Lecture Programme March - July 2015
VUW Continuing Education
Lecture programme archive
Venue and Times
All lectures are held from 10.30am - 12 noon in the Paramount, Courtenay Place.
The entrance fee to all lectures is $3.
Tea is available in the foyer from 10am at a cost of $2.
Please note that current membership cards must be shown for admission to the lectures.
Tuesday 3 March
New Zealand Art on the World Stage
Dr Rebecca Rice
Rebecca Rice, Curator of Historical NZ Art at Te Papa, looks at New Zealand’s representation at the Venice Biennale in light of a history of New Zealand on show at nineteenth-century International Exhibitions.
Friday 6 March
The Roof Water Research Centre at Massey University in Wellington is run by microbiologist Stan Abbott. Stan is an enthusiastic advocate for collecting rain water from roofs in both urban and rural situations, yet he’s also aware of potential contamination from seabird droppings and wind borne pollutants.
Tuesday 10 March
Friday 13 March
THIS LECTURES BEGINS AT 10 am
Managing and Minimising Your Power Bill
Given that virtually all of us use electric power to light, cook, and heat our homes, the monthly power bill is a fact of life. Bruce, formerly avionics engineer with Air New Zealand, then corporate IT software engineer will give an illustrated presentation describing the elements comprising your power bill, so that you have a clear understanding of how it is made up, what you can do to minimise it, and then get maximum value from what you pay for. The goal is to end up with a house that is warm, well lit, comfortable and healthy, while at the same time reducing your power bill. Having installed solar water heating and solar PV panels etc on his own new house, this is a very practical and realistic discussion of the costs and benefits of doing so.
Tuesday 17 March
Friday 20 March
THIS LECTURE BEGINS AT 10 am
The Science of Geodesy: Measuring a Dynamic World
Dr Graeme Blick
Graeme Blick, Chief Geodesist, Land Information New Zealand will describe the science of Geodesy, one of the world’s oldest earth sciences. It is concerned with measuring the shape and size of the earth and how it changes through time. It provides the reference frame from which we determine our property boundaries, measure plate tectonics, and determine global change such as sea level rise. He will look at a number of examples including measuring the effects of earthquakes in New Zealand and Turkey.
Tuesday 24 March
New Zealand Schools: A Changing Landscape?
Dr Cathy Wylie
Dr Cathy Wylie is a Chief Researcher at the NZ Council for Educational Research. She has undertaken research on educational policy and its impacts since 1987. New Zealand schools have been changing the way they work. What's behind these changes, and where are they headed? How well are our schools equipped now to meet the country's expectations of them?
Friday 27 March
Radiation Technologies. Science, the Public and Controversy
Dr Peter Roberts
We encounter radiation technologies in many aspects of our everyday life. A few, especially in the medical area, are well-known and have strong public support. Many others, came into existence with little or no fanfare but are now probably regarded as nearly indispensable. Food irradiation is a prime example of the tensions that can occur in today’s world between science, public understanding, consumer rights and consumer activism. Peter was a senior scientist and manager at the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS Science) 1974 - 2001. Since then he has been a consultant for the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Tuesday 31 March
New Zealand Trade Policy: CER Today
Closer Economic Relations (CER) is a free trade agreement between the governments of New Zealand and Australia which came into force in 1953 Charles Finny has been with the public policy firm Saunders Unsworth since 2010. He was CEO of the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce and prior to that, he had 22 years’ experience in international trade, economics and diplomacy having served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Prime Minister’s Department. He has worked in Singapore, Beijing and Taipei.
Tuesday 21 April
Stealing Beauty - The Fate of Great Art in Wartime
Judge Arthur Tompkins
Art always suffers during wartime. This illustrated lecture will survey fascinating examples of these sorts of crimes, the people involved, and some of the stories and myths surrounding them. We will cover, amongst other histories, the centuries' long story of the Four Horses of San Marco’s Basilica in Venice, the thefts of the Ghent Altarpiece and Veronese’s Wedding at Cana, the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade, the miracle of the Alt Aussee salt mine, and the bizarre story connecting Goya, the Duke of Wellington, James Bond, and television licensing fees. Judge Arthur Tompkins is a District Court Judge in Wellington. He has presented at numerous international conferences and workshops, in New Zealand and elsewhere, on a variety of topics, including international art crime. Each year he teaches Art in War at the Graduate Certificate Programme in International Art Crime and Heritage Protection Studies, presented annually by the Association for Research into Crimes against Art in Umbria, Italy."
