Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 13. September 12, 1957
Australians Report On N.Z
Australians Report On N.Z.
Some parts of the N.Z.U.S.A. Council meeting in Dunedin last Easter were not a pleasant experience for James Thomas. President of N.U.A.U.S. (Australia). judging from comments in his report to the Australian National Student Union on his return from New Zealand.
Mr. Thomas flew to New Zealand and attended the meeting primarily so that a more efficient basis for conducting the Travel and Exchange Scheme between the two unions might be reached.
"Many sensibilities in New Zealand were severely bruised by the Australian breakdown last year," says Mr. Thomas. "From the nature of the comments made (during the meeting) it is quite apparent that the 1956 Travel Director would be well advised to go for his honeymoon to some place other than New Zealand."
Charging the Auckland delegate (Mr. P. W. Boag) with having "made a particularly bitter attack on more aspects of N.U.A.U.S. than its administration of the Travel Scheme." Mr. Thomas adds: "I felt the Council was engaging in some unnecessary unpleasantness at unnecessary length (but) this is not true of most Councillors, however, who were more embarrassed by the proceedings than I was."
Mr. Thomas also criticised "the demand for one-way assurances" by New Zealand delegates, and the "assumption of superiority in business dealings and the [unclear: I] that it wav about time N.U.A.U.S. appointed Resident Executive or modelled itself along N.Z.U.S.A.'s sleek lines. (The similar failure of N.Z.U.S.A. in 1953-54 was absolutely forgotten and buried.)."
But Mr. Thomas expresses complete satisfaction with the joint agreement that was finally negotiated between the two unions after a special subcommittee had held informal discussions with him.
"Thus a concrete basis has emerged for next year's scheme. It was quite necessary that grievances should have been aired, even at the cost of unpleasantness. The Travel and Exchange Scheme is, after all, the very nucleus of co-operation between N.Z.U.S.A. and N.U.A.U.S"
Referring to an afternoon meeting with members of the N.Z.U.S. Press Council. Mr. Thomas says: 'The editors impressed me as a particularly virile, unified, and progressive group who will play no mean part in the formulation of the attitudes of New Zealand students to current affairs."
The two annual New Zealand University tournaments are "virtually an inter-Varsity everything." and are genuine student festivals with competitive spirit and carnival atmosphere." Mr. Thomas observes. Praising the organisation behind the staging of a tournament (there is no Australian counterpart), he concludes. "The tournament is highly successful socially as well as compctitively."
Discussing the International Affairs deliberations of N.Z.U.S.A., Mr. Thomas says: "N.U.A.U.S. would welcome the holding of the forthcoming Asian Student Seminar in New Zealand, and should support N.Z.U.S.A.'s application." (N.U.A.U.S. has since written to C.O.S.E.C., backing the N.Z.U.S.A. application to stage the seminar here.)
Commenting in general on the N.Z.U.S A. Council meeting. Mr. Thomas compares it with N.U.A.U.S. meetings, and his overall impression appears to be one of strict orderliness, limitation of discussion to strictly relevant matters and "a reserved and careful approach to all matters discussed.
He attributes "an apparent paucity of debate on some issues" to the remit system, whereby matters of which due notice has not been given may not be discussed. He does not mention that a motion designed to relieve this situation was tabled at Easter and will be voted on at August.
Listing points which struck him as being "quite different from those to which I am accustomed in N.U.A.U.S.," Mr. Thomas notes that "constituent satisfaction is a noticeable aspect of N.Z.U.S.A. Apparently disaffiliation movements are unheard of and this must be attributed to the efficiency with which N.Z.U.S.A. arranges its tournaments and discharges its other tasks."
While in New Zealand, Mr. Thomas visited all the colleges except A.U.C., and he comments briefly on each of those he saw. Some of his remarks were:
Otago . . . a very important part of the old Scottish city of Dunedin, played an outstandingly good part in being host to the Easter Tournament. . . .
Canterbury . . . gives the visitor the impression of an old English institution . . . college blazer is the normal dress style . . . definite protocol, and those who break the rules may find themselves in the Avon. . . .
Lincoln . . . a most impressive institution. works a highly profitable farm.
Victoria . . . most of all resembles an Australian university . . . student affairs quite active and general student meetings far from non-existent.
Massey . . . another progressive agricultural college, notable for the beauty of its surroundings.
And commenting on his New Zealand visit in general: ". . . . 'pleasantly' unforgettable."