Media Advisory December 3
FINDING NEW TOOLS FOR INDIGENOUS WELL-BEING
University of Waikato Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith has been awarded $424,000 over two years to lead a study into indigenous well-being. Professor Smith’s grant is one of four announcedthis week by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Indigenous Centre of Research Excellence. Professor Tuhiwai Smith, Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori and Dean of the School of Māori and Pacific Development at Waikato, says we know many of the key elements for social transformation, but what is not known is how to actively stimulate them at the right time, pace and scale, with the appropriate self-correcting mechanisms and forms of resource support provided at moments of need. This project aims to create a new tool, namely an internationally comparative model of indigenous well-being. Professor Smith will conduct an international comparative study of the conditions, strategies, catalysts and meanings that indigenous people employ to realise their aspirations for well-being.
Nine new colleagues will join the University of Waikato’s German Programme before Christmas - all of them from the Thuringian Forest in central Germany. The hand-crafted puppets include Kasper, the Old King, the Princess, the Devil, and his grandmother. Dr Norman Franke, convenor of the German Programme, attended a conference in Germany a few months ago and commissioned a local carver to make replicas of the puppets he saw in the Werra Valley museum. The most interesting character of them all has got to be Kasper who always sports his trade-mark bobble head, says Dr Franke. “Always hungry and thirsty, Kasper is also always on the lookout for cute girls and he is always broke. But on a good day he can out-wit the Professor and out-smart the Devil - not so different from many Waikato students really.” Dr Franke is planning to use his puppets for promoting the German language programme. “Learning to speak a second language has a performative dimension, but some learners are a bit self-conscious. Lending one’s voice to the puppets is fun and can make it easier to tackle tricky pronunciation or grammar.”
Associate Professor of Music Martin Lodge has been awarded a coveted artist's residency at the Pah Homestead in Auckland. From April to July next year he will live in the artist's apartment on the upper level of the Pah Homestead art gallery in Monte Cecilia Park in Hillsborough, Auckland. While there, he will concentrate on composing a major new work, a concerto for solo viola, orchestra and chorus. “Having three months of time set aside for creative work will provide the kind of clear thinking space I need to achieve a large scale artistic work,” says Dr Lodge. The residency is funded by the Wallace Arts Trust, which is based at the Pah Homestead. The University of Otago administers the residency, and contacted Dr Lodge earlier this year and drew his attention to the position. “The letter from Otago arrived out of the blue,” he says. “The timing happened to be perfect and I decided almost immediately to put an application in. These are highly desirable awards, so eventually to be awarded a residency at the Pah is wonderful.” The Wallace Arts Trust supports, promotes and exposes New Zealand contemporary artists across various media while providing the wider public with a substantial cultural and historical resource of contemporary New Zealand art.