Media Advisory March 31

Waikato University to host first Community Open Day

The University of Waikato will be opening its doors to young and old on Saturday, May 17 as it hosts its first Community Open Day. As part of the University’s 50th celebrations this year, the Saturday afternoon event is a family-friendly public showcase of the University’s facilities, campus, research and history. It takes place the day after University’s annual recruitment Open Day for prospective students and their families (Friday, May 16). Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says Community Open Day is an opportunity for the public to see first-hand what the University offers. Community Open Day will see the campus sectioned off into ‘themed hubs’ which will feature a variety of activities, interactive exhibits and demonstrations. Mini-lectures and tours around the campus will also be available on the day. More information can be found at

Tikanga experts appoints to Kīngitanga board

Two University of Waikato staff members are among a dozen Māori leaders who have been appointed to a new national advisory board to Māori Kingi Tuheitia. Te reo and tikanga expert Professor Pou Temara (Tūhoe) and senior lecturer in tikanga Te Kahautu Maxwell (Te Whakatōhea, Ngāi Tai, Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou, Tūhoe, Ngāti Maniapoto) join 10 others on the newly appointed Tekaumārua, the King's Council of Twelve. Tekaumārua dates from the second Māori King Tāwhiao until the time of Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, and was selected from within Waikato-Tainui tribal membership. Last August Kingi Tuheitia signalled his intention to re-establish Tekaumārua but with a wider membership and asked iwi leaders to suggest suitable candidates. Waikato are the kaitiaki or caretakers of the Kīngitanga and Kingi Tuheitia wanted to give tribes from around the country a greater say in the growth and development of the movement in the modern era. The council will advise and represent the king on key issues and kaupapa affecting Māori development on social, cultural, economic, spiritual and political issues. The pair join 10 others on Tekaumārua: Ngāti Awa kaumatua Hemana Manuera was selected as the inaugural chairman. Other members are Che Wilson, Sir Toby Curtis, Kihi Ngatai, Mereiwa Broughton, Erima Henare and Dame June Mariu with one member still to be selected from each of Te Kohanga Reo, Maori Women's Welfare League and the New Zealand Māori Council.

University of Waikato leads NZ with open access mandate

The University of Waikato has become the first university in New Zealand to approve a mandate around open access to academics’ publications. The Open Access Mandate Guidelines were approved this month by the University of Waikato’s Academic Board. Under the guidelines, academic staff can disseminate their research as widely as possible, bringing research results out from behind the subscription paywall to be accessed by all. University of Waikato faculty are encouraged to deposit the full text of their peer-reviewed academic publications into the University's digital repository, Research Commons. Matt McGregor, from Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand based at the Royal Society of New Zealand, says this is an important move by the University of Waikato. “This is a great achievement by Waikato. In passing the mandate, they join other world-class institutions from all over the world in ensuring that the public has free and open access to Waikato's high quality research.”

Finance Minister fronts integrated data roadshow at Waikato

Finance Minister Hon Bill English is at the University of Waikato this Wednesday, April 2, to open a talk for academics about integrated data. Mr English will open the Integrated Data Infrastructure session being held by Statistics New Zealand and will highlight the importance of joining data from across government to ensure better outcomes for New Zealand, and how the academic community can help in this. Guido Stark from Statistics New Zealand will then explain the Integrated Data Infrastructure including what data is available, how the data is collected and linked, and how individual privacy is protected. The Integrated Data Infrastructure is the result of linking public sector data to ultimately help with research, policy, and evaluation questions.

University of Waikato to host New Zealand's first Halal Tourism Symposium

High-level government, tourism and academic professionals from New Zealand and overseas will gather in Hamilton at the end of April to discuss the potential and development of halal tourism in New Zealand. The inaugural symposium, to be held at the Novotel Tainui Hotel on April 30, is a new initiative put together by the University of Waikato’s Institute for Business Research in collaboration with the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ), the University of Canterbury’s College of Business and Law, Ministry of Business Employment and Innovation, Inside Tourism, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism and Aotea Souvenirs. Its purpose is to connect New Zealand with trade opportunities in halal tourism and hospitality, and more than 100 key members from the government sector, the tourism and hospitality industry, airlines, and academics interested in the field, have been invited to attend the one-day event.

Digital resource draws on Waikato-Tainui traditions, histories, knowledge

The Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development has created a digital resource which enhances school students’ access to tribal knowledge. The web-based resource was created in partnership with the Science Learning Hub and is a repository of Waikato-Tainui traditions, histories and practices pertaining to the Waikato River. The resource, titled Tooku Awa Koiora to reflect the tribe’s connection to the Waikato River and its surrounding environments features information about the history of raupatu (confiscation) and the Waikato-Tainui settlements, information on tikanga and kaitiakitanga (guardianship) as well as video interviews with tribal members and iwi scientists. Tooku Awa Koiora will be hosted by the Science Learning Hub website – The Science Learning Hub promotes student interest and engagement in science by providing contemporary, contextualised resources for school teachers from Years 2–10. It is managed by the University of Waikato and funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Improving Māori adult literacy

The National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults, based at the University of Waikato, is developing a strategy to lift Māori adult literacy. An international survey completed in New Zealand in 2006, found that 70% of Māori adults did not meet minimum world standards for literacy and numeracy. Centre Director, Professor Diana Coben, says as Māori continue to become a much larger part of New Zealand’s workforce, the future wellbeing and prosperity of New Zealand will be dependent on the ability of all New Zealanders to participate fully in society. Over the next three months a series of hui will be held in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Rotorua to engage with employers, iwi and Māori organisations, community groups and educators to identify the key priorities. The strategy will enable better and more informed decision making on policy, planning and resourcing to support Māori adult literacy and numeracy initiatives. Individuals and groups are also invited to provide their views though the National Centre website.

Waikato PHD student looking for breakthrough in titanium manufacturing

University of Waikato PhD student Ben Jackson is undertaking research into the manufacturing and advancement of titanium metal composites. Based at Tauranga’s Titanium Industry Development Association (TiDA), Ben is the first mechanical engineering doctoral student to study in the Bay of Plenty. He is researching whether he can create a new titanium composite material using selective laser melting (SLM) that will be stronger, lighter and more resistant to very high temperatures than titanium alone. Many titanium ceramics are already used in surface treatments on machined parts, however creating them through the SLM manufacturing process is a relatively new concept. If successful it will allow far more complex parts to be designed and will open up a much wider range of potential markets. Ben, a former Tauranga Boys’ College student, aims to complete his PhD research by December 2016.

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