President's Update – May 2016

Kia ora koutou everyone

We’re pleased to hear that the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill passed its first reading at Parliament on Wednesday night! This could mean the beginning of the end for the cold and mould in student flats if the Bill gets through all stages of Parliament. There’s still a lot of work to do to ensure that the Bill does all that it says, and to ensure affordability isn’t significantly affected by the proposed standards. We’ll keep you up-to-date as we continue to put heat on the issue.

People often ask me what my role involves as VUWSA President. It’s a crazy, all-consuming role, and it’s incredibly fulfilling to be a full-time student representative. The most exciting part of my role is that every day is different. And every hour I work for the same thing: to get the best deal for students on campus and in the community.

Here’s an overview of what I do:

Student Representation and Engagement

I am a student representative on a range of university committees. This means that I sit alongside university staff on committees such as the Academic Board and the Wellbeing Oversight Committee to ensure that a student perspective is given in these meetings. Students are the key stakeholder at the University, and it’s important that they, or their representatives, are sitting around the table when decisions are being made.

Governance and Management

VUWSA is an organisation in itself, which provides a range of services for students. This includes the Community Pantry food parcels, free bus passes and O-WEEK events. The student executive governs the organisation; and I work alongside our full-time general manager providing leadership to the organisation.

Media and External Relations

VUWSA is often approached by media and external organisations (like the City Council and government agencies) to provide a student perspective on current events or the work we’re doing. One of the ways we communicate student views is through submissions to important and relevant matters, for example the Wellington City Council Annual Plan,  where we have pushed for a rental Warrant of Fitness  to ensure student flats are warmer, drier and safer.

Executive Development and Support

I also lead the executive and support them where I can with their work. This might include supporting our Clubs and Activities Officer in the overhaul of the VUWSA Clubs Council, or providing advice to the Equity Officer on how to best advance the needs of representative groups. We’re all one team here at VUWSA, and we’re all here to advance the interests of students.

Reporting and Accountability

I’m ultimately accountable to you (our members) in the work that I do. I write fortnightly work reports detailing my activities as well as chair general meetings in the Hub to engage the student body. I’ve also dropped in on a few Halls of Residence to see how students are settling into university life, and attended a few club events to ensure that I’m accessible to students so they can voice their issues to me.

VUWSA’s here to ensure you get the best student experience at Victoria. All of us at VUWSA are passionate about serving students and delivering the best outcomes for you.

Until next time,


P: 04 463 6986
M: 021 207 4132
T: @JonathanPWGee