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July 9, 2007 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Exec piss on each other, Hayward pissed off but not doing anything about it

Theft, stripping and the consumption of urine were on the agenda when the VUWSA executive attended the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) conference in Christchurch during the mid-year break.

A ‘New Zealand Cricket Turf Maintenance Facility’ sign was stolen from the Lincoln cricket ground, which was signed by each exec member who attended the conference, and presented to a VUWSA staff member upon the exec’s return to Wellington.

The conference was attended by students’ associations from around the country and included discussions on universal student allowances, quality in tertiary education, and building and maintaining relationships with students.

President Geoff Hayward says he was unaware that he was signing stolen property, and believed it to be a large floor tile. He was unable to comment on why the exec would be giving the VUWSA staff member a floor tile.

Lincoln University Students’ Association (LUSA) Vice President Brian Dunkley was making enquiries about the sign, and had no immediate comment.

A ‘debt monster’ costume was also stolen from Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association (OPSA) by VUWSA Education Vice-President Joel Cosgrove. Cosgrove laughingly described to Salient how he wore the costume whilst hiding in a cupboard before the costume was later returned. OPSA President Richard Mitchell told Salient the matter has been resolved and declined to comment further.

VUWSA Queer Rights Officer Rachael Wright raised eyebrows when she attended a formal dinner in a miniskirt and what she describes as an “amazing black faux-fur crop-top sleeveless vest”, with the words ‘safe space’ written on her stomach.

Wright says Barnard wrote the words on her stomach after heckling from other associations’ executives during her karaoke performance.

“Sehai [Orgad – President of Waikato Students’ Union] and one of the girls from OUSA [Otago University Students’ Association] started yelling at me that it was a safe space…and that I was being objectified, and all I’ve said about the matter really is that the point of having safe spaces is that women can express themselves how they want to without being objectified.”

Wright also stripped in a Christchurch bar and urinated on a street in front of the exec, before Activities Officer Bernard-Bernard Galaxy licked her urine off the footpath, sources have told Salient.

The exec also staged a walk-out at one point in the conference after Cosgrove was not given speaking rights to speak on a motion he had put forward, according to Environmental Officer Tushara Kodikara.

Kodikara says the exec were also fed up with only being able to speak through two chief delegates – Hayward and Ngai Tauira Tumuaki Maryjane Waru – which meant they were continually caucusing to tell the chief delegates what to say. The exec changed their chief delegates several times in an attempt to get around this – as Hayward says, “exploit[ing] a standing order so as to allow people to speak.”

Despite this, NZUSA Co-President Josh Clark says Cosgrove was granted speaking rights on numerous occasions throughout the conference, and says NZUSA’s main concern was that VUWSA were represented through their main delegates.

Kodikara says it was the defeat of VUWSA’s motion that ‘NZUSA supports the democratically elected government of Palestine’ which led to exec members walking out.

“NZUSA doesn’t support democracy and doesn’t support caucusing,” says Kodikara.

According to Barnard, the majority of the exec walked out, whilst she, Hayward and International Officer Genevieve Fontanier remained to hear the end of a motion. Fontanier and Barnard left shortly after, to find the rest of the executive outside eating the afternoon tea provided.

Mike Heine, spokesman for Student Choice, the campus group promoting voluntary student union membership, says he’s not surprised by the incidents at the conference. “We would expect nothing more from the current VUWSA executive who have been abusing their position all year.”

Hayward told Salient that no action would be taken internally, but students should hold the exec accountable if they “feel aggrieved” by the behaviour of their representatives.

Hayward says, “any specific issues were dealt with between exec members and associations, such as LUSA and NZUSA. I think it’s important that students know that every executive at VUWSA understands their responsibility to the students, but also we are responsible to ourselves.”

Hayward says the conference was otherwise “incredibly constructive”.

CORRECTION: The stolen sign was signed by each exec member who attended the conference, not by every exec member, as was previously implied. Education Officers Paul Brown and Stefan Tyler, and Treasurer Alexander Neilson were not in attendance, and did not sign it – News Ed.


About the Author ()

With her take-no-prisoners, kick-ass attitude, former News Editor Laura McQuillan adequately makes up for her lack of stature. Roaming the corridors (and underground tunnels) of the University by day, and hunting vampires and Nazi war criminals by night, McQuillan will stop at nothing to bring you the freshest news.

