Category Archives: In the news

Artefact series offers gripping NZ historical dramas

Artefact is an exciting six  part series presented by Dame Professor Anne Salmond (pictured below), which takes viewers on adventures through time with a focus on artefacts and taonga at the heart of gripping and often surprising historical dramas.

A number of Ngāi Tahu people participate in this series, including  a UC doctoral graduate.

Artefact also shines the light on contemporary themes and challenges viewers to think about what sort of Aotearoa we want to leave our children. Created by Greenstone TV, for Māori TV, Artefact connects today’s New Zealanders with our ancestors’ experiences and aspirations, through the powerful stories of the artefacts that have survived them. 

Episode 1 – Star Travel – 7 May 
In this episode we find taonga that open the window to our Pacific voyaging tradition – a feat likened to space travel which saw Polynesians navigate their way across the Pacific to Aotearoa. Dame Anne travels around our country as well as England to find taonga and people to tell these stories of voyaging and adventure. A group of Toi Hauiti whānau are reunited with the voyaging tipuna Paikea who is housed in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Episode 2 – Tangata Whenua – 14 May
Dame Anne introduces us to taonga that shine the light on the remarkable innovations Polynesian settlers made once they reached Aotearoa. Their adaptations to new resources meant that they became tangata whenua in Aotearoa – Māori. The taonga we find show innovations in all things – clothing, gardening, stone tools and includes a map that illustrates a remarkable and intimate knowledge of the land as well as a distinctively Māori world view.

Episode 3 – The Power of Gifts – 21 May 
From the very first encounters between Māori and Europeans, gifts were exchanged, signaling a desire to forge relationships and strong connections that would last over time and generations. Dame Anne finds taonga that tell these stories: they include hoe given to crew of the Endeavour; Hongi Hika’s korowai which he gave to King George; a medal given by Governor King to the northern rangatira Te Pahi and gifts exchanged between Ngāti Huia and the Onslow family.

Episode 4 – Threads that Bind – 28 May
Clothing is more than adornment, clothes can carry political messages, they often signal identity and status and can be used to satirise. Dame Anne leads us to taonga that tell stories of remarkable people and moments in time where clothes have provided powerful statements. A kaitaka that literally saves the life of a young boy; Tame Iti speaks about the way clothes can carry a political message.  The extensive clothing collection of Whetu Tirakatene-Sullivan demonstrates how she used clothes to make strong political statements.

Episode 5 – In Pursuit of Harmony – 4 June 
Dame Anne finds taonga that tease out the story of music and musical instruments in Aotearoa. From earliest taonga puoro, to introduced Western instruments, these taonga tell the story of traditional music nearly silenced, a new music arriving and the way two musical traditions have intersected. The taonga in this episode include a magnificent carved Steinway grand piano, an ancient pūtorino that hasn’t been played in living memory, a treasured Gibson Les Paul guitar and a website that celebrates the traditional percussive instrument – the poi.

Episode 6 – The Call of the Huia – 11 June 11
Beginning with some remarkable Huia bird specimens this episode challenges us to learn from our past and to think carefully about the sort of Aotearoa we want to leave our children. Taonga featured include huia birds and feathers, and living taonga such as Whanganui River, Te Urewera and the remarkable Te Kura Whare / Living House in Taneatua. How can we learn from our past and the tragic story of the Huia bird. What are the exciting possibilities for the future?

(Text and photo published with the permission of Greenstone TV)

Financial contribution to Fulbright New Zealand awards programme doubles

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is doubling its annual contribution to Fulbright New Zealand to $1.35 million.

The contribution will fund an increase in the number of educational grants, provide the opportunity for funding a second year of study for Fulbright New Zealand graduate students, and strengthen the financial support to individual Fulbright New Zealand graduates and scholars.

Fulbright New Zealand is an international educational exchange programme established between New Zealand and the United States in 1948, and is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.

For more information on the Fulbright New Zealand awards programme, go to www.fulbright.org.nz.

 

UC unveils sculpture, dedicates pathway on quake anniversary

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On the seventh anniversary of the 22 February earthquake, the University of Canterbury dedicated the Unicycle pathway along University Drive as a commemorative pathway to acknowledge of the courage and contribution of the University community, and the losses and injuries sustained by students, staff, alumni and friends of the University in the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes.

As part of this dedication, a specially commissioned sculpture, Roimata, was unveiled at the Clyde Road end of the Unicycle pathway. It has been designed for UC by Māori artist Riki Manuel.

Speaking the unveiling ceremony, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the UC Student Volunteer Army was an example of extraordinary generosity.

SVA founder Sam Johnson and former UCSA President Erin Jackson also spoke at the event. Sam said he was often asked if there would be an SVA without the earthquakes and mentioned the thousands of primary school children who took part in SVA voluntary work across New Zealand last year. He praised the ongoing momentum and strength of the current SVA and noted that the SVA is now the largest student club at the University of Canterbury.

