LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Well, that was a shit summer.
Two devastating storms, Auckland’s wettest month on record and a whole lot of cancelled music and events. Not the best start to 2023. Although, it is the year of the rabbit (or cat, depending on where you’re from!), which supposedly means the chaos will settle. This stage of the Chinese Zodiac is centred on three ideas: hope, resilience and cautious optimism - God knows Auckland has displayed these over the past month.
Many of us were frustrated with our tennis-playing mayor. I feel your pain. If anything, it can serve as a reminder to get out there and vote. Fewer than a third of young people vote in local elections and we’re suffering the consequences. If that’s not bad enough, Wayne Brown took a grand total of two media interviews during his first month in office - opting for a written statement, read before a camera. Having denied over 100 interview requests, how will he stay accountable?
Amongst all the chaos, Pride Month managed to go ahead. Like you’ll read in Liam’s piece, the crux of Pride is about strength in the face of adversity - and the community weathered the storm. As we near the end of the festival, we can reflect on the strides our rainbow and takatāpui communities have made. It is a celebration of love triumphing and rights that were hard-fought for. The Pride we see today is a testament to decades of mahi done by the community, which is an ongoing process. Like Fiona Clark says in her piece for The Spinoff – our rainbow whānau have always bound together to support each other, with or without formal recognition. To mark events like Stonewall as the beginning of our Pride movement would be an injustice to the rich history of rainbow and takatāpui communities in Tāmaki Makaurau and across the country.
It’s also a good time to consider pinkwashing, which is a complex issue. What kind of corporate presence do we want during Pride? And how do we ensure that they’re implementing policies that reflect this inclusive brand-image? Lastly, how do we feel about the National Party attending, considering three of their MPs voted against the banning of conversion therapy in 2020? If you don't want a racquet-flailing boomer as your mayor, or a bunch of homophobes in parliament - get to the booths and vote!
It’s an exciting time for Debate, as we bring on four new team members. We’ve got a fresh news team – journo students Nic and Vanessa, Thomas is our new culture and lifestyle writer and Frances will be on our socials. I am still the editor, for better or for worse. You can learn a bit more about everyone in our team intro!
In other news, the sun is out in Tāmaki Makaurau; perhaps we will have a summer after all.
Sam and Debate - your media drongos on campus.