Media Advisory March 7

Groundhog Day for flood response
They say the definition of madness is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result. University of Waikato Professor of Environmental Planning Iain White says it’s the same responses to flooding and extreme weather events that’s stopping our ability to learn from previous events and plan effective responses to flooding. He’s co-authored a paper on the subject with colleague Professor Graham Haughton from the University of Manchester. Called “UK’s response to flooding just like Groundhog Day”, the paper urges the UK government to re-think its flooding policy, warning otherwise they will continue the trend of repeated damaging events followed by the same ineffective public conversations. Professor White says parallels can be drawn between the UK and New Zealand, with New Zealand’s flooding also requiring individual solutions and the need for a policy environment that changes as the science does.
Contact: Nicola Lee, 07 838 4401, or

Modern Māori men
When we think of today’s Māori men, we’re inclined to think staunch, stoic, strong, and often silent. But early colonial writers often talked of Māori men being very physical and more emotional, even more feminine, than the ‘Victorian Gentlemen’ they were encountering. New Dean of Waikato University’s School of Māori and Pacific Development Professor Brendan Hokowhitu has researched what he calls Māori modernities, or how Māori have interacted, evolved or devolved in a postcolonial era, including in relation to masculinity. In his Inaugural Professorial Lecture next week, Professor Hokowhitu will outline his research that covers Māori participation in sport and the reasons for it, Māori masculinity in general, and the media’s interface with Māori, whether that be stereotypical representations of Māori or how Māori have taken up media to represent themselves. Inaugural Professorial Lectures are the University’s way of introducing new professors to the community. Professor Hokowhitu’s lecture is on Tuesday March 15 at 5.15pm at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Hamilton campus.
Contact: Alison Robertson, 07 858 5135, 027 309 4420, or

Mooting competition open
Secondary school students who want to get a taste of law and experience the thrill of the court room can take part in the University of Waikato’s Secondary Schools’ Mooting Competition. Registrations are open to teams from any New Zealand high school. A moot is a legal debate in a courtroom setting with a judge or a panel of judges. Students get to work on real cases and decide how to apply their argument to an area of uncertainty in the law, and then present their case to a panel of judges and an opposing team. Competition co-ordinator Cheryl Green from Te Piringa -Faculty of Law says the competition helps students develop legal reasoning, the principles of legal research, learn the process of litigation and courtroom etiquette and procedures. For more information go to:
Contact: Diana Maliseva 07 838 4466 ext 6477, or

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