Alumni & Friends

Vol 1 | No 2 | May 2009 

Waikato takes it to the world

Waikato Vice-Chancellor Prof. Roy Crawford and Chancellor Rt Hon. Jim Bolger ONZ.

Have internationally connected, former PM as Chancellor – will travel.


Alumni around the world are delighting in the opportunity to meet Waikato Chancellor the Rt Hon Jim Bolger ONZ - New Zealand’s former Prime Minister, Ambassador to the US, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the World Agricultural Forum, and Chairman of Kiwirail and other New Zealand enterprises. and other New Zealand enterprises.

Following successful trips to Washington DC in 2007, and Sydney and Melbourne in 2008, the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Roy Crawford, met Waikato alumni and friends at functions in London and Singapore in March.


There’s no doubt that Mr Bolger opens doors says Waikato’s Director of Development, Christine Brabender.


“It is a wonderful opportunity for the University to leverage the networks Jim has developed over many years as the leader and then representative of this country.  We believe that our international connectedness is one of the things that make us distinctive as a New Zealand university, and our Chancellor certainly encapsulates that approach”.

Click here to view the full article


Lifetime of commitment honoured by University

Dr Zena DayshA long-time proponent of sustainability has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Waikato.

New Zealand-born Zena Daysh was presented with the honorary doctorate recently at a UK function attended by the university's Chancellor, Rt Hon Jim Bolger ONZ, and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Roy Crawford. An honorary doctorate is the most prestigious award the university bestows.

Prof Crawford says Waikato University has established itself as a university at the forefront of sustainability, and it is fitting that it acknowledges the hard work of Dr Daysh (now in her mid-90s) over many years. "She is the real story of sustainability."

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Craig-Nevill-Manning.JPGRecognition of World-Class status for Waikato Alumnus

Craig Nevill-Manning received a PhD in Computer Science from Waikato University in 1996. Last month, his extraordinary contributions to the ICT sector were celebrated with a 2009 Kea World Class New Zealand Award.  Along with designer Karen Walker, gym entrepreneur Philip Mills and Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop, Craig was honoured as one of our ‘national success stories’. The Kea awards recognise leading New Zealanders who help enhance the reputation of our country on the world stage through being truly ‘world class’. 

Craig moved to the US in 1996 and founded Google’s first remote engineering centre in New York.  He led the development of 'Froogle' which became Google Product Search, played a key role in developing Google Maps, and spearheaded the launch of Google in Māori.   

With his wife Kirsten, he is also a key supporter of Waikato’s Greenstone Digital Library Project (link this through to the media release about this) and of our School of Maths and Computing – ranked number one in the country.

Special thanks to Kea New Zealand and the World Class New Zealand Network.

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Head of NZ Defence Force on campus 7 May

OH-06-0148-22m-Mateparae-preferred.JPGLieutenant General J (Jerry) Mateparae ONZM, (MA Waikato 1996) Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, will share his insights with Waikato alumni and friends on 7 May at a networking event at the Academy from 6 to 8pm. He will also speak that day at graduation.

Lieutenant General Mateparae is a distinguished soldier and scholar, and holder of the highest military rank in this country. He is both the youngest person and first Māori – of Ngāti Tuwharetoa descent - to be appointed Chief of New Zealand Defence Force. He graduated from the University of Waikato in 1996 with a Master of Arts in international relations and strategic studies and is a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Management. He was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for his work in Bougainville in the 1999 New Year’s Honours.  In 2008, he was honoured by the University of Waikato with its Distinguished Alumni award.

Alumni and friends are invited to the WEL Academy of Performing Arts on 7 May for an evening with the General, including a reception in the Perry Foundation Foyer at 6pm and the General’s speech at 7pm in the Gallagher Concert Chamber.

Reservations essential.  RSVP by 4 May to or 07 838 4868.


Usability the key to website success

In the current economic downturn, putting time and money into improving your website may not be at the top of the list for all firms. But that may be a false economy, cautions business Trent Mankelow, director of Wellington-based business services company Optimal Usability and 1999 Waikato Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences graduate.

Optimal Usability was named one of the 50 fastest-growing companies in the 2007 Deloitte/Unlimited Fast50. The following year, the company was the fastest-growing business services company in the Wellington region, and the fastest-growing exporter.

Click here to view the full article

Games at Waikato win Olympic award

The 2008 New Zealand College Games, held at Waikato University in December have won an International Olympic Committee (IOC) award. The IOC Trophy was presented at a Parliamentary Reception in Wellington on 30 March by the IOC President Jacques Rogge.

Established by the IOC in 1985 in order to promote the teaching of Olympism, the trophy is awarded each year to a person or institution who has distinguished themselves in different fields. Previous recipients have included Ian Ferguson, Steve Gurney, Michael Jones and Wilson Whineray.