Friday 24 April
Crohn's & Colitis (Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD): a New Zealand Story
As a Crohn's Disease patient for many years Brian, Chairman of Crohn’s and Colitis New Zealand was puzzled about the dearth of information available about the disease. In his retirement he has worked with a team of people in establishing 12 support groups around the country, together with a Charitable Trust (Crohn's and Colitis NZ) New Zealand has one of the highest rates of the disease in the world. It mainly affects young people 15-35 years. Treatment is costly and the quality of life is often poor.
Tuesday 28 April
Organised Crime: It’s What We Do
The theme of the presentation is that organised crime is an activity not an organisation. A sub thread looks at “How we KNOW!” as against “HOW we know!” John (JG) Goddard holds the position of Training Advisor at the Royal New Zealand Police College – Intelligence Practice, where he has been for three years.
Friday 1 May
Accelerating Today for a Better Tomorrow
Dr William Rolleston
Dr William Rolleston is National President of Federated Farmers and he farms in South Canterbury and operates a family owned biological manufacturing business in Timaru. As he says, the modern world presents humanity with many challenges and opportunities. The world population continues to grow, demand for dietary protein is increasing and there is concern for the environment and in particular climate change. In order to face these challenges and make the best of the opportunities New Zealand must continue to invest in science, particularly in the primary sector. Farmers must be innovative and have access to all the tools of modern science and technology. As a country we must increase our investment in science and strive for a society which is science literate. His presentation will traverse these issues and explore the technologies available to the farmer now and in the future.
Tuesday 5 May
The NZ Legal System Today – Changes, Themes and the Future
New Zealand is reputedly one of the least corrupt countries in the world. It has robust legal institutions, a highly regarded judiciary and a strong organised legal profession. What is the role of these institutions of justice and what changes are on the horizon? Issues surrounding access to justice and the role of lawyers, judges and the changes to criminal and civil systems pose challenges to ensuring the maintenance of our international reputation, while at the same time meeting modern demands. Christine is the Executive Director of the New Zealand Law Society and a fellow of the Institute of Directors.
Friday 8 May
The NZ – Germany Bilateral Relationship: A Proven Recipe for Success in a Changing World
Dr David Lowe
Dr. David Lowe, NZ/Germany Science and Innovation Co-ordinator, will share with us the Science and Innovation part of the 37 year relationship that NZ and Germany have maintained. It has been an extremely successful bilateral science and innovation relationship involving close co-operation across hundreds, probably thousands, of projects in all scientific disciplines. The projects range from basic scientist to scientist exchanges between the countries to multimillion dollar ventures with win-win benefits to both NZ and Germany. In this talk he will present a wide ranging series of projects across all disciplines including a medical robotics venture launched in Auckland during the November visit to NZ by the German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel.
Tuesday 12 May
Patients’ Rights and Citizens’ Rights: Reflections from a Former Health and Disability Commissioner and Current Parliamentary Ombudsman
Professor Ron Paterson
When things go wrong in general practice, in hospital, or in a rest home, we have a statutory right to complain; so too when public agencies act unlawfully or unreasonably. Parliament has given us rights of redress (including the right to information), and has created public watchdogs – the Health and Disability Commissioner and the Ombudsman – to enable the exercise of our rights. This talk will explain the nature of our rights and give examples of the interesting range of cases dealt with by the Commissioner and the Ombudsman.
Friday 15 May
Place Names in New Zealand
Wendy is the Secretary of The NZ Geographic Board, Nga Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa is New Zealand’s national place naming authority, responsible for making place names official. It is an independent statutory body of government that Land Information New Zealand administers.Find out about the Board and why it is important to have standardised, consistent and accurate place names that help us identify locations on the landscape and preserve our heritage, culture, identity, connections and language.
