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May 5, 2008 | by  | in News | [ssba]

VUWSA spends Massey’s money, owes shitloads; magic beans an “unwise investment”

A “systematic issue” regarding the sharing of student levies from the New Zealand School of Music (NZSM) has resulted in the current VUWSA executive potentially owing in excess of $30,000 to MUSAF (Massey University Student Association Federation), with negotiations currently underway to settle the issue.

NZSM was established as a co-operative project between Victoria University and Massey University, with campuses in Kelburn, Mt Cook, and Albany.

According to Alexandria Sorensen, president of the Massey Wellington Students’ Association (MAWSA), “legislative restraints” mean that the school is officially part of Victoria University, and consequently all the NZSM student levies are passed onto VUWSA. The levies were then meant to be distributed between VUWSA and MUSAF, depending on whether the majority of a student’s classes were at the Kelburn campus, or the Mt Cook and Albany campuses.

However, what Sorensen describes as a “systematic issue” resulted in VUWSA retaining and spending the NZSM levies instead of distributing them as planned. The amount that VUWSA is believed to owe is between $10,000 and Sorensen’s estimate of “at least $30,000”, depending on whether they are required to back-pay MUSAF’s share of the student levies to 2006.

Sorensen believes that back-payment is required, while VUWSA is understood to believe that they owe MUSAF only their share of the NZSM levies for 2008.

In order to resolve the issue, a meeting was held in March with representatives from NZSM, VUWSA, MUSAF, Victoria University and Massey University involved. Sorensen describes the meeting as “extremely successful in terms of outlining the issue and getting each party’s perspective on it.”

A further meeting is planned in which discussion of the results of an investigation into the matter will take place, as well as the signing of a protocol regarding the future distribution of NZSM levies by the involved parties. Sorensen is enthusiastic about the new protocol, noting that “it will introduce a transparency to the process which was missing, and it will help future associations to prevent this from happening again.”

Salient attempted to contact VUWSA to obtain its perspective regarding the unpaid NZSM levies: Administration Vice President Alexander Neilson referred all questions on the matter to President Joel Cosgrove, who declined to comment.


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  1. Gibbon says:

    Time to man up and pay what you owe, Exec. If you owe it, pay it back, for Christ’s sake. Don’t embarrass us and make Massey students hate us.
    Maybe don’t give cash to ‘special’ children for a start – that is a nice but completely unneccessary cost.
    Cosgrove, if a member of VUWSA seeks information on their society, I believe you should supply it.

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