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How does a poem become a poem?

Poet feels poetic, sees something, feels something, describes an event or memory or gut response or makes a list — writes something down, whatever. You write something and eventually you type it all up and you print it, and improve the poems that way with new printed out versions and then DTP [desktop publishing] software is useful for experiments with how a poem reads with different linebreaks and spaces. So it’s a digital process now, those poems that started out as a .txt file and then .rtf file are now an InDesign .CS3 file and then exported as PDFs and JPEGS and OGG and MPEGS and .HTML, wordpressed and instagrammed and google ++ed and routed and proxied all over, cached, bit torrented, downloaded, shared, zipped, and tarred up into an archive. Made into WAVs and AIFFS and MP4s. PHP or CSS code or rendered like max headroom in a bunch of interesting 3D ways. Thrown into Word and made into Office files. Shared on Soundcloud or Dropbox or Bandcamp or Patreon or Givealittle. Whacked up on mud book in six different places. Put onto the giant spreadsheet. — David Merrit, p.35 I always look forward to the first line. It takes about a week to arrive. Once that is done, I let the first line stay in my head for another week or so. Finally I choose to write the poem. Once the first line has come, the next lines come slowly and gently. — Bibhu Padhi, p.60 15 MAY 2017

Editors — Tuioleloto Laura Toailoa and Tim Manktelow

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Distributor — Darren Chin Arts Editor — Cameron Gray Section Editors — Annelise Bos (Podcast), Cameron Gray (Games), Finn Holland and Mathew Watkins (Film), Hanahiva Rose (Visual Art), Katie Meadows (Television), Kimberley McIvor (Books), Olly Clifton and Lauren Spring (Music), Sean Harbottle (Theatre) Contributors — Ben Leonard, Tessa Cullen, Maddie Youngman, Deidra Sullivan, Rory Lenihan-Ikin, Raven Maeder, Ngāi Tauira, Jasmine Koria, Atom Zonnevylle, Kate Aschoff, Courtney Varney, Grace Visser, Josh Brian, Sasha Beattie, Joe Morris, Aaron Bishop, Dennis Lim, Bibhu Padhi, Shariff Burke, Puck, Aubergine and Celeste

About Us — Salient staff are employed by, but editorially independent from, the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA). Salient is a member of, syndicated, and supported by the Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA). Salient is partially funded by Victoria University students, through the student levy. Opinions expressed are not necessarily representative of those of VUWSA, ASPA, Service Printers, or the editorial staff. Complaints — Please email editor@ and if not satisfied with response contact VUWSA. Salient — 15 May, 2017 Volume 80, Issue 9


CONTENTS Editors’ Letter.......................................6 Letters...................................................7 Notices................................................10 News General News.....................................12 Mental health sector in crisis..............14 Australian Tertiary Fees to Increase..................................15

Politics Political Round-Up.............................16 The Trump Front.................................16 The Party Line....................................17 Interview Lyndy McIntyre..................................18 Opinion We Were Feminists Once...................20 — Deidra Sullivan

A Small Tip for Anxiety Sufferers.......21 — Maddie Youngman Columns Presidential Address............................22 VUWSA.............................................22 One Ocean..........................................23 Te Ara Tauira......................................23 Shit Chat............................................24 The Queer Agenda..............................26 Access Denied.....................................26 SWAT..................................................27 Postgrad Informer...............................27 From within the fallout zone..............28

Features Rules For Brown* Students In Lecture Theatres.............................29 — Luka 林-Cowley Man on the Street: The Poetical World of David Merritt......................34 — Dan Kelly To Be Brave And Imaginative: Transforming Our Constitution.........40 — Brigid Quirke, Georgia Lockie, Laura Toailoa, and Tim Manktelow Don’t Worry, I Feel It Too...................46 — Emma Shi Arts Visual Art...........................................50 Books..................................................51 Film....................................................52 Television...........................................54 Games................................................55 Podcast...............................................56 Food...................................................57 Music..................................................58 Poem...................................................60 Puzzles................................................62 Horoscope..........................................63


Leading poet James Brown will guide you through the art of writing poetry. James is an acclaimed poet with five collections published.


Pip Adam, one of the most exciting fiction writers in the country, will offer ways to advance your short stories through writing exercises and intensive workshopping.


Renowned children’s author Eirly Hunter will allow you to explore different forms of writing for the pre-adolescent child and begin to develop your own clear voice.


Learn the craft of writing for the stage with celebrated playwright Gary Henderson. Gary’s work is produced locally and internationally and he is an esteemed teacher.

APPLY NOW FOR TRIMESTER ONE 2017 Applications close 21 June 2017

To find out more about the creative writing courses offered by the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University, go to

Editors’ letter Who are we to talk about the constitution? We’re not legal experts, we’re not history buffs, we have limited knowledge of legislation, and of kawa and tikanga. We are also four tauiwi and thus unsure of the authority we have to speak on some issues. But we were fortunate enough to speak to two people who are much more knowledgeable in this field. Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Moana Jackson have been prominent figures in leading two different discussions regarding NZ’s constitution: as it is, and what it could be. Thank you to the both of them for agreeing to speak with us. We encourage you to engage with their work. You can find the full transcripts and audio of the interviews we had with them online at category/interview/. And so we listened, and read as much of what we could of their reports, and tried to understand the word “constitution”. Inevitably, as you’ll find in our piece, we were more partial to Moana Jackson’s argument and desire for constitutional transformation as opposed to mere reform. While there are tangible benefits that would come from Sir Geoffrey Palmer’s proposal, it feels like it will simply reaffirm the status quo — the perpetuation of the subordination of Māori jurisdiction that has been the reality here since colonisation. “But realities are created by humans, and the current constitutional reality cited in parliament has only been here 170 years — was made by humans. For hundreds of years prior to that there was another reality, created by a different group of humans, which colonisation sought to destroy.” Constitutional transformation is therefore a process of moving beyond the current reality: “So when I talk about constitutional transformation, I talk about a system based on the Treaty relationship which allows a kawanatanga space, but also requires the reestablishment of a rangatiratanga base. That rangatiratanga base would be based, or function within, the parameters of our law.”

— Tuioleloto Laura Toailoa and Tim Manktelow

P.S. Shout out to all who supported the Living Wage day last week. It’s about time VUW payed their directly employed and contracted staff a wage they can live off!

7 If you don’t want to write for us — write to us! Salient welcomes, encourages, and thrives on public debate. Send us your honest feedback, be it praise or polemics.


SUBJECT: CLOSING REMARKS Mr. James… it seems you leave no room for speculation. An opinion, definitionally, is “a view or judgement not necessarily based on fact.” Now, fact can mean “information used as evidence.” So in this sense of the word, I agree opinions should use facts. Supporting your assertions is always a good start. But if you define fact as “a thing that is known or proven true,” then I’m still waiting for you to show how this is a necessary condition that (on-campus) speech must meet. Speech is more than written or verbal expression. It includes singing, acting, advertising, etc. Such forms of speech, if subjected to your demand for factual correctness, cease to exist. The colourful, diverse expression of the human mind, body, and soul is processed through an unforgiving lens that demands mechanical accuracy and produces a black-and-white staccato world. Humanity — yourself included — could never conform to your standard. The bitterness you tasted is in the cup you stirred yourself. Urban Dictionary is the only source defining the term “factually correct.” A term you used as the basis for your argument, not mine. Yours in open, honest, and frank debate, — Grace Carroll

SUBJECT: FANATICAL… AND FUCKING CREEPY I liked the orange in Issue 7. It reminded me of fire. Fire reminded me of Twin Peaks. 25 years, not long now. Bob’s coming… He’ll take you to the fire. Fire walk with me. — BOB

Letters must be received before 5pm on Tuesday for publication the following week. They must be 200 words or less. Pseudonyms are fine but all letters must include your real name, address, and telephone number — these will not be printed. Letters will not be corrected for spelling or grammar. However the Editors reserve the right to edit, abridge, or decline any letter without explanation.

Email: with “Letter to the Editor” in the subject line. Post: Salient c/- Victoria University of Wellington Hand-delivered: Salient office, Level 3, Student Union Building (behind the Hunter Lounge).

Enhance your career prospects FHSS 205 SPECIAL TOPIC: THE FUTURE OF WORK (20 POINTS) Examine the changing nature of the workforce from perspectives such as philosophy, sociology, history, media studies and commerce. Consider the skills necessary to give individuals an edge as they establish their careers. Work on a project for a Wellington organisation and make recommendations it may implement. Students who complete this course will be given priority for FHSS 302 BA Internship. OPEN TO ALL STUDENTS

WORK IN AMERICA 1 2 M O N T H W O R K V I S A WWW.IEP.CO.NZ | 0800 443 769


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Listen in at



Guitar Workshop: accompanying Irish traditional tunes. Andy Linton is offering a free workshop on May 22, 5.00–6.00pm on the Kelburn campus. RSVP to help with room booking (TBC): or find us @VicFolkMusic on Facebook. BYO guitar.


Why wait to go overseas after finishing your degree? GO ON EXCHANGE! Study in English, earn Victoria credit, get Studylink and grants, explore the world! Find out more on our website: Enjoy past students’ experiences and photos on Facebook: https://www. Information Sessions: (resuming May 10) Every Wednesday at 12:50pm, Level Two, Easterfield Building. Due to short staffing, office drop-in hours have been cancelled until May 9.


Presentations from: •• Intergen — computer science, info systems •• ASB — finance and accounting •• NZDF — psychology •• Embassy of Japan — for everyone •• Clemenger — for everyone •• Finity Consulting — actuarial science •• FAST Enterprises — computer science, info systems •• Don’t miss out on these great opportunities to hear directly from employers. For more information go to, click on “events”, and search “employer presentations”.


UNICEF at Victoria are holding an open workshop on the May 23, 6.30pm in SU229, and are inviting all VUW students to attend. The event will focus on highlighting the benefits of NZ youth voicing their opinions.

A listing in our notices section is free for all VUW students, VUWSA-affiliated clubs, and not-for-profit organisations. If you would like to post a notice please email and include NOTICE in the subject line. There is limited space in this section so notices will be prioritised at the discretion of the editors.







need to look a bit more assertively” in relation to the wages paid to contractors. VUW recently introduced a standard question in its procurement process asking potential suppliers to Over 200 students and staff attended outline their stance on the Living the Living Wage Day event in the Wage, with the response being taken into consideration during the evaluHub on May 10. The event was organised by Liv- ation of supplier bids. Living Wage Wellington Cooring Wage Wellington and included guest speakers from VUW staff and dinator Lyndy McIntyre expressed performances from the Samoan Stu- concern about the “absolute poverty dent Association. Attendants includ- rates of pay” of those contracted to ed Wellington City Councillor Brian work at VUW. “There are around Dawson, Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle, 90 cleaners here and they are on and VUW Assistant Vice-Chancel- the minimum wage of $15.75. [...] lor (Pasifika) Luamanuvao Winnie They work horrendous hours, they’re cleaning up vomit, they’re disposing Laban. Laban accepted, on behalf of of needles.” McIntyre was confident that a the university administration, over 2,000 postcards from Living Wage Living Wage for all workers at VUW Wellington. The postcards included was possible. “All the values that are messages from staff, students, and in the strategic plan are absolutely members of the public calling for consistent with ensuring that every worker within VUW workforce is VUW to adopt the living wage. Numerous VUW employees paid the wage they need to live a and contractors spoke at the event, decent life.” — Sofia Roberts including security, cleaning, and library staff. Rebecca Kuach told her story of being a single mother struggling to AUCKLAND raise four children on the wage she UNIVERSITY gets from her cleaning job, for which CALLED TO DIVEST she gets up at 4.30am. A running theme of underapFROM FOSSIL FUELS preciation and undervaluing of work linked the stories of those who spoke. VUW Vice-Chancellor Grant A Global Divestment Mobilisation Guilford told Salient that while he took place May 5–13 in a stand supported the same end of a fair against investment in fossil fuels. wage for employees, VUW would Protests took place in Wellington, not at this stage be signing on as a Dunedin, Auckland, and Australia. Living Wage employer. The mobilisation responded to Although 98% of staff directly growing concerns about government employed by VUW are paid at or and institution investment in carabove the current rate prescribed bon-emitting fossil fuel activity, such by the Living Wage — $20.20 as of as coal mining and gas exploration. It July 1 — those who are contracted was run by the environmental group through a third party, such as clean- and sought to “solidify the ers and security staff, are generally association between climate impacts employed at much lower rates. and the moral urgency to divest from Guilford told Salient that “we fossil fuels.”

The mobilisation came in the wake of increasing pressure put on Auckland University to completely divest from fossil fuels. It is estimated that $1 million of the $108m in the University of Auckland Foundation was invested in the fossil fuel industry. Fossil Free UoA, formed in 2015, has pointed to the contradiction between these investments and the express commitment to “the efficient management of energy [...] and minimisation of waste and emissions” in the University of Auckland’s Sustainability Policy. The group has petitioned Auckland University Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon to commit to a complete divestment numerous times over the past two years. VUW completely divested from fossil fuels in 2014, following staff and student pressure. The VUW Foundation, which manages university investments, expressly includes in their Statement of Investment Policy the need to “[Make] known to our investment managers the specific industries or organisations that we do not wish to invest in. Our preference is that there be no direct investment in armaments, tobacco, gambling, or carbon-emitting fossil fuels.” VUWSA President, Rory Lenihan-Ikin, took part in the Global Divestment Mobilisation in Wellington on May 9. He expressed a need for public pressure on Auckland University to commit to divestment. “Students at VUW are proud of this strong stance being taken to protect our future, but students at Auckland University are not so lucky. Auckland students are doing a great job advocating for divestment and the best way we can help them is by making this issue a very public conversation.” — Brigid Quirke


ECOSYSTEMS UNDER THREAT Forest and Bird claim that amendments made in April to the Resource Management Act (RMA) could have damaging consequences for ecosystems threatened by mining. The Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 passed its final reading in Parliament on April 6 with the support of the Māori Party. Forest and Bird stated that restrictions on appeals to the Environment Court, the consolidation of authority over local decisions in the Minister for the Environment, and the potential to fast-track developments, could restrict their conservation efforts in the legal system. Forest and Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell said that “the Government has dramatically politicised the planning process” and the group is concerned that “we are about to see fast, poorly made decisions based on political expediency and a desire to satisfy the Government’s industry mates.” Following the amendments to the RMA, Forest and Bird revealed on May 1 that the Government has plans to identify areas of the Buller Plateau on the West Coast of the South Island for open-cast coal mining. Forest and Bird Chief Executive Kevin Hague stated: “we’ve become aware of secret plans developed for the Ministers of Conservation [Maggie Barry], Energy and Resources [ Judith Collins], and Economic Development [Simon Bridges] to identify areas for coal mining and areas for protection.” “The problem is, they’re planning to take the highest value conservation land for coal mining.” In an interview with One News on May 1, the Minister for Economic Development Simon Bridges stated “there is very significant economic value in the Buller Plateau from a coal mining perspective.”

