Monday, January 31, 2005
Exec Meeting 2
Nothing of any great excitement tonight:
- Jill Wainwright (Wellington Regional Manager of Student Job Search) spoke to the exec about what SJS does - I mean, in slightly more detail than "We get students jobs". This is a really good service that is partially funded by the student association. Over the summer period (to date) there were more than 4000 placements in the Wellington Region (which includes Nelson and Blenheim), earning over $4 million for students (up $1 million on the same period last year).
- There was some talk of the relationship between VUWSA and the Association of University Staff, after what some exec members felt was a little bit of a shafting last year over fee setting (especially after VUWSA had pledged their support for the staff in their pay negociations). It was resolved that I would write a letter to AUS Victoria asking for an indication of support during the 2005 fee setting process.
Other than that, it was pretty much the normal.
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Emeritus Professor Frank Evison
Although I never had Professor Evison as a lecturer (in fact, my transport geography study is the chalk to his geophysics cheese), the close-knit community that is the VUW School of Earth Sciences meant that I had numerous discussions with him in passing, or in the school's staff and graduate lunch room. He always showed a keen interest in my study and research, and is a great loss for the Victoria University Community.
His funeral is tomorrow (Monday) 2:30pm at Old St Pauls, Thorndon. I will be attending, both as Student President, and in a personal capacity.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Warm, double room available in Kelburn flat with three early 20’s guys. Wooden floors, large windows (gets morning sun), 2 wardrobes.
2 minutes to university, 5 minutes to Kelburn shops, 1 minute to cable car. D
eck and backyard good for socialising.
Would suit postgrad student.
Available from Saturday 1 Feb.
Contact Chris on 021 173 7826 or 475 7671 for further details.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Greenbrook 1, Mallard 0
The piece was rather shallow (as to be expected from the NZ television media, I guess), and they cut out my best stuff. Also, I badly needed (and, have since had) a hair cut (hence the over-use of product). Just the same, I am proud of making the national media after only three weeks in the job, with a story I pretty much peddled from the start (I was under the impression that it was going to be a small part of a bigger story, not the main part of the story).
Trevor Mallard is quoted as saying there was a lot of abuse of the former system, with people getting married in order to qualify. This is absolutely without basis - there were only a few hundred students who qualified because they are married, as opposed to the 8,000 who qualified through the 96 week rule. Politicians use statistics like a drunk uses a lamp post - for support rather than illumination. I guess that's what happens when you have a former VUWSA President as your advisor...
It is also going to be covered in the Wellingtonian and Western News this week. Interestingly, Michelle Quirk from the Dominion Post (who is normally all over our media releases) hasn't touched it.
UPDATE: Here's the (slightly factually incorrect) NewsTalk ZB piece on it.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
See you all next week!
UPDATE: Capital Times have also picked up the media release, and are sending a photographer around this afternoon.
UPDATE 2: Just done an interview with Newstalk ZB.
UPDATE 3: My media release is on Scoop. Mind you, every man and his dog can get on Scoop...
Media Releace - 2004 Busiest Year for Student Food Bank
“VUWSA gave out 542 food parcels to financially stricken students in 2004, up almost 40% from 390 in 2003” Greenbrook said. “This clearly shows that the financial assistance that the government is pledging to students simply isn’t getting through.”
Not being able to get enough work, or having to take time off work for exams were the most common causes for students to use the food bank facility. International students were disproportionately high in the figures, hit by the strong Kiwi dollar and an increase in international fees.
“2005 will probably be even busier, with 6000 students nationwide being cut off from the independent circumstances allowance, and forced to borrow money in order to live” said Greenbrook.
For further details, contact:
President - Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association
021 899 430 – 04 463 6986
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
In my time at VUWSA I've seen the number of students turning up early for bread increase, and get earlier. The number of international students who are here at 8am (often even earlier) is astounding. I know I wouldn't get up that early to get bread unless I really needed to.