The sculpture Roimata tells a story of remembrance, and depicts a community ritual that has emerged from a tragedy that is now an inherent part of the heritage of Christchurch. The sculpture depicts a koru facing down, as it represents a life taken before fully grown. The undulating surface is rippled, to represent the river Ōtākaro |Avon, and a scattering of brass roses, cherry blossoms and daffodils on top represent the flowers that the people of Ōtautahi | Christchurch throw into the river each year on 22 February, in remembrance.

After the unveiling UC staff, students and guests were invited to throw flowers onto the river to flow into the city in time for the formal remembrance service at the National Earthquake Memorial in central Christchurch.

Universities NZ welcomes Ministerial appointments

University Vice-Chancellors today congratulated Chris Hipkins on his appointment as Minister of Education as well as Associate Ministers of Education Kelvin Davis, Jenny Salesa, and Tracey Martin, and Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, Dr Megan Woods.

Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Chair of Universities New Zealand, says, “We look forward to working with Ministers and the coalition government to progress key priorities to benefit New Zealand and New Zealanders.

“Universities are key drivers of New Zealand’s economic growth and social well-being. All eight universities are well placed to be part of the solution to help resolve key challenges facing the country including sustainable economic development, increased exports, a healthy environment, and a fair and equitable society, to improve the well-being of all New Zealanders.”

“We know that a university degree is a good investment for graduates and their families and whānau.  Graduates earn more, 98% are employed, and they are happier and healthier than school leavers.  They also provide New Zealand’s future thinkers, leaders, citizens, parents, employers and employees that underpin a well-functioning society.

“University researchers and experts are already addressing the pressing issues New Zealand faces and can inform policy setting and decision-making to progress government and coalition priorities including education, social development, health, economy, and the environment.”

In addition, New Zealand’s universities can support the priorities of the coalition Government by

  • Working in schools to improve social mobility – particularly improving access for those who are first in family to attend university and increasing the number of young Māori and Pasifika students achieving university entrance and starting university.  Universities therefore welcome the appointment of an Associate Minister of Māori Education to focus on these issues.
  • Growing the regions by lifting educational attainment of groups traditionally under-represented at university and by generating and transferring knowledge that benefits regional communities and their economies. Universities are among the largest employers and creators of jobs in the regions where they are located.
  • Advising on migration changes to ensure New Zealand attracts genuine, high-quality international students.
  • Advising on student study and accommodation support so it is set at an appropriate level and reaches those most in need.

New Zealand has a world-class university system delivering high-quality teaching, learning and research. But Professor McCutcheon warns that it faces challenges after years of being underfunded – sitting below the OECD average.

“Instead our universities are funded amongst a range of countries we do not traditionally compare ourselves against, including Indonesia, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and Turkey.”

This funding drop has seen a sustained drop in international rankings which affect universities’ ability to attract and retain world-class academics, carry out leading research, and attract international students which universities are overly reliant on financially.

Universities have come under further financial pressure over the past decade through a proliferation of relatively costly initiatives and unfunded mandates, while still being required to deliver a 3% surplus annually.

Professor McCutcheon says, “We look forward to working with government to discuss and resolve these issues and enable universities to contribute to New Zealand and New Zealand’s success.”

Sir John Key officially opens UC Trading Room

Former Prime Minister and University of Canterbury alumnus, the Rt Hon Sir John Key officially opened the new Trading Room in the UC Business School on Monday.

The UC Trading Room simulates a financial trading environment, providing business and finance students with experiential learning and skills in fund management.

The 12-seat facility includes a live stock ticker display, access to business news feeds and a range of electronic business databases including Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters DataStream, Global Financial Data and SIRCA. It will be used primarily for teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in finance across three programmes – the Bachelor of Commerce, the Master’s degree in Applied Finance and Economics, and the Master’s degree in Financial Management.

Read the news story to find out more.

Check out the coverage on 1 News.

Sir John Key opens the Trading Room in the Business and Law building, 16.10.17 Sir John Key, Rod Carr, Sonya Mazey, Darren Russell, Jadrzej Bialkowski and many others. Client, Lyn Larsen, Exec Assistant Learning Resources. Hannah Seeley SSAC.

Sir John Key officially opened the UC Trading Room in the Business and Law building on Monday. Left to right: Dr John Wood – Chancellor, Dr Rod Carr – Vice-Chancellor, Sir John Key, Professor Sonia Mazey – Pro-Vice-Chancellor College of Business and Law. 

 

Sir John Key opens the Trading Room in the Business and Law building, 16.10.17 Sir John Key, Rod Carr, Sonya Mazey, Darren Russell, Jadrzej Bialkowski and many others. Client, Lyn Larsen, Exec Assistant Learning Resources. Hannah Seeley SSAC.

Sir John Key tries out some of the new technology in the UC Trading Room.