News The plans could see open-cast mining at Wharaetea West and Deep Creek, which Hague said is “disastrous from a conservation perspective.” While some areas of the plateau would be protected, the areas identified for mining are of high conservation value and include the habitats of rare species like the great-spotted kiwi, the fernbird, and the West Coast green gecko. Hague stated that “without Whareatea West the integrity of the whole plateau is lost.” Forest and Bird say that the Government is preparing the land for Phoenix Coal, a joint business venture of Bathurst Resources and Talley’s Group. In 2016 Phoenix Coal purchased Stockton Mine, located on the plateau, following the decline of the state-owned company Solid Energy, which could not withstand plummeting coke coal prices. The West Coast had been hit hard by the reduction of mining, and in 2014 Bathurst Resources announced they would delay indefinitely a proposed escarpment mine on the Denniston Plateau. At the time, Buller Mayor Garry Howard said the announcement “is devastating for the company and the Buller community” and accused environmental groups, who had opposed the proposed mine, as undermining its application. “It is simply criminal to see a well-intentioned regulatory process abused and manipulated by out-oftown extreme elements intent on frustrating legitimate and reasonable developments.’’ Forest and Bird have been making use of the Environment Court’s appeals process to obstruct the expanding coal mining developments on the plateau. — Billy Dancer

BRING BACK OUR GIRLS 82 school girls were released to Nigerian authorities by Boko Haram on May 6 after months of extensive negotiations between the government and the ISIS-affiliated terror group. The girls were students at the Government Secondary School in Chibok, and were part of a larger group of 276 abducted by Boko Haram in April 2014. The 2014 kidnapping made headlines around the world, leading to the international Bring Back Our Girls campaign. This latest release is the second to be negotiated with Boko Haram, bringing the total number of rescued students up to 163. 113 children presumed to be in captivity remain missing. The negotiations were facilitated by the government of Switzerland and by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and involved a release of five Boko Haram leaders in exchange for the girls. The Nigerian government thanked the Swiss and the ICRC for their aid. Yet, while many celebrated the release of the 82 girls, others stressed the need to focus on the remaining missing girls as well as the thousands of others in Boko Haram captivity. Amnesty International’s Nigeria Director, Osai Ojigho, said in a press release that “the Nigerian authorities must now do more to ensure the safe return of the thousands of women and girls, as well as men and boys abducted by Boko Haram.” — Marc Daalder




Systemic issues with mental health service provision in New Zealand have been met with calls to review and better resource the system. The People’s Mental Health Report, published in April, is a crowdfunded and crowdsourced inquiry into the experiences of New Zealanders struggling with the current mental health system, with an aim of including those who are “being left out of the conversation.” VUWSA President Rory Lenihan-Ikin described the report as “illustrating a system in dire need of a review and funding increase.” Health Minister Jonathan Coleman announced a five-year national improvement programme for mental health on May 4. It will be funded from DHB baselines at a cost of $7.5 million. The move has been met with backlash from those who call for a government review of the mental health system. Mental health advocate and comedian Mike King said the government had a poor grasp of mental health spending, and criticised the move to increase funding without determining where money should be allocated. Kii Small, a VUW commerce student, expressed concern at the way mental health continues to be treated as taboo in our society. “There’s something about old men throwing money at their problems that puts a lot of you at ease. In terms of mental health, [Bill] English acts out the thoughts of the average New Zealander and decides to not look into the mental health system.” The Public Services Association (PSA) says the Health Minister has shown a “worrying lack of thought about what’s really needed by our mental health services — and how this crisis will be fixed.” Mental health remains a pertinent topic at VUW, with confusion and backlash resulting from recent changes to the VUW counselling services. Lenihan-Ikin stressed that the pressures on VUW student counselling “are in large part driven by a complete lack of mental health support in the general public health system. What

looks like an under-resourced service is in fact an overloaded one.” Changes to the VUW system include the provision of an online referral form, and a change to the way counselling sessions are managed. This involves a consideration of what services will best meet students needs after six counselling sessions. However, poor communication by VUW led students to believe a six-session limit was being implemented. Student Counselling Manager Gerard Hoffman admitted that the communication of the changes was managed poorly, leading to the confusion. Director of Student Academic Services Pam Thorburn called mental health service “a really challenging and complex issue […] it’s not just about universities. Societies are grappling with this challenge, internationally we are grappling with this challenge.” She stressed that there had been no resource cuts in this area. “We haven’t changed the sessions — we’ve always had a soft guideline around how many sessions a student had. We were trying to make that transparent — it’s not a hard and fast guideline, but at the end of six sessions we really want to reassess the needs of students… we might not be the best provider to deal with these needs.” “We would never, ever cut a student off to the services they need. It’s saying: after six sessions, let’s pause, let’s have a think.” — Siobhan O’Connor Salient is keen to hear about your experiences with the student health and counselling services at VUW. If you feel comfortable sharing, please get in touch with




The Australian Government is implementing a package of reforms to the higher education system which will see higher fees for New Zealand students in Australia. After January 1, 2018, New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents will be taken off the subsidised Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) plan, making them full fee-paying students. The costs of study for these students would rise from approximately $7,000 per year to about $24,000. However, these students will have access to student loans to help fund their studies, whereas under current rules they must meet specific criteria to gain student loans. An Australian government document stated that about 20,000 New Zealanders and Australian permanent residents are currently enrolled in Australian institutions, and it estimated that wider access to student loans could encourage 60,000 more to enrol. The change is part of a package of reforms to improve the “sustainability of higher education,” according to Australia’s Department of Education and Training. In a statement, Australian Minister for Education Simon Birmingham said that the change “gets the balance of funding between students, universities and taxpayers right, is fundamentally fair, and ensures every Australian has the opportunity and support to study.” The University of New South Wales’s Student Representative Council (SRC) condemned the changes. SRC President Aislinn Stein-Magee said in a statement that “well-funded higher education is a public good that benefits Australian society.” “Instead of investing in Australia’s future, Simon Birmingham and the Liberal Government have decided to threaten the quality of education in Australia and increase the financial burden on students.” Prime Minister Bill English was taken by sur-

prise at the announcement, and while he said he is “pretty unhappy” with the change, he ruled out implementing a similar measure in New Zealand, favouring “a discussion about where the policy is going” so that New Zealanders in Australia know “what future impacts there are likely to be.” “We prefer to be in a situation where we have a positive relationship with Australia and Kiwis get a good deal in Australia — that’s better than mutual ‘armed war’ to see who can treat each other’s citizens worse.” It is the third Australian policy in less than two years to impact New Zealanders, the others being the 2015 revocation of some ex-criminals’ visas, regardless of how long they had lived in Australia, and a change two weeks ago tightening citizenship law, raising applicants’ wait-times from one year to four years. All three policies were introduced suddenly with minimal or no notice to the New Zealand government. — Thomas Croskery

16 16 list ranking and contend the election as electorate-only candidates. Davis also noted that, on current polling, this would give Labour its highest Labour Party List ever number of Māori MPs in cauLast week’s delay in the release of cus. Labour’s party list set many a thinkMP list rankings are rarely makepiece in motion, with some speculat- or-break for political parties, even in ing that the delay hinged on an upset an election year. However, the conWillie Jackson’s trip to Wellington. troversy over Labour’s rollout threatA day later the list was released, ens to play into National’s preferred revealing a string of new high profile narrative that Labour are disorganplacements. ised and divided. With National’s list Among newer MPs with high due out in August, Labour is running rankings are Priyanca Radhakr- out of time to prove them wrong. ishnan at number 11, Raymond Huo at 12, and Jan Tinetti at 14. Trans-Tasman Relationship Meanwhile, several of Labour’s Politicians on both sides of the Tasold guard were reportedly disgrun- man are fond of saying that New tled with a lower list placing. This Zealand and Australia share one of included former Education Minister the closest relationships possible beTrevor Mallard at number 23. tween two countries. Conventional Labour Party wisWhile that may be true, recent dom has it that the last election was changes across the ditch are beginlost partly because of a failure to re- ning to test that well-worn line. juvenate the party list. Labour leader Last week, the New Zealand Andrew Little confirmed that this government was seemingly blindwas at the forefront of the minds of sided by Australia’s proposal to stop the moderating committee leading subsidising New Zealand students up to the list ranking decision. to attend Australian universities at To address this, Labour Party domestic costs. This is an offer that rules now require half of its caucus has long been an important part of to be women, and a quarter to be the bilateral relationship, with citiMāori. Little has also said that he zens from both countries being able was embarrassed to have no MPs to attend each other’s institutions at of Indian or Chinese descent going greatly reduced fees. into the last election. International students are typiAs to the delay, Little confirmed cally charged more than three times that several members were unhappy the cost of domestic students, meanwith their placement, including new ing that New Zealand students in recruit Willie Jackson. Veteran La- Australia could be facing costs rising bour MP Sue Moroney also revealed from a typical $7,000 a year to more she was unhappy with a low list plac- than $25,000 a year. ing and would not be standing in the The proposal would, however, next election. allow New Zealanders to access The number of Māori MPs on Australian student loans for the the list has also been a matter of de- first time. Australian Foreign Affairs bate, with some commentators not- Minister Julie Bishop said that she ing the lack of Māori representation expected this to mean an increase in the top 15. in New Zealanders seeking to study However, Te Tai Tokerau MP there. Kelvin Davis defended the placePerhaps most unusual was the ments, noting top Labour Māori degree to which the announcement MPs’ recent decision to forgo their caught the New Zealand govern-


POLITICS ment by surprise. Embarrassingly, Prime Minister Bill English admitted that there had been no prior communication on the policy. Newly minted Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee was quickly dispatched across the Tasman to meet with his Australian counterpart. In a later press conference Brownlee struck a decidedly more conciliatory tone than English, saying that he thought the policy shock was “a bit of a one-off.” Opposition MPs were less forgiving, with many accusing the government of neglecting the more than 12,000 New Zealanders currently studying at Australian institutions. Labour foreign affairs spokesperson David Parker said that while diplomacy was important, New Zealand interests were clearly being ignored. Similarly, Labour’s education spokesperson Chris Hipkins said he felt Gerry Brownlee had “rolled over and let Julie Bishop tickle his tummy.” The policy changes come as part of what some see as an erosion of the much touted Trans-Tasman relationship. Recent policy changes have affected the pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders living in Australia, and many cannot access social welfare benefits despite paying taxes. These are benefits which Australians in New Zealand have access to. If the relationship is truly becoming as one-sided as many suggest, then National’s approach to foreign diplomacy may cost them come September. — Ben Leonard

THE TRUMP FRONT Continuing our coverage of the AmContinuing our coverage of the American healthcare debacle from Issue 05, on May 4 Trumpy managed to snake his way past those pesky

17 progressive Democrats in the House of Reps and pass the first stage of his American Health Care Act, the proposed legislation that aims to get rid of Obamacare. Under the new-and-really-REALLY-not-improved Trumpcare 2.0, analysts have stated that there will be an enormous hike in the premiums for people with pre-existing conditions such as asthma, diabetes, arthritis, severe forms of cancer, and — get this — pregnancy. That’s right, PREGNANCY. Because having a functioning pair of ovaries that can bring a child into the world can be deemed a “pre-existing condition” right? It has been estimated that the premiums for a complete pregnancy, with no form of complications, will now cost ~US $17,000!!! That is a 425% increase from the premium costs under Obamacare. If this bill gets passed in the Senate, newly-pregnant women all over America will be coming home to their partners saying: “babe, I’ve got something terrible to tell you… I’ve got a pre-existing condition… I’m pregnant!” You either laugh or you cry, you know? In other unrelated-yet-semifrightening news, Donny has once again decided to improve his social media presence and has changed his Twitter cover photo. The new pic features Trump-o standing front and centre with his Republican chums, better known by their stage name: The Racialist Rat Pack. The main issue with this photo (aside from the blindingly obvious fact that it is dominated by white old men *shock*) is that it’s SO blurry. We’re talking maybe 144p, 240p at BEST. Why is no one at Team Trump™ telling Donny that his pics are shit, and what’s with all of these picture changes? Maybe if Trump-dog spends less time trying to up his social media presence and more time contemplating the impacts of his healthcare plan, families wouldn’t have to mort-

Politics gage their home to simply produce offspring. — Tessa Cullen

Young Nats — Lower North Island The National Party and the Young Nats proudly value sustainable development of our environment. We recognise the need to develop and grow our economy to raise living THE PARTY LINE standards, create jobs, and have more to spend on social programs, howOn May 2 it was revealed the Gov- ever also understand that this must ernment has plans that would see balanced by conservation and proan expansion of mining on the West tection of our natural environment. We believe that existing reguCoast. Two coal mines are planned at Whareatea West and Deep Creek on latory frameworks provide for the the Denniston Plateau — an area with right balance in the case above and extremely high conservation value. In trust that the Ministers, Ministries, an interview with TVNZ Simon and public servants involved will Bridges said “there is very significant make the right decision based on economic value in the Buller Pla- the complete and more detailed inteau from a coal mining perspective.” formation. The National Party has made Should coal mining be allowed on conservation land? Does the economic protecting our native environment a value outweigh the lost conservation priority, with policies such as Predator Free 2050, countless miles of mavalue? rine sanctuary, and a commitment to expanding protected status to more Greens at Vic The Green Party is absolutely op- of New Zealand. The key is to strike posed to the expansion of mining on a balance and the National GovernNew Zealand’s valued conservation ment is doing just that.. land. This decision clearly demon— Sam Stead strates just how willing the National Vic Labour Party is to sacrifice our native plant Opening up areas of the beaulife and threatened species to line tiful West Coast to coal mining is a the pockets of private development short-sighted and poorly thought-out interests. The intrinsic value of the plan by the current National GovernDenniston Plateau’s unique ecosys- ment. In 2017, we should be focusing tem reaches far beyond short-term our efforts on clean and renewable economic gain. Once this important energy — an industry that is booming piece of New Zealand’s heritage is in some parts of the world and somegone — it is gone forever. thing we should get behind. It’s time Coal is a terrible economic in- the government started putting the vestment. It’s value is only becoming planet, and our people, ahead of profit. more volatile as renewable energy of- Economic opportunities can be found fers cleaner and cheaper alternatives. better invested into other modes of enSimon Bridges pretending that this ergy production. will bring economic prosperity to Energy production via New Zeathe West Coast showcases just how land’s abundant water, sun, and wind entrenched the National Party is in channels has the potential to create their tired economics and 19th cen- many jobs, without resorting to dirty tury thinking. We have to invest in sources of energy from centuries past. smarter alternatives to provide the Aotearoa prides itself on its clean and West Coast with meaningful and green image, but by opening up preprosperous economic opportunities cious areas of conservation land to dig that last more than a generation. for and then burn fossil fuels, we are — Kayden Briskie taking a step in the wrong direction.


• INTERVIEW WITH LYNDY MCINTYRE • Lyndy McIntyre is the Living Wage Movement’s coordinator at VUW. On the eve of the Living Wage Day that took place on May 10 in the Hub, Lyndy sat down with Salient and discussed why the university should implement the wage and what it would mean for low-paid staff and students. An extended transcript of this interview can be found on *** To start off, could you give a bit of an overview of the Living Wage Movement, in regards to the distinction between minimum wage and living wage? The living wage is a concept that’s quite established in different parts of the world, largely in the UK — it’s a much more recent concept for New Zealand. The living wage is generally defined as the wage that you need not just to survive, but to lead a decent life. [...] We know in New Zealand the minimum wage is not even a survival rate; it’s not actually enough. We’ve got people on minimum wage who are sleeping in cars, who are at food banks increasingly. The minimum wage is a very low rate.

