Media Advisory September 6

WAIKATO AND CAMBRIDGE CLASH IN GREAT RACE

Cambridge University has again conquered the University of Waikato in the annual Gallagher Great Race. The effects of racing 4.2 gruelling kilometres against the current in the Waikato River showed on the faces of both teams, resulting in them literally crashing into each other. From then on, Cambridge University took the lead, and held on for victory at the Grantham St finish line. Just an hour earlier, the Waikato University women’s eight were too strong for their Australian rivals from Sydney University.

HONORARY DOCTORATE FOR FORMER TAURANGA PORT CEO

A seasoned mariner and inspiring business leader is to receive the University of Waikato’s highest honour next week. Jon Mayson CNZM, former CEO of Port of Tauranga Ltd and Chair of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Tauranga on September 14. “The honour is in recognition of Jon’s substantial contributions to the development of the Port of Tauranga and the wider business and arts communities, and his unwavering belief in the potential of people to achieve great things,” says University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford, who will present the award at a black-tie dinner at the Sebel, Trinity Wharf. “Through his work at the Port of Tauranga and elsewhere, Jon has displayed a tireless commitment to social justice and business innovation, and an inclusive leadership style.” Under his leadership, the Port of Tauranga grew to be New Zealand’s largest export port, and established its MetroPort operation in Auckland, the country’s first inland port. It was an early adopter of ‘triple bottom line’ reporting – demonstrating the company’s social, environmental and economic sustainability – and a member of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development.

PROFESSOR FINALISING UN REPORT ON ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS

Professor Janet Bornman of Waikato University’s International Global Change Centre, is in the UK chairing the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). The panel is finalising the four-yearly environmental effects report for the parties to the Montreal Protocol on substances which decrease the ozone layer. Professor Bornman chairs this Panel, made up of nearly 30 members from all over the world, which produces yearly progress reports and a full assessment for governments, other policymakers and scientists every four years. It includes chapters on effects of ozone depletion and climate change on the UV radiation regime, human health, terrestrial ecosystems, aquatic ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles, air quality and materials. Professor Bornman is a co-author of the terrestrial ecosystems chapter and will present the full report at the annual Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Uganda in November, where all the world’s government representatives will meet. To date, this is the only protocol or agreement to have achieved 100% ratification by all nations.

UNI GETS THREE-YEAR SOFTWARE DEAL FOR OIL AND GAS WORK

An American firm specialising in software for analysis of oil and gas exploration data has granted the University of Waikato a free academic licence for three years. The licence is for Kingdom software which has a commercial value of more than US$500,000 and is used to analyse and interpret geophysical data from oil and gas exploration companies. It helps identify oil and gas prospects and can assess the volume of resource in confirmed reservoirs. Seismic Micro-Technology Inc (Houston) has given the three-year licence to the university’s Sedimentary and Petroleum Research Group in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences. The group’s leader, Professor Peter Kamp, says students and staff will use the software on geophysical data lodged by exploration companies in the Crown Minerals Ministry of Economic Development Petroleum Report Library. In particular, this will be used to better understand the evolution of New Zealand's sedimentary basins, both on land and offshore, and will help develop a new model of the paleogeographic development of New Zealand during the past 65 million years.

ADULT LEARNERS REWARDED FOR HARD WORK

Four adult students will this week be presented with a University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor’s Adult Learners Award. First offered in 2001, the Vice-Chancellor’s Adult Learners Awards are intended to encourage more adults to access learning opportunities and to celebrate the efforts, achievements and contributions of adult learners. The university has more than 4,700 adult learners, which is defined as students over the age of 25. Connie Kueh, Julie Candish, Gloria Hunia and Warren Deane will receive awards of $1,000 each. The award recognises their academic and personal achievements. This week, Waikato University celebrates its adult learners with Adult Learners Week (Sept 6-12). It is a UNESCO initiative which recognises the important roles played by adult educators, and to promote the importance of adult learning to the wider community. 

SUSTAINABLE PROSPERITY FOR THE WAIKATO

The Waikato needs to jump in and take advantage of the $10 million Joint Venture funding the Government is providing for Regional Tourism Organisations, the private sector and Tourism New Zealand says Waikato University Management School’s Associate Professor Stuart Locke. He says it’s a good time to resurrect an RTO in the Waikato to promote sustainable prosperity in the region. “The key will be Hamilton Airport,” says Dr Locke. “It should become a major entry point for tourists planning to visit Rotorua, Tauranga, the ski fields and the ‘Fuji of the South’ in Tarankai, but to do that, the various local authorities need to get a grip on the big picture. We can’t afford to waste opportunities. We need to exploit the economic gains available from tourism, agriculture, and develop better infrastructure. We can’t afford the ‘go it alone’ approach that some local authorities have pursued, which has achieved little other than increase debt and rates for years to come,” he says. “Gloworms, Hobbit hutches and black sand beaches are not enough to sustain tourism in the Waikato. We need to think big and cross parochial and local government boundaries.” Dr Locke will expand his ideas at a lecture at Waikato University on Wednesday night as part of the University’s spring lecture series, which runs through September. He is followed on September 15 by CEO of WEL Networks Dr Julian Elder. Lectures take place from 6.30pm to 7.30pm each Wednesday evening until September 29 and are held at the university’s Academy of Performing Arts, with parking available in Gate 2B off Knighton Rd, Hamilton.

CONTEMPORARY MĀORI WEAVING EXPLORED IN ARTS SESSION

A University of Waikato Centre for Continuing Education arts session looks into contemporary Māori weaving next week. In this session of Demystifying the Arts, Moana Davey of the Waikato Museum speaks with Waikato University’s School of Māori and Pacific Development lecturer Donna Campbell about the contemporary application and use of harakeke (flax). Ms Campbell, an expert in Māori weaving, will discuss the traditional techniques of Māori weaving and how these techniques can be employed in contemporary works such as sculpture and wearable arts. Demystifying the Arts is a series of interactive and live discussions which aim to put the audience in touch with experts of the arts. Discussions occur in an informal, friendly and engaging atmosphere. This session takes place on Thursday September 16 at the Waikato Museum and costs $5. For more information visit www.conted.waikato.ac.nz

MATHS LECTURE LOOKS AT PRIME NUMBERS

Waikato University’s Department of Mathematics presents a public lecture entitled Arithmetic Progression of Primes and is set to take place next week. Presented by mathematics professor Ben Green from the University of Cambridge, this lecture will look at the 2004 work of Professor Green and Fields Medal winner Terence Tao, where they showed that prime numbers contain arbitrarily long arithmetic progressions, now known as the Green-Tao theorem. This lecture takes place on Friday September 17 at 11am and is held at the University of Waikato Hamilton campus, room S.1.05.

GRASPING FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Waikato University will host the next Royal Society of New Zealand Aronui lecture, set to take place next week. This lecture, entitled Grasping the Freedom of Speech, is presented by Baroness Onora O'Neill, who will identify the possibilities and ways we can navigate the new roads of communication and understand what is being said. Communicating is not merely a matter of having a shared language that renders the content of others' utterances intelligible, but of gaining enough of a grasp of others' speech acts to judge which sorts of assessment are pertinent. Baroness O’Neill is an honorary fellow of the Royal Society and is currently Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. She chairs the Nuffield Foundation and the Human Genetics Advisory Commission, and has written widely on political philosophy and ethics, international justice and bioethics. This free public lecture takes place on Thursday September 16 at 7.30pm and is held at the university’s Academy of Performing Arts. For more information visit www.royalsociety.org.nz

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