Tuesday 19 May
Transparency International & the Broader Implications of its Work for NZ
Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) is the recognised New Zealand representative of Transparency International, the global civil society organisation against corruption. TINZ’s vision is a world with trusted integrity systems in which government, politics, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption. Suzanne is the Chair of Transparency International New Zealand & has had a distinguished career in New Zealand since she arrived as a Fulbright Scholar in the early 1970’s.
Friday 22 May
The Surveying of New Zealand
Tony Bevin was the Surveyor-General of New Zealand, 1996-2004: An outline of the surveying and mapping of New Zealand in the context of its settlement and development. It will include examples of the role of surveying in implementing land administration policies and in scientific research, with particular reference to the geology and tectonics of NZ.
Tuesday 26 May
The Independent Bookseller’s Response to the Electronic Age
Lincoln Gould looks at the facts and myths of the effect of the digital age on bookshops in New Zealand and internationally, how readers have responded, and how booksellers have developed responses. Lincoln is CEO of Booksellers NZ (BSNZ), which represents the national bookselling trade to government and other regulatory and non-regulatory agencies, and manages national promotions including the New Zealand Book Awards, the New Zealand Children’s Book Awards and New Zealand Book Month.
Friday 29 May: Note - Programme change
No lecture today
Tuesday 2 June
A 12th-century manuscript in the Alexander Turnbull Library
What does it look like? What is this about? How did it arrive in New Zealand? Accompanied by images, Ruth, who is the Curator Rare Books and Fine Printing , Alexander Turnbull Library, will show you some of the physical characteristics of this manuscript, look at its content and its two authors, Boethius and Guido of Arezzo, and trace the manuscript’s previous owners and how the it arrived in New Zealand.
Friday 5 June - Note: Change of topic & speaker
What Lies Beneath? - Wellington's Archaeology
Mary, who is a consultant archaeologist with postgraduate qualifications in Anthropology, will give an illustrated talk of various archaeological projects she has worked on over the last 18 years. These include small developments and large infrastructure projects. The information gained tells us about how Wellington developed as a city and a community.
Tuesday 9 June
Investigative Journalism: “How it is Done and Why it is Needed"?
Nicky Hager is an author and investigative journalist based in Wellington. He lectures regularly on investigative techniques and has written six best-selling books including “Secret Power” (1996), “The Hollow Men, a Study in the Politics of Deception” (2006) and in August 2014 “Dirty Politics.”
Friday 12 June
The Corporation Yard: A Forgotten Microcosm of Wellington’s Urban Working-Class
On the edge of the CBD, Waitangi Park is today enjoyed by families, dog-walkers and skate-boarding teenagers. But for more than a century the area was known to generations of Wellingtonians as the Corporation Yard. Over this period thousands of Council employees, many of them migrants toiled in often dirty and dangerous conditions. This talk will reveal some of the stories of the yard and the people who worked there. Gábor Tóth is the Local and NZ History Specialist, Wellington City Libraries.
Tuesday 16 June
A 3D Printed World
Ross, a Senior Lecturer at Victoria University’s School of Design will explore (with images and objects) the connection between 3D printing and biological growth. He will examine how computer code and DNA play a similar role in determining the characteristic of things and how this similarity could blur the distinction between manmade and natural objects.
Friday 19 June
Surviving Pol Pot
Dr Max Stevenson
Dr Stevenson is a New Zealand GP who has worked in medical missions in the Philippines, New Guinea and Thailand. In 1980 he worked in the Thai refugee camps for Cambodian refugees, and this is the subject of his talk.
Tuesday 23 June
The speaker will be Hewitt Humphrey. With a long and respected history as an award-winning national broadcaster, many people have described him as “the voice of New Zealand”. His experience covers the whole spectrum of radio and television broadcasting, as a presenter, reporter, interviewer, writer, newsreader and actor.
