Media Advisory August 10

Te reo Māori celebrated on campus

This week (July 27-August 2), Aotearoa celebrates Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week. As part of the celebrations, the University of Waikato is showing its full support by running activities for staff, students and the wider community. There will be three presentations that are free and open to the public. Professor Pou Temara will give a presentation called Imagine today (Monday) from 12-2pm in room 1.01 in S Block. Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley will speak on language and culture on Tuesday July 28 from 12-2pm at Waikato Management School, room MSB.1.05. The third presentation is by the Honorable Te Ururoa Flavell on Friday July 31, from 3pm-4pm in room 1.05 in S Block. For more information visit

A new era without sanctions

Now that major world powers have concluded a nuclear agreement with Iran and economic sanctions will soon be lifted, Iran needs to put together a national foreign trade policy to develop a bilateral and regional trade negotiations strategy. Dr Sadeq Bigdeli, senior lecturer in law at the University of Waikato, has been appointed senior adviser and trade negotiator by Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine & Trade to oversee trade policy development. He says it’s an enormous challenge for a country that’s suffered for more than a decade from resource dependency and wide-ranging economic sanctions. Dr Bigdeli will give a public lecture next week titled Nuclear Deal: A Game-Changer in International Law and Diplomacy? He will talk about the underlying reasons for the success in closing the deal and what the areas of tension are that could potentially unravel the deal in the future. The lecture is on Wednesday August 5, 1pm-2pm in S.G.03 at the University of Waikato. Find out more.

Something for everyone at Winter Lecture Series

From discussing the quality of our water to things we never knew about the Tron – there’s something for everyone at the University of Waikato Winter Lecture Series. Free and open to the public, the series is held every Wednesday in August from 6pm-7pm and is designed to bring together experts and advocates from the community to spark debate and discussion. This year’s series opens next Wednesday, August 5 with “Things You Never Knew About the Waikato” with Te Radar, continuing with a conversation on New Zealand’s water quality and a panel discussion on whether or not New Zealand is really a multicultural society hosted by Raybon Kan. The series finishes on a light-hearted note with comedian Jan Maree hosting a panel of well-known Hamiltonians sharing what they love most about the Tron. For more information, visit the Winter Lecture Series website

Waikato University launches new event for parents

The University of Waikato is hosting its first parent information sessions in Hamilton and Tauranga to inform parents about what to expect when their children begin tertiary study. With half the year gone already, parents of children in their final year of secondary school are full of questions about tertiary study and how to help their children transition successfully into university. Group Manager Future Students Catherine Downes says the information sessions will give parents an opportunity to ask questions and receive guidance for making their child’s transition a smooth one. The inaugural events will include talks from various university and faculty staff who will share information about student support services, study costs, scholarships, the application process and the difference between school and university. The Hamilton session is on Thursday July 30 from 5.30pm-7pm in S Block on the Hamilton campus. The Tauranga session is on Thursday August 20 from 7pm-8.30pm at the ASB Arena, ASB Park Stadium. For more information visit

Women’s sport and good health

A symposium on the specific health needs of athletic girls and women is being organised by Sport and Leisure lecturers from the University of Waikato. It’s expected the two-day symposium on September 3 and 4 at Cambridge’s Avantidrome will attract sport and exercise scientists and researchers, health professionals, clinicians, trainers, educators and coaches who work with female athletes, parents, and athletes themselves. A key focus will be energy deficiency in women and the unique risks facing female athletes, particularly girls and women whose dietary intake doesn’t cover their energy expenditure, and the interrelated issues such as body image concerns, disordered eating practices, menstrual function, and bone health. Speakers are coming from New Zealand and overseas and include Professor Mary Jane De Souza Director of the Women’s Health and Exercise Lab at Penn State University in the US, and her colleague Professor Nancy Williams who specialises in nutrition and physiology. For more information, go to

