Media Advisory October 6

Blues Awards winners announced

Last Friday, October 3, the Wallace Corporation University of Waikato Blues Awards celebrated more than 60 high-achieving students who excel in sports or the creative and performing arts. Zoe Stevenson was named Sportswoman of the Year and Sam Shergold was named Sportsman of the Year. The Pou Ahurea Award for Māori Person of the Year went to Tupuria King, and Teresa Connors was named as Creative and Performing Arts Person of the Year. The Blue is a prestigious award for excellence in sport or creative and performing arts, and recognises regional and national excellence, through to world champions. Thirty-four University of Waikato students were recognised for their sporting achievements this year, alongside 27 students who have made considerable contributions to the creative and performing arts. For more information visit

Harvard professor to talk about economic growth, demography and health

A high-profile Harvard professor will base himself at the University of Waikato during October. David Bloom is professor of economics and demography in the Department of Global Health and Population in the Harvard School of Public Health. He is a specialist in applied economics in the areas of labour, population, health, education and development. Professor Bloom has chaired the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum and has consulted to hundreds of organisations during his career, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The World Health Organisation and the UN Development Program, the Bank of America and World Bank and major international businesses. While in New Zealand Professor Bloom will meet MPs including Finance Minister Bill English, talk to representatives from the Waikato District Health Board, lecture students and give two public lectures, one in Wellington on October 16 and the other on October 21 at the University of Waikato in Hamilton. He will talk about prospects for economic growth through the lenses of demography and health. Professor Bloom is visiting New Zealand as the university’s visiting Golden Jubilee Distinguished Professor.

Business leader honoured with honorary doctorate

One of New Zealand’s leading businessmen is to receive the University of Waikato’s most prestigious award of Honorary Doctorate. Sir Dryden Thomas Spring will receive his Honorary Doctorate at the University graduation ceremony on October 22. University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the honour is in recognition of Sir Dryden’s substantial contribution to the regional and national economy. Sir Dryden was born in Taranaki and bought his first farm at Walton, in the heart of the Waikato. He has spent many years working for some of New Zealand’s most important organisations and has also been active with a range of charitable and community organisations.

New Pacific scholarships offered

Pacific people with leadership potential are being encouraged to apply for a new University of Waikato scholarship funded by the estate of the late Morrinsville accountant and farmer Edna Money. The Edna Money Future Pacific Leaders’ Scholarship will provide support for students to achieve academically and develop leadership skills through a tailored leadership and personal development programme. Three scholarships will be offered each year for students undertaking fulltime study. The scholarships are worth $6000 per year for up to three years. They are being funded from a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edna Money, who died last year aged 94. She was a Morrinsville farm owner, accountant and philanthropist and is thought to be one of New Zealand’s first female qualified accountants. The bequest has become part of the University’s Endowment Fund with the interest earned funding the scholarships. Applicants should be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents, of Pacific Island descent and enrolling at the University of Waikato for the first time in 2015. Scholarship applications are open until November 3.

Judge to become a doctor

Senior Court of Appeal judge and president of the New Zealand Law Commission Sir Grant Hammond is having a Doctor of Laws degree conferred by the University of Waikato in recognition of his internationally recognised legal scholarship on the law of remedies and in the area of the role of the judiciary and judicial boundaries. Sir Grant has had an extensive career that has combined practice and academia. After spending his early days in practice in Hamilton, Sir Grant took up academic appointments in North America, was Dean of Law at Auckland University before becoming a High Court judge for 11 years followed by a decade as a judge of the Court of Appeal. He is now president of the New Zealand Law Commission and chair of the Legislation Advisory Committee to Parliament. Sir Grant will have his LLD conferred at the university’s morning graduation ceremony on October 22.

Fun run and walk series returns to campus

Runners and walkers can look forward to the return of the Campus 5km Fun Run and Walk which kicks off today (October 6) and runs until December 15. Earlier in the year, the University of Waikato partnered with local running club Hamilton City Hawks to host the event which saw more than 300 people take part. Registrations start at 5pm outside Momento Café on the Village Green. Walkers start between 5pm to 6pm, while runners start on Monday evenings at 6pm. Registrations are $6 and entitle participants to a beer, cider or non-alcoholic drink at the end. Spot prizes are also awarded on the night. The Campus 5km Fun Run and Walk is in association with the Hamilton City Hawks running club, UniRec, Momento Café and Good George. For more information email

Sargeson Lecture to feature award-winning novelist

Taking an imaginary place and making it seem real is something novelist and short-story writer Catherine Chidgey is extremely good at. It’s this idea of place in her writing that she will address at the 12th annual Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture next month. Chidgey, who teaches creative writing at Waikato University, will reflect on the ways in which the real world impinges on the imaginary, and explore some of the strategies a writer can use to breathe life into a fictional setting. A former recipient of the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship and now a literary adviser to the Sargeson Trust, Chidgey’s novels have been published to international acclaim. Her awards include the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award, the Prize in Modern Letters, and Best First Book in both the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Asia-Pacific region) and the New Zealand Book Awards. This is a free community event and is on Thursday, October 16 at 5.30pm (light refreshments to follow) in S.G.03 (S Block, University of Waikato).

Of Calendars and Kings: UK professor to deliver lecture on archaeoastronomy

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will welcome Clive Ruggles, Emeritus Professor of Archaeoastronomy in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester in the UK, to campus next month. Professor Ruggles will deliver a public lecture, ‘Of Calendars and Kings: gods, temples, the Pleiades, and the development of archaic states in Hawai’i’, in which he describes his fieldwork with archaeologist Patrick V Kirch studying the orientations of temple platforms and their connections with astronomy, the calendar, dryland agriculture and the emergence of “god-king” cults. Professor Ruggles has worked in many parts of the world and published numerous books, papers and articles on topics ranging from prehistoric Europe and pre-Columbian America to indigenous astronomies in Africa and elsewhere. He has ongoing fieldwork projects in Peru and the Hawaiian Islands. This free community event is on Friday, October 31 at 5pm in S.G.01 (S Block, University of Waikato).

Thin Ice on big screen

The International Centre for Terrestrial Antarctic Research (ICTAR) and the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Waikato are hosting a public screening of the award-winning movie Thin Ice. The film is a documentary about climate change science, filmed partly in New Zealand, and executive producer Peter Barrett will attend the screening and introduce the movie. The screening takes place on Wednesday, October 8 in the Concert Chamber of the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The cash bar opens at 6.30pm with the screening beginning at 7pm and it’s free to attend. Thin Ice was released last year and has screened at several film festivals around the world, including the San Francisco Green Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Bergen International Film Festival, Princeton Environmental Film Festival, where it won the Audience Favourite Award, and the Baikal International Film Festival, where it was judged Best Popular Science Film.

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