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December 4, 2008 | by  | in Online Only | [ssba]

Hi, I’m Salient

Being a student magazine is tough these days. Being criticised from all sides. Threats of budget cuts. Luring students into the office to fill my pages with sweet sweet content. Competing with online publications and mainstream media for students attention. At the same time having to deal with international economic crises, the whims of student associations, the Editor (who I like to think of as my caretaker), contributors, advertisers and national governments.


Me and my sibling publications Critic, Craccum, Canta and Chaff constitute five of the oldest surviving publications in New Zealand. For well over seventy years we have been a breeding ground for future journalists, writers, academics, politicians and at least one Prime Minister. We have become an alternate source of news for student populations countrywide and have catered to the needs of students where other publications have little penetration.


For those of you who don’t know me, Salient is the publication of the Victoria University of Wellington Student Association. I was founded in 1938 with the intent of providing a place for students to debate about issues which faced us as not only students at Vic, but as residents of Wellington and citizens of the world. Originally a newspaper, I have changed my appearance many times. Some say I’m still looking quite young for my age.


Somewhere along the tangled web of history I became associated with VUWSA. Looking back on things this infatuation was short lived. Maybe we should’ve thought about things a bit before jumping into bed with them. But we both saw that it was important to have a publication that could act as a conduit. Engaging students and challenging them to think about issues, providing feed back and a playpen for ideas to be thrown around. Securing a publication that was run by students, for students and funded by students.


I’m now governed by the Salient Charter, which is part of the VUWSA Constitution. The Charter affords Salient many freedoms, which have in the past caused conflict with the Executive, but over all have safeguarded Salient’s duty to act as a watchdog on the Executive.


We have “complete freedom from political interference”. We’re entitled to “remain in the [Exec] meeting if it moves into committee.” It provides that we are “entitled to adequate accommodation, furnishings and equipment… equivalent to the current standard” which if you’ve ever been into the Salient office is a pretty sweet deal.


But the most important piece of the Salient Charter is point sixteen: “Because of its role in all goals of the Association, Salient is entitled to adequate funding by the association.” As I wrote earlier this year: “we’re pretty much joined at the hip.” Where the VUWSA stallion bolts surely Salient’s donkey will be tethered behind jotting down notes about the journey.


Printing costs money: roughly $5000 a week for 6000 copies that we distribute around Victoria. We run twenty-four issues a year. We have to have paid staff. Someone to be the editor, a designer to put the whole shebang together, a news writer to go out and find things happening on campus, distributors to get the final product to you, a advertising guy to solicit my pages for cash.


Currently we meet half our costs with advertising. But world events are starting to draw tight on businesses ability to advertise with us. This means a likely down turn in my earnings for next year.


But the thing that really makes me salient (Oh I do enjoy a good play on words) is you. I’m a bit of a free spirit. I’ve generally been a lefty. But at times radical, commie, conservative and existential. But that is shaped by the students who come in and contribute.


Approximately $8 of your student levy comes to me. For that tiny weeny amount of money you get twenty-four issues of the finest student journalism New Zealand has to offer. Or at least a handy way to start fires during the windy Wellington winters. You have the right to submit content to the magazine. You have the right to come hang in the office talk smack about philosophy, play chess, and drink scotch. It gives you a letters page on which you can bitch and moan about VUWSA, VUW, your flat mate, the editor. Shit! anything you want to bitch and moan about.


For many of you I am the only VUWSA service that you’ll ever use. The 2008 Student Union Survey reckons that for about 67% of students, Salient was the top VUWSA service. The diary and wall planner, that I have a hand in making, we important too (about 45% of you use them.) Our pick up rate on campus is about 95% and we get well over 40,000 hits on this very website every month. Copies of the magazine are sent to the Prime Ministers office, all the political parties media teams, notable public figures and even to people internationally. We have broken stories that MSM have plagiarized. I constantly sit on the shoulder of the executive, report their mupperty and make sure they’re accountable to you.


We aren’t running on much. The term oily rag comes to mind. We don’t spend thousands of dollars on vans, psychic hot lines, painting over graffiti or offering unoriginal rewards for the capture of visiting dignitaries. In fact because the Editor has a committee that he or she has to report to, we’re probably the best managed arm of VUWSA.


Simply put: a cut in the amount of funding that I get from VUWSA means a cut in quality of the magazine.


VUWSA needs to be building an association that seeks to grow and gather more services rather than less. I hope to be an integral part of that over the coming years. Without adequate funding Salient will become less salient. Students need to know what is happening with their money. They need something tangible in their hands. We need a place to discuss ideas, proposals and a place to showcase the talent and massive potential that the study body has. And I, well to be quite frank, I won’t be able to do that without the current level of funding. I am a student magazine. That means I’m there for you. I’m not a business; although I would like to make money, that has never been one of my aims. I am not a Advertisers magazine or a sponsors magazine. I’m yours.


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.

Comments (115)

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  1. S. McGee says:

    I giz you a dollar?

  2. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    Yes, i’ve heard through the grape vine that Jasmine intends to cut VUWSA funding for Salient to about a tenth of its current amount. Is this true? If so, I am adamantly against it, and you can count on my support in fighting any such radical budget cut.


  3. Salient says:

    S. McGee: I would love a dollar. Please send it to:
    Student Union Building
    PO Box 600 Wellington
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Matthew: The grapevine exaggerates. It seems like a substantial cut though. We have for the past two or three years received approximately 10% of VUWSAs budget or about $120,000. It looks like it will be cut by at least $30,000 perhaps more.

  4. Nic Sando says:

    That’s ludicrous. How many pages would you have to cut for the magazine to be able to function as it is currently?

  5. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    Damn grapevine must be broken. Still, a 25% cut in funding is pretty huge. If this were to come about, would it be discussed in an open forum to allow students to voice their opinions – or is it within the power of the exec to make this decision without consulting the student body?


  6. 25%? Jesus. You *could* weather it, but it’d definitely impact on your print run and circulation. And you’d expect Freemantle et al. to have a very clear rationale for doing so. Who ultimately makes the call on this anyway? The Publications Committee? The Exec? An SGM?

  7. Salient says:

    Nic: It’s not just pages dude. It’s jobs too. We have workers. We usually employ students as two sub editors, three feature writers, two distributors, a News Editor, Editor, Designer and to a certain extent an advertising person. Cut back in funds mean that at the very least subbies, distributors and one feature writer gone. That’s students who were getting some money for devoting some of their time to a decent cause who are probably going to have to get jobs else where and have less time devote to making Salient something for all students of Vic to be proud of… but who cares about workers right and having a respectable Students publication.

    Matt: Ummmm no. I pretty sure that neither the current editor or the incumbent were consulted in any fashion whatsoever. And there is no open forum for debate. Signed. Sealed. Delivered. Kia ora democracy. Kia ora transparency. Kia ora consultation.

    Rory: Wise words. As said just above, no clear rationale has been intoned upon anyone at Salient. The ultimate power rests in the hands of the incoming executive for 2009 when they vote on a provisional budget which then becomes the final budget.

  8. [Seinfeld on stage]

    Seinfeld: What is it about the phrase “budget cut” that makes everybody so hostile?

    [shot of the audience laughing]

    Seinfeld: I mean, when you look at it, the word “budget” is so that. It’s budget. It’s a budget brand word.

