All posts by fmc64

That Terrible Time: Eye-witness accounts of the 1918 influenza pandemic in New Zealand released

Dr Geoffrey Rice’s latest book That Terrible Time: Eye-witness accounts of the 1918 influenza pandemic in New Zealand, is due for release on Friday 23 November.

New Zealand’s worst public health disaster occurred in November 1918 when around 9,000 people died in the so-called ‘Spanish’ influenza pandemic.

In this new book are the voices of 110 survivors describing what they saw and what happened to them in that terrible time
when the victims’ bodies turned black.

That Terrible Time has many moving and memorable human stories describing how New Zealand coped with the 1918 flu. Amidst the horrors of victims’ bodies turning black from cyanosis, there are some amusing episodes when people could not help seeing the funny side of a grim and terrifying time.

Dr Rice’s books published previous to That Terrible Time included brief excerpts from the many interviews and letters he had gathered in the course of his research, but this collection includes many that have never before been published, and longer extracts from those that have.

Emeritus Professor of History Dr Geoffrey Rice (Alumnus 1965) has had a busy year helping to mark the centenary of the great influenza pandemic of 1918. Following the publication of his book Black Flu 1918: the story of New Zealand’s worst public health disaster (Canterbury University Press, 2017) he was invited to deliver keynote addresses at international influenza conferences in Madrid, Singapore and Melbourne. The NZ Ministry of Health invited him to address meetings of senior managers responsible for implementing New Zealand’s Influenza Pandemic Plan and he also spoke at a national civil defence conference in Wellington. In addition he has delivered over 30 talks about the 1918 flu to various U3A, Probus and genealogy groups in Christchurch, Wellington, Nelson and Timaru.

The introduction in That Terrible Time explains how he first became interested in the subject, and the research that led to the publication of Black November in 1988, and its expanded and updated second edition in 2005. This book remains the world’s only country-level study of the 1918 flu based on individual death records. Professor Rice’s mortality data has been used by researchers at the Wellington clinical school of the Otago Medical School for a series of articles in the New Zealand Medical Journal. His own article on influenza in New Zealand before 1918 was recently published in the prestigious American Journal of Epidemiology.

That Terrible Time: Eye-witness accounts of the 1918 influenza pandemic in New Zealand is available from the distributors, NATIONWIDEBOOKS.CO.NZ, at $24.99.

Christchurch Graduation Ceremonies December 2018

Details about the upcoming University of Canterbury Graduation ceremonies on 19 and 21 December 2018 in the Horncastle Arena follow:

  1. Graduation ceremonies

Wednesday 19 December 2018

10.00am Colleges of Engineering and Arts

2.00pm College of Business and Law

Friday 21 December 2018

10.00am College of Science

2.00pm College of Education, Health and Human Development

Council members are encouraged to attend any or all ceremonies. Staff are also encouraged to attend the ceremony connected with their College(s), and may attend other ceremonies as they wish.

All UC staff are invited to be part of the stage party and there will be ample room for those who wish to participate.

Full academic dress will be worn. Hire of this should be arranged through departmental offices. Hired regalia may be collected on the day before Graduation from Graduate Women Canterbury (GWC) at 9 Creyke Road, Ilam. Please note that the GWC hold very limited stocks of Waikato PhD regalia so, where applicable, prompt ordering is advised.

Printed programmes will be provided at the venue. All those joining the stage party for any ceremony are requested to inform Karen Reynolds (Phone ext. 95512 or email that they intend to be present, not later than 4.30pm on Wednesday 5 December.

Admission for general seating in Horncastle Arena is by ticket only. Council and staff members requiring ticket(s) for a family member or friend for any Ceremony should advise Karen (Phone ext. 95512 or email not later than 4.30pm on Wednesday 5 December.

For UC staff members, tickets will be forwarded by internal mail before the date of the ceremonies unless there is a request received to forward them elsewhere.

  1. Arrangements

Arrangements for the ceremonies at 10.00am on Wednesday 19 and Friday 21 December

All members of the stage party are required to assemble near the sign-posted area on Twigger Street, directly down the path from the main entrance to the arena, by 9.20am.


Arrangements for the ceremonies at 2.00pm on Wednesday 19 and Friday 21 December

All members of the stage party are required to assemble near the sign-posted area on Twigger Street, directly down the path from the main entrance to the arena, by 1.20pm.

In the event of wet weather, please assemble inside the arena on the landing of Stair 1 directly opposite Gate 1.

Jeff Field
University Registrar | Pouroki

Software License requests

Staff recently received the following communication regarding purchasing of software:

Do you need software to assist your teaching next year 2019?  In order for ITS to assist with delivery of your software request in time for the beginning of Semester 1.  Please ensure your request is submitted well before December 2018.   If your request is received later than 14th December 2018 we are unable to guarantee that it will be ready by beginning of semester 1.

Any requests that are version changes to software within computer labs\workrooms, please complete the IT Workrooms Software Request Form, in the self-service portal, before the date indicated.

Please note that for each version change a new request form is required, so we can schedule in the program of work.

Failure to complete all the request information will add delays to the process and our ability to meet the beginning of Semester 1 program deliverables.

Any requests for new software in January/February 2019 for Semester 1 cannot be accommodated in time.

Windows 10 project update:

IT Services managed computer workrooms and teaching spaces will be upgraded to Windows 10 by the end of January 2019

Aaron Smith
Project Support
Learning Resources ITS Project Management Office

Letter from NZ Academics to Government urges climate change action

In 2012 the Wise Response Appeal was organized by Sir Alan Mark, with a list of 100 prominent New Zealand scientists, medical doctors, economists, authors and engineers as the original signatories.

The Wise Response Appeal has presented a case to the Parliament Select Committee asking for a national risk assessment, and has prepared submissions on numerous policies from the collective voice of its members.

In recent years the Wise Response Appeal has gained more than 1000 expert signatories. Academics from all of New Zealand’s universities and many other experts continue with the mission to push for risk assessments on policies and business practices. A recent initiative is an open letter that is currently open for signatories.  

Sign the petition here>

Professor Susan Krumdiek, inaugural member of Wise Response

Winner of UC Early and Emerging Career Researcher Award

I am pleased to announce that Dr Mitja Remus-Emsermann from the School of Biological Sciences is the winner of the UC Early and Emerging Career Researcher Award 2018.

Dr Remus-Emsermann’s research is at the interface of microbiology, ecology and plant sciences. His research goals include understanding how bacterial communities assemble on plant leaves and which factors drive the spatial structure of bacterial communities.

This research has important implications for life sciences generally, and the agricultural sector in particular. Understanding how bacterial communities are spatially structured will result in critical information for future approaches to select natural plant leaf colonising bacteria that are able to prevent plant pathogen colonisation and disease outbreaks in agricultural environments.

Dr Remus-Emsermann is already a recognised expert in this field and a regular reviewer for high impact journals. He has an outstanding record of publication, especially so given he obtained his doctorate in early 2012. He was appointed a lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences in May 2016, and an Associate Investigator at UC’s Biomolecular Interaction Centre in January 2017.

Please join me in congratulating Dr Remus-Emsermann on his latest achievement and success. 

Professor Ian Wright
Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua