Media Advisory October 17


University of Waikato Te Piringa-Faculty of Law Dean Professor Brad Morse says New Zealand and other countries have learnt and will continue to learn a lot from the Treaty of Waitangi. As part of his Inaugural Professorial Lecture being held October 18, Professor Morse will share his views of how the experience of the Treaty in New Zealand is of interest to and beneficial to other people and nations around the world. Professor Morse, who specialises in indigenous issues, has been an adviser to the Waitangi Tribunal and the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission. His lecture, titled Te Tiriti o Waitangi in a Global Context: Growing Recognition of Indigenous Rights, takes place at 6.30pm Tuesday October 18 at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. Inaugural Professorial Lectures are the university’s way of formally introducing new and recently appointed professors to the wider community. All lectures are free and open to the public.


The Topp Twins will have honorary doctorates conferred by the University of Waikato this week. Jools and Lynda Topp, who grew up in the Waikato, have been entertaining and poking gentle fun at New Zealanders for more than 30 years. They left Huntly College at 16 and after a short time in the Territorials took their performing art to the people, beginning as buskers in down town Auckland. Since then, they’ve had numerous sell-out shows across New Zealand and frequently performed at overseas festivals. Their profile and popularity has enabled them to prick the nation’s conscience and over the years they’ve been high-profile opponents of the 1981 Springbok rugby tour, strong proponents of homosexual law reform, and vocal campaigners for Māori land rights and Nuclear-Free New Zealand. “The Topp Twins send people up without pulling them down,” says Waikato University Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford. “They are intuitive readers of the nation’s pulse and they know that people will usually listen to a song before they will listen to a speech. Not only that, the University of Waikato has long been committed to gender equality. Feminism has informed teaching and research in many disciplines and the region has a reputation for producing strong women. To honour the Topp Twins seems like a natural and perfect fit.” The Topp Twins will receive their honorary doctorates at the 10am ceremony on October 20. More than 500 University of Waikato students graduate with ceremonies scheduled for October 19 at the Te Kohinga Mārama Marae on the university’s Hamilton campus and at Hamilton’s Founders Theatre on October 20.


University of Waikato Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar Chase Douglas has been picked as the guest artist to perform with Hayley Westenra during her tour of New Zealand next month. The tour is an opportunity for Douglas to pursue his professional singing career and hopefully open a few doors. However, it didn’t come about without good contacts and a bit of luck. “I got the opportunity through a friend of a friend who knows Hayley and her manager quite well. He got in touch with Hayley and sent her my demo and CV. She is one of the most prestigious and prolific classical cross-over stars in New Zealand and the world and they said Hayley was very picky, so I feel very privileged to have this opportunity.” Douglas was recently awarded the Pou Ahurea award for Māori Person of the Year at the University of Waikato Blues Awards for his achievements in vocal performance. The Wallace Corporation University of Waikato Blues Awards acknowledge the university’s top sporting and creative and performing arts students. Douglas has been a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar for the duration of his time at the University of Waikato. The Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme offers scholarships to academic high achievers who show leadership qualities and also excel in sport or creative and performing arts.


Finding better ways to teach science still drives University of Waikato Faculty of Education senior lecturer Dr Anne Hume, the winner of this year’s Kudos Science Teacher/Educator/Communicator award. Dr Hume has extensive experience and influence in the national education scene including being part of the writing team for the national science curriculum in 1993, and on the science expert panel for NCEA and still maintains her passion for teaching. The Kudos awards are a Waikato initiative held once a year to celebrate science achievement in the region. Dr Hume believes current methods of teaching science need to be changed, to reflect what she calls real science. “I think it's important we increase the science literacy of all of our students. Unless everyone has an understanding of science we'll have problems in the future,” Dr Hume said after receiving the award at a ceremony on October 13. “In my programme I get my students to work on open-ended problem solving - I give the students a problem and encourage them to come up with a way of solving it. This reflects authentic science." Dr Hume has been awarded a New Zealand Suffrage Medal for contributions to science education and has been a Fulbright Scholar. She has done work with the University of Waikato based Science Learning Hub, and this year is a researcher in a Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) funded project promoting pedagogical content knowledge development for early career secondary teachers in science and technology.


Tonight’s Café Scientifique in Tauranga will discuss GNS Science’s ‘Earth Beneath Our Feet’ project. The forum, presented by Bay of Plenty Regional Council Senior Environmental Scientist Janine Barber and GNS (Geological and Nuclear Science) senior groundwater scientist Paul White, will discuss how geological information stored by GNS is incorporated with regional council information from drilling activities to establish underground maps. This combined information is being used to develop a web-based program where the public can gain information on the groundwater systems that underlie their city. The ‘Earth Beneath Our Feet’ website will enable people to enter co-ordinates and gain a cross-section of an area which will show the connectivity between geological formations and the approximate depth that a water body can be intercepted. Café Scientifique is a forum for debating science issues, and is supported by the Faculty of Science & Engineering at the University of Waikato to make science accessible to people outside the traditional academic context. ‘Earth Beneath Our Feet’ will be held tonight, Monday October 17, 7.30, Alimento, 72 First Avenue, Tauranga. For more information please visit:


An analysis of what makes New Zealand music distinctive and an assessment of possums’ food preferences and demand are among the topics featuring at FASSGRAD 2011, the annual post-graduate student research conference hosted by the University of Waikato’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The two-day conference starts October 17, and will showcase research by 36 Masters and PhD students from Waikato and other universities. The conference will open with a keynote address by music journalist, writer and broadcaster Chris Bourke, who was writer-in-residence at the University of Waikato in 2008, where he wrote the award-winning book Blue Smoke.