Comments (50)

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  1. Jean-Michel says:

    How embarrassing.

  2. I am not aware of who this “democratically elected government of Palestine” is meant to refer to, but one thing is obvious, the motion wouldn’t be supported by me. VUWSA claims to represent me, but often doesn’t. The way to end mis-representation (with our compulsory levies, increased by 21% last year) is to make VUWSA membership voluntary. VSM will mean that VUWSA will be forced to listen to its members and provide value for money to them, or elese it will loose its members. It will bring real accountibility.

  3. Tush says:

    Laura slightly misquoted me here, the first motion was “NZUSA recognise the democratically elected government of Palestine”, which is in support of the people of Palestine, as they where the ones that voted for their chosen government. It was not in support of the government.

    The second motion was that “NZUSA recognise democratically elected governments”, which was also voted against.

    The third motion was that “NZUSA recognise democratically elected governments of nations” (which excludes Palestine and Taiwan), which was also voted against.

    This is why we walked out. The VUWSA exec recognise any democratically elected governments, (in fair elections) chosen by the people. Surely Nick, for what you say you stand for, you too must agree in recognising people’s choice of government.

  4. I guess the democratically elected government of Palestine wouls be the Palestinian National Authority. Yes, I do support recognizing democratically elected governments, when they are constitutionally legitamate, though I would only vote for the third motion. “internationally recognized nations” could be better wording for the third motion. I’m not keen on the walkout though.

  5. Lou says:

    What bullshit. So when exactly did NZUSA turn into the UN? What a waste of time! I’m glad the motion was defeated.

    How long is it going to take you to realise that it’s crap like this that has the VSM brigade baying for your blood. If you stop acting like dicks and start doing your jobs – you know, actually doing stuff for students – then VUWSA might have a chance of surviving the next government.

    And as for Rachel Wright, what a fucking disgrace. Someone should roll her.

  6. Candi says:

    I’m sure lots of people have “rolled” her ;-)

  7. Harry says:

    VUWSA does not conduct foreign affairs. Why the do they feel the need to decide which governments to recognise? NZUSA was right to vote down all the motions. Compulsory student organisations should not play politics in other people’s name with other people’s money.

  8. Clowns the lot of them. Warms the heart it does to know that our future is safe in the hands of these morons.

  9. of course says:

    Another kick in the guts for those wanting VUWSA to remain compulsory.

    Seriously, if the VUWSA Exec wants VSM, then they are going about it the right way.

    When I find myself in agreement with David Farrar (see ), then I know there is a problem.

  10. nzv8fan says:

    Oh, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I will not identify what Association I am from, however, everthing that happened in this article is true. However, please do not use VUWSA as an example of what happens at other Students’ Associations. 99% of them (except VUWSA), represent their students well. And that was the guts of the Palestine motion. That we are not representing individual views, we are representing the views and the mandate of our students. Therefore we cannot pass a motion such as that because we simply do not have a mandate to do so.

  11. Jean-Michel says:

    It’s frankly insulting that these people treat their positions like jokes. You get the feeling that the majority of the Exec are on the board simply to prop up their CV’s.

    It’s so disappointing.

  12. nzv8fan fan says:

    nzv8fan, stop staring at Racheal’s breasts, we know who you are!

  13. Rachael says:

    I think you’ll all find that any hijinks that occurred in Christchurch were actually on our own time, NOT on student money. If anyone would like to talk to us about the things we achieved at conference, please contact any member of your exec.

    This article has not noted that we were the only students’ association that had members facilitating workshops at conference (with both Joel and Tush taking workshops, and myself co-facilitating discussion at women’s conference).
    Also, whilst at conference, I had an amazing time with queer executive members from other associations, and received great feedback on many initiatives that both myself and UniQ are doing. Speaking personally, the UniQ at Victoria seems to have a much more active and productive relationship with their Queer Officer than many other institutions.

    So I can say, despite my dancing (during which I removed a shirt, nothing else, you guys wanna see real stripping? I’ll show you real stripping!) and pissing on the street (and who has never done that before?) I feel I had a productive time at conference.

