Media Advisory February 18

PM JOHN KEY LAUNCHES NEW GOVERNANCE QUALIFICATION AT WAIKATO UNIVERSITY
Prime Minister John Key visited the University of Waikato on Friday to launch the nation’s only postgraduate governance qualification, aimed at upskilling company directors, trustees, board members and elected government officials.The new Governance and Leadership Programme, known as the G3, was officially launched on 15 February at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The nine-month Postgraduate Certificate qualification will be taught by staff from the Waikato Management School and Te Piringa - Faculty of Law and will cover finance, corporate law, ethics, governance, strategy and leadership. Participants will also complete a final project on their own organisation, putting their new skills to the test. Waikato Management School Dean Professor Frank Scrimgeour says the qualification is another example of the university meeting the needs of the region and the nation.

PŌWHIRI FOR NEW STUDENTS AT UNIVERSITY OF WAIKATO
New students will be formally welcomed onto Waikato University’s Hamilton campus tomorrow, Tuesday 19 February with a pōwhiri at Te Kohinga Marama Marae (Gate 4). The pōwhiri begins at 3pm and is open to all new students and staff who have not yet had the opportunity to be formally welcomed. Orientation Week kicks off next week from 24 February.

MORE WORK NEEDED ON ENERGY POLICY
New Zealand policy makers could do a lot more to improve energy efficiency and conservation, a new report says. It echoes calls from other organisations, including the Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty and the Government’s own Green Growth Advisory Group and says the country’s energy policy framework should give “a central place to energy efficiency”. The report is the first part of the Energy Cultures Research Project, a $1,050,000 project investigating how society can adapt rapidly to achieve a low-energy, low-carbon future. It is the result of three years work by the University of Waikato’s Professor Barry Barton and a team of inter-disciplinary researchers from around the country. Professor Barton is the lead author of the report, which was launched at the National Energy Research Institute conference in Wellington on Thursday, 14 February. He says improving the efficiency of our energy use would have positive spin-offs across the board. “We would spend less on electricity, reduce our climate change emissions and get more results in terms of warm houses and the like.” Professor Barton and his team are now working on the second part of the Energy Futures Project - based at Otago University - looking at private (home and business) transport.

SEEN THE HOBBIT? WHAT DID YOU THINK?
An international survey on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is moving into its second phase. A thousand people took part in the first phase which asked for people’s perceptions and expectations before the film’s release – and responses ranged from “excited” and “anxious” to thoughts of “J.R.R. Tolkien turning in his grave”. Now an international team of researchers, led by Dr Carolyn Michelle at the University of Waikato, is asking people if their hopes were fulfilled and confirmed after seeing the movie. The results will show them how discussion, debate, marketing and promotion of a film shaped subsequent responses to it. Dr Michelle says to gain an even wider response, they are going to post the survey in Danish, Dutch, German and Spanish. Meanwhile, for English speakers, a post-viewing questionnaire is now online. http://flashq.rcc.ryerson.ca/Hobbit/.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS AND HOW PEOPLE THINK ABOUT NEW ZEALAND
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies have changed how people think about New Zealand says Ian Brodie, former Communications Manager for Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tours. He’s giving a free public lecture to the New Zealand Geographical Society at the University of Waikato this week, 21 February, discussing movie imagery and its influence on tourism development. “Film shapes how people think about a landscape and the effect is usually emotive. When they visit the location in real life they revisit those emotions,” says Mr Brodie. Before working for Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tours Mr Brodie wrote and photographed a number of movie location guidebooks. In total he’s published 18 books, his most popular being The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook. He also has a New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to tourism and writing.

URBAN WELLS FOR STORING WATER
A University of Waikato earth and ocean scientist says we need to re-think the way we collect and store water. Associate Professor Earl Bardsley is proposing “rain engineering” by diverting rainwater for additional urban supply from roof run-off into soakage sumps, rather than unsightly storage tanks. He says where ground conditions are suitable, then a soakage sump and a shallow bore (well), could be installed to supply gardening water. Water pressure would be provided by a small pump in the bore, he says. And the advantage here is that water soaking down past the root zone might be used a second time. Dr Bardsley admits that not all land would be suitable for urban wells, but where it is, he suggests that in addition to mains water supply section bores might also be installed at the outset by developers of new subdivisions as an added attraction to potential purchasers.

UNIVERSITY STAFF AND STUDENTS TAKE ON TE MATATINI
A number of University staff and students will be performing at Te Matatini, New Zealand’s national kapa haka festival held in Rotorua this week. Senior law lecturer and Associate Dean Linda Te Aho and is performing with her group Waihīrere - five-time Te Matatini winners. Mrs Te Aho is of Ngāti Koroki Kahukura and Waikato Tainui descent, and will be one of many Waikato University staff members competing in the biennial competition which is expected to see more than 40 kapa haka teams compete. The University of Waikato is once again a strategic partner of Te Matatini – New Zealand’s national kapa haka competition and premier Māori cultural performing arts festival. Te Matatini takes place at the Rotorua International Stadium, 20-24 February.

