Auckland University funding NZUSA

October 29th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

There is a very interesting Employment Relations Authority determination just published between and its former general manager.

The determination itself is basically about how AUSA almost went bankrupt, and the General Manager didn’t keep the Executive well enough informed. They were deemed justified in sacking him for this. They will be pleased their actions were justified by the ruling. In fact they seem to have followed better process than many other employers.

But what really struck me from the determination was this extract:

The Office of the Vice Chancellor (OVC) informed that in order to assist AUSA to be “a progressive and sustainable student organisation that delivers high quality services to students”, it was prepared to amend the 2012 Services Agreement to include funding of the and SJS levies.

That is beyond outrageous. NZUSA is a political lobby group that gets involves with highly contentious non-core student issues such as asset sales. To have agree to fund NZUSA is nuts. I can only presume that has so much money it can spend some on funding lobby groups. well the Government should remember that the next time the university claims it needs more taxpayer funding.

Even worse, the Parliament of New Zealand passed a law mandating that membership of student associations must be voluntary. Having the university fund AUSA for its membership of NZUSA is a clear subversion of the law.

As I said, the easy thing for the Government to do is use this as an example every time the tertiary sector claims it has not enough money. What next – will Auckland University also start funding Greypower on behalf of its mature students?

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18 Responses to “Auckland University funding NZUSA”

  1. marcw (222 comments) says:

    I can’t click on anything below the truck brake audio link. Using Firefox. Anyone else?

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  2. Redbaiter (7,522 comments) says:

    “That is beyond outrageous. NZUSA is a political lobby group that gets involves with highly contentious non-core student issues such as asset sales. To have Auckland University agree to fund NZUSA is nuts. ”

    Yep, the Managers at Auckland uni think its smart to fund an extreme left pressure group that exists mainly as the recruitment arm of the Labour party.

    Just more proof that the education system in NZ is a left wing immersion process controlled by the Progressives and that it is politically corrupt to the core.

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  3. dime (9,356 comments) says:

    WTF?

    Id be dirty if I was unlucky enough to be studying there

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  4. tas (589 comments) says:

    I doubt the University of Auckland is flush with cash. It’s more likely incompetent/corrupt management who would rather spend the university’s precious cash supporting their political beliefs than spend it on student services and research.

    Someone should be sacked.

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  5. burt (7,791 comments) says:

    DPF

    These are socialists – they are entitled to tax payers money for their own agenda …. Keep up.

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  6. wreck1080 (3,722 comments) says:

    @marcw — same with google chrome — either dpf has altered the kiwiblog site in some way that makes chrome incompatible, or a chrome update caused this.

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  7. Maggy Wassilieff (240 comments) says:

    @marcw… I’m using Chrome.. finding Kiwiblog site slow… or unresponsive when I click on comments.

    Rest of my browsing has been ok.

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  8. jakejakejake (134 comments) says:

    How dares the university help out their student union!!

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  9. Psycho Milt (2,246 comments) says:

    Having the university fund AUSA for its membership of NZUSA is a clear subversion of the law.

    What’s a “subversion” of the law? What UoA is doing is within the law, exactly as people who “arrange their affairs” to avoid tax are within the law. The fact you don’t like it is irrelevant.

    It’s also an expected and therefore unsurprising arrangement. There was plenty of commentary at the time this law was passed along the lines of the student associations being too useful to the universities for the universities to just allow them to lapse. It was generally assumed that the universities would find ways to maintain the SAs, and they have done as expected.

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  10. RJL (143 comments) says:

    What Auckland University students need is a strong organisation for student advocacy which can campaign to University Management on issues such as the university wasting money like this…

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  11. CryHavoc (42 comments) says:

    As an alumnus I find this disgraceful, but at least thanks to this post I can in future dispose of the regular requests for money from the university more quickly and with even less guilt.

    I was one of the students who voted for – and won – voluntary membership way back in 1999. This should have made the union an opt-in, voluntary association forced to demonstrate its value to prospective members. As far as I know it has never done so – certainly not while I was there, anyway. (By which I mean yes, it is voluntary… but the value proposition is unclear.)

    On the other hand, I suspect that the university is funding AUSA to absolve itself of any responsibility to cater for any improvements to student welfare… which is about right for an institution increasingly focussed on revenue generation rather than the quality of the education or the experience.

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  12. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    During the early 2000s it was a pretty healthy organisation. My colleagues when we were on the executive made sure to put every money-making venture into trusts run by grown-ups so that there could be no way that dopey Leftist students could fuck things up again. I guess they found a way. Sigh.

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  13. burt (7,791 comments) says:

    jakejakejake

    How dares the university help out their student union!!

    Yes you are right. If the student union want to donate the money extracted from students to the Labour party then run out of money later on it’s absolutely right the government bail them out from their poor decisions. After all if we are training socialists then we need to make sure they fully understand they are not accountable for how they spend their money and if they run out they are fully entitled to just tap the tax payers for more. What sort of socialists would we be training if we didn’t make sure this sense of entitlement was well entrenched before they leave Uni to join a union or the Labour party.

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  14. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    A students’ union does a lot more than political lobbying. For the University to subsidise an SU is totally sensible.

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  15. burt (7,791 comments) says:

    Andronicus

    For the University to subsidise political lobbying is totally sensible ? Sure the student union does slightly more than infest young kinds with socialist clap trap, it also demonstrates socialist clap trap by expecting other people to pay for it to do that.

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  16. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    A students’ union does a lot more than political lobbying. For the University to subsidise an SU is totally sensible.

    What else does a student union do? Except for buying pot for people?

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  17. Bingo99 (62 comments) says:

    @Psycho Milt, @Adronicus

    As I read it, DPF is saying the funding of NZUSA, which appears to do nothing but act as an arm of Labour/Greens, contravenes the law, NOT the funding of AUSA. Why? Because students who pay their “service levy” aren’t getting a say in who represents them via that funding.

    So it’s not the funding of AUSA that’s the problem. It’s the funding of NZUSA. Can anyone actually identify anything useful NZUSA actually does?

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  18. rg (197 comments) says:

    It was the ACT Party’s legisaltion that got union membership voluntary. You know the one, the Party that has supported National, that pushes National in directions its unprincipled and socialist leadership do not want to go, and the one that has kept labour out of office.

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