Media Advisory October 5

University women making their mark

Several women with University of Waikato connections are finalists in the Westpac Women of Influence Awards. Law and political science student Shayma Arif is a finalist in the Young Leaders category while Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Lands Trust chief executive and 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award winner Parekawhia McLean is a finalist in the Community and Not for Profit section. Other finalists with connections to Waikato include Rosemary Hinewirangi Kohu-Morgan, Merryn Straker, Rebecca Jackson, Robin Peace and Chris Duggan from Tauranga’s House of Science, which is supported by the university. The Women of Influence Programme is designed to identify, recognise and celebrate the 100 most influential women shaping New Zealand across 10 categories: Arts and Culture, Board and Management, Business Enterprise, Community and Not for Profit, Diversity, Global, Innovation, Public Policy and Rural. The winners will be announced on November 4.

Mike Chunn speaks tonight to inspire Hillary scholars

Former member of Split Enz and the Citizen Band, Mike Chunn is the keynote speaker at this year’s Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Leadership Pathway event tonight, Monday October 5 at 5.30pm at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. Chunn is also the former Director of New Zealand operations for the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Currently CEO of Play It Strange Trust, which he founded in April 2004, he has published several books, including the Split Enz biography: Stranger Than Fiction. Chunn was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music in the 2002 Queen’s Birthday Honours. He was promoted to Companion of the same order for services to music and mental health awareness in the 2015 New Year Honours. Past speakers at this event include actress Miranda Harcourt, Olympic and Atlantic rower Rob Hamill, and Jamie Fitzgerald, founder and CEO of management consultancy Inspiring Performance, who shared his stories and insights from First Crossings TV show. The Leadership Pathway event is part of the university’s Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship programme, providing academic, sporting and leadership programmes to Hillary scholars.

Literary Encounters to be relived in Sargeson Lecture

Poet, critic, dramatist and soon-to-be fiction writer Murray Edmond will take the audience on a memoir-based journey through key literary encounters in the annual University of Waikato Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture. Like Sargeson, Edmond grew up in Hamilton and his formative literary experiences come from their shared roots. In his lecture, Edmond will evoke his youthful and formative meetings with well-known New Zealand literary figures including Sargeson, Kendrick Smithyman, Mary Stanley, James K. Baxter, Hone Tuwhare, R.A.K.Mason, Denis Glover and Charles Brasch. Edmond has published 13 books of poems. Letters and Paragraphs (1987) and Fool Moon (2005) were New Zealand Book Awards finalists. He has also been active in experimental and innovative theatre companies and currently works as the dramaturge for Indian Ink Theatre Company. The 13th annual Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture ‘Who Would a Would-Be Be: Literary Encounters’ is on Wednesday October 14 at 5.30pm in S.1.02 (S Block), University of Waikato. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Free lecture on gravity’s telescope

The University of Waikato is the venue for a lecture by Dr Nicholas Rattenbury. Dr Rattenbury is a Rutherford Discovery Fellow in the Department of Physics at the University of Auckland, and a member of a Japan/New Zealand collaboration that uses the largest telescope in New Zealand to detect extra-solar planets. Nearly 2000 planets have been discovered orbiting stars other than our own Sun. In this Ten by Ten talk, Dr Rattenbury describes how New Zealand has contributed to the discovery of extra-solar planets using a phenomenon predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity – the bending of light by gravity. The lecture is on Thursday October 29 at 7pm in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at Waikato University. The lecture is free and open to the public, but to ensure a seat please RSVP at

Future Focus for managers and leaders

The University of Waikato’s Management School is hosting an event in Tauranga to discuss succession planning, leadership and management, generalists v specialists, global understanding and innovation, and thought leadership. It’ll also cover the requirements of the Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies – the first half of Waikato’s MBA – that can be studied while working full-time and includes much of the content that’ll be touched on at the Tauranga event. The Future Focus for Managers and Leaders event is on Thursday October 29 from 5pm at the Harbourview Room, Hotel Armitage, Tauranga. Priority One is a sponsor of this event.

House of Science a winner

Tauranga’s House of Science took out the Supreme Award at the 2015 Trustpower Tauranga Community Awards. House of Science is based at the University of Waikato’s Coastal Marine Research Field Station at Sulphur Point, and provides science resources to local school children, up to 1000 a week, professional development for science teachers and links them to the wider science community. Local businesses have provided more than $35,000 worth of resources, and with the University of Waikato’s Field Station, the House runs community open days and uses Waikato University scientists to run scholarship sessions for high school students. It’s all part of an effort to retain young people in the region to live and work and to show them the potential and variety to be found in the sciences. House of Science will represent the Bay of Plenty at the national Trustpower Community Awards early next year.

