topics. For a good afternoon murder mystery show, check out The Brokenwood Mysteries! No obligations, no longform narratives—it’s the perfect watch when you need something Kiwi to fill the crime television-shaped hole in your life. Another television review, another slightly obscure crime show—I’m going to keep writing about them until you stop me (so submit your television review pitch ideas to to save the world from this nonsense).



When my parents left South Africa in 1986, Mandela was still imprisoned on Robben Island. This is the secluded camp where the ANC leader would write his memoir, Long Walk to Freedom, on toilet paper. What does it mean for a French person—more, a white French person, to produce a play about Apartheid for an international audience? What can such a musical achieve toward its stated goals of tolerance and integration? This was what I, a Pākehā girl with South African parents, was asking myself as I left the theatre. Putting aside Madiba’s failure as the polito-critical work I (naively) hoped for, it is largely an unsuccessful musical. The one star I gave it is for the effervescent actors, particularly Barry Conrad (as William Xulu) and Tim “Timomatic” Omaji (Sam Onotou), whose pop music career lived a bright spark and died in the mid-2000s on afternoon Sticky TV. Anyway, I’m getting distracted. The singers were great. The acting was pretty ok, given the script. I sat next to my Mum, with a blank look on my face the whole time, through murder, an attempt at romance, some halfhearted family drama, and a lot of exposition from the breakdancing teen narrator who, for some reason, carried around a diary. To be fair, I am a gargoyle at the best of times, but I have been known to cry in the opening number of The Lion King. I’m not Anton Ego. I just wanted a production about black history that actually had black anger at the centre. I thought it might criticise white people properly, not let them off the hook. I wanted some catchy songs. I wanted to feel things.

NCEA Level 2 fashion, with the year displayed in big letters above some text summarising the standout events. This text moved too fast to read, and it wasn’t anything that couldn’t have been covered by staging. One of the things that bothered me most was Mandela’s big (and only!) number. Somehow, it didn’t strike them as strange that in a play about the struggle against white supremacy, the titular character quotes Ernest Hemingway. Like, really? This guy went to jail for 27 years under a white government, and you’re going to put Hemingway in his mouth? Good one, Goyle. I read an article recently about Rent, and how it appropriates queer stories to make a splash on the big Broadway stages (but is essentially STILL a story about a straight white guy). Now, I will sing “Light My Candle” in the shower ‘til the cows come home, but I think she has a point. When the white, foot-tappin’, interior-decorating musical theatre consumer goes to a play, they don’t want to feel bad about themself. The people who put musicals on Broadway have a hard job if they want to tell truly angry, truly accurate stories from the margins. It’s just not popular. So I get why Hadida and Sebrien gave songs to the white guy who shot a protestor and then had, like, a lot of stage time to help him absolve his guilt. I get why they had a finishing number about rainbows. But I also want to chuck it out there: We can and should expect better— just maybe not from mainstream musical theatre.

The technical work was not always on point, either. They had a backing track for most of the instruments, supplemented by some live drums and keyboards. Ok, that’s cool, I can dig. The rapping was often inaudible, and the information being rapped (rup?) was pretty central to the narrative. They also used projection, in



I once ate scones for lunch everyday for a month. I was having a hard time keeping up with essays, let alone packing lunch. Naturally, I developed a palette for this New Zealand delicacy. I do a good scone myself but sometimes I want someone else to do it for me. The scone. Available at most decent and indecent cafés for a reasonable price of $4–$5. Is it a snack? Is it lunch? Who’s to say. Pair it with coffee and I’d say it’s a bona fide meal. There are people out there who don’t like scones. I’ve met some of you. Common complaints include: “dry” and “was force fed at my grandparents’ house.” If that’s you, I challenge you to give the scone another go. It’s simple, it’s cheap, it’s buttery magic. Field research at VicBooks suggests that cheese scones sell out before date scones. I can only conclude that the cheese scones are superior. What am I looking for in the perfect cheese scone? Proper cheese: A scone has about 4 ingredients—don’t take the mickey with the main source of flavour. I am not interested in edam, can settle for tasty, but will pay extra for aged cheddar. Texture: golden and crunchy on the outside, soft and sponge-y on the inside, with pockets of melted cheese. Presentation: warmed all the way through, even better if toasted, with spreadable butter on the side. A cold scone with cold butter that doesn’t spread is as disappointing as a Snapper card declining on a rainy day. Scones reviewed: These reviews are brought to you in collaboration with @sconeya_nz, local scone connoisseurs and critics (check it out on Instagram). VicBooks | Kelburn/Pipitea Cheese scone a reliable staple for university diet,

