Media Advisory July 14

My Father was a Race Alien: Globalisation and Immigration in New Zealand

This is a tale of a young Lebanese man leaving behind the hardships of his home country to search for new opportunities in New Zealand during the mid-20thcentury. He marries a New Zealand woman, has two children, and they are compelled to integrate into this new culture and way of life, ignoring their Lebanese heritage. Professor Michèle Akoorie, from the University of Waikato’s Management School, is one of those children. She will deliver her Inaugural Professorial Lecture tomorrow, July 15, using her family history as an example of what it was like for people who came here from non-European countries and were classified as ‘race aliens’. Professor Akoorie’s specialisation is International Management and her family history has led her on a research journey which considers aspects of globalisation and immigration in New Zealand. Her Inaugural Professorial Lecture ‘My Father was a Race Alien’, is at 6pm in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The lecture is free and open to the public. Inaugural Professorial Lectures are the University’s way of presenting new or newly promoted professors to the wider public.

First Winter Lecture Series to discuss future of business

As the University of Waikato celebrates its 50th anniversary and looks to the next 50 years and beyond, the first lecture of the 2014 Winter Lecture Series will take a look at one of the most crucial practices for a healthy economy: business – or more appropriately, the future of business. Waikato Management School sustainability academics Professor Juliet Roper and Associate Professor Eva Collins will examine the role of sustainable practices in business; alumnus and Executive Director of 37 Degrees South Chris Insley will discuss his work in finding innovative and sustainable business solutions for a range of government, iwi and business groups; and Raglan local Steve Crowhurst will talk about his experiences setting up his successful online men’s retail store, The University of Waikato’s Winter Lecture Series is an annual series held Wednesdays in August. It is a focused and relevant seminar series designed to provide an opportunity for robust discussion on topical issues affecting the community. All lectures are free and open to the public, and take places from 6pm-7pm at the Academy of Performing Arts. For more information, visit

Te reo celebrated on campus

The nation will soon be celebrating Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week. As part of the celebrations, the University of Waikato is showing full support by running a number of activities for staff, students and the wider community. On the Monday and Friday of Māori Language Week, July 21-27, the university will host free te reo workshops which are open to the public. On the Wednesday, a public seminar will take place at the university’s Te Kohinga Mārama Marae, featuring Dr Jillian Tipene and Dr Roger Lewis. The te reo workshops will take place 12pm to 1pm Monday (21 July) and 1pm to 2pm Friday (July 25) in A1.01, University of Waikato, Gate 8, Hillcrest Road. The public seminar will take place on Wednesday (23 July), starting with a pōwhiri at 10am, at the university’s Te Kohinga Mārama Marae, Gate 4, Hillcrest Road. For more information visit

Bay benefits from Tauranga campus

A tertiary campus in downtown Tauranga will generate benefits of $188 million over the next 20 years and provide a rate of return of more than 30% on the initial investment, a new report says. The Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership – comprising the University of Waikato, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and Waiariki Institute of Technology - has had plans for a CBD campus on the cards for several years. The June Benefit Cost Analysis Report says the plan is robust and an “attractive investment opportunity” with low risk and the potential to impact positively on many key areas of the Bay of Plenty economy. It would see nearly 6500 students commencing studies in Tauranga between 2015 and 2035 and provide more than 4000 graduates to the region. The report, prepared by Professor Frank Scrimgeour from the Waikato Management School, shows the campus – while still reliant on funding - would also impact positively on attracting researchers and teachers, postgraduate students, international students, and retaining undergraduate students in Tauranga, along with allowing the development of new programmes for delivery in Tauranga.

