Media Advisory December 10

The University of Waikato has appointed Andrew Sharp as its writer in residence for 2013. He’s an Emeritus Professor of Political Studies at the University of Auckland who’s had a long career teaching and writing about the history of political thinking. Professor Sharp plans to complete a “very long book” on Samuel Marsden who settled the first Christian mission in New Zealand in 1814, which he hopes to finish writing in time for the 200th anniversary of the mission’s founding. The book tells the story of Marsden’s attempts - born of an evangelical education in England - to introduce civilisation and fight the devil in New South Wales and New Zealand. Professor Sharp has lived in London since 2006 where he’s a Research Fellow in History at Birkbeck at the University of London. “Having the Waikato residency means I can complete my New Zealand research. I still have a lot to do, not just in libraries, but also on location – in the missionary settlements in the Bay of Islands and following Marsden’s journeys to the Firth of Thames via an inland route to Tauranga and his trek from Tamaki to the Bay of islands via the Kaipara Harbour.” The University of Waikato writer’s residency is jointly funded by the university and Creative New Zealand/Toi Aotearoa.

Waikato University Sport and Leisure Studies graduate Renee Hannah is the first student to be appointed to a new and prestigious Sport New Zealand graduate programme. Sport New Zealand Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin said Renee is a high achiever. “Despite being at the start of her career, she’ll enter the sport sector with plenty of knowledge from her experiences as an athlete, coach and volunteer, coupled with the strong platform for business that her degree provides. The aim now is to develop Renee’s talents and leadership skills so she can flourish in the sport sector.” Renee graduated from Waikato with a Bachelor of Sport and Leisure Studies this year. She has represented New Zealand at several World Championship water-skiing events, volunteered for the Waikato Academy for Young Achievers, worked as a personal trainer and has coached water-skiing and wake-boarding. The Sport New Zealand graduate programme aims to develop future sport sector leaders and build and enhance relationships with New Zealand’s universities and Sport New Zealand’s partners. She stars the graduate programme in February next year.

The University is again bringing together scientists and Bay of Plenty iwi for the second Treasuring the Bay coastal economic symposium. It is a chance for the community to engage with experts about research and economic developments taking place in the Bay of Plenty. Agribusiness Professor Jacqueline Rowarth will present the keynote address on sustainable agribusiness looking at how we balance the long-term sustainability of our resources with the increasing pressures on our environment, and a government urging economic growth. Other presenters will include the university’s Professor Chris Battershill, economist Dr Dan Marsh, and Professor Rocky de Nys from Australia’s James Cook University and the Rena Research Group. There will also be a discussion on the Mauri of the Bay by iwi representatives. The symposium is a free public event and will be held from 9am-3pm, Friday 25 January at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Bongard Centre, 200 Cameron Road, Tauranga. Bookings are essential for seating and catering purposes. For further information and to register, please visit

University of Waikato Professor Terry Locke is the 2012 recipient of the McKenzie Award, announced at last week’s New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) conference. The award honours those who have made a significant contribution to educational research over an extended period of time. Professor Terry Locke is a lecturer in the Faculty of Education. He has an interest in English language education, arts Education and arts advocacy. He joins a large group of colleagues from the Faculty who are previous recipients, including David Mitchell (1990), Ted Glynn (2002), Sue Middleton (2003), Clive McGee (2004) and Margaret Carr (2005).

University of Waikato student Joshua Levine is putting theory into practice in his new role at the Applied Behaviour Center (ABC) of Kuwait, where he started as a clinical supervisor earlier this month. Joshua is nearing completion of his PhD, which looks at precision teaching and using rapid repetition to enhance learning. He was initially drawn to the behaviour analysis research being carried out at the School of Psychology at the University of Waikato after completing his Master of Science in Behaviour Analysis at the University of North Texas. “I conducted an extensive literature review on my research topic while at North Texas. During that review, I recognized the most interesting studies being conducted on my topic – Professor Mary Foster’s work at the University of Waikato stood out from all other research.” In his new role, he supervises the teaching of 30 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and oversees staff training. ABC of Kuwait provides early intervention services to children with autism and related disorders and offers highly effective researched educational programmes based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis.

Three teams of Waikato Management School students presented their business proposals to electrical industry big-wigs at their Dragon’s Den competition earlier this month. The competition marks the final paper in the PGDip of Management Studies and enables students to put their skills and knowledge to the test by forming groups and coming up with a viable and profitable business venture and presenting their case in front of a panel of business leaders. By sheer coincidence, the three teams to make the finals all presented a business case for the power or electrical industry. Winning team, Nova5 (Nova to the power of five) presented a unique labour-saving product, which is under review for patent, for use by lines companies. Guest judge Bill Murphy, Executive Director of Enterprise Angles Tauranga, says persistence and passion is key. “I do this for a living, so I understand how tough it can be standing up there as an entrepreneur. You will get knocked back, but you must keep going forward; New Zealand needs this.”

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