Media Advisory 15 August

Leading environmental economist to give inaugural lecture
‘Old dirt, new boots: the economics of land, water and people’ is the title of an inaugural lecture being given by Professor Graeme Doole, one of New Zealand’s leading environmental economists, at the University of Waikato tomorrow, Tuesday August 16. Professor Doole has spent the past decade researching the environmental problems associated with agriculture, such as the loss of contaminants from farms into waterways. He acts as an economic advisor to the Ministry for the Environment in a joint position co-funded by the University of Waikato. A key part of his role is helping central and regional government develop insights into the economic impact of new policies to significantly improve the water quality of New Zealand’s rivers, lakes and streams. This free public lecture will be held at the university’s Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, from 5.15pm-6pm on August 16. Free parking is available in the Gate 1 carpark from 4.30pm. Inaugural professorial lectures are the university’s way of introducing its newest professors to the community.
Contact: Professor Graeme Doole, 021 102 3095, 07 838 4134, or

Five stars for University of Waikato
The University of Waikato’s international strengths have been affirmed with a five star rating from Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Rankings. The QS Stars Rankings rates universities across a broad range of criteria, and Waikato was awarded a full five stars for its high reputation for employability, cutting-edge facilities, internationally-renowned research, outstanding teaching and student satisfaction, student inclusiveness and innovation. The five star rating follows on from 2015’s QS rankings where the university achieved the highest rankings increase of all New Zealand universities, moving up 67 places from 405 to 338.
Contact: Nicola Lee, 07 838 4401, or

Expansion of Te Ara ki Angitū: Pathways to Excellence
An initiative launched by the University of Waikato last year in South Waikato is now being extended to other schools and communities across the wider Waikato region. Te Ara ki Angitū: Pathways to Excellence is a programme focussing on making the university more accessible to students of the regional secondary schools and communities of the Waikato. The programme provides students with additional support to assist with the transition to university study, including a subsidised daily bus service (to and from selected Waikato towns), the availability of fees scholarships worth up to $5000, and a whānau/common room on campus. From 2017, the programme will be available to students from across the wider region, from the Otorohanga and Waitomo districts, Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako and North Waikato districts. Students who join the programme can apply for Te Ara ki Angitū scholarships online until 14 September, and will commence study in 2017. The DV Bryant Trust, a strong supporter of the University and one of the longest-running philanthropic trusts in the Waikato, has come on board as a major sponsor, joining ANZ, Mighty River Power and Raukawa Charitable Trust.
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, or

Waikato Uni students run for refugees
A group of four University of Waikato students are running the Auckland half-marathon on October 30 to raise awareness and money for refugees. The proceeds from their Givealittle page will go to New Zealand Red Cross and Soles for Syria. Law students Shaymaa Arif and Caitlin Tucker, and management students Emily van Arendonk and Nina Fox say it’s a cause worth running for. Shaymaa is of Iraqi-Syrian decent and says it’s heart-breaking to see all the displaced people in the Middle East. She says if they have to travel hundreds of kilometres, the least she can do is run 21. Shaymaa’s work in promoting justice and peace in the Middle East made her a finalist in the 2015 Waikato’s Women of Influence Awards, and she has no intention of slowing down. For more information and to support the team, visit
Contact: Megan Burton-Brown, 07 838 4419, or

Waikatoacademicreappointed to Pharmac
Waikato University governance expert Associate Professor Dr Jens Mueller has been reappointed by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to a rare third 3-year term as a director of the PHARMAC board, where Dr Mueller also chairs the audit and forecasting committee. During his past six years as director, since July 2010, PHARMAC has changed considerably and now assists with the procurement of medical devices, in addition to negotiating more than $850 million a year of medicines. This saves New Zealand an estimated $25 million, which is made available to district health boards for community health care. Dr Mueller has taught at the University of Waikato for nearly 20 years and is an associate professor of entrepreneurship and strategy in the Management School’s Centre for Corporate and Executive Education. He also consults with firms around the globe on matters of governance and performance. Previously, Dr Mueller managed a $1 billion healthcare organisation in California, and spent more than 30 years as chair and CEO of global health and technology firms in Europe and North America. He was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2015.
Contact: Associate Professor Jens Mueller, 07 838 4198, or