It’s the lowest an employer can pay by law. Currently the minimum wage is $15.75 an hour before tax. The living wage is a completely different concept. It’s voluntary, so it’s not part of a statute. The living wage is currently $19.80 an hour, but on the July 1 the rate will be upped to $20.20 an hour. How do you calculate that? [...] It’s calculated by independent experts. The thinking behind it is that the living wage needs to be at least enough to support a family, but it’s from modelling that’s done by researching expenses, and the income necessary to provide the goods and services they need. The living wage is a universal figure, just like the minimum wage which is the same throughout New Zealand — there’s actually no methodology that supports the minimum wage, it’s just whatever the government at the time feels like plucking out of the air. [...] We do know that in places like Auckland (with the cost of housing) the living wage is not enough, so $20.20 an hour is still not enough for many people to have a decent life — and arguably there are challenges in Wellington as well. But it’s a stake in the ground; a rate that is more able to provide a decent standard of living, rather than just a cold house, an empty fridge, a pile of bills that are unpaid, and workers working very long hours. We previously interviewed Vice Chancellor Grant Guildford who was hesitant about the living wage due to it not being set by an elected body, how would you respond to that? The current wages at VUW are set by a commercial company who recommend wage rates. Businesses like Hay, or other businesses whose job it is to set pay rates, are not elected by anyone. As I said earlier the minimum wage is set with no research and no methodology around it and plenty of people within the VUW workforce are paid the minimum wage, so I struggle to see a relevance of people being elected to calculate a rate that workers need to have a decent life. The issue that has been raised in our discussions with VUW is more around an external body setting a rate, rather than the HR at VUW determining the rate based on a body that’s not elected like Hay.



Have you talked to many of the staff on minimum wage at VUW? pretty simple lives, but food was cheap and I know that there was almost no pressure Yes, definitely. [...] The Living Wage movement doesn’t on students to work during just decide to have a campaign at VUW. Many Tertiary term time. There was plenty Education Union members and directly employed staff at of time to study. [...] I’m VUW are paid minimum wage, or less than the living wage. also the parent of two adult Those workers are in the library, they’re in campus care, children, graduates (not from they’re research assistants, they’re tutors — they’re directly VUW), and yeah I did see employed by VUW. Now, for some reason, until last year at the difference for them in least it was deemed okay by the university to pay only a few cents more than the minimum wage to workers in the library the late 80s with user-pays education and rising rents. performing a role in the VUW workforce that is absolutely The pressure was starting to vital to the running of the university. [...] Yes, we do talk to grow on students to work those workers — and those workers want a living wage, and just to be able to study, and they deserve to have a living wage. [...]. it’s alarming to see now the This is my old university, I’m an alumni. I’m a graduate from number of students who absolutely have to work. Who VUW, so I’ve got a stake in this university, and I want to be proud of my university and I’d be thrilled if this was the first have to work long hours, who work in tough jobs — university in New Zealand to be a living wage university, so hospitality is a tough job. It’s I think I have a right to have a say. It’s not really a question punishing and it’s very low of “has the living wage movement talked to those workers pay, and that’s hard. [...] [in VUW]” it’s a matter of this coming up from the VUW community itself. And it’s a call that’s consistent with the A stressed, tired student is a strategic plan and the goals of taking the lead on sociostudent who’s going to find it economic issues, of seeking fairness and equity, and equal difficult to study and do well. access to education. All the values that are in the strategic We need to live in a society plan are absolutely consistent with ensuring that every worker within in VUW workforce is paid the wage they need who supports equal access to education, and for students to to live a decent life. be able to have the time and There are workers who aren’t employed but are an important the space to be able to learn and do well — that’s the kind part of the VUW workforce who are paid absolute poverty of society many of us want to rates of pay and the cleaners are a good example of that. live in. [...] There are around 90 cleaners here and they are on the minimum wage of $15.75. They work horrendous hours, One final question, what’s your they’re cleaning up vomit, they’re disposing of needles, favourite colour? they’re finding their own parking, they’re travelling a long distance to get here, they’re parents of young children. Many Red, the living wage colour! are new migrants or have a refugee background — they’re significantly struggling on a very very low wage. — Sofia Roberts Have you seen much change in the way students have been treated by employers over the last couple of decades? Yeah. I was a student here from 1970–1973 and in those days we had free education, and rents were very cheap. We had







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Opinion Opinion

WE WERE FEMINISTS ONCE Dear Cole (VicUFO Column, Issue 06), I agree with Pam (Letters, Issue 07) that your statement, “As long as it is consenting and feels empowering to you, then it is feminist” seems more like neoliberal individualism than feminism. Your lecturer might be asking some uncomfortable questions, but they’re important and worth discussing. For example, as feminists, while we’re “posing semi-nude and advertising accessories” we could consider the role the fashion industry plays in promoting beauty as a key standard by which young women continue to be judged (and selfjudge) in our society, and the links that has to mental health issues, anorexia, and a sense of self worth. Emma Watson argued after her recent Vanity Fair shoot that “Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women” — but it is also not a free pass to label whatever you happen to do as feminist. While we’re advocating “sucking dick for cash” as a potential feminist choice, we could consider the 68% of sex workers who qualify as suffering from PTSD (Anklesaria & Gentile, 2012), or the young women who are slapped around and physically damaged by the male-dominated gonzo porn industry which continues to promote pain and humiliation as the preferred female sexual experience. If this is feminism, then who needs patriarchy? The industries that profit from the buying and selling of female bodies will applaud you. I agree with you that women should be able to be sexual beings, and still be successful and respected. But the fashion, sex, and porn industries are still not overly inclined to give women that

option, so let’s not assume that women participating in those industries is equivalent to women having the power to self-determination in those industries. Perhaps there are better ways we can engage than advocating more women volunteer as canon fodder. I’m not criticising your feminist intentions Cole, but I genuinely believe feminism needs to find its way back to a more rigorous collective politics, as problematic as that may be. Can we advocate for systemic change over individual experience? We need to be more demanding of feminism and what it can be, rather than settling for what Andi Zeisler describes in We Were Feminists Once as “...marketplace feminism… decoupled from politics [and] staunchly focused on individual experience and actualisation.” Or as Jessa Crispin (2016) argues: “If feminism is nothing more than personal gain disguised as political progress, then it is not for me.” If our “empowering” feminist choices have negative implications for other women, to what extent are they feminist? It’s an uncomfortable question, but one we need to discuss. — Deidra Sullivan

Opinion News



— Maddie Youngman


is the feeling afterwards, the sense of accomplishment and the fresh approach. A run could represent a challenge we often find ourselves faced with. First I feel unmotivated, tired, and sluggish, struggling to convince myself that I should make a start. Then, as I run and the loud music is pumping through my ears, my energy levels rise and I’m ready for what’s waiting ahead. As I continue further, I start to feel as though I have hit a breaking point, slowing down, short of breath and running out of the motivation I had earlier, feeling as though I should come to a halt. This is often where I find myself stuck, where I just want to put my head into my hands and cry or crawl into bed under my covers, but this is can be stage where our true strengths can blossom. Often, the uphill climb in our lives can feel never-ending and our anxiety can overrule us, but, a few deep breaths, and a wider look at our surroundings, can truly put things into perspective. Running is something that obviously has helped with my fitness levels but, most importantly, the reason I run is to remain mentally at peace with my health and wellbeing. Every run, whether it is short or long, leaves me on a high. It is something that can stick with you for life and you can do it anywhere and at anytime. Plus, it’s an activity that is completely free! Anxiety can hit us at any moment and this isn’t easy, but allowing time to let your mind wander, a breath in and out is a simple thing that can make life feel a little easier.


Anxiety; it’s not an easy topic to discuss, with others or even with yourself. As students, anxiety and stress are not uncommon, whether it’s in relation to aspects of university, your social life, or your general wellbeing. It is something that can affect many of us. As we dive deeper into the first trimester of lectures and tutorials, we may begin to stress about what the future holds. For myself, doing well academically and assignment due dates are certainly a big part of what contributes to my issues with anxiety, and this will be the same for many others. However I also often find myself in a rut at times, constantly stressing about the smallest things in my daily routines, and I often feel as though nobody else has similar worries. Only recently have I been able to properly identify this as a form of general anxiety, and realising the negative constraints it places on my life. But there are ways to help yourself and others. Now not all may take a shine to this tip, but I will still put it out there… Running! Running is not easy, especially if you’re just starting out. More often than not, the beginners stage is the easiest place to set yourself up to fail, but the key is to start out slow and steady, building up your confidence as you go. Obviously Wellington has a lot of hills, but I recommend the waterfront… when it isn’t so windy that you’re almost blown into the sea. This is not me telling you to get fit and shape up but, rather, telling you that this can be an all round refreshment and escape from the simple realities of life that can bring us down. The best part







Last week marked Global Divestment Day. If you’re not familiar with the word divestment in this context, then you are probably thinking of turning the page about now because it sounds like a few bankers have got in a room and tried to think up the most boring name for a “day” that they could. The word divestment itself was cause for a frantic Google on my phone when I first heard someone name drop it a few years ago. Turns out it’s not that boring. In fact it’s one of the more effective and exciting climate change campaigns out there. Divestment simply means the opposite of investment: getting rid of shares, stocks, bonds, and investment funds that are tied up in fossil fuels. Oil has literally driven us through the 20th century, so it’s no surprise oil companies have been damn profitable, and they have been a pretty good place to invest your money. However as you might have realised, not too long ago scientists discovered that catastrophic climate change is going to make life pretty tough for us unless we act quickly. Since the campaign has been running, 719 institutions to the combined value of $5.45 trillion have committed to divest from fossil fuels. Among them, 15% are education institutions, including our very own VUW which became the first New Zealand university to announce divestment back in 2014. Since then, Otago and Canterbury have made moves to divest, but Auckland and other universities have remained stubborn — seemingly comfortable about funding the degradation of the Earth that its students will inherit. Student money needs to come out of fossil fuels, there is no two ways about it. Let’s see Auckland follow Victoria’s lead and do the right thing. — Rory Lenihan-Ikin


The struggle for Fairer Fares has been going on for years; each year the baton is passed on to the new VUWSA executive and each year we come closer to getting the campaign over the line. This year, we are closer than ever before. This is thanks to the tireless work of students throughout the university and the support that we have received from Ngāi Tauira and the Pasifika Students’ Council. Together, we delivered more than 1700 submissions on the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s (GWRC) draft 2017/18 annual plan, in support of Fairer Fares. This was an incredible success, considering less than 50 other submissions were made to the plan. So, needless to say, this issue is expected to dominate discussions. Our argument has been boosted by the more than 400 “ratepayers” who said they supported their rates going towards a discounted student fare, despite what several councillors believed. This has sent a clear message to the GWRC, and the effects of our relentless campaigning are beginning to show. On Monday they finally acknowledged that tertiary student fares needed to be included in their plans. This is not the end of the fight, but it is great progress and something to be celebrated. Over the coming months, especially in the lead up to oral submissions on the annual plan at the end of May, we will need to keep up the pressure and continue strengthening our voice to make sure we win this once and for all. Finally, thanks must go out to every single one of you that has given something to this campaign so far. Whether it be chatting to your friends and whānau about the issue, writing a submission, or something else — your support is crucial and it is only together that we will continue to make leaps and bounds on this long, windy road to Fairer Fares. — Raven Maeder (Campaigns Officer)



ONE OCEAN FA’AFETAI — Thank You The first memory I have of a lecturer is of Teresia Teaiwa. On my first day at uni (during O-Week), she delivered a mocklecture for us first year students. Being a Pacific Islander, and a recent immigrant to New Zealand, I was feeling quite small. The buildings seemed to be swallowing us, pulling us into a vortex of faces and books. I remember Teresia because she was a face I recognised in that vortex. I didn’t know her, but she made me feel better about myself. I saw someone I could identify with. The New Zealand Pacific diaspora is often plagued with cultural identity issues and discouraging stereotypes. However, seeing Teresia — a Pacific Islander, a woman, an activist — gave me faith in the upward movement of minority peoples. When I first came to New Zealand, I felt bombarded with images of “success”. Almost all these images were white. Success didn’t look like me. It didn’t sound like me when it spoke English. It didn’t have hair like mine. So, automatically, I felt as if it wasn’t for me. Teresia was the first person who changed that for me. Sitting in her lecture about Pasifika customs and intellectual property, I felt included. I remember she talked about a lot of things that afternoon, but what I personally heard was: “Your concerns are important. Your connections are important. Your cultures are important. You are important.” Everyone needs to hear that at some point in their life. Last week, we held the memorial service for Dr. Teaiwa. In memory of her, I just want to say that I’m forever grateful for who she was. I thank her for being one of the fiery canoes that lit candles everywhere in our community. Fa’afetai Lava, Teresia! Thank you very much. — Jasmine Koria


Rurea taitea, kia tū ko taikākā anake Rurea taitea, kia tū ko taikākā anake Ka huri au ki Ahumairangi, Heteri tipua, heteri tawhito Kei ngā tātai ihoiho o ngā maunga whakahī o Tuawhakarere. Tēnei te kōkō korokī o te Whānau o Te Herenga Waka E nanaiore ana ki te piki ake i te ara tukutuku o Poutama Kai mārō, nene o te tāmure. Whītiki o te kī, whakaniko o te kupu Kia hū ai te pāorooro o te reo Kia tahu ana te ainga ki tā te whatu manawa i wawata ai, koia! (Nā Teurikore Biddle — Tūhoe)

He wiki miharo, he wiki motuhake tēnei. Kua tae mai te wā ki te whakanui i te ara o te matauranga kua whai i ētahi o ō tatou tauira, ō tātou whānaunga i te whare wānanga. Anei te hunga i tae mai, ngā tipu ngā rea, ki ngā mahi o te whare wananga. Kua puta rātou ki runga, kua puāwai te kōwhai, ā, kei reira rātou e noho. Ko tēnei te mihi ki ngā tuakana kua puta atu, kua mau kaha ki ō rātou kaupapa, kua whai pai i ngā tohu. Kei te mihi hoki ki ngā tipuna, ngā whānau, me ēra atu tangata rātou e awhi i a tātou. Koutou mā, kei te takoto te mānuka, whai tonu i tō ara, haere kaha ki tō mahi. Tīhei Mauri Ora.



I’m trying to be optimistic by looking at the year as nearly halfway over so here are, in no particular order, ten of the shittest yarns that I have heard thus far in 2017:

“VUW is 100% Smoke Free.” If I’m sitting underneath a Smoke Free sign outside university at 7.50am, holding a cup of coffee like it’s liquid gold and huffing back a thin and poorly rolled dart, buddy you bet I read that Smoke Free sign and pointedly ignored it. I’m well aware that smoking kills, my dude, why else would I be so invested in the habit? “@POTUS has named March 2017 as Irish American Heritage Month.” Just in case you aren’t fluent in White Supremacist, this tweet from Sean “Kellyane Told Me To Say This” Spicer translates roughly to: “Mango-Mussolini loves immigrants, just as long as they’re white.” This isn’t new, Irish American Heritage Month was created in 1991 by old mate Bush, but you just know that the Partially Sentient Spray Tan got a hard on endorsing what is essentially white history month. “Yeah, hi, can I get a half-strength decaf long black?” Did you know that for free you can get a cup of hot water, mix in some ash off the stairs outside Easterfield, and create a hot beverage that tastes almost exactly like a half-strength decaf long black? Did you also know that for free you can sleep in for five more minutes, and not incite the derision of both the poor barista who has to prepare your hot sewer water and the people in line behind you that would hook up the portafilter basket to the veins in their arms if given half the chance? Cheers. “Not all boys are bastards, Sash.” I wish I could tell you that this particular piece of advice from my well-intentioned father was ironic and informed of the #NotAllMen circle-jerk but, alas, Dad is just genuinely convinced that finding myself a man is the path to happiness. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, men are trash, and if you’re offended by this, Robert, you’re probably part of the problem.



