Media Advisory August 22


Three topics close to any man’s heart, Rugby, Racing and Beer, will be discussed in the fourth of the annual Waikato University Winter Lecture Series. Gary Dawson from the Chiefs Rugby Franchise, Petrea Vela from New Zealand Bloodstock and Josh White from the Hospitality Association of New Zealand will examine the economic impact of sport, namely horse racing, rugby and beer on the region’s economy. Based around all facets of sport - including the good, bad, and rugby – the Winter Lecture Series aims to debate the role sport plays in the life of the community, the issues facing professional sport and the role business can play to keep Waikato a key sporting destination. Referee Dr Stuart Locke, director of the university’s Institute for Business Research, part-time horse trainer and economic commentator, will take the reins on what looks set to be a light-hearted and wide-ranging debate the impact on the local economy. All lectures run Wednesday evenings throughout August from 6pm to 7pm, at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts with parking available in Gate 2B off Knighton Rd, Hamilton. All sessions are free and open to the public.


The University of Waikato is launching its Environmental Research Institute which aims to offer big-picture thinking to better tackle some of the problems New Zealand faces in environmental degradation and biodiversity decline. The ERI will undertake multi-disciplinary research across four ecosystems with the aim of developing insights and expertise to support effective environmental outcomes. The new Institute is headed by top ecologist and Dean of the university’s Faculty of Science and Engineering Professor Bruce Clarkson. Guest speaker for the Friday August 26 launch is eminent ecologist Dr Don Strong from the University of California Davis, who’s an expert on bio-control. The launch will be followed by a symposium featuring the work of six ERI researchers/advisers. The Environmental Research Institute isn’t just about field sampling and test-tubes – while it will bring together existing research strengths in terrestrial, freshwater, coastal marine and Antarctic ecosystems, the Institute also looks beyond the biophysical sciences to environmental education, law, planning, resource economics, history and geography, as well as matauranga Māori.


Waikato University has named the men’s and women’s rowing crews taking part in the Gallagher Great Race on September 11. Returning champions the University of Cambridge will be back to defend their title against Melbourne and Waikato University men’s crews in a three-boat race for the coveted Harry Mahon Trophy. The Waikato Senior Men’s Eight includes Matthew Glenn, Richard Harrison, Duncan Grant, Hayden Cohen and Will Meats who are joined by Sir Edmund Hillary Rowing Scholars Shaun Kirkham, Logan Rodger, Finian Scott, coach Ross Tong and coxswain Ivan Pavich. In addition to the Harry Mahon Trophy, the Waikato University's Women's Eight take on crews from Melbourne and Sydney universities in the Bryan Gould Cup. The Waikato Women’s Eight consists of Erin Tolhurst, Laura Fischer, Amy-Kelly Horsfall, Kate Reymer, Kayla Pratt, Zoe Stevenson, Linda Matthews and Hillary Rowing Scholar Alyce Pulford with coach Lindsay McCowan and coxswain Micayla Cotter. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the Gallagher Great Race and for the first time includes three-boat races, which will add another dimension to the competition. Festivities kick off with the Great Race Masquerade Ball, back after a two-year absence, being held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on September 3. A powhiri and official welcome for the visiting crews which will be held on September 5 at the University of Waikato marae, Te Kohinga Mārama, beginning at 11am. All are welcome to attend.


University of Waikato rower Linda Matthews has recently returned to the Waikato after bagging a silver medal at the recent Under 23 World Rowing Champs in Amsterdam. Matthews traveled to Holland as part of the New Zealand Women’s Eight taking part in the Under 23 World Champs in July and said the victory was bittersweet, just missing out on gold to a Canadian team they had beaten in the heats. “We went into the final with the aim to win it but lost by a boat length – roughly three seconds,” says Matthews. “We had won the heat and were pretty keen to do well in the final but it just didn’t happen. There were a few sad faces on the podium but we managed to force a smile for the cameras.” The medal was the culmination of months of training for the engineering student who moved to Waikato to join the New Zealand Under 23 squad in 2010. The crews train six days a week at the High Performance Centre at Lake Karapiro, a schedule that can force study to the side. On top of rowing, Matthews is in her third year of a mechanical engineering degree at Waikato University but says keeping up to date with her studies takes a bit of work. “Rowing makes it quite hard to keep a social life going so studying is quite good because it means I’m forced to socialise with people outside of rowing. But it’s really my life at the moment.”