    Also, the motion in regard to the democratically elected government of Palestine was a NZUSA motion, not a VUWSA conference.

  14. Evee says:

    kids will be kids

  15. Regan Peek says:

    Shame on you VUWSA. As a former student of CPIT (with CSM) all I got out of those pricks was a cold sausage every couple of weeks at the free SA bbq. Don’t know where the rest of the $100 was going. Many students work very hard at attaining the qualifications required for entering the workforce and the last thing they need is to be further financially burdened by this bunch of communist-sympathisers behaving in a childish manner. How dare they. May I say generally the quality of the courses at CPIT are excellent, no thanks to the SA. VOLUNTARY==FREEDOM.

  16. Media = Freedom ?

  17. dad4justice says:

    These intellectual VUWSA delinquents should understand it is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no person can sincerely try to help another without first helping him or herself . However , what would I expect as this lewd behaviour is typical from a hierarchically structured student administration where people tend to be promoted up to their level of incompetence .

  18. Peter says:

    D$J.. go away you sad little boy!

  19. Clint Heine says:

    Student Choice are getting their work done for them at the moment. VUWSA could be the catalyst for the rest of the country to go voluntary. I suspect that this years bunch are taking the piss, led by a weak President (poor bloke).

    Put it this way, the NZUSA conference involved exec members voted in by less than 10% of their member unions, and involved student politicians playing grown ups. Only thing is they spend student money travelling to conference and I suspect some funds were involved in getting them in that state of drunkeness :)

  20. I would like to note that I was also not at this conference and was not involved in the after hours activities noted in the article.

    I do however support democraticly elected governments and support the actions of the VUWSA reps on this issue.


  21. Mike Heine says:

    Alex – you support the behaviour of your fellow reps? Deep down I don’t think that’s true, otherwise you wouldn’t have made a comment to say you weren’t there.
    Not that I or many would compare an incorporated society (with just 1000 voters) to a government either, but if we were to play that game I don’t believe any voter of any government expect their elected officials to behave in the way these exec members did.

    But the more they try to defend the indefensible, the more the student body will see how arrogant and out of touch these members truly are.

    Honestly, us voluntary supporters has never had it better than we have right now. Any chances the compulsory movement had of being taken seriously has been, quite literally, pissed away.

  22. Bernie Galaxy says:

    Your an Idiot, have you ever stopped to think how out of touch you are, I bet you haven’t had sex in years, mabey I could teach you afew things…

  23. Joel Cosgrove says:

    //Only thing is they spend student money travelling to conference and I suspect some funds were involved in getting them in that state of drunkeness :)//

    Want to back that up?

  24. Aaron says:

    Rachael should’ve worn real fur – that would’ve been making a stand!

    I happily piss on the streets of CHristchurch – the place is foul!

  25. Phillip says:

    Joel, please be quiet. Whoever it was said “suspect” – he didn’t say it was definite – and, also, he never specifically said some STUDENT funds were involved. Don’t cry.

    Alexander, thanks for letting us know you weren’t at the conference – we would have thought less of you if you were. I’ve said before that you’re a good man and I stand by that statement. However, I would like to ask you whether you feel that your constituents (that is, the students at VUW) all feel the same. If not, I don’t feel that you should support a motion such as was suggested. Remember, you represent us. (At least in theory)


  26. I must say that while we do try and represent the views of the majority of students I think some points need to be made:

    1. We are all elected for our skills and our views, students are able to ask us about our beliefs and ideas before elections. We therefore have a mandate from those students who voted (remember decisions are made by those who turn up) to make decisions to support things or vote on things based on our beliefs

    2. We are all required to stick to policies established by students in SRC’s, General Meetings and policies set by previous executives (we can change these ones) these policies are held in the policy book and it provides strong support for democracy.

    3. Also I believe that most students believe in free democracy and I do not believe that some people should be allowed to have their votes recognised while others are denied this freedom.

    Therefore I believe I have the support to express my views in this way by supporting this motion. I also support students to attend and take part in the meetings noted above to shape the policies and actions of VUWSA and to stand and vote in elections to ensure that VUWSA does represent the views of students.

    I also invite any students who wish to contact me regarding VUWSA, our policies, any questions you may have about what we are doing, and any other problems I may be able to help with.

