Media Advisory 20 June

HRC grants awarded for Māori health projects
The Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) has announced funding for its 2016 research project grants, including two projects based at the University of Waikato. The university’s Te Kotahi Research Institute (TKRI) Director Associate Professor Leonie Pihama is the principal investigator in both projects: He Oranga Ngākau: Māori and Trauma Informed Care, which has received $1,190,130, and Honour Project Aotearoa, which has received $1,186,804. He Oranga Ngākau: Māori and Trauma Informed Care project aims to provide research-based information for the development of a Kaupapa Māori framework that supports both Māori and non-Māori practitioners working with whānau experiencing trauma. Honour Project Aotearoa will investigate understandings of wellbeing and access to health services for the Māori Takatāpui (LGBTQI) community. The project will build on the Honor Project undertaken by the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute at the University of Washington, which explored wellbeing within the Native American Two Spirit community.
Contact: Associate Professor Leonie Pihama, 07 838 4618, or, or Papahuia Dickson, 07 838 4426, or

New professor to discuss why soft (marine sediment) bottoms matter
If a butterfly flaps its wings in Mexico does it cause a hurricane in China? Conrad Pilditch thinks it does. The University of Waikato biological sciences professor specialises in the processes that influence the structure and function of soft-sediment communities – in other words, a butterfly effect of how large changes can occur as a result of small actions. At his inaugural professorial lecture this Tuesday at 5.15pm at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Professor Pilditch will discuss his current research on soft sediments, and why we should care about them. Inaugural Professorial Lectures are the university’s way of introducing its latest professors to the community and are free and open to the public.
Contact: Professor Conrad Pilditch, 07 838 9393, or

Waikato International Cello Fest 2016
Tickets are on sale for the Waikato International Cello Fest 2016. Hosted by the University of Waikato, the festival will take place in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts from August 21-28. It is the first time an event of this kind has been held in New Zealand. The week-long event comprises six concerts featuring international guest cellists, as well as the finals of the inaugural Wallace International Cello Competition, three lunchtime concerts, daily masterclasses and panel discussions. International cellists headlining the event are Wolfgang Schmidt, Li-Wei Qin, Philippe Muller, Richard Aaron, Santiago Cañón Valencia, and Edward King. They will be joined by the university’s Conservatorium of Music staff, as well as musicians from the university and Waikato musical communities. Tickets range from $5 for the masterclasses through to $30 for concerts. For more information, visit Tickets are available from
Contact: Nick Braae, or

Waikato University talks to parents
The University of Waikato is hosting parent information sessions in Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua to inform parents about what to expect when their children begin tertiary study. The sessions will give parents an opportunity to ask questions and receive guidance for making their child’s transition a smooth one; including information about student support services, study costs, scholarships, the application process and the difference between school and university. The Hamilton session is on Thursday June 23 from 4.30pm-7.30pm in S Block on the Hamilton campus. The Rotorua session is on Thursday June 23 from 5pm-7.30pm in the Millennium Hotel, 1270 Hinemaru St. The Tauranga session is on Thursday June 30 from 5pm-7.30pm at the Bongard Centre, 200 Cameron Road. For more information and other session times visit
Contact: Megan Burton-Brown, 07 838 4419, or

Rays in the harbour
Stingrays, like their relatives the sharks, are globally in trouble because they grow slowly, mature late and have few young. They are also under threat from the development of our coastline. Waikato University PhD student Helen Cadwallader is studying the movements of short-tail stingrays in Tauranga Harbour and the impacts urbanisation might be having on these largely unresearched creatures. This involves luring stingrays into shallow waters and tagging them – with different colours for different locations ‒ so she can track their movements and see if the rays have preferred areas. Ms Cadwallader also plans to take biopsy samples from some of the stingrays so she can compare heavy-metal levels of rays in the southern harbour with other areas with less industry and urbanisation. And in an example of citizen science, people can report seeing tagged stingrays via registering when and where they see them, the colour of the tag and the number (if they can see it).
Contact: Helen Cadwallader, 027 7777 811, or

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