Media Advisory April 13

Top honor for top coach at graduation

One of New Zealand's most successful sports coaches will receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Waikato this week. Richard 'Dick' Tonks MNZM will receive his Honorary Doctorate at the university graduation ceremony at Claudelands on Wednesday morning. Mr Tonks coached New Zealand rowing crews at five Olympics, won five Halberg awards for coach of the year and was voted International Rowing Federation coach of the year and world rowing coach of the year in 2005, 2010 and 2012. The university has graduation ceremonies throughout the week at Claudelands and at the campus marae Te Kohinga Marama. A graduation ceremony was held in Tauranga on Friday.

Found in space - Avionics engineer to visit Waikato

The Australian avionics systems engineer who helped build, test and launch the Rosetta space craft that successfully landed a probe on a comet (Comet-67P) last year will give a free public lecture at the University of Waikato next week. Warwick Holmes spent 29 years working on European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft projects and missions including four-and-a-half years on the Rosetta project.  He thinks New Zealand and Australia should be investing much more in science and engineering. His free public lecture takes place at the Academy of Performing Arts on Thursday 23 April at 6pm.

London visit to build ties

University of Waikato Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Alister Jones will meet key international contacts, host alumni and stakeholder events and visit partner universities during a trip to the UK this month.  Professor Jones hosted an alumni event on Friday, and on Monday (UK time) hosts a stakeholder event at New Zealand House with Senior Music Fellow Dame Malvina Major. Professor Jones will also visit York and Lancaster universities and meet with several international education organisations to identify opportunities for building and strengthening international relationships and to help build the university's profile internationally.

Reviewing New Zealand's health system

University of Waikato Associate Professor Jens Mueller MNZM is one of four reviewers appointed to assess the capability and capacity of the New Zealand health system. Dr Mueller says this new review will result in significant recommendations for the Health Ministry and the Minister, to position the country well to provide better and more streamlined health care into the near future.

He says the health sector is facing a range of pressures including a growing ageing population, while new technologies are changing the way health services are delivered. The reviewers will need to identify priorities and provide advice on how change will meet demand, be implemented and progressed.

Relationship recognised with award

The 20-year relationship between the University of Waikato and the Chinese Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE) was recognised last week at an international conference in China. The University of Waikato received the Outstanding Partnership with CSCSE in 2014 award, which recognises the successful 20-year relationship between the University of Waikato and the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), along with the commitment the university has made since then to support the first New Zealand academic partnership in China. The partnership sees students completing two years of study at SISU and transferring to Waikato to complete an undergraduate degree in either the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences or Faculty of Management.

New leadership programme

The University of Waikato's Management School has teamed up with the Community Enterprise Leadership Foundation (CELF) to offer a new leadership programme that aims to build future Waikato leaders from all walks of life who can re-imagine wealth creation from a social, environmental, cultural and economic perspective. Companies that are foundation members of CELF – financially involved in its establishment – have the right to send one person from their own company and another from the greater community, i.e, arts, sports, music, not for profits, social; anyone in the community who shows leadership traits and wants to optimise these attributes. The 17-day leadership programme will run over 10 months, with the first intake in July.

Fault lines in our human rights record

A recent report by University of Waikato law Professor Margaret Wilson, human rights lawyer Sylvia Bell and research leader Professor Judy McGregor from AUT (a Waikato alumna) says New Zealand's reputation as a global human rights leader is at risk. The three-year study of the six major human rights treaties that New Zealand has signed since the 1970s found that we're slipping behind in areas such as child poverty, gender equality, systemic disadvantage of Māori, and the rights of disabled people to challenge the State. The New Zealand Law Foundation funded the research project.

Read Fault lines: Human rights in New Zealand online.

University trio in NZ U20 rugby squad

Three University of Waikato students have been named in the New Zealand Under 20 rugby squad to compete in next month's Oceania tournament in Australia. They're Waikato and Chiefs player Anton Lienert Brown who's studying Sport and Leisure Studies on a university rugby development scholarship, and Sir Edmund Hillary scholars Atu Moli and Mitch Jacobson. This tournament precedes the Junior Rugby world cup taking place in Italy in June.

Waikato student joins Black Caps

Cricket all-rounder Mitchell Santner has been named in the Black Caps limited overs squad to tour England in May and June. The University of Waikato engineering student is the only uncapped player to be named in the ODI and T20 line-up, essentially filling the spot vacated by long-serving Dan Vettori. The 23-year-old left-hander averaged 36.22 with the bat during the Ford Trophy season and took 11 wickets with his left-arm orthodox spin.

Waikato students set to shine at Gallipoli Games

University of Waikato students are among athletes from New Zealand, Australia, France, Germany, India and the UK chosen to compete at the inaugural Gallipoli Games this month. Starting April 25 and running for five days, five Waikato students will represent New Zealand in beach volleyball, swimming, triathlon and yachting. Hosted by the Turkish University Sports Federation, the Gallipoli Games mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli and take place in Gelibolu, Çanakkale and Istanbul in Turkey. The Games will continue to be held every two years. The University of Waikato will be updating live from the event on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (under waikatouni), and live-tweeting from @WaikatoEvents with the hashtags #GallipoliGames and #WaikatoUni.

Nominations open for 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Nominations for the 2015 University of Waikato Distinguished Alumni Awards are now open. The Distinguished Alumni Awards celebrate and honour graduates of the university who have made outstanding contributions in their careers or communities. Nominations are encouraged from university staff, students and alumni and members of the community. Graduates of the university holding a degree or diploma are eligible for nomination. All nominations are confidential and take into account excellence in the professional, cultural, creative and voluntary sectors. Past awardees include adventurer Jamie Fitzgerald, economist Dr Arthur Grimes, Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae and former Telecom CEO Theresa Gattung. For more information, visit

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