    I can be e-mailed at, called at vuwsa on: 463 6980 or if I am not there you can ring reception on 463 6716 (you can also contact other members of the exec at this number) txt messaged or rung on my cellphone 021 329 681 or visited in the VUWSA offices. I do not currently have regular office hours but I am in the office most days and please feel free to pop in for a chat or txt / call / email me to set up a time (I can often organise meetings at short notice if you txt me)

    Appologies for the length of this post


  27. David Farrar says:

    Oh what nonsense Alex. Most students support democracy does not equal a licence to waste time and money on debating Hamas vs Fatah, If you want to do that go join the Politics Club.

    VUWSA has a duty to students to focus on issues of relevance to students as students, not students as global citizens as was the case with NZUSA pre 1986. There are ten million other organisations in the world which can advocate for human rights, for democracy for Hamas etc. There is no other organisation than can advocate for VUW students.

    What Alex and others fail to recogonise that having the incredible privilege of legislative compulsion of membership means there are responsibilities that go with that compulsion. A compulsory organisation has a far higher duty of care to its members than a voluntary one, as members can not quit.

    The Executive shows no sign at all of recognising the immense privilege they have, and the duty they owe students.

    I’m a huge supporter of free trade. I think free trade does more to help humanity and bring people out of poverty than anything else. But I’d be mightily pissed off I VUWSA started moving motions in support of reducing agricultural subsidies at an NZUSA conference, even if I agreed with it. Sure I could invent same lame justification that there is an SRC policy about helping people out of poverty, but I would realise that such a justification would open teh doors for VUWSA to start egtting involved with every issue unde rthe sun.

    I prefer a VUWSA which focuses on supporting students who study at Victoria.

  28. Nicola Kean says:

    This is probably the first and last time I’ll agree with David!

    Alex, you were elected to look after VUWSA’s money, not speak on behalf of students on foreign affairs. To think that some how you actually represent the views of students on issues like this – considering turnout at both SRCs and elections is minimal – is deluded. It’s not the ’70s anymore guys.

    Furthermore, as well as generally looking stupid, the VUWSA exec’s little tanty succeeded in pissing off a whole lot of other people who were there to actually talk about students. Not about Hamas.

  29. While his job mostly involves the finances we as an excutive wellcome all view points and like to hear the ideas of everyone before we agree on things. He is fully able to express and present on other matters if he so desires.

    Why do you care so much?

    I mean we love the attention and all but its not going to change anything.

    we are still going to stir the pot and create thought and discusion through contraversy

    Love Bernie.


    ps: my spelling sucks but I don’t care.

  30. Jonno says:

    David Phuchar, your point is that the exec stay out of global issues.. Well I prefer that students comment on student issues, and right-wing bloggers stay out of student issues.

  31. David Farrar says:

    Sorry Jonno but as I am not funded by anyone but myself, I get to comment on any issue I want.

    Good attempt at trying to play the man not the ball though.

    Oh yes well done on the hilarious spelling. Did you learn that in Year Three or Year Four of primary school?

  32. Jonno says:

    Funded Phuchar? A tiny bit paranoid eh? Who ever mentioned funded? And, you can talk eh? Talk about palyin the man.. you have no idea of the many hard working exec memebers, who constantly work beyond what is required of them… yet you constantly refer to them as muppets…

    Stop trying to push you VSM agenda… VUWSA exec members were voted in to make decisions on a number of issues, both student related and non-student related.

    and how the f**K do you know what the student population want, you left uni a long time ago… .

    I know that’s why I voted for them… to make decisions on my behalf. So far, the majority do an excellent job.

  33. Buck says:

    Jonno is obviously a ‘special’ student.
    I daresay Jonno’s right then, when he says he’s well represented by the majority of the exec.

  34. “and how the f**K do you know what the student population want, you left uni a long time ago… ”
    One way to see if the student population want to be part of VUWSA is to make VUWSA membership voluntary. if VUWSA really is doing a good job serving students, many would choose to join and VSM would have little effect. The reason why many students who recieve lots of benefits from VUWSA (paid for by the compulsory levies of other students) oppose VSM is because deep down they know that most students aren’t getting a good deal, and would choose not to join. or else why would they fear VSM so much?

