Media Advisory September 05


The Gallagher Great Race is getting ever closer. Defending champs the University of Cambridge and the Women’s crews from the University of Sydney and University of Melbourne have arrived and were guests at the Great Race Ball on Saturday. The Melbourne Men’s crew are due to arrive on September 7, four days before the September 11 race. The Gallagher Great Race takes place over a 3.85km upstream course on the Waikato River. In between training twice a day, visiting crews are heading out to explore the attractions and places of interest throughout the North Island as well as getting the chance to use the world class rowing facilities at Lake Karapiro and visit Hamilton secondary schools. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the Gallagher Great Race and for the first time includes three-boat races, adding another dimension to the competition. Festivities kicked off with the Great Race Masquerade Ball, back after a two-year absence, being held at the university’s Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. A powhiri officially welcoming the visiting crews, will be held today September 5 at the University of Waikato marae, Te Kohinga Mārama, beginning at 11am. All are welcome to attend.


The Christchurch earthquakes have sparked fresh concern about the likelihood of a large quake in Wellington. The University of Waikato will host lecturer Russ Van Dissen from GNS Science on Wednesday September 28, as part of a lecture series given around the country. The lecture titled ‘It's Our Fault - Better Defining Earthquake Risk in Wellington’ and is a comprehensive study of Wellington's earthquake risk. The objective of the study is to position the capital city of New Zealand to become more resilient through an encompassing study of the likelihood of large earthquakes, the effects of these earthquakes, and their impacts on humans and the built environment. Van Dissen was named the 2011 Hochstetter Lecturer in honour of Ferdinand von Hochstetter, an early explorer and geologist. The free public lecture takes place Wednesday September 28, 7.30pm in MSB.1.01 at the University of Waikato.


The Right Honourable Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias will be the guest speaker at the 2011 Harkness Henry Lecture being held at the University of Waikato next week. Dame Sian studied law at the University of Auckland, graduating with a Bachelor of Law with Honours, and was admitted to the Bar in 1970. She gained a Master of the Science of Law from Stanford University, before starting in practice in 1972. She was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1988, a judge of the High Court in 1995 and became Chief Justice in 1999. The University of Waikato started the inaugural Harkness Henry Lecturers in 1992 with the aim to address issues relating to the development of jurisprudence in New Zealand. This year’s lecture takes place at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on September 12. Dame Sian spoke about public law issues in 1996 and will be the 20th speaker since the lecture series began. "It’s always a distinct honor to have Dame Sian back, especially in her capacity as Chief Justice of New Zealand, as she is such a fundamental leader within the legal community,” says Law School Dean Professor Brad Morse. “Te Piringa Faculty of Law has committed to becoming the best law school in the country and our commitment to the Harkness Henry Lectures and the caliber of speaker we continue to attract is proof of this.” The September 12 lecture starts at 6.15pm and is free and open to the public, but people should rsvp to


Animal welfare issues and concerns are heavily influenced by what people think animals need. Many people think that good welfare is synonymous with happiness, and that this can be achieved if animals are permitted to behave naturally and move about without too much constraint. But what does a scientific assessment of welfare have to say about an animal’s needs? A good way to find out is to ask the animals directly. In September’s Hamilton Cafe Scientifique taking place tomorrow September 6 animal welfare and behaviour expert Dr Lindsay Matthews will describe several different ways that we can ‘ask’ animals to give their own views on what they want and do not want, and how this information can be used to provide them with a ‘life worth living’. Dr Matthews’ interest in the behaviour and welfare of animals began during his formative years on his parent’s dairy and beef cattle farm. He graduated from Auckland University with a BSc in Zoology and Psychology, and from the University of Waikato with a First Class Masters degree (MSocSc) and a DPhil in Domestic Animal Behaviour. He is currently a senior scientist at AgResearch in New Zealand. Hamilton’s Cafe Scientifique is on Tuesday September 6, 7.30pm at Cafe Francais, 711 Victoria St. Café Scientifique is a forum for debating science issues, and is supported by the Faculty of Science & Engineering at the University of Waikato to make science accessible to people outside the traditional academic context.