    [shot of the audience CRACKING THE FUCK UP]

    Seinfeld: And then there’s cut, which is like, vanishing, really. Add the two together and you have budget brand vanishing… what is, this some sort of government sponsored invisibility?

    [the audience can’t stop the laughter, oh my god, they just can’t stop. Seinfeld’s killing up there]

    Seinfeld: Give Salient it’s fucking money back.

    [staccato taps; be be dum be de dum de do]

  9. Wee Hamish says:


    Piss n shit fock! FOCKIN’ HELL. Doo theese toylett brushes at vooosarr think they’re foolin nebody? I’ma gone sey this tha best i cahn, me best queen’s eunglish ‘an evrathing. Ahem

    Do you motherfucking VUWSA cunts know what I did between Aberdeen and Auckland? Yeah, lemme give you a clue: I FUCKING CRIED. Yeah, that’s right, like a goddamn toddler with a bee sting or a Scottish toddler with jug chord welts I fucking CRIED.

    When we landed in Auckland, dear old Dad rocked on up to ANZ, planted me on the front counter and started swearing uncontrollably for twenty minutes. Non stop. The reason we got bundled with Sandra is because needle-faced “Dwayne”, a fucking UCOL GRADUATE (how the fuck did you land a job in Auckland with a UCOL qualification, Dwayne, you piece of shit) couldn’t handle THE RAW POWER OF SCOTLAND. Sandra, a big girl – let’s not lie, put Dad in a fuckin’ headlock and said “LISTEN UP BOYYYYYYY. IMA SMAAASH YOU IF YOU DON’T FUCK UP. FACE!”

    Dad didn’t know what this bitch was saying. “GET YER FOCKIN ARHMS OUTTA MY HEAD YAH OYSTER EATIN’ DONKAY TRUFFLE!”

    Sandra didn’t understand a word Dad was saying. “WHAT BOYYYY? GETTIN’ SMART? GETTIN’ SMART, BOYYYY?”

    By the time Child, Youth and Family had picked me up, Dad had a bank account and three eftpos cards. Sandra had a clump of red hair to call her own.

    Point of this story? I needed a break from my Dad’s incoherent, unfathomable, drivel, and Salient was there. It was there. Seriously, it was right there in the Child, Youth and Family HQ. Why? God only knows, but it was there

    It became a part of me, and I became a part of it. It gave me warmth when all I could feel was the cold sting of SCOTLAND. You were my strength when I was weak

    It was my voice when I couldn’t speak
    It was my eyes when I couldn’t see
    It saw the best there was in me
    Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
    You gave me faith ‘coz you believed
    I’m everything I am
    Because Salient loved me.

    $30-$40k cut? And you assholes sit there smug whenever Salient trips in its own drool and brings back ONE FUCKING ASPA AND EXPECT IT TO DO BETTER?

    By the power of my fiery red hair, I’ma stalk you…

  10. ASPA Award - Best Publication says:

    lol, guess I’ll be hanging out with Critic again next year. Thanks, Jasmine,

  11. Matt says:

    Ugh. Boo. That’s bad, bad news. Let’s hope your 2009 exec aren’t muppets then, and do the right thing. Worst case scenario:

    – sell advertising on the cover
    – pulp anything pulp-able in the VUWSA (tables, non-load-bearing walls, cafe workers) to keep paper costs down
    – turn empty offices of ex-employees into mini brothels
    – run unflattering photos of the exec with snarky captions EVERY WEEK (it’s the small victories)
    – slander the exec (think: accusations of pedophilia) then print a retraction the following week, citing a lack of sub-eds as the reason such filth got through in the first place. Repeat the following week.
    – rob a bank or two in a small country town
    – ransom the exec’s pets
    – charge $2 a copy of Salient, under the guise of it going to charity
    – face up to the fact that with both Jackson and Rory on board, Salient is going to the dogs in 2009 anyway OOOOOOH NO HE DI’NT (yes he did)

  12. So I’ve been doing a little bit of digging around the VUWSA Constitution and came up with a couple of wee tidbits of information, namely:

    5.3 – The Executive shall not prevent the effective operation of any part or organ of the Association provided for in this constitution by failing to make budgeting provision for it or
    by making unreasonably low budgeting provision for it.

    – and of course point sixteen of the Salient Charter (which Jackson has already addressed). So as long as our Salienteers can demonstrate that the budget cut will prevent our effective operation, we’ve got ourselves a case. Any chance Tristan could release his financial report and budget from 2008?

  13. Also Matt shut up you a dick

  14. Michael Oliver says:

    I find the fact there hasn’t been much (or any) communication between the incoming Salient team and VUWSA startling, and almost more offensive than the rumoured cut itself.

    I want to believe that there is nothing insidious about this whole shebang, that this has leaked out before i’s have been dotted and t’s have been crossed, that this incoming exec intends on fully briefing the incoming Salient team so that they can, ya’know, plan their magazine, that “Make plans to meet J. Wood, Editor of Salient” is on the ’09 President’s to do list, that this wasn’t the fault of some awful mismanagement of funds from last year, and that if this does come to pass, there is something we can do about it.

  15. Not really surprised says:

    I have a question:

    Would this be happening if Mr Cosgrove had been successful in his bid for the editorship?

  16. Craccum says:

    Hey buddy, that’s some stink news. If you wanna start a trend of eviscerating the incoming Exec and feasting on their entrails, I’d be keen to join your bandwagon.

  17. Rory – the Pubs Comm cant really do much about the eventual budget decision. We just get to divvy up what the exec deems we should get. But we can cause a stink. The provisional budget is passed by the 2008 executive, and then ratified by the 2009 executive.

    So we’ve got two chances to lobby the exec to not pass the budget in its current form. Failing that call an SGM and force them do it our way.

  18. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    “It’s not just pages dude. It’s jobs too. We have workers. We usually employ students as two sub editors, three feature writers, two distributors, a News Editor, Editor, Designer and to a certain extent an advertising person. Cut back in funds mean that at the very least subbies, distributors and one feature writer gone.”

    One has to wonder where this fits in with the new VUWSA President’s vision when she was so adamantly against a Change Proposal that was going to cost three VUWSA staff their jobs.

    Fair enough, this is her attempt to deal with the tough financial situation that VUWSA faces – an alternate course of action to the one proposed in the Change Proposal. It probably would have happened regardless of whether Joel made Salient Editor or not. But it’s the WRONG course of action. It doesn’t deal with the underlying causes of economic inefficiency that VUWSA is plagued with. It’s basically passing the buck of financial woe from a floundering section of the VUWSA budget to a thriving, highly popular one.

    What’s the process for calling an SGM?


  19. Constitutional King says:

    The VUWSA Constitution says

    (1) The Executive may, and shall following resolution of the Council of Student Delegates, convene a Special General Meeting.
    (2) The Executive shall, within seven (7) days of the receipt by the President or one of the Vice-Presidents of a requisition in writing signed by at least ten (10) members of the Association, call a Special General Meeting.
    (3) The Executive shall set the date for the Special General Meeting. It may not be earlier than five (5) office days after the request for the meeting has been received. It may not be later than fifteen (15) office days after the request for the meeting has been received.
    (4) If the Executive fails to call the Special General Meeting within the required period, the members making the requisition may themselves convene such a meeting.
    (5) All resolutions, and petitions calling for a Special General Meeting must state the motion or motions to be moved at the meeting.
    (6) Notice of a Special General Meeting shall be given by posting time, date, place and motion or motions to be discussed on the noticeboard.
    (7) At a Special General Meeting the order of business shall be as follows:-
    a) any motion or motions of which notice has been given in accordance with Part II Section 3 (1) to (6).
    b) any motion or motions of which notice in writing was given to the President within three (3) office days of notice of the Special General Meeting being posted.
    c) any motion or motions directly arising from discussion of the meeting or a) and b) above.