Columns “Yeah I met her, and she’s hot, but her personality, bro. She captivates me, bro.” My flatmate talking about a girl he’s been seeing. He’s outrageously enamoured and happy and it’s fucking disgusting, frankly. In case y’all didn’t get the memo, happiness and general satisfaction with your significant other is so 2016; in 2017 it’s cool to be pathologically single and perpetually doubtful that someone will touch your genitals ever again. Just so you know. “I’m not a racist.” Said Mike from Paraparaumu, on the proposal to give SH1 seven “unpronounceable” Māori names. I hate to say it, Mike, but “it’s PC gone haywire” roughly translated from White As A Toilet Seat becomes “but Muuum, not being racist after such a long time of getting away with being a racist is too hard.” I hate to say it, Mike, but do you think that maybe if Te Reo Māori was mandatory in schools you might now be able to pronounce “Rauoterangi Road”? “Counselling services cut to six appointments per year in a bid to get more students through an already stretched system, instead of keeping up with the demand for new staff.” You’re telling me that in addition to overpriced coffee, a crusade against nicotine, having to climb six fucking flights of stairs in the library like I’m some fucking athlete, and the general omnipresent dread that university nourishes, I’m paying student levies so that when I inevitably have a meltdown I have to fill out yet another fucking questionnaire to ascertain just how depressed I am, only to be told that new policy dictates no long-term care can be provided? Sick, bruh.* “If you’d said that 400 years ago I’d have called you a witch and had you burnt at the stake.” Okay, in fairness this is a fucking fantastic yarn; what girl doesn’t get off on their crush comparing them to a witch?? Take notes lads, this is how to woo a woman. “Ivanka Trump: the New Feminist Icon?” No. Just, no. Rumour has it that rules one through ten in Ivanka’s recent book Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules For Success, are “Just be born rich and conventionally attractive.” I get that female role models at the executive level are few and far between, but personally I draw the line at glorifying the woman who married Jared “Fuck Poor People” Kushner. “Yeah I’d have no issue kicking a dog in the face.” Last but not least, this unnecessary performance of toxic masculinity, brought to you by a lad at a party who was a box of Diesels deep and gave the impression that when he gets married he’s going to treat his dog exponentially better than he will treat his wife. *If you want to voice your concerns about this utter cock-up please do: email advocate@ or — Sasha Beattie



THE QUEER AGENDA Kia Ora, I’m Atom Zonnevylle, and I prefer he/him pronouns. I’m taking Ecology and Biodiversity and I’m a Taurus. And I’m Kate Aschoff; I use she/her or they/them pronouns. I take Sociology, Political Science, and Theatre, and I’m a Cancer. This year, we’re the UniQ first year representatives. UniQ is the representative group for LGBTQIA+ students on campus. We hold weekly discussion meetings, movie nights, and advocate for student rights. The first year of uni is a pretty daunting time and it can be hard to find your footing in this new place. But if you’re LGBTQIA+ it can add a whole other level of complication, raising questions like: who is it safe to be out to? How much am I able to share? You also start to meet new people with ideals and values different from your own, which can be really difficult to deal with by yourself. But! We want you to know that you’re not alone, and that we’re both along for the ride with you! As members of this university we deserve to struggle and stress during this year, just like everyone else, over things like deadlines and boring lectures, rather than struggling with others and ourselves about who we are. If you are a first year student and find that you are experiencing issues related to being LGBTQIA+ at VUW, you can contact us for advocacy and/or support. This can include issues such as: deadnaming, general discrimination, issues with lecturers/tutorials/RA’s etc. Or, if you just wanna talk about RuPaul’s Drag Race, we’re here for you! To contact us, flick us a message at either or aschofkate@myvuw. If emailing isn’t your thing, you can find us in SU218 for UniQ’s Friday lunch space from 1.00–3.00pm. Also, make sure you hit us up at “UniQ Victoria” on Facebook for updates about everything we’ve got going on! — Atom and Kate

ACCESS DENIED “Disabled person” or “person with a disability”? This is the question of Identity First language versus Person First language. Some people feel that using “disabled” (or a more specific disability) as an adjective before “person” (or a more specific noun like “student” or “New Zealander”) can be dehumanising and disrespectful. Person First language became very popular because many people felt the need to emphasise the humanity of a person with a disability; to see them first as a person — one who happens to have a disability. While people should never be reduced to their disabilities, disabilities can be an inextricable part of someone. People who use Identity First language feel that it is important to acknowledge this. A disability is not saying that a person is capable of less, it is saying that they are disabled by the way that the world around them often refuses to accommodate to the way their brain and body work if it doesn’t fit the non-existent “norm”. This disadvantage means that disabled people are forced to find alternate ways of making things work, shaping who we are and the way we perceive the world. Some people favour Identity First language because it attempts to reduce the intense stigma which still surrounds disability. It is claiming the label as an identity, it is a form of pride for the community. If you have a disability, you probably have a style you prefer for yourself, but you should never assume that you know what is best for someone else. Ultimately, everyone is different and will have their reasons for what they find respectful and empowering. The best way to find out which convention best honours someone, is to just ask. — Grace Visser



SWAT Asking for help can be extremely hard for most people. Whether it’s assignment stress, something gone wrong in your personal life, or you just aren’t feeling like yourself, we often assume these emotions will pass. However when they don’t, it is common for people to feel lost and isolated, with no clue what step to take. If you do feel like this (and most of us do at some point or another), VUW has a huge range of services on offer to support you including student health/counselling, wellbeing workshops, student support coordinators, the Bubble, disability services, and many more. At times it can be daunting to ask for help, or sometimes you just don’t really know where to turn. As hard as it is, the support at university is amazing. If you are in a first year hall of residence, you also have access to a larger variety of sources for support. Not only do you have your RA’s, who understand exactly what it is like to be a student, you also have student support coordinators in every hall, who are always keen to offer advice, assist with getting extensions, give course support, or can just be an ear to listen where needed. If you aren’t in a hall, there are still numerous support options available that are easily accessible. Student counselling is open every day of the week and you can visit the reception. To make an appointment online, you will need to fill out a self-referral questionnaire. Once it is completed, you will be contacted by the Student Counselling team. If this seems like too big of a step, you can always pop into the Bubble and have a chat to one of the peer support leaders. Or attend one of the wellbeing workshops. These are available at different times throughout the year and have everything on offer from sleep to managing anxiety and body focus. They are an awesome way to get help in a group environment and can actually be really fun! — Courtney Varney

POSTGRAD INFORMER For the last three weeks, I have had the privilege of researching coral reefs for my Master’s in Timor-Leste, and it got me thinking. The Timorese people live in, what would be considered in New Zealand, abject poverty. Their houses and their possessions are spartan to the point of dereliction. Living insulated lives (and we do, believe me) can lead to a certain set of assumptions — that they are deprived, that they lead unfulfilled lives, and are to be pitied. My experiences both in Timor-Leste and last year in Indonesia have challenged these assumptions. Lack of monetary wealth does not diminish culture, happiness, or, most significantly, dignity. They still attend church and school, all of which have a uniform which is rigidly adhered to. They still have fun at the beach on the weekend. They still have hopes and dreams they aspire to, and fears that they avoid. Their lives are no less rich than ours. As always, it is almost transformative to become a minority. To be stared at, and hear the occasional calls of “Malai!” (“white person!”). To be different and unusual, out of place, and with foreign customs. If you told the people of Atauro Island you spent money on food at a supermarket, they would laugh themselves silly at your stupidity. Why would you buy food, when the ocean and plants are right there? Being relegated to a societal novelty through appearance alone is something everyone should experience. It makes you realise that context is powerful. What seems pitiable to us is just the world for them. They live it every day — it is normal. The fact that it contrasts so heavily with our normal does not justify condescension. Difference is not inherently negative. They may appear to lack in what we consider necessities, but this would be an ill-informed view. They require very little from us, least of all our judgment. — Josh Brian


Modern Art is to me what Bavaria is to Critic’s latest booze review — “like a finger in the bum hole. Not enough people think to try it, but if you do, you discover it’s a bloody good time.” I haven’t really tried it, luckily. But my girlfriend’s an artist and convinced me to go and see her favourite, so last week I went to David Hockney’s retrospective at Tate Britain. It was a bloody good time. The little I know is that before Hockney there were the modernists, who began the movement with all the rigour of something new. And after Hockney came animal parts in formaldehyde and plexi-glass, and all the contradictions of postmodernism. I can say, formulaically, Hockney is at the zenith of modern art. He rigorously tests modernism’s big ideas: cubism, perspective, light, and movement, without giving in to the excess of postmodern art, like shooting yourself. But the exhibition’s pamphlet could have told you something along those lines. Beyond the response of my amateurish art critic voice, the Hockney retrospective was inspiring. In the space of two hours Hockney made me see the fragility of parenthood (My Parents, 1977); made me wish to see the light across Los Angeles from the Pacific Coast Highway (Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica, 1990); and told me there is something beyond modern design other than IKEA’s stock price (Large Interior, Los Angeles, 1988). It is shocking he can be so thought-provoking, and at the same time be so playful, even childlike. It is almost antithetical to London. London is provocative, but in very cynical ways, like: “how can Earth support so many people?”; “Why are there so many people in this queue?”; “With all these people, I bet it’s going to get too hot on the Tube soon”; and so on, including something about the oppressively dreary weather. Thankfully, the retrospective was the perfect antidote, even with the slowly bulging crowd on a Saturday morning. Among the many old white people at the exhibition (cringing, I had the privilege of seeing the exhibition during members-only hours), there were a number of children who were obviously enjoying the art as much as anyone, with shrieks of enjoyment breaking the very adult respectful art-gallery-quiet. It is fantastic





the artworks can be so full of bright colour, fantasy, and fun — to the point of a child’s scream — while being so serious, and seriously good. I suppose this is what I mean when I say the exhibition is a nice antidote to London’s oppressiveness. Such an antidote, I hardly felt a pang of guilt buying the exhibition’s poster. NB, in regards to Critic’s Booze Review: Bavaria beer is shithouse; it’s a lot less like a finger in the bum than modern art).

— Joe Morris


Features Features


Dedicated to the first person who wanted this published, and everyone else who gets it *I have been told by a Sri Lankan acquaintance of mine that this gets confusing: “Do you mean Pacific brown, South Asian brown, what?” — fair point. Thus, I state here that this refers specifically to Māori and Pasifika brown. In this country. At this time. And place?

1) Open all comments with: “I am not speaking on behalf of all brown students! So, about […]” 1.1) Why are brown students MPI students, and not just students? Why are white students students, and not white students? Disabled students? International students? Tyranny of the pseudo-universal (there is no such thing as “the student voice” unless you’re doing the hegemony — and yes that pun’s intended). Basta. — ref. Angela Davis (Speaking on Anniversary of Women's Studies at Vassar College) 2) Have some kind of script for answering questions about “the Māori community”, or “the Pacific community”, or “the MPI community”, or some such ridiculousness. Which it is and it isn’t. True, there’s commonality — but homogeneity? Hell no! The whole “save us”, “problems to be solved” thing? Ditto. — ref. Alicia Garza (Why Black Lives Matter at Sydney Opera House Talks & Ideas) 3) Do not say anything if you are less than 90% sure, in case you make a mistake. You do not want to be seen as “the ignorant brown student”. (And if you do say something wrong, spend the next hour wallowing in guilt and shame for dishonouring your family and ancestors).



3.1) Be mindful of the commodification/objectification/fetishisation of brown students with “academic success”/“intelligence”(don’t tell me that those IQ tests are culturally neutral, now)/“talent”. (And don't even get me started on the queer-exotic aspects…) 4) Other potential opener: “Just because I'm brown doesn't mean I can immediately spot ALL problematics, and immediately have extremely eloquent and compelling critiques of the aforementioned to offer up as tribute in a lecture theatre. I'm here to learn, like everyone else. (Okay, who’s come across lecturers who aren’t interested in learning from (brown) students’ critiques? #lecturersarestudentstoo #paulofreire) 5)

Don't make a fuss.


Don’t make a fuss.


Don’t make a fuss.

8) Wear gangsta as clothes for the first few weeks, then tone things down because what “this” is sets in, and then drop out (r.i.p. your academic forays for now or ever, I hope you like what you’re currently up to, and that it’s going well). 9) Go to university and work and church events and family events and everything else. What, do you get no sleep, or something? You’re not invincible, and “letting your grades slip” should not be a thing. #priorities #whyareyouhere. 10) In the instance that you don’t understand the lecture content, don’t ask for help. Better yet, stop turning up to lectures. And everything else. The lecture halls are littered with the ghosts of our minds/souls/ bodies/hopes/dreams. You know, just remember that. 11) Turn up to lectures. Because obviously the answer is not to equitise academic structures, but to assimilate into these things that “are the way they are because that’s the way they’ve always been”. Lies. #breakthedichotomy. 12) For the love of anything-you-hold-dear, don't make the rest of us look bad. Homophobic comments can be made in your own time. Sexist comments can be made in your own time. Transmisogynistic comments? Ableist comments? Xenophobic comments? Your own time. Not in lectures, please.


Luka 林-Cowley

Rules For Brown* Students In Lecture Theatres

13) Don’t be that loud brown one. Don’t be that silent brown one, either. Give brief answers when questioned. Pretend you have nothing to say. (Pretend you have nothing of value to say. When you do). 14) When a classmate (who might not necessarily be white) says something along the lines of “What ARE you!?” or “That’s so exotic!”, scream (internally. I said internally), and then proceed to be as polite as humanly possible under said circumstances. (Shout out to all of us multiethnics, multiracials, and people who look “ambiguously ethnic”). 15) When the white neighbours across the street offer to call the police because they see you taking out the rubbish and think that you’re breaking into your own house, pretend it has nothing at all do with the way people look at you or treat you, pretend it has nothing to do with police brutality, and most certainly nothing to do with the way this lecture right now is being run. I’m sorry, uso. 16) When someone in the lecture theatre who is not Māori or Pasifika (not just students — could easily be the academic staff ) makes an award-winningly stupid statement about Māori or Pasifika communities/ people/matters/culture, refrain from punching them in the face. 17) There is an unspoken seating plan in effect! You all know what I’m talking about. And you know what? Let’s keep reinforcing this idea that we’re all perpetually divided across these boundaries that are obviously fixed and monolithic, and have never changed since time itself began. 18)

Try to empathise with people. Or, you know, don’t. Either/or.

Thank you: The former anth student whose name I don’t remember, The Bach Musica POCs-and-Lefties (No, like, actually Left. None of this “centrist-liberal” bullshit: call a spade a spade, why don’t you?) crowd (or cluster, considering our numbers…) Ina Stace-Dyer, Kura Moeka’a, Lorena Gibson, Tayla Cook, Teresia Teaiwa. And especially to Vaiola Louis Bunnin, Stevland Sauni, Theo Sauni, Isla Sauni, and all the aiga: Alofa tele atu.

