News 28/5 – More Budget Stuff. SKA Win/Draw. Journals Write-off.

May 28th 2012 at 8:02am, By Dave Guerin

I’m planning a few posts this week on key Budget issues as there’s some interesting issues.

Policy, Management & People

  1. Budget (Students) NZUSA said the government took the axe to student support. Bill English told Auckland protesters they needed lessons from the Greeks (3 News), which leftwing bloggers labelled as arrogant and taunting, as did AUSA pretty much. 2 of the Urewera 4 popped up to the protests from court. Victoria students had comments reported here and here, but they were also a VUWSA Exec member and a Salient co-editor…Otago Uni’s Prof Paulo Tapsell said the Budget wouldn’t encourage Maori into tertiary education. An ex-student offers some pros and cons on loans changes. ACT’s John Banks wanted interest on loans. EXMSS on part-time and post grad students (release). School students in Wanganui want to go to Australia. VUWSA said students were reeling over the postgrad allowances cut. Some Otago Uni students were more worried about jobs. Critic reviewed the Budget, with quotes from me.
  2. Budget (Others) Waikato’s Prof Jacqueline Rowarth said the science and engineering boost was good for the rural sector. EIT CE Chris Collins liked the Youth Guarantee boost (as did the CTU, amongst a few dislikes). Massey’s Steve Maharey muses on funding and student support changes (and here on science and innovation). The TEU offers a summary. The ITF’s Mark Oldershaw was concerned about technology teachers in schools. Some scientists were split over the ATI, but Otago Uni’s PVC Science Prof Keith Hunter liked all the science funding. Stuart Middleton’s view (mainly schools).
  3. Budget (Architects) Architects are grumpy because architecture students now do a 3 year undergrad and two years masters degree and will miss out on allowances for the masters. Although one might say that the degree structure in the first place was a move by architects to increase credibility and shift training costs away from employers…
  4. Young Farmer Taratahi’s Tony Dowman couldn’t get his bagpipes to work in the Young Farmer’s Contest (yes, it’s in Dunedin) and I think he came sixth in the end (I watched it but can’t find the results now). Congrats for making the grand final!
  5. Nursing Fightback Waiariki took a swing at the Nursing Council’s views and has the backing of the local MP.
  6. Canterbury Scholarships Canterbury launched its 2013 recruitment programme at the weekend and will keep its unlimited scholarships to top school performers (The Press).
  7. BlinkMobile In a release full of jargon, it looks like Otago Poly is introducing a very useful new IT system.
  8. AUT IT IBM replaced AUT’s core IT network (techday) and here’s some more.
  9. US Trip A big group of AUT staff and streets are off to the US to promote their language revitalisation work.
  10. Post-Docs Shaun Hendy finds a gap in provision for post-docs and in increase in PhDs and calls for more post-docs. The problem with these analyses is that it hardly ever analyses whether there are subsequent jobs for either.
  11. Journals Write-off Canterbury will have a $31m bigger 2012 loss than planned because many journal purchases are no longer assets, but subscriptions (RNZ). I wouldn’t have wanted to be around when that one was discovered.
  12. Extras: Canterbury was OK after the latest quake; cycle bridge to Massey supported; Auckland Brent Mawson to run Tai Tokerau campus; Taiwan-Universities NZ relationship; Richard Anaru to manage Waiariki’s music academy; Critic writes on academic freedom (Feature); Canterbury’s Sam Johnson and Mark Quigley highly rated by Cantabrians.

Research & Innovation

  1. SKA Win/Draw NZ and Australia have a piece of the Square Kilometre Array, along with Sought Africa (the other bidder). 99% of the satellite dishes will be in South Africa and Western Australia, while NZ and Australia will do most of the data work. There are equally good stories from RNZ, SMC, NZ Herald, NBR and The Conversation. Later NZ Herald, One News and Fairfax did more. Here’s the Southland angle.
  2. 3D Printing Two Waikato academics form a key part of a story on 3D printing.
  3. Extras: Auckland’s Selina Tusitala Marsh to appear at Olympics poetry festival; Otago Uni research on second hand smoke for kids; Rena performance art at BOPP; firm based at Canterbury that develops apps; Auckland’s Simon Thornley measured prison air quality after a smoking ban; Otago Uni coronial research; Waikato student’s cattle drafting software.