STEP HIGHER TEAM TREKKING THROUGH KHUMBU VALLEY
A team of University of Waikato Sir Edmund Hillary Scholars and supporters are continuing their trek through Khumbu Valley in Nepal, follow in the footsteps of Sir Ed. The team consists of Inaugural Step Higher Award recipients Caitlin Easter, Alex Hitchmough, Josh Blue, and fellow Hillary Scholars Shannon O’Donnell and Sami Flay. The Step Higher Award is sponsored by the Compass Group, a supplier on campus for a range of hospitality services. The team arrived in Kathmandu on 12 February and will spend 17 days trekking through Khumbu Valley, stopping at Lukla-Phakding, Monjo, Namche Bazaar, Khumjung, Pangboche, and Thyangboche before returning to Kathmandu. While in Nepal they will visit schools, hospitals, and see the work being undertaken by the Himalayan Trust. Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarships are the University of Waikato’s most prestigious scholarships and are awarded to students who are high academic achievers, who are also achieving in the arts or sport and have leadership qualities. They are blogging about their experience in Nepal at http://www.waikato.ac.nz/news-events/2013-step-higher/.

TAURANGA LECTURE EXPLORES IMPACT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE ON SEAWEEDS
How seaweed along New Zealand’s coastline is coping with habitat changes will be explored in a free public lecture taking place today by a visiting scientist from the University of Bremen in Germany. Professor Kai Bischof heads Bremen’s department of Marine Botany and will discuss the multiple and vital ecological functions performed by seaweeds in coastal ecosystems while showing how some species, such as sea lettuce, may become a nuisance once released from their controlling factors. His presentation will look in particular at the biology and ecology of the giant kelp (Marcocystis pyrifera), which forms dense underwater forests along the New Zealand coastline, and its associated communities. The lecture will be held from 5.30-6.30pm, today Monday 18 February at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Sulphur Point. The visit is part of the work between the Universities of Waikato and Bremen who formed the INTERCOAST project for international PhD students. For more information call Rowan Marsh on 07 578 5927.

TAURANGA LECTURE TO DISCUSS ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATING OF SETTLEMENT IN AOTEAROA
A free public lecture in Tauranga next week will discuss how tephras, or volcanic ash layers, can be used as a dating tool in archaeology. University of Waikato Professor David Lowe will explore how the use of tephra layers to connect evidence obtained from both archaeological and natural sites (such as peat bogs and lakes) has been a key tool in helping to establish the date of initial settlement of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Professor Lowe is Chair of the University’s Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences. His talk is the second of two public lectures being held in Tauranga during a two-week visit by the University of Bremen as part of the INTERCOAST programme, which was set up in 2010 between the two universities to focus on marine research in the Bay of Plenty and North Sea in Germany. Professor Lowe will speak at 5.30pm, Thursday 28 February, at the University’s Coastal Marine Field Station, Cross Road, Sulphur Point. The first public lecture exploring the impact of environmental change on seaweeds, is being held tonight (Monday 18 February), 5.30pm at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Sulphur Point. For more information call Rowan Marsh on (07) 578 5927.

DISTINGUISHED PIANIST KICKS OFF RECITAL SERIES
Pianist Michael Houstoun will play the first of this year’s lunchtime concerts at the University of Waikato. Houstoun, a household name in New Zealand since the beginning of his successful international career in the 1980s, will perform Bach’s Goldberg Variations at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on Wednesday 27 February. It’s a work that many pianists aspire to in their careers and Houstoun says the masterpiece requires immense stamina and concentration. The lunchtime recitals are open to the public for a small donation and the 2013 series will see a large variety of musical talent. On the first Wednesday in March, singers Dame Malvina Major and David Griffiths are joined by the New Zealand Chamber Soloists, for a concert of opera gems and piano trios. The concerts are held in the Concert Chamber at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, every Wednesday at 1pm. A $5 donation gains entry to Michael Houstoun’s performance on Wednesday 27 February.

FREE JAPANESE COOKING DEMONSTRATION AT WAIKATO UNIVERSITY
Japanese food-writer and sweets specialist Chikako Tada will be visiting the University of Waikato during orientation week to share her food adventures from around the world and perform a cooking demonstration. Tada will demonstrate how to make Gan-zuki, an old-fashioned Japanese steam cake with black sesame seeds. “Gan” means 'wild geese' and “zuki” translates to 'moon'. A journalist turned food writer, Tada has spent the past few years travelling the world learning about foods from different cultures. Her presentation and cooking demonstration is free and open to the public, and will be held on Wednesday 27 February, 1-2pm at the University of Waikato. The venue is room S.1.01.

CENTRE FOR TERTIARY TEACHING AND LEARNING LAUNCHED
About 50 people attended the official launch of the University of Waikato’s Centre for Tertiary Teaching and Learning on 14 February, held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The Centre - which has 17 staff - sees the coming together of three University groups, Student Learning, the Teaching Development Unit and the Waikato Centre for e-Learning, under the administrative umbrella of the Faculty of Education. Centre director Dr Marcia Johnson says while the Centre is administered under the Faculty of Education, it has a pan-university role. The Centre promotes, facilitates and supports the learning and teaching development activities of each of its three sections but will also develop new opportunities for effectively integrating their activities. The Centre will provide research-informed leadership in tertiary teaching and learning both internally and externally.

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