Media Advisory July 30

Opera singer Dame Malvina Major says given the right training, anyone can learn to hold a tune; then there are people with talent who need training to reach a higher level. Dame Malvina, a Senior Fellow in Music at Waikato University, will be showing people how to improve their singing voices at a public lecture at the University of Waikato being held this week – part of the university’s annual Winter Lecture Series which takes place every Wednesday in August. She’ll talk about how the voice works, and have some of her singing students on hand to demonstrate how to effect change. Dame Malvina’s lecture takes place on Wednesday 1 August, 6-7pm, in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. All Winter Lecture Series sessions are free and open to the public. For more information on the University of Waikato Winter Lecture Series go to

One of the country’s most high-profile lawyers, Mai Chen, will give a public lecture at the University of Waikato tomorrow. Ms Chen, a founding partner of specialist public law firm Chen Palmer will talk about issues featured in her book The Public Law Toolbox. She has based her book on her 25 years’ experience in public law, and written it as a resource for business people, lawyers, advocates, industry associations, citizens, Māori and non-governmental organisations to more successfully interface with government. Ms Chen says it will also help people wanting to resolve disputes around administrative and government decision-making, and advise businesses on how to resolve disputes with competitors. The book lays out the government’s legal obligations and the risks it faces when interfacing with business. The lecture will take place at Te Piringa – Faculty of Law, tomorrow, 31 July at 1.10pm in room G.04.

The University of Waikato has appointed Dr Bret Morris to the role of Director of Research and Innovation. He will work with researchers to increase the number of research relationships enjoyed by the university and to grow its research and development income. Dr Morris was previously Director of Enterprise at the University of Otago, and has held earlier roles with Investment NZ / New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, HortResearch (now Plant and Food), John Innes Institute, DSIR and biotechnology companies (Agrigenetics and MPB Cologne). He was educated at Massey University and the University of East Anglia and has an extensive research record in plant biotechnology and plant disease molecular biology. At the University of Waikato Dr Morris will take operational responsibility for planning and leading the development of the university’s research and development related activities. As a leading contender for contestable research funding, the university is currently engaged in more than 400 externally-funded projects, including 20 Marsden-funded pure research projects and 11 MBIE-funded applied research programmes, and posted a research income of more than $31 million in 2011.The university’s commercialisation arm, WaikatoLink, has 12 active start-ups and joint ventures and a growing future royalty pipeline of more than $1.2 million a year.

The University of Waikato held its annual Stakeholder Breakfast in Tauranga last week to link with business and community leaders around the region. Speaking to about 90 guests, Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford outlined the university’s financial situation, and enrolments and goals for 2012. On domestic enrolments, Professor Crawford said while working in a capped funding environment had affected student numbers in recent years, current figures show the university is doing well, at around 103% of its 2012 enrolment target agreed with the Tertiary Education Commission. Numbers in the Bay of Plenty had grown steadily in recent years, reaching a targeted 7% increase a year. The university had already passed its projected target for 2012 and in April celebrated its biggest graduation ceremony in Tauranga. “In particular we are seeing a big increase in research activity in the Bay,” Professor Crawford said. “It’s very important we continue to build our research revenue if we want to continue being a research-led university.” The tertiary partnership with Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi was unique to New Zealand and specifically aims to meet the needs of the Bay region. The proposed new CBD partnership campus in Tauranga was a crucial step, Professor Crawford said. “Our funding applications have been submitted and if successful, this will move us to a whole new level of tertiary provision in the Bay, and will also help to attract international students.” On the university’s 2011 financial year, Professor Crawford said for the first time university revenue went over $224 million, helping give the university a $9 million surplus – within the 3-5% return required by government.
Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker and CEO of Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) Mike Pohio come together for the second lecture in the University of Waikato Winter Lecture Series being held at Novotel Tainui Hotel in the city next week, on Wednesday 8 August. The pair will give their vision for Hamilton’s long-term future – the Mayor providing an overview, and Mr Pohio giving detail of TGH’s plan for a 500 hectare inland port at Ruakura. Both think Hamilton is well-positioned to become the leading commercial centre for the North Island. “If we don’t plan,” says Mr Pohio, “if we don’t make Hamilton a powerhouse in the economy, then the city will flat line and risk becoming little more than a nice place to live. Other centres, such as Tauranga will outgrow us and Hamilton will find itself bypassed and with decreasing influence on central government.” The pair are speaking as part of the university’s annual Winter Lecture series. All sessions, which take place each Wednesday in August, are free and open to the public. For more information visit

Murray Sherwin, CNZM, chair of the government’s Productivity Commission and former CEO of the Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry will receive a University of Waikato Distinguished Alumni Award next month. Mr Sherwin graduated from Waikato University with a masters degree in economics and worked for the Reserve Bank for 25 years – seven as its deputy governor. He also served on the Executive Board of the World Bank in Washington DC. During his time with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, he was involved in eliminating the painted apple moth from Auckland and the Waikato, dealt with the Waiheke Island foot and mouth disease scare, and oversaw the development of the Dairy and Clean Stream Accord, the Emissions Trading Regime for Forestry and the Primary Growth Partnership. Mr Sherwin sits on the Review Panel of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) and is a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Official Statistics. The Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented on 24 August and before that, on 8 August, Mr Sherwin will speak at a Waikato University Alumni event in Wellington.

