Media Advisory November 12


Professor Lynda Johnston is not your typical geographer. A long-standing activist for gender and sexual equality, her research looks at the links between place and sexual identities. To mark her promotion to professor, she’ll be giving a free public lecture next week on how gay pride parades and festivals transform the usually taken-for-granted heterosexual spaces of cities. “Gay pride parades and festivals make visible bodies that don’t tend to fit heterosexual norms,” she explains. In her lecture Professor Johnston will draw on the experiences of cities such as Hamilton, Sydney and Edinburgh in coming to terms with the public expression and celebration of sexual diversity, and she warns that the audience can expect a few surprises. Professor Johnston’s inaugural professorial lecture, ‘Proud people and places or just more Riff Raff? The spatial politics of Gay Pride’, takes place on Tuesday 20 November at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at the University of Waikato. The lecture is free and open to the public, and begins at 6pm.


A University of Waikato-led research project which draws on the “wisdom of the elders” to improve conservation and biodiversity has won support from the prestigious Marsden Fund, New Zealand's funding for ideas-driven research. ‘He rongo i te reo rauriki, i te reo reiuru: Whakataukī and conservation of biodiversity in Aotearoa’ will receive $345,000 over three years in a Marsden Fast-Start grant, designed to help outstanding young researchers establish themselves within New Zealand. The interdisciplinary study of traditional Māori ecological knowledge, as expressed through whakataukī or proverbs, aims to uncover the past relationships that Māori have with the environment. The project will be undertaken by linguist Dr Hemi Whaanga of Waikato’s School of Māori and Pacific Development with fellow Waikato doctoral graduate ecologist Dr Priscilla Wehi, who is now a research fellow at Otago University. Dr Whaanga will lead the examination of how linguistic cues place the whakataukī in social and historical context, and the multiple meanings that emerge. The Marsden Fund is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the Marsden Fund Council, and funded by the New Zealand Government. It supports projects in the sciences, technology, engineering and maths, social sciences and the humanities. This year the University of Waikato received six grants, totaling $3.6 million.


How New Zealand would handle another oil disaster like the Rena is the topic of discussion at the University of Waikato this month. Chair of Coastal Science Professor Chris Battershill will be holding a public lecture called The Rena, and Offshore Oil Exploration: Impacts and Preparedness. His lecture will explore the environmental impact of the Rena oil spill and how it may have influenced how New Zealand will respond to major pollution events in the future. Professor Battershill has been closely monitoring the environmental recovery of the Bay of Plenty following the grounding. During his lecture, Professor Battershill will look at oil spill event preparedness in New Zealand and compare the Rena grounding to Australian responses to oil spills as a case study for how well prepared New Zealand is for another disaster. The lecture takes place on Tuesday 27 November, at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, beginning at 1pm. It is free and open to the public. It’s being held as part of the Geosciences 2012 conference being hosted by the Department of Earth and Ocean Science at University of Waikato from 25 – 28 November.


A University of Waikato researcher has received a $345,000 Marsden Fast-Start grant to study the impact of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, on climate change. Dr Joseph Lane, a computational chemist, believes nitrous oxide has serious consequences when emitted into the atmosphere, and is the biggest current contributor to the ozone hole. He’s received a Marsden Fund grant to develop a theoretical model that will ascertain how nitrous oxide is broken down in the atmosphere and use this to predict the amount of nitrous oxide being released to the atmosphere. “It may be that nitrous oxide has a shorter lifetime in the atmosphere than previously thought or that we're emitting much more nitrous oxide than we presently think,” says Dr Lane. The Marsden Fund is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the Marsden Fund Council, and funded by the New Zealand Government. It supports projects in the sciences, technology, engineering and maths, social sciences and the humanities. This year the University of Waikato received six Marsden Fund grants, totaling $3.6million.


An international conference organised by the University of Waikato will expose some truths about home-based hospitality and people who work from home. The interdisciplinary conference, Home & Identity: The public-private nexus, which takes place in Rome 14-15 November, has been a collaborative effort between Waikato University and Roma Tre University in conjunction with Fondazione Oikia and the London-based Home Renaissance Foundation. The conference will look at ways to bring the home and its vital social role into academic realm and public policy. Waikato Management School senior lecturer Dr Anne Zahra from the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management has organised the three-day conference from Hamilton. Dr Zahra says these blurring of boundaries between work and home life are interesting and vital areas of future research, especially for a small country like New Zealand. For more information visit:


Representatives from Te Piringa – Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato and the Disputes Tribunal have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The MoU, signed by Dean Professor Brad Morse, and Anne Darroch, Principal Disputes Referee, formalises a new relationship between the two parties, allowing students from the Faculty to observe hearings in the Disputes Tribunal as part of a student placement programme. “Attending hearings and discussing issues and processes with Dispute Tribunal referees and staff, is a fantastic opportunity for the students, who may then also be better equipped to assist members of their hapu, iwi and community groups,” says Professor Morse. He also says that with an increase in the role of the Disputes Tribunal within the legal system - more people using the Tribunal for settling claims, rather than going to court - it’s essential for students to have a good understanding of how the Tribunal functions.


The Association of MBAs (AMBA), the international board which governs the widely recognised management qualification, has shown its confidence in the Waikato Management School’s MBA and MBM programmes by awarding it accreditation for the maximum time period of five years. AMBA visited the school in July this year, as part of its regular accreditation auditing process. The review panel was impressed with the School’s delivery of its Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Business and Management (MBM) programmes and requested its governing board extend Waikato’s accreditations through to 2017. Management School Dean Professor Frank Scrimgeour says the accreditations demonstrate the world-class quality of Waikato Management School to potential MBA and MBM participants. “This result is doubly exciting given this is the first accreditation visit since the introduction of the internationally competitive MBM degree.”


Waikato University Engineering student Timothy Walmsley has been awarded one of this year’s Claude McCarthy Fellowships. His PhD is looking at the impact of particulate fouling on the energy recovery efficiency of heat exchangers (radiators) for dairy spray dryer exhausts. The Claude McCarthy Fellowship allows Tim to travel to a heat exchanger fouling and cleaning conference being held in Budapest in June next year, where he hopes to present his research. The Claude McCarthy Fellowship enables New Zealand graduates to undertake original work or research in literature, science or medicine. Many recipients use the fellowship to travel overseas to present their research or undertake further study. Timothy joins fellow Waikato students Kenneth Sichone and Megan Grainger who also received Claude McCarthy Fellowships.

This page has been reformatted for printing.