Media Advisory August 16


A Google expert, the founder of Kiwibank and a leading businessman will be acknowledged next week at the annual University of Waikato Distinguished Alumni Awards. Dr Craig Nevill-Manning is the founder and director of Google’s first remote engineering centre in New York. He completed his doctorate in computer science at Waikato in 1996. Sam Knowles, the founding chief executive of Kiwibank graduated from Waikato in 1975 with a bachelors degree in science. Business leader and long-serving army officer Lt Col Tenby Powell, who graduated from Waikato in 1987, is the third recipient. A black-tie awards dinner, hosted by Chancellor and former Prime Minister Jim Bolger and Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford, takes place on Friday August 27. The university’s Distinguished Alumni Awards are made each year to no more than three people. They recognise and celebrate Waikato alumni who have made an outstanding contribution to their profession, to the community, to the arts or sport, or to more than one of these areas since graduation from Waikato University.


Expert and authority in Māori language, culture and history, Roka Paora QSM (Whānau-ā-Apanui), is being awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Waikato. Mrs Paora was a member of a pioneering group of Māori writers and educators who developed creative resources and ways to teach Māori language in the context of iwi and hapu experiences, history and whakapapa. Her expertise in Te Reo saw her called upon to be a translator, editor, researcher and composer, assessor and examiner, tutor and television adviser. Her many publications include the Learning Māori with Parehau and Sharon series, “Kia Ora”, a bi-cultural social studies classroom resource, and a comprehension book for the Te Wharekura Māori language school journal. She was also co-editor of the revised seventh edition of the Williams’ Dictionary and the Ngata Dictionary. More recently, alongside her more weighty texts, she translated Disney books into Māori, including Lilo and Stitch, Winnie the Pooh, Aladdin and Barney. Mrs Paora, who taught at Waikato University for a time, was also an adviser to the Ministry of Justice and the National Kohanga Reo Trust. She researched the Māori Battalion and was active in the Returned Services Association. Mrs Paora will receive her honorary doctorate in Opotiki on August 23.


Waikato University’s Centre for Continuing Education presents the Hamilton Gardens Jubilee lecture series, set to begin next week. The four-part lecture series will see different experts draw on examples from within the Hamilton Gardens to illustrate power, belief and reason. The public lecture series begins on Tuesday August 24 with guest speaker Dr James Beattie who will speak on gardens and power, and their reflection of changing social structures. Other guest speakers in the following three weeks include Geoff Doube, who will discuss how the Hamilton Gardens reflect the different movements of philosophy; Gardens director Peter Sergel who will examine how the Hamilton Gardens reflect different beliefs and utilise religious symbolism; and Wiremu Puke who will discuss power, belief and reason in Māori society with reference to the Te Parapara Garden. Lectures run 6.30pm to 8pm on Tuesday evenings beginning August 24 and are held at the University of Waikato Hamilton campus, room S.G.02. For more information visit


The University of Waikato Centre for Continuing Education in Tauranga presents a series of workshops exploring traditional Māori medicine, from next month. Rongoā Māori 1 is the first of three workshops which focus on plant identification, the tikanga (customs) of rongoā (medicine) and the preparation and uses of various native plants. The first workshop, Rongoā 1, runs 9am-5pm and takes place at Aokete Lodge in Katikati on September 18-19, and followed by the final two workshops, Rongoā 2 and Rongoā 3, which are both overnight weekend-stays. Rongoā 2 takes place at Waitaia Lodge in Tauranga on October 9-10 and Rongoā 3 takes place at Te Kauri Lodge in Kāwhia on November 13-14. All three workshops are presented by Rob McGowan from the Department of Conservation and registrations are essential. The aim of these workshops is to give participants a good foundation towards developing an understanding of Māori medicine. For more information visit


A man with hands-on experience of reviewing miscarriages of justice speaks at Waikato University next week. Professor Graham Zellick chaired Britain’s Criminal Cases Review Commission for five years and will speak about his experience and observations at a public seminar hosted by Te Piringa Faculty of Law in Hamilton. Professor Zellick is currently President of the Valuation Tribunal for England, but has also been an electoral commissioner, Vice-Chancellor at the University of London and held many other public and academic roles in the UK. His visit to New Zealand is sponsored by the New Zealand Law Foundation. While here, he’s based at Victoria University and visiting other law schools around the country. Professor Zellick’s public lecture at Waikato University will take place on Wednesday August 25, 6.15pm in room S.1.02.


Waikato University has taken out this year’s WSU Tertiary Challenge. More than 120 Waikato students and staff took part in the range of sports activities in the recent contest, which included touch rugby, netball, volleyball, basketball, ultimate frisbee, lacrosse and rowing. The WSU Tertiary Challenge is an annual event where all the northern tertiary institutions come together to compete in a variety of sports over one day. This year’s competition saw Waikato in first place, Auckland University in second and Unitec in third. The aim of the WSU Tertiary Challenge is to create a fun, social and mixed one-day sporting event for all the tertiary institutions in the northern region (north of Taupo).


