News 16/4 – Students Going Offshore. ANZAC Opera. Gnome Theft.

April 16th 2012 at 8:38am, By Dave Guerin

I’m off to the NZ Assn of Scientists conference today and may be tweeting up a storm. The event looks good and will be topical after last week’s research announcements.

Policy, Management & People

  1. Students Going Offshore Fairfax had a story at the weekend about top students doing their undergrad degree offshore, which then moved on to NZ grads going offshore. All interesting stuff. Also covered by The Standard and Labour’s Grant Robertson, who makes some very good points about Joyce’s odd comment that it doesn’t really matter if people go (although I’m more relaxed about people going before their undergrad degree than after it – why waste $30K or more on people who already want to go?).
  2. Export Ed AUT, Massey and Victoria reps in Indonesia with John Key. Air NZ chasing Indonesian training market. Steven Joyce off to the Gulf on a trade mission. Meanwhile, Indian Newslink had an op-ed by NZ Career College’s Feroz Ali calling for benchmark fees, an editorial, coverage of immigration changes and the Indian export ed market.
  3. Extras: UK glass artist joins UCOL; Aoraki staff talk about Poly; Massey tree planting; historic Aoraki building at risk; TEU on PBRF; revamped UCOL Wairarapa student hub; IRD expects more loan repayments.

Research & Innovation

  1. Maori Elders Maori get busier than non-Maori as they age, if involved in cultural practices, and are healthier according to Auckland’s Prof Ngaire Kerse. Eating with friends is also important,
  2. GM Trees The destruction of a GM trees trial drew comments from Massey’s Prof Barry Scott, Canterbury’s Euan Mason and Lincoln’s John Hickford (NZ Herald, Fairfax).
  3. Anzac Opera Waikato’s Mike Williams has composed a new opera to launch on Anzac Day and set at Monte Cassino. Unitec’s John Davies wrote the words and Massey’s Chris Pugsley offered historical advice (both are Waikato alumni/ex-staff).
  4. Charter Schools Massey’s Prof John O’Neill, Emeritus Prof Ivan Snook and colleagues have produced a charter schools research review that shows the policy has the potential to cause harm and needs to be closely evaluated. Stuff’s headline said that the schools “will” cause more harm and TV3 said the schools would “make things worse” while the NZ Herald said the report was “damning” (RNZ). The PPTA praised the academics for being brave (hmm, Massey education academics criticising variations to state education is not rare – David Farrar also commented).
  5. Extras: Massey ballerina research; Canterbury academics critique Alpine fault research in an op-ed; AUT to research female law partners; Wellington Innovating for Health challenge gets interest; Massey’s Pauline Dickinson on kids’ behaviour; Waikato’s Prof Mike Pratt on creating business value; Waikato’s Lisa Hunter on women surfers; arthritis grant to Otago Uni; Canterbury natural hazards research funding (release).

Public Issues

  1. Paid Parental Leave Victoria’s Jan Pryor and Auckland’s Sudan St John comment. Massey’s Deborah Russell says PPL is affordable.
  2. Pike River Here’s a long piece on Auckland’s Kathleen Callaghan’s views on the Pike River disaster.
  3. Tomatoes Lincoln’s Prof Steve Wratten judges tomatoes.
  4. Fishing Deaths Auckland’s Glenn Simmons has helped to get ACC payments for widows of foreign fishermen who died near NZ waters.
  5. Extras: Victoria’s Shaun Holt on traditional Chinese medicine (One News); Victoria’s John Townend on Sumatra quake; Auckland traffic light PhD student testifying on traffic lights; Massey’s Natalie Wang on life insurance; Auckland’s Lynette Tippett on amnesia; Canterbury’s Stefano Pampanin welcomes earthquake wallpaper; Auckland’s Bill Hodge on port dispute; Lincoln’s Prof Philip Hume on wasps (audio); Canterbury’s Ekant Veer on Christchurch branding; Waikato’s Linda Mitchell on childcare; Massey’s Prof Paul Spoonley on links to Asia; Waikato’s Prof Al Gillespie on Syria.


  1. Gnome Theft Otago Uni student stealing gnomes in Oamaru as part of a tradition were told by Police of another tradition – arresting thieves.
  2. UniGames…were won by Auckland this year. Apparently VSM led to a lower turnout from some places.
  3. Extras: Aoraki students in France; Victoria student helping with free Maori legal advice service; Otago Uni student researching lagoon; AUT swimmer; profile of award-wining Maori AUT PhD grad; SIT students create site for advertising trade jobs wanted; SIT students putting on an exhibition; TWOA Kawerau students; Victoria Uni students Ship for World Youth participation; BOPP runner.


  1. Neurosurgery Campaign…reaches $2m, of a $3m target for the new Otago Uni chair (ODT, Southland Times).
  2. Paint by Numbers Otago Uni students have worked out a paint-by-numbers fundraising scheme – very cool.
  3. Extras: pianist’s fall leads to Waikato concert cancellation; complaint about lack of farm forestry training; demand for construction apprentices; Canterbury and Lincoln to present at Christchurch waterways seminar; takahe at Massey; CPIT visited by Malaysian TV chef; NorthTec art grads’ exhibition.

Teaching & Learning

  1. Boatbuilding The annual Marine ITO boatbuilding challenge was at the weekend.
  2. Extras: improve your golf at AUT; Toi Whakaari-Victoria dance production; arts and design review at UCOL; Massey’s Mark Brown on digital and distance education.

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