New Zealand’s employment legislation still needs work in the areas of remedies and punishments involving dismissal law. Professor Mark Harcourt from the University of Waikato Management School says New Zealand legislation doesn’t provide enough options for employers between warnings and dismissal. “Unless the contract provides for it, there’s no scope for unpaid suspensions,” says Professor Harcourt. “And often the options for punishment do not fit the so-called crime. I think there should be more intermediate punishments and each level should be more explicit about the types of offence.” He says while the current law allows employers a degree of latitude in how they approach disciplinary issues, it also creates ambiguity.

Harvard University Professor Stephen Cornell will give a public lecture at Te Piringa – Faculty of Law this week. Professor Cornell will discuss Indigenous Development, Government and Nation Building. The lecture will be based on his work as co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, a research programme based at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University that he co-founded in the late 1980s. Professor Cornell is also Director of the Udall Centre for Studies in Public Policy and Professor of Sociology and of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Arizona, where he also serves as a faculty associate with the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management and Policy. He has written widely on indigenous affairs, economic development, collective identity and ethnic and race relations. Professor Cornell has spent much of the past 20 years working with Indigenous nations and organisations – mostly in the United States but also in Canada, Australia and New Zealand – on governance, economic development and tribal policy issues. Professor Cornell’s visit is sponsored by Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development. This lecture is free and open to the public, and takes place at Waikato University in room K.G.11, at 11am on Wednesday 1 August.

A University of Waikato researcher is looking for a student to help her investigate Māori fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) workers. NIDEA researcher Dr Tahu Kukutai is looking for a Summer Research Scholarship student to help her study modern-day Māori migration; specifically the FIFO workers who live in New Zealand, but work in Australia. “Māori are one of the most geographically mobile indigenous peoples in the world, and while it’s well known that a lot of Māori live and work in Australia, we don’t yet know what the consequences of FIFO migration will be.” In recent years, there has been an increasing number of Māori men, particularly from areas with high Māori concentrations such as Northland and Huntly, taking up FIFO work in Australia, says Dr Kukutai. FIFO workers are typically male heads of households, flying in to work in remote locations where work, food and lodging is provided for workers, but not families. The successful student will spend a large part of the 10-week project identifying the distinct features of Māori FIFO migration, and investigating the potential challenges for whānau members that remain in New Zealand.

If you know your way around Manukau and Hamilton cities' bars and restaurants, and know a deal when you see one, a University of Waikato Summer Research Scholarship might be right for you. Dr Michael Cameron from the Waikato Management School is looking for a student to investigate the density of bar, restaurants, and other on-licence premises Hamilton in and Manukau cities, and how much they charge for a drink. The research will form part of a bigger project Dr Cameron has been researching, looking at the relationship between outlet density, alcohol price, and police-incidents. “It’s well established that lower drink prices leads to more drinking, which leads to more violence, and in the past I’ve been looking at off-licence premises like liquor stores. With this project the student will help find out qualifying data for the two cities. Most of it will be able to be done over the phone, but in some cases they will have to go down to the restaurant or bar itself.” The successful student will spend the 10-week project looking at both cities' CBDs, measuring how densely each is populated with on-licence premises. Their next task will be to ascertain their opening and closing times, and the price of a standard unit of alcohol.

Next month’s Café Scientifique in Tauranga will look at the potential environmental impacts of oil and gas exploration in New Zealand. Professor Barry Barton from Te Piringa, the University of Waikato’s Faculty of Law, will discuss the proposed legislation to manage the environmental effects of activities in New Zealand’s oceans – the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Bill. He will explain why the Bill has been introduced, its strengths and weaknesses and, in particular, what he considers the key gaps concerning regulation of offshore oil and gas exploration if the legislation is passed in its present form. Professor Barton's fields of research cover energy, natural resources and environmental law, and most recently he has focused specifically on oil and gas legislation. Café Scientifique will be held on Monday 6 August, 6.45pm, at Alimento, 72 First Avenue, Tauranga. The Café Scientifique series is organised by Julia and Warren Banks and supported by the University of Waikato. For more information visit: or email

Top grades and family ties to Otamatea have won University of Waikato Bachelor of Science student Courtney Windsor the Kauri Museum Mervyn Sterling Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship, worth $2000, is offered by the Otamatea Kauri and Pioneer Museum Trust Board to encourage undergraduate study and applied research in New Zealand in the fields of environmental conservation, ecology, natural heritage and Northland history. Applicants for the scholarship are required to prove they have strong affiliations with the old Otamatea County Area, which wasn’t difficult for Windsor. Her grandfather was the principal of Matakohe School in the 1960s, and her father also attended the school. Her family lived next to Mervyn Sterling, after whom the scholarship is named, and Windsor’s grandfather collaborated with Sterling to source an Avro Lancaster bomber from the French government, which is now held at MOTAT in Auckland. Windsor says she is honoured to receive an award named for a place and a person so significant to her family.

Secondary students and those considering tertiary study next year are invited to attend information evenings being held by the University of Waikato in Whakatane and Rotorua during August. Students and parents can take the opportunity to find out more about subjects, degrees, scholarships, entrance requirements and accommodation options. Faculty and recruitment staff will be available to discuss programmes and answer questions. The Whakatane Information Evening will be held on Tuesday 7 August, from 3.30pm-6.30pm at the Tuscany Villas Conference Room, The Strand, Whakatane. The Rotorua Information Evening will be held on Tuesday 14 August, from 3.30pm-6.00pm at the Millenium Hotel, Eruera Street, Rotorua. For more information on both events, please contact the university’s Tauranga Recruitment Adviser Andy Howells, 07 577 0620 ext 6136, or

This page has been reformatted for printing.