    It should be noted that an SGM should be the very last option for Salient. It shouldn’t have to get to that level.

  20. Amy says:

    I’m a little confused how this can be rammed through without student agreement. Doesn’t VUWSA’s final budget need to be approved by the student body at SGM? That’s how it works down here, anyways. If it doesn’t at Vic, I think you’ve got more than one problem – that’s surely way too much power to the exec?

    I’ve skimmed your constitution, and it does seem there’s been a massive oversight there – the exec has to report how they spent students’ money, but not how they will spend it. How has this not been a problem before?

  21. Michael Oliver says:

    The sign outside the VUWSA office says “VUWSA – Just Whatever The Fuck”

  22. Tristan Egarr says:

    Amy – “How has this not been a problem before?”

    It all came to a head in 2006 when that year’s Exec had to retrospectively pass 2005’s budget, at the same time as they set their own, halfway through the year. I personally feel that the biggest contributor towards such problems is the date of VUWSA’s elections – whereas OUSA’s are held early enough in the year for the incoming Exec to do things like set a budget while students and Critic are still around to discuss it, VUWSA had to wait until an AGM held at the beginning to the fourth quarter to pass 2007’s audited accounts before holding elections at the very end of the yearl; this means that budget-setting takes place in December.

    We can resolve this by making sure the accounts are prepared for an AGM at the end of the second quarter, elections in the third quarter, and a budget set for 2010 in the fourth quarter of 2009. Let’s.

  23. Tristan Egarr says:

    In regards to debate around the current budget setting – Salient will have to receive progressively less from VUWSA, over the next few years; we take a bigger income from our Association than comparable student magazines in New Zealand. This is great because it allows us to do things – like this website – that others cannot; but, particularly with the current government and the possibility of some form of VSM, this cannot simply continue as is.

    What both VUWSA and us need to make sure is that Salient can absord any cuts before they are made, by preparing other funding sources – rather than afterwards, by cutting quality. I would like to say that my experience has left me with some good ideas as to how we can do this, but… to be perfectly honest, it hasn’t. We can, I think, do it. VUWSA need to be patient, and allow us to prepare for cuts before they are enacted; but we need to understand that they cannot wait forever.

    I’m not sure if that’s any help. Some above comments made the Exec out to be Salient’s enemy, whose budget-making decisions should be resisted vehemently. I don’t agree with such sentiment, but I would state strongly that Salient has to be allowed to prepare for any potential cuts before they are brought in.

  24. Nick Kelly says:

    This is an interesting post, but sadly lacking in facts.
    VUWSA is yet to pass its budget, and as I type this the exec are at retreat working out their goals and priorities for the year.

    However a bit of background. Most student magazines lose between $10k and $20k per year. Salient loses around $100k. The incoming editor has told the new exec he wants students to pay $20 extra to print the mag on glossy paper.

    The fact is that since 2004 the quality of the magazine has been in serious decline, whilst the costs of its production have ballooned. Meanwhile the students association has faced significant financial challenges.

    Salient plays an important role in student life, and its important that it continues as the students independent paper. However just throwing more and more money at it whilst the quality declines is not the answer. Back in 2001 the mag was printed on newsprint, thus was cheaper to produce and the quality of content was far superior.

    I imagine there will be a serious discussion at the Publications Committee and between the student exec and the incoming Salient editor. I imagine this will prove more fruitful a discussion than a blog post written under a fake name.

    Nick Kelly
    2006 VUWSA President

  25. Mr Magoo says:

    I hope you’re not commenting while you drive the bus, Smelly.

    PS. The blog post was written by the magazine. For a 70-year-old, it’s still got more wits than you.

    Fuck off Smelly.

  26. Gibbon says:

    get a life kelly

  27. Wee Hamish says:

    I like how the “incoming editor” doesn’t have a name aside from “incoming editor”

    I guess being the editor of Salient is like being the Pope.

  28. Shitkicker McGee says:

    Sorry Nick, you said the exec are at retreat ‘working out their goals and priorities for the year.’

    Did you mean smoking pot and getting shitfaced?

  29. Shitkicker McGee says:

    Sorry, forgot to add ‘at students’ expense’ on the end of that question. (They may not be paying for the drugs, but they are funding the retreat).

  30. Jackson Wood says:

    Hi, I’m Jackson, the editor of Salient for 2009. I’m well aware that the incoming VUWSA exec is away, I’m also aware that the proposed budget is yet to be passed, hence why it is ‘proposed’.

    Yes, other student magazines receive less funding from their students associations. Very astute, Nick. But you failed to ask the question which should automatically come after you found that fact: Why do other student publications receive less money from their students associations than Salient does from VUWSA?

    One of the main reasons is financial accountability. Pretty much every other association has a manager. Some even have an overall association manager and a publication manager, like Canta. Other publications like Critic have gone down a different path, turning to more of a business-oriented model.

    We simply do not have the structure at the moment to turn a profit or even become neutral. Fix the structure and then we can talk about ways to make Salient sustainable.

    I take objection to you saying that Salient loses money. In a wholly-accounting fashion, yes, we do. But our objective is not to make money in the first place.

    I also take objection to the fact that you say I’m going to cost all students $20 more each. That is a barefaced lie. If anyone had bothered to consult with me they would have known that what I asked the publications committee for was an extra $2000 on top of last year’s budget to trial glossy.

    The thought process behind this was that if we go glossy, we attract more advertising and can charge more for it. The difference between the format we’re in now and glossy is less than $800 an issue (We would have been offered a discounted rate from the publishers if we had decided to continue with glossy). This would easily be covered by one full page ad and then anything else would be profit.

    I also asked for extra funding for hours (about one hour a week) for an employee so that we could trial uploading the content onto this website ourselves. Thus potentially saving us from paying over $3000 a month for the service.

    So it was going to cost the association about $3000, maybe $4000. Not students. You know that the adjusted levy has already gone to the university. Please stop scaremongering.

    The fact is that in your opinion the quality of the magazine has gone down. I have only really been involved with it this year but have been on campus since 2004. It has been a fun challenge to help rebuild Salient from the ashes of an editor that Kelly helped choose.

    Since 2001, we’ve had such luminaries as Michael Appleton, Sarah Barnett, Emily Braunstein, James Robinson and Tristan Egarr at the helm. Each has done something different with the magazine and each was of high quality.

    The costs of production haven’t so much ballooned as shrunk. Over the past three years the budget has actually decreased. At the start of 2008 we had been budgeted nearly $144k. We ended up on the re-budget with $122k.

    And once again we come back to the structure. The significant financial challenges have in part been caused by woeful financial management. VUWSA is pretty much the only association that does not have a financial manager. And it shows.

