Media Advisory 12 December 2016

December graduation
The University of Waikato has five graduation ceremonies taking place this week. It’s the first time the university has had a December graduation, replacing its October ceremonies. Marae graduation takes place tomorrow, Tuesday 13 December, when 144 students will be capped in two ceremonies, at 9.30am and 1.30pm. On Wednesday 14 December there’ll be three ceremonies at Claudelands Events Centre, at 10am, 2pm and 6pm involving 932 students.  
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, or

WMIER/Faculty of Education awarded research projects
The University of Waikato’s Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research and Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education have successfully secured four of the six Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) projects. These projects build on the collaborative and innovative research being undertaken by education researchers. The projects are: Using mobile learning in free-choice educational settings to enhance ecological literacy led by Dr Chris Eames and Claudio Aguayo; Using a wellbeing framework to recognise, value and enhance the broad range of outcomes for learners in adult literacy and numeracy programmes led by Dr Jane Furness and Dr Judy Hunter; Age-responsive pedagogies led by Associate Professor Jayne White and An Architecture of Ownership in an innovative learning environment led by Dr Noeline Wright and Associate Professor Rachel McNae. Each project is worth $200 000 over two years. The Teaching and Learning Research Initiative seeks to enhance links between educational research and teaching practices to improve outcomes for learners. The fund was established by the government in 2003. For more information visit
Contact: Bronwen Cowie, 07 838 4987, or

Waikato student nails Māori Moot
For the fifth year in a row, a Waikato University law student has won the national Kaupapa Māori Moot competition. Zac Katene (Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Tuwharetoa) competed against students from the five other New Zealand university law faculties ‒ all of them required to interpret the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 in the context of the Waitangi Tribunal’s powers to make binding recommendations for the return of Crown-owned forest land where a claim has been held to be well-founded. Zac says the real challenge for him was standing up to the panel of judges and knowing his argument well enough that he could deliver it under pressure and from different angles. Zac also took first place in this year’s Australasian Negotiation Competition and is currently working as a summer intern at Simpson Grierson in Auckland. He’s due to complete his Bachelor of Management Studies and Bachelor of Laws degrees in June next year.
Contact: Zac Katene, 021 0824 4950, or

New Zealand’s refugee quota misses humanitarian mark
New Zealand’s quota refugee policies are falling short, according to a Waikato University masters student. Saska Hayes, who’ll graduate on Tuesday (December 13) with a Master of Laws, has been researching New Zealand’s refugee status determination, the ethics surrounding it, and comparing New Zealand’s policies with other first-world countries. She says New Zealand is trying to use its annual refugee quota of 750 a year as another economic immigration stream rather than a humanitarian immigration stream, with refugee selection policies favouring well-educated and work-experienced refugees. When comparing New Zealand with Australia, the USA and Norway she found those countries to have humanitarian need as a primary consideration for selection criteria, which allows them to respond appropriately to the current refugee crisis and lift their quotas significantly. Saska graduates on Tuesday at Te Kohinga Mārama Marae at Waikato University at 1.30pm on Tuesday 13 December, one of five graduation ceremonies taking place this week for Waikato students.
Contact: Saska Hayes, 027 316 3068, or

Waikato academic to speak at TEDxScottBase
University of Waikato Professor Craig Cary is one of 10 influential people who will speak at TEDxScottBase in January 2017. Professor Cary is a microbial ecologist from the University’s School of Science. He researches bacteria that live in extreme environments, including deep sea thermal vents and the soils of Antarctica. TEDxScottBase, held at Scott Base, Antarctica, is being held in conjunction with the 60th Anniversary of New Zealand having an official presence in Antarctica and aims to celebrate science and highlight climate change. The other nine speakers are American astronaut Dr Dan Barry, journalist, adventurer and advocate for the environment Ashlan Cousteau, photographer Jane Ussher, singer Gin Wigmore, filmmaker Anthony Powell, Professor Gary Wilson who has led more than 20 expeditions to the Antarctic and Subantarctic Islands, Otago University’s Dr Christina Hulbe, and business leaders Jeremy Moon and Claudia Batten. Only those who are already in the international territory of Antarctica undertaking or supporting scientific research missions will be able to attend the live event on 15 January 2017. TEDxScottBase will be broadcast to the world on 22 January. For more information visit
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, or

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