Media Advisory August 6

Mayor Julie Hardaker’s vision is for Hamilton to be a true river city at the centre of commercial activity in New Zealand’s economy. Ms Hardaker will outline her plans for how the city will look in 20 years’ time at Novotel Tainui Hotel on Wednesday this week in the second of the Waikato University Winter Lecture Series. “Hamilton doesn’t need to reinvent itself; instead we need to build on what we already have to create a strong and positive identity. Our economy is strong and generally stable. We’re supported by agriculture and we’re seriously good at doing business. We’re one of the country’s major exporters and perfectly placed to make Hamilton the commercial centre of New Zealand.” Ms Hardaker will be joined by CEO of Tainui Group Holdings Mike Pohio who’ll talk about Tainui’s plans for an inland port and housing at Ruakura. “I think our talks will complement each other,” says Ms Hardaker. “We have different jobs to do but our long-term aims are similar – making Hamilton central to the nation’s economy.” For more information on the University of Waikato Winter Lecture Series go to
Murray Sherwin, CNZM, one of this year’s University of Waikato Distinguished Alumni, is the guest speaker at a Waikato University Alumni event in Wellington this week. Mr Sherwin is the new chair of the government’s Productivity Commission and former CEO of the Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry. He worked for the Reserve Bank for 25 years after graduating from the University of Waikato with a Masters in Social Science, and was the bank’s deputy governor for seven years. He also served on the Executive Board of the World Bank in Washington DC. During his time with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, he was involved in eliminating the painted apple moth from Auckland and the Waikato, dealt with the Waiheke Island foot and mouth disease scare, and oversaw the development of the Dairy and Clean Stream Accord, the Emissions Trading Regime for Forestry and the Primary Growth Partnership. Mr Sherwin sits on the Review Panel of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) and is a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Official Statistics. The Alumni event in Wellington is 5.30pm Wednesday at the Majestic Centre in Willis Street. Any Waikato alumni or friends interested in attending should email

Scion and the University of Waikato have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see the two organisations working together in research and teaching and to enhance their contribution to the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, iwi and New Zealand. The agreement encompasses collaborative research programmes, commercialisation of research where possible, student projects and internships and the creation of executive education courses for the region and industry. The MoU with Scion will be of benefit not only to the two parties, but also to the two regions, says the university’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford. “This relationship is an example to the rest of the country of how CRIs and universities can ultimately contribute to better economic, environmental, and social outcomes for their respective regions. We are already working together in areas such as identifying research topics for graduate students and developing executive education programmes that will meet industry and the region’s capability needs.”
This year’s University of Waikato Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture will be presented by poet and independent scholar Dr John Newton. Dr Newton is calling his lecture “The bad difficult years: Sargeson’s Post-War Reconstruction.” It will focus on Sargeson’s evolution as a writer – how and why his writing changed after the Second World War. “Sargeson’s relative silence in the 1950s separates his work into two distinct phases,” says Dr Newton. “The author of the classic early stories is almost unrecognisable in his later fiction, and I’ll be trying to make sense of this curious evolution.”
Dr Newton is a former lecturer in English at the University of Canterbury and now lives on Waiheke Island. He is the author of The Double Rainbow: James K. Baxter, Ngāti Hau and the Jerusalem Commune (VUP, 2009) and numerous articles on mid-century New Zealand literature. In 2010 he held the J D Stout Research Fellowship at Victoria University. His new volume of poems, Family Songbook, will be published next year by Victoria University Press. The University of Waikato’s Sargeson Memorial Lecture series began in 2003 to celebrate Hamilton’s cultural history, and the life of its most famous literary son. Dr Sarah Shieff, the editor of Letters of Frank Sargeson and the organiser of the Frank Sargeson lecture series, says this year’s lecture will shed new light on Sargeson’s career, and on a whole era of New Zealand’s literary history. This year's lecture is open to the public and takes place on Thursday 16 August at S.G.O1 at 5.30pm. RSVP by 13 August to Hannah Wright,
In a move to ‘meet the market’, the Finance Department at the University of Waikato Management School is offering a graduate qualification in finance for Hamilton city-based professionals, managers and executives at a convenient inner-city location. The course is designed to enable participants to complete a graduate diploma in 12 months, or a graduate certificate in only six months. “We know many city-based executives and professionals are extremely busy, but they also value continuing education and professional development. This is an opportunity to gain a world-class, university qualification in finance without leaving the city, or taking time off work,” says Associate Professor Stuart Locke who’s running the course in the boardroom of local lawyers Tomkins Wake. Dr Locke says that in many cases lawyers and accountants need more knowledge about finance issues and the pressure on professionals, trustees and directors to understand finance is only going to increase. “Finance is a way of thinking about things. This programme helps people understand finance in a way that they can apply it to their professional and personal lives.” Classes began on 31 July but Dr Locke says he’ll take late enrolments. Check out for more information, or be at Tompkins Wake on Tuesday 7 August from 5.00pm to discuss options.

