Media Advisory 29 May 2017

Mean, misunderstood, and mistreated: Psychopathy in the wild and in prison
When people are asked to define a psychopath, examples from popular culture such as Psycho’s Norman Bates, Silence of the Lambs’ Hannibal Lecter or the Saw series’ John Kramer might spring to mind. But psychopathy is a widely misunderstood form of personality disorder, according to the University of Waikato’s Professor of Psychology Devon Polaschek. In her Inaugural Professorial Lecture tomorrow, Professor Polaschek will talk about the modern scientific understandings of psychopathy. Using her longstanding research programme on high-risk violent prisoners, she will consider how some people become psychopathic criminals, whether they can be released safely into our communities again, and whether the psychological treatments made available to them are helping them change their psychopathy. Professor Polaschek’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture will be held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts tomorrow, Tuesday 30 May at 5.15pm. 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

New partnership for safer driving
The University of Waikato and eDrive Solutions (trading as Fleetcoach) have announced a new partnership that will increase opportunities for safer driving in New Zealand and Australia. eDrive and Fleetcoach are interactive online driver training programmes scientifically proven to reduce crash risk. eDrive is targeted toward learner drivers, and Fleetcoach is specifically for organisations to keep their staff safe. Research carried out by Associate Professor Robert Isler, Director of the Traffic and Road Safety (TARS) research group at the University of Waikato, has shown that video-based simulations are an effective way to train high-level driving skills. Skills learned through video simulations directly lead to safer attitudes in driver behaviour, and are transferable to real-world driving situations, he says. The University of Waikato became an equity partner with eDrive Solutions Ltd in March this year.
Contact: Alison Robertson, 07 585 5135, 027 309 4420, or

Health Research Council funding for NZ transgender health survey
University of Waikato psychology lecturer Dr Jaimie Veale has been awarded Health Research Council funding of $238,000 to carry out a transgender health survey. The survey will uncover the extent to which transgender people experience stigma, discrimination, violence and barriers to accessing healthcare in New Zealand, and the correlation of these issues to health outcomes. Dr Veale says overseas research has uncovered notable health inequalities faced by transgender people, but little research has been conducted in the New Zealand context to date. Her project will also explore the extent to which affirming healthcare and social support – including family/whānau, transgender community, and wider community support – buffers the negative impacts of stigma and related experiences. The project will include a transgender community advisory group and will work closely with health professionals who work with transgender people in New Zealand.
Contact: Dr Jaimie Veale, 07 837 9216, or

Freemasons Scholarships awarded to Waikato students
Four University of Waikato students have been awarded scholarships totalling $28,000 in the latest round of Freemasons scholarships. Whakatane’s Rebecca Yeates (Master of Science) received a $10,000 Freemason’s Postgraduate Scholarship. Taranaki’s Ellen Plumtree (Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) majoring in chemical and biological engineering), Hamilton’s Bal Timilsina (Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Mechanical) and Matamata’s Matthew House (Bachelor of Science, majoring in Earth and Environmental Sciences) received Freemason’s University Scholarships of $6000 each. The programme is now in its 39th year and is the largest privately funded programme in New Zealand. During this time it has awarded 1134 of the country’s top students more than $5 million in university and postgraduate scholarships.
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 883 4775, or

Launch of book on Māori counselling journeys
A new book - Moemo󠄁eā: Māori Counselling Journeys – is being launched at the University of Waikato tomorrow. The book is a collaboration between university staff, graduates and current students. Its editors are Kathie Crocket, Eugene Davis (Ngāti Hauā), Elmarie Kotzé, Brent Swann (Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata), Huia Swann (Ngāi Tahu, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Wai). Moemo󠄁eā is a practical and accessible resource for those working alongside whānau Māori. Each chapter demonstrates clear links between practice and philosophy, situating these in whakaaro Māori and in contemporary Western ideas. Practice stories show Māori cultural ethics at work in: counselling, supervision, group work, research, advocacy, and professional education. In their weaving of whakaaro Māori and narrative practice, the stories will inform and inspire practitioners who work alongside Māori. Throughout the book, voices of both whānau and counsellor explore what happens when mana is recognised. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai will launch the book at the University’s Te Kohinga Mārama Marae tomorrow, Tuesday 30 May.
Contact: Associate Professor Kathie Crocket, 07 838 4466 ext 8462, or

Kiwi toy company on hunt for the next great idea
An award-winning New Zealand toy company turning over half a billion dollars a year is the focus of the University of Waikato Management School’s 42nd Case Competition, taking place on Wednesday 31 May at the university. From humble beginnings in a Cambridge garage in 2004, Zuru Toys has expanded rapidly over the past decade to become a global China-based company that sells toys in 121 countries. Some of Zuru’s best-selling products include Robo Fish, the world’s fastest-selling toy of the year in 2013; and Bunch o’ Balloons, which recently won US Toy of the Year. Four finalist teams of Waikato management students will compete for a $2500 cash prize - donated by competition sponsor ASB - by presenting their recommended business growth strategies for Zuru Toys to a panel of external judges, in front of a public audience. The competition final starts at 6pm in the PWC lecture theatre, Waikato Management School, Hillcrest Road, Hamilton. The public is welcome to attend. Free parking in the Gate 10 carpark off Silverdale Road. For more details visit
Contact: Ruth Taylor, 07 838 4263, or

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