however date scone disappointingly dry. Was excited to see that they stopped using those little plastic butters sometime last year. Price went up this year (again). Overall of scone experience of 2.5/5, $4.80. The Lab |Kelburn/Pipitea “Crunchy top and not at all dry. Wee bit of chilli flavour adds a little bit of oomph. Their porridge is bloody good but this cheese scone takes the cake at The Lab. Side note: great coffee and even better service.” 4.5/10, $4. (sconeya_nz) Prefab | Te Aro Delightfully doughy date scone is served with cream and jam! Heaven is a place on earth. Cheese served with chilli jam, be sure to ask for it toasted. Both very generous in size. 4.75/5, $5. Sixes & Sevens | Te Aro “Certainly no sixes or sevens for the rating here, it’s more like a 9/10. Delicious cheesy pesto and chilli packing the perfect amount of heat on a cold and wet Welly morning. Perfect amount of butter for a near perfect scone.” 4.5/5, $4. (sconeya_nz) Raglan Roast | Te Aro “Popped into Raglan Roast for a cheeky cheese scone and learnt a valuable life lesson—expect the unexpected, aka gherkin scone. Whoever cooked this scone cooked themselves first. There’s a high chance that there was herbs all round. 1/5 (+1 point if you’re baked) $4.” (sconeya_nz) Note: usually other great scones available, varies day to day. Tomboy | Mt Vic (worth the walk) “Boy oh boy Tomboy! We have hit the jackpot or you could say sconepot! Welly’s best scone? We think so. Cheese scone was out the gate good, and the date and ginger beer scone didn’t let us down either.” 5/5, $5. (sconeya_nz)





Expect your intuition to be strong this week, particularly Tuesday through Thursday. Your sense of self will strengthen later in the week, so take advantage of this clarity to make future plans. Pay attention to sparkly things, you have much to learn from the glitz.

This week brings you to uncharted territory— dangerous. Change has been abundant recently, but I promise things are about to feel more stable and right than they have in a while. Venus—your ruling planet— is in your fifth house, making now the perfect moment to pick up new projects or throw yourself into creative pursuits. Switch up your coffee order.



This week brings you clarity and conviction in the realm of the self, however you can expect matters of romance to feel strained as a result. Be wary of the outdoors, and the indoors, danger finds its way to you in ways you’d never see coming. A word of advice: your petty ways are doing you no favours.

Are you living la vida loca yet, Scorpio? Midweek is favourable for glamorous and glittery fun; pash your friends, dye your hair. Your ability to communicate and express yourself will likely falter, so be clear of your intentions. Avoid vagueness (that’s rich advice to get from a horoscope, I know).



With an empty first house and a retrograding ruling planet, you may feel a little unsure of yourself. However this offers the opportunity for exploration and self-discovery, particularly in regard to material possessions. I’m not saying you should spend your course-related costs on clothes, but also…. hehe :)

Your ruling planet, Jupiter, resides in your home constellation, forming a square angle with the sun and retrograding Mercury. This opens doors for miscommunication, and internal conflict between spirituality and intellectualism. While running away to join a cult or circus may seem like fun, wait this one out. Stay away from flames, I’m serious.



Now is an ideal time to make yourself feel lovely. Cupid has his arrow poised, expect it to be flung in your direction midweek. Both your heart and your mind are on fire, so fuel the flames as best you can. Dance in the darkness of the clouded night, soak up the late summer evening sun.

