Media Advisory February 23

Applications open for Fieldays scholarship

Applications are now open for the 2015 New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays Sir Don Llewellyn Scholarship. Established in 2012, the scholarship is funded by the National Agricultural Fieldays Society and is worth up to $22,000 for one year of graduate study at the University of Waikato. It's aimed at graduate students undertaking research in the agricultural sector. Previous winners' projects have focused on addressing issues currently facing the agricultural industry, such as cost of environmental compliance in the dairy industry and the properties of flipped soil in drought-prone areas. The scholarship is open to domestic students enrolling at the University of Waikato to undertake research at a master's or doctoral level. Applications close March 20. For more information, visit

Habitat Build on campus starts this week

Staff and students at the University of Waikato are putting down their laptops and books and picking up hammers and nails to be part of a Habitat Build taking place on campus this week and next. The blitz build is a collaborative project between Habitat for Humanity and the university. The project will see staff and students volunteering their time or money to build a four-bedroom house in eight days which will then be moved to Tirau. The building site will be located next to the university's Gate 2B, Knighton Road. Building will start on Wednesday, February 25 and finish on Friday, March 6 at the end of O'Week.

Entries open on secondary schools mooting competition

Registrations of interest for the annual University of Waikato Te Piringa – Faculty of Law Secondary Schools' Mooting competition close on 7 March. Since 2001 the competition has grown to include schools from Hawke's Bay, Taranaki, Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. Members of the winning team win book vouchers and a $3000 scholarship to assist with the first year of study at Te Piringa - Faculty of Law, University of Waikato. This year's competition has been boosted by Hamilton law firm McCaw Lewis Lawyers, which has offered extra prizes for participants. In addition to the $3000 scholarships awarded to each member of the winning team, McCaw Lewis Lawyers is offering work experience for all this year's finalists. Up to six students will be able to gain an insight into the everyday life of a law firm and gain valuable experience working on real legal projects. McCaw Lewis will also provide cash prizes to participants, with a total cash prize pool of $2,500. Full details of the competition, including how to enter, are available here.

Sustainability from many angles

The University of Waikato is holding a sustainability symposium tomorrow, February 24, that has drawn researchers from across campus to look at sustainability from numerous perspectives. Topics include soil, food and water, community engagement, politics and policy, indigenous practices, psychology, energy, education, human rights, transport, economics and environmental planning. The aim is to make researchers more aware of different projects taking place. About 50 academics will be presenting on the day, grouped into different streams with sessions running concurrently. The afternoon sessions will be open to a wider audience and key university stakeholders are being invited to attend. For more information and a detailed programme for the symposium, visit

New students' orientation week

This week (Tuesday, February 24 - Friday, February 27) the University of Waikato is running events for new students. Activities include a pōwhiri at 10am at the University marae and Halls of Residence Top Town competition at 1.30pm on Wednesday. On Thursday, international students will take part in the Amazing Race around campus from 2.30pm at the Student Centre.

Snowboarder and clarinettist win medals

International snowboarder and Waikato alumna Natalie Good is back in New Zealand recovering from a broken leg instead of training on the slopes in northern Japan. Her unscheduled visit home means she will be able to pick up her 2014 Sir Edmund Hillary medal in person. Each year the University of Waikato awards two Hillary medals to top scholars, one for sport and the other for performing arts. Ms Good, who completed a BMS/LLB(Hons) at the University of Waikato, was a gold medallist in the slopestyle at the last World Winter Universiade and was then one of three competitors to be awarded a Universiade scholarship, which she put towards international travel and training. She still hopes to qualify for the 2018 winter Olympics. The performing arts Hillary medallist for 2014 is clarinettist Nathaniel Smorti, who last year completed his Master of Music and is now studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in music performance at Waikato.

Embedded with Kia Magic

Barefoot water-skier and former rep netballer Shannon O'Donnell is the recipient of the University of Waikato - Kia Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic doctoral scholarship, which will give her a stipend of $22,000 a year for three years, plus domestic tuition fees, as she studies performance enhancement and recovery in elite netball players. It will mean Shannon going "on the road" with the Magic, attending all games throughout the ANZ Championship season to collect on-court data for detailed analysis. She says a lot of the research into the demands and performance of players is now outdated and doesn't correspond to what we're asking of netballers in the professional era. She'll be looking to update that, develop new physical performance tests specifically designed for netball, and also looking at ways to improve recovery following training and competition.

Geothermal minerals laws clarified

A new report by a leading natural resources legal expert aims to clear up issues around the ownership of minerals found in geothermal fluids. Professor Barry Barton from the University of Waikato's Te Piringa - Faculty of Law and director of the Centre for Environmental, Resources and Energy Law, has completed his research into the issue. His role was to establish the legal framework around the ownership of the minerals found in geothermal fluids. He found that under the Resource Management Act, those with water rights also had rights to minerals in the water, but the issue got more complicated if the Crown Minerals Act was involved. It came down to a statutory interpretation of the word 'mining' and whether the removal of minerals from geothermal fluids could be considered mining. His report looks at the issue from different aspects, including commercial, property rights and Treaty of Waitangi claims.

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