The University of Waikato’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI) joined 19 of New Zealand’s environmental leaders in New Plymouth last week to sign an historic accord – the Taranaki Biodiversity Forum Accord, which is a regional response to protective native plants, animals and habitats. “The accord presents a great opportunity for the ERI to work with like-minded groups to deliver better biodiversity outcomes for the region,” says ERI Director, and Dean of the University of Waikato’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, Professor Bruce Clarkson. The signing was witnessed by Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson who said she would be heralding the initiative to other groups around the country. Signatories included the Department of Conservation, Forest and Bird, Tiaki Te Mauri O Parininihi Trust, Ngā Motu Marine Reserve Society, the Taranaki Kiwi Trust, and regional and district councils. Waikato University’s Environmental Research Institute was the only research provider to sign the accord.

UNIVERSITY COMPOSER FINALIST IN SILVER SCROLL An opera by University of Waikato composer Michael Williams and former Waikato University drama lecturer John Davies is a finalist in the contemporary classical section of the APRA Silver Scroll Awards. The Juniper Passion is set in Montecassino during the Second World War and is told through the eyes of a Benedictine monk, a German army officer and a New Zealand soldier. The opera, which was launched on Anzac Day at the University of Waikato, has already received international recognition and is scheduled for production on location in Cassino and Rome. Williams says he’s thrilled to be a finalist. "I hope this might expose more people to this work, perhaps even those who might not normally listen to opera. It would be good too if they could contemplate the issues we have raised with open minds and hearts." The annual APRA Silver Scroll Awards recognise the achievements of outstanding New Zealand songwriters, composers and publishers in popular contemporary, classical and Māori music. The Silver Scrolls take place on Thursday 13 September at the Auckland Town Hall.

Tonight’s Café Scientifique in Tauranga will look at the potential environmental impacts of oil and gas exploration in New Zealand. Professor Barry Barton from Te Piringa – Faculty of Law will discuss the proposed legislation to manage the environmental effects of activities in New Zealand’s oceans – the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Bill. He will explain why the Bill has been introduced, its strengths and weaknesses and, in particular, what he considers the key gaps concerning regulation of offshore oil and gas exploration if the legislation is passed in its present form. Professor Barton's fields of research cover energy, natural resources and environmental law, and most recently he has focused specifically on oil and gas legislation. Café Scientifique starts at 6.45pm at Alimento, 72 First Avenue, Tauranga. The Café Scientifique series is organised by Julia and Warren Banks and supported by the University of Waikato. For more information visit: or email
Whakatane high school students considering tertiary study next year can attend an information evening tomorrow night hosted by the University of Waikato. It’s taking place from 3.30pm-6.30pm at the Tuscany Villas Conference Room, The Strand, Whakatane and students and parents can find out about subjects, degrees, scholarships, entrance requirements and accommodation options. Faculty and recruitment staff will be there to discuss programmes and answer questions. The Rotorua Information Evening will be held next Tuesday 14 August, from 3.30pm-6.00pm at the Millenium Hotel, Eruera Street, Rotorua. For more information on both events, please contact the university’s Tauranga Recruitment Adviser Andy Howells, 07 577 0620 ext 6136, or
A Creative University Conference being hosted by the University of Waikato this month will look at the role universities in new economic development models. One of the conference organisers, Professor Michael Peters from the Faculty of Education, says there’s a four-pronged approach in the new development paradigm – economic, cultural, technological and social, with creativity, knowledge and access to information central to it. The aim of the conference, which includes speakers from US, Australia, Germany and Taiwan, is to extend the dialogue about the relationship between contemporary higher education and the changing face of contemporary economies. The conference takes place at Ibis Tainui Hamilton on August 15-16.

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