Media Advisory 7 November 2016

Marsden funding to study how colonisation affected Māori
A University of Waikato researcher has been awarded $735,000 over three years to study how colonisation affected generations of Māori. Associate Professor Tahu Kukutai is one of five University of Waikato academics to receive funding in the latest round of Marsden funding from the Royal Society of New Zealand. Professor Vic Arcus was awarded $830,000 to continue his research to explain the behaviour of enzymes at different temperatures. Dr Chris Lusk receives $830,000 to study the small-leaved, tangled "divaricating" plants that have proved to be single most controversial feature of New Zealand’s flora. Linguist Andrea Calude has a $300,000 Fast-Start grant to lead a study into loan words and the evolution of language and Dr Sabine Seehagen also has a Fast-Start grant to extend her research into the impact of sleep on memory in infants.
Contact: Alison Robertson, 07 858 5135, 027 309 4420, or

Waikato University wins international award for sustainability
The University of Waikato won the Student Engagement Award at the 2016 Green Gown Awards Australasia (GGAA). GGAA recognises excellence in sustainability within the tertiary education sector in Australasia. The University’s winning efforts include launching a student resource exchange space on campus, having students design artwork for its 80+ indoor recycling stations and securing a 30% student discount on bus transport for 2017. To see more of the university’s sustainability efforts, visit
Contact: Rachael Goddard, 07 838 4771, or

Heroes and rogues of accounting
University of Waikato Accounting Professor Grant Samkin will give his inaugural professorial lecture, ‘Moving beyond the green and purple: People I’ve known and places we’re going’ on 15 November. Professor Samkin has been a chartered accountant for the past 26 years, and an academic for the past 17. He lives in Mount Maunganui and lectures at Waikato Management School in Hamilton. A major theme of Professor Samkin’s research is non-financial, narrative reporting  – how commercial and public organisations use annual reports to not only report on their financial performance to shareholders, but also as a public relations tool to manage their reputation. After analysing thousands of annual reports, he is developing a new accounting framework that will help external stakeholders measure a company’s performance against environmental targets such as contribution to biodiversity. Other research has included corporate social responsibility disclosures during the global financial crisis, the use of Z-scores to predict the collapse of finance companies, and whether schools should teach students financial literacy skills. This inaugural professorial lecture will be held at the University’s Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The lecture is free and open to the public, and parking is free after 4.30pm in the University’s Gate 1 carpark. For more details see
Contact: Ruth Taylor, 07 838 4263, or

Waikato DHB Chief to speak on healthcare management accountability
Waikato District Health Board CEO Dr Nigel Murray will give a free public talk at the University of Waikato on November 24 sharing his experiences of management accountability in healthcare. Dr Murray took over the reins of Waikato DHB in July 2014. He was previously chief executive of Fraser Health Authority in Canada where he led an organisation of 22,000 staff serving a population of more than 1.6 million people. Dr Murray also spent 10 years with the New Zealand Army as a senior medical officer, and carried out United Nations assignments to plan and implement health services in Bosnia and post-war Iraq. In 1995, he was awarded an MBE for his services to health. Dr Murray then moved into a health management career, initially at Auckland District Health Board as general manager planning and development. His talk, starting at 4.30pm, is part of the Excellence in Practice series run by Waikato Management School's Corporate and Executive Education centre. Spaces are limited, so please register attendance at
Contact: Ruth Taylor, 07 838 4263, or, Debbie Roberts, 07 838 4014, or

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