    As stated, I wasn’t asking the association to throw money at Salient. I was asking it to help fund two initiatives that could potentially increase revenue and decrease expenditure. Most people would agree that investing in ideas which can do that are a good thing.

    As for the barb you leave on Nick, that was really uncalled for. Salient is Salient, no matter who the writer is. We were expressing a point of view on behalf of the current contributors, new editor, old editor and past editors and contributors.

    All I personally want is communication. I want open and honest governance of the students’ association and of Salient. I want Salient to be a good publication. If this means making cuts, then I will. But it would be great to be included in the process. I don’t want to butt heads with Jasmine. I don’t want to butt heads with the exec. I want to put a good quality mag (in both format and content) out there and perhaps pick up a few ASPAs.

    I’m guessing the intention of the post was to inform people of what was happening. It doesn’t read like an attack, it reads more like a op-ed as to the importance of not suddenly cutting back Salient’s funding. Suddenly and without warning.

    It’s kinda funny how an ex president of two years ago knows more about the proposed 2009 budget than some one who it is going to affect.

    Anyways, I’m not too worried. I am currently re-drafting my proposed budget based on figures which I’m pulling out of a hat because no one has told me about anything yet. Thanks for all the comments of support and all the other comments too.

    Jackson Wood
    Checkout Operator (Woolworths) 2001 – 2003

  31. Wee Hamish says:

    I had a job once

    Wee Hamish
    ANZ/National Banking Advertising Gimmick, 2008

  32. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    I think Jackson has said it all. You do raise a good point that this is all just ‘proposed’ at this point, but if an effective allocation of resources for Salient is to be made then Salient should be consulted in the matter.

    The whole question is moot, however, when the real problem lies in the fundamental weaknesses in the current VUWSA structure. This is something that Sonny’s Change Proposal was meant to address; however, it had many shortcomings, one of which seems to have been a lack of consultation of parties that would be affected by it. In that vein I can understand where Jasmine is coming from – she knows that VUWSA has problems, and this is her approach to solving those problems. It just appears to be suffering from the same lack of consultation that the CP did.

    Mr Magoo:
    “I hope you’re not commenting while you drive the bus, Smelly.”

    Whilst I don’t agree with Nick’s argument, the fact that he drives a bus is irrelevant. I used to stack shelves in a supermarket for a living, and I like to think my opinion mattered the same then as it does now.


  33. I’d like to second Jackson and Matthew’s comments and add that if VUWSA is determined to cut expenditure, perhaps they should start with the Association’s NZUSA membership levies rather than a core service. This has been on my mind for a while now and I’d welcome a reply from any Exec members, past or present…

  34. cvalda says:

    Given they haven’t remotely settled on a figure, the thing to do in this situation was contact Jasmine and the Exec.

    Not throw a public tantrum.

    You throw the tantrum after they’re unwilling to negotiate.

  35. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    There’s been no tantrum throwing that i’m aware of – all I see here is a rational debate – but you are right that dialogue is what is needed. Wee Hamish, the poor lad, has taught us all that tantrum throwing only ends with being stuffed into overhead baggage compartments for the entire flight between Aberdeen and Auckland.



  36. Nic Sando says:

    Wait, hold the pants everyone.

    Are you saying that somehow “informing interested parties” in an “open forum” such as a post on the publications “website” is somehow not “throwing a tantrum?”

  37. cvalda says:


    This was a polemic. That would be fine if the Exec were set on slashing the budget, and Wood had already tried to convince them otherwise, but it seems a bit premature as polemics go.

  38. Mr Magoo, to you says:

    Cunningham, when Nick Kelly stops making his Facebook status such things as ‘is working’, I will stop praying for the people on the bus. If he is using the internet while driving, someone is going to get killed.

  39. Rory – “if VUWSA is determined to cut expenditure, perhaps they should start with the Association’s NZUSA membership levies”

    Given the sort of ludicrously shrill “students are all impoverished we demand you give us money that could be spent better elsewhere” press releases that seem to constitute the entire output of NZUSA, I have to agree entirely. Sure, this means less of a voice for VUWSA on the NZUSA executive, but really…. whatevs.

    However, we have to give them 12 months notice before withdrawing.

  40. Jackson Wood says:

    Polemic 1 a : An aggressive attack on or refutation of the opinions of another b the art or practise of disputation of controversy

    It’s not a polemic It wasn’t intended to be. A group of Salienteers wrote a piece about why cutting the budget without consultation would be bad. We’d heard rumours that it was going to be cut, so we addressed them in prose. Premature maybe but it is always good to let people know what is happening.

    Jasmine and I had a very constructive talk this morning. Hopefully this dialogue will continue and we will work together so that both VUWSA and Salient finish 2009 in a better position than the end of 2008.

  41. Wee Hamish says:

    cvalda sounds like eye ointment

    just fyi

  42. Uther Dean says:

    Can inanimate objects even write polemics?
    Should we not be celebrating that Salient itself appears to have become self aware and is now opining to us directly?

  43. Michael Oliver says:

    lol ^ best post.

  44. Miriam Malthus says:

    I’ll come back and sub for free?

  45. Amy says:


    The sitting OUSA exec sets the budget for the following year. The proposed budget is published in Critic and submissions are called for, and then it must be passed by the student body at the budget SGM. I’m not sure if the timeline is always the same (the rules merely state it has to be in the second semester), but this year that meeting was held a few weeks after the election of the ’09 exec – but I don’t think incoming execcies are involved much in the process, unless they choose to make submissions. Auditing of the current year’s accounts doesn’t take place until the end of the year, and aren’t accepted by SGM until the first semester of the following year.

    At the beginning of their year, the incoming crew have a certain amount of leeway to make some changes, “provided that the sum of the absolute values of all alterations made to individual budget lines does not exceed five (5) percent of total budgeted expenditure and provided also that the remuneration of Executive Officers is not altered from the budget set by the Student Body the previous year.” Anything above that has to be approved by the student body. This seems to allow the greatest transparency for students, and allows the budget to be set by those with some idea of how things work while allowing the incoming exec to have some flexibility.

    I agree that student mags need to move away from reliance on their Association – both due to the looming fear of VSM, and because if you can do it it’s of benefit to the Association’s members. Critic seems to be very lucky in that respect, as we have successfully turned to that “business-oriented model” Jackson speaks of, and also because we are in a more priveleged position within our market – there’s far less competition for advertising dollars for youth-oriented publications down here in Dunners. I think we possibly even made a profit this year (gasp!).

    However, you can’t achieve anything by simply slashing the budget – sure, that child may learn to swim if you simply toss it in the water, but more likely the net result is one dead baby. It’s a structural issue, and the exec and the publications committee need to develop a model that is capable of generating strong revenue streams before drastically cutting funds.

    Glad to hear you had that “constructive talk” and hope things work out better for you than this dire scenario.

  46. Intriguing… in theory, an incoming exec could argue that having the previous exec set their budget prevents them from enacting any promises of structural change made during their campaign… however, given that the OUSA model you describe allows student submissions and requires student approval, it is clearly a much better way to reflect the interests of the student body as a whole.

    VUWSA has certainly made improvements in the last few years – actually setting budgets before the year starts, for example – but i think this comparison just shows how much further we have to go.

  47. Carl Mair says:

    You know nothing, nothing! Not compared to me.