Leading West Papuan academic and human rights activist Dr John Ondawame leads a discussion about the recent history of West Papua at the University of Waikato's Tauranga campus on August 31. In 1969, under a so-called "Act of Free Choice," West Papua was fraudulently absorbed into Indonesia politically. Since then, many indigenous West Papuans have undergone discrimination and extreme brutality in their own country. A process of "transmigration" has seen many Indonesians settle in West Papua and accorded privileges unattainable by West Papuans. Dr Ondawame discusses how he is advocating for peaceful dialogue between Indonesia and the people of West Papua to enable a resolution to the on-going conflict and injustices. The lecture takes place at the University of Waikato Tauranga campus starting at 6.30pm on August 31 in Lecture Theatre 106, Bongard Centre, 200 Cameron Road, Tauranga. The lecture has a $2 entrance fee. Bookings are essential.


The University of Waikato will host the eighth annual conference of the New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis this coming weekend. Staff from universities across the country and Australia will take part in the conference which aims to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behaviour analysis through research, education, and practice. Organiser and University of Waikato senior lecturer in Psychology Dr Lewis Bizo says the conference is a chance for PhD, Masters students and academic staff to discuss their research findings among peers. Behaviour analysis is a science that involves using modern behavioral learning theory to modify overt behaviors. “The real contribution from behavioural analysis comes from work with children with autism and severe developmental disabilities,” says Dr Bizo. “Behaviour analysis is really the only treatment that has any real effect on improving their quality of life.” Waikato University presentations include; ‘Assessing Possums’ Food Preferences and Demand’, ‘The Effect of Caffeine on Decisions About Future Events’ and ‘The Role of Differential Outcomes on Gambling Behaviour’. The conference is being held at the University of Waikato Hamilton campus with presentations starting at 9am on Saturday August 27.


Professor Diana Coben is the newly appointed Director for Research and Policy at New Zealand’s National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults based in the Faculty of Education at the University of Waikato. Professor Coben comes to Waikato from King’s College London where she was Professor of Adult Numeracy and was one of the founders of England’s National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy (NRDC). NRDC was part of the UK government’s ‘Skills for Life’ strategy to improve adult literacy and numeracy in England, and Professor Coben was also Founding Chair of Adults Learning Mathematics (ALM) an international research forum bringing together researchers and practitioners in order to promote the learning of numeracy by adults. She continues to work on a major UK project - Nurses and Numeracy – endeavouring to create a benchmark for numeracy for nursing.


The Honourable Hekia Parata, Minister for Ethnic Affairs, Women’s Affairs and Acting Minister of Energy and Resources says she’s honoured and humbled to have received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Waikato. Ms Parata was the first Māori woman to be elected student president at Waikato. She graduated with a BA and an MA (in Māori) before beginning a long and successful career in the public sector, including Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Prime Minister’s Advisory Group, Ministry for the Environment, the New Zealand Housing Corporation, Te Puni Kokiri and State Services Commission. She was elected to Parliament as a list MP in 2008. Military historian Dr Chris Pugsley and businessmen John Erkkila and Paul Bowker were also presented with University of Waikato Distinguished Alumni Awards on Friday 19 August. Dr Pugsley, who has written 15 military books and did his doctorate at Waikato after a 22-year army career, says “I am humbled and feel something of a fraud for being recognised for pursuing my hobby. As I tell my friends and colleagues, ‘The Queen pays me to indulge’; not many people are so fortunate.” Dr Pugsley is a senior lecturer in War Studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England where he lectures on the evolution of warfare in the 20th and 21st centuries. He is recognised internationally as an authority in his field, is also a senior adjunct fellow at Canterbury University and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.


