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February 23, 2009 | by  | in News |
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Vic plays host to great muppet caper

This year’s first New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) conference was held recently at Victoria University of Wellington, hosted by the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association, and was attended by student union executives from around the country.

The conferences allowed portfolio holders from different campuses to exchange ideas and tips to solve problems which might affect several different tertiary institutions, and also held workshops that discussed contemporary tertiary issues.

Workshop discussions ranged from Maori representation on campus to how to work in a constructive way with your local student media.

NZUSA Co-President Sophia Blair said she thought the conference went very well.

“I think everyone had a good time, and we put on lectures to get everyone up to speed on the main problems students face, such as debt, loans and allowances,” she said.

When asked whether the conference suffered from any of the controversy that occasionally attends it, she said, “Well, no. I don’t think so. All the delegates come from different backgrounds, of course, but I think everyone was pretty respectful.”

Despite this, financial difficulties have meant that several items on the NZUSA budget have had to be reduced. A motion was passed that decreased expenditure by 11% across the board, only excepting those budget lines which were contractually bound to remain the same.

After this budget cutting, NZUSA will be running a small surplus for 2009.

Another motion was passed establishing a working group to examine the salaries of the two Co-Presidents and the National Women’s Rights Officer, with its findings to be implemented in 2010.

This latest salary review follows an independent financial review in 2004, as well as a similar NZUSA sub-committee review in 2008, which found that the Co-Presidents received considerably less remuneration than the market rate when their extensive job descriptions are taken into consideration.

The next NZUSA conference is scheduled to be in June/July, and is to be hosted by the Auckland University Students’ Association.

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