Media Advisory 20 February 2017

Expanding opportunities for regional students
Starting today, more than 100 new students from regional townships will begin their university studies thanks to the University of Waikato’s expanded Te Ara ki Angitū: Pathways to Excellence programme. The programme includes a subsidised daily bus service, fees scholarships worth up to $5000 and learning and mentoring support. Last year the University launched the pilot programme in partnership with Tokoroa and Putaruru High Schools. The programme now reaches 25 schools and communities across Hauraki, Thames-Coromandel, Matamata-Piako, Waikato, Otorohonga, South Waikato and Waitomo districts. The regional and district communities are expressing strong support for the  initiative with local community and iwi organisations coming on board, such as The Bryant Trust, ANZ, Mercury Energy and Raukawa. For more information, visit waikato.ac.nz/go/te-ara-ki-angitu
Contact: Joseph Macfarlane, 027 290 0159, or hohepa@waikato.ac.nz

Economics research a winner
Waikato University economics graduate Leo Krippner has been awarded this year’s Central Banking award for economics. Central Banking Publications gives the award annually to a person who makes “the most significant contribution to economics within the field of central banking”. Dr Krippner is a senior adviser in the economics department at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and has led the debate on how central bank economists should think about unconventional monetary policy. It was an idea he had when doing his PhD at Waikato on term structure modelling, and he developed it after interest rates in many global economies became constrained near zero. This is a highly relevant area of economics, given the global environment and its influence on the New Zealand economy.
Contact: Alison Robertson, 07 858 5135, 027 309 4420, or alison.robertson@waikato.ac.nz

Academic named in the final three for New Zealander of the Year
A University of Waikato academic Associate Professor Mere Berryman, ONZM, has been named in the final three for 2017 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. Tauranga-based Dr Berryman has been a lifelong advocate for incorporating Māori culture and values in the New Zealand school curriculum. She was a key developer of the school-based programmes Te Kotahitanga, He Kakano and most recently Kia Eke Panuku: Building on success. The Ministry of Education-funded Kia Eke Panuku was adopted by 94 New Zealand secondary schools. Filmmaker Taika Waititi and the Salvation Army’s Major Campbell Roberts are the other two finalists in this year’s award. The winner will be announced in Auckland on February 22.
Contact: Associate Professor Mere Berryman, 027 589 4577, or mere.berryman@waikato.ac.nz

New app for pregnant women
Pregnancy – awe-inspiring and terrifying? Full of changes, choices and challenges? Now there’s an app for that! A team from the University of Waikato School of Psychology has developed ‘Positively Pregnant’. This app includes tools for self-assessment, with links to New Zealand resources and information. Other modules include guides for parenting, the birth, finances and family traditions. There are also activities for relaxation, affirmation journaling, as well as information on the social and emotional side of pregnancy. Starting this month, the app is being piloted in the Waikato to see how women use the app, get feedback and suggestions from them, and to see if there are changes in their stress, distress and health behaviours while using the app. Any woman who is at least 16 years old, in the first half of pregnancy and who uses a smart phone is eligible to participate.
Contact: Dr Carrie Barber, 07 837 9221, or carrie.barber@waikato.ac.nz

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