Media Advisory 20 March 2017

New guidelines for assessing hunger
University of Waikato Professor John Gibson was at the UN earlier this month outlining a new set of guidelines for the measurement of food consumption data in household surveys. An expert in the measurement of poverty and undernourishment, Professor Gibson is part of a World Bank-funded study looking at aspects of living standards around the world and assessing data for the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals on poverty and hunger. He presented at the 48th Session of the United Nations Statistical Commission and says the new guidelines address crucial survey design issues such as the use of diaries and recall interviews, the length of the recall period, seasonality, the measurement of food away from home, the number of food items to be included, and more. Professor Gibson says the recommendations will need to evolve over time as additional research and new technologies become available, but they will be instrumental in guiding a global programme of survey methods to fill the many remaining knowledge gaps.
Contact: Professor John Gibson, 07 838 4289, or

Microwave breast screening trial underway
A new non-invasive method of breast screening is currently being trialled in China, thanks to the work of Professor Yifan Chen from the School of Engineering at the University of Waikato and ET Medical, a leading medical instrument company headquartered in Shenzhen, China. Professor Chen led the team that developed the new imaging system that conveys low power microwaves for women’s breast screening. The large-scale clinical trial is the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region. Professor Chen says compared to the existing x-ray mammogram, ultrasonography and MRI, microwave breast imaging could be a more attractive screening tool because both ionizing radiation and breast compression are avoided, leading to safer and more comfortable exams. The imaging device incorporates sophisticated radar sensors with operating frequency and transmission power comparable to a mobile phone. Professor Chen hopes commercialisation of microwave breast screening technology will occur within the next one to two years.
Contact: Professor Yifan Chen, 07 837 9545, 027 504 1176, or

Is bicultural common law a reality in Aotearoa?
As part of the University of Waikato’s Faculty of Law 25th anniversary lecture series, the Honourable Justice Christian Whata will be on campus in late April to give a public lecture about the past, present and future of a bicultural common law in New Zealand. He will address the unsightly statistics of over-representation of Māori in the criminal justice system, recent court decisions affecting Māori and whether the current system gives rise to a distinctly Māori issue. Justice Whata has extensive experience as a litigation lawyer. He specialised in resource management law and Māori issues, and he has been a High Court Judge since 2011. His lecture is on Wednesday 26 April from 5.30pm in N.1.03, Law Building, Hillcrest Road, Hamilton.
Contact: Diana Maliseva, 07 838 4466 ext 6477, or

Servant leadership makes companies more successful
In recent years the business world has turned its attention to new styles of leadership that make work feel more meaningful for employees, and make companies more innovative and successful. Dr Robert Liden, Professor of Management at the University of Illinois, will give a free public talk on ‘The Paradox of Serving and Leading – a New Direction for the Future of Leadership’ at the University of Waikato’s Management School on Tuesday 28 March, from 1-2pm. Dr Liden says ‘servant leadership’ can determine whether staff have a deep personal investment in their work, or whether they just feel like cogs in a machine. Any organisation grounded in strong customer relations stands to benefit from the ripple effects of having servant leaders. This event is part of Waikato Management School’s Excellence in Practice lecture series, which features top business leaders speaking about their experiences. The talk is in MSB.1.37, level one, Waikato Management School, Hillcrest Road, Hamilton. Parking is available at the Gate 10 carpark off Silverdale Road ($2 daily charge). For more details visit
Contact: Ruth Taylor, 07 838 4263, or

Sir Geoffrey Palmer to deliver two lectures
Former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC will give two lectures at the University of Waikato this week – one for students about his campaign to have a new and accessible national constitution, and the other a public lecture about New Zealand’s environmental laws. Sir Geoffrey was an architect of the Resource Management Act, Environment Act and Conservation Act and has a wealth of understanding of environmental law and politics, two areas that don’t always sit well together. He will provide a history of how our environment laws have evolved, talk about the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill currently before the House, and also provide an insight into the state of our legislation for climate change. The public talk is today, Monday 20 March, from 4.30pm-6pm at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. For more information or to RSVP, email
Contact: Mylene Rakena, 07 838 4466 ext 6727, or

What price for a clean, green environment?
What is the economic value of New Zealand’s natural environment, and how much should we spend on restoring our national parks, native habitats and rivers? Dr Dan Marsh, an environmental economist at the University of Waikato’s Management School, will discuss the topic of ‘Natural capital and the value of nature’ at a free public seminar (no RSVP required) this Wednesday 22 March at 1pm. The concept of ‘natural capital’ – elements of nature such as forests, rivers, land, minerals or oceans that provide value or benefits to people - is increasingly a focus of discussions about the state of the environment. Dr Marsh has just returned from the United Kingdom where natural capital is embedded in government policymaking as part of the British government’s 25-year plan for the environment. This public seminar will be held in MSB.1.03, level one, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, Hillcrest Road. Public parking is available in the Gate 10 carpark and a $2 charge applies.
Contact: Ruth Taylor, 07 838 4263, or

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