Award winning book Mau Moko: The World of Māori Tattoo continues to be a popular read. Written by Professor Ngahuia Te Awekotuku and colleagues at Waikato University, Mau Moko won a Montana award in 2008 and was proclaimed Maori Book of the Decade from Massey University’s Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards. It has been reprinted twice with 6600 copies sold so far. Geoff Walker from Penguin Books says Mau Moko sells steadily month after month and while that keeps happening they’ll keep reprinting. Mau Moko was also bought and published by the University of Hawaii Press, which has the American rights, and the first edition sold out last year. The French language rights to the book were sold to Editions Au Vent des Iles, based in Tahiti, but Geoff Walker says elsewhere it hasn’t been so easy to sell as some cultures view tattooing differently from us. “Tattooing is often seen in foreign places as a fetishist subject, not as a powerful cultural statement as with moko in New Zealand. In fact, one German publisher asked us if he could just use the photographs and discard the text. We declined.” Mau Moko is described as the closest thing there is to a "complete" book on moko. Professor Te Awekotuku and Associate Professor Linda Nikora, who also worked on Mau Moko, are currently researching the Māori way of death. They won a Marsden Fund grant of $950,000 to lead a team over three years to explore and record tangihanga practice. The team has also secured $250,000 from the Nga Pae o te Maramatanga National Institute of Research Excellence to look at the historical and social change aspects of tangihanga. It’s likely another significant publication will result.


Men can get a raw deal during pregnancy – with attention often focussed on the mother and her ‘bump’. Waikato University student Irene Lichtwark is researching the role of men and pregnancy for her honours degree but is having trouble finding men wanting to talk about their ‘pregnancy’ experience. Her work is part of a larger Waikato study into pregnancy and stress and Lichtwark says she wants to talk to dads with babies younger than six months to hear about their reactions to pregnancy, their development as fathers and how they feel towards their child. “New mothers find all sorts of opportunities to get together and to talk about what’s going on in their lives, but finding groups of new fathers is proving difficult,” says Lichtwark. She says her questions would take about an hour to get through. “I think it’s important we have a better understanding of men’s role in pregnancy. There are instances where men get pregnancy symptoms, like food cravings, weight gain and even labour pains. The more we know, the better equipped the medical profession will be to deal with pregnancy issues.”


Google’s New York-based engineering director and University of Waikato alumnus, Dr Craig Nevill-Manning, will give a public lecture on August 26 on how new technology is being used on the ground in disaster areas. He says in the past decade, pervasive cellular data and internet access have provided new tools to help disaster responders and people affected by a disaster. “For disaster responders, detailed aerial and satellite imagery is accelerating disaster response and rebuilding, and new cloud-based tools can improve communication and collaboration. SMS- and internet-based systems allow victims of a disaster to request help and provide on-the-ground status reports.” Dr Nevill-Manning, who is being honoured this year with a University of Waikato Distinguished Alumni Award, will discuss specific responses to the Haiti, Chile and China earthquakes and to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Dr Nevill-Manning will deliver his lecture “Nerds in Crisis: Using Technology to Respond to Disasters” at 6.30pm on Thursday August 26 at the Academy of Performing Arts on campus. The following day, he presents a technical talk to the university’s Department of Computer Science about how researchers at Google are currently exploring new search formats, and innovative ways to identify and deliver answers to complex search questions.


Leading global retailers such as Wal-Mart, Marks & Spencer and Tesco have made sustainability core business. Suppliers to those companies who don't do likewise risk being choice edited off the shelves – and this trend is spreading to most consumer industries. That’s the message to New Zealand business in a new book by blue-sky thinker and former dean of the University of Waikato Management School Professor Mike Pratt. Sustainable Peak Performance – Business Lessons From Sustainable Enterprise Pioneers explains how sustainability strategy and practices can contribute to enhanced profit, productivity and performance. “It’s not a question of can I afford to go sustainable,” says Dr Pratt. “The question is: Can I afford not to? Our book offers practical guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs and established firms seeking a roadmap to sustainable business success.” Dr Pratt has retained his links with the University, and is currently Adjunct Professor of Sustainability and Leadership at Waikato. He also chairs an organisational development business, Inspiros Worldwide, numbering leading global companies among its clients. Dr Pratt will be talking about sustainable peak performance, and how it presents a powerful opportunity for business at the Waikato Chamber of Commerce BFIT Breakfast in Hamilton on Wednesday August 18.


How talent develops is the topic of the second University of Waikato Inaugural Professorial Lecture for 2010, to be held tomorrow, August 17. The free public lectures are the university’s way of formally introducing new and recently appointed professors to the wider community. Professor Roger Moltzen of the Faculty of Education, who’s an expert on gifted and talented education, will discuss critical issues emerging from the research in this relatively new field of inquiry. "The research shows that those identified as gifted as children do not necessarily become outstanding adult achievers. Conversely, not all eminent adults were seen as having the potential they later realised. In fact amongst the gifted adult group one finds many examples of individuals who as children were described as odd or eccentric." Professor Moltzen says the development of talent is very much an individual process and there is no simple recipe for creating a genius. He has spent two decades researching exceptional achievers, including improving education provisions for gifted and talented children and young people. The lecture, “Critical Issues in Talent Development”, takes place at 6.30pm on Tuesday August 17 in the Academy of Performing Arts at Waikato University.

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