This is what the student association is all about for me - providing a economical, reliable service for our members. It is not about ending the War in Iraq, bringing down the Bush administration, starting the revolution, or giving money to pot smokers. It is about making life just that much easier for our members - the students. This is, I hope, the theme for the 2005 exec, as I know that certainly hasn't been the case in the past.
What Did You Do In the Holidays?
I actually thought it would have been higher for a post graduate, four-eyed, student politician, but it appears not...
Hannah Collings Standing for ACT in Rimatuka
While I don't agree with Hannah's (or ACT's) politics a lot of the time (actually, most of the time), and we have had our differences (including a little bit of a barney this morning), she is a lovely, good natured woman, and I wish her all the best with her campaign.
And, yes this is one of the candidates I was referring to here.
Monday, January 17, 2005
Exec Meeting 1
Agenda items of interest:
- There was significant discussion about weather we should be funding NZUSA to include the EFTS (Effective Full Time Student) from the former Wellington College of Education. This is how it works: NZUSA is funded by member associations on a per EFTS basis. Last year it was $4.50 per ETFS, this year it may be different. Because up to the minute EFTS figures are hard to come by from the Ministry or institutions, NZUSA work on the previous years figures. This creates a small situation with SAWCE winding up at the end of the year, yet not being part of VUWSA in 2004, not counted in 2005. NZUSA therefore requested that we "voluntarily" pay for the extra 1,200 students that we took on. This passed, with Hannah Collings abstaining.
- There was a debate about weather it was right to increase Orientation tickets by $1 as a fundraiser for tsunami victims. Some exec members said that some students might not like automatically contributing to a charity. If you are one of these students, I'm keen to hear from you, and find out what makes you tick (if, indeed, you do tick). Please call me on 04 463 6986, and I'll buy you a cup of coffee or a litre of blood (whatever floats your boat). I personally think that this is the most worth while "charity" VUWSA has supported in recent history - certainly much more valid than the 2004 NORML J-Day debacle...
Fun times. It was a reasonably short meeting at just 1 hour, 15 minutes.
This Guy is Funny
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Well, we had a group of young students come and ask if our flat was available today. I seems we might be breaking the flat up in the next few weeks, and I could be making my first move in Wellington outside of Kelburn...
However, I'm fairly sure the whole idea behind it is to gentrify Te Aro to hell, so that liberals (such as former VUWSA exec member, Lenka Rochford or on video here) can no longer afford to live there, and Kerry ensures herself another three years as Mayor.
The whole bypass is like fitting wheels to a turnip - time consuming, and utterly pointless (yes, that is not original). It will mearly shift the conjestion point to another part of town.
The current situation is thus:
A 100km/hour four lane motorway, feeding through a two lane tunnel (The
Terrace tunnel) into a 50km/hour indirecturban street (with pedestrians,
traffic lights, intersections etc), along an fourlane duel carrage
way, and then back into a two lane tunnel (Mt Victoria tunnel).
The by pass will mearly straighten this out. There will still be 5 sets of traffic lights, it will still be a 50km/hour road. It will make it slightly safer for pedestrians (providing they stick to the designated routes). It will save an estimated 90 seconds travelling through the central city.
Friday, January 14, 2005
Dude, I'm Getting Old...
Strange Times In the City of Sails...
Good on you guys. Would actually be quite cool to have a similar evening at the BackBencher in Wellington. Either that or a bit of Carter - Farrar bouncy boxing during the election.
I wonder if the Coop entertained everyone with his/Bjorn Lomborg's thoughts on global warming...?
Thursday, January 13, 2005
TPT is right - it is going to be great for any political junky (of which there seems to be an abundance in Wellington), although I'm not sure about the result. After being heavily involved in Marian's campaign in 2002, I'm going to enjoy watching the 2005 campaign from the sidelines. I believe that as many as three of my exec members might be running outside of Wellington Central, just the same.
