Media Advisory May 09


In November last year, news of the bacterial infection PSA’s spread through kiwifruit vines throughout New Zealand rocked the industry. ‘PSA – the nightmare and the research-led recovery’ is the topic for the University of Waikato’s Tauranga Café Scientifique on Monday May 23. At first notification ZESPRI, MAFBNZ and Plant & Food Research moved swiftly to implement a response procedure to address the situation, which included putting suspected orchards under quarantine and conducting tests for PSA nationwide. Industry experts, Dr David Tanner from ZESPRI and Dr Joel Vanneste, from Plant & Food Research will discuss the challenges still facing the industry’s recovery. The presentation will take place on Monday 23 May at Alimento, 72 First Avenue, Tauranga, starting at 7.30pm.


Waikato University will host a Stakeholders’ Breakfast this week to keep community leaders informed about the organisation’s financial and student situation and presence in the Bay of Plenty. Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford will host the event at the Classic Flyers Museum tomorrow, May 10. The aim of the breakfast is to build stronger working relationships between the university and stakeholders in the Bay of Plenty and highlight the university’s commitment to the region and its unique partnership with the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic. Professor Crawford and Chancellor Jim Bolger hosted a similar event in Hamilton last month.


Waikato University will showcase a research initiative to identify novel enzymes for biofuel production at an event in Wellington, tomorrow, May 10, highlighting university research developments in energy and infrastructure. Waikato biochemist Professor Hugh Morgan is looking at enzymes found in the gut of the humble huhu grub, which could hold valuable clues to creating bioethanol from wood waste. Among the other Waikato projects on show will be research towards developing retro-fit electricity monitoring and control devices for domestic homes that will allow householders to achieve smarter control of their own electricity consumption without compromising comfort. The University-Business Partnerships event is part of a series of events, sponsored by the Tertiary Education Commission and run by the Universities Commercialisation Offices of New Zealand, to boost relationships with industry. All the universities are involved in the series and take turns to host events on different themes.


Waikato University student and New Zealand Ice Fern Anjali Thakker has capped her gold medal success at the recent women’s ice hockey world champs with another gold – this time for inline hockey. Thakker was part of the 10-strong New Zealand senior women’s team competing at the Oceania competitions in Brisbane last month. The team won all five games against their Australian opponents, taking the gold medal for the fourth year running. The first-year Bachelor of Science student says she’s now catching up on all her university study. Thakker holds a prestigious Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship at Waikato University. The scholarships are awarded to students who are high academic achievers and who show potential in the arts or sport.


A leading economist at the University of Waikato has been appointed to an international panel of experts advising the European Union’s Regional Policy Directorate on how to measure the effect of cohesion policies from 2013. Professor Riccardo Scarpa will prepare guidelines on how to use quantitative surveys to measure the impact of these policies on quality of life – including non-economic aspects such as happiness, social values and what he calls “the universal currency” - time. All being well, he says, these new approaches will be used by member countries from 2013. “To set things in context, this directorate has a yearly budget that is larger than New Zealand’s GDP, and this is probably the most significant change in policy since the EU was established.” Professor Scarpa will be working alongside Waikato’s Adjunct Professor Philip McCann, who is one of two special advisors to Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy.


Waikato University today hosts the Freemasons Charity for an event which will see more than $200,000 worth of scholarships awarded to 32 students from New Zealand universities. Five Waikato University students are among the recipients, including masters student Clare Mulholland, who will receive $10,000 and university students Shwetha George, David Hollands, Hamish McEwan and Murray Riches, who will each receive $6,000. The Freemasons scholarships recognise students who are academic high achievers and are also actively involved in the community. The scholarships will be awarded at an event held today, May 9, at the university’s Academy of Performing Arts. Waikato University is the first institution in New Zealand to host this event.