The Rena oil spill disaster is the latest event to expose the vulnerability of New Zealand’s global ‘green’ branding. A study of international news stories on public policy and carbon emissions over the past four years aims to provide more information on the current news discourse around global warming, and how this affects the credibility - and competitiveness - of ‘green’ nation-brands. The research, by Waikato PhD student Florian Kaefer, is being presented October 17, at the 15th annual Waikato Management School Student Research Conference. The one-day conference sees students delivering papers on a range of topics including the work-alcohol relationship, international development issues, and the relationship between consumption and financial and housing wealth.


Iwi, Māori and indigenous communities wanting to access research capability to support their development will be able to turn to the University of Waikato’s newest research institute. Te Kotahi Research Insitute (TKRI) will be formally launched next week at the university. TKRI Director Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith says the institute aims to promote innovation, well-being and inspiration. “We expect Te Kotahi Research Institute to become a hub for high-quality Indigenous research that crosses disciplinary boundaries and focuses on improving the lives of whānau, hapū and iwi,” she says. The launch on Thursday October 27 will be marked by a free, day-long public symposium on the Waitangi Tribunal’s Wai 262 report, followed by an invitation-only dinner in the evening. High Court Judge Justice Joe Williams, former Chair of the Waitangi Tribunal and former Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court, is the keynote speaker at the Wai 262 symposium.


Sustainability offers a huge opportunity – and risk – for accountants, according to new research out of Waikato Management School being released October 17. The survey of more than 730 New Zealand businesses found companies need to have management accountants in strategy-setting roles in order to achieve the best sustainability outcomes. “A mind shift in accounting may be needed,” says Stewart Lawrence, Professor of Accounting, who led the research. “There is a worldwide move towards ‘integrative’ reporting, bringing together social, environmental and financial data. This kind of reporting requires accountants to be involved in the development and monitoring of their organisation’s sustainable strategies so that the reports truly reflect what’s happening, rather than being ‘add-ons’ to financial reports.” Professor Lawrence says if management accountants don’t fulfil this role, there’s a risk it will be taken on by others within the organisation. The research was funded by the London-based Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and will be launched in Auckland later today by NZICA, the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. NZICA has recently established a Corporate Sector Advisory Group with a clear sustainability mandate.


University of Waikato Sir Edmund Hillary music scholar Edward King is leaving New Zealand on October 18 to study for his masters degree in Germany. Twenty-one year old King graduated from Waikato with a Bachelor of Music (Hons) and he’s now going to study with Julius Berger at the Leopold Mozart Centre in Augsburg near Munich. King successfully auditioned for a place at the Centre and is being assisted financially with two significant scholarships – the Universities New Zealand Patricia Pratt Scholarship in Music Performance and a Sir Henry Cooper Memorial Scholarship. King has recently been in Wellington doing some casual work with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for their Brahms series. Last year he won first prize at the National Concerto Competition and toured the UK as part of the Leonari Trio after they won the Pettman/Royal Overseas league International Scholarship.


Ten finalists have been selected for Waikato University’s Thesis in Three competition following four heats involving nearly 50 students. Doctoral students have to present their research in three minutes with the aid of a single static slide and are judged on content, academic rigour, relevance and presentation. Subjects are as diverse as East-West management philosophies, the apparent ineffectiveness of the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme, justice versus democracy, and issues around giving birth in a foreign country. “A competition like this forces the students to really focus on what it is they’re trying to achieve in their doctoral research,” says Professor C Kay Weaver, Pro Vice-Chancellor Postgraduate. “It’s quite a challenge for them to present the work in such a concise way and make it interesting for an audience that might know nothing about the subject.” The finals of Thesis in 3 take place at Clarence St Theatre in Hamilton on Wednesday October 26. The winner will receive $5000 of research funding – sponsored by accountants Prior Blackburn.


Fourth-year Waikato Mechanical Engineering student Mitchel Woodhouse has designed a credit card-sized ‘multi-tool’ that can open bottles, unscrew nuts and act as a small ruler. The former Cambridge High School student’s project will be one of many on show at the annual Carter Holt Harvey Pulp & Paper Engineering Design Show held October 18-19, in S Block at the University of Waikato. During the show, second, third and fourth-year Engineering students showcase their research projects in the forms of posters, displays and seminars. Topics covered include Chemical and Biological Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Materials and Process Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Software Engineering. The event is the perfect opportunity for both high school students and industry representatives to meet talented engineering students. For more information visit


Dr Alison Campbell from the University of Waikato’s Department of Biological Sciences will deliver a presentation called The Bones of Our Past, revealing how new fossil finds, and on-going research, constantly increase our understanding of the origins of modern humans. Supported by Waikato Pathways College, The Bones of our Past will examine what fossils have to tell us and look at the forensic methods used to learning more about the origins of human life. The presentation takes place in Lecture Theatre 106, Bongard Centre, 200 Cameron Road, Tauranga on Wednesday October 26, starting at 6.30pm. A $2 coin donation is asked. Bookings are essential.


Public Art is the subject for the next Demystifying the Arts lecture brought to you the University of Waikato Centre for Continuing Education. Kate Darrow, chair of the Artistic Board of MESH Sculpture Hamilton, will be joined by Hamilton art historian and heritage consultant Ann McEwan to talk about their perspectives on public art and what role it has to play in Hamilton. Public Art – A Way Forward for Hamilton takes place at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on Thursday October 20, from 7-9pm. The cost is $5. For more information visit

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