Friday 26 June
Fruit and Vegetables for Human Health
Professor Julian Heyes
Julian Heyes, is Professor of Postharvest Technology, Massey University; and Chair, Commission on Fruit and Vegetables for Human Health, International Society for Horticultural Science. Are fruit and vegetables really important for our health, and if so, why? Can we still call them 'fresh' if they have been stored for six months or shipped half way around the world? What about pesticide residues or pathogenic bacteria: how safe are fresh products in NZ? In this lively presentation Prof Heyes will tackle some common questions about the value of fruit and vegetables in our diets and the contribution being made by his research team.
Tuesday 30 June
Niue Island Involvement in World War I
A former history teacher, Margaret became involved, while living on Niue, in a project to uncover the largely lost story of the 150 Niueans who were accepted for service in the Maori Contingent. Margaret, now an independent researcher, has an ongoing interest in Niuean history and has just completed a 200 year history of Niue to be published by Otago University Press in May. She will also discuss some of the research challenges encountered while writing about this small Pacific Island.
Friday 3 July
Food and Food Manufacture in the Future
Professor Richard Archer
The future of food and the technology that makes it are inextricable. In today's urban world technology maketh the food and the technologies to come next depend on what the consumer wants next. Professor Archer is a Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand (IPENZ), Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology - NZIFST; and former head of the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, andInstitute of Technology and Engineering at Massey University.
Tuesday July 21
“I’ve just got no idea what you’re talking about – just absolutely no idea:” music students talk about transition to tertiary study Lynne Wenden
Lynne is the recipient of the 2014 Wellington City U3A post-graduate scholarship and this presentation draws from her Master’s thesis Talking about Transition: An Exploration of the Secondary to Tertiary Transition for Music Students in a New Zealand Context. In this presentation – as the title suggests – she shares individual narratives from case studies designed to allow students to speak for themselves with descriptive detail that enables the reader or listener to understand these transitional issues more meaningfully and more coherently than is possible through theory or principle alone.
Friday July 24 (THIS LECTURE BEGINS AT 10 AM)
Modern Wooden Building
Alistair Cattanach is a structural engineer and partner with Dunning Thornton Consultants. He has in recent times engineered modern wooden buildings, using innovative designs. He will discuss some of these.
Tuesday July 28
Outlook for NZ Growth Amidst High Uncertainty
Tony Alexander, Chief Economist, Bank of NZ
Almost seven years along from the global financial crisis major problems remain overseas. In New Zealand some specific factors have greatly supported the economy. But where will growth come from once Christchurch is rebuilt and the dairy sector expanded?
Friday July 31 (THIS LECTURE BEGINS AT 10 AM)
Euthanasia, a Debate – or a discussion on how to live with people we disagree with
Dr Ben Gray
As a community we are having trouble addressing the question of Euthanasia. This presentation will build on my talk last year where I argued that the “right” solution to a problem is by no means easy to find because there are no universal principles on which everyone agrees. In this talk I will briefly summarise an approach to decision-making, emphasizing that it is always about the particulars of the judgement to be made. I will then traverse the main arguments raised “for” and “against” a change in the current legislation, referring to experience in other countries and argue that instead of having a “debate” about euthanasia (which in my view will never lead to agreement) we should focus on how to design legislation that might be good enough for our community to move forward on this issue.
Tuesday 4 August
Trade Aid: improving the life of the world’s most disadvantaged
Ken Nelson is a Trade Aid Education Volunteer and a member of the Trust that runs the Wellington Store. He will talk about The Story of Trade Aid: How it began, it’s growth and development, how it works and what it achieves, using personal experiences from trips to Bangladesh and India to illustrate the effectiveness of Trade Aid.
Friday 7 August
Tsunamis in New Zealand - their past impact and implications for the future.
Dr Bruce McFadgen
Bruce is an Honorary Research Associate, Te Kawa a Maui – School of Maori Studies, Victoria University. New Zealand is exposed to tsunamis generated from both far away and locally, and many modern coastal communities are exposed to their effects. This talk will describe the impact of tsunamis on prehistoric Maori coastal communities, both physically and culturally, and the lessons to be drawn about how to plan for future events.
Tuesday 11 August
The Opportunities and Challenges of Asia – three views based on the personal experiences of three New Zealand Ambassadors.