Toby Dykes







WORLD OF DAVID MERRITT On the day I contacted David about this interview he was attacked. A woman he knew from his time in Auckland, a semi-regular visitor to the bench on K’ Road where he had plied his trade for five years, had appeared in Nelson. She was unwell, seemed troubled. David gave her cigarettes and money for a hot chocolate, told her to come back any time — but memories are funny things. The next day she was furious, deranged. She scattered David’s books, knocked his stamp set to the ground, grabbed his scissors and lunged at him, screaming about clicks and the internet, how he was responsible for all the clicks on the internet — Dave resisted and was cut, literal blood for his art, her yelling and their struggle pulling people in, the RSA Poppy Day man, a Māori woman, a parking warden lady, the scissors reclaimed and all parties copping a few hits for their help, just another day in the life of a street poet, or so he mused as we talked, life in the literary fast lane. David Merritt has been a practising poet for some 30 odd years; the last eight lived at the mercy of the road, travelling up and down the country, sitting on benches and in parks, a grey-bearded man and his box of books, there in the thick of the day. His approach is unique, not only for its visibility, but for the way in which his poems are packaged and distributed, self-published broadsheets built from literary detritus, old Reader’s Digests and banana box cardboard transformed into books and zines, many made right there on the street, cut to shape by the infamous scissors and sold or swapped or gifted, craft and its craftsman, there in a way so many artists aren’t, face to face in the digital age. Before switching to poetry David worked as “a computer geek”, and while he isn’t responsible for all the clicks on the internet, he does maintain an active online presence. This interview took place over several days on Google Drive.



Dan Kelly

Man on the Street: The Poetical World of David Merritt

DAN KELLY: Let’s start at the start — what was

the genesis of poetry for you?

David Merritt: When I was young I always wanted to be a writer and a poet in particular. By the time I was in my mid-20s I was living in Auckland, a tour manager for Herbs. I left and went south to Dunedin by train with a tea chest of stuff and an old typewriter, to start life as a poet where the rents were cheaper and the bohemian living was of a more collaborative nature. I wanted to do my own thing, not look after other people’s creativity.

In Dunedin, from ’86 to ’94 I did everything I could — worked as a dishwasher in two cafés, worked in a second hand book shop, did an NZ music radio show, wrote a lot and ran a few small presses, produced a few collections, edited a lot of publications and a lot of other people’s work, played the guitar badly, helped out on big arts collectives, lived on mutton hams in freezing kitchens in flats with parts of the roof missing, fell into love and had the sons, became a father, started using a computer and got an email address, etc. I’ve always kind of known what it was that I didn’t want to become — so that period in Dunedin was like the poetical mould into which I was poured and which knocked off the smooth edges of a more comfortable poetical life…

DK: Could you describe your process?

How does a poem become a poem?

DM: I’ve deliberately made it a long process and in fact now, with digi hoohah, it’s an ongoing process that never seems to end. In the modern network age a poem becomes an evolution of file types, once something gets digitised off the bits of paper and the 1B5 exercise books that I write stuff onto. Poet feels poetic, sees something, feels something, describes an event or memory or gut response or makes a list — writes something down, whatever. You write something and eventually you type it all up and you print it, and improve the poems that way with new printed out versions and then DTP [desktop publishing] software is useful for experiments with how a poem reads with different linebreaks and spaces. So it’s a digital process now, those poems that started out as a .txt file and then .rtf file are now an InDesign .CS3 file and then exported as PDFs and JPEGS and OGG and MPEGS and .HTML, wordpressed and instagrammed and google ++ed and routed and proxied all over, cached, bit torrented, downloaded, shared, zipped, and tarred up into an archive. Made into WAVs and AIFFS and MP4s. PHP or CSS code or rendered like max headroom in a bunch of interesting 3D ways. Thrown into Word and made into Office files. Shared on Soundcloud or Dropbox or Bandcamp or Patreon or Givealittle. Whacked up on mud book in six different places. Put onto the giant spreadsheet. And then there is the life of the poem when you read them out loud, how much of the spoken overlay you can and do add back into the text. I’ve started to add and


Features repeat phrases in live shows with the musicians and that filters back into the text as well. So poems evolve by many means and nowadays barely have time to stand still. The titles of the poems are shorter now because I’m lazy (or ergonomic) with the stamping on the front, as a younger poet mine were quite long and went on a bit. I’ve counted at least 14 stages that it takes to make a five buck analog book, from finding the Reader’s Digests in a skip and gutting the pages and processing the covers through to the stamping and stapling and gluing and signature / date stamp stuff.

DK: In many of your poems there is a strong sense

of solidarity, the community on the edges of “normal” society. Do you see poetry as playing a role in the creation of this?

DM: Yes. It’s an extension of politics which governs everything — poetry included. Long ago I realised poetry in NZ was marginalised, by poor PR and outdated, neoliberal thinking. Like a lot of the arts and culture industries. Mainstream media is designed to place us in a state of fear, to create the stupid norms which are killing us as a nation and as a race. I’m better off being well away from that…

To deny the possibilities of poetry being political is a denial of the forces of life itself, which seems rather blinkered. I’ve grown up as a collectivist, despite being in an occupation which is akin to a small business or sole trader. I don’t like the idea of literature being so competitive, that I have to apply against other poets for Creative NZ (CNZ) funding — something I am loathe to do if I feel that I’m trucking along well enough without it.

DK: There’s a current of thought that says a poem

isn’t complete until someone reads it. How do you think that fits in with spoken poetry, and in particular with slam poetry, with its greater emphasis on the speaker–audience divide?

DM: I write poems that are mostly read out to audiences and may rely on being read out loud or recorded to grow and improve. Now I also do readings where people are just mostly sitting around, reading the poems off the poetry racks, and I do sets that get smaller and smaller in time size as I become more popular. I’ve always wanted to be able to do shows where the reading component is performed by the audience attending and actually reading the poems and I’m outside smoking or not even there. But that’s more a reflection of modern, busy lives where my poems have to fit in along with everything else that people do inside of a venue. Slam poetry is a strange thing. It’s been good for the popularity of poetry and slam poetry in particular, but maybe not so good for the other types or forms of poems. It’s also brought in a bogus ranking system that is as groomed and gatekept as other types/styles/kinds of poetry. But, can’t be too harsh. It’s brought a breath of fresh air in its own way, added ingredients to the pot with its pace and style — that’s good.


Dan Kelly

Man on the Street: The Poetical World of DavidFeatures Merritt

David Merritt outside Pegasus Books. Hector Hazard.

DK: In your recent application for the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement, you emphasised the public form your poetry takes — it is in a sense available in a way that more “institutional” poetry isn’t. What do you think this says about the “institution”? Is there more room for outreach, presence?

DM: Yes. There’s much more room than the narrow and blinkered and highly contested state of denial the “institutions” are in at the moment. We need the full, broad spectrum, and the smaller institutions and entities need more of that big ol’ cake that the institutions live fulltime on now. We need hundreds of presses and thousands of poets, not a manicured and gate-kept few as now churned out by the mills of academia, indebted and unsure of any long term poetry game plan. I wanted to be transparently working hard using those recycled materials and simple methodologies. No big magic cardboard boxes from the tiger economies with 400 copies of my new collection. No mass productions at all. Work right where people could watch me do it and read the poems I’d made. I’ve done everything wrong and inside out and upside down and backwards in order to be as successful as I want within my own terms now.

Small presses are the key to the continuation of our literary development; they are nimble to the changes in publishing, can produce books quickly, and are finding new voices on the margins all the time. There is room for plenty of these kinds of publishers, funded or not. It’s the denial by CNZ that gets me — denial of just about all the technology and means of distribution, denial of the advent of copyleft-ism and the creative commons, denial of the role of the many small presses, the denial of the Zine movement and people’s media. Everything they do fund is towards the perpetuation of an old school, doomed model, “professional” publishing industry, which of course, will in turn mirror their funding criteria and tick boxes / jump through hoops approach. Both parties are in a cosy symbiotic relationship like addicts to homebake. I hate seeing this happen but it is now the complete norm. There are your poetry books, going through the motions. No boat-rocking. Usual well-funded suspects. No biting the hand that feeds etc.

DK: There’s a lot of noise these days about neoliberalism and its shortcomings, most specifically the way in which it reduces everything to money: if you don’t get paid, you’re not of value. What’s your take on this?

DM: Under neoliberalism the state has become its very cruel enforcer and is per se responsible for a great deal of what is wrong with our way of doing things. It has done and continues to inflict horrendous things onto people — the poor and the marginalised; the young and the old.


Features It spends a lot of money to perpetuate a neoliberal exploitative state — be it new motorways in Kapiti or delegations to book fairs in Germany. It just consolidates that way of thinking into dogma. For the scientific research and for the culture industry — blue sky industries (music, visual arts, writers, etc.) — this is a terrible state of affairs. Neoliberal is market driven. I see a society that under neoliberalism funds the ambulances at the bottom of the cliffs but never the fences around the top. We’re in a freefall now where what used to be abhorrences are now the everyday — beggars on the street, poverty, people living in cars from lack of housing, a huge divide between the super wealthy and the rest. I’m a poster boy for neoliberalism in a way — someone who pulls themselves up out of one level of poverty to a place of minimal consumerism, living simply, working simply, reliant less and less on the state. But that is not the mould! It is important to be able to relate to ordinary, everyday people and not isolate away in the universities. Poets are just like so many people in so many regards, running a very small one person business and some small presses is really an eight hour day of work like everyone else, for a lot less money. It took me five years to be rid of the stigma of WINZ; I wanted to earn a living off poetry, not a great one because stadium poets are rare, but enough to get by on for a day to day, week to week, month to month level of life. So money is important because that gives me a certain incentive to work harder to stay alive at times. But increasingly so are the koha, gifts, and patronage that come my way. Kind offers in the inbox arrive out of the blue, offering me accommodation, opportunities, orders for books etc. At that level people want to pay me money to keep me alive, which is a nice feeling.

You can help keep David alive by supporting him on Patreon — www. — or by buying one of his books, either in person, or from Pegasus Books on Left Bank Arcade. David will be representing Landroverfarm Press at the Wellington Zinefest midyear meeting, on June 3, at Thistle Hall. You can’t miss him.




TO BE BRAVE AND IMAGINATIVE: TRANSFORMING OUR CONSTITUTION Written by Brigid Quirke, Georgia Lockie, Laura Toailoa, and Tim Manktelow

Say a word enough times and it starts to lose its meaning, and just becomes sound. The word “constitution” is the opposite, where it’s hardly heard and is so alien that it too is just sound. In an attempt to give meaning to this word, we ask — what is a constitution? Two esteemed constitutional lawyers and professors are deeply concerned with this question: Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Moana Jackson. Last year, Palmer released A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand, coauthored with Andrew Butler. 2016 also saw the release of He Whakaaro Here Whakaumu Mo Aotearoa, the report of Matike Mai Aotearoa, the Independent Working Group on Constitutional Transformation convened by Moana Jackson. Despite a shared interest in the word “constitution”, and both having studied at VUW a little while ago, Palmer and Jackson’s respective constitutional visions are fundamentally different. Palmer argues for constitutional change, and his book aims to “set out in an accessible form and a single document the fundamental rules and principles under which New Zealand is to be governed.” Jackson, on the other hand, argues for constitutional transformation — a further-reaching process that would fundamentally shift New Zealand away from 170 years of colonisation to a society governed in accordance with Te Tiriti o Waitangi and He Whakaputanga o Nga Rangatiratanga o Niu Tireni. Before elaborating their perspectives, it seems important to return to foundations. Palmer’s approach is tied to the idea, imported from Europe, that a constitution sets the boundaries of relationships that comprise the state. For Jackson and Matike Mai, on the other hand, it’s the relationships that come first: “It has to be based on the relationships between people,


To be brave and imaginative: Transforming our Constitution

the nurturing of the land, and so on. If you start from there, then the conversation goes in quite a different direction. [...] If you start with a model, it becomes very hard to decide what values, because the model presupposes some values. But if you start with the values, the model will hopefully reflect those values.” • Moana Jackson offers an accessible definition of a constitution: “[It] is the way in which people make decisions, and every culture has its own way of doing that — the constitutional system in England is different from the constitutional system in Russia, and so on.” Here a difference is drawn between the “clear constitutional system before 1840” by which Māoritanga was organised — one based on tikanga and kawa (the jurisdiction of the marae) — and the way decisions are made today. Two spheres can be drawn: “tikanga, or Māori law, [which] has been here for centuries; and the common law Westminster system which has been here for 170 years.” The Westminster system arrived on boats with the colonising British, and its sphere of influence was expanded through the violence of the subsequent New Zealand wars. The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 was a British statute granting the fledgling colony the right to govern itself, but UK law was transplanted to New Zealand insofar as it was relevant. The legislative powers of the UK stretched to New Zealand until our ratification of the UK Statute of Westminster Act 1931, which we waited until 1947 to do. The residual colonial power was abolished with the Constitution Act 1986, though, according to Palmer, it “was [already] whittled away to almost nothing.” However, he adds, “I think that one of the things you have to remember about New Zealand is that its colonial origins sit fairly heavily upon it still. We inherited this system, it gradually changed, developments occurred, but actually it owes its structure, still, to the Constitution Act of 1852 in many ways.” To gloss over 170 years of troubling and dire history, which saw the sphere of influence of the Crown expand at the expense of the rangatiratanga, we arrive at the current way public decisions are made: New Zealand’s constitution appearing a hazy patchwork of concepts, legislation, and custom. Most of our “unwritten” constitution is written down, but in a number of disparate and different places — the Magna Carta, the Treaty of Waitangi, the Cabinet Manual, the Bill of Rights Act, etc. As Palmer and Butler suggest in A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand, it is “dangerously incomplete, obscure, fragmentary, and far too flexible,” and an interested person “cannot find a clear and coherent statement of the whole framework within which political decisions are made.” Key to the idea of a written constitution is that it cannot easily, or arbitrarily, be changed — it is a fixed set of rights and structures. Constitutional “conventions” in New Zealand may change or be eroded with practice, because they are not legally binding. Many elements of New Zealand’s current constitution, enshrined in statute, could be expressly or impliedly repealed by a simple majority in parliament. Although our judges



can make a declaration of inconsistency with the Bill of Rights Act, they cannot invalidate a law on grounds of unconstitutionality. In conversation, Palmer believes that conventional or traditional ideas about New Zealand’s constitution no longer cut it: “I remember they considered this way back in the early ’50s about whether they should have a written constitution and they said, ‘we’re British, we don’t need it.’ New Zealand doesn’t look very British to me.” However, in the spirit of clarity, Palmer and Butler in their book state that “New Zealand would remain in the Commonwealth. New Zealand has secured many advantages from its British connections over the years and these can be maintained, but we need now a more defined sense of our own national identity as an independent nation in the area of the world in which we live.” Palmer envisages a constitution that “anybody who comes here ought to be able to pick up and read and sort of figure out what the place is about,” but suggests “one of the problems is that we don’t seem to know what it’s about ourselves. It’s sort of an incompletely theorised agreement.” There is a sense, when we talk to Palmer, that the future weighs heavily upon him, especially in light of international political developments. Unprompted, in the first two questions we ask, he brings up Donald Trump and Brexit. “One of the things you realise if you’re a minister is how fragile democracy is, and how buffeted a small country can be by the winds of change internationally.” Here it feels that the desire for a written constitution is a reaction — not in a negative sense necessarily, but a reaction nonetheless — to the failure of an uncodified democratic system, and the risks it entails. “At the moment, our Bill of Rights is not enforceable against the parliament. They can override it and they do and they have done in 37 occasions in the 25 years that we’ve had the Bill of Rights.” Palmer cites in particular the 2012 Atkinson case. In that case, the Court of Appeal found a Ministry of Health policy financially privileging non-family caregivers of disabled people over family caregivers to be discriminatory. This result was immediately overturned by Parliament in the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Act 2013, which was introduced under urgency and passed in a single day, without public consultation or select committee scrutiny. The Act prevented anyone from being able to bring proceedings against the government for any policy regarding family carers, and excluded the ability to seek remedies for past discrimination. In this fragility one can see the real value of, and urgency for, a codified constitution, to prevent what Palmer told us was a “travesty of democracy.” However, there are other areas where his proposal feels lacking, rooted firmly within a Westminster model, unable to adequately accommodate any reassertion of what Moana Jackson calls the “rangatiratanga sphere of influence” in light of the Waitangi Tribunal’s 2014 finding that “the rangatira did not cede their sovereignty in February 1840; that is, they did not cede their authority to make and enforce law over their people and within their territories. Rather, they agreed to share power and authority with the Governor.”


To be brave and imaginative: Transforming our Constitution

Palmer and Butler address the Treaty of Waitangi in chapter seven of A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand. They outline the various levels of legal legitimacy it held before it was finally given “statutory recognition by the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, which created the Waitangi Tribunal.” Palmer’s perspective on the Treaty is that it is a founding document to be incorporated within his proposed constitution. He and Butler endeavour to clarify the exact way in which the Treaty would be legally recognised in the hopes of bringing “much needed coherence and consistency to a legally untidy situation.” For Palmer and Butler, “the best way of viewing the constitutional significance of the Treaty of Waitangi is by looking at where it sits in the operation of New Zealand’s constitution in practice today.” Palmer told us that following their 2013 inquiry, A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand addresses issues brought up by submissions by Māori, “by putting the Treaty as part of the constitution, making it enforceable, and ensuring that the text of it cannot be changed by a constitutional amendment.” This is seen as an attempt to secure the Treaty’s legal legitimacy and standing. We asked Palmer what discussions he’s had with iwi and hapū, and he responded by saying, “we haven’t had any discussion with them, though I read the Moana Jackson report [He Whakaaro Here Whakaumu Mo Aotearoa] at great length, which is a very interesting report. We cite that in the book. We explain that there will need to be very adequate and much more extensive consultation with Māori than has taken place in the past.” • In a 2010 interview in Weeping Waters, Jackson highlighted that it was imperative to begin a constitutional discussion with “Māori speaking to Māori.” Matike Mai Aotearoa was created in 2010 at the Iwi Chairs’ Forum at Haruru to foster that debate: “Some of the old people at the end of that day said: we always seem to come together and react to what the Crown does, perhaps it’s time to restart the constitutional discussion. So they set up a constitutional working group.” The Matike Mai Working Group spent four years talking with Māori from across the country: “We had 252 hui, we had a rangatahi group which had 70 wānanga, hundreds of hours of transcripts and submissions, and then we wrote the report released last year.” They believe that rather than being incorporated into a constitution, the Treaty ought to be foundational for a constitution for Aotearoa. When we spoke to Jackson he explained, “being based on the Treaty doesn’t mean you take the Crown system which has come from England and try to incorporate the Treaty into it — you need to find a different system based on the Treaty relationship.” Jackson goes on to reiterate that, although “our people might not use the word ‘constitution’ in their everyday conversations, (I don’t think anyone does),” kōrero around the governance of this country, of power and powerlessness, and the history of injustice still endured by Māori today, isn’t new. Jackson draws attention to a document cited less often than, but that is “inseparable” from, the Treaty: He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga



o Niu Tireni, the Declaration of Independence of 1835. It was issued to the Crown by He Whakaminenga, an assembly of hapū in the north, and Jackson described it as a “statement to the world that ‘we are an independent peoples’ and, as one expression of that, iwi will continue to make independent decisions; but as another expression those iwi who wish can come together as part of He Whakaminenga and make joint decisions without giving up their own mana.” The report of Matike Mai cites He Whakaputanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi as two pillars that their iteration of a constitution would be based on. In Weeping Waters Jackson references the Bolivian constitution as a helpful example to consider when thinking about constitutional transformation. When we asked him if it provided a suitable model for New Zealand to follow, he replied, “I’m not sure it offers a model, but it offers a really good constitutional philosophy, if you like. [...] What indigenous constitutional systems tend to be based on is the rights of individuals, exercised with collective responsibilities — that is that the individual is part of a wider collective, and that collective is part of a wider relational jurisdiction, which involves relationships with the land, the waters, the sky, and so on.” The dominant aspect of the Bolivian constitution, for Jackson, is that it demonstrates that it is practical and possible for a constitution to acknowledge indigeneity as more than a crucial aspect to be included, but integral to the document as a whole; where a constitution “doesn’t start with parliament or members of parliament: it starts with the earth.” The language concerning the environment and its protection often frames the environment as a commodity. Western models of “environmental rights” fail to legitimise the ancestral connection between the environment and people. Jackson points to the limitations of the English language (and in turn, cultural imagination) with trying to capture Māori concepts and tikanga. If the language itself is inadequate, then legal documents — such as a constitution — aren’t going to get any closer. We asked Jackson whether he saw the granting of the Whanganui River and Te Urewera legal personhood as a step towards reframing the environment according to tikanga Māori: “The notion of the river being a legal person is not a Whanganui description, it’s a Pākehā law description. People of Whanganui, like every iwi, regard the river as part of them, as part of their whakapapa. We talk about Te Awa Tupua, that is the ancestral river. So in Whanganui they say, Ko au te awa. Ko te awa ko au — I am the river, the river is me. What they wanted the Crown to do was to find some way in English, if you like, of capturing that idea. And the closest the Crown could come up with was that the river would have a legal personality. [...] I think that’s important to be clear on how our people see it; it’s not a legal person, it’s part of who we are.” Though these developments are positive steps, they are fundamentally limited by current political and legal structures; these structures are what a constitutional transformation would upheave. •


To be brave and imaginative: Transforming our Constitution

Palmer states that his project aims to provide New Zealand with a cohesive, stable, and binding document: “The essence of this project is to improve the standard of governance; it can’t produce perfection. You shouldn’t oversell it, we’re not going to get utopia through this, but we should get a better system of government that is more principled and more effective, where there are better checks and balances than we have now.” There are still more editions to be released, more consultations to be done, and changes to be made before it is presented to parliament: “But I don’t want to encourage that until we’ve got a final product that we think is worthy of consideration. This book isn’t that product.” Matike Mai’s mahi will continue long term (2040 is the goal for some form constitutional transformation). For Jackson, it’s a process: “What our people are talking about in Treaty terms is ‘can we be imaginative and brave enough to think of something different based on the Treaty?’ and that’s why our report talks about constitutional transformation, rather than change. It’s transforming the constitutional landscape to be based on the Treaty.” When asked about claims that Matike Mai’s vision may be unrealistic, Jackson replied, “Realities are created by humans, and the current constitutional reality cited in parliament has only been here 170 years — [it] was made by humans. For hundreds of years prior to that there was another reality, created by a different group of humans, which colonisation sought to destroy. And another reason why the Bolivian constitution is such a worthwhile model or process is because they were colonised by Spain over 500 years ago. So they had over 500 years of reality to change and when they started talking 30 years ago, when the indigenous peoples there started talking, they were told ‘it’s unrealistic. We have this profound, beautiful, Spanish constitution.’ But I’ve always thought that every change is a shift in reality.” We’re unsure how to end this piece. We are grateful to Geoffrey and Moana for talking with us: you opened our eyes. There are lines at the end of Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou: Struggle Without End, first published in 1990, that may be appropriate. The late historian Ranginui Walker saw the future as something to turn toward with face upturned: “For the Māori, the inheritors of a millennial culture, theirs is a struggle without end into the world of light. They know the sun has set on the empire that colonised them. They know too it will set on the coloniser even if it takes a thousand years. They will triumph in the end, because they are tangata whenua.”



DON’T WORRY, I FEEL IT TOO Written by Emma Shi (

The astronaut learns to breathe at a certain pace. If you breathe too quickly, they say, you will use up too much air and all the oxygen will thin out around you. Your helmet will fog up and then all the stars will disappear into clouds. He learns not to cry, too. If you cry, they say, you will f ill up your helmet with salty water, and you will have to drink every last memory. Then comets will start looking like coral and you will end up at the bottom of the ocean. The astronaut is a quick learner. He practises his breathing every morning and learns to close his eyes whenever they start to water. The astronaut only has one flaw: his broken heart. Every night, his heart jolts and misses a beat. Sometimes it wakes him up and he ends up staring at the ceiling for hours at a time. Other nights, he manages to sleep through it and it’s like there was never anything wrong. He was born with this skip in the heart. But it is his only flaw, and so they do not let him go. When the astronaut turns 21, he starts feeling this jolt in his heart not only once, but twice a day. Off goes his heart like clockwork and all he can do is let it, the butterfly banging against bone. Sometimes he hears a distant chiming melody, but most of the time he’s back to sitting on the floor with empty hands. Soon, they find out that the astronaut’s condition is only getting worse. They get their best doctors in but all they leave are more deep red lines on his chest, and a heart that still stutters. The astronaut watches as they draw blood, as the liquid seeps up through IV lines with no success. The sight makes his breathing quicken so he closes his eyes, but he finds he can’t fix it anymore. All he can do is sit in silence, twice a day, and wait for the gears in his skin to shudder.


Emma Shi

Don’t Worry, I Feel It Too

One day, he tries to kill the butterfly himself. They find him with a knife at his chest and eyes closed, tears streaming down his cheeks. The knife was easy to steal; he took it from the piles of metal that they had used to try and fix him. The astronaut holds this knife now, and opens his eyes to two doctors standing motionless in front of him. They look at each other, and then back at him. It is a dare and the doctors win, nodding to him before walking away. The astronaut drops the knife to the floor, metal clattering on linoleum. A week later, they decide to send the astronaut earlier than they originally intended. It is five years lost of what could’ve been further preparation, but they predict that the butterfly would’ve eaten the astronaut’s heart by the second year. The doctors believe that the astronaut has only a couple months left on Earth. They tell him that this is his life’s work, that nothing will compare to seeing the sun in all its brilliance and recording the information that will save so many people's lives. The astronaut says nothing, and not even the butterfly in his chest makes a noise this time. They talk, but the emptiness does not talk back. *** One day they will eject the astronaut into space. He will fly past the moon, past Venus, past Mercury. They will attach a little camera to his suit so they can watch as his fingers stretch out but never quite reach stardust. He will see darkness for days at a time but sometimes also catches of light, moments of colour that will make his eyes widen, secrets of the universe that he will be the first to know. His heart will make no sound and they will be so proud of him, say, you’ve done it. When the astronaut finally runs out of air, he will close his eyes and breathe the way they taught him. The mission will be a success. But then his heart will skip a beat. Then another, then another. It will be like nothing else he has ever felt. It will remind him of his empty room and the phone on the counter, sitting there with a fine layer of dust. When the sun starts to melt his suit, his heart will be shuddering so hard that tears will form in his eyes. It will be more than one jolt; it will be a million earthquakes culminating in his bloodstream. The camera attached to his suit will start melting as well, and they will see a flicker of light before the screen cracks. But he will see so much more. He will see a woman playing piano and the melody will chime through his head like birdsong. When he starts to feel heat on his palms, he will also feel a song moving through his body, headphones and green grass, someone’s smile. He will feel a lump in his throat and he will hear shouts from his


Emma Shi

Don’t Worry, I Feel It Too

headpiece, from people on Earth. They will call things at him and their voices will hurt against the chiming. The final thing they will hear before the headpiece breaks is the sound of crying. As tears roll down his cheeks, broken pieces of metal will fizz and spark around him. He will see stars that look like constellations but the names will bring him no comfort. They taught him every single constellation but he never could see the shapes the stars made, the shapes that others saw. Even when they put holograms across the metal walls, all he saw were pinpricks. And even though it will be too late, he will hope that maybe the stars will sink into his skin and finally fix him. They never taught the astronaut anything that wasn’t needed for his mission but in that moment, he decides to pray. He once saw a woman crouched on the pavement outside his window, muttering with her palms against each other. She had an empty can by her side and a ragged woollen blanket. When she saw him staring, she looked up and smiled. He didn’t know what to do, so he quickly shut his window and stayed inside for the rest of the day. He never saw her again. The astronaut does this now, just as he feels a sharp burning pain. As he lifts his hands and starts whispering, his heartbeat begins to regulate and turn steady again. He does not know if it was the stars that did it or the piano playing through his brain but he can see someone clearly again, her fingers on his, helping him play out a tune. Humming along, she smiles just as the astronaut opens his eyes. But the burn catches up with his blood and soon his heart is ash again. His last word will be amen.





Visual Art

I have a working definition of poise, which came to me looking at paparazzi pictures of Rihanna crossing an iron grate in heels. She does it, often — always captured by the press — and what is she if not poised; as in, suspended in the moment before the pounce. Poise has no uniform but it requires a balance, made all the more difficult by a pair of stilettos. If that is not a display of power then tell me what is. Poise: a woman who is not about to slip through the cracks. Pipilotti Rist’s Pickelporno, on display at the Adam Art Gallery, begins with such an image. Silver heels, strappy, cross an iron grate, turning beam to bridge. It’s a calculated entrance, one loaded with intent; a woman dressed in yellow moves toward a man in blue. They greet one another, he hands her a rose, they fall into bed. If we think of porn, which so often insists sex take place in context — no matter how fanciful — then this is not that; it is also not erotica, which demands much of the same. No, this is sex as association. What do you see when you see a lemon? How does a flower fuck? How do you feel, seeing fingers plunged deep into watermelon flesh? What is the truth of sex, if not that it feels better than it looks it should? Laura Mulvey insisted on the idea of the woman as bearer of symbolic meaning, never being herself alone but the carrier of a history defined by what it means to be seen. Woman is not just person, and nor is man — they can be not that but they can’t be nothing more — because unless the viewer allows for sex to be something that erases the individual, then they must be read as agents in these actions; players in a game. How can they allow that, if we assume they never have before? What I’m saying is the body is more than the means, less than the message. This is a game of signs. In Pickelporno sensations have blurred outlines. Tactile emotions are translated into the visual, which melts into memory — the ever unreliable — and suddenly sex looks a lot like a pile of rocks, or two birds flying overhead. This overlay of images works to create a film that extends outwards, rather than inwards: a film that is impossible to penetrate. This is what Laura Marks would call a haptic mode of looking, tending not to “distinguish form so much as discern texture.” Love, which might be defined as believing the lies you tell your lover, is coarse in texture. Like sandpaper, it smoothes rough edges. Sex has more tactile potential: the goosebumps of a lemon; a flow of lava; an orange wedged in the crease of your knee; limbs turned to liquid under a firm hand. Poise in another sense, courtesy of the Oxford English Dictionary: a pause between two periods of motion. In the film, at the point just prior to climax, things speed up. Images flash — nature, flowers, plants, bodies — then they stop. And for a moment, we pause in the shadows of a blank screen. — Hanahiva Rose


Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays — George Orwell

Orwell is fashionable at the moment, particularly for Nineteen Eighty-Four. People are certain that they live in a time when their fundamental rights are in jeopardy, and a small group of elites are tearing down society, brick by brick, to their profit and our loss. While history never makes an exact copy of itself, it does repeat, so this isn’t a stupid belief. A good idea would be to learn what Orwell believed, without all the allegory. He was a democratic socialist, a church-going atheist, and a veteran of the Spanish Civil War. He believed much of what we believe today, but was able to explain himself better. The short essays in Shooting an Elephant paint Orwell as a furiously incisive critic of almost everything; literature, wars, politics, education, and even Gandhi. On principle, his writing is straightforward. The title essay is about his time in the imperial police in Burma and the unfair discrepancies he witnessed — and his own role in them. He shot a rampaging elephant dead because white men weren’t meant to be afraid, even though he was. His incompetence butchered the animal, but he was celebrated. To bring things back to a salient point, I want to argue that politically charged writing is complex. Saying that the Trump administration is like Animal Farm or that we’re living under “Big Brother” is too simple. These terms become just buzz words flung out of emotional frustration that the parallels exist. But what matters is education. What matters is knowing why you’re afraid or mad or leaping into action. Shallow arguments are easily traversed. Be smarter than that. But that’s a lot of politics. I’ll stop now. In conclusion, I think you should read this book. It’s strongly written by a man brimming with talent, it’s thought-provoking, and it’s really, really interesting. — Kimberley McIvor


Cards on the Table — Agatha Christie Cards on the Table knows exactly what it wants to be. At the start of the book, Christie immediately informs the audience that there are only four suspects. The case is straightforward. At a dinner party during a game of bridge, the host of the party is mysteriously murdered. The four people in the room become the suspects and each one has an equally believable alibi. The other four party members become the “detectives”, and from there the book branches out as the detectives investigate the past of each of the suspects and find further mysteries in them. The key is psychology. The only clue the detectives have to go on at first is the bridge game, which can explain what sort of person the killer is. A lot of care seemed to go into crafting the culprit, and while they might not necessarily be the greatest of Hercule Poirot’s foes, they are certainly a psychologically interesting one. Arguably the most important thing in this book is the introduction of Ariadne Oliver, a stand in for Christie herself. Ms Oliver gives the reader some insight into Christie and gives the book greater depth. Do not expect much drama until the third act. Additionally, knowing the rules of bridge can help in understanding many of the discussions. The writing itself is solid and there is a fair amount of humour. A solid mystery (one of Poirot’s best, and hardest, cases), fun interactions, and character depth make for a great read. Though it won’t be remembered as much as some of Christie’s other works, it challenges the reader in a brash and upfront way that few others dare. And it should be said, as a rare (for her time) example of a female author of detective fiction, Christie is worth reading. — Aaron Bishop



The first moving pictures ever produced were of a documentary nature. In 1895, the Lumière Brothers filmed trains in stations and factory workers heading home from work. It seems somewhat pedestrian now, but at the time these were great feats of science and were incredible to watch. Through the decades, documentaries have advanced to such a point that subject matter is no longer the most important aspect of the film. Instead, what draws in an audience are stylistic choices and the ingenuity of the director to convey their message through imagery and select uses of sound, colour, and tone. As well as this, the documentary has come to serve as a powerful form in which to present the controversial, beautiful, honest, hidden truth. Films such as Last Train Home or Jiro Dreams of Sushi focus on seemingly banal subjects, but the way they are executed leave lasting impressions on the viewer about how things such as happiness are to be achieved or perceived. On the other hand, overly informing an audience has become a style of its own, as seen in the brutal skinning of a fox in Earthlings, or the man in turquoise committing suicide in the opening sequence of The Bridge. Films like this have shone a light on what was previously hidden in plain sight, and have been huge turning points in people’s lives.


In the war-torn city of Aleppo, markets of people trying to feed their families, homes, and playgrounds filled with children and mothers, are all seen as fodder for the Russian military, ISIS, and the Assad regime. Last Men in Aleppo follows three Syrian men who chose to stay in their homes to do what they can as the White Helmets, a group who act as first responders to save civilian life following bombings and heartless attacks by their own government. With support from Aleppo Media Centre and citizen journalists, director Feras Fayyad — now an exile from his home country for fear of execution — documents cases of crimes against humanity, as well as a world of resilience and extreme courage. It is a crushingly painful watch as we follow the day to day life of these men, trapped in a city once their home, now forced to dig out the bodies of children from the rubble that was once houses, schools, and even playgrounds. The constant threat of death looms over the men we follow and even the crew themselves as we witness the day-to-day operations of a White Helmet aid worker. There’s not much to be said about a film that carries the weight of a subject matter so brutal; all there is to do is sit in awe and shame as you watch it. Sitting down to watch this film, I knew it was going to be a difficult experience. Within the first ten minutes, Khaled and Mahmood rush to the site of a bombed neighborhood, and laboriously dig through a ton of rubble to save the lives of three babies. After succeeding with the first two, we watch as the lifeless body of the third, partially crushed under stone, is uncovered through concrete dust and twisted metal. The film continues along these lines, juxtaposing tragedy with imagery of Khaled and Mahmood with their families, still trying to make things work under the carnage.


Film It is a strange thing to bear witness to such atrocities, feeling privileged to never have known such tragedy but also so helpless knowing that things like this happen on the same planet as your own with nothing you can do to help. The modesty and courage of the men depicted in this film is inspiring, but all I was left with were questions: “Where are the good guys? Why is nobody helping these people? Where is humanity?” — Mathew Watkins

MEAT (2017)

One of the reasons I love documentaries is that many of them seem to present one specific viewpoint, and in that respect take on a universal appeal. With that in mind, I’d like to start talking about Meat under the provision that, regardless of what you choose to eat, you seek out this film. The film analyses the perspectives and stories of a pig farmer, a sheep farmer, a chicken farmer, and a hunter, from across New Zealand. Regardless of whether or not you agree with a single word they say, they’ve got some fascinating ideas. The hunter is very philosophical about the ethics of killing animals and feels that most people who eat meat (or even choose vegetarianism) are merely misinformed about the way in which meat can be sourced. He certainly doesn’t feel like there’s any great injustice when he walks 10km up a snowy mountain to shoot a goat. In contrast, it is likely the pig farmer who will raise the most questions. If you take away the conditions under which he farms pigs (which could be considered incredibly ethical or incredibly unethical), he actually raises some other points that pertain to New Zealand, that of a general low quality of food which is causing us to become one of the most obese countries in the world. He also challenges us with the notion that he’ll stop producing so much pork as soon as New Zealanders stop letting 40% of food go to waste. I don’t want to put words into these people’s mouths, and again I urge you to go hear them out for yourselves, but I found much of what they had to say fascinating. Where some people might start to lose sympathy comes when the audience is shown some fairly comprehensive slaughter of animals. But to me it came as an important addition to the film. It may not be shocking to all, but the objective nature in which it is filmed certainly counts as informative material for those who may have their heads in the sand. The documentary’s ultimate strength lies in the sheer breadth of opinions covered in its relatively short run time. Each of the four people featured are given their own individual treatment, down to the setting and colour palette, and it gives the viewer a broad spectrum of facts and philosophies, as well as presenting a very good looking and well made film. What is even more interesting is its relatively loose stance, even given its subject. It may not have taught me anything I didn’t know already, but that’s just my experience, and don’t go into this film thinking of it as “meat propaganda” or “vegetarian propaganda” because it pays to be open about the content presented here. You never know, you might come to some conclusion you wouldn’t have formed otherwise. — Finn Holland





During school holidays between ages ten and 13, I would catch the bus down to Dunedin to stay with my cousin who was studying at Otago and working as a librarian. After her shifts at the library would finish, we would catch the bus back to her flat. My favourite game to play on those trips was memorising every single winner and runner up of Survivor. She ordered the soundtrack from eBay and we would dance around the yard chanting. Naturally, I became a huge fan of the show and, 15 years later, here I am writing about the very first season of Survivor New Zealand! First up, I’m impressed with Survivor NZ’s attempts to not be bogged down by that “kiwi reality television” vibe (I know you know what I mean). At $100,000 the grand prize falls quite short of the usual cool million in the US version, but they got the actual theme song, font, and filter for the opening credits, and even found someone who kind of looks like Jeff Probst, though that is mainly because his hat covers his face. Fake Jeff Probst is super amped throughout the whole episode and does a lot of yellnarrating, maybe a bit too much. He’s no Dom Bowden. Within five minutes we get a great selection of soundbites, from Louise’s “I actually didn’t know where South America or North America was,” to Sala’s “I’ll take on any gang member but I won’t take on a spider.” When the truck pulls up on the Nicaraguan beach for the show to begin, tattooed customer service worker Dee is quick to establish herself as a villain. Recalling her months of preparation, she says, “I started meditating and trying to figure out how to convince people I’m a decent person,” which really required The Bachelor’s knife sound. There’s a guy called Tom who looks like he makes craft brew at your friend’s flat. Rockabilly Hannah is a plus-size model AND a powerlifter; I like the cut of her jib.

After the tribes are assigned (Mogoton and Hermosa), there is a quick and confusing challenge to acquire food and camping implements, followed by a half hour of terrible attempts at forming alliances. I don’t think any of these people have watched Survivor before, except Dee, and no one is even talking to her. Everyone keeps calling Hannah weak because of her size, even though she is literally a fucking powerlifter. Snap forward to the double Tribal Council and Dee and Hannah are both eliminated, while everyone on their respective tribes look down at their feet so as to avoid conflict. In a “surprise” twist, a very surly looking Hannah and Dee return to the beach for a chance at returning to the game — Hannah looks so angry and her tribe seems very afraid. Fake Jeff Probst yells that they must “duel” one another for the right to return, by tying some sticks together and using them as poles to retrieve hanging keys and open a “door” (sticks, it’s a frame of sticks). Hannah powerlifts the heck out of those sticks and wins the challenge, but she must spend the night alone on “Redemption Island”; she’s stoked because her tribe is full of SNAKES. For the second time tonight Dee’s elimination is announced and she must leave Nicaragua, but not before giving the speech of a lifetime: “One thing everyone didn’t know is that Survivor is actually my life. I’ve watched every season about three times. I listen to podcasts for about 40 hours a week. I’ve listened to 600 hours of audiobooks. I follow every blogger. I’m a Survivor superfan... My life has been a Survivor fan. Just not a survivor.” I am in tears. Catch Survivor NZ on Sundays at TVNZ On Demand, because no one has a TV. — Katie Meadows



GAMES Flinthook Developer/Publisher: Tribute Games Platform: PS4, PC (Windows), Xbox One Review copy supplied by publisher.

Roguelike games — traditionally RPGs containing procedurally generated environments, permadeath, turn-based combat, and tile-based graphics — have been around since the early days of computer gaming, but seem to be becoming more popular in recent years, especially among indie developers. The modern interpretations, perhaps best called “rogue-lites”, combine the procedural generation and permadeath of traditional roguelikes with modern graphics and gameplay styles. One such game, The Binding of Isaac, is single-handedly responsible for reviving the genre and can rightfully be called one of the best indie games ever made. Flinthook, therefore, is in very good company. An action-platformer with the aforementioned roguelike elements, you play as the titular Captain Flinthook, a space pirate and bounty hunter raiding ships for treasure and hunting down elusive bosses. In terms of the story, that’s pretty much the extent, but with gameplay as good as this game has, who needs it? The game’s major innovation is the grappling hook, with each room designed to have you swinging from point to point while taking down enemies with your plasma gun and collecting some sweet loot. It’s a personal belief of mine that any game with a grappling hook is instantly better, so needless to say I was hooked (pun totally intended). Everything you do once you start a run is centred on the left stick, used not only to control your movement but also for aiming your grappling hook and plasma gun. The control is tight, but not so much as to heavily punish you for making tiny mistakes; your character’s movement feels incredibly intuitive and is very satisfying, especially when using the hook in mid-air. Having everything bound to the same stick can feel a little weird, especially the shooting — my preference would be to have this bound to the right stick — but I found myself

getting used to it after a few levels. The difficulty feels just right: it’s challenging, but never cheap. You can even slow down time if you find yourself in a tight spot. Each run is split into chapters, requiring you to raid a set number of ships before facing a boss for their bounty. Though there are modifiers which add certain obstacles such as low gravity or infestations of certain enemy types, the basic layout for most levels is similar: a linear path with a couple of side rooms containing shops or chests. There is the occasional labyrinthine level, though because you can choose which version of a level you prefer, they are mostly optional. Backtracking through levels can be a little tedious, though since you keep whichever rewards you earn, even when you die, it is still worthwhile. While the game does utilise pixel art, as is common for many retro-styled platformers and rogue-lites, the art they use is incredible. The character designs are rather cute and give the game a cartoon-like playfulness that I adore. There is some great chiptune inspired music to keep you pumped up, the intro track being a definite highlight. The game being a rogue-lite, I can see myself returning to Flinthook over and over again just to see if I can beat my high score, something I haven’t felt from a game in a long time. While many of its key elements aren’t exactly original (the grappling hook being an exception, of course), their execution is nothing short of superb. Just be warned: if you aren’t prepared, you are probably going to die repeatedly. But I reckon you will be hooked nonetheless (sorry, but that pun is just so good I had to use it again!) — Cameron Gray




56 56 56

Wednesday: Eyegum Wednesdays — As per, Eyegum is putting on its weekly sonic feast, and this time it’s going to be weird, loud, and detuned. Get down to San Fran to catch Sex Golem and Mothers Dearest and jumble up your brains a little before your next class on Thursday. From 9.00pm. Thursday: The Bats “The Deep Set” Tour — These guys are bloody kiwi royalty m8! Catch them touring their latest album before they jump over to Europe, because heaven forbid you not be in the know about a New Zealand band touring the great white continent. They’ll be at Meow from 8.00pm. Friday: Nation “Air” Release Show — Nation are a soul/funk/rock/pop four-piece guaranteed to bring the groove to your Friday evening, and for only $10 you’ll get a rollicking good show and a copy of their new single. Prefab Hall, 8.00pm. Saturday: Ha The Unclear “Big City” Single Release — These fun lil’ dudes once opened for Courtney Barnett, so they have earned at least ten Cool Indie Kudos Points. They’re playing Caroline from 9.00pm, and it should be a lovely sonic frolic. Sunday: Space Place Presents: TEETH and Earth Tongue — M8 you get to see two of Welly’s hottest damn bands in a gosh darn planetarium! This selection spans the generational gap, so is bound to please baby boomers and snake people alike. These two bands are gonna hit you right in the face so hard you’d be seeing stars if you weren’t already. Space Place from 8.30pm.

