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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 11. 1965.


page 8


A Definite No

What a meaningless phrase it is to most students— "full-time NZUSA President."

Well it means something significant to all students—money and ideas—significant, surely?

The money comes with the "full-time" part.

Now we have never gone along with those idealistic gentlemen who loudly proclaim "students should not be paid for doing student work."

The same gentlemen then find that no students want to do the menial but profit-making tasks they have in mind, and go out and hire a non-student to do it.

They haven't been paid to be student politicians—yet.

But NZUSA wants to change this. Right this coming year, if they have their way, at a cost of, say, 1/- per student per year (or about £1000 salary p.a.).

It has been explicitly understood by NZUSA personnel this year that they are out on trial. They are trying to rescue a fine idea from its dreadful reality.

You may remember, back about April, we were pounding the pavements toward Parliament to beg for more money.

NZUSA used to do that. However, lately they've been more worried about working up a lather for the rights of Angolan natives and international student politics and collecting funds for African scholarships which turn out to be something else.

We, too, can and do get indignant about many things in this world. But in common with most students we would plead that we've looked in our own yard first.

NZUSA may have been short of cash. It may have been short of staff. Its policy may have been changed under the present regime.

But we refuse to believe that anything would be solved, created, or improved, by taking some graduate student and promoting him to be paid head of NZUSA.

There is a place for NZUSA—to represent us here first and overseas second, to co-ordinate us, to inform us, to promote the student in the community.

To this aim we will concede effort and money, as much as can be justified and a little more to make sure. But to this we will not concede the myth of a paid Great White Father of us all—H.B.R.

Mandy and Morals

Mr. Shand's main reason for keeping Miss Mandy Rice-Davies out of the country appeared to be that if she were allowed in to New Zealand her presence would give offence to a large section of the community.

And so the ruling came down that she must be kept out, and New Zealand as a result will not be offended. It all sounds as if the Honourable T. P. Shand is protecting a twin-island paradise against a wicked greater world.

It is everyone's privilege to define his or her own terms, and so a definition of morality will not be imposed here. But definitions must, to be useful, be consistently applied, and indeed we can demand that they should be. It therefore follows that if one defines Miss Davies's past behaviour as immoral, one must also describe as immoral the behaviour, in New Zealand, that leads to one birth in 10 being illegitimate.

One in 10. The highest illegitimacy rate in the world. Yet is there public clamour at this fact? Does the offence-taking sector of New Zealand get upset by the behaviour of its own society? There is little evidence to suggest that it does.

A portion of society (and it could be a very big portion) can keep Miss Davies out through Mr. Shand's good offices. This stops delicate sensibilities from being upset. The good citizens of New Zealand can (and do) produce illegitimate children at the rate of six thousand a year. Very few people seem offended.

The Minister, then, has taken a very pious stand to avoid offending a pious section of the community. This section of the community, one suspects, attempts to exorcise the rottenness of many members of its own society by snorting at the behaviour of one member of another.

The Puritans, it is said, disapproved of bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.

There is no evidence that they bear-baited in their back yards.

Many New Zealanders disapprove of Miss Rice-Davies and immoral behaviour.—G.E.J.L.