The three participants will share anecdotes about their experiences in Asia and explain how they went about translating the Government’s high-level objectives for our relations with various countries into concrete results that benefit New Zealand (and the difficulties and misunderstandings they had to overcome along the way).
Friday 14 August
India – A Superpower-in-waiting? Srikanta Chatterjee, Emeritus Professor, School of Economics and Finance, Massey University
India’s rapid economic growth in recent times, its favourable demographic structure and an internationally connected entrepreneurial culture may have contributed to a growing image of India as a potential superpower. The favourable image however conceals some serious domestic and external challenges that also confront India. This presentation examines India's evolving economic, political and military scenario to understand the opportunities and constraints the country faces, both internally and externally, should it harbour any superpower ambitions.
Tuesday 18 August
Sobieniowski, Wyspianski and Kraków: Katherine Mansfield and Poland
Dr Gerri Kimber
Gerri Kimber is an internationally renowned Katherine Mansfield scholar. In this paper she seeks to explore the relationship between Floryan Sobieniowski and Katherine Mansfield and reconsiders the time they spent together in Germany in 1909. Mansfield made deliberate and sustained efforts to destroy all her personal papers from this difficult and painful period in her life, and, as a result, biographers have had very little material evidence to work on when trying to piece together her exact movements during this time This paper will discuss the possibility that Mansfield might have visited Poland in 1909, and will suggest that the relationship between Mansfield and Sobieniowski was more complex than has previously been acknowledged.
Friday 21 August.
Landcorp Farming Limited, the Growth Years Christopher Kelly
The former Chief Executive of Landcorp farms, one of New Zealand’s largest farming businesses will talk about Landcorp from 2002 to 2014 during which time the asset base grew by $1 billion, and the role of science in Farming.
Tuesday 25 August
Thornbirds to Luminaries: historical fiction and why it’s hot Dr Lydia Wevers
The lecture will discuss historical fiction of the last twenty years, with a preliminary detour to The Thornbirds. Why has historical fiction stopped being fuddy-duddy and become a hot option?
Friday 28 August
The Role of the Hikurangi Plateau in the Canterbury and Cook Strait Earthquakes
Dr Martin Reyners, Principal Scientist at GNS Science, Lower Hutt
The Hikurangi Plateau is a large region of unusually thick oceanic crust which has been subducted beneath New Zealand twice – firstly about 100 million years ago during north-south convergence with Gondwana, and currently during east-west convergence between the Pacific and Australian plates. The tectonic history of this plateau still exerts a significant influence on how strain is accommodated at the New Zealand plate boundary. The plateau is responsible for the extremely strong shaking experienced in the recent Canterbury earthquakes, and the location of the recent Cook Strait earthquakes.
Tuesday 1 September
Capturing Courtesans, Cardinals and Caliphs: the Renaissance portrait reconsidered
Phyllis, who is a Teaching Fellow at Victoria University, studied Art History at London University, specialising in the Renaissance period. She will investigate the place of portraiture as a genre within Renaissance art and how it functioned as an agent for cultural and political transmission.
Friday 4 September
Natural Disasters: a function of global environmental change
Dr Michael Crozier
Dr Crozier, geomorphologist and Emeritus Professor, Victoria University of Wellington will discuss how increase in natural disasters can be explained by changes in both the social and physical environment. Population growth, increased urbanisation and enhanced standards of living place demands on the environment that increase people’s exposure and vulnerability to natural hazard impact.
Tuesday 8 September
Gold Card Years: delights, challenges, and opportunities. Anne Horrill
This talk invites a look at the U3A phase of our lives, viewed from a personal perspective. What makes this third of our lives so interesting, and what is some of the territory we encounter? How do we shape these years, as a large population group, and as individuals in our own lives?
Friday 11 September
Glaciers and Ice Sheets in a Warming World. Assoc. Prof. Andrew Mackintosh, Deputy Director, Antarctic Research Centre
Mountain glaciers and polar ice sheets are undergoing dramatic changes. I will explain what is happening and why, and what we don't know. I will focus on the difficult problem of distinguishing between the effects of natural climate variability and human-induced climate change, using examples from Antarctica and New Zealand.
