Media Advisory August 30

WANANGA JOINS BAY OF PLENTY PARTNERSHIP

Whakatane-based Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi has joined the University of Waikato and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic partnership which delivers education solutions for the wider Bay of Plenty. In 2008, the polytechnic and university formalised their relationship by signing a partnership agreement to meet the growing needs of the region. The agreement allows students to staircase seamlessly between the institutions, and it delivers research and education solutions that will ultimately help address skill shortages in the region. On August 24 Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi was brought into the agreement. The widening of the partnership is one result from the region’s Tertiary Action Plan which suggested broadening it would better meet the needs of Māori and the Eastern Bay of Plenty region.

SUSTAINABILITY DIVIDE EMERGES IN WAKE OF RECESSION

The economic downturn has created a growing sustainability divide, separating New Zealand businesses which “get” sustainability from those which see it as “nice to do”. That’s the key finding from a new survey on business sustainability practices conducted by researchers at the University of Waikato Management School. The survey of more than 700 firms is the third in a series, making it one of the first studies in the world to track the impact of recession on sustainability
practices with longitudinal data. The previous surveys, conducted in 2003 and 2006, showed increasing uptake of sustainability practices, but the 2010 survey reveals a general decline -- particularly among small businesses which make up the overwhelming majority of New Zealand firms. Dr Eva Collins co-wrote the report “Business Sustainability Practices During The Recession: The Growing Sustainability Divide” with colleagues Professor Stewart Lawrence, Professor Juliet Roper and Associate Professor Jarrod Haar. “In a recession, small businesses are hardest hit by the upfront costs of sustainability practices, and our survey shows they cut back the most,” Dr Collins says. “But we found companies that were members of the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) went the other way, and even increased their uptake of environmental practices. These are firms that have embedded sustainability into their core business. So what we’re seeing here is the emergence of a sustainability divide.” The concern is that New Zealand could risk losing its competitive edge by being on the wrong side of the global sustainable divide, says Dr Collins.

NANAIA MAHUTA KICKS OFF FREE LECTURES ON OUR CITY, OUR REGION

MP Nanaia Mahuta is the first speaker in Waikato University’s free public lecture series on Our City, Our Region. The five free lectures begin this week (Sept 1) and take place each Wednesday evening at the university’s Academy of Performing Arts until September 29. Ms Mahuta speaks on the development opportunities that exist in the Waikato region and the gains to be made with seeking engagement with Māori and local iwi. She is followed on September 8 by Waikato Management School’s Associate Professor Stuart Locke. All the lectures take place from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, with parking available in Gate 2B off Knighton Rd, Hamilton.

UNIVERSITY POWHIRI FOR CAMBRIDGE ROWERS

Waikato University holds a powhiri August 31 for the rowing crew from the University of Cambridge, here to compete in the Gallagher Great Race. The powhiri takes place at the university’s Te Kohinga Marama Marae from 9am. The race is at 1pm on Sunday September 5 and will be the fifth time Waikato and Cambridge have gone head to head, with wins currently two apiece. Waikato University won the Harry Mahon Trophy last year against Oxford. The Sydney University crew returns for a repeat of last year’s results, where they beat the Waikato University women’s crew. The build-up to the race includes sponsors’ dinners, opportunities for the public to meet the crews, an indoor rowing competition and a fun run and walk on Saturday September 4.

UNIVERSITY VICE-CHANCELLOR HEADS NORTH

Waikato University Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford heads to Northland next week to visit schools and stakeholders. During the September 7-9 trip, he will visit a variety of secondary schools, see Whangarei District Council Mayor Stan Semenoff, and host a lunch and a dinner for stakeholders and alumni. The trip will take in Whangarei, Kaitaia, Kerikeri and Kamo. Professor Crawford says many Northland students study at Waikato University and he’s keen to keep in touch with the region to share the university’s achievements and successes.

UNIVERSITY GARDENER WINS NATIONAL TITLE

University of Waikato groundskeeper Leigh Harrison will compete in the National Horticulturist of the Year competition in November. The 26-year-old, who has worked at the university for two years, secured her place after winning the Young Amenity Horticulturist of the Year award in August. This national event saw five contestants from around the country compete in a day’s worth of activities including using machinery, plant identification, and seed sowing. Miss Harrison is now brushing up on her skills ahead of the competition in November in which at least eight other contestants are expected to participate. Taking the national title of Horticulturist of the Year is something Miss Harrison says would be a great achievement in her career. “It would be amazing because it would re-affirm my skills and everything I know about horticulture.”

