Media Advisory May 7


About 3000 students and teachers from as far away as Northland and Hawke’s Bay will converge on the University of Waikato’s campus this week for the annual Open Day on 11 May. Open Day is designed to give prospective students a taste of university life and an opportunity to find out more about what the University of Waikato offers. The event is open to everyone who is thinking about full or part-time tertiary study, from secondary school level to mature students. For the first time, students coming to Open Day can see the range of presentations, lectures, tours and seminars online, and create an individual timetable to guide them around campus on the day. The University of Waikato Open Day runs from 9am to 2pm on Friday 11 May. For more information call 0800 WAIKATO or visit to see the day-planner and programme.


The University of Waikato celebrates Kīngitanga Day next week. Kīngitanga Day is an annual event that recognises the university’s unique and distinctive connection with Waikato-Tainui and the Kīngitanga. The day-long event has a range of activities including seminars, panel discussions and presentations from guest speakers and leading academics. This year the university’s Te Kotahi Research Institute will host guest speakers including Dame Claudia Orange, Dr Huirangi Waikerepuru, Moana Jackson and University of Waikato law lecturer Linda Te Aho for a symposium discussing the status, place and relevance of the Treaty of Waitangi in a constitution for Aotearoa. Kīngitanga Day takes place 9am-3.30pm on Wednesday 16 May, with all activities free and open to the public. For more information visit


Natural history, marine conservation and filmmaking will be the focus of the next Cafe Scientifique in Tauranga. Documentary filmmaker Andrew Marshall, from Tauranga, is the founder of Ocean International, an organisation established to facilitate marine conservation through filmmaking and education. During his presentation he will discuss the opportunities for online learning as well as marine-focused, educational field-trips in the Bay, and his goal to instigate a filmmaking expedition vessel to roam globally. He will also recount some of his experiences from expedition cruises to Greenland, Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific. Previously Mr Marshall received international recognition with his first short film, Plunge of the Penguins, which was selected to screen at film festivals around the world. 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. The Café Scientifique series is organised by Julia and Warren Banks and supported by the University of Waikato. It will be held on Monday 21 May at 6.45pm for 7.15pm start at Alimento, 72 First Avenue, Tauranga. For more information visit:


University of Waikato Religious Studies Professor Douglas Pratt will shed light on why religion can lead to extremism during his Inaugural Professorial Lecture to be held at the university this month. “Previously there was a broad view, adopted by many academics in the 1960s, that religion was on its way out. It turns out they were wrong. Globally speaking, religion is on the rise,” says Professor Pratt. “So religion persists, but it also presents a number of problems in the modern world.” Professor Pratt has researched religion for many years and will be discussing what Anders Breivik, the Christchurch Cathedral, and the Taleban might have in common while presenting his model for understanding the persistence of religion and contemporary problems with it. Professor Pratt’s lecture, titled The persistence and problem of religion, takes place on Tuesday 22 May at 6pm at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. Inaugural Professorial Lectures are the university’s way of formally introducing new and recently appointed professors to the wider community. Lectures are free and open to the public.


You could soon be managing Six60 through your iPhone thanks to the winner of this year's University of Waikato Ted Zorn Waikato Alumni Award in Management Communication. Stephen Knightly, director of InGame and Pursuit PR, is a Waikato masters graduate with a successful track record in both communication consulting and video game development. He is currently working on a game for NZ On Air aimed at promoting New Zealand music by allowing players to manage a band or artist. “The strength of video games is they are so engaging,” he says. “People will spend hours playing them, rather than spending 30 seconds watching a television advertisement. Businesses dream of having an audience choose to engage with their brand voluntarily, and games provide a platform for that type of engagement.” The alumni award, established in 2004 by Professor Ted Zorn, is presented annually to a Waikato management communication graduate who is excelling in their field and who has a strong focus on ethical practice, sustainability and innovation. Knightly will be presented the award at a ceremony held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at 5.30pm on 9 May.


Three promising young Waikato University engineers have received scholarships from leading New Zealand engineering consultants Beca. Thomas White, Rene Engelbrecht and Aaron Matenga are the 2012 recipients of the scholarships, worth $2,500 each. Offered to high-achieving students in their third year of a Waikato Bachelor of Engineering degree, the scholarships are designed to help address the skills shortage in engineering. All three students say the scholarships are a huge blessing, and recognition of years of hard work. “This scholarship is recognition of the work I’ve put in over the years and encouragement to keep it up. It lets me put aside the typical financial woes of student life and focus on my studies,” says Thomas, a process engineering student. “Being a fulltime student is expensive, especially engineering,” says Rene, who is also studying process engineering. “Beca is one of the largest multidisciplinary engineering consultancy companies in the Asia-Pacific region. Being the recipient of a scholarship offered by such a large company is truly humbling and opens the door to endless possibilities.”


The University of Waikato Orchestra winter concert takes place on 20 May. Featuring the New Zealand Chamber Soloists, the Orchestra will perform Beethoven's magnificent Triple Concerto under the baton of assistant conductor, Adam Maha, before Musical Director James Tennant leads the orchestra through one of the great romantic symphonic scores, Schumann's D minor Symphony. The performance takes place at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on Sunday 20 May, beginning at 2.30pm. Tickets are available from and the Academy box office.


Hamilton’s specialist contemporary classical music group, Okta, will be celebrating its 10th birthday on Thursday 10 May at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at the University of Waikato. The concert will feature works by leading composers associated with the University of Waikato, piano music by Olivier Messiaen and a new work for virtuoso solo bassoon played by its composer, Aucklander Ben Hoadley. Since the inaugural concert in 2002, Okta has become an established part of the New Zealand music scene, and has showcased a wide range of outstanding composers and performers. Over the past decade guests have included Richard Nunns, The Irrelevants (USA) and the double bass section of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Waikato University Associate Professor of Music, Martin Lodge, will also be launching his new CD, Toru, a work that features chamber music composed by Dr Lodge and performed by brilliant musicians from New Zealand, Europe, North America and South America. The launch is open to the public and will start at 6.30pm with the concert at 7.30pm.

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