Media Advisory 23 January 2017

Educator in line for New Zealander of the Year
A University of Waikato academic who has spent most of her career working to lift the achievement of Māori students in the classroom is one of 10 finalists for the 2017 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. Tauranga-based Associate Professor Mere Berryman, ONZM, left classroom teaching to become a researcher and a key developer of the school-based programmes Te Kotahitanga, He Kakano and most recently Kia Eke Panuku: Building on success. The Ministry of Education funded Kia Eke Panuku required all participants to critically review their evidence of Māori students’ participation and achievement, to be open to the views of others, and to make the necessary personal and professional changes to ensure Māori students enjoy and achieve educational success as Māori. A consortium led by the University Waikato with the University of Auckland and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi saw this work adopted by 95 secondary schools throughout New Zealand.
Contact: Associate Professor Mere Berryman, 021 2580 310, or

University and NZ Police form research partnership
The University of Waikato and New Zealand Police are joining forces to establish a world-class research centre - Centre for Evidence Based Policing - that will help better inform police in their work to prevent crime and protect the public. Police will work alongside academia to enable them to improve their research capability and influence future policing decisions using evidence and insights gained from research. Staff from NZ Police, Waikato University and strategic partners such as ESR will work together on police research projects at the centre in Wellington, which will be opened in the next six months. A research hub will also be established at the Royal New Zealand Police College. Evidence based policing ensures police strategy, operations and tactics are based on the best possible evidence (information, crime science and problem-solving methods) to guide and inform staff, providing better outcomes for the police, public and the Government.
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, 027 5511 821, or

Waikato a finalist in University Challenge
A team from the University of Waikato made it through to the 2016 finals of University Challenge. The Waikato team beat Auckland University in the semi-finals but were beaten by Canterbury University in the finals in a programme that aired on Prime TV on 21 January. University Challenge is a television quiz show that ran from 1976-1989 and was revived in 2014. The format was based on the British show of the same name. Questions are aimed to test contestants’ knowledge, mental agility and recall, and range in subject matter from the intellectual to the quirky, covering literature, history, geography, politics sports and science. Waikato made it into the semi-finals for four consecutive years from 1986 to 1989, winning the competition in 1989 against Auckland.
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, 027 5511 821, or

App for Hamilton Gardens
The million people who visit Hamilton Gardens each year now have an app available to help them get around the city’s number one tourist destination. The University of Waikato has worked with Hamilton Gardens staff to develop the Android app that provides information about the history and design of the themed gardens. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play store. It’s the work of staff from the Faculty of Computer Science, led by Associate Professor Annika Hinze. The app contains images and text and is triggered as users move into the different garden spaces. When users enter a themed garden the app notifies them that information on the garden is available through an audio signal, and visitors can either read the information on their phones or listen to an audio version. An iOS app is under development and Dr Hinze says the next logical step would be to be able to listen to the commentary in other languages.
Contact: Associate ProfessorAnnike Hinze, 07 838 4052, 021 2580 310, or

Poet leaves the sea for university
For the first time in his working life, poet Bob Orr is getting to write full time. Orr has piloted boats in the Hauraki Gulf for more than 35 years, but this year he was awarded the University of Waikato Writer in Residence and will base himself at the Hamilton campus for the next 12 months. Orr grew up in the small Waikato town Hoe-o-Tainui and went to school in Hamilton. He says he was keen to return to the region, do some exploring, immerse himself in the history of the place and work on his ninth collection. Last year Orr won the Lauris Edmond Memorial Award for Poetry, a prize given biennially in recognition of a distinguished contribution to New Zealand poetry.
Contact: Bob Orr, 07 837 9193

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