Media Advisory March 26


The Canadian High Commissioner Caroline Chrétien visits Waikato University next week, April 2, to launch New Zealand’s first Canadian-New Zealand Studies Unit. The unit, based at Waikato University’s Law faculty, will foster research related to Canada in all disciplines, host visiting scholars, attract and support Canadian students to New Zealand and vice versa, and enhance cultural and intellectual links between the two countries. Te Piringa – Faculty of Law Dean Professor Brad Morse says the unit has the backing of the Government of Canada and is one of the many ways in which Waikato University is making important international connections. Ms Chrétien will also open an exhibition of Canadian photos from the Arctic, previously shown at Te Papa. 


Forty Waikato University MBA students line up before a panel of judges today Monday, March 26 in a Dragon’s Den situation to pitch their ideas for business development. The students, working in groups of four or five have been preparing their pitches for six weeks, drawing together everything they’ve covered in the first year of their two-year degree. “Basically they’re standing in front of the judges asking for money,” says lecturer Associate Professor Jens Mueller. “They’ll either be proposing a new product or seeking funds to expand an existing business operation. So it’s essential they understand finance, risk, planning, sales and marketing, the competition – everything from go to whoa that’s required to make an idea fly.” The two chief judges are Pharmac chair Stuart McLaughlin and Eddie Jackson, general manager at St John Midlands, and the judging panel includes bankers, several CEOs, accountants and Fonterra managers.


Thousands of people are expected to descend on the University of Waikato this Saturday for the annual Balloons Over Waikato Night Glow. The Night Glow is the culmination of the Balloons Over Waikato event, and sees thousands of people flood onto the university's sports fields to watch the tethered hot air balloons inflate to music. The event kicks off at 4pm on Saturday March 31 on the university sports fields. Hillcrest, Silverdale, Knighton and Old Farm roads around the university will be closed from 2-11pm and Ruakura Rd will be closed from 7-11pm to cater for the amount of foot traffic heading towards the university. For information on the Night Glow visit the Balloons Over Waikato website. In case of bad weather, the rain date is Sunday April 1.


Two former New Zealand Prime Ministers will be speaking at Columbia University's Teachers College in New York today, March 26. The University of Waikato's Chancellor, the Rt Hon Jim Bolger, will speak at a luncheon at the College on the importance of the New Zealand and United States relationship.  Later in the afternoon, the Rt Hon Helen Clark will be giving Columbia's 2012 Tisch Lecture on "Education and International Development". There will also be a panel discussion on issues, challenges and dilemmas in teacher education; speakers include Professor Russell Bishop and Professor Noeline Alcorn of Waikato's Faculty of Education and Deputy Vice Chancellor Alister Jones. The Faculty of Education and Teachers College, Columbia University, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on collaboration in March 2011, and the day's events at Columbia are designed to bring together expertise, share common education interests and highlight the synergies between the two institutions.


Research into impact of liquor outlets in Manukau has now been extended to the whole North Island. Commissioned by the Alcohol Advisory Council, the new research will be carried out by economist Dr Michael Cameron at the University of Waikato. The Manukau research found off-licence liquor outlets in Manukau (alcohol retailers, supermarkets and bottle stores) tend to be located in high population, high deprivation areas and are associated with lower alcohol prices, longer opening hours and a range of social harms including violence, sexual, drug, alcohol and property offences, as well as motor vehicle accidents. Dr Cameron says although the Manukau results were specific to that area, the model that had been developed could be used in other areas to determine what impact extra liquor outlets would have on a district. The research is deemed all the more relevant because the Alcohol Reform Bill is currently before Parliament. Copies of the Manukau research are available on the ALAC website at


It’s official: Saving the planet can boost your career. Students who’ve taken Waikato Management School’s graduate-level sustainability paper are popping up all over the world in jobs with corporations that want to become more environmentally and community friendly. Joe de Jong graduated last year and is now working in Stuttgart, Germany, for PE International, where he gets to put into practice everything he learned from the Strategies for Sustainability paper (STMG 580). PE International is the international market leader in strategic consultancy, software solutions and extensive services in the field of sustainability. De Jong currently works as an analyst developing sustainability solutions for corporate clients worldwide. Other STMG 580 graduates have also found their sustainability skills in demand. Paulien de Haes now works as a consultant at KPMG’s Climate Change & Sustainability practice in the Netherlands, while Trent Bos took a "mainstream” job with beverage and food giant Lion in Australia. Bos has also been named Youth Ambassador for Australia to the United Nations, and in that role will be attending the Earth Summit in Rio in June this year. Associate Professor Eva Collins, who leads the paper, says “I’ve had several former students tell me that they changed career paths and decided to pursue a sustainability-related job or implement sustainability strategies in ‘mainstream’ companies because of this course.”


A talent for singing has won a Hamilton student a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship from the University of Waikato. Blaire White is one of 43 new Hillary scholars at Waikato. The Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme awards scholarships to academic high achievers who show significant leadership qualities and also excel in sport or in the creative and performing arts. White has performed in several Hamilton musical theatre productions and most recently played the role of Maria in Musikmakers production of West Side Story. She is also a past winner of the Under 18 New Zealand Aria competitions. While at Waikato, she will be studying under Dame Malvina Major who was recently appointed Senior Music Fellow. “Being given the opportunity to learn under a world class teacher like Dame Malvina Major is fantastic, and to do so without a student loan hanging over my head is even better.” 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.


Following the grounding of the Rena last October, the Bay of Plenty witnessed an overwhelming response from residents to help clean up more than 1000 tonnes of oily waste from our beaches. Tauranga’s next Café Scientifique, supported by the University of Waikato, will discuss what went on behind the scenes to make the volunteer initiative run smoothly. Bay of Plenty Regional Council Senior Land Management Officer Pim de Monchy was the volunteer coordinator during the response. In his talk, The good oil on the Rena volunteer experience, he will discuss the logistics involved in registering, training and communicating with thousands of people as the situation unfolded along the coastline. Café Scientifique is a forum for debating science issues, where for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. It will be held on Monday April 2, 6.45pm at Alimento, 72 First Avenue, Tauranga. For more information visit:


University of Waikato Writer in Residenc Michael Morrissey will be holding the Hamilton launch of his new book Taming the Tiger – A Personal Encounter with Manic Depression this week at the university. “The topic may sound grim but the book is sprinkled with humour,” says Morrissey. As a writer he has published 10 books of poetry, two collections of short stories and three short novels and edited five other books of poetry and short stories. The memoir is the culmination of a quarter of a century of battling bipolar disorder (formally known as manic depression). The launch will be held at Bennetts Bookstore at the university on Thursday March 29 from 5.30-7.30pm.


The University of Waikato will host the 10th annual Te Amorangi National Māori Academic Excellence Awards this week. 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.


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 this week. 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 07 577 5376.


Recent wild weather has meant the annual University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor’s Cricket Challenge against Northern Districts Māori has had to be postponed. The annual match between the university XI and Northern Districts Māori takes place each year and gives players from both teams an opportunity to shine in the semi-serious exhibition match. The match will be rescheduled for later in the year.


University of Waikato second-year Bachelor of Engineering student Lindi Engelbrecht has been awarded the Emmy Noether prize for the top woman student in first-year mathematics. The $500 New Zealand Federation of University Women Emmy Noether Prize in Mathematics is awarded each year to the top first-year female mathematics student. Engelbrecht is studying chemical and biological engineering specialising in biological processing and is hoping to be invited into the honours programme in her fourth year. The prize is a cash grant to spend on books. All female students enrolled in first-year mathematics papers are considered without application.

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