Media Advisory April 4

Academic director appointed to lead Tauranga CBD campus development
The University of Waikato has appointed Associate Professor Ken Perszyk to the position of Academic Director – Tauranga CBD Campus Development. He takes up the position in July. Dr Perszyk is currently an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington and for the past 11 years headed the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science & International Relations - the largest School at Victoria. Waikato University Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Alister Jones says the appointment of an Academic Director is another important milestone for the Tauranga CBD campus development which the university is leading on behalf of the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership. The new campus will open in central Tauranga by 2020.
Contact: Anthea McLeary, 07 557 8960, or

Google Hangout to discuss US elections and the Trump phenomenon
In response to the rise and rise of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate in the upcoming US elections, four University of Waikato academics will take part in a Google Hangout on April 13 to discuss, among other things, how Trump became so popular, what are the implications of a Trump presidency for New Zealand, and who would be the best choice for president. The Google Hangout will feature Professor Dan Zirker - political science, Professor Lynda Johnston - geography, tourism and environmental planning, Dr Reuben Steff - political science and public policy, and PhD student Debrin Foxcroft - political science. Questions can be sent through to the panel via the University of Waikato’s Facebook page. The hangout is on Wednesday April 13 from 1pm-1.45pm and can be viewed at .
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, or

Honorary Doctorates for former Vice-Chancellor and bishops
The University of Waikato will confer three Honorary Doctorates this month: former Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Roy Crawford, Archbishop Sir David Moxon and Emeritus Bishop Denis Browne. Emeritus Professor Crawford is being recognised at graduation on April 19 for his contribution to engineering and his former leadership of the University. Archbishop Sir David, currently the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See in Rome, and former Bishop of Hamilton Emeritus Bishop Denis are being jointly recognised on April 21 for their leadership and contributions to the Waikato community. An Honorary Doctorate is the highest honour the University bestows and is awarded to those who have made significant contributions to the University, the Waikato region and wider New Zealand community.
Contact: Nicola Lee, 07 838 4401, or

Leading environmental economist to give his inaugural lecture
‘Old dirt, new boots: the economics of land, water and people’ is the title of an inaugural lecture being given by Professor Graeme Doole, one  of New Zealand’s leading environmental economists, at the University of Waikato on Tuesday, April 12. Professor Doole has spent the past decade researching the environmental problems associated with agriculture, such as loss of contaminants from farms into waterways. He acts as an economic adviser to the Ministry for the Environment, in a joint position co-funded by the University of Waikato. A key part of his role is helping central and regional government develop insights into the economic impact of new policies to significantly improve the water quality of New Zealand’s rivers, lakes and streams. Professor Doole says we need to think more urgently, and find cheap, simple options to achieve some quick environmental gains. He asks if there is a role for public funding to speed up the fencing of streams and establish wetland systems on farms. This free public lecture will be held at the University’s Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, from 5.15pm-6pm on April 12. Free parking is available in the Gate 1 carpark from 4.30pm. Inaugural professorial lectures are the university’s way of introducing its newest professors to the community.
Contact: Professor Graeme Doole, 021 102 3095, 07 838 4134, or

Get the jump on future of ag-tech at University of Waikato event
A Tauranga business leader helping Kiwi technology entrepreneurs break into Silicon Valley is the guest speaker at a free event being hosted by the University of Waikato’s Management School in Hamilton tomorrow, Tuesday, April 5. The talk, ‘The future of ag-tech with Peter Wren-Hilton’, is open to alumni and members of the public. Numbers are limited, so please register online at Mr Wren-Hilton is the founder of The Meteoroid Program, an accelerator programme that helps Kiwi start-up ag-tech companies to connect with entrepreneur and investor networks in Silicon Valley, and get them ready to launch on the global market. Mr Wren-Hilton says emerging new digital technologies - such as robotics, drones, sensors, digitalisation and big data – are having a significant impact on agri-business opportunities, and will enable Kiwi companies to become even more profitable, productive and sustainable on a global scale.
Contact: Aimee Burness, 07 838 4540, or

American e-learning expert presents to New Zealand educators in April
Well-known international academic and corporate trainer in e-learning, Professor Curt Bonk from Indiana University, will be speaking at the national ‘DEANZ2016’ Conference hosted at the University of Waikato from April 17-20. Professor Bonk is an authority on emerging technologies for learning and will offer insights into the intersection of business, education, psychology and technology. Professor Bonk will give a keynote speech on Education 3.0 and its impact on educators and trainers, and conduct a workshop on how to effectively engage learners in this digital era. The conference has attracted educators, corporate trainers and professional developers working in open, distance, flexible and mobile learning. It is open to anyone interested in this fast developing field of open and flexible education.
Contact: Dr Elaine Khoo, 07 838 4466 ext 6260, or

Leading the charge
Electric vehicles (EVs) are considered important for tackling climate change and its associated impacts, but it’s a challenge to get driver uptake. The Centre for Environmental, Resources and Energy Law (CEREL) at the University of Waikato and the Better NZ Trust are giving people the chance to see EVs in a display on the Hamilton campus next Monday, April 11. The EVs are on a road trip spanning the length of the country, and during the Hamilton stop there’ll be a workshop to provide insight into the obstacles that EVs have faced in the US, an overview of University of Waikato research into EV policy choices for New Zealand, and into teaching EV engineering to equip the workforce of the future. The EV display will take place between the Law Faculty and Student Centre from 11.30am-12.30pm and the workshop will be at the Academy of Performing Arts 1pm-2pm.
Contact: Diana Maliseva, 07 838 4466 ext 6477, or

Launch of new Pāngarau app
Te Aka Matua Pāngarau is an exciting new app for tamariki in Māori and dual medium settings. This app was created as part of the University of Waikato’s Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora - Programmes for Students project delivered in 2015 by The Institute of Professional Learning: Te Whai Toi Tangata. This app is designed to supplement learning in kura but also provide a useful tool for whānau to play and work alongside their tamariki at home. Teachers can use this app in class to support tamariki who are Stage 4 or 5 in Number to practice and consolidate their knowledge. The official launch of this app was held at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tupoho in Whanganui on March 30. This app is free and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or the Apple Store.
Contact: Leeana Herewini, 07 858 5605, or

Waikato Uni supports girls in tech
University of Waikato senior tutor Nilesh Kanji and his organisation GirlsInC is launching a ‘Girls GameMaker Competition’ later this month. The initiative aims to encourage female high school students to explore digital technology, in response to the major drop-off rates of girls doing computer-based subjects at school. The competition will run Friday 29 - Saturday 30 April, from 8am - 6pm each day. Teams of two will work together to create a computer game using GameMaker software. Staff will be available to give guidance and free lunch is provided to participants. To take part, students can register individually or in pairs online. Individual registrations will be matched on the day. Training sessions for those unfamiliar with the GameMaker software are on Wednesday 20 - Friday 22 April, from 12pm-5pm each day. This free event is sponsored by Google, The University of Waikato and Event Cinemas. Visit for more information.
Contact: Nilesh Kanji, 07 858 5047, or

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