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2017 – A year in review

It might be a while to go until the end of the year is upon us, but this is the last issue of Massive Magazine for 2017. In celebration of reaching the finish line after 12 long issues, Adam Pearse and Nikki Papatsoumas reflect on what has been an interesting 2017.

Trump and Political unrest

Ironically, January saw what may be the beginning of the end as Donald J Trump was inaugurated as the 45th and possibly last President of the United States. Just when we believed that after Obama, Americans were finally going to let someone with fallopian tubes hold the steering wheel, our hope crashed and burned as we saw a man with the sexual appeal of a beached whale, take the responsibility of leading the most powerful nation in the world. As far as we can tell, results so far have been sub-optimal. The Don exists as one of the most disliked Presidents in modern history, his promises have fallen through to leave gaping holes in the fabric of American society, and I’d say it’d be the first time he’s regretted kicking a black family out of their home. What has ensued is chaos. Division between the political spheres has never been more evident and in a time where strong and consistent leadership is the only solution, we are seeing a rerun of Richard Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre nearly every week. And if all of this wasn’t enough political turmoil for you, it seems Trump has decided to pick a fight with the unofficial fifth Teletubbie, Kim Jong Un. The North Korean dictator has apparently taken a strong dislike to Donald and threats of nuclear war are coming much too fast for my liking. So, if you’re dreading being alone on another New Year, don’t worry, at this rate getting to 2018 is looking like a rough bet anyway.

New Zealand Politics

Swing back to New Zealand and our country saw its most interesting general election in decades. Take the resignation of Labour leader Andrew Little on the back of dismal poll results. Step in Jacinda Ardern, our generation’s answer to Helen Clark. Within weeks Labour was back in with a chance as Ardern’s popularity skyrocketed and the country got swept up in the “Jacinda-effect”. Meanwhile Green’s co-leader Metiria Tuerei announced her resignation on the back foot of a benefit fraud scandal and good old Peter Dunne shocked with the news he would not be seeking re-election in a seat he held for more than three decades. Fast forward two months and at the time of print – in what has to be one of the biggest anti-climaxes of the year – no government had been announced after both the National and Labour parties failed to secure the seats needed to govern. The future of New Zealand politics now seems to lie in the hands of  everyone’s favourite politician, Winston Peters, aka the kingmaker who will be the one to ultimately decide who  will form our government for the next three years.

Entertainment

2017 hasn’t been all doom and gloom. It’s been another year filled with quality entertainment, none more so than the seventh season of Game of Thrones. In what is the most popular television show of the modern era, the latest season gave us the scenes fans have been dreaming about for decades, oddly enough, predominantly taking place in the form of incestuous sex. Despite this, Game of Thrones continues to defy expectations and promises an eighth and final season that not even the Harry Potter haters and Star Wars skeptics of this world will be able to ignore. In all their glitz and glamour, a myriad of celebrities gathered for the 89th Academy Awards in February. This year’s awards will be remembered for more than just Leo Dicaprio snagging his first Oscar and what XX wore down the red carpet. In what will have been the biggest blunder of Oscar history, presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty incorrectly announced that La La Land had won the Best Picture gong, when in fact the award should have gone to Moonlight. It was the embarrassment that launched a thousand memes.

Sport

As with every year, 2017 has been one of many highs in the realm of sport. Multiple records tumbling across all codes, none more so than Tennis. It has been a resurgence for the faces of old in this great game where the year started off with one of the most spectacular games you will ever see from the Fed Express Roger Federer, and hungry ass, Rafael Nadal. Their form has been exemplary across the Grand Slams both picking up two apiece. We also saw the most dominant force in Women’s Tennis, Serena Williams pass the great Steffi Graf with the highest number of Grand Slam singles titles and cement her position as the most successful player in the history of Tennis. Outside of ball sports, we saw the retirement of one of sport’s greatest characters in the form of Usain Bolt. The loping stride, the cheeky grin and of course the thunderbolt celebration. Running was always more than just a race when Bolt was in the blocks. Finally, we are currently seeing in America, the NFL become embroiled in scandal over players kneeling during the national anthem. Whether you think it’s right or wrong, it only goes to show how pivotal sport is and how much change it can effect. I have no doubt 2018 will bring with it similar controversy as political and sporting spheres collide.

Massey

It has also been an interesting year right here at Massey. In Auckland the Student Executive came under fire when they voted themselves a huge pay rise for 2018. As it stands each ASA Executive receives an honoraria – which is paid in lieu of wages and in recognition for work – as opposed to an hourly wage. This is funded through the student services levy as part of of the association’s service level agreement contract with the university. At the AGM, changes were made to the constitution which will see honorariums go from $28,000 a year to $54,000 – a $26,000 increase. Some students labelled the increase as “dishonest” saying it was seeing money taken away from core student services to give to a few, however, the increase went ahead and will be implemented from next year. Meanwhile down in the capital the Massey at Wellington Students’ Association (MAWSA) also hit a snag when President Adam Logan Cairns joined the New Zealand Union of Students’ Association without the backing of his executive. The alliance was short lived – just eight days later MAWSA opted out of the organisation after a vote was put to the whole executive. Massive Magazine also had the opportunity to sit down with new Vice Chancellor Jan Thomas earlier this year and put the tough questions to her. In a candid interview Thomas admitted there would be job cuts across the board in an effort to improve the university’s poor financial position. She also admitted disappointment in regards to the shocking results of a recent survey which showed staff felt bullying wasn’t prevented at Massey.

So there you have it, our brief round-up of 2017. What’s your most memorable moment from the year. Email editor@mawsa.org.nz

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