Organisations working together to build stronger communities

Community organisations will come face to face with influential business leaders in a bid to raise awareness around current social issues within the Waikato at a function this month. The Network for Community Hospitality, in conjunction with the University of Waikato’s Management School, will host ‘Town and Gown: Advocating the Social Issues through the Network for Community Hospitality’, a dinner for local business leaders and corporate guests, as well as University of Waikato staff, on Thursday, July 24 in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The purpose of the event is to encourage community and academic engagement around current social issues such as, disability, accessibility, health, social housing, poverty and the causes of these, as well as to raise the profile of the Network for Community Hospitality. The Network was founded by Professor Alison McIntosh and Dr Cheryl Cockburn-Wootten from the university and includes volunteer, charitable and not-for-profit organisations who are working together to share resources, knowledge and support each other around Waikato social issues. The Network also includes academics who support the different activities and needs of the community organisations by way of funding, promotion, shared learning and training resources.

Waikato University supports Hamilton Science Excellence Awards

The University of Waikato is again supporting the 2014 Hamilton Science Excellence Awards – the KuDos Awards. The awards were launched in 2007 to celebrate science from within the Waikato region. The university sponsors the Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognises a local scientist whose research has made a contribution to the Waikato and the international profile of New Zealand science. The sponsorship is part of the University of Waikato’s ongoing commitment to supporting excellence in science and innovation. Nominations for the 2014 KuDos Awards are now open and close on August 1. To find out more about the awards or to make a nomination, visit the KuDos website. The awards dinner will be held on October 9.

Waikato teacher educators recognised

Two University of Waikato teacher educators were honoured at the recent Teacher Education Forum of Aotearoa New Zealand (TEFANZ). Dr Amanda Bateman, a senior lecturer in Early Childhood Education won the Emerging Teacher Educator Award. Professor Clive McGee received the special award for his lifetime contribution to Teacher Education. 

Doctorate tackles hush-hush subject

A University of Waikato doctoral student wants to talk to Indian women who are or have been victims of domestic violence in New Zealand. Sripriya Somasekhar says seeking help for domestic violence in your home country can be difficult, but it can be doubly difficult for immigrant women because in addition to language issues, often they are non-residents and their abuser is the person they are financially dependent on in New Zealand. Sripriya’s doctoral supervisor Dr Neville Robertson says the research will help identify ways to break through the barriers to make it easier to get to culturally appropriate help. He says it may require changes in immigration policy because unless and until they gain residence status, the ability of these women to stay in New Zealand typically depends on their abuser because he is usually their sponsor or the principal applicant on a joint application and that makes the women vulnerable.

An invite to the Japanese Prime Minister’s house

Waikato students Kristy Wright and Aotea Apiti were two of just a handful of New Zealand tertiary students selected to meet the Japanese Prime Minister’s wife, Mrs Akie Abe, last week. Kristy, who is studying a Master of Media and Creative Technology, got an informal invite to her residence, with Mrs Abe extending a welcome to all the students the next time they visit Japan. Kristy and Aotea were two of eight Waikato students who recently took part in a cultural exchange project called JENESYS 2.0. The event was held on July 7, which is the day the Japanese celebrate Tanabata, a star festival in which today people generally celebrate by writing wishes, sometimes in the form of poetry and hanging them on bamboo. The Waikato students who participated in the programme will be holding a presentation for the public between 1 and 2 pm on Wednesday 23 July, in S1.03, to talk about their experiences.

Top international varsity crews confirmed for the 2014 Gallagher Great Race

University of Waikato rowing crews will be back to defend their titles in The Gallagher Great Race in September. This unique river racing event on the Waikato River is looking to be the best yet, with Waikato University celebrating its 50th anniversary by welcoming top international varsity crews. Accepting the challenge are universities from the United States, Harvard (men) and Washington (women). Also in the hunt to take home a trophy is old rival Melbourne University (both crews).

Lolly sorting a sweet challenge at Science and Engineering Open Days

Sorting different sized lollies without touching them by hand was just one of the tasks encountered by school students at the University of Waikato’s Science & Engineering Open Days this week. During the two free events nearly 200 Year 11-13 students and many of their parents, moved between sessions learning about the subjects offered by the Faculty of Science & Engineering. The selection of workshops gave potential tertiary students a taste of the fun and varied subjects available to study during a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science (Technology) and a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), while emphasising the small class sizes and hands-on papers on offer. Students attended from as far as Kaitaia, Kapiti, Gisborne and New Plymouth.

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