Music Podcast



99% Invisible

Who’s the sadist that designed push/pull doors? What makes a sign internationally understood? How do you design a nuclear symbol so that future generations know not to disturb toxic waste? Why did a small-town American church congregation feel obliged to smuggle political refugees into the country? When did Sweden switch over from driving on the left to the right? Where exactly is Busta Rhymes Island? Well, if you’re at all interested in questions like these, then I implore you to search for 99% Invisible on your listening devices. All of these questions and many more are answered in fascinating detail as each episode goes in-depth on an aspect of design, from curious oddities to political movements and everything in between. The information is presented in a clear and engaging way by host and creator, Roman Mars. Listening to his show has given me a renewed appreciation for the urban space that we live in. For example, I was on the crowded route 17 bus into university while listening to Episode 257: “Reversing the Grid”, about solar panels. Did you know they could return excess unused electricity back into the electric grid, reducing your bill? Did you also know that the first man to hook up solar panels to the power grid did it without asking permission from the power company? I had never once thought that solar panels, of all things, could have such a rock ‘n’ roll origin! Times can be tough, and it doesn’t hurt to take the time to appreciate the history and method of what we experience as global citizens. To start with, I recommend jumping in from whichever headline catches your attention, as each episode covers its own subject (the earliest episodes are shorter and not as high quality, audio-wise). It’s easy to take the designs of what we experience for granted, but it’s the clouded peak that we don’t end up seeing; clever design ends up being 99% Invisible. — Dennis Lim



PIZZA EXPRESS 12/148 Willis Street

Picking up what was left of an Italian-owned pizza bar that served pizza ordained with organic mozzarella from bulls residing on the hills of Tuscany, the folks from Pizza Express knew they could not offer the same product if they wanted their entrepreneurial pizza dreams to succeed. This meant channelling less Tuscan bulls and more American pizza chain bravado. Something that worked to their advantage, given the close proximity of many student residences and unaffordable food options. Drawing on their collective experience in the pizza trade, the Pizza Express folks decided that it was perhaps time to seize the means of production for themselves and use their knowhow, accumulated over the years, to produce their own product. Manager Bobby, who runs the shop and curated the menu, says that the satisfaction that has come from being unencumbered by the tentacles of large hierarchical frameworks means that he can work without pressure and, in his words, be granted “full freedom.” This is particularly relevant now, in light of the recent battle between Unite Union and Restaurant Brands — a large company that runs numerous fast-food chains (including Pizza Hut) — over the past few weeks about its reluctance to grant a marginal increase ($0.10) to workers’ wages for the year. Pizza Express stands tall among its more monstrous rivals, reminding us that this is not just a paltry comparative exercise in convenience and gluttony, but instead a David and Goliath battle. This is most evident by Pizza Express’s endeavour to match its larger competitors on price, with large basic pizzas available from $7, despite the lack of supply chain networks to draw on. In fact, as Bobby suggests, this inadvertently ensures that all their ingredients are as fresh as possible, an ethos that the shop prides itself on. This assertion was demonstrated as I tucked into one of their famous specials, the Veggie Korma Pizza. I was told that this was the only such offering in the whole of New Zealand and that the korma sauce is homemade from a mild blend of cashew nuts and coconut cream. This

pizza was a novelty, and pleasantly surprised me. The vegetables retained their bite and original flavour as they had promised. Not done yet, Pizza Express continue to draw on the spectrum of Indian flavours from their cultural cannon, masterfully offering Paneer (cottage cheese) on their pizzas, and even an absurd Butter Chicken pizza, which I remain unsure about. The menu is broad and is able to accommodate most, with the dough recipe being that of a “crispy base.” At times I have gone with the option of creating my own pizza, with the Paneer and Pineapple Pizza being in a league of its own. Nevertheless, explaining the sharp learning curve during the opening phase of the shop, Bobby says they had to keep their ears to the ground, responding to customer feedback and needs. One effect of this has been the introduction of significant vegan cheese and gluten-free options. The diverse ethnic and gender makeup of the shop is progressive, refreshing, and more than can be said for pizza chains such as Tommy Millions. The humility and forthright nature of the crew at Pizza Express is not only endearing but stands as an antithesis to other pizza places in Wellington, which are either symbols of repression, or signs that pizza must only be for the solipsism of a gilded life. — Shariff Burke

guitar pedals at their feet instead of t entire shows staring down at the spen s band that fact the r afte ed ar playing, and average poem-writing Shoegaze is a strange genre, nam particularly laden in clichés, sad guit ic mus of kind a It’s to. ing play these stereotypes are accurate. looking at the crowds they were too publicly. To be honest, many of little a ably prob s tion emo onal teens expressing some pers t well only a couple of years later. Their mos r first album Just For A Day came out thei and The 18 t ten. abou writ ’ve were they s they n song whe est Slowdive formed e of the best and sadd came out in 1993 and featured som of in laki kind Souv is m) gaze albu e shoe of ssibl joy acce t The mos known (and ” stick out in my memory. gger “Da k trac ed nam y aptl ’90s the early from ” 2000s, but made in the lyrics “The world is full of noise, yeah a bit like emo music was in the early it’s , wise d moo and tent Con a. this excessive embrace of melodram bit more tasteful in general. when people were probably just a alion, they ’ve put out together since Pygm m after a 20 year gap. It’s the first albu d title selfof a e th mor four r is m thei albu sed However, this new This week, Slowdive relea ient experiment in mood and texture. amb back ped s they strip idea a of and e ds mor soun was of r, revisiting the kind their 1995 album that ng seeing the band, now 20 years olde resti ld make inte wou It’s . ng laki. You Souv Neil 3’s or 199 U2 to r like spiritual successo orar y, but not in the way acts emp cont e mor bit a feel itely s defin k to what they know sounds were exploring as teenagers. The song and stay relevant. Slowdive have stuc try to d soun r thei lop deve to g tryin I think people are). “contemporary records.” They’re not exploring in the early ’90s (which le are still into the sounds they were peop ing hop be to seem and good of ar lines that lead into droney walls feature clean digitally delayed guit Pill” the for ar ably “Sug prob le d sing you’ and closest thing in shoegaze The opening track “Slomo” and “Souvlaki Space Station”, the ” Hits Sun The drums e en b-lik “Wh ks eola trac Ster i st album featuring almo sound, like on the Souvlak t new sounding tracks on the new mos the of a one is ring y” Wh featu , w dive Kno n’t Slow get to “bangers”. “Do es” is also quite new territory for ls from Rachel Goswell. “Falling Ash ath. The typically and quicker than usual ethereal voca ient musical ideas shifting underne dy looped over lots of different amb melo o pian ’t completely lost le hasn simp band que the o-es r mot inde Ryuichi Saka Neil Halstead, is a nice rem and well Gos both by sang ,” eeee tlov melodramatic refrain “thinkinabou ce material. sour age teen ssive obse it’s with h touc very purposeful and well thought out. s of the new record, which all seem part rent diffe the starts, it ng ucti nstr deco on; where one part ends and another You could spend a lot of time d time thinking about the producti spen you if you; hit it let just to However, I think it’s best

Slowdive by Slowdive

58 Music

— Olly Clifton

(and a love letter to Shoegaze)

; it’s lessly. That’s the beauty of shoegaze ing is supposed to meld together seam ; hop hip or ae regg ) of s can get a bit over whelming. Everyth type tain this way it can be like (cer In ted. plica com that y icall mus or not often technically the piece of music. the loops and grooves that make up you’ve got to let yourself just fall into hologically complex and something n in music in general is quite psyc essio depr and ess sadn rds towa on The gravitati not all music is sad, but our obsession any accurate analysis of. Obviously ide prov to ified ing: qual not itely I’m defin out of music too) is definitely strik ss pretty much ever y genre (in and acro le peop es bled trou mem e for quit y erial reall mat with rise of sadness as y Winehouse, Michael Jackson. The al soci — al norm y fairl Lou Reed, Kurt Cobain, Tupac, Am is k t I like to thin ng that (at least within my — wha from es com ent cont of and internet culture is also somethi kind this sure in noticeable lately too. Maybe the plea media bubble) has been particularly time as well”. Whatever the reason, the all shit this feel you “oh, etic path sym a g, thin of kind it” a “talking about ars and ambient noise is c experimentation like droney guit soni t over uses that ic sad mus sad tly listening to over shy away from. It’s good to be that that you shouldn’t feel you have to one it’s ce; rien expe artic cath a definitely that ’s sad too. sometimes and find solace in stuff with place to start. It’s a great record filled dive by Slowdive is probably a good e plac er bett a still ably For the new shoegaze listener, Slow prob . Souvlaki is ried would be lost as the band aged capture the kind of truly ever will band the k a lot of feeling that I was a little wor thin t for whatever reason I don’ but ns, ptio once prec algic The Jesus and Mar y nost and e, my to start; maybe it’s just by My Bloody Valentin gaze classics to check out are Loveless shoe er Oth m. Mojave 3 in the albu as k that wor in ’s did well raw emotion they stead. Halstead and Gos Slowdive’s main songwriter Neil Hal for on like The Shocking irati insp acts y early orar an emp ds, cont klan Chain’s Dar unplugged. In New Zealand, tly sligh and ed refin e mor it’s ; well ed out emotion. VUW export late ’90s and early 2000s is good as with shoegaze / dream poppy wash ion ntat rime expe ng resti inte in atically similar in its raw honesty. Pinks and Glass Vaults are engaging , not really shoegaze at first but them stuff ng resti inte rly icula part e som Grayson Gilmour is also up to . If e the band what they are at their best a revisit of the classic tropes that mak and e genr the to age hom t . grea loud a Slowdive by Slowdive is sit down for a bit, and turn them up re, maybe wait for the next rainy day, you haven’t listened to Slowdive befo

59 Music



This generous time

Out of the blue, Bibhu Padhi, a distinguished poet from India, sent us some of his unpublished work. Padhi suffered from a migraine for 44 years; it stopped last year, but during one particularly bad attack in December 1974 he took three antipain tablets on an empty stomach and had to go to hospital. It was after witnessing five people die from his hospital bed that he came to poetry:

It seemed as if everyone was dying. When I came back home, I decided to write two poems, each based on two deaths. One of the dead was a young boy who died of kidney failure; the other one — quite young, and married — died of cancer. Since this beginning, Padhi’s expanded to many other topics and published his poetry in multiple publications (including The New Criterion and Indian Review) and put out eleven collections of poetry. We asked him about his experiences, how a poem becomes a poem:

I always look forward to the first line. It takes about a week to arrive. Once that is done, I let the first line stay in my head for another week or so. Finally I choose to write the poem. Once the first line has come, the next lines come slowly and gently. It is very difficult to write a good love poem without being sentimental at the same time. As far as my treatment of love goes, most of my love poems hardly describe a woman’s body. They could be called “spiritual.” There are other kinds of love poems though. My love for my grandmother, the hungry children in Ethiopia, the imaginary daughter. I do not have a daughter — only two sons.


Features Poem



For a long time I haven’t loved myself, this body and all that it calls mine, all that has risen in time.

The taste of last evening’s sadness is still in the mouth.

I have only struggled to come to terms with all that belongs elsewhere, all that was never mine. Years have passed in the darkness of a world that had lost itself among words and incoherence. There have been lovers in plenty — girls who knew well how to use things and cleverness. There have been too many thoughts to comply with, or none at all; the sleeping bed knows how. But today, at this quiet hour of intimacy, I realise how beautiful the body can be, how real the eyes, what it does not find. The soul’s prayer to be ever with it, the mind’s easy games, a secret wind’s loving pressure on the skin. There are other affections too, other wishes that generate energy and life, far from neuralgia, migraine and a reasonless lethargy. I guess, this body is fine as it is and I need not ask for more than it needs, more than just life’s happy residency.

A sadness of love, its absences, the world’s reluctance to take notice of it. All those who I thought were mine, are busy finding their own explanations, fluent like their own past, as if they knew all that was going to happen. As it was yesterday, I am all heart, inarticulate in its efforts to say something that might matter in some distant future. As always, love is elsewhere, at some gloomy station of this vastness that is supposed to be my lot, waiting to be noticed, taken care of. And I am so far away, so much lost to myself, I don’t even know where it waits. Perhaps I should soon be leaving this place, which I call mine. Love is dying.

Let money grow on trees, the rich prosper enough to turn into gods, but please, let me stay here, with this body, this generous time.

– Bibhu Padhi



Sudoku difficulty: Medium




Make as many words of three letters or more as you can. Each word must contain the letter in the central square. Target goals: Good: 11 words Great: 14 words Impressive: 16 words



1. Centrally (2,5) 5. Open, like toothpaste (5) 8. Company that recently released an ill-advised Kendall Jenner ad (5) 9. Provide support to a political candidate, maybe (7) 11. Lover of one's country (7) 12. Butler in 'Gone with the Wind' (5) 13. So far (3) 14. Go bad (3) 15. Doze in the daytime (3) 16. Off-the-cuff (9) 17. "Agreed!" (3) 18. B or C, in the Spice Girls (3) 19. Old place for travelers to stay (3) 20. Phantom of the Opera's instrument (5) 22. Shoot-and-run crime, colloquially (5-2) 23. 'Guernica' artist (7) 24. Start of a speech (5) 26. Corner pieces in chess (5) 27. Vanilla ____ (baking ingredient) (7)


1. Roadie's load, maybe (3) 2. B or C, to a doctor (9) 3. Things you can 'spend' in some video or tabletop games to get skilla... whoops (7,6) 4. British currency that has Adam Smith on the bacj... uh oh (6,5,4) 6. Bend in a road (5) 7. Thing a stereotypical parrot sayd... ugh, hold on (6,5) 10. 2014 Nicky Hager book that got Judith Collins to resigm... shit (5,8) 11. Bottle-shaped object that sprays streamerw... damn it, where's the backspace key? (5,6) 15. Famous Downing Street address (6,3) 21. Type of lizard that communicates by 'chirping' (5) 25. It's found in a lode (3)




Nothing says liberal student magazine like an amalgamation of star signs and political commentary! So here are your horoscopes for the week, which have been inexplicably combined with an MP who shares your star sign to see how their life can inspire your’s.

— Aubergine and Celeste

Taurus: Apr 20–May 20 Andrew Little Bulls are known for being stubborn, so show off your skills this week by embracing your inner Angry Andy and scowling at anyone who isn’t in a union. #scabs Gemini: May 21–Jun 20 Todd Barclay It’s time to shoot for the stars! Jazz up your life like fellow Gemini Todd, who transformed from a tobacco lobbyist to a completely partisan politician. Amazing! Cancer: Jun 21–Jul 22 David Seymour Who are you? What are you doing? These are some questions that Crabs are pretty used to hearing. Take inspiration from Seymour who is never afraid to be his tax-hating, strange-Snapchat-sending self ! Leo: Jul 23–Aug 22 Jacinda Ardern/John Key The forecast for Leos this fortnight is that you should really get into politics because you will instantly be the most popular and charismatic MP of your party. Virgo: Aug 23–Sep 22 Annette King If you’re hoping to live forever, then congratulations! Embrace your inner Annette King this week and settle in for a long ride in a stable job that you really enjoy for the rest of your life. Libra: Sep 23–Oct 22 Rob Muldoon Oh boy. Libras are known for working hard for their money, and Muldoon certainly made the ENTIRE country do that. Make sure you sometimes think about other people though, or you too could become the country’s least popular PM of all time.

Scorpio: Oct 23–Nov 21 Jan Logie/Grant Robertson Not going to lie here my Scorpios, you definitely came out tops in the “cool MPs to share a star sign with” competition. What a testament to your unfaltering determination to always do what you think is right at any cost. Sagittarius: Nov 22–Dec 21 :’’( I spent 15 minutes on Google and couldn’t find a single NZ politician born under Sagittarius. Probably because y’all are too busy being wild cards. Keep all your friends guessing this week by piercing your eyebrow. Capricorn: Dec 22–Jan 19 Bill English Maybe you too will be surprised with a new really big job that you failed at last time! Don’t worry though, as long as you make absolutely no substantive actions in the new job then no one will care… Aquarius: Jan 20–Feb 18 Gerry Brownlee Aquarians are independent thinkers who take little notice of other people’s opinions of them. But take a leaf from Gerry’s book this week and avoid speaking out against your superior on the Israel/Palestine crisis. Idk though, you do you. Pisces: Feb 19–Mar 20 Judith Collins Pisces are known to be sensitive and caring souls, which is why everyone loves you. But this week, take some inspo from your star sign bestie Crusher Collins by taking a concrete pill and hardening up a little. Aries: Mar 21–Apr 19 Steven Joyce Your star sign match is reflective of your resilience and ability to bounce back from any trouble! Just like that dildo bounced back off of Steven Joyce’s face, for example ;)













Volume 80 | Issue 09  
Volume 80 | Issue 09