Checking in on the Exec: Third Quarter Exec Reports

Dear OUSA Exec, Critic are paid to read your reports and even we struggled. We tried to find the good bits but it took ages. If you’re so big on ‘engagement’ and ‘consultation’ you need to communicate in a more accessible way. Please and thank you. Love, Critic.

All of the reports were unanimously passed, except for Josh’s, and there were next to no substantive questions about any of the reports, again except for Josh’s. 



Josh Smythe

Re-Creation Officer

What’s Josh been doing? Just the usual “living and breathaing” and “taking OUSA to the people,” of course. Josh said he’s a “highly visible and approachable point of contact for OUSA” at flat parties, Pint Night, Courtchella, Breakaway and other events. He gets personal invites to these “major events” at which he “rarely [sees] any of the other executive at!!” [read: the other exec members = big nerds.] “I don’t count that as work,” said Caitlin Barlow-Groome, OUSA President, who obviously isn’t aware how much work it takes to hold a conversation with a breatha. Also his “presence seems to naturally create political discourse,” which is good, because that’s kinda his job. Kinda.

Josh is also continuing to push drug harm minimisation, but hasn’t really got anywhere, apparently because “Harlene Hayne, our esteemed Vice Chancellor (and a psychologist nonetheless),” said getting the New Zealand Drug Foundation and Know Your Stuff NZ in for substance testing and analysis “was not an option on campus”. Josh is still trying to get something in place before O-Week next year, “stay tuned fam,” he said.

Tiana Mihaere, Tumuaki Te Roopū Māori, expressed concern at the foul language Josh used in his report, such as “absolutely fu**ked”. Critic had to look up the definition of “fu**ked,” and spent a veryeducational afternoon on afterwards. 

There was more concern raised that Josh was counting partying as part of his 10 hours. 

One exec member (Critic forgot to write down who, soz) said, “I do have reservations that you’ve been working 10 hours a week. What have you done in this role that you couldn’t have done as an ordinary student?”

“If I get on the piss and go and talk to people at parties, is that my job?” asked Cam Meads. 

Abigail Clark, Welfare Officer, pointed out that “last quarter we had the same issue”.

Josh responded that his actions were student engagement and said that he was connecting with people normally disconnected with OUSA. 

Norhan El Sanjak, Colleges Officer, disagreed. “When I think of student engagement, I think of Roger [Yan, Campaigns Officer] making videos,” she said. 

The exec talked about declining the report and not paying Josh, or accepting him and paying him only a percentage of his pay, depending on how much actual work they think he’s done. “What have I not done?” said Josh, pointing out that he has done every part of his official role and that in general “the clubs generally run themselves really well”. Josh does have a point in that the Recreation Officer role doesn’t actually have a lot to do. 

The exec responded that Josh should have sought out more work or helped someone else with their workload if he was struggling to find things to do. “There are other people out here who need help,” said Caitlin. 

In the end the exec decided to give Josh a chance to come back next week and re-submit the report with exact detail about his job so they can make a decision about how much to pay him. 


Tiana Mihaere

Tumuaki Te Roopū Māori

Tiana does important and cool work like being a member of the Te Whare Tāwharau advisory group and helping Pacific Island students to establish a student council. One of her key goals this year was to get an on-campus marae, but she said this has “stalled”. She’s written terms of reference for a komiti (committee) to follow this kaupapa through to next year. Most of Te Roopū Māori’s recent focus has been on consulting on a proposal to be funded directly by the University, rather than via OUSA. Tiana has overseen a Ngā Roopū hui and then six follow-up hui and attended all of them. Keep up the good work Tiana.


Abigail Clark

Welfare Officer

Abi has attended A LOT of committees, meetings, events and panels in the last quarter. Like a lot. Think of anything vaguely welfare-related and Abi’s involved: Silverline, Thursdays in Black, Life Matters, Te Whare Tāwharau, Rape Crisis, Wā Collective, Students Against Sexual Violence, Safety Shots campaign, Suicide Prevention policy, Chaplaincy, the list goes on. She even made a submission on the Election Access Fund Bill. Obviously this is the Welfare Officer’s role, but make sure you’re looking out for your own welfare, OK Abi? Cool, thanks.


