Media Advisory August 13

University of Waikato Professor of Environmental Planning Bob Evans says Hamilton is sprawling in a staggering manner gobbling up some of the world’s best farm land.  Professor Evans will talk about the challenges facing Hamilton and ways to make cities more sustainable at the third lecture of the University of Waikato Winter Lecture Series this week. He says more people should be living in the inner city, with constraints put on the city boundaries.  He’ll be joined at the lecture by the University’s environmental and sustainability co-ordinator Rachael Goddard who’s spent 15 years studying waste and landfills and social behaviour around waste and recycling. For more information on the University of Waikato Winter Lecture Series go to  The lecture takes place at the university’s Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Wednesday, 6-7pm. It is free and open to the public.

The Director of Anglican Action and a champion of many social justice initiatives, Karen Morrison-Hume, is being officially recognised by the University of Waikato with a Distinguished Alumni Award.  Mrs Morrison-Hume graduated with a degree in Social Sciences in 1997 and shortly afterwards took up the directorship at what was then Anglican Social Services.  Under her leadership, Anglican Action has greatly extended the range of services it offers. Mrs Morrison-Hume is a leading proponent of “justice through service” and was one of the key people behind the creation of the Te Ara Hou social services village in Hamilton.  The University of Waikato Distinguished Alumni Awards are being presented on August 24. The two other recipients are Wales rugby coach Warren Gatland and Productivity Commission Chairman Murray Sherwin CNZM.

The University of Waikato Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture takes place on Thursday and will be presented by poet and independent scholar Dr John Newton. His lecture is titled “The bad difficult years: Sargeson’s Post-War Reconstruction”.  It will focus on Sargeson’s evolution as a writer – how and why his writing changed after the Second World War.  University of Waikato lecturer Dr Sarah Shieff, the editor of Letters of Frank Sargeson and the organiser of the Frank Sargeson lecture series, says this year’s lecture will shed new light on Sargeson’s career, and on a whole era of New Zealand’s literary history. The lecture is open to the public and takes place on Thursday 16 August at S.G.O1 at 5.30pm. 

A key contributor to the linguistic study of te reo Māori has been honoured by the University of Waikato. Dr Ray Harlow, who helped establish linguistics as a subject area during his 20-year career at Waikato, was made an Honorary Fellow at a function at the university last week. Dr Harlow began his academic career as a classicist before turning to linguistics. He developed a specialisation in Polynesian languages, and was instrumental in establishing the University of Waikato as a centre of study in te reo Māori. He was a founding member of the Māori Language Commission, and is the author of a number of Māori language reference works. Dr Harlow also worked closely with Māori colleagues at the University of Waikato to set up Te Kōhanga Reo O Ngā Kuaka, adjacent to the University, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year.

The University of Waikato will welcome crews from across the Tasman at the official Great Race pōwhiri on September 6.  The annual Gallagher Great Race will see Waikato University men’s and women’s eights row this year against Queensland and Sydney university crews over the gruelling 3.85km upstream course on the Waikato River.  This year the men will look to retain the coveted Harry Mahon Trophy while the women’s crews will row to keep the Bryan Gould Cup. The pōwhiri will be held from 10.30am at Te Kohinga Mārama Marae on campus.

Four University of Waikato Computer Graphic Design students, past and present, all self-confessed typography nuts, spent a month designing a new and different uppercase letter every day and posting it on their website.  The result of their work is on display during this week’s SPARK international Festival of Media and Design in Hamilton and on Wednesday night the students will take part in a Pechakucha night where presenters do a slideshow of 20 images, each of which is shown for 20 seconds.  The students, known as MASH, are Mary Faber, Alice Lo, Saranna Drury and Haylie Gray.  Screen and Media Studies Associate Professor Geoff Lealand will also present on the night.  His 20/20 is titled “The 1955 Rabbits Act: protecting New Zealand youth from moral degradation”, a semi-serious investigation of social history in the 1950s, and the (continuing) creation of “folk devils” to alarm and worry us.

Waikato University Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford will open an international conference on creative universities being held in Hamilton this week.  Hosted by the University of Waikato, the conference will look at the role universities in new economic development models. One of the conference organisers, Professor Michael Peters from the Faculty of Education, says there’s a four-pronged approach in the new development paradigm – economic, cultural, technological and social, with creativity, knowledge and access to information central to it.  The aim of the conference, which includes speakers from US, Australia, Germany and Taiwan, is to extend the dialogue about the relationship between contemporary higher education and the changing face of contemporary economies.  The conference takes place at Ibis Tainui Hamilton on August 15 and 16.

University of Waikato music students bring the classic opera Carmen to life this week – in an adapted concert format.  The four-act opera will be performed un-staged through a combination of singing and choir with narration by Dame Malvina Major. The lead role of Carmen will be sung by Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) student  June Dams and her lover, Don José sung by Chase Douglas. Master of Music student Adam Maha will conduct this year’s opera performance.  Carmen will be held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 August at 8pm. Tickets are $20 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students/children and can be purchased from or from the Academy Box Office.

Music student and pianist Andrew Leathwick has won the annual University of Waikato Concerto Competition Final to ensure a place as guest soloist in the Opus Orchestra’s September tour. The young musician is a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar and in his third year of a Bachelor of Music degree at Waikato. “Andrew is a prodigiously talented, gifted composer and pianist with an incredible structural sense,” says music lecturer Katherine Austin. “He’s got this very electric performance style; it’s the x-factor that you can’t teach.” Leathwick beat four other students in the final of the concerto competition, in a field Ms Austin says is probably the strongest they’ve ever had.

Rotorua high school students considering tertiary study next year can attend an information evening tomorrow night (Tuesday 14 August) hosted by the University of Waikato. It’s taking place from 3.30pm-6pm at the Millennium Hotel, Eruera Street, Rotorua and students and parents can find out about subjects, degrees, scholarships, entrance requirements and accommodation options. Faculty and recruitment staff will be there to discuss programmes and answer questions. The Tauranga information evening is a week later on Tuesday 21 August, and will run from 6-7.30pm at Baycourt, Durham Street, Tauranga. For more information, contact the University’s Tauranga Recruitment Adviser Andy Howells, 07 577 0620 ext 6136, or

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