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February 18, 2008 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

Student Guide A-Z


Radio Active:
Formerly an on-campus student radio station, the folk at 89.0 FM are now flash city trend-setters, and they organise a reggae party on Bob Marley’s birthday. Which just happens to be Waitangi Day.


If you want to earn money, or get a student allowance or loan, you have to have a bank account. There’s no avoiding it. Banks use your savings to invest – it’s how they make money. They invest in shares, which are often used to finance arms manufacture. Earning in order to stay alive and comfortable = having a bank account = financing death. Oh, the webs we weave.

Syn Bar has a Hell pizza inside a bar, with beer pool and foosball. Fuck, yeah. The Big Kumara attracts students in their trashed masses. Flying Burrito Brothers have cocktail barmen who should really be called artists rather than mere barmen. Mighty Mighty, Good Luck and the San Francisco Bath House are hip. Happy hosts avant-garde noise rock. Valve hosts the most raw rawk and metal around, in a pokey hole with famous drummers’ sticks on the wall. Bodega does similarly, only with more room and rustic British pub charm thrown in to enhance your throwing-up-on-stale-chips experience.

Oriental Bay is prime locale for babe-spotting on a sunny day. Also, if you look down whilst paddling, you’ll notice the sand is strewn half with cigarette butts, half with starfish. Plus there are stingrays and a hardcore fountain thing that spurts good.

Real bookstores are wonderful places. Unity Books on Willis Street can source pretty much anything for you, from all around the globe, no matter how obscure. Unfortunately such shops are a threatened species. The Borders behemoth on Lambton has put the squeeze on the quaint dusty bookstore. However if you browse around you can still enjoy a Black Books moment or two. Arty Bees Books have a great selection of new and pre-loved tomes. Situation in two locations – the end of Courtenay and at Manners Street (Under Club K) – they can happily tend to your bookish requirements. If you are incredibly poor after buying your ridiculously overpriced course texts bookstores may be beyond your humble means. If that’s the case, don’t overlook Wellington’s fantastic library services.

VUWSA’s President Joel Cosgrove wants you to support Wellington’s bus drivers in their quest for better working conditions. Will it keep them on time and stop them from arrogantly driving past you as you stand in the rain? The musty, filthy rain.


Cable Car:
Gets you up when you’re down.

Fidel’s has a rustic smoking room replete with sparrows and communism. Midnight has a magnificent food display and pinball. Plum and Espressoholic are also socially acceptable places to do coffee (read replete with indie kids).

If print media is not your thing, Wellington has more to cinema than Peter Jackson. In the city there are some good, and some shit, places to catch a flick. If you are on the bones of your arse, but just have to go watch Meet the Spartans then the Regent on Manners Street is the place to be. Crappy 1989 style chairs, and a speaker system that would probably sell for $500 at LV Martin ensure the worst cinema experience possible. Sigh, I shouldn’t be so harsh, you get what you pay for.
Next up is Reading Cinemas, the MegaPlex in Courtenay central. It’s Wellington’s newest cinema and it shows. Unfortunately it’s fucking expensive, unless you go on “Terrific Tuesdays” when they arbitrarily drop the price. It also has one of those “hand over your ticket before the entrance” systems – so you can sneak into a movie you didn’t pay for if you are so inclined. For those wanting something more than generic Hollywood fare, there are some great boutique cinemas dotted around. I was going to mention the Embassy here, (at the bottom of Courtenay place) – but ever since they screened Hitman, I’d put them on a par with Reading.
Paramount, on lower Courtenay Place is great for foreign, art house and trendy cinema. Its facilities aren’t amazing, and its ticketing is at market rates – but you pay for quality flicks, so you hardly ever get a bomb here. It’s also situated right next to Boogie Wonderland. Nice. If you want to make an outing out of your movie experiences then the Penthouse Cinema in Brooklyn and the Lighthouse Cinema in Island Bay are great destinations. Offering boutique art house cinema, with the occasional blockbuster deemed worthy to grace their screens, they offer a pleasant cinematic experience. The Penthouse even lets you take your café dinner/coffee into the cinema with you, which is lovely.

Community Services Card:
Mmm, cheap.

Courtenay Place:
Trashtastic. Or just trash.