Tuesday 15 September
Matiu Somes – the Jewel in our Harbour Gerald Rawson
Gerald is a volunteer guide on Matiu/Somes Island He will canvas the island’s unique past and present roles, and its place in the ebb and flow of human and natural events that have shaped Wellington.
Friday 18 September AGM
The Sistine Chapel
Dr Christopher Longhurst
After the AGM, Dr Longhurst will talk about the Sistine Chapel, the official chapel of the Pope in Vatican City, with its famous frescos.
Tuesday 22 September
The Young Eye
Kate De Goldi
Kate will talk about her working life (writing, reading, reviewing and teaching) which is constructed around books and, in particular, children’s books. She will consider the notion of “the young eye”, which is at the heart of all great children’s books and a necessary guiding principle for any children’s writer, and discuss her current projects – a children’s novel, and research for her biography of Susan Price.
Friday 25 September
Recent Advances in Medical Imaging in New Zealand with Nuclear Medicine Techniques
Dr Trevor Fitzjohn
This talk will provide a history of radiology in Wellington and recent developments that have occurred that bring improved diagnosis to disease and potential for the future. The pace of innovation is increasing and as with all medicine the limit on diagnosis in the limit socially imposed on health care budgets.
Tuesday 13 October
PHARMAC's Value to Health in New Zealand
Dr John Wyeth, Medical Director, PHARMAC
PHARMAC's role is to secure, for eligible people in need of pharmaceuticals, the best health outcomes that can reasonably be achieved, and from within the amount of funding provided. The systems and processes within PHARMAC to achieve this goal will be presented and discussed, including outlining some of the challenges PHARMAC faces in achieving these goals.
Friday 16 October
Te Araroa – NZ's Long Pathway From Cape Reinga to Bluff
Bill Wakelin is the Chair, Te Araroa Wellington Trust. His talk will include a brief history of Te Araroa including Geoff Chapple’s role in founding and developing the concept. Recent comments from through walkers as an explanation of the trail from Cape Reinga to the Bluff. Details of some activities in the Wellington Region of interest, such as the Escarpment Walking Track between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay will be included.
Tuesday 20 October
Jane Austen: Body and Mind
Jane Austen (1775-1817) lived in an age when polite society, her intended audience, did not openly discuss bodily matters. Contemporary decorum precluded explicit references to physical or sexual topics in polite writing, yet it is obvious from Austen’s novels that there are many ways to convey the intricate connections between body and mind. This lecture focuses on how Austen skilfully paints those subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, connections between body and mind in her six novels. Austen evokes her characters’ strengths and flaws, desires and frustrations, through a gamut of physical manifestations. Displays of illness and hypochondria, of physical vigour or manipulative indolence, of preening, blushing, or crying, all point to mental and emotional states which are central to the development of the various plots. At times savagely funny, Jane Austen also demonstrated great sympathy with characters who, for reasons of gender and social class, were forced to be passive observers of human arrogance and folly.
Friday 23 October
The Real Oil: exploring for New Zealand's elusive (or illusory?) petroleum resources
Dr Peter King
Peter is a Principal Scientist and Leader of the Petroleum Basin Research Programme at GNS Science, Lower Hutt. He will talk about the fundamentals of oil and gas occurrence, history of exploration, context for locally produced petroleum, current research and industry activity and the prognosis for new discoveries.
Tuesday 27 October
Cartoon number 2000
Dr Bob Brockie
Bob Brockie has been the editorial cartoonist for the weekly National Business Review for just on forty years. He says cartooning occupies only a tiny bit of his thinking time – about 5%. The rest of his time he has spent as a biologist with the Departments of Agriculture, Forestry, Education, Conservation, Health, DSIR, and Te Papa. Bob has written four scientific books and other books about history or cartooning. For the last fourteen years he has written a weekly science column for the Dominion Post.
Friday 30 October
Modern Harbour Management
Captain Mike Pryce spent 23 years at sea with Shell Tankers (UK) Ltd before being appointed Harbour Master by Wellington Harbour Board in April 1989, then moved to Wellington Regional Council when the harbour regulatory functions were changed in November 1989. His talk will cover changes in harbour management and ship sizes over that 26 year period.