Cam Meads

Administrative Vice-President

Reading Cam’s report was too much admin. So we didn’t. But, he spearheaded the OUSA Election organisation and shift to Alternative Vote and that went pretty well. It wasn’t in his report, but Cam also got too drunk at the Presidential debate and got kicked out of UBar. He thought Critic didn’t see but we did. We always see. 


Roger Yan

Campaigns Officer

Roger gave a shout out to anyone who made it to page four of his report. It was probably only us Rog, because your report wasn’t great. You could say he put the PAIN in camPAIGNs.

Roger said he’s shifted his focus towards student engagement through the two student meetings that he and James have run (which have reportedly had abysmal turnout) and the weekly round-up videos (without which, how would we know that boring committee minutes have been accepted?). Okay fine, but these aren’t really campaigns. His one bit of real work was collaborating with the Colleges Officer on OUSA’s submission on RA Pay.  

There was not even a single question about Roger’s report from the exec; they just passed it unanimously. After the grilling Josh got, Critic thinks this is surprising, to say the least. Roger is Campaigns Officer and has barely run any campaigns all year. 

To be fair, Campaigns is a stupid position and no Campaigns Officer has done anything for a very long time.

Roger’s a lovely guy and is friends with everyone on the exec, which is why his report was accepted without question. Indeed, the only person who criticised Roger was Roger himself, when he acknowledged in his report that “some may say I’m spending my minimum of 10 hours a week ineffectively”. 


Sam Smith

Finance Officer

Sam Smith is confident and happy, despite his high profile break up with Brandon Flynn [Wait, not that Sam Smith], about a lot of confidential and commercially sensitive stuff like investments and the Service Level Agreement between OUSA and the Uni. Sam, don’t be all ‘confidential’ on us. Critic wants the details! 

In general though, numbers are pretty boring and it’s hard to tell how well he’s doing. 


Umi Asaka

International Officer

In the last quarter, Umi consulted with international students on how increases in tuition fees affects their wellbeing to make a submission to about post-study visas. She’s also been part of organising the second International Food Festival, Cultural Carnival, Diversity week, Intercultural Communication Workshop and the Human Library – all while on placement for her course. Go Umi! Umi clearly puts into words a theme evident in other reports: “although it is heading towards the end [of the year], I can finally say that I have gained the hang of this role”. Unfortunately, first-time Exec officers tend to come to grips with their roles in the third quarter, at which point the year’s almost out. 


Norhan El-Sanjak

Colleges Officer

In the last quarter Umi and Norhan organised a quiz night for international students that got cancelled because no one was interested. R.I.P.

Consent workshops from Te Whare Tāwharau also failed to get started in colleges because of lack of interest from college students. Double R.I.P.

The best thing Norhan has done is collate 80 submissions on the financial barriers of being an RA. It sounds like she made a good submission, but considering the University effectively ignored it, triple R.I.P.

There were no questions or comments from the exec on Norhan’s report, even though almost all her recent projects have failed. Her report was also passed immediately and unanimously. 


James Heath

Education Officer

Did you know James got elected 2019 President? It’s not in his report, but he did. He’s gonna be Pres. That’s probably why James’ report is the longest, coming in at eight pages. Or maybe he’s overcompensating for something else… 

Anyway, James’s report was the least boring to read. Yes, he’s on a shit ton of committees, including the Ministry of Education NCEA Review Reference Group for some reason. But, he’s also done a shit ton of cool stuff this last quarter, like securing more student seats on academic boards [Sorry, we may have misused the word ‘cool’ there]. He’s also had “very productive” talks with Deputy Vice-Chancellor Vernon Squires to discuss removing special consideration from Academic Transcripts and moving to twelve teaching weeks rather than thirteen to increase exam leave and breaks. This would be great but would also probably mean fewer issues of Critic, which is either a plus or a minus depending on how shit you think we are. 


Caitlin Barlow-Groome


Caitlin’s report wasn’t that interesting to read, despite the hard work she’s been putting in. It contains gems like “budgeting has taken up a lot of my time”. Her major goal for the next quarter is to get Exec handovers done earlier so the next Exec can hit the ground running from day one. 

This article first appeared in Issue 25, 2018.
Posted 12:21am Friday 28th September 2018 by Esme Hall and Charlie O’Mannin.