Interestingly, No Right Turn's political compass of bloggers has Labour Party member Carter at about the same standing as Alliance member Span, while National Party member Farrar is to the right of ACT member The Whig. For the record, when I ran for VUWSA President, my PC was -6, -6.
Slow Day at the VUWSA Office
Lunch was a highlight. Vicky's never ceases to amaze me: today's menu is
- Beef Lesagne
- Vegetable and Egg Noodle Stir fry
- Chickpea Curry
Needless to say, I abandoned my diet, and went with something deepfried. My New Year's resolution is to loose weight. This means only water and coffee (with trim milk) during the day (no softdrinks), eating breakfast (a new, and novel concept to me) so I don't have a big lunch and sticking to three meals a day, not drinking beer mid week, and going for a run from Kelburn to Northland and back each morning.
The running is killing me. My mother used to run semi-seriously. She completed the Auckland Marathon twice, and has done several half marathons. Apart from when I was playing rugby as a kid, I never really took to it. Instead I took up golf, which involves a nice leisurely walk - much easier.
Anyway, mum said that I'd feel really good after I've been for a run. I do feel really good when it's over - I don't have to run anymore (if you walk to work between 7:30 and 8:00 along Upland Road, Northland Road, or Raroa Crescent, and you see someone staggering along, looking like they'd rather be dead, please stop, help me - tell me I'm doing the right thing). But after the exhaustion has warn of, and I can walk/crawl again, my body aches, my eyes are sore, and all I want to do all day is lie down on the couch in my office and go to sleep.
Remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Fun fact for the day: Peter Ostrum, the actor that played Charlie in the original, never made another movie. He is now Dr Ostrum, a vet in upstate New York. I was led to beleive that he was one of the Dukes of Hazard, but apparently this is false.
SAWCE brought with them some fairly mint offices at the Karori Campus, backing right onto the main quad area. As much as I hate to admit it, the Karori Campus really nice.
I'm doing office hours out there every Tuesday (1pm-5pm) and Friday (9am-12pm) from tomorrow until a representative group is set up out there. If your at Karori, come visit me!
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Web Updates - Fun, Fun
The idea came from Canterbury, although Jane Chirnside (who, at time of writing was still listed as President) got beaten by no confidence to continue as President, and George Hampton got the job in the end - Critic covered the whole sordid affair here (and Salient reprinted it).
I have linked my blog photo from the President's Welcome. Unfortunatly, it looks like I'm missing teeth...
Marc Alexander can't spell for "nuts"!
This is not an isolated case. In this release, "beaurocratic" is underlined.
According to the their website, United Future will increase "resources for years 1, 2, and 3 in primary schools for reading, writing and arithmetic." Perhaps that should start in their parliamentary office...
Friday, January 07, 2005
Fun Things I've Found In the President's Office #1
Some interesting finds:
- According to the 1968 Student Handbook, the co-president's of the Political Club were former ACT MP Owen Jennings and Green MP Sue Kedgley. Kedgley was Women's Vice President of VUWSA at the time. All the exec photos in the 1968 Handbook are studio portraits.
- The President's voice mail name tag was still set to 2000-2001 President Chris Hipkins.
- The bottom of the desk drawer has a plentiful supply of fastfood sachets of sugar, salt, and pepper, as well as hotel soaps.
- The pot plant on top of my filing cabinet takes only half a cup of water before it overflows. I found this out after I had tipped a beer jug of water over it this morning.
- The office is big and easy to loose stuff in (or maybe that's just me?).
Thursday, January 06, 2005
What did you do in 2004 that you’d never done before?
Graduate with a BA (Politics and History), and a BSc (Geography). Venture south of Christchurch (to Dunedin in September).
Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Didn't make any.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Did anyone close to you die?
What countries did you visit?
What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
A nice flat.
