Media Advisory February 07


Triple-crown holder Waikato Management School has achieved re-accreditation for two of the three leading international business school accreditations held by the school. Both EQUIS, run by the European Foundation for Management Development, and AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) awarded Waikato five-year accreditations – a real feather in the school’s cap, says Associate Dean International Professor Ed Weymes. “It confirms our position as the No 1 business school in New Zealand and we’re particularly pleased with the five-year accreditation from EQUIS – this is granted only to the very best business schools, and in New Zealand only we and Auckland have achieved this standard.” The re-accreditations were based on exhaustive self-assessment reports written for each accrediting body, and visits from EQUIS and AACSB evaluation teams in the course of 2010. The teams included deans from leading international business schools, such as the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and the Haas Business School at UC Berkeley. Anderson and Haas are often ranked in the top five business schools worldwide. The school is also accredited by AMBA, the London-based Association of MBAs, putting it among the small number of elite business schools worldwide to hold the coveted triple crown of all three accreditations.


Waikato University has recommitted as strategic partner of Te Matatini – New Zealand’s national kapa haka competition being held in Gisborne next week (February 17-20). The biennial competition, which dates back to 1972, will see more than 1500 performers making up 42 teams and representing 13 regions across New Zealand and Australia competing throughout the four-day event. Waikato University Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the national prominence of Te Matatini and its importance to Māori makes it an ideal relationship for the university. “The passion and commitment to excellence that is consistently displayed across Te Matatini are values embraced by this university.” During Te Matatini, the university will have a strong presence in the exhibition area with onsite enrolment facilities and on February 18 the university will also be hosting a breakfast for secondary school principals from the East Coast region. The breakfast, which will be held at the Emerald Hotel in Gisborne, is an opportunity for the university to engage with its key stakeholders.


Marine ecology and environmental science expert Dr Chris Battershill has started in his role as the inaugural Chair in Coastal Science for the Bay of Plenty. His appointment is the result of a joint memorandum of agreement between the university and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Waikato University Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford said the establishment of the position is evidence of the university’s commitment to working with key stakeholders in the Bay of Plenty to deliver world-class teaching and research. “The appointment of Dr Battershill will serve to further strengthen ties between the university and the Council by addressing issues such as the pressure on Tauranga Harbour as more people live in and do business in the area,” Professor Crawford said. Dr Battershill’s role as chair will be an integral part of the INTERCOAST programme, established by Waikato University and Bremen University in Germany to create a major centre of marine research excellence in the Bay of Plenty.


Medical physicist Dr Howell Round, a senior lecturer in Waikato University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, has been acknowledged for the work he’s done in training medical physicists – people who make sure hi tech medical equipment works as and when it should. Dr Round has been presented with a Distinguished Service Award by the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM). Along with a colleague in Australia, Dr Round developed a system called TEAP for the education, training and accreditation of medical physicists in clinical practice for Australasia. Six universities are now accredited to do the initial training – mostly for physicists who oversee the installation and safe operation of machines used for treating cancer (radiation oncology), as well as in nuclear medicine and radiology. The International Atomic Energy Agency has adopted the programme, and more recently, Dr Round has taken on the role of chairperson of the Professional Development Committee of the Asia Oceania Federation of Organisations for Medical Physics to develop programmes that ensure safe and appropriate operations that cover staffing levels, continuing professional development, and certification and licensing of medical physicists in countries as diverse as Iran and Japan. “There are many issues to deal with, but it’s not a field where you can make mistakes. Safe and correct practice is highly important for the sake of patient safety.”


Former Waikato University academic, Dr Tamati Reedy, has been knighted in the 2011 New Year’s honours list. Sir Tamati, of Ngāti Porou descent, was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM) for his services to education. Last year, he became Waikato University’s first Māori emeritus professor in recognition of his ongoing commitment and contribution to the university, which included ensuring the growth and development of the university’s School of Māori and Pacific Development, a school recognised as an international leader in the teaching and researching of indigenous issues. Waikato University honorary doctorate recipient Bill (William) Gallagher and Te Piringa – Faculty of Law honorary professor Justice David Baragwanath were also recognised with knighthoods. Both become Knights Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Sir William was recognised for his services to business while Sir David was recognised for his services as a judge of the Court of Appeal.


Twenty-six year old Ukrainian born Alex Kravchenko is the first recipient of a Waikato University doctoral scholarship awarded by Hamilton couple Bill and Joan Flower. It gives him $30,000 a year for three years while he completes his PhD. One of the conditions of the scholarship is that it must have an agricultural focus and Kravchenko will study freshwater management in New Zealand; current schemes, systems of application, costs and options. Kravchenko is originally from the Ukraine and speaks English, Russian, Thai and Chinese Mandarin. He only came to university because when he arrived in New Zealand looking for a job, nobody cared he was multi-lingual and the only jobs he could get were low-paid manual positions. He first studied marketing and international management but by the time he started studying for his masters he was leaning towards economics. “My first thoughts were to do a PhD on the proposed New Zealand-Russia bilateral trade agreement, because I’d already started looking at that during my masters study, but then I went to a New Zealand agriculture economics conference with one of my economics lecturers and I decided that freshwater management might be worthy of more study.”


