Media Advisory August 26

The University of Waikato Winter Lecture Series concludes this Wednesday with “A Star is Born: How Hamilton’s Arts Scene has Come of Age”. Speakers are national arts patron Sir James Wallace, Chief Executive of Creative Waikato Sarah Nathan and Art Collection Curator University of Waikato Steph Chalmers. The lectures bring together university research and experts from the community to promote robust discussion on a series of topics. The Winter Lecture Series is held in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts from 6pm-7pm each Wednesday in August. Lectures are free and open to the public.

Graphic design, guns and going across the ditch are included in the line-up of subjects being discussed at this year’s Kīngitanga Day at the University of Waikato on 12 September. Artist, designer and researcher Johnson Witehira is speaking about Design Practices with a Focus on Māori Design Patterns. His popular artworks have resulted in the creation of the first set of Māori alphabet blocks. Dr Maria Bargh, from Victoria University of Wellington, will discuss Māori involvement in the private military security industry and Dr Tahu Kukutai – from Waikato University’s National Institute for Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA), will talk about Māori in Australia, based on evidence from Australia’s 2011 Census. New Zealander of the Year, Distinguished Professor Dame Anne Salmond, and Ngāi Tahu leader Sir Mark Solomon are the keynote speakers for the day. A bus tour of significant sites in the region will also take place. Kīngitanga Day kicks-off at 10am, Thursday 12 September campus-wide. Find out more information and download a programme for Kīngintanga Day.

A lecture by University of Waikato Law Lecturer Matiu Dickson on the relevance of the Kīngitanga movement will be held in Tauranga on 11 September. The lecture is presented in conjunction with Kīngitanga celebrations at the University of Waikato’s Hamilton campus on 12 September. Matiu Dickson is a Senior Lecturer in Te Piringa Faculty of Law at Waikato University. Mr Dickson is of the Ngaiterangi and NgātiRanginui tribes of Tauranga. Over the years he has taken an active part in the ceremonial activities of the Kīngitanga on marae throughout the country, and has seen a positive change in attitude toward the Kīngitanga Movement. The Kīngitanga, or Māori King Movement, was established in 1858 to put an end to Māori land alienation, halt inter-tribal warfare, preserve Mana Māori Motuhake and unite the people. The Māori King Movement or Kīngitanga is a movement that arose among some of the Māori tribes of New Zealand to establish a symbolic role, similar in status to that of the British monarch. The Kīngitanga lecture is on Wednesday 11 September in Lecture Theatre 106, Bongard Building, 200 Cameron Road, Tauranga at 6pm with light refreshments from 5.30pm. RSVPs to Find out more information about Kīngintanga Day.

Motivated by New Zealand’s poor record of child abuse, child poverty and the lack of national policies around child protection, Professors Michael Peters and Tina Besley from the University of Waikato’s Centre for Global Studies in Education have organised the Children in Crisis Conference to be held in Hamilton in October. The conference is aimed at teachers, counsellors, social workers, police, medical professionals and government agencies. There are four major strands that will be covered at the conference – child poverty, children’s rights, child abuse and policies and practices and Professor Besley hopes the conference will lead to on-going forums and a handbook designed to assist teachers dealing with issues that they may come up against in their day-to-day teaching. The conference is from 7-9 October. Find out more information about the Children in Crisis Conference.

What are the consequences of wiping our closest living relatives off the face of the Earth? Primatologist Craig Stanford warns that extinction of the great apes threatens to become a reality within just a few human generations. He will discuss the ramifications at Tauranga’s next Café Scientifique on 2 September at Baycourt. Craig Stanford is Professor of Biological Sciences and Anthropology, and Co-Director of the Jane Goodall Research Centre at the University of Southern California. Café Scientifique is a forum for exploring science issues, where anyone can come to find out about 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 aims to promote public engagement and make science accessible. The September Café Scientifique will be held at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre at 38 Durham Street, Tauranga at 7pm and is being run in conjunction with the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution. Entry is free but registration is essential. Please visit to register.

The University of Waikato is hosting the Inquire, Inspire Research Symposium this Friday 30 August at Windermere Campus in Tauranga. Researchers from the university, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi will discuss some of the research taking place in and around the Bay of Plenty on topics ranging from innovative health and physical education (HPE) practices, to linking student learning to the arts through curriculum integration, to the ecological impacts of the Rena oil spill on Astrolabe Reef. The university’s Professor Dawn Penney, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy of the Faculty of Education will give the keynote address, examining some of the tensions and opportunities inherent in endeavouring to undertake research with the intent of ‘making a difference’. The event is free and will be held from 9am-3pm, Maharaia Building, Windermere Campus, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic. To register for the whole day, and for more information, please contact Leanne Cooper, Guests are welcome to attend individual sessions.

New Zealand’s climate and a work placement at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has brought French university student Betty Gubri to the Waikato. Betty is completing a five-month work placement at NIWA, which has involved laboratory work at the University of Waikato. The placement is part of her study towards a diploma at the National Institute of Marine Sciences in Normandie, France. The placement involves working with NIWA Marine Ecologist/Modeller Dr Lundquist on her seagrass and mangrove restoration project, which has meant trips to the Manukau Harbour and Whangamata to study the plant life in these areas. In addition, Betty has had the opportunity to work on the DNA genetics of seagrass at the University of Waikato, with ecologist Dr Chrissen Gemmill.

The Royal Society of New Zealand has appointed Economics Professor Les Oxley from Waikato University Management School to the Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs) Advisory Committee for the 2013/14 CoREs Fund application round. The CoREs Fund Advisory Committee acts as the overall assessment committee and makes the final recommendations on the centres to be funded to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). In the latest budget the Government increased funding to these centres by 10%, bringing the total annual fund to just under $35 million. Professor Oxley is one of six on the committee primarily responsible for assessing the relevance of applications to New Zealand’s economic, social or environmental priorities and for assessing the governance and management arrangements.

Oceanic linguistics specialist Dr Farzana Gounder has been awarded a 2013 Postdoctoral Fellowship Award by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences which will allow her to dedicate a year to her research which focuses on narrative and identity constructions in the Pacific. The native Fiji Indian was drawn to the University of Waikato because of the strong Pacific research focus, particularly within the Linguistics programme. During her one-year term at Waikato, Dr Gounder will be focussing on editing a volume with John Benjamins, titled Performing Narrative Identities in Oceania in the prestigious Studies in Narrative (SiN) series. The book has attracted considerable interest, with both national and international contributors. Dr Gounder will also be writing journal articles, a book chapter, speaking at some national conferences and presenting at seminars and workshops at the university. The FASS Postdoctoral Fellowship is a newly created position funded by Strategic Investment Funds at the university. The aim is to attract emerging international researchers and to provide pathways for completed PhD students to enhance their capacity to move into an academic career position.

A group of Waikato University theatre studies students are all set to stage Alan Bennett’s famous play, The History Boys, next week,under local theatre group Carving in Ice Theatre. From the cast and crew of 27, over half are either current or past Waikato University students, using their flair in front of an audience or their skills backstage to draw together all facets of the production. The story follows a group of high-school boys, with the highest A-level scores ever for the school, who aspire for places at an Oxbridge university. Senior Theatre Studies Lecturer and founder of Carving in Ice Theatre, Gaye Poole, is directing the show. Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar Philip Garrity’s character Posner, is a small Jewish kid who loves singing, believes he is gay and is grappling with the idea of coming out. The History Boys is a mix of drama, comedy, poetry and popular song, and opens on 30 August and runs through to 7 September at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at Waikato University. Bookings: or 0800 TICKETEK.

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