Media Advisory March 19


The University of Waikato held its annual Stakeholder Breakfast in Hamilton last week. Speaking to nearly 100 guests at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford outlined the university’s financial situation, highlights from 2011 and enrolments and goals for 2012. Professor Crawford said the University of Waikato and its students generated $770 million in the Waikato economy last year and $836 million into New Zealand’s wider economy. On the university’s 2011 financial year, Professor Crawford said for the first time university revenue went over $224 million, helping give the university a $9 million surplus – within the 3-5% return required by government. On enrolments, Professor Crawford said to-date the university had roughly 95% of the domestic enrolments it has agreed to under the Tertiary Education Commission cap. Looking at the year ahead, he spoke about university building projects such as the $7.5 million halls upgrade and the Bay of Plenty tertiary partnership between Waikato University, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi as evidence the university is on the right track.


A 10-year study of the history of the laws of war reveals that human beings are reacting and fighting over the same issues as they were 5000 years ago. Professor Al Gillespie from Waikato University’s Te Piringa - Faculty of Law says our emotional intelligence hasn’t changed since the Stone Age. “It doesn’t matter whether the fighting’s this year in Syria, or we’re storming a fortress full of civilians at the time of Christ, our responses are often the same. The difference now is the technology – we have the technology of the gods. We can kill a whole lot of people at once instead of one or two. How we relate to each other as countries – I’d put us in the Middle Ages.” Three of five volumes of Professor Gillespie’s work have been published. They cover 5000 years of combatants and captives, civilians and weapons and also look at environmental destruction, starvation, civilians under occupation and theft and destruction of property. The next two volumes will focus on the causes of war. Professor Gillespie sourced his material from works as diverse as the Bible to Security Council Resolutions and has also found written records dating back to 2400 BCE.


The annual University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor’s Cricket Challenge against Northern Districts Māori takes place this week. This year the annual match will be a Twenty 20 between an invitational University of Waikato XI and the Northern Districts Māori side, and will be played on the test wicket at Seddon Park on March 22. The University of Waikato team, called the VC XI, will include a number of Sir Edmund Hillary scholars and regional cricket representatives. Waikato University’s High Performance Manager Greg O’Carroll, who helped organise the game with the assistance of Northern Districts Cricket, says the match is a chance to establish the tradition of the VC Cricket Challenge and foster emerging talent at the university and for Northern Districts Māori. “This event is a really good fixture on the university and Northern Districts social calendar. It gives talented players from both sides an opportunity to shine, in what is a semi-serious exhibition match.” The match begins at 10am on March 22.


The University of Waikato will host the 10th annual Te Amorangi National Māori Academic Excellence Awards this month. The awards recognise Māori PhD graduates who have had their doctorates conferred in the past calendar year. This year, 39 awards will be given out to graduates from universities in New Zealand and around the world, including five from the University of Waikato. They’re Margaret Dudley, Wendy Gillespie, Shiloh Groot, Daphne Williams and Mera Penehira. Waikato University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori Professor Linda Smith says, “The Te Amorangi Awards recognise the commitment and success of our Māori PhD graduates. It’s imperative we foster achievement and the pursuit of academic excellence if individuals are to reach their full potential.” The Te Amorangi National Māori Academic Excellence Awards were first held in 2002 and since then more than 300 recipients have been acknowledged. A Lifetime Achievement Award will also be presented at this year’s ceremony held on Friday March 30 at Wintec’s The Atrium.


A talent for making people laugh has won a Pukekohe student a prestigious Sir Edmund Hillary scholarship from the University of Waikato. Bachelor of Science student Lewis Dean has become the first comedian to join Waikato’s Hillary Scholarship Programme. Offered since 2005, the Hillary scholarships are awarded to academic high achievers who show significant leadership qualities and also excel in sport or in the creative and performing arts. “While at school I enjoyed making people laugh and I always thought being a comedian would be a cool job, but I had no idea how to get started. I heard about Class Comedians, a group that gets together for a series of comedy workshops; comedians Ben Hurley and Ewan Gilmour were running them. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain so I thought I’d give it a go.” Dean’s can-do attitude paid off as he was picked to go forward to the International Comedy Festival in 2009. He has since gone on to open comedy shows for Ben Hurley for the past two years and hopes to get his own show in next year’s Comedy Festival. The Hillary Scholarships provide full university course fees while studying at Waikato, comprehensive support for the recipients’ academic, sporting and/or arts activities, and additional support in leadership and personal development.


Identifying the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI) in the workplace is the subject of a one-day workshop being offered by the University of Waikato’s centre for continuing education in Tauranga. Led by registered psychologist Dr Antony Thomas, the workshop will discuss the importance of EI in managing a team, and look at how EI can enhance creativity and productivity at work. It is intended for those who are interested in enhancing their emotional intelligence, but is targeted specifically for managers, leaders and employers. Participants will also learn about the recent EI research in the area of management studies, career development and personal wellbeing. The workshop costs $185 and will be held on Wednesday March 28 from 9am-5pm at the University of Waikato, 144 Durham St, Tauranga. For registration details or more information contact Nyree Sherlock: or phone 5775376.


A report on the experiences of volunteers who helped clean up oil following the grounding of cargo ship Rena last year is now available. The research project was conducted in collaboration with the University of Waikato, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Bay of Plenty Regional Council to provide an insight into the volunteer experience and to assist with future volunteer planning and volunteer response efforts. The report can be found on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council website:


Three of New Zealand’s accomplished poetry writers will be reciting their works in an hour of poetic perfection at the University of Waikato. Current Writer in Residence Michael Morrissey, who over his career has published 10 books of poetry, two collections of short stories and three short novels, and edited numerous others, will open the readings. Newly appointed creative writing teacher at the University of Waikato and recipient of the Novice and Supreme Katherine Mansfield Awards, Tracey Slaughter, will add her contribution. King country’s Stephen Oliver completes the trio’s offerings. With more than 16 volumes of poetry to his name he has travelled widely as a writer, is a freelance voice artist, and writes a column for the Waikato Times. The poetry reading event is open to the public and will be held at the University of Waikato (KG.11) on Thursday March 22 from 10-11am.

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