What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 3 - the day Phoebe flew into Wellington to stay for 3 weeks.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
An "A" average in my masters papers, recruiting 900 class reps as Education Vice President, or winning the election as President.
What was your biggest failure?
Didn't get David Zwartz re-elected to the Wellington City Council.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
Got the flu just before fee setting.
What was the best thing you bought?
Beer at JJ Murphy's.
Whose behavior merited celebration?
Te Makao Bowkett and Kevin Duggen for voting against the Victoria University Fee Increase.
Adam Maynard for achieving a zero fee increase at Massey University.
Everyone involved in the CUB Campaign.
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Brian Tamaki and Destiny Church.
Dale Jones for his speeches in opposition to the CUB.
Where did most of your money go?
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
A new relationship, albeit from a distance.
What song will always remind you of 2004?
Man in the Moon by REM.
Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? fatter
iii. richer or poorer? poorer
What do you wish you could have done more of?
Socialising with freinds, getting fit, spending time with Phoebe, seeing movies.
What do you wish you could have done less of?
How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Day with Phoebe's family in Remuera, Boxing Day with my family at Omaha.
Did you fall in love in 2004?
How many one-night stands?
What was your favorite TV program?
Blackadder (getting a little old now, bust still good), The Office, The West Wing.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, not really.
What was the best book you read?
The Fatherland by Robert Harris.
What was your greatest musical discovery?
Came rather late, but U2's How to Defuse an Atomic Bomb is great.
What did you want and get?
The above CD and a new laptop.
What did you want and not get?
What was your favorite film of this year?
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Dinner at Cadronna pub in Mt Eden with extended family. I was 23.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A zero fee increase.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
What kept you sane?
Regular phone calls from Phoebe.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
What political issue stirred you the most?
Civil Unions Bill.
Who did you miss?
Who was the best new person you met?
Indigo Freya, VUWSA's former office coordinator. Nicest person in the world, with an awesome sense of humour.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:
Always listern to the people.
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
That was a wonderful remark. (Van Morrison)
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Media Release - Victoria Students Hopeful with New Leadership in 2005
“2005 sees Victoria University with a new Chancellor, Pro Chancellor, and Vice Chancellor, as well as a relatively new Minister of Tertiary Education” says Greenbrook. “The changing of the guard will be closely watched by Victoria University students, who have had to bear the brunt of two significant fee increases in as many years, and the abolition of the Independent Circumstances Allowance this year.”
“Victoria students are fed up with the corporate, profit making mentality that has emerged at the university, and in the wider tertiary sector. This new leadership has the opportunity to turn this around in 2005. If this does not happen, students will be holding them accountable for the escalating student debt and hardship” Greenbrook said.
Jeremy Greenbrook is a postgraduate student, completing a Masters thesis in Geography. He is joined by Vice President (Education), Jennifer Jones, and Vice President (Welfare), Nick Kelly.
For further details, contact:
President - Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association
021 899 430 – 04 463 6986
Monday, January 03, 2005
New Years Etc
Anyway, the main purpose of this post is so that it says "January 2005" under archives on the sidebar. Fun times in Kumeu, you can probably tell.
Fairly uneventful New Year. Went to a New Years Eve party in Morningside (for life!). Wasn't too bad I guess. Had a good catch up with a few old friends over a beer or 12. Soon after midnight, recieved a stream of text messages from the likes of Jordan, Conor, Nick, and Jules, and missed phonecalls (and subsequent voice mails) from Tony and a very drunk former AUSA EVP - who shell remain nameless (although it was a very nice message, just the same).
Drove down to Pauanui on the Coromandel with a few mates yesturday. My god, I've never seen anything like it. Talk about the lifestyles of the rich and famous. BMW's everywhere. Someone in Auckland is obviously doing very well, thank you very much.
Had coffee this afternoon with an old school friend who had emailed me through Old Friends. I haven't really kept in touch with many of my friends from high school (mainly because I didn't have many), but she was as lovely and sweet as ever.