The New Zealand College Games were hosted by ULeisure – the management company jointly owned by the university and the Waikato Student Union.


Passion for plants

Waikato alumni James Lutey is indulging his passion for plants while hunting for his dream job as an environmental scientist. With a double-degree in Management and Science, he has just picked up the Water Science Prize from Waikato’s regional council, Environment Waikato.

The Environment Waikato prize was established in 1990 by former Hamilton mayor Sir Ross Jansen with the University of Waikato Earth Sciences Department. It is awarded annually to the top student enrolled in water science papers within the School of Science and Engineering degree.

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United Nations internship for Waikato student

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark is not the only one going to a UN posting in New York. Waikato University student Akanisi Nabalarua has been awarded an internship at the United Nations to work in the Rule of Law Unit.  The 25-year-old is in her final year of study for her Bachelor of Management (Hons) and Bachelor of Law degrees and says she applied for the internship after hearing about it while studying in Belgium late last year.

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Brigadier to teach intensive law paper at Waikato

Brigadier Kevin Riordan, the Director General of Defence Legal Services is teaching  an intensive masters level paper in international criminal law at Waikato University on 2-3 July. Aimed at masters-level law students, this would also be suitable for people in the armed forces, lawyers, staff in government departments and police.

Brigadier Riordan has served in the Middle East, Bosnia, Afghanistan, the Pacific and South East Asia, and has provided advice on all major peacekeeping deployments involving the New Zealand Defence Force. He will also be discussing crimes such as torture, sexual violence, use of child soldiers and terror attacks on the civilian population.

The two-day paper is part of a suite of four similar papers being taught in late June and early July. The others cover laws of armed conflict, terrorism and international law, and peacekeeping and international law.

For more information and course cost, email:

In the Bay, for the Bay - world class degrees and diplomas

Tauranga is now New Zealand’s fifth largest and fastest growing city, which is why the Waikato continues to enhance our presence in the region with our partnership with the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic. This relationship offers a regionally focussed range of programmes that continue to develop in line with the needs of the Western Bay of Plenty.

Priority One, the region’s business focused economic development organisation, has launched a website to connect Kiwi expatriates with job and investment opportunities in the region.  The reasons for returning are clear they say -

  • Employment and investment opportunities as a result of rapid growth, allow more and quicker opportunities for career advancement.
  • Lifestyle benefits, particularly for families.
  • Social and business vibrancy.

Back in the Bay The website - – provides a range of information and helps local businesses and services contact and build relationships with Kiwi expatriates.



Partnership provides benefits all round

In 2007 the University of Waikato’s Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme was significantly boosted by a unique partnership with Hamilton owned and operated Orbit Corporate Travel.  Orbit is the corporate travel entity of Calder and Lawson House of Travel that this year celebrates its 25th birthday.

The minimum commitment from Orbit Corporate Travel of $180,000 per annum for Waikato’s Hillary Scholarships is considerable, and secured for five years.

Orbit Corporate Travel is the University’s preferred travel supplier.

Orbit - Calder & Lawson Travel
Proud Sponsor of
the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme

For the best value and service, contact the team at Calder & Lawson Orbit Corporate Travel

Ph:         (07) 856 9009 or 0800 CALDER

From the Vice-Chancellor

In March, the Chancellor and I attended receptions for Waikato alumni and friends in London and Singapore.  In London, we partnered successfully with Kea UK, New Zealand’s expat organisation, on an event at the Commonwealth Club that included bestowal of a Waikato University Honorary Doctorate on Zena Daysh CNZM (see Lifetime of commitment article below).  In Singapore, we were hosted by His Excellency Martin Harvey and his wife, Sarah, at the New Zealand Official Residence.


We were greeted in both cities by Waikato alumni, New Zealand expats, education partners, government officials, and corporate leaders.  Our drawcard was undoubtedly our Chancellor, the Rt Hon Jim Bolger ONZ. Jim’s key insights are featured in this edition of the Waikato Alumni & Friends E-News (see Waikato takes it to the world).

I also had the opportunity to share some history and highlights of Waikato with our guests that I thought would be of interest to you.

Click here to view the full article

Inaugural Kingitanga Day

Alumni recently joined with staff, students and members of the community to celebrate the inaugural Kīngitanga Day on the University campus.

April 21 was set aside as a day to mark the University’s relations with Tainui and the Kīngitanga. It is also King Tūheitia’s birthday.

Guest speakers included Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta, the actor Temuera Morrison and the Māori Party’s Dr Pita Sharples.

Among the activities was a Waikato Alumni Celebrity Roast, held at the WEL Academy.