UNIVERSITY SCIENTISTS MAD ABOUT SCIENCE

A freshwater scientist and a physics fanatic are Waikato University’s two finalists in the 2010 Kudos awards, held to celebrate science achievement in the region. Dr Kevin Collier who’s spent the past 25 years researching river management and restoration is nominated in the environmental science category and Dr Marcus Wilson who has a knack for making physics fun is nominated in the science teacher/communicator category. During the past 10 years, Dr Collier’s research has included studies into land use effects on stream health, management approaches on threatened species, the development of indicators for stream and river monitoring and the ecology of large rivers. He was also senior editor of the recently published book The Waters of the Waikato: ecology of New Zealand’s longest river, launched this month at Tūrangawaewae Marae with the Prime Minister and the Māori King in attendance. Dr Wilson has been teaching at Waikato University since 2004 and out of work hours he’s championing physics in a variety of ways. He’s active in Cafe Scientifique, has a blog called PhysicsStop, participates in physics podcasts and coaches secondary school students sitting scholarship physics. “If you can focus on everyday or topical things then physics becomes more accessible,” he says. “People understand rotational motion if you talk about a washing machine on its spin cycle drawing out water.” The winners of the fourth annual Kudos Awards will be announced on September 23.

UNIVERSITY OFFERS TAURANGA SEMINAR ON COPING WITH STRESS

Whatever the cause, stress affects most people during their life, and when external pressures or demands in life exceed our coping abilities, our bodies start to react accordingly. The University of Waikato’s Centre for Continuing Education in Tauranga is offering a two-evening seminar series on coping with stress. “Coping with Life’s Stressors, from a naturopathic perspective” will be presented by local naturopath Denise Elliott, and will look at the physiology of what happens to our bodies when they are under stress and the best ways of surviving a stressful period using natural options. Stress can show itself in physical, emotional, or behavioural symptoms. Topics covered will include how hormonal changes can affect stress; the natural options available for dealing with stress (e.g. dietary, exercise, psychological change etc); and how to achieve a life/work balance. The course costs $40 and runs on Tuesday 14 and Thursday 16 September from 6.30pm-8.30pm at the Tauranga Campus, 144 Durham Street. Places are limited; contact Karen Tindall at Waikato University in Tauranga on 07 577 5334 or email tindall@waikato.ac.nz

THE TRUE READER – OWEN MARSHALL’S VIEW

Leading New Zealand short story writer and novelist Owen Marshall will present this year's Waikato University Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture. A multi-award winner, Marshall has written or edited more than 20 books, teaches creative writing and is an adjunct professor at the University of Canterbury. His lecture is entitled The True Reader and will set out his view of the value of reading, to the writer, and to readers generally. He'll talk about what people seek in books they love and fulfilling readers' expectations, the relationship between fact and fiction and the relevance of fiction to the real world. Although Marshall and Sargeson never met, they had a brief correspondence towards the end of Sargeson's life, and Sargeson's generous review of Supper Waltz Wilson, Marshall's first published collection, encouraged him in his writing. This year's Frank Sargeson lecture takes place at Waikato University on September 15 at 8pm in S.1.02.

PASSING ON: LEARNING MORE ABOUT DEATH AND DYING

A University of Waikato researcher says we don’t know enough about dying, death and bereavement among Māori today, and she’s seeking participants for a study to help fill the gaps in our knowledge. Dr Tess Moeke-Maxwell is embarking on a three-year research project to gather information on Māori families’ experiences of death and dying, and the processes associated with end of life. The aim of the Kia Ngawari study is to increase knowledge and understanding of Māori experiences of living with a life-threatening condition and contemporary Māori palliative needs, both within the healthcare system and among whānau. Dr Moeke-Maxwell hopes to identify and interview up to 30 end of life whānau living in Waikato and South Auckland, and complete up to eight full case studies. She will be working with two noted Waikato academics - Associate Professor Linda Waimarie Nikora is the founding Director of the Māori & Psychological Research Unit, and Professor Ngahuia Awekotuku (CNZM) of the School of Māori and Pacific Development is an eminent cultural, arts and heritage researcher. Both are currently directing the Tangihanga research programme at Waikato University, of which Kia Ngawari is one study.

AUTISM AND ASPERGERS EXPERT TO SPEAK IN TAURANGA

A workshop to extend people’s knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) will be held in Tauranga next week. The University of Waikato’s Centre for Continuing Education is hosting Psychologist and Behaviour Analyst Dr Antony Thomas who will give a one-day, intermediate-level talk on “Evidence-based Strategies for the Management of Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome”. Dr Thomas will give advice on educational intervention and effective strategies for dealing with those with ASD/AS. This workshop is aimed at those who have already completed Part 1 ‘Understanding Asperger’s Syndrome’ (held in 2009 and earlier this year) or who have a good prior understanding of ASD/AS. While there is no cure for ASD, intensive education and behavioural intervention at school and home can make drastic improvements in a student’s life. The workshop runs on Saturday 11 September from 9am-5pm at the Tauranga Campus, 144 Durham Street. For enrolments or information, phone Karen Tindall on 07 577 5334 or email tindall@waikato.ac.nz

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