30% discount on BUSIT fares for Waikato University students
University of Waikato students will get a 30% discount on adult BUSIT fares in a new agreement signed with Waikato Regional Council. It is expected the 12-month trial offer will take effect by February 1 next year. The decision is due to be ratified by council at its meeting on Thursday 25 August. The discounted fares will be available to all University of Waikato students paying with a BUSIT card and travelling on any of the regional council’s buses into and out of Hamilton, or within the city. A university student on a Hamilton bus will pay just $1.70 – down from the $3.30 adult cash fare and 30% less than a $2.40 adult BUSIT card rate. The university will fund the scheme from some of the income from the introduction of paid parking on the Hamilton campus this year. Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley said paid parking was introduced to alleviate pressure on land, and to ensure the university is being as sustainable as possible.
Contact: Peta Goldsworthy, 07 858 5178, 027 678 0743, or

A hand in the Olympic programme
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to include five new sports at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics - baseball/softball, karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing - thanks in part to research carried out by two University of Waikato academics. In 2015 Associate Professors Belinda Wheaton and Holly Thorpe won a grant from the IOC to study 'Youth perceptions of the Olympic Games: Attitudes towards action sports at the Youth Olympic Games and Olympic Games' and their final report played an important role in informing the latest IOC decision to include skateboarding, surfing and sport-climbing in the Tokyo programme. The research identified the challenge the IOC faces to stay relevant to contemporary youth amid changing sport participation and consumption patterns and growing competition from mega-events such as the X Games. Dr Thorpe says the inclusion of these new action sports is the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic programme in modern history.
Contacts: Associate Professor Belinda Wheaton Wheaton, 07 838 4466 ext 6205, 021 083 61018, or, or Associate Professor Holly Thorpe, 07 856 2889 ext 6528, 021 311 143, or

Scholarship for high-achievers
The University of Waikato has launched a new scholarship for high-achieving school leavers. Te Paewai o Te Rangi: The University of Waikato Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement is worth up to $25,000 over three years and will be awarded on the basis of academic excellence, leadership potential, and community citizenship. There’ll be 20 scholarships available each year, and the money may be applied to tuition fees and, where applicable, Halls of Residence fees.  Applications for Te Paewai o Te Rangi in 2017 close August 31.
Contact: Nicola Lee, 07 838 4401, or

Minimising resource use for maximal food production
University of California Professor of Anthropology Eugene N Anderson is visiting Hamilton and will give a public talk tomorrow co-hosted by the University of Waikato titled ‘China’s Food and Environment’. For thousands of years, China has had to balance food production and environmental protection. The world is now running out of resources and will have to do better at minimising resource use for maximal food production. Professor Anderson will discuss China’s successes and failures. He has researched ethnobiology, cultural ecology, political ecology, and medical anthropology in several areas including Hong Kong, British Columbia, California and Mexico. His books include The Food of ChinaEcologies of the Heart and Food and Environment in Early and Medieval China. The free public lecture is tomorrow, Tuesday August 16 at 5.30pm, Exhibition Hall, Hamilton Gardens.
Contact: Associate Professor James Beattie, 07 837 9348, or

Pacific students get boost to study
Applications are open for the University of Waikato’s Edna Money Future Pacific Leaders’ Scholarship, a school leaver scholarship that provides support for Pacific students to achieve academically and develop leadership skills through a tailored leadership and personal development programme. The scholarship, worth $6000 a year for up to three years, is given to students of Pacific descent who excel academically and demonstrate significant leadership potential. It was established from a $1 million bequest by the late Morrinsville farmer and accountant Edna Money, who passed away in 2013 aged 94. Applications for the Edna Money Future Pacific Leaders’ Scholarship close August 31. More information about the scholarship and how to apply can be found on the university’s website.
Contact: Melody Downs, 07 838 4094, or

Strings to their bows
Some of the world’s finest concert cellists will be performing and teaching at the Waikato International Cello Fest 2016 from August 21-28 at the University of Waikato. The international cast includes Wolfgang Schmidt and Li-Wei Qin, two of the world’s best, and they’ll be joined by leading professors from the Paris Conservatoire, Philippe Muller, and the “rock-star” from New York’s Juilliard, Richard Aaron. For students who have signed up, it will be a chance to learn from and impress the international guests who will be taking master classes.  It’s not just Waikato cello students who will be participating; cello students from Australia, Singapore, Switzerland and the UK have also registered. Members of the public can attend all of the classes for $5 a session and for $100, audience members can pair the masterclass attendance with a few concerts during the week.  For more information visit
Contact: Nick Braae,

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