Media Advisory 3 April 2017

Robotics in primary industries - the revolution begins
Next week, University of Waikato Engineering Professor Mike Duke will give his inaugural professorial lecture on the use of robotics in primary industries. More than 70% of New Zealand’s merchandise exports come from the primary industries, with the Ministry for Primary Industries aiming to double primary exports from $32 billion in 2012 to $64 billion by 2025. Increasing labour costs, mainly due to the need to import labour, concerns over labour reliability, coupled with environmental and health and safety legislation threaten the profitability of many primary sector companies. Robotics and smart machinery are used in automotive factories and in horticultural pack houses. However, ‘in field’ robotics have been neglected as the variability of the environment and products makes it difficult to use them in the field. The lecture is on Tuesday 11 April in the university’s Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at 5.15pm. The Opus Bar is open from 4.30pm. Parking is free after 4.30pm in the University’s Gate 1 carpark. 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: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, or

Food security and sustainable food production
International food policy expert Professor David Barling will give a free public talk at the University of Waikato’s Management School this Wednesday 5 April at 1pm. He will discuss highlights of his research into global food policy-making, food security and supply chains, and sustainable food production, and how they impact on the environment, public health and social justice outcomes. Professor Barling has advised leading organisations such as the UN Environment Programme, the European Parliament, the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, and the Scottish Government. He is director of the Centre for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Management at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. The talk is in MSB.1.03, Waikato Management School, Hillcrest Road, Hamilton. For more details visit
Contact: Ruth Taylor, 07 838 4263, or

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