Media Advisory July 04


Waikato University is one of eight new R&D partners in the government’s Technology Transfer Voucher Programme. Run by the Ministry of Science and Innovation, the programme puts businesses and research institutions together for research services in the high value manufacturing and services sectors. There are now 14 tertiary institutions and CRIs accredited to the scheme aimed to make more and fruitful connections between business and science. The voucher programme, which began last year, matches a business’ research investment dollar for dollar and there’s $5 million currently in the kitty. Waikato University Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says Waikato has a demonstrated track record in working collaboratively and constructively in new initiatives and the voucher programme covers many areas where the University of Waikato has substantial expertise. He also says the programme is a good way to introduce businesses that don’t have a history of engaging with tertiary sector research. Visit the Technology Transfer Voucher website for more information.


Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce says the government has no plans to cut funding for adult literacy and numeracy, and if he had his way, funding would be increased. He was speaking at a symposium hosted by the National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults at Waikato University and told delegates that the number of adults accessing foundation courses embedded with literacy and numeracy had increased from 15,000 to 70,000 since 2008 and he said the government was working to ensure all Level 1 and 2 courses had literacy and numeracy components embedded in them. “By world standards, New Zealand has a well-educated population but at the same time we have a long tail of adult New Zealanders who have fallen through the cracks in terms of literacy and numeracy and we need to fix that.”


The University of Waikato celebrates 40 years of Blues Awards later this year and is calling on past winners to come forward. First awarded in 1971, the Blues Awards recognise the commitment and achievements of students in either sport or the creative and performing arts. Staff from U Leisure, a joint venture of the university and the Waikato Student Union, have been working on identifying every University of Waikato Blues Award recipient since the awards first began. “Our ‘blues’ book, which has been our bible over the years, records the majority of Blues Award winners, but for some unknown reason it doesn’t account for people who won awards from 1974-1978, 1986-1987 and 1990,” says Nicola Clayden, Leisure Development Manager for U Leisure. “We’re calling on people who received Blues Awards to come forward or from anyone who may be able to tell us of people who did. These people can contribute to helping us further build our history and to reconnect with our past winners.” Past winners include Olympic gold medallist Rob Waddell, Silver Fern Joline Henry, former netball player and television host Jenny-May Coffin and former Tall Blacks captain Pero Cameron. If you were a recipient of a University of Waikato Blues Award or if you think you know who may have received an award from 1974-1978, 1986-1987 and 1990, please contact U Leisure’s Becks Mueli at or visit the university’s Blues Award website at


The value and relevance of Antarctic research will be discussed in detail at this year’s Antarctic conference being held today and tomorrow, July 4 and 5, at the University of Waikato. The conference is for students and scientists involved in Antarctic-related research and one of the organisers from Waikato, microbial ecologist Professor Craig Cary, says some conference discussion will focus on taking research knowledge beyond academia to a broader public and policy makers. “Better understanding these pristine environments may help us in our understanding different ecosystems that have been impacted by humans,” he says. The University of Waikato has led New Zealand in terrestrial biological research for 25 years and its research will be highlighted at this week’s conference, along with other scientists looking at coastal and marine systems, and climate. In a less scientific vein, recent Antarctic Arts Fellow singer Dave Dobbyn will talk about his experiences on the ice.


World champion blokarter and Waikato computer science student Gabe Young has secured himself a job as a software development engineer at Microsoft HQ in Seattle. He’ll complete his Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences with honours at the end of the year then head to the USA. He’ll only have to travel inter-state to Las Vegas instead of international to defend his lightweight world champion blokart title. (Last year he travelled to Belgium.) Young who’s from Papamoa in the Bay of Plenty is a Waikato University Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar. He did an internship with Google in Sydney last summer and thinks the experience there helped him get the Microsoft job. “The interview process for Microsoft was gruelling – five one hour sessions back to back – different people gave you a different problem to solve, but I’d had a taste of that with Google. Then they offered me the job, expecting an answer on the spot.” Young says in the first instance he’ll be writing testing software, but he expects to specialise as time goes on. Gabe Young was in Wellington on Friday night to pick up a Distinguished Performance Award at the New Zealand University Blues presentations.


Settler art in Aotearoa New Zealand will be explored in the next Demystifying the Arts session, held later this month. In this session, writer and curator Richard Wolfe will discuss art from 19th century New Zealand and introduce paintings by new settlers; among them soldiers, surveyors, preachers and even politicians. Settler Art in Aotearoa takes place on Thursday July 21 at 7pm and is held at the University of Waikato Academy of Performing Arts, with a bar facility open from 5pm. Demystifying the Arts is a series of forums that explores various aspects of the arts. The sessions, held on the third Thursday of every month, are open to everyone who has an interest in art and would like to learn more from celebrated New Zealand artists, historians, writers and filmmakers. For more information visit


The University of Waikato Te Piringa-Faculty of Law is offering potential students the opportunity to become a law student for a day on July 26. A law degree usually takes four years of study, but before making the commitment it's a good idea to get a taste of what studying law at Waikato is all about. Secondary school students and others looking for a career change will get to spend the day attending lectures and tutorials, chatting with senior law students, taking part in activities, and checking out the student facilities and support services available for law students. There will also be opportunities to discuss study options, one-on-one with student advisers. To register your interest or for more information visit the Te Piringa-Faculty of Law website at

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