Media Advisory July 9


The University of Waikato has signed the United Nations Commitment to Sustainable Practices of Higher Education. The declaration, to which more than 200 universities around the world have pledged, was formally ratified recently at the UN Rio + 20 Conference on Sustainable Development. The commitment pledges the University of Waikato to further incorporate sustainability into its teaching, research, operations and community outreach. “We are already committed to a number of environmental sustainability initiatives,” says Waikato University Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford. “So it seemed a natural step to commit to the UN declaration. I think universities have a key role to play in the pursuit of sustainability.” The university conducts regular audits on carbon emissions, waste production, travel and energy use. “We have a travel plan, environmental policy and a five-star green rated Student Centre. In addition we are exploring a number of initiatives that we’ll refine and implement over the next three years.” In the longer term, the university is considering possibilities for collaboration with local and regional councils on organic waste minimisation in the region and opportunities with businesses and city leaders for campaigns and strategies that promote sustainability.


What are difficult conversations and why do they occur? How does communication have positive and negative impacts? What are some core messages about having effective difficult conversation? In his Inaugural Professorial Lecture, taking place next week, Management Communication Professor John Oetzel will discuss the prickly topic of difficult conversations and why it is important not to avoid them. The lecture will focus specifically on difficult conversations that occur in teamwork and in health care services, particularly when people come from different cultural backgrounds. Professor Oetzel will draw on examples from his own and others’ research, both locally and internationally, which are poignant, interesting, and often funny. Inaugural Professorial Lectures are the university’s way of formally introducing new or recently appointed professors to the wider community. All lectures are free and open to the public. The lecture starts at 6pm on Tuesday, 17 July, in The Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.


University of Waikato Masters student Lora Vaioleti is heading to California, thanks to a US$15,000 Fulbright Scholarship. Her current research towards a Masters of Management and Sustainability involves using dialogue and futures thinking to help increase resilience to climate change in the Pacific; a region that is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Lora, whose father is Tongan, says climate change has far wider reaching implications for the islands, leading to social and economic issues. “Climate change is a scary concept. The reality of the threats needs to be faced, but I want to highlight the potential within Pacific people to think innovatively and strategically to start planning for the future, in the Pacific the future cannot be separated from climate change.” Lora’s scholarship from Fulbright means she can now continue her Masters at the University of California, Irvine – a partner university to Waikato – starting this September.


Wales rugby coach Warren Gatland and opera singer Dame Malvina Major will be giving free public lectures at the University of Waikato next month. Dame Malvina will present a mini-master class on improving vocal technique in the opening lecture of the university’s Winter Lecture Series that runs every Wednesday during August. Warren Gatland is giving the fourth lecture in the series, talking about high performance and the highs and lows of rugby coaching. Other lectures will cover Hamilton city’s development, including Tainui Group’s plans for a big inland port and Mayor Julie Hardaker talking about her vision for the city. Professor Bob Evans, an expert in sustainable cities, will cover what’s important for Christchurch and its rebuild and what Hamilton needs to do to enhance urban design. Professor of Agribusiness Jacqueline Rowarth, Hamilton restaurateur David Kerr and Professor Darrin Hodgetts are coming together to talk about issues around food production, presentation and poverty. For more information visit


One of the country’s most high profile lawyers, Mai Chen, will give a public lecture at the University of Waikato later this month. Ms Chen, a founding partner of specialist public law firm Chen Palmer will talk about issues featured in her book The Public Law Toolbox. She has based her book on her 25 years’ experience in public law, and written it as a resource for business people, lawyers, advocates, industry associations, citizens, Māori and non-governmental organisations to more successfully interface with government. Ms Chen says it will also help people wanting to resolve disputes around administrative and government decision-making, and advise businesses on how to resolve disputes with competitors. The book lays out the government’s legal obligations and the risks it faces when interfacing with business. The lecture will take place at Te Piringa – Faculty of Law on 31 July at 1.10pm in room G.04.


Mike Pohio, CEO of Tainui Group Holdings (TGH), will speak at a free public seminar at the Waikato Management School next week, 20 July, as part of the school’s Excellence in Practice Series. Tainui Group Holdings Ltd (TGH) is the commercial arm of Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Incorporated (WTTKI), the tribal division of Waikato-Tainui, and delivers commercial returns for the Waikato-Tainui people through its business of property investment and development. The public is welcome to come along and hear Mr Pohio speak on the commercial journey of Waikato-Tainui and the recent successes of the Novotel Auckland Airport and The Base retail development in Te Rapa. Find out how TGH has overcome many hurdles on its journey and what the future might hold for the company. Mr Pohio will also spend some time discussing the proposed Ruakura Inland Port and Logistics Hub - a game-changer for the Waikato and New Zealand. The seminar takes place at the Waikato Management School, room MSB 1.02, on Friday 20 July, from 1pm. RSVP to


Four University of Waikato students have been awarded Energy Education Trust Undergraduate Scholarships. The recipients are Dayne Addenbrooke, Rene Engelbrecht, Ben Scarlett and Geoffery Wood, who were awarded $5000 each. Energy Education Trust Undergraduate Scholarships aim to assist students undertaking full-time study in the fields of science, economics or engineering, with a specific interest in energy as it relates to the energy needs of New Zealand. Engineering students Dayne and Rene say the scholarship will help them focus on their studies, without having to be as concerned about their finances. All University of Waikato Bachelor of Engineering (BE) programmes have full Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) accreditation, which is recognised in 13 countries including Australia, the UK and the USA.


More than 200 secondary school students from throughout the North Island will have the opportunity this week to experience a day in the life of a science or engineering student at the University of Waikato. The university’s Faculty of Science & Engineering will host the annual Science Open Day, Wednesday 11 July, and Engineering Open Day, Thursday 12 July. Both events offer Year 11-13 students and adult learners the chance to spend the day on campus, attending hands-on workshops. The Science Open Day will cover the subjects of physics, chemistry, earth and ocean sciences and biological sciences. Engineering Open Day will cover the programmes of chemical and biological, mechanical, software, materials and process and electronic engineering. Each day has a range of activities planned that offer an insight into the kinds of exercises and thinking University of Waikato students have to do.

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