Alumni were also among the speakers at lectures held across the University. Paul Meredith, a graduate of the Law School now lecturing at Victoria University, spoke on the topic “Homeward Bound: A Journey with King Te Rata to London 1914”, while Masters graduate Te Manaaroha Rollo took part in a panel discussion at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says “It was an outstanding reflection of our relationship with Kīngitanga and Tainui, and I know that the day’s activities were both enjoyed and appreciated by our staff, students, speaker participants and particularly our guest of honour King Tūheitia and his wife Te Atawhai.”


Graduation at Founders Theatre
4 - 7 May

The General Visits Waikato - Alumni & Friends Event
7 May

University Open Day
8 May

Graduation at Tauranga
15 May

Inaugural Professorial Lecture
Professor Giselle Byrnes

19 May

Marketing Trade Show

22 May

Inaugural Professorial Lecture

Professor Margaret Wilson
16 June

To view more events, visit:

University Research in Brief

Doctor of Musical Art introduced

With a Music School ranked top in the country under the most recent PVRF rankings, and some outstanding musicians and performers represented in our alumni ranks, Waikato is now offering a Doctorate of Musical Art (DMA).  

This post-graduate degree gives performance students a pathway from a Master’s Degree that parallels the PhD, but is more internationally recognised for musical performance. DMAs have been offered in the United States for decades and more recently in some Australian universities.

The introduction of the DMA aligns with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences aim to emphasise its cultural contribution to New Zealand’s future through support for research and teaching in performance arts, media arts, languages and literature.

The Role of Māori Cultural Support for Employees and Employers

Research looking at Māori employee perceptions of the level of cultural support they receive in the workplace is being carried out by Associate Professor Jarrod Haar (Ngati Maniapoto/Ngati Mahuta) as part of his Marsden research.

Within the coming months, Māori alumni will receive more information about  this research and an invitation to participate . It is hoped that Māori alumni will support this first of a kind research in Aotearoa. Please look out for the survey by early May.

If you would like to ensure that you will participate or have any questions please contact Jarrod at:

New research will help Pacific nations balance ecosystems and lifestyle

A ground-breaking PhD analysis of a small Pacific island community under threat from global trade liberalisation is set to have significant policy implications for Pacific Island governments. The research, by Halahingano Rohorua at the University of Waikato Management School, focuses on fisheries exports and sustainable resource in her native Tonga.

Rohorua's research aims to assist local communities in determining the optimal use of their natural resources, given the increasing pressure on communal fish breeding areas from fisheries, forestry and tourism.

Homecomings the focus of Waikato researcher

For many urban Māori, homecoming is not always plain sailing. There are issues of acceptance by those who stayed at home, and the difficult question of how to put hard-earned qualifications to use in areas where there may be no suitable job opportunities. Tepora Emery has researched this topic for her doctorate, and was among 28 PhD holders honoured at the Te Amorangi National Māori Academic Excellence Awards, at Tūrangawaewae Marae, Ngāruawahia earlier this month.

Emery (whose iwi affiliations are to Te Arawa and Tainui) says her doctoral research into the reconnection of away-dwellers (te ahi tere) returning home to live after a period of absence reflects her own story.

Postgraduate work on Hamilton business history

Waikato University graduate Mark Smith has been awarded Doctoral Scholarship to study the history of Hamilton's business community. Research such as this will be an important contribution towards a history of the city which has been proposed to celebrate the 150th anniversary in 2014 of the arrival of the first military settlers in Hamilton.

Mark is basing his work on business archives held in the Hamilton Community Archive in the Central Library, Garden Place.

New ways to think about youth leadership

A specialist in youth and leadership at Waikato University says concepts of leadership are changing and perhaps it's time to re-think how leadership is presented to young people.  Rachel Saunders from the university's School of Education has spent time exploring the role of leadership in the lives of young people and is challenging traditional approaches to teaching leadership - ways which are often based on a business model and often taught in lecture or workshop type situations.

In a collaborative project between Waikato University and Rotary New Zealand, Saunders has been working with 50 aspiring and current youth leaders, all aged from 18 to 25, on Rotary's Youth Leadership Award Programme (RYLA).


The Alumni Association, a membership organisation founded in 1989, is another way to stay connected. Life Membership is available for a fee of $150 and includes concession rates at the Rec Centre and Library.

The Alumni Association AGM was held 25 February and Dave Williams, former Vice-President, was elected as President. The new committee has an exciting programme planned, and expressions of interest are sought from Alumni who would be interested in joining it, to help implement these fresh initiatives. Please contact Dave Williams at

Did you know that there are Waikato Alumni Representatives on campus, around New Zealand and in cities throughout the world?

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Alumni & Friends E-News

This e-zine will be distributed to Alumni & Friends every two months.  In keeping with the University of Waikato's sustainability focus we will be emailing most of our communications from now on.

Alumni & Friends is distributed by the Alumni Office. Email