Notification of Annual General Meeting

The Massey University Extramural Students’ Society is warmly invites EXMSS members to the upcoming Annual General Meeting.The EXMSS AGM will be held Tuesday 28th October 2014 at 6pm on  in the Lecture Theatre Ag Hort 1 on Turitea Campus, Palmerston North .The event will be streamed live from 6pm.

You can access the stream by clicking here.

For any queries regarding the AGM including Agenda and Meeting reports, please contact EXMSS Acting President: Mark Lester:

EXMSS would also like to open nominations for:

1.President (2015 and 2016)
2.Maori Representative (2015)
Nominations forms and information can be requested from EXMSS Returning Officer: Murray Kirk:
Nominations close: 4pm Tuesday 28th October 2014
In the event of multiple nominations, an election will take place following Section 5 of the 2014 EXMSS Constitution.

Notification of Special General Meeting

Wednesday 19th March 2014, 6pm

This will be held on the Turitea Campus, Massey University, Palmerston North. We will have provision for the meeting to be streamed live online for those that cannot attend in person. An announcement will also be made of the new President for 2014, as well as confirming and ratifying the proposed constitutional changes. We will send out a reminder email to members as it comes closer to the date.

Nominations for President are now open

XAvatarAs a result of the recent Annual General Meeting in January 2014, EXMSS Returning Officer, Murray Kirk called for nominations for the position and began accepting nominations from Thursday 16th January 2014.

The President is responsible for the overall business of the Society, ensuring that the constitutional objectives are upheld, being the political leader and the spokesperson for the Society, so if this sounds like something you would like to get involved with, contact the EXMSS Returning Officer for more information: Nominations close 12pm 19th March 2014.

Kind regards,
Tiri Porter and Mark Lester, EXMSS Co Presidents.
Tiri PorterMark Lester photo

Video of the EXMSS Annual General Meeting 2014

The minutes for this EXMSS AGM meeting are now available.

The meeting was held at the AgHort building (Room AH1) at Massey and covered business originally scheduled for the cancelled meeting on September 5 2013, together with reports on progress within the Society since the Special General Meeting on October 19th.

Please note that the Annual General Meeting was originally scheduled to be held on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 at 12 noon but was closed after it failed to reach quorum (more information can be found here:


The agenda for the AGM is available here.
The draft EXMSS constitution for discussion is available here.
Minutes for the 2013 EXMSS SGM are available here.
Minutes for the 2014 EXMSS AGM can be found here.
The Annual Report can be viewed/downloaded from here.
In addition, the Annual Report from the EXMSS Vice-President, Maori can be downloaded from here.


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16th December 2013 Co-President’s Update

image-for-tiriCongratulations to everyone that graduated in Palmerston North two weeks ago. What a massive occasion and thank you to the city of Palmerston North for coming out in force to support the University and the graduands. As a graduate myself, it was an amazing feeling to be amongst people who are keen to celebrate success in a positive way. I was most honoured to be able to receive my tohu from Dr Russell Ballard, Chancellor of the University Council. Having worked alongside Dr Ballard for three years as a fellow Council member, he demonstrated leadership, inspiration and dedication to a job that can be challenging when faced with having to balance what is best for the University, alongside how the Government expects Universities to operate while producing some of the country’s most talented and highly sought after graduates.

In regards to progress at EXMSS, I recently had the opportunity to enter the EXMSS Office and obtain some background information in regards to Executive minutes and records, petty cash transactions, membership list, and sorting the inwards mail and creditors.

The next step for the Executive is to go through the previous minutes for 2013 and review the decisions made by the previous Executive.

Whilst the University respect the decision of the members at the SGM, and are willing to communicate with Mark and I in good faith, we are seeking finality to the process by way of obtaining a legal opinion. There has been one challenge only in the most general terms ‘that the meeting did not comply with the society’s rules, by the lawyer representing Jeannette Chapman, in a staff related matter. We’ve asked him to specify precisely what rules he believed were not complied with, so that we can demonstrate constitutional compliance. We are still awaiting his response.