The new Maldives Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture is a Waikato University MBA graduate. Dr Mariyam Zulfa, a commercial lawyer, completed her MBA 12 years ago and says her experience at Waikato helped her become the professional she is today. “I feel extremely honoured and humbled to be appointed Minister, but appreciate I’ve got a big job to do,” says Dr Zulfa who also has law degrees and a PhD from Australian universities. “I’ve always been community minded and a tireless worker, and I’m ready to tackle the many challenges that tourism faces in my part of the world.” While studying at Waikato, Dr Zulfa made marketing communications her focus because she knew it would apply to tourism. “It’s the backbone of our economy. It’s a growth industry, but it’s also hugely competitive. The potential in the Maldives is huge, but we need overseas investment to expand, and that will be part of my job – finding the money.”


Waikato University engineering student Timothy Walmsley has been awarded the Todd Foundation Scholarship in Energy Research worth $25,000 a year for three years. The scholarship will support Walmsley while he studies towards a PhD degree in engineering which he will begin next month. “The overall goal of my PhD research is to increase energy efficiency of powder production by recovering energy from hot humid exhaust air streams. In many industries recovering this energy is technically challenging because the air is laden with a small amount of powder. This powder raises concerns of effectiveness, fouling and blockages, which can lead to plant down time. The research will address each barrier, with the goal of formulating a new low fouling design energy recovery exchanger to apply to major New Zealand companies such as Fonterra,” says Walmsley. The Todd Foundation Scholarship recognises the work of Sir Bryan Todd, a scientist who was instrumental in the development of the New Zealand oil and gas industry.


Society’s move towards self-service – like in supermarkets and petrol stations - is problematic for some of the older people in our communities and the lack of face to face contact with some organisations can lead to elders feeling frustrated. These are some of the findings of a team of researchers at the University of Waikato at the end of the first phase of a three year study into positive ageing. Funded by the Foundation for Research Science and Technology, the study aims to learn about what happens when elders and representatives from a range of organisations and businesses interact and how these interactions can be improved. Researchers carried out face-to-face interviews and focus groups with 123 elders and kaumātua, and also got some to keep observation logs. The researchers also interviewed frontline staff at a variety of organisations and businesses. Dr Margaret Richardson from Waikato University Management School says there’s a general reluctance by elders to complain but organisations could improve interactions with the older segment of the population by proactively identifying their potential needs, including them when developing and testing policies and practices, offering flexibility in service delivery, and training staff to relate to and support older people better. She also says there are still many physical barriers to accessing organisations, and their products and services. “For instance, why do deli sections in supermarkets put their ‘ring for attention’ bells on the top of the cabinets where people in wheelchairs can’t reach them? Why are some building doors so heavy that people with walking frames struggle to get through them and why are the seats in many waiting rooms so low when many older people find them embarrassingly difficult or impossible to get out of? ” The next stage in the research will involve running joint workshops with elders and representatives from organisations to identify a tentative framework of elder-friendly practices that will then be trialled in Stage 3. The full study is due to end in October 2012.


A Waikato University engineering graduate has moved to Cambodia for a year to work on projects that will improve water availability and quality in villages there. Raglan-based James Oakley, who completed his degree in materials and process engineering, is working with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Australia as a WASH – water, sanitation and hygiene adviser. EWB is working in partnership with Rain-Water Cambodia, a local NGO and Oakley will be working with local communities to improve access to drinking water and improve sanitation. Oakley will be blogging from Cambodia. To view his blog click here.


One of Waikato University’s best-known and longest serving professors has retired. Professor Jane Ritchie spent 35 years researching topics that have helped shape legislation and behaviours in New Zealand, and the university has seen fit to acknowledge her contribution to the institution and wider community by conferring on her the title of Emeritus Professor. Professor Ritchie joined the university as a postdoctoral fellow in 1973 and was appointed professor in 1995. During her career, she studied child rearing patterns, physical discipline – decades before the recent repeal of the Crimes Act – adolescent development, violence and eating disorders. Internationally her work on physical punishment triggered a major wave of research into family violence. Her postdoctoral work on preschool education for Māori children contributed to the development of kōhanga reo. In 1989 she was awarded an OBE; in 1993 she was recognised by the New Zealand Psychological Society as a Pioneer Woman in Psychology in New Zealand. This year, she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Society.

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