  48. Tristan: I’d heard about that 12-month notice of withdrawal, it’s a very canny insurance policy on NZUSA’s part since student politicians don’t have much of a shelf life and wouldn’t be around to take the credit for a secession…

    Admittedly I haven’t seen VUWSA’s budget, but I suspect they could survive another year’s worth of NZUSA levies (and possibly even a VSM referendum) if they clearly communicated to their members that they would be instituting more protectionist policies starting in 2010.

    I’m still waiting on a reply from members of the VUWSA Exec, but I’d like to know why they have proposed cutting a core service rather than withdrawing from NZUSA. I’d also be grateful if someone could tell me how much of VUWSA’s 2008 budget was spent on levies and funding for external groups. 411, anyone?

  49. Nevermind that last part; found it on the VUWSA website:

    NZUSA – $4.25 each ($55,739)
    VUWSA EXECUTIVE REMUNERATION – $5.21 each ($68,398)
    SALIENT – $4.84 each ($63,514)

    So let’s lop off a quarter of the Salient budget:
    $63,514 / 4 = $15878.50

    So even if we assume a perfect world in which cutting quality has no repercussions in terms of pickup or advertising revenue, cutting a core service will only save VUWSA about $16 k. Leaving NZUSA will save them THREE AND A HALF TIMES that amount EVERY YEAR.

    It’s not rocket science, guys…

  50. Chris de Lisle says:

    $56000 a year to represent us down the road at parliament occasionally is crazy! Unless there is some sort of significant benefit that hasn’t yet been mentioned, this money should definitely be diverted and better spent.

    All support for Salient- What exactly should we be doing to help?

  51. the Reverend Paul Danger Brown says:

    Victoria University of Wellington’s Studnets’ Association (VUWSA/the Association) is a poorly run organization and in the next few years the students’ of Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) will be faced with many tough decisions and I believe that will result in budget cuts for Salient.

    Check out the VUWSA annual reports (public documents) and while Salient has been allocated $122k in budget it has had budget blow outs every year with Salient costing around $160-170k every year—that’s $60k more then Nick Kelly 2006 VUWSA President suggests. The Association’s inadequate reporting makes it difficult for these costs to be managed but what should happen in the event of such blow outs? Should the executive place a stop on publications spending? We shouldn’t have to be asking these questions. I was a fan of the idea of a business manager for Salient and I still am for the following reasons;
    • There would be more accountability in managing the costs of Salient
    • Salient’s staff would be accountable to them directly and not the VUWSA President.
    • Consistent employment practices
    • For the development and implementation of strategy and for continuity in this area.
    • Improved communication between the executive and Salient.

    Every editor I have ever known has objected to being told Salient makes a loss, but it does. In fact many of the rep groups also make a loss; however we should never lose sight of the fact that their purpose is to deliver a service not make a profit. Salient I believe can reduce that loss however so that we increase spending on other areas. Many people know that I have been an advocate for Salient to turn into a tabloid format for years and this is simply because it would halve the printing costs. That cost saving could go into improving Salient’s online capabilities or it could go into funding the Education office which is woefully under resourced and still trying to deliver advocacy and representation for students at VUW.

    Rory presents some figures from the VUWSA website but fails to mention that these figures are woefully out of date. These are 2002 figures. Rory your figures are six years old and the loss Salient is now making has increased by $100k since then. We have since seen the addition of executive and an increase levies with a change in the way they are calculated. The fact these figures have not been updated demonstrates a lack of transparent practices and sadly I was a part of that. Alexander Neilson has to up his game this year as the last two years have seen poor performances in reporting current and up to date figures and I believe every department needs to take some ownership in this problem. In the two years I was there I was constantly trying to deal with an under resourced department that has been in a state of disarray for many years now. The situation we’re now faced with is dire and as Geoff Hayward suggested in the 2007 Presidents report the rot runs deep and needs to be address as soon as possible—I agree.

    It’s been mentioned that VUWSA needs a General Manager and while I believe in student control over student affairs I see this position is potentially required. We currently have the position Association Coordinator which is a compromise from going all out and hiring a manager; however it is my experience that this is not working. The current role is floundering due to a lack of support, lack of structure and a lack of strategic direction. VUWSA needs champions to develop strategy in consultation with students’ and staff this year. The Association also needs to develop KPI’s for staff, develop better employment processes, present accounts more regularly to the executive as well as staff and students’, adapt technology faster, develop better reporting practices in general and better utilize the resources of VUW through partnership (leach off them if you will).

    I believe the change proposal started something that needs to happen in order for VUWSA to survive and that’s debate. The Association needs radical change and we need to address the rot. Other positives this year which you can read about in my half year report presented at the AGM—of course these are only positives created by the education team of 2008.

    Once upon a time I would agree with everyone here about how little NZUSA delivers; however I now see that without them we wouldn’t have a unified, organized voice to help deliver on things like interest free student loans, student debt surveys and the universal student allowance. This year I have had the privilege of representing students on the Student Allowance Review Board (SARB) and without NZUSA students’ would lose that voice. There are many other services that NZUSA delivers on and there’s much more and it provides student’s with additional power; however it can deliver on so I now believe NZUSA is under resourced and it would be harmful to the student movement if we pulled our VUWSA contribution.

    The Association needs to change and I extend my best wishes to our incoming executive (you’re all mad).

    The Reverend Paul Danger Brown
    Leaflet delivery boy 1990-93
    Pizza hut delivery boy 1997-98
    Pizza hut manager 1998-2000
    Fisherman’s table waiter/manager 2000-03
    UniQ President 2005
    UniQ Treasurer 2006
    Proud Advertising and sponsorship manager 2006-2007
    VUWSA Education Officer A/Welfare Vice President 2007
    VUWSA Education Vice President 2008
    Essay writer 2008

  52. the Reverend Paul Danger Brown says:

    BTW I hear there is a $40k increase in the Salient budget so does anyone want to start talking about that? We’re looking at $160k possibly

  53. “Rory presents some figures from the VUWSA website but fails to mention that these figures are woefully out of date. These are 2002 figures. Rory your figures are six years old and the loss Salient is now making has increased by $100k since then.”

    Those figures are straight off the VUWSA website, which WayBack says was last updated in February of this year. If VUWSA aren’t even bothering to check the accuracy of the financial information they offer their members then the Association clearly has bigger problems than the Salient budget. I’m glad you’re willing to acknowledge your own complicity there, but perhaps you can supply us with some more accurate figures then?

    Incidentally, I can see what you’re saying about NZUSA but I suspect the same ends could be achieved by a loose affiliation of students’ associations making the rounds at Select Committees and all the rest of it, rather than a somewhat bloated national body. Case in point – VUWSA pays membership levies to NZUSA and provides funding for Student Job Search, yet NZUSA has somehow managed to wrangle a reserved seat on the governance board of Student Job Search alongside the associations which pay for it in the first place! The best-case scenario is that VUWSA are buying an extra vote; the worst is that NZUSA are ripping them off. Take your pick.

    Finally, I totally sympathise with the need for lobbying and a national voice. But if VUWSA are suffering from severe financial hardship, the last thing they should be doing is giving members’ money away to everyone else. A VSM referendum is possibly on the cards in the next few years, and it will be the absolute death of VUWSA unless they provide their members with tangible benefits. NZUSA, I hate to say, is not one of them.