Mark and I were also recently invited to participate in a teleconference with members of the Extramural Students’ Support Trust (ESST). This sub trust was set up by EXMSS in 2011 to hold funds for all extramural students, to be distributed annually by way of scholarships. This was the first notification where Mark and I were made aware that the previous president and member Lyn Harris-Hogan had initiated plans to wind down EXMSS and transfer all of EXMSS assets (including the ESST funds) and liabilities to the Massey Extramural Students’ Trust (MEST), a trust set up by Jeanette Chapman in October 2013. The Trustees of the MEST are Jeannette Chapman, Joseph Mwingira and Phillip Kennard and they cannot be removed by members. The ESST has contested the authority in which MEST purports to hold, and have sought further clarification from Mark and I in regards to the SGM processes and outcomes. We have been given some tasks to fulfil, namely to seek a legal opinion on the processes and outcomes and to also issue a statement to lawyers and accountants purporting to represent EXMSS, the Police and MEST.

Last week we met with the Executive Committee to discuss the outcome of the nomination for President 2014, objects of the society in 2014, membership in 2014, annual report for January 2014 AGM, NZUSA updates, objectives for each Executive Committee member for 2014 and most importantly, finalisation of the information to be sent to validate the SGM processes and decisions.

We are also happy to announce and welcome Joy Green to the Executive Committee. Joy brings her background experience with EXMSS in regards to convening to October SGM, as well as her ability to communicate well and articulately to a range of audiences.

Thank you all for your patience and please know we are working hard to resolve these issues as soon as we can.

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season

Tiri Porter

Easter Contact Course Services

During the Easter Contact Course period the following will be offered from Tuesday 2nd  –Sunday 14th April.


This is for all extramural students attending courses and will operate from: Tuesday 2nd April – Sunday 14th, 8am – 5.30pm Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 5.30pm weekends.  Please note *Due to alterations in the student lounge over the Easter break, the EXMSS desk will be located in the student dining hall next to the main doors off concourse. Services include: A luggage minding service (during desk hours only), directions and information about course rooms, assistance with general enquiries, bookings for outgoing transport and campus & city maps.


EXMSS has recently negotiated a 10% discount on Palmerston North Taxis  for all extramural students  between the Airport, Train or Bus terminal and Massey’s Manawatu campus. This discount applies throughout the year. A student ID card or some other form of ID showing you’re a student will be required in order to get this discount.


EXMSS Members will be able to utilise free transport from the campus to the Airport, Train/Bus Station at set times during the day from the 3rd-14th April only. We will have up to three vans operating each day and will try to accommodate everyone. For those seeking transport outside the set times or find the vans are booked, we can book transport for you but the fare will be covered by the student(s).

Membership status can be checked by contacting Thérèse ( Massey ext 81184) or inquire at the helpdesk. You can join EXMSS at and filling in the membership form.  After joining you will be emailed a 4 digit EXMSS membership number.

The daily free vans for members will only operate during semester breaks – see the EXMSS website for more details.                                          


Extramural Students do not get free bus travel on local buses as the internal students do. The internal student ID cards have a small travel chip in them (printed as ‘go’) the extramural student ID cards do not. However, extramural students can get a student rate by showing their student ID which is cheaper than the adult rate.


EXMSS has negotiated a discounted ‘casual rate’ for extramural students attending the Massey gym when on campus – only $4 per student per visit.


We run a “services” survey each contact course period and use the information to lobby the University on behalf of extramural students. We strongly urge all students to fill one in and return to us. These are available at the helpdesk or online at:

Awards and Acknowledgements at EXMSS Garden Party

It was a time of celebration and acknowledgement of a year’s hard work last Friday as the Massey Extramural Students’ Society (EXMSS) hosted their annual garden party thankyou for Massey staff.

This student-led event was a chance for EXMSS to highlight the achievements of Massey staff who have excelled in their work with Massey’s distance students.

Four awards were announced during the lunchtime garden party,

The Massive Lecturer of the Year Award went to Dr Terry Macpherson. Dr Macpherson is a lecturer in marketing and specialises in social marketing, marketing communications and green marketing.  When voting online for the award, students included comments such as

“The lecturer has made it a very clear paper to understand, given the online lectures, printed material and the textbook for reference.”

This is the first year of the Massive Lecturer of the Year. The award is named after the new Massey student publication, Massive magazine.  Massive is distributed on all Massey’s campuses and is also published online at

The Review It Paper of the Year went to paper 115.106; Economics, a paper run by Dr Sam Richardson. While to some, the idea of an economics paper receiving such an award might seem unusual, the data for 115106, received through Review It, the student-run survey (, was unequivocal.