Former world squash champion Dame Susan Devoy says most sports women are no better off today than they were when she was at the top of her game. Dame Susan was speaking last week at the University of Waikato Winter Lecture Series called This Sporting Life. “More money is being poured into sport than ever before, but it’s targeted…yachting, rugby, swimming; god help you if you play a racquet sport. Smaller sports should think about collaborating to make themselves heard.” The situation was different in extreme sports. Former competitive snowboarder and academic Dr Holly Thorpe said women could earn as much as men in extreme sports. “They have a highly marketable female identity.” She showed slides of scantily clad snowboarders and surfers posing for magazines and who were quite open about doing it for the money. “They’re athletically brilliant and they’re sexy and aware of their economic worth.” Meanwhile, expert in gender and media Dr Toni Bruce has been studying gender equality in sport for more than 20 years. She said there’s been little change in media coverage in two decades. Men get between 75 and 80% and women get between 10 and 12%.


Business leaders should be aware that, when talking about strategic planning, investment appraisal, capital budgeting, new product development, organisational change, mergers, acquisitions and outsourcing, they are talking about initiatives that are executed through project management. On August 26 the Waikato Management School is hosting Perry Woolley from KMPG who will be speaking about the role of project management in successful business practice. Project management is a key strategic tool to drive initiatives and reap business benefits. Perry will discuss these issues in light of KPMG’s survey on the state of project management in NZ, other global perspectives and some case-studies. The lecture takes place at the University of Waikato Management School, stating at 1pm on Friday August 26.


Haiku poetry, a traditional form from Japan, is now extremely popular in the English-speaking world. Sandra Simpson, an award-winning haiku poet from Tauranga, presents a workshop sharing the joys of "tiny poems which are wonderfully large" and that have a close focus on the natural world. An introduction to haiku includes; the Japanese tradition; haiku by Japanese masters; modern English-language haiku, and guidelines for writing. The focus of this course is on enabling participants to write their own haiku and the introduction would pave the way to this. The two-day course comes with a fee of $75 begins at 9am on Saturday August 27. Enrolment information at


For those wanting to find out about the range of courses offered at the University of Waikato are invited to an information evening being held this week in Tauranga. No appointment is necessary and staff will be available during the evening to answer questions about study options at the university’s campuses in Hamilton and Tauranga. Information on study scholarships, enrolment and entry requirements will also be available, and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic staff will be on hand to talk about pathways for students who want to stay in the Bay. The Tauranga Information Evening will be held from 6-7.30pm on Tuesday August 23 at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre, Durham St, Tauranga.


The Department of Policy, Cultural and Social Studies in Education in the University of Waikato Faculty of Education invites friends of the university to a free seminar on August 24. Entitled ‘The Virtues of Openness: Education, Science and Scholarship in the Digital Age’, the seminar explores the changes in the mode of production in a new era of openness. These changes indicate a broader shift to user created media based on the use, reuse and modification of information and symbolic goods. In this seminar Professor Michael Peters, who has recently moved to the University of Waikato from the University of Illinois, and Professor Peter Roberts from the University of Canterbury, discuss the themes of their new book to be published later this year focusing on two chapters "The Open Book and the Future of Reading" (Peters) and "From Castalia to Wikipedia: Openness and Closure in Knowledge Communities" (Roberts). The seminar takes place in the Faculty of Education on Wednesday August 24 starting at 10am.


Former Prime Minister Helen Clark is keynote speaker at this year’s University of Waikato Women in Leadership Day on Thursday. Miss Clark, who is currently Administrator of the UN Development Programme, will speak on “Personal agency within the system: getting things done”. She joins Associate Professor Sarah Leberman from Massey University as well as a host of University of Waikato staff and local experts to discuss topics surrounding this year’s theme, Building internal capacity, resilience and personal well-being. The day consists of lectures, panel discussions and practical workshops. This is the University’s third Women in Leadership Day, a professional development initiative designed to encourage and enable women in and aspiring to leadership positions.

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