Calder & Lawson Tours will sponsor the Calder & Lawson Gallery in the Waikato University Academy of Performing Arts for $100,000 over 10 years. The sponsorship will be used to create an endowment fund for performing arts. Calder & Lawson Tours director Alastair Calder, who’s also chairman of the University of Waikato Foundation, says the university and Calder & Lawson have had a long association and the renewal of the sponsorship agreement is of mutual benefit. Sixteen years ago Calder & Lawson purchased the university’s Continuing Education tour programme, expanded it, and now operates these tours under the Calder & Lawson Tours brand. The tours, which go to many parts of the world, are focused on the 55-plus market. They all still have some form of educational component and as part of the sponsorship arrangement are endorsed by the university. “So it was a natural fit for us to support the gallery and the Academy again,” says Calder. “We firmly believe the University is a key part of our community and our brand also fits well with the different performances, events and exhibitions that are held there throughout the year. The Academy is an excellent example of a partnership between the university, the Hamilton City Council and the community.”


Emeritus Professor in Environmental Law Ben Boer from the University of Sydney will present a public lecture at the University of Waikato on May 10. ‘Biodiversity, Climate Change & Protected Areas: The need for an integrated approach’ will examine the connected crisis of climate change and species extinction. Professor Boer will discuss how an integrated scientific, policy and legal approach is needed to achieve more effective conservation and to mitigate the effects of climate change and promote sustainability. He will give the lecture at the Academy of Performing Arts at the University of Waikato Hamilton campus, beginning at 6.15pm, with refreshments on offer from 5.30pm. As the 2011 New Zealand Law Foundation's Distinguished Visiting Fellow,Professor Boer is being hosted by Te Piringa - Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato. While in New Zealand Professor Boer will also give public lectures in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin.


More than 3500 secondary school students from Auckland, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Gisborne and Taranaki will be joined by members of the general public when the University of Waikato opens its doors on May 13. The annual University of Waikato Hamilton campus Open Day is designed to showcase the qualifications, academic excellence, student support, facilities and lifestyle the university offers students. It features a range of mini lectures and tours of the laboratories, grounds and Halls of Residence. Mini lectures include ‘Working @ Google’, ‘What is Computer Graphic Design’, ‘Can Machines Think?’, ‘Taming of the Shrink’, ‘Making things work: opportunities in Engineering’, ‘Fun with Statistics…Probably’, ‘Wikipedia: The world’s largest Knowledge Base’ and more. Prospective students can talk to staff and current students about qualifications, entry requirements and the scholarships available. The day, which runs from 9am to 2pm, aims to give prospective students a taste of life at Waikato University. Nearly 300 students from some Hawke's Bay and Northland schools will stay at the Ngāruawāhia Christian Camp the night before and students from Gisborne Boys’ High School will stay on the campus marae. All members of public are welcome to attend. For more information call 0800 WAIKATO or go to where an Open Day programme is available.


In his upcoming inaugural professorial lecture Professor Richard K Coll will be using his own life experience as an example of how cooperative education helps Waikato graduates. In his lecture, called ‘A journey from science to science education: Moving to the dark side, or the attainment of enlightenment?’ he will talk about the benefits of cooperative education and in particular experiences entering the workplace with a theory-based degree behind him. Professor Coll joined the university’s Cooperative Education unit in 2000, where he works to make sure Waikato graduates are workplace-ready. Cooperative education is the combination of study and work. The lecture takes place on 17 May at 6.30pm at the university's Academy of Performing Arts. The lecture is free and open to the public.


For the first time since its inception in 1993, the annual Waikato Law Review has two student editors. The Law Review is published annually and features a range of articles from legal academics, practitioners and emerging academic authors. It reflects the Faculty of Law’s founding goals of examining the law in context, professionalism and promotion of biculturalism. Student editors Amelda Schrenk and Erika Roberson said they initially applied for the roles in hope that it would be beneficial for their CVs. “It is about the prestige of your CV and this is a huge advantage. It involves researching the law in depth, it’s not just checking facts and footnotes,” says Schrenk. The students are involved in research and assist the editorial committee as well as provide research and analysis for a new section of the review; the New Zealand Jurisprudence Annual Review – which is edited by founding Law faculty dean and former Speaker of the House, Professor Margaret Wilson.

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