And Dr Richardson is no stranger to receiving awards. In 2009 he was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching First Year Students and was also voted EXMSS Best Extramural Lecturer.

Students commented that “It was a great learning experience. The paper is very interesting and you are really motivated to learn.”

Two non-academic awards for service and support were also announced.

The EXMSS Staff Awards for Excellent Service and Support were awarded to Massey’s Centre for Teaching and Learning, and the Alliance Catering Staff.

The staff at the Centre for Teaching and Learning provide key study support for distance students such as the pre-reading service, study skills seminars and online workshops.

Alliance Catering is the company which runs the food hall on Manawatu campus and to the dietary requirement of the several thousand students and staff who live and work on campus.   Comments collected from the EXMSS contact course surveys of distance students included

“The Staff is Fantastic and Friendly” and “Mae is Lovely and Helpful.”

The garden party was also a chance to acknowledge the work and achievements of outgoing EXMSS President Ralph Springett. Ralph has led the Society for six years and has successfully seen EXMSS through the transition from compulsory to voluntary membership.  In acknowledging messages of thanks, Ralph also took the opportunity to introduce the new EXMSS President for 2013-14, Jeanette (J.V.) Chapman.

EXMSS orientation meetings

In addition to Massey’s regional meetings, EXMSS will be holding further meetings in centres not already visited.  This weekend there are meetings in Hamilton and Tauranga.

Hamilton on Sunday 22 July hosted by

The EXMSS orientation in Hamilton will be held on

DATE, DAY AND TIME:  Sunday July 22nd

at 1.00pm – 3.00pm

VENUE:  CCS Disability Action rooms, 17 Claudelands Road,

Hamilton East.


 Tauranga on Sunday 22 July hosted by

The EXMSS orientation in Tauranga will be held on

DATE, DAY and TIME: Sunday 22nd July from 1.00pm

VENUE:  Grindz Café

50 First Avenue, Tauranga

Graduates Gather From A Distance To Celebrate

Massey Extramural Graduates at the 2012 EXMSS Graduation Dinner

It was an evening of laughter and tears as former extramural students gathered together as fresh faced alumni to share their stories and celebrate their recent graduation at the annual EXMSS graduation dinner.

The graduation celebration is an annual event, organised by the Massey University Extramural Students’ Society. Regularly supported Massey senior staff, the graduation dinner has been running for over fifteen years. This year the event attracted over 60 guests, including 11 graduates, their families and supporters and featured an entertaining address by this year’s guest speaker, Dr Richard Shaw.

But the spotlight was firmly on the graduates, and each was given the opportunity to share their story of what it is to study extramurally. Many took the opportunity to thank their families and spouses for their support and many also recounted how important the option to study part-time, extramurally had been to their lives.

For three special graduates, the graduation dinner was the first time they had met in person as Claire Farnan-Sestino, Michaela Gallear and Jennifer Mofflin, attested. Through their studies in social anthropology the trio had formed a virtual study group via Skype; Claire from the US, Jennifer from Otago and Michaela from Tauranga. With regular Skype meetings they supported each other as they tackled the common extramural experience of isolation. As Claire recounted it was the shared challenge of trying to understand French theorist, Foucault that first brought them together. And while the trio had been friends throughout their studies, it was only on the previous day, their graduation in Palmerston North, that they had met in person for the first time.

Anne Palmer, a long time EXMSS staff member and advocate for extramurals, graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree in history. Anne started her journey into tertiary study in 1980. And, with various interruptions that included the birth of her three children, Anne completed her degree 31 years later. Anne recounted a geography exam where she finished with a note to her lecturer; “I can’t write anymore, this baby is kicking too much.” The baby in question, her daughter Elaina, shared her graduation day, graduating from Massey Wellington with a degree in Early Childhood.

Jim Kennedy who, as a former chef in the isolated region of Milford Sound, cited his reasons for study as the ‘only alternative between the pub or TV. As he recounted his studies started as a hobby but then became an addiction. Jim gave special thanks to his wife Heather who for her support and proofreading skills.