Sweet Capricorn, hubris has got the better of you. You are not paying for your sins just yet, you still have a chance to clean up the mess you’ve made. You have always been very proud, but growing up means learning when to say sorry. Take a deep breath, go for your last swim of the summer.



Congratulations, Aquarius, on even making it this far. The past month hasn’t been so easy for you, but now is when things begin to look up. You are easily swayed by those around you, so spend some time alone. Take yourself off to a film, eat lunch in the cemetery, look at the stars while you still can.

Blessèd Leo, you are the most terrible of flirts. You’re becoming quite popular—don’t let that go to your head. Be wary of letting your eyes wander too far from the ones you love the most. Your sense of home and belonging may be wavering, so make the most of the freedom by taking yourself on little adventures.



Kindness will get you a long way, so be patient with café staff and StudyLink call centre workers. While the fresher flu is rampant, you will find yourself in good health, both physically and mentally. Take this opportunity to establish yourself as your floor (or flat) alpha, setting you up for a year’s worth of control freak-ing.

Things may feel overwhelming, you may begin to tire yourself out. Avoid unnecessary social pressures and forced new friendships. You are dizzyingly romantic and possess an incredible lust for life, which leaves you vulnerable to snakey types. Wear silk, go to bed early, don’t tell them too much.


VUWSA FOOD TRUCK DAYS Tim Beaglehole Courtyard, Kelburn Campus. Once a month during trimester starting Wednesday, 13 March, from 11am.

TAKE A LUNCH BREAK Your student’s association- never wants you studying on an empty stomach. So once a month we’re making sure you take a lunch break and take part in our VUWSA Food Trucks in the Tim Beaglehole Courtyard, Kelburn Campus.

SWEET OR SAVOURY There’s hot, cold, savoury and sweet food options for almost everyone (there are some vegan and vegetarian options, but not always).

See you in the Tim Beaglehole Courtyard, Kelburn Campus for lunch.


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1. 1936 melodramatic propaganda film about the evils of weed (6,7) * 8. Samosa vegetable (3) 10. A ____ Called Quest (rap group) (5) 13. Herbivorous dinosaur whose name means ‘deceptive lizard’ (11) 17. 2008 stoner comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco (9,7) * 19. 1989 Gus Van Sant film where Matt Dillon robs pharmacies (9,6) * 23. 1972 erotic drama set in a European capital, starring Marlon Brando (4,5,2,5) * 26. Total lack of ability or suitability (11) 30. Sean who appeared in ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ (5) 33. Sean’s character in ‘Lord of the Rings’, for short (3) 34. In the small hours... or where the last words of the film titles in this crossword can appear to make other film titles (5,8)

1. Sewer rodent (3) 2. ‘Hostel’ director Roth (3) 3. You use it to see (3) 4. Actress Farrow or Wasikowska (3) 5. Type of crime-scene evidence (3) 6. Sense of self (3) 7. Place for Louisiana gators (5) 8. Get rid of (or make crime legal for one night) (5) 9. Lend a hand to (6) 11. Speedy (5) 12. Fancy feast (7) 14. Instrument in a cathedral (4,5) 15. New Jersey ice hockey team with a demonic name, to fans (3,6) 16. ‘Memory’ musical (4) 18. Acting royalty Julia (7) 20. “My bad!” (4) 21. Green dinosaur in the Mario games (5) 22. They’re made of water vapour (6) 24. Water vapour (5) 25. Greek letter just before iota (5) 27. Matching group (3) 28. You use it to listen (3) 29. Do one half of a biathlon (3) 30. U.S. conservative screecher Coulter (3) 31. Make into ‘it’ in a game of the same name (3) 32. Pecan or pine (3)







Hard Puzzle 3,887,923,927

Easy Puzzle 5,511,253,449


7 6


1 9

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8 4

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5 8 6




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1 9 1




© Web Sudoku 2019 ­

© Web Sudoku 2019 ­




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6 5




7 5


9 4


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5 3







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Issue 02 ~ The Hustle  

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