“See, I think drugs have done some good things for us, if you don’t think drugs have done good things for us then do me a favour. Go home tonight and take all your records, all your tapes and all your CD’s and burn them. Because you know all those musicians who made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives throughout the years? Rrrrrreeeeeeaaaaaalllll fucking high on drugs.” – Bill Hicks
Just be careful you don’t snort caustic powders, because they can make your nose rot off. Seriously. It happened to this actress from Eastenders.


These allow you scope to broaden your research abilities and ponder deeply. Don’t forget to reference thoroughly.

Can be less stress than essays, since you don’t get to obsess over what you’ve written – just sit there for a few hours and yer done.


Family Planning Agency:
Because overpopulation will eventually destroy our Mother Earth.

You’re fresh meat at the bottom of the food chain, so you can safely expect to be treated like shit.


Sweat like a papist. Get healthy. Go!

Graveyard on Mt Street:
Where the naughty kids go to smoke after darkness falls.


Halls of Residence:
Expensive mumsy living arrangement for First Years.


I Am Not A Number.


A $150 per week student allowance doesn’t really cut it in Wellington, so be prepared to spend precious Shakespeare-reading hours cleaning tables, biatch.


Kebab Shops:
There’s only one thing to fill that deep sense of longing and void within your life. A delicious falafel kebab from one of the city’s better outlets. Courtenay Kebab in Courtney does a decent wrap, but on a Saturday night the queue is horrendous. You are better off moving westward to Hardi Gari, a Kebab shop held in reverence by Wellingtonians. It even has a student discount and its own Facebook appreciation group. AbraKebabra on Manners Street is also a favourite; its chicken kebabs are delicious. It’s a little bit pricey and does have a really weird, and slightly scary, picture on its front counter, but that’s all part of the charm… I think. For those living in Te Aro a lonely trek up Cuba Street would take you past Cuba Kebab (lower Cuba) and Sinbad Kebabs (upper Cuba). Both are decent, and offer students discounts.


On the North West side of Civic Square stands the impressive Central Public Library. It’s a brilliant repository of books, as well as DVDs and CDs – a week’s hire for a three dollars and a dollar respectively, and even less for those with a Community Services Card. WCL is brilliant for those times when you have an essay due in three hours for POLS 111 and all the books on MMP are missing. Jump down the hill, and grab a much wider (and sometimes better) range of texts. The fact that tutors can never be arsed going down there to check references is an added bonus. The Central Library also has a brilliant café who in my view do the best moccachino in Wellington. Delicious.


See Jobs. Alternatively: Banks, Overdraft, Studylink.


No means No. No means Stop. No means show some fucking respect.


O is for awesome.

Free money! See Banks.


See Courtenay Place. Alternatively, Bars.


Feeling Queer? So are we! And UniQ, the university queer support group, are here to help us have a good time. Like, with unicorns and movie nights and… stuff.


Red Menace:
The threat of communism always lies hidden within the festering core of any academic community. Remember this, Jim, and always keep your credit card on you at All Times, so that the spiritual sustenance of capitalism is never far away.


Salient mofo!

Patrons include Hutt natives and girls who shop at really awful places, like… Pagani.

Student Health:
Will fix you up when you’re all shaking and shivering from opium withdrawal and syphilis.

They give you money, though they want some of it back. And they always send you three copies of every letter. Tree killers… Grr argh.

New World was recently ranked as New Zealand’s best supermarket. For those on a budget, good it is not. Conversely it has locations in Thorndon, Waitangi Park, Willis Street and the Railway Station. If you really want everything you do to save you money – you can’t overlook Pak ‘n Save. Ignoring the fact that it has the most annoying mascot in the history of advertising it does have phenomenal student prices. Grab a Kilbirnie 14 bus every two weeks, and grab a massive shop. You should be able to survive for a fortnight on around 150 dollars.


Sit around and talk academia, pass the biscuits and plan your essays, ask questions and then you get to go home and watch Shortland Street, fo sho.


Like, University.


They be yer student political representatives. They be organising yer campus activities and support-structures.

The VBC:
On campus radio at 88.3 FM.


Don’t copy info straight off Wikipedia, ‘cos sometimes it’s wrong. You can use it to get a general overall idea of things, though. Because it totally rules.


If you’re a design student, you’ll be popping a few of these every day. Just consult your friendly neighbourhood dealer pharmacist.


Enjoy it while it’s here, ‘cos someday you’ll be bald as a baby and wrinkled as a soggy blanket. And you won’t be able to mosh anymore.


Located in Newtown past the ghettos.


About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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