Stephanie Kirk, a local extramural from Feilding, celebrated the evening with her husband Lyndon. Stephanie began by confessing to be a mixed-mode student, having studied both extramurally and internally. She gave special thanks her husband for his support over the course of her nine years’ studying. Stephanie also thanked her brother for his helpful words of advice – “Just get on with it” – when in the final stressful weeks of her final paper, she was considering dropping out. Having gotten on with it and succeeded, Stephanie graduated with a Diploma in Arts, majoring in Linguistics. And having crossed the stage for the first time she is keen to repeat the experience – next time for the degree.


Liz Hamilton admitted to being something of a connoisseur of tertiary institutions. Over the course of her studies she attended first Otago, then Massey, then Otago, and finally Massey. As with many other graduates Liz noted the advantages of studying extramurally; finally completing her studies in Japanese in France. Liz gave thanks to her “long suffering” husband and also thanked EXMSS for awarding her a Scholarship for Academic Excellence.


Maxine Digan summed her success up with the traditional saying, “We are only here because of all the people standing behind us.” Maxine began her studies in 1976 when she studied Te Reo at Otago. Of Nga Puhi heritage, Maxine was prompted by her husband to continue her studies. In 1992 she studied the Treaty of Waitangi paper through Massey and found extramural studies suited her. Maxine thanked her four children for their support and, in particular, her daughter who told her that with multichoice exams, if you’re not sure what the answer is, “always pick B!”


Robyn Savage had travelled all the way from Invercargill to attend the graduation celebrations. Robyn started her studies because, as she said, “It was time to do something for myself”. She began with a paper in women’s studies at SIT. Robyn started studying in her early fifties and made a goal that she would complete her degree by age sixty. A goal she was happy to achieve. Robyn also paid tribute to her friend and study companion, Cathy who sadly passed away before completing her studies.


Marsha Racey-Stilwell – a self proclaimed shrinking violet returned to the EXMSS graduation dinner for a second time in two years! Having graduated last year, Marsha returned this year celebrating her Masters in Education. Marsha thanked her father for his inspiration as well as her husband Myles. Now teaching at UCOL, Marsha finished with a saying she often shared with her students, “Keep at it. It’s worth the journey.”


Delwyn Sinclair began her extramural studies with a paper in Human Development in 1989. Unfortunately glandular fever put an end to her first foray and it wasn’t until 2009 when further changes to her job gave Delwyn the opportunity to complete her studies. Graduating with a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies, Delwyn thanked her husband Kevin for all his support and assistance. Delwyn and also gave special thanks to Lois Wilkinson of Massey’s centre for Teaching and Learning for her support.

The evening was also attended by Massey’s Chancellor, Dr Russ Ballard. “Extramural students are what define Massey University,” said Dr Ballard, who also noted the evening was an exemplar of the “fantastic interplay between Massey staff and students.”

Regional Student Support Meetings Well Received

This year Massey ran a reduced number of distance student orientation events.

These O-Days were held in five centres – Albany, Palmerston North and Wellington of course, plus Hamilton and Christchurch as the next largest of the student populations.

EXMSS Area Representatives (EARs) attended each of these meetings, and to fill in the gaps around the country, three more EARs voluntarily ran their own Study Skills “meet-and-greet” meetings in Rotorua, Nelson and New Plymouth.

Read more…

Graduation Celebrations

It was fantastic to see distance students graduating in Auckland. Seeing their nervously ecstatic faces cross the stage encourages me to keep focused on my own study. EXMSS will be supporting the Palmerston North graduations too. I will be one of the lucky ones on stage watching each student get capped, but EXMSS also has an evening celebration that marks graduations for distance students in a very special way.

The EXMSS Graduation Dinner will be on the 17th of May, tickets cost $45 and that provides a complimentary glass of bubbles and a three course meal. But the highlights of the evening are often said to be the guest speaker (this year it is lecturer Richard Shaw) and the graduate’s stories.

After dinner graduates are given the opportunity to say a few words about their journey and this gives people like the Massey support staff, VC and Chancellor a direct insight into what it is like to study by distance at Massey. Such a celebration is a meaningful finish to a student’s journey. Photos’ of the graduates, both individual and as a group with the Chancellor and VC are complimentary and round off the experience, described as the ‘best ever’ Massey event for distance students.

Booking for the EXMSS Graduation Dinner can be made through