    Also, do you mind if I ask where you heard about a budget *increase*?

  54. the Reverend Paul Danger Brown says:

    Well Rory firstly it’s not my job to provide you with accurate figures; that’s the AVP’s job especially since I’m no longer at VUWSA. Secondly it’s not hard to find out about the increases. The budget was approved at their last meeting I believe so it should be a matter of public record after next week when the minute are ratified.

  55. Jackson Wood says:

    As I told Paul earlier: the increase is because VUWSA have shifted the “VUWSA/Salient Advertising – sponsorship Managers role into Salient’s costing. So the extra $40k is coming straight from VUWSA for someone who works bringing income into both areas.

    Alex decided to do this because “he [the Advertising/Sponsorship manager] does more work for Salient than VUWSA.” It does make Salient’s budget look inflated, however in terms of actual funding we have gone down.

    As for your other points… well.. Um… I see where you’re coming from. Agree to disagree on tabloid/broadsheet. Financial management of VUWSA esp. is something that needs to happen in the future. Yadda yadda yadda.

  56. the Reverend Paul Danger Brown says:

    Sorry Rory I failed to mention that these figures are also available in the Annual report.

    Anyway enough f this for me; while I love my association I feel I have done my time and set the ball rolling on many improvements, I am going to leave it in the hands of the students’.

    Since I’ve left I’m informed that I don’t look quite so run down and I’m guessing that’s a good thing. My role required 40hours on average a week and it’s going to require similar commitment this year. Financially and mentally that takes it’s toll so I wish the current executive all the best.

  57. the Reverend Paul Danger Brown says:

    Apologies Jackson I should have mentioned that; however moving Jon McQueen’s Salary over to the Salient budget will better reflect the true cost of Salient. I’m not too sure that it should all be attributed to Salient though as Jon does a lot of work for Team Vic.

    Anyway over and out

  58. Shitkicker McGee says:

    Jackson, could I please have a job? I look good dancing naked on the VUWSA photocopier.

    Shitkicker McGee
    Paper round boy 1995-1998
    In a coma 1999-2008
    Unemployed 2008-

    PS. I just saw Wee Hamish on TV. Wish that cunt would stop crying.

  59. Wee Hamish says:

    Ack! Piss oof, yah toylet clennin’ spotted Gitbird! I cry the teahs of Scotland’s lament, an nuthin’ less!

  60. Jackson Wood says:

    S. McGee: No.

    Paul: Agreed. Wish you well.

    Rory: Sorry I didn’t explain the situation clearer yesterday. I agree with your points. Though ironically it would be easier to argue against NZUSA if Labour had got in and granted universal allowances.

  61. On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 10:00 AM, Rory MacKinnon wrote:
    Hi there Jasmine/Joel,
    Rory MacKinnon here, interloper from Auckland and Salient contributor for 2009. I’ve just left a couple of questions for the VUWSA Exec here on the Salient website and I’d greatly appreciate a reply when you get a chance. Cheers!

    On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 6:33 PM, Jasmine Freemantle wrote:
    Hi there Rory,
    If you e-mail through your number, it’d be happy to talk through any questions you’ve got concerning the 09 budget.

    On Sat, Dec 13, 2008 at 10:44 AM, Rory MacKinnon wrote:
    Thanks for the quick response, but with all due respect I’d prefer my concerns were discussed publicly. Transparency, accountability and all that. The comments thread is still there if you’re keen.

    Jasmine Freemantle to Rory 9:11 AM (11 minutes ago)
    I think that if you’re not interested in talking to me about this, then it would probably be best for you to talk to either Alexander Neilson (Admin V-P), or Jackson Wood (Salient editor 2009).

  62. projourno says:

    Rory stop being sneaky and just give her a ring, you have aired a lot publicly already, TALK to the Exec and stop trying to score cheap points against VUWSA before your year has even started as everyone is tired and wants to go unwrap presents at their parents house, by the sounds of it if you start stroke the hand that feeds you instead of biting it then Santa might be a bit nicer to Salient…

    What will you be contributing by the way?

  63. I’m not being sneaky, projourno. I’m just aware that Jasmine is probably the most informed person in this whole debacle and I’d like to see her respond to the comments and questions in this thread – there’s a lot she could do to clarify the situation for Salienteers and put some of the rumours to rest. Plus I’d like to see my own questions answered substantively in a public forum so that everyone is privy to the information.

    What will I be contributing? I was actually promised a part-time position as News Editor alongside Matt Backhouse and Sarah Robson, but Jackson tells me he’s now decided to replace us with enrolled students in order to curry favour with VUWSA. I hope it works out for him.

  64. Perhaps Jasmine or Alexander could release a statement and some tech-savvy at risk youth could post it as a separate blog entry. It would look a little more official and tidy, anyway.

    And Rory, I hear the news editor for ’09 is a fucking douchebag with diabetes or something lame like that. You, Matthew and Sarah could probably smash him.

    Well, not so much you and Matthew, but I’m sure Sarah could giving him the thrashing of a lifetime.

  65. bunny says:

    It’s a really interesting phenomenon how wannabe-‘journalists’ are automatically experts on running VUWSA as soon as they’re employed. Somebody should write a thesis on it.

  66. Laura McQuillan says:

    Wow! A talking bunny!

  67. Here bunnybunnybunny!

  68. Laura McQuillan says:

    Hey Michael, when are you in Wellington next? Come over for dinner.

  69. bunny says:

    Excellent comeback, guys.

  70. Laura McQuillan says:

    Oh, were you talking to us in the first place?

  71. “It’s a really interesting phenomenon how wannabe-’journalists’ are automatically experts on running VUWSA as soon as they’re employed. Somebody should write a thesis on it.”

    Actually I’ve been reporting on student politics and tertiary education issues in New Zealand for the last three years, but I’m not claiming to be an expert on VUWSA specifically. I just think these things are worth discussion and I’d welcome the Exec’s considered opinion.

    And seeing as everyone else is doing it:

    Rory MacKinnon
    President, Aotearoa Student Press Association 2008

  72. Neal Perry says:

    “It’s a really interesting phenomenon how wannabe-’journalists’ are automatically experts on running VUWSA as soon as they’re employed. Somebody should write a thesis on it.”

    It’s really interesing phenonmenon that wannabe-‘politicians’ are automatically experts on running VUWSA even before they’re elected. Somebody should write a thesis on it.

    It goes both ways Bunny wunny.

  73. I’m all for transparency, but the appropriate channels should be used, and divulging what’s potentially sensitive information through a blog’s comment section isn’t the right way to go about anything. Not telling anyone how to do their job, that’s insane, just pointing out a couple of details that may have been overlooked.

    Secondly, we’re not trying to be the guy at the craps table betting against the line. We’re not sitting here, chomping at the bit, waiting and longing to tear VUWSA apart the moment it makes an indiscretion. If anything, I want this year to be really shit for the news department. I’d love to come into the office on a Monday and say, “Uh.. so, this guy got caught mixing clear plastic with coloured plastic in the Kirk recycling bin. Dude was like, “Woah, sorry, I’ll put that back”, but I think we can stretch it out for two, maybe three issues.”

    C’mon, VUWSA, baby. Make this diabetic sweat that sug-ah out.