Free lecture on the periodic table

The University of Waikato is to host one of the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Rutherford Lectures next month. The lecture is by Distinguished Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger FRSNZ (Massey University) and is called “Going super heavy the end of the periodic table of elements”. Professor Schwerdtfeger has received many awards, notably the Prince and Princess of Wales Science Award, Humboldt Research Prize, Fukui Medal and 2014 Rutherford Medal. His research is diverse, ranging from theoretical chemistry and physics to computer science and mathematics. He is the most highly-cited chemist and physicist in New Zealand and consistently advocates for a greater role for fundamental research in New Zealand universities. The first periodic table of the elements, proposed in 1869, was compiled by arranging the elements in ascending order of atomic weight, grouped by chemical properties. At that time it was not known how high in atomic weight the elements could go before becoming unstable and decaying. To book a seat, Register now. The lecture is free and open to the public, and is at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at 7.30pm on Tuesday August 11.

Baby sleep survey underway

Sleeping like a baby? Sounds simple, except when it is not. Infant sleep is one of the most challenging and controversial topics for parents and the professionals who support them. Opinions are varied and often strongly held. Dr Carrie Barber from the University of Waikato is running a study about how parents and caregivers of infants (under age two) manage night-time sleep - what they think, what they’ve tried, and what has worked or not worked for them. Dr Barber would like to hear people’s thoughts and experiences via an online survey that asks about parenting practices, beliefs, and feelings around sleep and infant care. The survey takes 15-20 minutes to complete and is for parents or primary caregivers of children under two years old. Waikato student Horiana Jones is doing a more in-depth study of the experiences of Māori parents with infant sleep practices. Māori interested in meeting with Horiana for an interview can indicate their interest when they take the online survey, or contact Horiana directly at The survey is at

Game On at Waikato

A University of Waikato programme is helping a dozen Japanese teenagers improve their rugby skills and getting a better grasp of the English language. The Game On English programme is being hosted by Waikato University’s Pathways College and supported by the Waikato Rugby Union (WRU). The Under-17 players are involved in a three-week programme from July 17 until August 7 of rugby training and English lessons, along with cultural activities. Game On English was developed by Education New Zealand and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade with an aim to improve the English skills and sporting ability of Japan’s young people. The team will train with and play the Hamilton Boys’ High School U16 team and train at the UniRec gym on campus. They’ll attend WRU events including an ITM Cup pre-season game and on Wednesday August 5 there will be a farewell function and certificate ceremony at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.

Free pregnancy workshops

Pregnancy is a time of change - physical, social, financial and psychological. These changes can be exciting and joyful, but also challenging and stressful. University of Waikato psychologist Dr Carrie Barber has a special interest in fostering wellbeing and healthy coping during pregnancy. Dr Barber and fellow psychologist Bridgette Masters-Awatere have developed a series of free workshops to help pregnant women and their partners or support people. The workshops are intended to offer ideas about how to manage the psychological challenges and changes of pregnancy. The workshops run for four weeks, on Saturday mornings from 10am-11.30am in Hamilton. The first workshop is tentatively booked for Saturday August 1, and the series will be repeated several times over the next few months. Each session will include information, self-assessment activities, and discussion. Pregnant women and partners/support person can attend the workshops at any time during their pregnancy or even in the planning stages before pregnancy. Registrations are essential. To register, contact: Dr Carrie Barber, 07 837 9921, or, or Bridgett Masters-Awatere, 07 837 9228, or

Inspiring panel discussion featuring renowned New Zealand artists

A panel discussion by New Zealand creative experts will take place at the University of Waikato’s Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts next month. The on-stage conversation 'Creative Confluences: Merging art practices and inter-disciplinary collaborations' will be led by Julianne Pierce, Chair of the Emerging and Experimental Arts Strategy Panel of the Australia Council and Creative Producer of the Adelaide Fringe Festival. The panel will also consist of renowned New Zealand artists, academics and cultural innovators – Lisa Reihana, Deborah Lawler-Dormer and Jennifer Gillam. Taking place on Thursday August 13 at 7pm, the event follows on from the launch of Reuben Paterson’s exhibition. It aims to bring together diverse communities and individuals in order to expand their interest in multidisciplinary interactions and cross-disciplinary processes. 'Creative Confluences’ is a free event and open to the general public.

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