Media Advisory 29 August

Waikato researchers win National Science Challenge funding
A team of University of Waikato social science researchers have been successful in securing funding for a Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge project. Dr Patrick Barrett, Professor Priya Kurian and Dr Naomi Simmonds have received a grant of nearly $300,000 from the Challenge’s new Innovation Fund for their research on the Maketu Estuary. The Waikato project is the only social science grant among the eight successful scientific research projects announced by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce. The Waikato group’s project will map the complex participatory processes that led to a unique community-backed marine ecosystem restoration strategy for the Ongatoro/Maketu Estuary. The research will draw on social science and Kaupapa Māori methodology to understand the process of designing sustainable collaborative arrangements in the context of the marine environment.
Contact: Rebecca Robinson, 07 838 4608, 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 for 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, 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

University hosts Applicant Day in Hamilton
The University of Waikato will host its second annual Applicant Day on campus on Saturday September 17 from 9am-2pm. Applicant Day is a chance for applicants and their families to visit the University of Waikato, speak one-to-one with faculty staff and students about study options and paper selections, and receive information necessary to complete an application to study. Applicants can also learn about scholarships, student support, the Halls of Residence, careers, and sports and cultural clubs on campus. Register attendance to go in the draw to win an Apple iPad Air 2
Contact: Catherine Downes, 07 838 4156, or

What’s wrong with our justice system?
One of New Zealand’s longest-serving judges, the Honourable Sir Ron Young, will address issues in New Zealand’s justice system when he gives the annual Harkness Henry Lecture at the University of Waikato next week.  Sir Ron will outline how the right of a defendant to a fair trial and the public’s right to a fair and properly funded criminal justice system have been compromised, stemming from a variety of sources, including reduced legal aid for defence lawyers, unavailability of expert witnesses for the defence, reduced and changed funding for Crown solicitors and Crown Law, the effect of lobby groups such as the Sensible Sentencing Trust, and some recent legislative changes including the three strikes law. The lecture titled “Has the New Zealand Criminal Justice System been compromised?” is open to the public and will take place on Wednesday September 7 from 6.15pm in PWC lecture theatre in the Management School Building, with pre-lecture drinks from 5.30pm in room N.1.03, the new Law Building on Hillcrest Road.
Contact: Diana Maliseva, 07 838 4466 ext 6477, or

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

Expansion of Te Ara ki Angitū: Pathways to Excellence
An 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 September 14 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

Altering perceptions of anti-social behaviour
Viewing anti-social behaviour in a wider context is the theme of a new book by Dr Cate Curtis of the University of Waikato. ‘Anti-Social Behaviour: A multi-national perspective of the everyday to the extreme’ seeks to disrupt assumptions about anti-social behaviour by bringing together a host of key concepts and theories applicable to the field. It draws on research and theories from across the social sciences. Published by Sage Publishing, topics include the politics of anti-social behaviour, ordinary anti-social behaviour, anti-social behaviour as a social activity, new technology and new media transmitting new behaviour, and prevention, intervention and punishment. Dr Curtis teaches social psychology at Waikato, and her research includes the construction of risk and resilience and women’s self-harm. She has also published on socio-economic factors in suicidal behaviour, public perceptions of the forensic use of DNA and research methods.
Contact: Dr Cate Curtis, 07 837 9207, or

Information sessions in Hamilton, Rotorua and Tauranga
The University of Waikato is hosting several events in the coming months to help prospective students and their parents learn more about applying for university. At these events, students and parents can talk to university staff for advice on study options, help with paper selections and guidance on the enrolment process. Check the information session website for upcoming dates, times and locations:
Contact: Catherine Downes, 07 838 4156, or

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