Media Advisory August 25

City plans up for discussion at Winter Lecture Series

As Hamilton City Council explores plans to better connect the city with its natural resources, the University of Waikato’s final lecture in its Winter Lecture Series this Wednesday, August 27, will consider whether the city can also learn from the revitalisation of its Canadian namesake, Hamilton, Ontario. Hear from Canadian Neil Everson, on how he led the successful revitalisation of his city; Andrew Yeoman, Waikato alumnus and director of Yeoman Developments; and the University’s Professor Natalie Jackson, a demographer who will look at what an ageing population will mean for Hamilton in the future. The University of Waikato’s Winter Lecture Series is an annual series held on Wednesdays in August. It is a focused and relevant seminar series designed to provide an opportunity for robust discussion on topical issues affecting the community. All lectures are free and open to the public, and take place from 6-7pm at the Academy of Performing Arts. For more information, visit

Coming clean on water

Five freshwater experts will host a panel discussion on what the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management means for the region. The Statementdirects regional councils to establish objectives and set limits for fresh water in their regional plans but has been criticised for not addressing water health. The scientists taking part are: Dr Bryce Cooper, General Manager - Strategy for NIWA; Dr Alison Dewes, lead consultant for agribusiness consultancy Headlands; Prof David Hamilton, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair in Lake Restoration at the University of Waikato; Dr Mike Scarsbrook, Environment Policy Manager at DairyNZ and Bill Vant, a scientist with the Waikato Regional Council. The discussion takes place in Room A.G.30 at Waikato University on Tuesday, September 2 at 7.30pm and is free to attend.

University gets set for Kīngitanga Day

The University of Waikato is preparing to celebrate Kīngitanga Day on 18 September. Kīngitanga Day is an annual event that recognises the university’s connection with Waikato-Tainui and the Kīngitanga. The day-long event has a range of activities including seminars, panel discussions and presentations from guest speakers and leading academics. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr Lance O’Sullivan, who will speak on “Advancing Māori Health from the Flax Roots”. Named 2014 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year, the Kaitaia-based GP is a passionate advocate for Māori health and a pioneer for equal healthcare in the community. There will be stick and poi demonstrations, food stalls, presentations, panels, workshops, exhibitions, performances and activities. Most activities are free and open to the public. For more information visit

Researcher learns lessons from church

Whitiaua Ropitini isn’t used to delivering public presentations, but if his first attempt is anything to go by, he’s a natural. Whitiaua, who is completing a Master of Arts in Māori, was judged the winner of the Te Toi O Matariki Māori Graduate Conference, which gives Māori graduate and post-graduate students the opportunity to promote their research and gain presenting experience, support each other and help raise the profile of graduate and post-graduate study. Students get 10 minutes to present their research and Whitiaua delivered his entirely in te reo. His research is looking at ways to strengthen the Ringatu Church in his hometown of Ruatahuna. Other winners included: Best Faculty Presentation School of Māori and Pacific Development; People’s Choice Jordan Cooper – Faculty of Science and Engineering; Best Overall Presentation Whitiaua Ropitini – School of Māori and Pacific Development.

Waikato grad selected for Imperial College London doctoral programme

University of Waikato chemistry graduate Sophie Sim will join 12 top young scientists from all over the world at Imperial College London next month, where she has been selected to participate in the NexGenAgriChem Innovative Doctoral Programme. The programme is funded by Syngenta, one of the world’s largest crop protection companies, and will bring together talented physical sciences graduates to investigate new ways to improve crop protection. The primary objective of the three-year PhD programme is to nurture the group of early-stage researchers in a way which will create a new generation of multidisciplinary researchers to support the challenges of the future. In conjunction with the PhD research, the programme also includes substantial training in the form of lecture courses, and a transferable skills course in areas such as science communication, as well as professional internship placements. Sophie is a former student of Thames High School.

Waikato Philosophers Secure International Doctoral Awards

University of Waikato education lecturers Sonja Arndt and Sharyn Heaton have both won an international doctoral scholarship. The Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA) doctoral scholarships, valued at AUD$10,000, aim to help students advance serious philosophical discussion about education. Two of these highly competitive international scholarships are awarded annually. Sonja’s doctoral thesis explores understandings and experiences of diversity, difference and marginalisation with a particular interest in the orientations of early childhood teachers and their teaching teams. Sharyn’s doctoral research examines and extends current understandings of the whare tapa whā, a Māori philosophical model of hauora/health wellbeing. Recommendations from her research aim to inform future Māori medium curriculum development. The Waikato lecturers, who will present at the 44th Annual PESA Conference in November in Hamilton, say the scholarships will enable them to engage with top philosophers nationally and internationally. PESA aims to promote research and teaching in philosophy of education. This global organisation has a broad membership across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and North America. 

Supporting rugby

A new grade of rugby has kicked off and the University of Waikato is getting behind it. The Waikato under 19 side, to be known as the Waikato Juniors, is being sponsored by the university in the inaugural national under 19 competition, which involves a round of games against other provincial sides before a national tournament in Taupo in early October. Kent Currie, the Waikato Juniors’ assistant coach and academy manager at the Waikato Rugby Union, says the competition is good enticement for boys to stay in the game, join a club and strive to make a provincial team. Many of the Waikato Juniors have a Waikato University connection. Captain Mitchell Jacobson, fellow loose forward Mungo Mason and prop Atu Moli are Hillary Scholars at the university, and Tau Koloamatangi, Josh Dowsing and Te Raina Richards-Coxhead are all students who play for the university club.

Two degrees, two countries, faster delivery

The University of Waikato’s Te Piringa - Faculty of Law is partnering with one of the top US law schools to offer double masters (LLM) degrees. Waikato has negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with the James E Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona which will see both institutions making available their respective LLM programmes to students recommended by the other partner. Essentially, students studying in one university will gain advanced standing or cross credit a part of their first master’s qualification to the other, enabling them to obtain both LLM degrees in a shorter time with lower costs than they would by enrolling in the two degrees separately. Waikato Law dean Professor Brad Morse also says there’s a natural synergy between the specialisations offered by the two institutions, both being strong in aspects of indigenous law, environmental and resource law, and international human rights. 

Waikato University recruiters at career expos and information evenings

Student Recruitment Advisers from the University of Waikato will be at the Hawke’s Bay regional information evening on August 27 at Portmans Motor Lodge, Hastings from 3.30pm-6pm, the Whangarei regional information evening on August 28 at the Kingsgate Hotel from 3.30pm-6.30pm and the Rotorua regional information evening on August 28 at the Millennium Hotel from 3.30pm-6pm. The advisers talk to potential students about the flexibility of study at the University of Waikato, student life and academic choices.

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