Public Issues

  1. Budget Issues Auckland’s Craig Elliffe on capital gains tax and tax on young workers. Victoria’s Prof Norman Gemmell on the overall Budget strategy. Otago Uni’s Prof Richard Edwards on tobacco taxes (and again – colleague Janet Hoek was also cited by Tariana Turia and mentioned in the ODT). Massey’s Colleen O’Brien on ECE rates being frozen.
  2. iGuilt Auckland’s Prof Alan France has a cameo on a piece on iGuilt. Parents with kids will recognise the situation.
  3. Coffee Otago Uni’s David Winter on the research around drinking coffee.
  4. Foreign Vessels Took them long enough, but the Auckland researchers campaigning against foreign charter vessels worked out there was a four year transition period.
  5. Migration Massey’s Prof Paul Spoonley on migration to Australia.
  6. Otahuhu College Auckland’s Prof Liz McKinley contributes to a great article on Otahuhu College.
  7. Extras: Otago Uni’s Prof Kevin Pringle on mother and baby death; visiting Otago Uni academic on entrepreneurship; Massey’s Pushpa Wood on kids’ financial education; Otago and Waikato academics on a fake Richard Kahui Facebook account; Waikato’s Prof Jacqueline Rowarth on a resigning Fonterra leader; Massey’s Prof John O’Neill on charter schools (and again); Rena discussed at Waikato’s Kingitanga Day; Auckland’s Claire Dale on 25 years residency for super; Otago Uni’s Prof Philippa Howden-Chapman on Christchurch housing conditions; Victoria’s Steven Price on a social media stoush; Auckland’s Ian Lambie on ref abuse; Canterbury academics with Christchurch CBD ideas; Waikato’s David Hamilton on a critical WWF report; Auckland’s Russell Snell on Alzheimer’s.


  1. Bad Joke OUSA’s Logan Edgar didn’t get across his sense of humour and as a result got condescended to by an old person.
  2. Raranga TWOA student teaching weaving.
  3. Rugby A Unitec natural sciences student will lead the Under-20 RWC NZ team (and Unitec will get 2% more for him next year if he stays!). A Waikato engineering student also made the team (they’ll get 8.8%!).
  4. Extras: Waikato students putting on a 17th century play while Unitec students are putting on two Shakespeare ones; suspect in murder case was UCOL student; SVA’s Sam Johnston on latest quake; Aoraki student off to Disney; Otago Uni student doing 40 hour famine in a box; Otago Uni Re-Orientation.


  1. School Resources Otago Uni is developing some useful school science education resources.
  2. Vet Shortages Massey’s Frazer Allen on vet shortages on TVNZ.
  3. Extras: Massey ice-cream judging; the area around Canterbury’s observatory might get international recognition (they’ll also livestream the Transit of Venus); Otago Uni neurosurgery fundraising; Massey professor funding kids’ breakfasts; Otago rowing administrator recognised; soccer team testing at AUT; Waiariki tutors at a career expo; story on employer issues with youth and low skill workers here.

Teaching & Learning

  1. Relevant Experience The Sunday Star-Times has a great story about Otago Uni’s programme that has fourth year medical students spend a weekend with Pacific families. It’s a great idea and well worth a read – think of how you could use such a programme in your organisation (the key lesson is about the relevant experience, not the Pacific angle).
  2. WITT Trades Academy This link is a short story but describes how WITT is gradually building up its trades academy with schools.
  3. Extras: Thai business tutors at CPIT; Otago Uni/Poly entrepreneurs’ challenge.

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