  35. Jonno says:

    “The reason why many students who recieve (sic) lots of benefits from VUWSA (paid for by the compulsory levies of other students)”… that’s right man students receive lots of benefits.

    “oppose VSM is because deep down they know that most students aren’t getting a good deal, and would choose not to join. or else why would they fear VSM so much?”… how do you know this NIck? Come on, admittedly, your social skills are less than good, as if you have talked to the many students that have received lots of benefits; included free bread, advocacy, free food parcels, ori (which made a profit, unheard of), clubs days, bus tickets, and so on. Nick I have even seen you grab a free VUWSA sausage.

  36. Jean-Michel says:

    I think a large part of it centres around the fact that a number of students couldn’t give three fifths of a fuck about VUWSA or stupid politics as a whole. They’re too busy working on degrees and stuff.

  37. Jean-Michel says:

    HA — I was supposed to write “student politics” instead of “stupid politics”. Thank you, Freud.

  38. cijawa says:

    “I know that’s why I voted for them… to make decisions on my behalf. So far, the majority do an excellent job.”

    You wouldn’t possibly be one of them would you? It wouldn’t be the first time an exec member has posted a comment or writen into Salient under another name praising their own work…

  39. Red Barron says:

    “Theft, stripping and the consumption of urine were on the agenda when the VUWSA executive attended the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) conference in Christchurch during the mid-year break.”

    What a crappy piece of sensationalist reporting.

    What delegates to any conference – be that student exec or federated farmers – do after-hours is purely their own business. To imply behavior on their own time as part of their official duties borders on liable; not to mention very poor quality and dishonest reporting.

    The publication of outside-of-conference behavior is about as relevant as reporting who shagged who at conference – all interesting stuff to many readers I’m sure, but clearly not part of official duties (well not usually :) ), and clearly should not be reported as such.

    Very disappointed in Salient. :(

  40. Jesus Toblerone says:

    The word is libel dickhead. And if the comments are true then they can’t really be liable for any defamation as far as I know. Interestingly enough though stating that the person did do dishonest reporting may in fact fit the very definition of defamation. But you’re off the hook because I think any comment on a public forum is a private discussion and not public announcement. But what would I know?

    Other than that top notch post. Really cool to come in a week after the last comment with a really well thought out post.

    Any representative does have a higher responsibility than others-it’s a fact of life. Like Sivivatu when he beat up his wife or Adolf Hitler when he did those things to those people back then when all that stuff happened. ANd if anyone starts to yap on about how i used a Hitler analogy they’re kinda missing the point. Stick to the issue about responsibility etc and try not to get too carried away with my off comment rants. Which is hypocritical of me I know.

    Who did Shag who at conference? I for one don’t care. What I do care about is that people who get paid 50 bucks or so a week or whatever just seem to be behaving in a manner that would be unacceptable.

    You’d think they could just apologise or something but no, once again VUWSA reps will get the reputation of being alternative weirdo’s who just do their own thing regardless of whatever anyone else wants.

    Man I can’t believe how angry I am about this. I’ve really gotta go off the roids.

    Peace Out,

    Predictions for the Weekend:

    All Blacks by 12+
    Benson Pope to resign
    Potter to live, Snape to die, Weasley a hero

  41. John Q says:

    The worse thing about this entire discussion is that all any of you can do is moan. Why don’t you go and do something about it. Remember, VUWSA money is your money and VUWSA is your association. Rather than just moaning about what they did at a conference, why don’t you get pro-active and hold your student reps accountable.

  42. Jean-Michel says:


  43. Phillip says:


  44. Nik says:

    RE: Jesus Toblerone


  45. Jesus Toblerone says:

    Oooh just looked it up. Interesting will definitely bear that in mind in future. Dunno if my comment applies totally to that though (although the discussion did end pretty soon after) given that we are dealing with elected reps and I wasn’t bringing it up in order to reduce the other arguments into absurdities.

    Anyway keep up the good work you’ve definitely given me food for thought.


  46. Joey says:

    I love that there’s spam for the Paris Hilton sex video in the comments here, ’cause that air-head has about the same amount of credibility as the VUWSA exec.

  47. gerry says:

    Psssssssssssssss deelicious

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