Dr Johan Verbeek from the University of Waikato Science and Engineering department has been nominated in the Emerging Scientist Category of the 2011 Kudos Awards for his work turning bloodmeal into high-value biodegradable plastics. The Kudos Awards are a Waikato initiative held once a year to celebrate scientific achievement in the region. Protein is a plastic, in the simplest form,” says Dr Verbeek. “Bloodmeal is a protein rich co-product of the meat industry, but it is nearly impossible to convert into a plastic product – that was the challenge.” The discovery is being commercialised by Novatein Ltd through work with Waikato-Link – the commercial arm of the University of Waikato. So far the bioplastic has been earmarked for use in planter cups, seeder trays and pegs for their biodegradable and compostable properties, making them ideal for plant nurseries and other horticultural applications. “Our research focus is on waste – taking things that are waste or rubbish and making something useful out of them,” Dr Verbeek says. The winners of the awards will be announced at a dinner on Thursday October 13.


Waikato residents are so good at putting their region down that they’ve got the whole country believing the place is a no-go zone. This was the view of Sarah Nathan, director of two of Hamilton’s major art festivals and former Hamilton City Council marketing and communications manager at the last of the University of Waikato Winter Lecture Series for 2011. Called Sport or Spectacle?, the evening also featured former Olympic rower and voice of Home of Cycling, Rob Waddell, and Waikato Chamber of Commerce CEO Wayne Walford. Billed as a debate, it failed to live up to its billing as all three speakers supported the proposed $28 million Home of Cycling and urged people, including the 17 local councils, to do a better job supporting and selling the province’s strength in the arts and sports. Ms Nathan said events that the Waikato owns, such as the Great Race, Balloons Over Waikato and the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival are all hugely successful and perhaps the fact the V8s comes pre-packaged rather than being home-grown is why the event has not been the on-going success everyone hoped for.


At high school, Cathy Dewes could learn Italian, German, French and Latin, but not Māori. She was determined that following generations wouldn’t face the same obstacles and once she got to university, made it her mission to pioneer in the revitalisation of the Māori language and become a champion of kura kaupapa Māori. For her services to Māori language and her community, Cathy Dewes (Te Arawa and Ngāti Porou) is being awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Waikato tomorrow, September 6 at Ruamata Marae in Rotorua. She was one of the original battlers for Māori Language Week and opened one of the first Māori language schools in New Zealand, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ruamata, in Rotorua and remains its principal. In 1994 she became the first woman to stand for the Te Arawa Trust Board, which had existed without women for 50 years. She is still a member of the Te Rūnanganui o Te Arawa, the iwi authority representing the majority of hapu of the confederation of Te Arawa, and through these affiliations has developed a teacher education programme in association with the universities of Waikato and Auckland. Ms Dewes maintains her life-long interest in Māori radio and continues to serve as a trustee with Te Reo Irirangi o Te Arawa. She is a director of


The University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music is getting theatrical this winter with its yearly opera Walls of Troy composed by David Griffiths with libretto by former staff member John Davies. Lead roles are taken by Sir Edmund Hillary Scholars, brother and sister combination Jarvis and June Dams, alongside Chase Douglas. Griffiths describes the production as being an evening of drama, tragedy and pathos and says the performance will feature some of the finest talent coming out of the Music school. “This is the premiere of a new opera with a fantastic story to boot. There is pageantry, a battle scene, dramatic interaction between characters, beautiful solos, fabulous costumes, great lighting and a full orchestra all combining to create a spectacular production.” Walls of Troy runs at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts September 9-13. Tickets are available from or in person at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.


Organisations deploy ‘strategy’ initiatives in addressing many different issues but what is the meaning of strategy? What is its purpose? And how does an organisation move from a strategic insight to actualisation? In his lecture ‘What is strategy and what is its purpose?’ Marc Potter from Accountancy firm KPMG will discuss these concepts in the context of New Zealand as well as global enterprises, the use of frameworks and the role of strategist as change agent. The lecture is part of the Excellence in Practice Series featuring industry leaders from KPMG, Eventfinder Ltd and Vodafone talking about their experiences and how they have navigated through today's complexity of change by the university’s Centre for Corporate & Executive Education. The free lecture takes place in MSB1.02, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato Hamilton Campus on Friday September 9 at 1pm.


Presented by Waikato Pathways Education, Digital Story Telling teaches the craft of storytelling in a multimedia digital format. Presenters Elaine Bliss and Sasha McLaren will teach how to create, develop and convey a unique perspective on life, history or personal circumstance through storytelling. Participants will be taught the process of building up a story, how to draft and refine it and how to mix various media and vocal tracks together onto the computer presentation as a digital story. The four-day course costs $185 and begins on Thursday September 8 in University of Waikato, S.B.01.

Enrolment information at

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