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September 24, 2007 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Refund debate: Still going

Salient news editor sick of refund debate

A-Team Presidential candidate Lukas Schroeter last week requested that Salient run an article on the legitimacy of the group’s proposed refund; however, VUWSA Treasurer Alexander Neilson still disputes the validity of the A-Team’s argument.

Lawyer and former VUWSA Treasurer Graeme Edgeler told Salient VUWSA “won’t be able to write every student a cheque – this would breach the Incorporated Societies Act (societies have to be non-profit, and can’t just divide their funds up between members like a company can).”

“It will likely have to be an actual refund; that is, if the student paid their VUWSA levy through a student loan, the money will go back to the government (of course, the student’s student loan will be lower).”

However, the Ministry of Social Development told Salient “StudyLink would not be entering into any arrangement to have the refund paid to StudyLink. If students choose to use the refund towards paying their student loan that is their choice.”

Schroeter told Salient the group have inspected the law and believe a refund to VUWSA members would not be ‘pecuniary gain’ – prohibited by the Incorporated Societies Act.

Schroeter says the group have had opinions from the Ministry of Economic Development and the Community Law Centre which support the A-Team’s position.

Neilson says VUWSA would not be able to give $25 to students who paid their VUWSA levy through their student loans, as this would not be a refund, and could be classed as pecuniary gain.

A-Team Council Rep candidate Jordan Williams said it may be necessary to change the word ‘refund’ to something else to be able to give each student $25.

Neilson says: “It would be a very complex legal argument to get it done. Before any refund could be considered a large amount of legal work would be required from the Association’s lawyers and would likely result in the refund being declared impossible.”

The A-Team has proposed using the building fund levy – around $250,000 per annum – and cutting funding to clubs and some exec portfolios to pay for the refund. “A motion of a general meeting is required to utilize any money from the major project fund, and such money is likely to be only available in a major project, and not to fund a refund as per the VUWSA Trust Deed.”

Neilson says it would “probably take two years, if they’re lucky”.


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 (18)

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  1. peteremcc says:

    What about the legality of how VUWSA take our money in the first place.
    Whatever happened to Freedom of Association, the Bill of Rights and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

  2. geoff mates says:

    You claim to supprt these Peter, but you remain silent when you mates are racist, sexist, homophobic, and bigots towards diabled students. Why is this Peter, why don’t do speak up then?

  3. Michael Oliver says:

    Whatever happened to Freedom of Association, the Bill of Rights and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

    Yeah, fuck those Chinese sweatshop workers – the real story’s down here in Wellington.

  4. MC says:

    Please remember that these are unfounded allegations or willful misinterpretations. If Peter knows that members of the A-Team are none of those things then why should he spend time on addressing these “concerns”?

    These tactics are disgusting. Surely your policy arguments can carry enough weight to hold themselves up. You shouldn’t need to resort to nasty name calling and rumour circulation to scaremonger.

    Why is it that anyone sensing defeat needs to get dirty? I would put in the same category calling someone a racist, sexist, homophobe or bigot as I would a whore or an arsehole. Calling people these names is a sinister but calculated attempt to deflect attention away from what they are actually saying. It is also reflective of the void in legitimate arguments from their opponents.

  5. Vladimir the Impaler says:

    You only say that cause you’re a racist. You racist. And well see who smells like defeat on friday, you racist.

  6. Mike says:

    MC (Mike Collins?) you seem to think that being a racist is okay? You seem to defend the A-Team for this? Lukas calling Tush a dirty monkey is very different to an unknown person calling Lukas an arsehole. It is a sad reflection that the A-Team does not get this, and says a lot about them.

  7. Gary says:

    I guess the only option is VSM

  8. MC says:

    No I do not say that being racist is ok. I hate racism. However I do not think, knowing these people, that they would say such a thing with its racist connotations. I do think they would have been pissed off rightfully that they had campaign material destroyed by an opponent and used the term much like I would have used idiot or wanker.

    My point was that the term racist should not be bandied about lightly. It should definitely not be used for political gain.

    Hope this clarifies things for you.

  9. Peter says:

    MC, Tush is not an opponent. He was doing is job. A-Team had been warned several times not to poster over opponents posers. From what I have been told, the entire board was blasted with A-Team posters, and they were about to poster over 1 last poster (Joel’s). Tush asked them not to. Considering that the A-Team have campaigned on not postering over opponents posters or ripping them down (however, they were caught doing both) and even making posters about telling their opponents not to. A bit hypocritical eh?

    It does not matter if they think it is not racist, Tush does, and that’s what matters, and it is Tush’s opinion that the university will believe, not Lukas’s or Joshua’s. This is something that the A-Team clearly does not understand. Also, Lukas lying about saying sorry to Tush, does not help Lukas or Joshua.

  10. peteremcc says:

    Peter, I think you’re last comment was racist towards me.
    I’m going to complain to the university!

  11. MC says:


    Lucky for you it doesn’t matter what the other Peter thinks.

  12. Peter says:

    Well Peter, complain to he uni about what I wrote, and see how far you get then. I am sure you know how far you will get. I am glad the A-Team and its supporters don’t take this seriously, but I know the university does, and MC, that’s what really matters.

  13. Michael Oliver says:

    So, really, these guys are tactless douchebags at best and racists at worse? Awesome.

    Can we at least get a non-partisan consensus on this? i.e. an admittance that this was an unbelievably dumb thing to say by two prominent candidates who really should’ve had the nous to realise that calling a dark-skinned person a “stupid monkey” would be construed as racism?

  14. Hans Belleview says:

    I liked those big posters that (joel?) had, that man could run Argentina any day!

  15. MC says:


    I won’t argue that it was an ill conceived insult. That doesn’t mean that they meant it with racist overtones though. But yes something else would have been more appropriate to say.

  16. MC says:

    Sorry that should read “…wasn’t an ill conceived insult.”

  17. Mike says:

    Michael Collins, How does Tush know that insult wasn’t meant with racist overtones? It sounds racist, and as long as it sounds it, and the person hearing the insults believes it was racist, and then it was racist.

  18. Roger says:

    Being a racist
    Doesn’t pay
    If you want to get by in the world 2day!

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