Invisible revolution the subject of new prof’s lecture

We’re living in a revolution, but most people are unaware of it, says University of Waikato’s Professor Bernhard Pfahringer who will deliver his Inaugural Professorial Lecture on October 13. Professor Pfahringer says the information gathered from devices such as Smart Metres installed to measure our electricity consumption, and fitness trackers that record exercise and even track sleep patterns is what data collectors look at. From this information, it’s possible to identify patterns that can be useful to predict future trends or preferences. Professor Pfahringer first came to the university as a post-doctoral research fellow in 1996 to work in the Machine Learning Group in the Computer Science Department and went on to join the staff in 2000, bringing his family with him from Austria. Professor Pfahringer’s lecture Dawn of the Age of Data is on Tuesday October 13 at 6pm at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The Opus Bar will be open from 5pm.

Business challenge asks students to find cream in the milk business

As global dairy prices plunge, Hamilton-based manufacturer Waikato Milking Systems knows its future success depends on growing their international markets, and designing better products than their competitors. Teams of third-year management students at the University of Waikato have stepped up to the challenge of acting as ‘business consultants’ to the company, as they compete for a $2500 cash prize in the 39th Waikato Management School Case Competition. With just two weeks to do their research and write a report, each of the four finalist teams in the competition will present their long-term growth strategies for Waikato Milking Systems to a panel of judges on Wednesday October 14. Judges include University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley and Professor of Agribusiness Jacqueline Rowarth, Mark McCabe (Partner at PWC), Nicole Measures (Waikato Milking Systems), and Andrew Johnson (MD of Lightwire and IT Partners). This free public event starts at 6.30pm in the PWC lecture theatre, MSB1.04, Waikato Management School, Hillcrest Road, Hamilton.

Refugee stories form theme of theatre students’ play

The current refugee crisis, as well as the history of refugee movements, forms the base of an original play production taking place in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts next week. Devised by University of Waikato Theatre Studies’ students and directed by senior lecturer Dr Laura Haughey, Sea and Smoke is a physically bold production which tells the stories of children throughout time who have to journey away from their parents and their home to be safe. The production pulls from both the current crisis and other refugee stories, all the way back to the Kindertransport of World War II. Sea and Smoke is on October 14-16 at 7.30pm in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. Seats are limited and bookings can be made through Hannah Wright at Tickets are $10 (cash sales only at the door).

Waste issues addressed in new book

University of Waikato Law Professor Alexander Gillespie has found time between teaching, research and media commitments to publish a new book, about waste. Professor Gillespie says he wrote Waste Policy: International Regulation, Comparative and Contextual Perspectives because waste is one of the less glamourous environmental stories, yet it’s one that every citizen is connected to, unlike so many things that appear distant, such as whales and climate change. He says it’s a problem that’s getting bigger all the time, because we’re all consuming so much more, from electronic waste to food waste. The book examines the size of the problem, considers how it’s evolving, assesses the legal and political implications and discusses existing and future solutions. For more information visit

Marketing students discover life begins at retirement

What kind of products are consumers looking for once their children have flown the nest and they’ve retired from work? About 230 marketing students from the University of Waikato’s Management School will present their quirky and brilliant ideas for new products for retired people at a marketing trade show this Friday October 9. The trade show is a practical assignment for the first-year marketing paper MKTG151, where teams of students compete for prizes and prestige by developing a price, promotional and distribution strategy for their own hypothetical product, and then try to sell it to the judges. Students were asked to stop thinking of retirees as ‘old people’, as many today are keen adventurers who pursue active hobbies, such as hiking, travel, or even skydiving. Other retirees have health issues, so students needed to find solutions for everyday tasks that would improve people’s quality of life. Members of the public are welcome to come along, 5pm-8pm, level one Management School Building (MSB1), parking off Silverdale Road.

Second prize for uni student

University of Waikato student Raveena Singh took second place in the Miss IndiaNZ competition in Auckland last month. Raveena was born and raised in Morrinsville, and is in the second year of her law degree. The Miss IndiaNZ competition is in its 13th year and celebrates the coming together of Kiwi and Indian cultures.

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