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by Sam Clark (he/him)



Nau mai, haere mai, thanks for picking up the ‘Communities’ issue of Debate!

Uni is now in full swing! Settling back in after the mid-year break can be hard, as the rush from being reunited with your mates gets replaced by looming assignments. So, I hope we can provide a useful distraction on the way home on the bus, or maybe in the back of a particularly boring tute.

We made this issue to emphasise the importance of community, because we all need whanaungatanga and connection to feel happy and fulfilled. And it’s a big reason why we’re drawn to university. It’s so special to meet like-minded people, and many of you will be friends for life. We are a community here on campus, and we want to reflect that in this fortnightly mag. You may have seen our new stickers in the Debate stands. If you want one, be quick! Or, come by our office at WG704 and we’ll give you one if you’re extra-nice.

Tāmaki Makaurau is a great place to live and study, even though it’s expensive. At least the days are getting longer now and the weather is nice (sometimes). There’s so many great, low-stakes activities to do here, like the Avondale Markets and Central Flea. Also, some west coast beaches are open again, which are incredible during winter – just remember to wrap up! We’re also very lucky to have an amazing music scene here. There’s always something interesting happening on Karangahape Road, so be sure to check out our gig guide.

I recently read a really interesting piece in The Art Paper by Matthew Galloway about how phosphorus rocks, which are used as fertiliser on New Zealand farms, are taken from the Western Sahara. Morocco has occupied this region since 1975, meaning the indigenous Sahrawi have been forced out of their land and into refugee camps. Also, phosphorous dust from The Sahara Desert is meant to feed the Amazon Rainforest. These nutrients are carried 4,800km across the Atlantic Ocean by prevailing winds, which is essential for a stable climate. It’s no secret that the dairy industry is terrible for our awa and natural environment in Aotearoa. However, the article draws attention to the industry’s destruction in a desert region on the other side of the world. We are also part of a global community, and we need to consider the flow-on effects of our actions.

In these weird times, we should do our best to stay informed, and make our vote count in this year’s election. National may have a whine about potholes, or not being able to read te reo Māori – but we need to address the real issues. So, I’m proud to announce Debate’s new segment, The Young and Informed, run by our Chief Reporter, Nic. Here, we will be interviewing local electoral candidates, and covering the issues that affect you. And, for any budding journalists: If this is something you’re interested in being a part of, please get

in touch!


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