Media Advisory October 14

The University of Waikato will confer an Honorary Doctorate on New Zealand thoroughbred pioneer Sir Patrick Hogan at today’s 10am graduation ceremony at the Claudelands Events Centre for his contribution to the growth and international standing of the New Zealand thoroughbred industry. Sir Patrick is a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM). He was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2005 and into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame the following year. For more than 30 years his Cambridge Stud has been the leading vendor by aggregate at the NZ National Yearling Sale at Karaka, an unrivalled record in New Zealand horse breeding. 

This year’s University of Waikato Three Minute Thesis (3MT) final will be a multi-national event with PhD students from the USA, Russia and New Zealand taking part. The 10 doctoral finalists will have three minutes to present their research to a lay audience with the winner taking home $3000 and going on to represent Waikato at the Trans-Tasman 3MT competition next year. Thesis presentations include Fulbright scholar Sarah Lockwood from Tauranga speaking on her research into the Rena oil spill crisis. Her research aims to better understand the unique organising and communicating dynamics of Generation Y volunteers. Travis Bartosh from the US has been working on analysing language themes from farmers’ markets to understand how the markets engage with the processes of globalisation. The 3MT final will be hosted by comedienne Michele A’Court and starts at 7pm at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on October 22. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.

Links, servo motors, a micro-controller and a whole lot of student brain power are behind the creation of an autonomous biped robot that can walk by itself. Fourth-year University of Waikato electronic engineering students Martin Lam and Gordan Wildschut have been working on the robot since April, as part of their Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) research project. During the project Martin worked on the software while Gordan worked on hardware. The boys’ research project will be on show this week at the Carter Holt Harvey Pulp & Paper Engineering Design Show from October 15-16. The event will be held at the University of Waikato from 9am–5pm on both days, in the ground floor foyer of S Block. The event is open to the public and is the perfect opportunity for high school students and industry representatives to meet the School of Engineering’s talented students.

The University of Waikato’s annual ChemQuest will provide the ultimate test for Year 12 chemistry students this week. The after-school event gives students studying chemistry at NCEA Level 2 the chance to compete for the ChemQuest trophy and other prizes. About 50 teams of three are expected to attend. The quiz includes questions based on chemistry, general knowledge and the NCEA curriculum. There are also interactive rounds when students must listen to music or watch chemistry demonstrations to identify the quiz answers. The current trophy holders are St Paul's Collegiate, who have won the competition eight times, but never more than twice in a row. The event is sponsored by James & Wells Intellectual Property and Hill Laboratories, and run by the Faculty of Science and Engineering. ChemQuest takes place at 7pm on October 16 and is being held at the university’s Hamilton campus in the PWC lecture theatre.

The great cities of the Ancient Maya vanished more than 1000 years ago. Some of the most impressive have been restored, while others are still under investigation. Milpa is one such city, its rapid rise, sudden fall and complex urban structure shedding new light on the precariousness of Maya existence. Professor of Archaeology at Boston University Norman Hammond will give a free public lecture on his work exploring the ancient Maya city of La Milpa in Belize, Central America, on Thursday, October 17 at 7pm in SG.02, at the University of Waikato. Professor Hammond’s fieldwork in the Maya Area has been predominantly in Belize, at the sites of Lubaantun, Nohmul, Cuello, and La Milpa, and he has worked on Maya exchange systems and the fingerprinting of obsidian and jade sources.

Today (October 14) in Wellington a new compendium on Māori Customary Law, more than a decade in the writing, will have its official launch at The National Library. Te Matapunenga: A Compendium of References of the Concepts and Institutions of Māori Customary Law has been compiled and edited by Waikato’s Dr Richard Benton, Professor Alex Frame and Paul Meredith. Published by Victoria University Press, the book sets out the terms and concepts of Māori customary law as they are recorded in traditional Māori accounts and historical records, along with modern interpretations of the terms and concepts and how these customary concepts have been recognised or modified since 1840 by the New Zealand legal system.

More than 50 delegates from Russia, Italy, United Kingdom, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Brazil, Australia and United States are coming to New Zealand in January 2014 for an international conference – but so far, no New Zealanders have signed up. The conference, headlined as Dialogue at the Boundaries, is the fourth international interdisciplinary conference on the perspectives and dialogism of Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin. Dr Jayne White from The Centre for Global Studies in Education at the University of Waikato says the work of Bakhtin, and members of his circle, is of increasing relevance and influence across many disciplines. She says the conference is probably the one and only time a Bakhtin conference of this nature will be held in New Zealand and is hopeful New Zealanders will come on board once they know what the conference is about - not just teachers and academics, but anybody who works with people and wants to explore aspects of effective communication.

Finance Professor Stuart Locke from Waikato Management School says New Zealand should be keeping abreast of governance and regulatory issues in Asia because as markets there develop, there will be more opportunities for synergies between New Zealand and capital markets in the Asia region. The Department of Finance at Waikato Management School is co-hosting the fifth international conference on corporate governance – governance of the private and public sector, being held in Kuala Lumpur in November. The management school is teaming with the Accounting Research Institute at the Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia and the Centre of Corporate Governance Institute of Public Enterprise in India to host the conference on November 18 and 19. Professor Locke says governance specialists in New Zealand should be interested in attending the conference because as Asian countries begin to work more co-operatively, with integrated stock and capital markets, they will become more financially powerful, and New Zealand needs to make sure it’s a part of that growth strategy, particularly if it wants to become an international finance centre.

This page has been reformatted for printing.