New statement from Hon. Kit Toogood QC

The University has received a further statement from the Former High Court Judge Hon Kit Toogood QC, who is leading the independent investigation into the delay in discovering the death of a student at Sonoda Village residential hall.

Update on timing of release of report on the Mason Pendrous investigation

I have now completed my independent investigation into the delay in finding Mason’s body and the policies and procedures relevant to student welfare issues.

However, before I am able to report my findings and recommendations, two significant processes need to be concluded:

  1. Although my inquiry is separate from the coronial process, the Coroner’s findings about the place and cause of Mason’s death will be significant.  They are not yet available.
  2. Following the conclusion of the inquest process, natural justice requires me to consult the University, CLV and Mason’s family so I can take the views of each into account before I provide a final report.

I appreciate the University’s request that I should provide the report in a timely manner.  I will work to release it as soon as I can.

Hon. Kit Toogood QC

Education New Zealand calls for applications to NZ-Brazil research fund

A new research fund has been set up to enable established New Zealand university academics to collaborate with Brazilian researchers.

Researchers from any field of knowledge are eligible to apply. The first year of the agreement will act as a pilot.

Successful applicants will develop and conduct their projects in partnership with Brazilian researchers. Researchers will also be funded to travel between countries to undertake their project.

This announcement builds on an agreement with Universities New Zealand (UNZ) in November 2016. UNZ Chief Executive Chris Whelan welcomes the initiative:

This is a great opportunity for New Zealand PhD students and academics – and for their Brazilian counterparts – to identify areas of mutual interest to progress research collaborations for the benefit of both countries,” he says. “This agreement builds on years of relationship-building to enhance cooperation, enable academic mobility and encourage the exchange of knowledge between participating higher education institutions.

ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson says the funding collaboration will create opportunities for New Zealand researchers that did not exist before.

South America is a key market for New Zealand – particularly in relation to outbound academic mobility. This new funding collaboration showcases ENZ’s commitment to creating new pathways for New Zealand institutions with South America.”

The panel of judges responsible for allocating the funding will be made up of representatives from across New Zealand government including the MFAT and MBIE.

For more information, guidelines and the application form, read more>

Applications for funding are open now and close on 27 January 2020.

December Staff Forum | Te Wānanga Kaimahi 2019 – thank you

Thanks to all those who joined us for our Staff Forum | Te Wānanga Kaimahi this week. Some 520 staff attended the event.

Please take five minutes to complete the staff survey before 19 December. This will help us to improve these events in the future and ensure they remain relevant, engaging and informative.

If you missed the forum, a video recording is now available on the Staff Forum intranet page>

Chancellor | Tumu Kaunihera reflected back on the year, signifying the end of the UC Futures Programme.

Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Whakarae then looked forward, sharing UC’s future direction as it looks ahead to 2020 and beyond.

This year’s final staff forum was opened with a mihi whakatau and closed with a karakia to bless the food, delivered by mana whenua representative Corban Te Aika.

UC staff gathered to enjoy manaakitanga catered by locally founded Christchurch business Fritz Wieners, on our newly constructed Beatrice Tinsley Plaza.

Find out more on the topics raised:

  • Visit the UC Strategy website – Tangata tū, Tangata ora to read and download the full strategy.
  • Uni-Voice – an ongoing forum for people prepared to make a difference for the university, and for our community. Members of the university community are encouraged to write blogs and start conversations to inspire change in the workplace. Get in touch>

Dr Matt Hobbs named 2019 HRSC Emerging Researcher

UC researcher Dr Matt Hobbs received the Health Research Society of Canterbury (HRSC)’s Emerging Researcher Award in a ceremony last week.

Dr Hobbs was recognised for a presentation outlining his research from within UC’s GeoHealth Laboratory, which focuses on the complexity of associations between adverse environments and childhood health.

“I have to thank family, colleagues, and friends who have helped support me to achieve this award over the past few years. A special thanks to the team at the GeoHealth Laboratory and to Professor Jim McKenna and Dr. Claire Griffiths of Leeds Beckett University,” Dr Hobbs says.

In his presentation, Dr Hobbs discussed his investigation into preventable hospitalisations, which account for approximately 30 percent of all acute and arranged medical and surgical discharges in Aotearoa New Zealand.

He is investigating how deprivation and water fluoridation are linked to preventable dental-related hospitalisations.

He explained that the persistent nature of oral health inequities have presented a significant challenge to policy makers.

Dr Hobbs’ article on this subject is currently under review.

New historical book on craft and culture in Aotearoa

Released this month  Crafting Aotearoa: A Cultural History of Making in New Zealand and the Wider Moana Oceania brings together three centuries of craft and culture in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The book took five years to complete and a number UC staff and alumni contributed to it including Lydia Baxendell, Reuben Woods, Dr Warren Feeney, Claire Regnault, Justine Olsen and Dr Joanna Cobley.

See more about the book and purchase it here>

Keeping UC staff informed