News 5/6 – Wananga or Uni. No English. Dunedin and Otago Uni.

June 5th 2012 at 7:38am, By Dave Guerin

It’s a bumper post today with the long weekend. I covered honours in a separate post yesterday.

Policy, Management & People

  1. Wananga or Uni David Rankin is missing the media spotlight that he craves so he’s complained to Steven Joyce about Awanuiarangi calling itself an “indigenous university”. He has a point, in that it’s a protected term, but he’s just such a perennial attention seeker.
  2. Uni Rankings Last week I posted about some THE rankings of the top 100 unis established in the last 50 years – Massey and Waikato made the list. Now it turns out that QS released a rival top 50 list just hours beforehand, on which no NZ universities featured (HT OBHE).
  3. Auckland Protests Student protests at Auckland on Friday afternoon again caused traffic problems and led to 43 arrests – about 100-200 people were protesting. It was apparently a reaction to Bill English saying that the protests on Budget Day weren’t as good as those in Greece. There were the usual claims of police brutality but given the number of people around with smartphones, we probably would have seen more evidence by now if it happened. There was plenty of media coverage from TV3, TV3, TV3, iWitness, RNZ, TVNZ, NZ Herald (with online reaction), Fairfax, RadioLIVE, Scoop. Follow-up came from TVNZ, RadioLIVE and RNZ. Meanwhile Otago Uni students were accused of hedonism for not protesting – here’s Critic on what they are doing.
  4. Aquarium Closed Otago Uni has closed a public aquarium as it was less than 15% of the building code for earthquake strength (Fairfax, RNZ, ODT). I actually went there with the family about four weeks back. It’s just a small part of their marine studies facility.
  5. Research Funds The Malaghan Institute is complaining about tight research funds (long story). Meanwhile Otago Uni’s Jim Faed was seeking to raise funds for stem cell research.
  6. No English A PTE in Auckland, Traditional Chinese Medicine College of NZ, apparently had no English-speaking teachers (Updated link – sorry for wrong one earlier).
  7. Dunedin and Otago Uni Former Otago Uni VC Prof Sir Peter Skegg wrote an ODT op-ed about how Dunedin doesn’t provide a good springboard for talented Otago Uni hi-tech grads. He’s right but he includes the fallacy that Dunedin is a main centre – it’s the seventh largest urban area in NZ, after Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton Tauranga and Napier-Hawke’s Bay. And unlike its smaller peers, its economy is dominated by a hospital and a university. Skegg is right, however, that Dunedin’s small economy is a hindrance for Otago Uni, possibly their greatest one when compared with Auckland Uni’s hinterland.
  8. Labour Gets It? Labour’s Grant Robertson argues that Labour gets education and National doesn’t. While National may have mucked up the last week, Trevor Mallard got into a bit of trouble consolidating rural schools (thereby increasing class sizes) and Steve Maharey oversaw an explosion in low value courses. Both parties have the ability to do good things and screw up others.
  9. Extras: Lincoln’s Prof Andrew Sykes retiring; AUSA President on choice to stay in NZ or leave; Indian Weekender on student loans; student reconsidering PhD study; Massey’s Prof Margaret Walshaw on US trip; Otago Uni finances (Critic suggests how to spend their money); NZ Management Academies’ deal with Korean government; Whitecliffe on China trip; Daily Post on the Indian nursing students’ situation.

Research & Innovation

  1. Jet Injections Auckland’s Bioengineering Institute and MIT researchers have developed an air-jet system to inject drugsIdealog has some pictures and video. It looks very impressive.
  2. Stray Cats Unitec’s Mark Farnworth and Glenn Aguilar have mapped stray cats in Auckland.
  3. Wine Victoria’s Robert Keyzers is looking into producing wines that appeal to new palates.
  4. Fertiliser Canterbury’s Pr0fos Paula Jameson and Matthew Turnbull have picked up a $900K project to help farmers optimise fertiliser use.
  5. Rena Research Waikato is leading a team researching Rena impacts (SunLive, BOP Times, RNZ).
  6. Funding Formula Otago Uni’s Prof Robin Gauld has issued a new analysis of how the DHBs are funded.
  7. Bad Doctors Auckland’s Ron Paterson calls for action over bad doctors (long version, NZN).
  8. Extras: Otago Uni’s Philippa Howden-Chapman on well-planned cities and health and (with colleagues) on fuel poverty; Lincoln three minute thesis winner; review of poetry book by Victoria’s Harry Ricketts; Otago Uni gut research.

Public Issues

  1. Republic Victoria’s Dean Knight on the move to a NZ republic.
  2. Samoa Auckland’s Toeolesulusulu Damon Salesa on Samoan independence.
  3. Quakes Canterbury’s Stefano Pampanin on lessons from the quakes.
  4. Cycling Auckland’s Stephen Knight-Lenihan on cycling to work.
  5. Czech Hitchhiker Canterbury’s Prof Greg Newbold on the man who killed the Czech hitchhiker.
  6. Destiny Laidlaw’s Mark Keown on Destiny Church.
  7. Dunedin Stadium Otago Uni makes a story about Dunedin’s stadium as do academics from there and Massey.
  8. Extras: Auckland’s Philip Polkinghome on macular degeneration; Waikato’s Prof Jacqueline Rowarth on gypsy day; Auckland’s Bill Hodge on a novel use of manslaughter charges (TVNZ); academics supporting underwear protests; Otago Uni’s Prof Doug Sellman on alcohol legislation; Massey’s David Tripe on interest rates (and the dropping NZ dollar) and Prof Bob Hargreaves on Auckland property; Auckland’s Peter O’Connor on charter schools; Otago Uni’s Prof Kevin Dawkins on legal aid; AUT’s Paul Moon on cannibalism; AUT’s Marcus Pearson on tipping; Auckland’s Doug Elliffe on MasterChef ethics; Victoria’s Tina Barton on Colin McCahon; Canterbury’s Neville Blampeid on psychologist cuts at the Dept of Corrections; Auckland’s Prof Tim Hazeldine on NZ exports and Andrea Brower on trade deals; Otago Uni’s Prof David Fergusson on suicide; Tai Poutini’s Ian Tibbles on a rare locomotive; Canterbury’s Alan Gilmore on the Transit of Venus; Auckland’s Prof Peter Hunter on Triangle TV on Wed; Otago Uni’s Philippa Howden-Chapman on badly insulated houses.


  1. Cooking for Fees An ex-MasterChef contestant is planning to cook for people who help him pay fees to Le Cordon Bleu.
  2. Golden Guitar An Otago Uni student won the Golden Guitar award.
  3. Ecowars Palmie students made their flats more environmentally friendly in a competition.
  4. Exchange This Critic story is the type of thing that may attract exchange students, horrify University marketing types and deeply concern Prof Doug Sellman.
  5. Keg Party Debate over how to manage or close Dunedin’s Hyde St keg party.
  6. Extras: Auckland Syrian student on Syria; AUT student on a new ice rink; NorthTec student paddling for Queen; convicted murderer gets third degree – a PhD (it’s a good story); student accommodation in Auckland; OUSA and asset sales; students and depression; Canterbury student on how good the Queen is; Victoria top snooker player.


  1. Pasifika Students A mentoring scheme for Pasifika students has found that poor subject choices can leave students with few options to stay in school and enter tertiary education. Massey’s Paul Spoonley also commented on the fact that a quarter of the scheme’s participants went to Australia.
  2. Karen Help Bethlehem Tertiary Institute is looking how to help the Karen people in Burma/Thailand – impressive.
  3. Google…is helping run workshops for school IT teachers.
  4. Prisoner Training Some in the industry are pushing back on employing ex-prisoners or recognising the quals that they have achieved.
  5. Tonga AUT’s comms group has donated to a Tongan Institute.
  6. Extras: Waikato Windermere open day and Tauranga ICT expo; AUT supporting breast cancer foundation; Massey sponsoring film festival; MacDiarmid Institute sponsoring Transit of Venus game; Otago Uni health students up to Gisborne; battle of the bands at Canterbury.

Teaching & Learning

  1. Employment Training More on an Otago Uni employment training initiative.
  2. Extras: Massey student’s Honda internship; Nigerian writer to visit Victoria; new Massey video links; AGITO student’s journey.

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