Media Advisory November 17

Flood risk management in the 21st century

How do societies manage uncertain environmental risks? Why is flooding so hard to manage? And how can we make water-proof buildings? Professor Iain White, from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, is an international expert in the field of environmental planning. His work takes an interdisciplinary perspective that aims to better understand the nature of environmental problems and how they can be addressed. In his upcoming inaugural professorial lecture 'The more we know, the more we don't know: Flood risk management in the 21st century', Professor White will provide insights into the difficulties in managing the risk of flooding and the new approaches to keeping water out of buildings. His Inaugural Professorial Lecture is tomorrow, Tuesday November 18 at 6pm in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The lecture is free and open to the public. Inaugural Professorial Lectures are the University's way of presenting new or newly promoted professors to the wider public.

Graduation ceremony to be held at Hopuhopu

This Friday, seven MBA students from the University of Waikato will graduate in a ceremony at Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development at Hopuhopu. The MBA programme is a partnership between the University's Management School and the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development, combining academic teaching with traditional Māori ways of learning. It is a unique MBA programme for Māori leaders that has been developed to foster indigenous ways of doing business. In 2011 the programme won the MBA Innovation Award from the London-based Association of MBAs (AMBA). Friday's graduation proceedings will be opened by Waikato Endowed Colleges Trust Chairperson John Heremia. Kīngi Tūheitia, Patron of the Waikato-Tainui College for Research & Development, will present the college taonga at the ceremony. The keynote speaker is Families Commission Chief Māori Adviser Dr Kathie Irwin.

Café Scientifique in search of new planets with astronomer Dr Grant Christie

This month, Tauranga's Café Scientifique will host Dr Grant Christie, astronomer at Auckland's Stardome Observatory and Planetarium. Dr Christie will provide an overview of new observational techniques that may allow the atmospheres of extra-solar planets to be studied, opening a pathway to the detection of life beyond the Earth. He will be noting both the surprises and the challenges of this rapidly developing field. Supported by the University of Waikato, Café Scientifique is a forum for discussing science issues, where anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. The next Café is on Monday, November 24 at 7pm at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Sulphur Point, Tauranga. Entry is $5 and refreshments are provided. For more information please visit:

Symposium looks for a better way with water

International experts from a range of backgrounds will discuss and develop a new idea for governing water at a collaborative symposium this month. The symposium will hear from High Court judge Sir Eddie Durie – also a former Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court and Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal – about ideas around water governance in the context of a Waitangi Tribunal hearing which ruled Māori had "rights akin to ownership" around water. Chair of the symposium organising committee, University of Waikato Senior Law Lecturer Linda Te Aho, says Sir Eddie's proposal is likely to involve an independent body to allocate water resources for the benefit of all. Along with Sir Eddie, other high profile guests at the symposium include Samoa's Head of State His Highness Tupua Tamasese Tupuola Tufuga Efi, French climate change expert Pierre Calame, New Zealand's first climate change ambassador Dr Adrian Macey and Dr Kapua'ala Sproat, director of the Environment Law Clinic at the University of Hawaii. The Law, Responsibility and Governance Symposium is being held at the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development at Hopuhopu from November 23-25.

Top scholarship for former Kaitaia College student

Former Kaitaia College student has been awarded one of 10 Golden Jubilee Scholarships from the University of Waikato. The Golden Jubilee Scholarships were awarded as part of the university's 50th anniversary this year and are worth up to $40,000 each. They have been awarded to students who have demonstrated a high level of academic excellence, leadership potential and community citizenship. John, who spent his final year of high school at Sacred Heart College in Auckland, will study towards a Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) at Waikato.

Conference of interest to policymakers

The InternationalAssociation for Contemporary Ethnography Across the Disciplines' third biennial hui is from November 25-28 at the University of Waikato. This methodological and methods conference circulating around the broad field of ethnography offers cultural understandings to policymakers. The conference theme is 'Sensual Landscapes in Ethnography', and many papers will explore the connections between lived sensory and sensual experiences and the contemporary world, between the personal and the public. Pre-conference presentations will include papers delivered in Spanish and Portuguese, workshops ranging from working with Harakeke plants, history, and context of Māori weaving; site-specific performance of research; participatory research; video ethnography practices; and civic engagement and study of sub-groups. Keynote presentations will discuss political engagement and performance; waka travels and rediscovery of ancestral knowledge; and a creative, participatory demonstration will show how performance can connect us to the land, traditions, and local sites. For more information, and to register, visit 

Our Futures: Te Pae Tawhiti Public Discussion in Hamilton

The authors of Our Futures: Te Pae Tawhiti review are touring the country and presenting its findings. The public is invited to hear about what an evolving New Zealand society might look like, what is underlying these changes, and the challenges and opportunities from a panel of local experts. These include University of Waikato academics Dr Tahu Kukutai, Emeritus Professor Richard Bedford, Professor Natalie Jackson and distinguished alumna Parekawhia McLean who will also share their views about the potential impacts of the changes in the region, and take part in an audience discussion with the Review's authors to discuss the trends and future implications of these changes. Our Futures: Te Pae Tawhiti Public Discussion is at 6pm on Thursday, November 20 at Waikato Museum, Hamilton. For more information visit

International visitors boost cyber security links

One of the Asia-Pacific region's top cyber security researchers is bringing his expertise to New Zealand's only cyber security lab and will take part in discussions on the groundbreaking $12 million STRATUS project. Aloysius Cheang is the Managing Director Asia Pacific for the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and actively contributes to the University of Waikato's Cyber Security Lab as a member of its Industry Advisory Group. While in New Zealand Mr Cheang will also give a series of public talks, plan research collaborations and contribute to the work being undertaken at the Cyber Security Lab. His visit coincides with that of two Singapore-based cyber security researchers – Associate Professor Steven Wong and Associate Professor Peter Loh - who will be discussing exchanges and potential collaborations between the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and the University of Waikato.

Gender roles and romantic relationships

Indian women born in New Zealand can face conflicting values when it comes to defining gender roles and establishing romantic relationships. The issue is being studied by University of Waikato masters student Ishta Singh. She says it can be difficult for young Indian women to align the values and culture of their families with the ideas they've picked up living in a more liberal New Zealand environment. For her study Ishta would like to talk to New Zealand-born Indian women aged between 18 and 25 through a series of focus groups to find out how they deal with issues such as arranged marriages and living in patriarchal relationships. She says her research may clarify why some women stay in abusive relationships. Ishta's supervisor, Dr Neville Robertson from the university's School of Psychology, says the research may also assist different service providers better deal with situations of family and culture conflict.

Philosophies in education

Delegates are coming from New Zealand and overseas to attend a philosophy of education conference being held in Hamilton this month, hosted by the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA) and organised by staff from the University of Waikato. The conference theme is education as philosophies of engagement and more than 150 people have registered so far. Conference convenor Dr Jayne White says the theme encompasses a wide intersection of philosophies and theories that draw attention to contemporary educational issues across a range of contexts and cultures. Guest speakers include Michael Apple, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and academics from Waikato University. The conference runs from November 22-25. For more information, visit

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