Media Advisory June 21


Antarctic research at the University of Waikato has received a major financial boost with the establishment of an endowment fund. Antarctica New Zealand has provided $50,000 in seed funding to the University’s International Centre for Terrestrial Antarctic Research (ICTAR), to establish the Antarctic Research Endowment Fund. ICTAR is a new centre at Waikato partnering with Gateway Antarctica at the University of Canterbury, which was the recipient of last year’s Antarctic Endowment Fund award. An additional $50,000 in matched funding will come from the University of Waikato. The endowment will actively support the continued growth and development of research expertise in Antarctica to meet New Zealand interests in the Ross Dependency and obligations to the Antarctic Treaty. The fund will help support final-year undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students, and will also be used for exploratory projects, costs associated with travel to Antarctica, visits to obtain skills from overseas collaborators, and attendance at national and international meetings. ICTAR Director Professor Craig Cary said the establishment of the Antarctic Research Endowment Fund represented a major opportunity for Waikato. “The Fund will not only support scholarships for Antarctic Research, it will help us encourage and develop the next generation of well-qualified and enthusiastic Antarctic researchers,” he said. “This investment confirms the strong ties we have with Antarctica New Zealand and the support they give to our programme.”


Sacred Heart Girls’ College emerged victorious against Matamata College at the annual Waikato University Secondary Schools’ Mooting Competition, on June 8. The competition, hosted by the university’s Faculty of Law, pits teams against each other on points of law. The two finalist teams argued an appeal on whether a mother should be allowed to relocate from Hamilton to Sydney with her children. The Sacred Heart students from the winning team, Rochelle Monk, Lydia McKinnon and Leah Caddigan, each received a $3,000 scholarship to assist with their first year of study in Law at the University of Waikato. Lydia McKinnon also won the Best Individual Mooter award. The Mooting Competition has grown significantly since its establishment at Waikato University in 2001.


A group of Waikato University Māori students heads to Canada during the semester break to do comparative research on management and law in New Zealand and Canada and the impact on the two countries’ indigenous cultures. The 12, all postgraduate or senior undergraduate law or management students, will first go to Vancouver to present their research findings at an international conference on global ecological integrity and meet staff and students involved with indigenous cultures at the University of Columbia. Their research topics include sustainable development: what it means to CFOs in NZ, comparing Canadian and New Zealand Treaty settlements on natural resources and environmental co-management, the economic impact of the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme, and government support for indigenous culture. After Vancouver, the students will travel to the University of Ottawa in Ontario to meet staff and students, visit the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and meet representatives from government departments. One of the organisers, Priscilla Ngatai, says the trip is a fantastic opportunity to share research between countries that have similar goals for their indigenous people. “We see this haerenga as a start to our journey, which will encourage Māori students to research our indigenous culture and share our findings with our iwi and on an international platform.”


New Zealanders need to better understand the benefits and challenges of immigration. Waikato University masters student Simon Gray is a member of the Asia-New Zealand Young Leaders network which is hosting a public event to discuss immigration issues, as part of this year’s Leadership Week. Key note speakers will be MP David Bennett who will address the socio-economic benefits of immigration and Deborah Lamb from the Office of Ethnic Affairs who will talk about the integration challenges we face as New Zealand’s racial demographics changes. After that, each table at the cafe-style event will be given a different aspect of immigration to discuss. Leadership Week is sponsored by the Sir Peter Blake Trust which will be hosting events throughout New Zealand from Friday 25 June to 2 July. “Immigration is a serious issue,” says Gray who is studying international relations and security studies. “And it’s our future leaders, people who are currently students or recent graduates, who will be dealing with immigration issues in the future,” he says. “It’s essential we increase our understanding of the potential and issues surrounding immigration, particularly about the wider Asia region, and the challenges posed by ultra-conservative societies and their values. I believe that’s fundamental to the integrated development and national security of New Zealand.” Understanding Immigration: The socio-economic benefits and challenges to New Zealand will be held at the University of Waikato Student Union Building on Friday 2 July from 5.30 – 7.30pm.


Sir Edmund Hillary scholar Myles Browne-Cole is one of two male clay target shooters selected for October’s Commonwealth Games. Before then he’s got to go to the world shooting championships in Germany and finish his degree. Twenty-two year Browne-Cole is in the closing stages of his Bachelor of Science (Technology) majoring in Earth Science and is currently doing his nine months practical with AgResearch’s Grasslands near Palmerston North. But shooting requirements see him regularly on the road and in the sky. Earlier this year he became the first non-Australian to win the ISSF trap shooting title, he was second at New Zealand nationals and he recently returned from a World Cup tournament in Italy where his tally was good enough to qualify for the next Olympics. Browne-Cole leaves for Germany at the end of July, hopes to finish his practicum in mid-August and then spend a lot of time at his local gun club in Pukekohe before heading to India.


The University of Waikato is continuing to make a difference in urban restoration. On Wednesday June 23 farmers in the region have the opportunity to learn more about how to protect the environment from the impacts of agriculture at the Waiwhakareke Farmers Information Day. The day will include presentations which will cover a range of topics, including helping farmers to identify native plants that are ideal for the farm. Waiwhakareke is a Natural Heritage Park spread over 60 hectares on the outskirts of Hamilton and is part of a Waikato University urban restoration project, which aims to rebuild native lowland and wetland ecosystems in the Hamilton city area. The Farmers Information Day takes place 10am - 12pm on Wednesday June 23 and is held at Waiwhakareke on Baverstock Rd, Hamilton. For more information visit


New Zealand Chamber Soloists, musicians who have connections with Waikato University through teaching and research, are about to launch a new album. It’s called Elegy and has a Russian focus. It includes Rachmaninov’s single-movement Trio Elegiaque, which gives the album its name, Shostakovich’s E minor Trio that catches the unsettling years of World War II, plus the rhythms and melodies of the 1952 Piano Trio by Armenian composer Arno Babajanian. Violinist Lara Hall, cellist James Tennant and pianist Katherine Austin formed the New Zealand Chamber Soloists in 2006 and call in other musicians as required. Last year their CD Ahi was nominated as one of the best classical recordings in the annual RIANZ awards and the group toured Europe, the US and Columbia in South America. This year the group has been on the road, taking chamber music to smaller New Zealand centres and larger towns. They’ve received substantial financial support from former Dean of Computing and Mathematical Sciences and Endace founder Dr Ian Graham and his wife Agi. A CD launch to celebrate the release of Elegy is being held at the Academy of Performing Arts, 6pm Monday 28 June.


A University of Waikato symposium puts the spotlight on science. Science in the Public is an event which aims to encourage discussion among researchers, workers and organisations working in the field of science. The symposium will be organised in a series of workshops and presentations, including keynote speaker Shaun Hendy from the MacDiarmid Institute. The Science in the Public symposium takes place on Thursday July 8 and is held at the University of Waikato Hamilton campus. For more information visit


Five Waikato University students received a third of scholarships offered by the Energy Education Trust. The nationally contestable scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate academic excellence. Recipients of the scholarship include Abbie Fowler, Alexandra Keyte-Beattie, Ian Laing, Bayleigh Petchell and Timothy Walmsley, who each received $5000. The Energy Education Trust is a charitable organisation which aims to assist students undertaking fulltime study in the fields of science, economics, engineering and related fields.

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