  74. Insert Name says:

    Why when I was a young child I was walking along a short cobble road in a town called Motueka.
    ( inb4 Bel air ) For those who are ignorant of this town it is situated about an hour out of Nelson.
    There I saw two children not much older than I was fighting over a toy quite agressively, kid A smacked kid B in the face and visa versa.

    I continued walking keeping an eye on the obnoxious duo, when out of no where an adult came tearing past me making a beeline towards the two. She smacked them both around their arses ( Aunty Helen wasn’t around back then ) before taking the toy off of them, she then proceeded to scream at them for stealing the toy from a kindergarden.

    Anyway, the moral of this story is quite obvious.

    I however call for my comrades to join together to grasp our toys back using a method over 9000 years old. VIVA LA REVOLUTION!

  75. Neal Perry says:

    “I however call for my comrades to join together to grasp our toys back using a method over 9000 years old.”


    Anyway, the world is only 6000 years old. Everyone knows that!

  76. bunny says:


    “It’s really interesing phenonmenon that wannabe-’politicians’ are automatically experts on running VUWSA even before they’re elected. Somebody should write a thesis on it.”

    I agree with this, to a certain extent, but in my experience, the majority of people (though not all, there’s always the crazy power hungry young-whatever-political party types) who are elected to vuwsa are people who want to make it better, socialists who believe in unions and fair and just representation and advocacy of and for students.

    indeed vuwsa has been fucked up rather grandly over the years by some bad choices (aaaa-nickkellygeoffhaywardjoelcosgrove-choo!) but that doesnt mean that vuwsa’s student ‘politicians’ (they’re representatives, not politicians. politicians govern people as well as money, and they play the political field – there’s none much to play in vuwsa, they fund the press after all) go into it with an attitude to fuck around.

    however the reactionary nature of salient, and it’s tendency to exaggerate, embellish and all round take a negative point of view of vuwsa (a la seonah choi) can be, i think, quite hypocritical.

    but i am heartened. by the sounds of it, at least, michael oliver is at least entering his post with an optimistic attitude. whatever happens from there is fine, and should quite rightly reflect the function that salient plays in the accountability of vuwsa’s student representatives.

  77. Insert Name says:

    I was of course refering to exhibit 91E in the court of heaven where the Fallen started a revolution against God. ;o belair.

    Btw Neal, I am a great fan of your website. I thank you for many great nights.

  78. Peter Manglethwaite says:

    OH hello. Does anyone want to have a slumber party tonight? Oliver?

  79. Neal Perry says:

    Oh… right… Cos everyone is familiar with that and are not as familiar as they are with prostitution. Judging by your comments, you are a fan of electronic prostitution: otherwise known as pr0n.

    Bunny: You put it quite well. Maybe sometimes a voice outside of the ruminations of the horrible VUWSA machine is good. No one knows how to run the fucker. Who cares. It’ll all be gone in a few months.

  80. rabbit says:

    wow 3 guesses who “bunny” is. i wish these loser young labourites and their bum chums would just go get a life or at least stop bothering the rest of us with their pathetic little agendas

  81. Gibbon says:

    Bunny is clearly Nick o Kane

  82. Alan says:

    can i get my 8 dollars back so i can afford 2 speights i dont much like salient as toliet paper its rough

  83. Origami says:

    It’s more like $5. and you’ll be hard pressed to find another magazine which gives you 25 issues for a total investment of that much. Don’t like the content as you smear your shit on it? The drunken ramblings of some of those bitches give you hives? Go to the fucking office and talk to whoever the editor is and contribute to the rag.

  84. $4 Speights? What, is this 1997?

  85. $3 says:

    Nah, I went to Vic in 97 and speights was cheaper then.

  86. Humbler times, simpler times…

  87. Pappa Jazz says:

    when I was growing up in South Canterbury I screwed a Ewe. I’m not proud of it but I fight every day with the urge to do it again.

  88. Jimothy says:

    hi salient i’m jimothy :D

  89. The Listener says:

    I like your style. Wanna come back to mine later?

  90. RIp It Up says:

    Don’t do this to me Listener.
    I thought we had something special!

  91. Hey, if you go broadsheet I hope you don’t become as crap as I am. I have all these nubs writing whack shit and polluting my pages. The only part I really enjoy any more is Dilbert. Why can’t Pankhurst just do a Dilbert edition once a week.

    Sheesh mahal.

    <3 DP

  92. The New Zealand Herald says:

    Oh, Dominion Post! What I wouldn’t give to be young and precocious like you…

  93. Metro Magazine says:

    *masturbates into paua shell ashtray, wipes cock on curtains*


  94. Insert Name says:

    I dear say Gentlemen,

    This here forum seems to be overrun by what some would call trolls. I am somewhat offended that those who are troll and / or woman like feel that they can participate in such a democratic thread.

    Why when one is witness to such a smear upon this poor now sentient being, one feels a surge of utter disgrace.

    I implore to all those wishing to express their opinions to strive towards sprucing up, at very least their ideas, and preferably the manner in which they convey they,

    I must commend the lengths as to which you pursue your vulgar endeavour Pappa Jazz. I must however be the arbitrator and condemn your impudence to the halls of heck itself.

    It has been many years since I was graced with the succulent scent of dear old nannies baking. It reminded me a bit of this discussion actually. It was so alluring yet once you bit into anything she made, you got a sour taste of weathered cider. She seemed to pour it into every batch you create, bless her.

    So at the end of the day, what she created had a beautiful idea to it yet at the core it held her bitter albeit selfish agenda.

    ( Bel Air. )

  95. New Scientist says:

    Who the hell named a publication ‘Insert Name’?

  96. Woman's Day says:

    With a bit more Ben Lummis, you really could become a top-quality publication.

  97. That's Life! says:

    *ten-page spread of extraordinarily ugly people making grotesque facial expressions with a bunch of equally disfigured children at some snore of a charity event*

  98. The New Yorker says:

    I find the wit in this thread rather trying.

  99. Maxim says:

    While I on the other hand find it almost impossible not to want to steal it and claim it for my own.

    Wait, am I the pseudonudey magazine or the magazine from that right wing think tank?

  100. The Economist says:

    Who cares what you are, just as long as you remember – The freer the markets, the freer the people.

  101. Vogue says:

    Dahling, it’s all about the accessories.

  102. The Spark says:

    Oh man. I was hoping that Joel would be the editor, because then my content would get wider coverage in the pages of Sparklient.

  103. Indymedia says:

    You’re all wrong! Everyone is lying!

  104. Salient 2007 says:

    *pisses and shits everywhere*

  105. Maria Williams says:

    Not a Maori in sight, eh?

    They don’t even come up in conversation. Salient ever had a Maori editor or is it just another racist white publication like the Dom post?

    The silence is worse than the actions taken everyday to get Maori out of work and out fo sight. I lost my job at Takaka public library because of Racist whites. We should refuse to take part, brothers and sisters.

  106. Salient says:

    Ummmm… Maria Salient has traditionally been very supportive of Maori causes. If you’d taken the time to actually go back and read through my catalogue, my writers have taken an active role and given Maori a voice in the media which was way ahead of my main stream family.

    I’m not too sure if any of the editors have been Maori, race really doesn’t matter to me too much, but we definitely have had many many Maori contributors over the years and for at least the past 10 years there has always been a Te Reo issue.

