Media Advisory 10 July, 2017

Did you hear the one about…?
Did you hear the one about the Scotswoman, the snail and the bottle of ginger? Sir Grant Hammond, Professor of Law and Judicial Studies at the University of Waikato knows it well. The woman pursued a claim against the drink manufacturer to Britain’s House of Lords and won. It’s a story that set the course for negligence law to this very day and Sir Grant will be shedding more light on this famous case at his Inaugural Professorial Lecture this month.Sir Grant is a specialist in judicial remedies and has had an extensive career that’s combined practice with academia. His lecture takes place on Tuesday 18 July starting at 5.15pm. It is free and open to the public. Parking is free after 4.30pm in the University of Waikato’s Gate 1 (Knighton Road) carpark.
Contact: Mike Watson, 07 838 4235, or

Cyber monkeys attack
A rogue AI (Artificial Intelligence) is out to take over the world and must be stopped. That’s the scenario being played out at this year’s NZ Cyber Security Challenge hosted by the University of Waikato this week (14, 15 July). The 150 participants were selected from earlier online qualifying rounds and include secondary and tertiary students and industry participants. The finals will involve workshops, a job fair, industry talks and three competitive rounds. The top five teams from the first two rounds will defend their vulnerable servers against attacks from cyber sector professionals from Quantum Security, Insomnia InfoSec, and Lateral Security. One of the organisers, Meena Mungro, says the event is a great way for young cyber security enthusiasts to experience the offensive and defensive areas of cyber security in a controlled and safe environment. Director of the GSCB Andrew Hampton will be a guest speaker on day 2 of the competition. Challenge schedule
Contact: Meena Mungro, 021 026 19862, or

A traditional, collective approach to child-rearing
Traditional Māori approaches to child-rearing are steeped in collective responsibility, rather than conventionally promoted individual approaches. Associate Professor Leonie Pihama, Dr Naomi Simmonds and Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki of the University of Waikato have been awarded funding for A Better Start National Science Challenge in conjunction with Curekids to further investigate the place of mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledges) as a practice to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young Māori. Dr Pihama says to improve outcomes for tamariki Māori, it is critical that these traditional approaches to Māori health be revived. The project is called Te Taonga o Taku Ngākau: Ancestral Knowledge as a Framework for Wellbeing for Tamariki Māori and the research team will undertake three marae-based whānau wānanga (to meet and discuss) to co-create and identify policy pathways and potential solutions to mental health issues experienced by tamariki Māori as part of the project.
Contact: Associate Professor Leonie Pihama, 07 838 4618, 0212741177, or

Two new honorary doctors
Scientist Professor Charles Daugherty and civil engineer Ian Jowett have had honorary doctorates conferred by the University of Waikato. Professor Daugherty’s work in biology has had a significant impact on the preservation of New Zealand’s tuatara, skink and gecko populations. His work has been pivotal in returning tuatara from outer islands to the New Zealand mainland. Ian Jowett has helped improve our understanding of flow regime, hydrology, and riverine habitats and their relationship to freshwater aquatic populations. He was responsible for the “100 rivers study” where the collection of trout data alone involved crews of wet-suited drift-divers performing underwater trout counts in more than 100 New Zealand rivers. The extensive analysis that followed led to the development of a model of brown trout abundance. Mr Jowett also developed a computer-based decision-support system for determining the way in which flow changes would affect habitat requirements, water temperature and dissolved oxygen concentrations.
Contact: Alison Robertson, 07 858 5135, 027 309 4420, or

Entrepreneur for a Day Challenge
Secondary school students in years 10-13 are invited to take part in Waikato Management School’s ‘Entrepreneur for a Day Challenge’. Students don’t have to have any knowledge of business to take part. The event involves students working in small groups to develop a new product idea that has real market potential. At the end of the day, the groups will pitch their product ideas to a panel of judges to be in to win some great prizes.  The event will take place on Friday July 21 from 10am to 4pm at Waikato Management School on Hillcrest Road.  To register to participate in the challenge, visit There are limited places.
Contact: Joanna Green, 07 858 5080, or

A wild start planned for new Tauranga public lecture series
The University of Waikato is hosting a new public lecture series in Tauranga, kicking off on 20 July with Professor of Psychology and Crime Science, Devon Polaschek, who will explore psychopathy in the wild and in prison. Drawing on her research on high-risk violent prisoners, Professor Polaschek will consider how some people become psychopathic criminals, whether they can be released safely into the wilds of our communities again, and whether the psychological treatments made available to them are helping them change their psychopathy. This free public lecture will be held on Thursday, 20 July, 5.30pm at Trinity Wharf, 51 Dive Crescent, Tauranga. No registration is required. Light refreshments will be available. The University’s new lecture series will feature a different lecture each month and will cover thought provoking research from a range of guest speakers. For more information visit
Contact: Anthea McLeary, 022 068 1069 or

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