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September 7, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Administering you into the ground

Smooth, Swift, Long-lasting Administration that you voted for.


Hello. Kia ora. My name is Max. I am your new AVP. I deal with money. $$. £€₣7/8©¥™.

You may have seen the tax refund ads all over the place at the moment, and as your newly elected, responsive, forward-thinking, money man, I have introduced a service that will help you get your money back, for free.

Free Tax Refund Advice—don’t give your money to no-one

The Government may owe you money. You could let them spend it on healthcare or welfare or something, or you could wrench it from their cold ungrateful hands. Very soon VUWSA will be helping you do just that. A number of faceless corporations offer you this service already, but they take a significant cut of your money. VUWSA will not do that, because we are nice (and you’ve already paid for us anyway).

VUWSA provides a lot of services to students (like way heeeaps), and we provide them very cheaply, a lot cheaper, for instance, than the University could provide them for. One thing I want to do is to increase the amount and quality of services we provide students, and in the long-term bring their cost down (which is mostly your levies). Look out for the publicity on this one and do not give a cut of your money to anyone.

Better Financial Accountability, Processes and Budgeting

It has become customary for the outgoing VUWSA Executive to complain about “longstanding issues with VUWSA’s financial systems”. So do something about it, you had a year. Well I have a couple of months. Improving VUWSA’s financial systems and accountability is my top priority.

I campaigned for it, so this is what I am doing:

The Executive has recently introduced a monthly accounts review system, which will review profit and loss and balance sheet against budget, and review debtors and creditors, with reporting on steps being taken on any accounts over 30 days. The monthly review will also confirm that till, payroll, GST and bank reconciliations and other regular checks have been done. We have also introduced a Theft and Fraud Prevention Policy. Simple stuff; why did it take so long?

What’s more – we are going to make the 2010 Budget (and subsequent monthly reviews against budget) actually make sense to students, and to the 2010 Executive (quite groundbreaking). This will allow better accountability, and give more control to the Executive on things like surpluses and deficits… cost overruns and cost under… runs…

More revenue, more money, more services

Some of VUWSA’s money does not come from student levies. This is a good thing, because it allows us to provide services to our members that they do not pay for (so you get more bang for your buck or whatever). It also builds a sustainable Association. I am currently in the process (with others) of developing a non-member revenue plan, so you get more stuff, and, eventually, your levies can be reduced, if that is what students vote for.

The door (or email server) is open

I am at VUWSA a lot of the time, and I am more than willing to discuss with you the state of VUWSA’s administration and finances, my plans and any plans you might have. Accountability is what it is about.

In service,
Max Hardy
Vice-President (Adminstration),


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Comments (11)

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  1. Stephen Whittington says:

    Sorry, what services do you actually provide? The column is a little unclear.

  2. Hank Scorpio says:

    (like way heeeaps)

    Oh yeah like woah heaps and heaps totals Max in ’10!

    We’re adults, you fucking shithead. Ugh.

  3. Ralph says:

    I think you’re looking for Craigslist, Stephen. Men on there offer all kinds of services.

  4. Stephen Whittington says:


    The voluntary nature of the transaction gives me consumer sovereignty to ensure I get what I want.

  5. Max Hardy says:

    Stephen, I didn’t think the column was the best place to write a list (especially given my word limit). This information is also readily available.

    However, off the top of my head,not comprhensively:

    General services
    -Full-time student advocates who support students and advocate on their behalf concerning both internal and external student grievances (internal being, for example, plagiarism, and external being, for example, employment or tenancy issues, problems with StudyLink etc)
    -Free Bread twice a week
    -Food bank service every day
    -Campus Angels (now operating from 3 out of 4 Campuses)
    -Provision of Car Parks and Lockers
    -Free Bus Tickets
    -Free Flu Shots
    -Printing and faxes for students and student groups
    -Production and distribution of the annual Handbook Diary and Wall Planner
    -Helps fund and support the VBC 88.3FM
    -Production and distribution of welfare and education related publications, such as the Alternative Guide, VUWSA Cookbook, and the International Students’ Guide
    -Helps fund and support Student Job Search (which wouldn’t be here if it was not for students’ associations)
    -Various other services, ranging from advocacy and referral, to Stress Free Study Week, winter soup kitchen, and the like

    -Coordination, training and support of over 800 student representatives every year (including class representatives, faculty delegates, Academic Board and University Council representatives, etc)
    – Funds and supports about a dozen Representative Groups (including but not limited to the Law Students’ Society, the Postgraduate Students’ Association, UniQ)
    – Funds and supports Ngai Tauira
    – Provides high-level representation and advocacy both within the University and externally on issues affecting students (ranging from student employment to library provisions, to give two examples)
    – Helps fund and support the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations

    – Funds and supports over 80 sports and cultural clubs
    – Coordinates and subsidises Victoria teams attending annual sporting events, including but not limited to University Games and Snow Games
    – Helps fund and support University Sport New Zealand
    – Provides Orientation, Re-Orientation, and regular events and activities throughout the year.

    Hank, sorry to offend you, I did not intend to be condescending or childlike, it was merely an attempt to make the column interesting.

  6. Stephen Whittington says:

    Would you agree that the following services are user pays:

    Provision of Car Parks and Lockers
    Printing and faxes for students and student groups

    That the following could be user pays:

    Full-time student advocates who support students and advocate on their behalf concerning both internal and external student grievances (internal being, for example, plagiarism, and external being, for example, employment or tenancy issues, problems with StudyLink etc)
    Campus Angels (now operating from 3 out of 4 Campuses)
    Free Bus Tickets
    Free Flu Shots
    Production and distribution of the annual Handbook Diary and Wall Planner

    That the following is in breach of the Memorandum of Understanding:

    Funds and supports Ngai Tauira

    And that therefore there is pretty much no service you provide that is a public good?

  7. Gibbon says:

    The thing about Salient is that anyone can pick it up, therefore a non-student can pick it up, therefore 20000 students are forced to pay for something that anyone can grab.

    If it was a user-pays system, at least money would be made from those non-students who are essentially getting the magazine for free.

    It makes sense to me, when viewed through this narrow looking-glass.

  8. Matt says:

    Just out of interest here, does “public good” have some sort of bizarre technical definition? If not I’d really have to think that flu shots and the Campus Angels at least are a public good, the other things, well, maybe, sorta, maybe not.

  9. Stephen Whittington says:

    A public good is a good that is both non-rivalrous and non-excludable.

    Goods obviously fall on a spectrum, but generally the closer to not being a public good they are, then that is the proper role of the market. The closer they fall to being a public good, then they should be provided by some coercive body – a Government.

  10. James says:

    Take your market and piss off

  11. Boris Pissoffski h h says:

    Stunning insight there, James.

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