Media Advisory February 27


New students will be formally welcomed to Waikato University with pōwhiri being held this week at Hamilton and Tauranga campuses. Hamilton students will be welcomed on February 29 with a pōwhiri at Te Kohinga Marama Marae (Gate 4). First-year students and their families will be given briefings about what to expect of life and study on campus. The pōwhiri begins at 10am and is open to all new students and staff who have not yet had the opportunity to be formally welcomed. University of Waikato students in Tauranga will be welcomed onto the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Windermere Campus at 9.30am Monday February 27.


A country’s wealth is usually measured by GDP per person, but economists now concede there are many measures that might be better indicators. A new professor at the University of Waikato, Les Oxley, is part of an international team researching stature (height and body mass) and the wellbeing of New Zealanders, from the 1850s through to the present day. They’re doing it to create consistent, alternative, measures of Māori and Pakeha living standards. They’re using military records and data from New Zealand prisons, some health studies and school records to find out how the population’s stature has changed over time. The work has been funded by the Health Research Council and a Marsden Grant and Professor Oxley says it may also help us find the origins of New Zealanders’ changing health and wellbeing status, including the recent increase in obesity.


A group of seven New Zealanders were in Arizona last week as guests of Harvard University learning the results of a 20-year study on American Indian Economic Development. Among the New Zealanders was Waikato University’s Dr Robert Joseph from Te Piringia - Faculty of Law whose research centres on Māori and indigenous governance. The Harvard study has followed North American Indian and First Nation tribes as they’ve become economically successful – without casinos – and finds there are common elements for success. They include a strong and vibrant culture, people taking responsibility for their own decisions, good dispute resolution – indigenous mediation, and a strong, sometimes autocratic, leadership structure agreed to by the tribe. Dr Joseph says it is contrary to past notions of assimilation and gives plenty to consider when applying governance models in Māori business.


To mark the start of Sea Week, March 3-11, the University of Waikato’s new Coastal Marine Field Station in Tauranga will hold an open day on Saturday March 3 from 9.30am-4.00pm. The day begins with a harbour bike ride with commentary from Chair in Coastal Science Professor Chris Battershill and Caine Taiapa, the lead researcher with the Tauranga Harbour Ecological Survey, about the biodiversity and ecology within Tauranga Harbour and historical points of interest. A series of brief lectures during the afternoon will update visitors on the research into the environmental effects of the Rena oil spill, the ecological survey being conducted around Tauranga Harbour and the BOP Regional Council’s coastal monitoring programme. University of Waikato students will also give three-minute presentations about their research in the Bay of Plenty. The bike ride leaves the Coastal Marine Field Station at 10am on March 3. To register for the ride, email Lydia Hale at The Environment Centre, For more information visit


The University of Waikato has reduced its yearly paper usage by the height of two Sky Towers thanks to a new online purchasing system. In the 2010-2011 financial year, the university bought 13,573 (29%) fewer reams of A4 photocopy paper than in the previous one. That equates to 45 pallets of printing paper, and if those reams were stacked on top of one another, they would be taller than the height of two and a quarter Sky Towers. The system, UniMarket, emails purchase orders and invoices directly to suppliers, eliminating the need for printing, photocopying and faxing. It saved $78,000 on photocopy paper, ink and toner usage in that financial year. While the change has resulted in financial savings, it has also reduced the university’s environmental impact, says Environmental and Sustainability Coordinator Rachael Goddard. Ms Goddard was appointed last year to manage the University of Waikato’s on-going commitment to sustainability, and upcoming projects include an environmental purchasing policy and waste minimisation strategy for the university.


The University of Waikato will feature at Pasifika Festival 2012, being held next week at Western Springs, Auckland. The festival is a celebration of Pacific cultures and will include a night concert of Pacific stories, dances and songs on March 9. The concert is followed by a day of festivities with music, food, arts and dance from 10 Pacific cultures. Waikato University will have a strong presence at the festival with onsite enrolment facilities and recruitment advisers on hand to assist with enquiries and enrolment information. The university will also have a presence at next month’s Polyfest in Manukau, March 14-17.

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