Media Advisory January 27

Waikato University professors awarded Rockefeller Grant

Two University of Waikato professors, Debashish Munshi and Priya Kurian, have been awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Grant to organise and host a major international symposium on climate justice, not in Hamilton, but in Bellagio, Italy. The three-day symposium in July will bring together climate justice organisations and grassroots activists with public intellectuals and scholars from across the natural, physical and social sciences. The Rockefeller Foundation supports projects that are likely to have a positive impact on global communities and likes to see unlikely partnerships that scan sectors, which is what this collection of people will certainly be, says Professor Munshi. He says there'll be a strong emphasis on issues affecting climate change in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Pacific, because people from low- and medium-income countries are often under-represented at international conferences through a lack of resources. As well as funding the conference, the Rockefeller Foundation covers travel costs for all participants from developing countries and provides meals and accommodation.

Waikato University recruiters at information evenings

Student recruitment advisers from the University of Waikato will attend information sessions in Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua and Auckland in coming weeks. Advisers will talk to potential students about the flexibility of study at the University of Waikato, student life and academic choices. Advisers will also be available discuss options with students who may have missed out on gaining UE in the recent NCEA exams. Hamilton sessions are on campus on 17 February from 10am-6pm at the Student Centre. Tomorrow, 28 January, there is an information session in Rotorua from 9am-6pm in 'O' Block, Mokoia Campus, Waiariki Institute of Technology. To register for a 30-minute programme planning appointment, email Information sessions are in Auckland on 29 January for school-leavers and on 12 February for non-school-leavers. Both run from 5.30pm-7pm at Gasket Espresso Kitchen, 23 Kalmia Street, Ellerslie. To register for a 30-minute programme planning appointment, visit

Postgraduate study information sessions

Anyone interested in a career as a future business leader can attend information sessions at the University of Waikato for the Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and the Master of Business Administration. Both qualifications have flexible, part-time study options designed to fit around busy schedules. The Hamilton information session is on campus on 3 February at 6pm in B Block (room BG.24), Hillcrest Road. The Tauranga information session is on 29 January at 5.30pm in the Bongard Centre (room DT.106), 200 Cameron Road. The Postgraduate Diploma programme starts in February, while the MBA programme starts in March. To register for either session, email For more information phone 0800 800 891 or see

Leaping around campus

The country's best parkour practitioners will be heading to the University of Waikato over Waitangi Weekend when it hosts the New Zealand National Parkour Gathering. The university campus has been home to Hamilton's parkour community for about 10 years and is regarded as one of the most popular training locations in the country, with its diverse terrain providing challenges to beginner and experienced practitioners. On Saturday 7 February, parkour enthusiasts will be training at locations around the campus from 10am to 5pm. The event is free to attend and open to the public. Parkour involves the adaptation of movement to overcome physical obstacles and involves running, jumping, rolling, balancing, swinging, climbing and vaulting.

More than $500k in postgraduate scholarships on offer

The University of Waikato has six flagship research institutes each offering a doctoral scholarship worth up to $85,000 to international and domestic applicants, and a masters scholarship worth $12,000 available to domestic applicants. The research institutes support world-class research in environmental science, demography and economic analysis, business and leadership, professional learning and development, education, and Māori and indigenous development. They fund programmes that span research from discovery to application and commercialisation. Sustainability in all its forms – environmental, economic, social and cultural – is a strong theme across the Institutes. The Institutes offering the scholarships are the Environmental Research Institute (ERI), the Institute for Business Research (IBR), the Institute of Professional Learning: Te Whai Toi Tangata (IPL), the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA), Te Kotahi Research Institute (TKRI), and the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research (WMIER). Awardees of both the doctoral and masters scholarships are required to study full-time. For more information about the scholarship go here.

Unlikely reunion recognises legacy

When Rewiri Waaka shook hands with Jim Bolger late last year, it was more significant than simply a first-year student meeting the Chancellor of the University of Waikato. The pair had met before and Rewiri has photographic evidence. Twenty years ago in Wellington, Mr Bolger was Prime Minister of New Zealand and Rewiri was an eight-week-old baby. Their initial meeting took place at Parliament, where Rewiri's mother Claudine Waitere had travelled to hear the historic 1995 Tainui Treaty of Waitangi Raupatu Settlement passed into law. She got the train to Wellington and walked to Parliament, where a photographer asked if he could take a photo of the young mother and her small baby with the Prime Minister. That photo made the newspapers and hung on the wall of Rewiri's bedroom as he grew up. Rewiri is now at the University of Waikato, where he is enrolled in a BA on the total immersion Te Tohu Paetahu programme. With the Raupatu Settlement's 20th anniversary this year, Claudine says Rewiri is the living embodiment of her hopes from two decades ago. She was asked how the settlement would help her son and replied that it would help him through an educational grant. Twenty years later, that dream has come true. Mr Bolger and Rewiri met again recently at the University of Waikato.

Waikato appoints Nottingham prof to Wellington job

The University of Waikato has appointed former University of Nottingham professor Trevor Drage as its full-time research development manager based in Wellington. Dr Drage is tasked with developing and maintaining networks for the University of Waikato in key government and industry sectors and other research organisations based in the capital. His own research is in sustainable energy technology, where he sees opportunities to develop in New Zealand, particularly in the area of fossil energy and carbon capture and storage. He's been lead or co-investigator in numerous UK and EU energy research projects worth a total £24 million and was part of a team that secured funding to establish the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre. Dr Drage played a pivotal role in defining UK science initiatives and has experience advising policymakers and assisting with international collaborations in China, Malaysia, South Korea and Australia. Skills he says he's keen to apply to a new career in New Zealand.

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