News 16/12 – Smart Crows. Cancelled Graduation. Dr Richie McCaw.

December 16th 2011 at 9:03am, By Dave Guerin

Policy & Management

  1. Youth Unemployment The Reject Youth Unemployment coalition wants to meet Paula Bennett to discuss youth unemployment issues – given it is a leftwing coalition that launched a few weeks out from the election, complained about “the last three years” and is now inviting Bennett to meet via media release, I suspect they may not be that successful in their meeting goal.
  2. $500K Waikato has gained a $500,000 bequest from Zena Daysh – and her ashes will be interred in New Plymouth today. Read the releases – she was quite a woman.
  3. Taratahi Profile The Taranaki Daily News has written a long profile on Taratahi’s presence in the region and you should read it (NB I work with them but it’s still a good article).
  4. Extras: Young Nats dislike Otago Uni student services fees but the Uni and OUSA are getting on with Orientation; Education NZ’s future; ITF research on industry training benefits (Idealog); new IBM storage system at Canterbury; Stuart Middleton on (non-tertiary) education Ministers; the NBR Editor has some research funding suggestions for Steven Joyce.

Research & Innovation

  1. Smart Crows Auckland researchers have found out how smart crows are, which we largely knew already, but this time they have video to share.
  2. Extras: Canterbury PhD student looking at impact of snow on rural areas; Victoria PhD student on learning languages in a pleasurable way; Waikato Tauranga harbour study (SunLive); Auckland tobacco research; Otago Uni’s Maori research report.

Public Issues

  1. Cyber Bullying Waiariki’s Narissa Bayler on cyber bullying.
  2. SOE Sales Victoria’s Jason Young questions whether preference for NZers in SOE share sales might breach trade agreements.
  3. Extras: Otago Uni’s Nick Wilson on turkey tails; AUT’s Grant Schofield on NZers’ health; Auckland’s Michael Littlewood on savings.


  1. Murderer Sentenced Honglin Yu will serve at least 17 years for the murder of fellow Chinese student Jiayi ‘Kiko’ Li (3 News, 3 News).
  2. Cancelled Graduation NMIT decided to cancel today’s graduation, given all the bad weather around Nelson.
  3. Disliked Graduation Canterbury’s Eric Crampton isn’t a fan of graduations so analyses why people do and don’t go.
  4. Extras: Victoria rowers; Massey student’s road-inspired exhibition; Canterbury students win national accounting awards; school principal retires to attend Waiariki; Otago Uni equestrian.


  1. Maori Trade Training Hawkins Construction will join with Ngai Tahu, CPIT, BETA and others to support trade training for Canterbury Maori (The Press).
  2. Dr Richie McCaw Lincoln will give Richie McCaw an honorary doctorate next year (and I know that doesn’t make him a Dr) along with some other lesser celebrities with decades of professional work behind them (NZN, Stuff).
  3. Extras: Victoria creative writing prize and literary journal; WelTec students upgrading ferry air-conditioning; Massey’s Jan Dixon testifies in a fraud case; Game Jam at Waikato; Canterbury artist in residence Fata Feu’u.

Teaching & Learning

  1. Extras: Open Poly’s new science qual for primary school teachers; Waikato’s Holly Thorpe off to teach on a Fulbright.

3 Responses to News 16/12 – Smart Crows. Cancelled Graduation. Dr Richie McCaw.


Eric Crampton

December 16th, 2011 at 9:25 am

I’ll clarify slightly: I don’t dislike graduations in general; I’m more puzzled about why they take the form they currently do. They are presumptively efficient, otherwise they wouldn’t be held in that form in most places. But I don’t understand why folks prefer this form of graduation to one where, instead of each graduand walking across the stage, each degree cohort is presented their degrees as a group, or some other such move that keeps all the wonderful bits of graduation, serves the same general purpose, but cuts out the 90 minutes of watching each and every graduand (N-1 of whom each parent presumably isn’t interested in) cross the stage.


Eric Crampton

December 16th, 2011 at 9:47 am

Oh, and the ITF report… ummm… it was commissioned by industry from BERL. I’ve got pretty strong priors about the credibility of figures produced by BERL where funders have an interest in the magnitude of the produced figure…


Dave Guerin

December 16th, 2011 at 10:17 am

I’ll refrain from comment on the BERL report due to recent work for the ITF. Ta for the graduation info – I think there’s good work there for psychologists and sociologists 🙂

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