    In fact VUWSA and Salient value Maori input into the magazine so much that Ngai Tauira has a seat on the selection panel for the new editor and the publications committee which governs the magazine.

    Salient is not, has never been and will hopefully continue well into the future to not be a “racist white publication like the Dom post”

    I suggest you get your facts straight before commenting on my website and, regardless of race, making yourself look like a fool.

  107. It’s unfortunate when comments like Maria’s are made. All they do is goad others into an unintelligible mish-mash of a “debate”.

    The fact of the matter is that Salient is not a “racist white publication” (whatever the hell that means) and has made tangible efforts to cater to a wide range of Maori issues. The incoming editor himself has indicated that there will be an upswing in the amount of Maori content in addition to Ngai Tauira’s current level of contribution.

  108. Christine Wankin says:

    Oh come on Maria, for years Ngai Tauira were offered weekly pages in Salient but after the first couple of issues the content dried up. For years the news editors had been trying to cover Ngai Tauria meetings but were turned away because they weren’t Maori. Now that’s what I call racism.

  109. Superior Mind says:

    Been away. How’s everone doing?

    25 per-fucking-cent? Damn personified Salient, that’s one Hell of a crappy amputation. Particularly when Salient is really the only thing I approve of my VUWSA money going towards; well, that and the VUWSA Tramping Club since I did attend a meeting of it once. I have to say that there’s a fuck-load else we could shave a few bucks off in order to get the full 100% that Salient enjoyed and deserved in 2008.

    Gotta be that damn recession.

    Anyway, sice I’ve thoroughly enjoyed flaunting my ego in the pages of Salient during 2008 and fully plan to enjoy the same next year if there’s anything I can do, including handing over the loose change in my wallet, (which I’m afraid to say consists of twenty cents and two guitar picks,) or giving you my Subway rewards money I will be more than happy to.

  110. Insert Name says:

    Salutations fellow gentlemen,

    It seems to me that the previous troll infestation has mildly subsided, which can only mean one thing of course it must be that darn recession.

    Ms Williams, I found your statements empowering and somewhat heroic. What a voice, what an avatar of hope, acts that require prestige. The acts in which I refer to are of course the two amazing feats that follow; A, Setting feminism back twenty years and B, Solidifying the stereotype of the “whining maori”. I could not have done better in my lifetime, perhaps we could have a spot of tea one eve?

    Salient, my old friend, oh how the mighty have fallen. We once basked beneath a mid summers rays, enjoying ourselves. Do you remember that time we eloped too the meadows of Motueka? It was beautiful Salient, beautiful.

    I remember you as an accepting androgynous beast, how wrong I was.
    Though Ms Williams is obviously ignorant to the “door” that you have open to her minority group and has obviously formed an attempt at targeting an issue that targets said groups advocacy in a manner that screams “fail” from the first line to the end, in a way that can only be described as a banshee committing atrocious forms of sexual abuse upon a poor lost Gentleman.

    Perhaps she was trying to highlight the fact that a minority class of a minority group are obviously failing to advocate for and of course voice to the wider population that they represent. Her wail holds merit.

    Why back when I was but a young squire, I recall taking a stroll up Kelburn parade with a chap who went by the name of Franklin. Not much of a man yet he had a keen eye for game and had flawless aim. Not to mention of course that he also hailed from the prestigious Motueka, the land of rolling plains and the true home of the Gentleman.
    ( Bel air )
    We were approached by a group of indigenous fellows, apparently we came across as young men looking lost within a new land. It also seemed that I held a familiar posture and they seemed to feel that my dashing appearance coupled by my olive skin made me their kin, who am I to argue with the natives of this land.

    I quickly left poor Franklin behind and attended the banquet they had prepared for those just like me, they named it a ‘hangy’. I was asked a few questions like, ‘What is your ee wee?” and “Cay tear, pear for your queer?”. I quickly told them that I didn’t understand, and attempted to shrug off their jungle mind trickery. I found their goading incredibly elitist at first and not at all the way one would treat another gentlemen, what tipped the iceberg was when they led my ignorant soul towards a pit, and I put two and two together. Was this to be my grave?

    To my suprise they had actually used this hole as an underground oven, what ingenuity! The feast was fantastic. We conversed over our food, which led to a lengthly debate regarding the structure of our nation. It seemed that no matter what angle I attempted to attack the words of their president he would make a sub par attempt at belittling my argument which would be followed by the heckling guffaws of his tribe, it was not only offensive but plain rude.

    This was my first experience with their way and frankly, I must say I was not impressed.

    I have since met many, a number that far out weighs the group that had in my eyes represented a culture. I will at once admit fault in my prior conclusion and humble myself by apologising.

    My thoughts for you Ms Williams are as follows,

    Do you feel that you are being advocated well?
    Are you willing to become the peoples champion?
    Do you know Dwayne The rock Johnson?
    Are you attractive?
    If yes, would you mind a spot of tea?
    but in all seriousness, Do you think a group of pretentious students from middle class families actually care about what you say?

    inb4 bitches don’t know about ma lazar~raaaar

  111. Phoenix says:

    “Matt”ls suggestion:
    slander the exec (think: accusations of pedophilia) then print a retraction the following week, citing a lack of sub-eds as the reason such filth got through in the first place. Repeat the following week.

    = Bloody brilliant!

    Geez though, 25%? Is this decision coming from the people we elected to represent our views? Woo for demo-fucking-ocracy…

  112. correction i know your father says:


    = defamation lawsuit = salient more broke than ever

  113. I don’t think it’s in anyone’s interests to divulge any details surrounding the budget, but you can rest assured there will be 24 64-page issues of Salient with all your favourite shenanigans (and some new bits and bobs) coming out in 2009.

    We’re all excited about bringing a more open and student-orientated Salient to the student masses this year without skimping on quality… well, for the first few issues anyway… but some of us might get bored and just start copy-pasting “lol cats” in instead of, you know, “words”, but we’ll do our best for the most part.

    And, of course, if you want to contribute, or you know somebody who’s got a knack for writing/drawing/reviewing – maybe even a first year, god forbid – then flick an e-mail in the direction of (subject = volunteer).We’re eager to bring as many new faces into the world of student media this year as we can because, after all, this is the student magazine, written for the windswept masses of Victoria University. We’re here to write for you, and that’s all.

    There’s a place for everyone at the Salient pool table this year, so bring your ideas, your creative genius and a desire to entertain and inform your classmates, and the rest will take care of itself.

    Don’t be shy – we may look like a bunch of busy douchebags (and, well, we are), but it’s our wish that every volunteer and every new face feels welcome and that their energy and efforts will be appreciated. You may even grow to like us (except for Dr. Peter Manglethwaite, who is barely able to maintain a conversation with a stranger without blurting out some racial/gender/anti-animal jibe with little or no prompt).

    It’s been great to see that so many people care about the livelihood of this tasty piece of student media real estate. I can only hope we’ll be able to repay that interest by producing a magazine worth kicking a fuss up about. God knows we’re gonna try.

    Thanks again, everybody.
    – Michael (News Ed, 2009)

  114. Shitkicker McGee says:

    correction i know your father: defamation lawsuit = VUWSA suing itself = VUWSA more broke than ever.

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