Media Advisory 22 August

Improving outcomes in cancer diagnosis and treatment
A team of researchers at the University of Waikato believes involving primary care can help improve outcomes and reduce inequity from cancer. Led by Professor of Population Health Ross Lawrenson, the Midlands Cancer Study looked at patients with prostate and breast cancer in the Midland region and found there was a disparity in provision of primary care and the diagnosis and outcomes of cancer between Māori and non-Māori. Compared to New Zealand European men and women, Māori were more likely to get tested or screened for cancer less often and experienced significantly higher rates of advanced and higher grade cancers. Professor Lawrenson says there are several opportunities for improving health outcomes, such as improving access for GPs to diagnostic services and improving health literacy.
Contact: Nicola Lee, 07 838 4401, or

Robotic hand research benefits from $30,000 scholarshipA University of Waikato PhD student is one of two people in New Zealand to be awarded a $30,000 Rose Hellaby Postgraduate Scholarship. Hamiltonian Mahonri Owen from the School of Engineering was awarded the scholarship, which is available to Māori students with a record of proven academic excellence undertaking Masters or PhD postgraduate study in the fields of engineering, mathematics, science, technology or medicine. Mahonri has been working on a brain-controlled prosthetic hand and has created a new prototype, an improvement on the more mechanical-looking one he produced earlier in the year. The prosthesis uses electroencephalography (EEG) to execute basic movements.  
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, or

Expansion of Te Ara ki Angitū: Pathways to ExcellenceAn initiative launched by the University of Waikato last year in South Waikato is being extended to other schools and communities across the wider Waikato region. Te Ara ki Angitū: Pathways to Excellence focuses on making the university more accessible to students of regional secondary schools and communities of the Waikato. The programme provides students with additional support to assist with the transition to university study, including a subsidised daily bus service (to and from selected Waikato towns), the availability of fees scholarships worth up to $5000, and a whānau/common room on campus. From 2017, the programme will be available to students from the Otorohanga and Waitomo districts, Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako and North Waikato districts. Students who join the programme can apply for Te Ara ki Angitū scholarships online until 14 September and will commence study in 2017. The DV Bryant Trust, a strong supporter of the university and one of the longest-running philanthropic trusts in the Waikato, has come on board as a major sponsor, joining ANZ, Mighty River Power and Raukawa Charitable Trust.
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, 027 5511 821, or

University prepares for Kīngitanga Day Kīngitanga Day is an annual event that recognises the University of Waikato’s unique identity, distinctive culture and special relationships with Waikato-Tainui, other iwi and especially the Kīngitanga. This year’s programme features a guest panel of speakers from different iwi and backgrounds who will give their perspectives on the concept of kotahitanga (unity). On the guest panel is Che Wilson from the Ministry of the Environment, Taumata Associates director Dr Will Edwards, Reserve Bank director Tania Simpson and Veronica Tawhai, a lecturer in policy and politics at Massey University. There will also be a range of talks and other panel discussions, including Haoura Māori with Waikato University’s Professor Ross Lawrenson, Dr Tom Roa and Dr Tahu Kukutai who will discuss key issues in Māori health. Presentations are mostly in English but some are in Te Reo Māori. No classes are scheduled on the day, which gives staff and students a chance to get involved. Kīngitanga Day is on September 8, starts at 9am, all activities are free and the community is welcome to attend. For more information, and to see the full programme and speaker list, visit
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, 027 5511 821, or

Waikato Uni students run for refugees
A group of four University of Waikato students are running the Auckland half-marathon on October 30 to raise awareness and money for refugees. The proceeds from their Givealittle page will go to New Zealand Red Cross and Soles for Syria. Law students Shaymaa Arif and Caitlin Tucker, and management students Emily van Arendonk and Nina Fox say it’s a cause worth running for. Shaymaa is of Iraqi-Syrian decent and says it’s heart-breaking to see all the displaced people in the Middle East. She says if they have to travel hundreds of kilometres, the least she can do is run 21. Shaymaa’s work in promoting justice and peace in the Middle East made her a finalist in the 2015 Waikato’s Women of Influence Awards, and she has no intention of slowing down. For more information and to support the team, visit
Contact: Megan Burton-Brown, 07 838 4419, or

Performance receives national award
The unique bilingual performance At the End of My Hands has been awarded an Arts Access Aotearoa Award in recognition of the community impact and partnership between the University of Waikato, Deaf Aotearoa, Equal Voices Arts Company and Bill Hopkinson of Edge University, UK. This award, officially named the Arts Access CQ Hotels Community Partnership Award, was presented to the University of Waikato’s Dr Laura Haughey, who directed the piece in collaboration with Equal Voices, at Parliament recently. Since first taking to the stage in Hamilton in May 2015, the performance has received rave reviews and has been delivered to sell-out audiences. It also received considerable support from the New Zealand Sign Language Fund, which enabled the company to take the production on a nation-wide tour. At The End of My Hands is performed in both New Zealand Sign Language and English and is accessible to both Deaf and hearing audiences.
Contact: Dr Laura Haughey, 07 837 9196, or

Scholarship for high-achievers
The University of Waikato has launched a new scholarship for high-achieving school leavers. Te Paewai o Te Rangi: The University of Waikato Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement is worth up to $25,000 over three years and will be awarded on the basis of academic excellence, leadership potential, and community citizenship. There’ll be 20 scholarships available each year, and the money may be applied to tuition fees and, where applicable, Halls of Residence fees.  Applications for Te Paewai o Te Rangi in 2017 close August 31.
Contact: Nicola Lee, 07 838 4401, or

Pacific students get boost to study
Applications are open for the University of Waikato’s Edna Money Future Pacific Leaders’ Scholarship, a school leaver scholarship that provides support for Pacific students to achieve academically and develop leadership skills through a tailored leadership and personal development programme. The scholarship, worth $6000 a year for up to three years, is given to students of Pacific descent who excel academically and demonstrate significant leadership potential. It was established from a $1 million bequest by the late Morrinsville farmer and accountant Edna Money, who passed away in 2013 aged 94. Applications for the Edna Money Future Pacific Leaders’ Scholarship close August 31. More information about the scholarship and how to apply can be found on the university’s website.
Contact: Melody Downs, 07 838 4094, or

Strings to their bows
Some of the world’s finest concert cellists will be performing and teaching at the Waikato International Cello Fest 2016 until August 28 at the University of Waikato. The international cast includes Wolfgang Schmidt and Li-Wei Qin, two of the world’s best, and they’ll be joined by leading professors from the Paris Conservatoire, Philippe Muller, and the “rock-star” from New York’s Juilliard, Richard Aaron. For students who have signed up, it will be a chance to learn from and impress the international guests who will be taking master classes.  It’s not just Waikato cello students who will be participating; cello students from Australia, Singapore, Switzerland and the UK have also registered. Members of the public can attend all of the classes for $5 a session and for $100, audience members can pair the masterclass attendance with a few concerts during the week.  For more information visit
Contact: Nick Braae,

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