MASSEY Nov 2008

MASSEY Nov 2008
a seat
Industrial designer
Mark Pennington
Inside: Glacial Retreat + Political Speeches + WWI Photography
Like many of this magazine’s readers, I am a Massey alumnus. I
entered Massey as a student in 1972 and six years later, with my
beard trimmed and my masterate nicely framed, I became a member
of staff, first joining the College of Business and then moving across
campus to become a lecturer in what was, I believe, the best sociology
department in Australasia.
It is at Massey that I had the revelation that I liked learning. It is
here that I discovered what it was to apply myself: at the College of
Business I often worked on into the small hours. At Massey I found
friends and mentors, people I have never lost touch with.
I thought then – and have often thought since – that the
University had something special going for it. Massey’s founding
Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Stewart, thought so too. Massey, he
observed, lay outside the normal run of universities; here was an
institution that embraced change and innovation. This culture, he
said, was most likely to do with the University’s youth.
It was certainly young. Although Massey had been in existence
as an agricultural college since 1926, it was not until 1964 that it
became a university in its own right.The university I enrolled with
was a rapidly-growing eight-year-old, with the tempestuous years
of adolescence, eventual maturity and consolidation still ahead.
Today, now that the University – and I – have reached a more
venerable age, could Sir Alan make the same assertion? Is Massey
still something special? I think the answer is yes.
It remains adaptable and innovative, and it has become something
more. With its span of disciplines, modes of teaching, geographic
reach, and overarching ethos, a good case can be made that Massey
has become New Zealand’s defining university. The people you
will meet in this magazine reflect the range and engagement
of the Massey community. You will meet Mark Pennington, the
designer of the Life Chair, 150,000 of which are sold globally each
year. You will meet David Skiffington, the New Zealand Young
Farmer of the Year, and Lisa Emerson, who received the Prime
Minister’s Supreme Award at this year’s Tertiary Teaching Excellence
Awards; Martin Brook, who writes from first-hand experience of
the accelerating melting of the Tasman Glacier; Glyn Harper, who
has assembled and published a long-overdue photographic record
of New Zealanders’ experience of WWI; and alumni making their
careers in the hurly-burly of China’s economic miracle.
People and stories like these are the reason I decided to return
to Massey, this time as its Vice-Chancellor. No other job held this
one’s allure.
In the months and years ahead I intend to see that Massey
continues, as it did in Sir Alan’s day, to embrace change and
innovation. As New Zealand seeks to transform itself
into a sustainable, prosperous, fair and vibrant nation
able to thrive in a globalising world, Massey will be
a key player.
Join us on the adventure that lies ahead.
Steve Maharey
Above: the children’s playground in Wellington’s Frank Kitts park designed by Massey
alumnus Mark Pennington. Left: Massey alumnus and member of staff Steve Maharey in
FIRST PERSON Parts of speech
What is the measure of a good speech?
asks former speechwriter Heather Kavan.
Advance and retreat
Even if the world addresses climate change, one of
New Zealand’s iconic land features is going to largely
disappear, says Dr Martin Brook. It’s farewell to the Tasman Glacier.
MASSEY is published twice yearly by
Massey University, Private Bag 11-222,
Palmerston North, New Zealand
ROUND & ABOUT Green horizons
We meet Young Farmer of the Year and full-time father David Skiffington.
Dream run
Matthew Brodie applies motion analysis to the science of skiing.
Current news: Visit
[email protected]
for news from Massey University and past
issues of MASSEY.
Editor:Malcolm Wood
Writers: Kereama Beal, Lindsey Birnie,
Leanne Fecser, James Gardiner, Bryan
Gibson, Jennifer Little, Amanda McAuliffe,
Helen Vause, Malcolm Wood
Photographers: Graeme Brown, Tony
FEATURES Design: Grant Bunyan
Take a seat
Whincup, David Wiltshire
The brilliant career of industrial designer Mark Pennington.
Photographic memory
Military historian Glyn Harper produces the first-ever book of
New Zealand WWI photographs.
A month in the middle kingdom
Journalist Tom Fitzsimons catches up with some fellow Massey alumni
during a placement with the Shanghai Daily.
Alumni Notes and News
news visit or
e-mail [email protected]
Copyright: You are generally welcome to
reproduce material from MASSEY, provided
you first gain permission from the editor.
If you go to San Francisco
Fulbright-Platinum Triangle Scholar Fiona Miller
is an MBA student in Berkeley.
For changes of address or to send in your
DEPARTMENTS Keri Welham has 14 years-experience as
a journalist, mainly for daily and Sunday
newspapers. She recently made good on a failed
first attempt at a critical shorthand component
of the national journalism qualification and now
holds a Graduate Diploma of Journalism from
Massey. Keri is a freelance writer and part-time
journalist with The Dominion Post. Keri interviews
Mark Pennington.
Julia Ferrier, who created the cover image,
has recently completed a Bachelor of Design
(Photographic Design). Her work centres around
digital manipulation and the representation of
space. Julia is looking to pursue a career in the
advertising industry.
Parts of speech
What is the measure of a great speech, asks former speechwriter Dr Heather Kavan.
The Rev. Martin Luther King
World Telegram & Sun photo by Dick DeMarsico.
ifteen years after Martin Luther King
delivered his “I have a dream” speech,
I wrote my first political speech. Of
course, my piece wasn’t in the same league
as King’s speech, but it might have been, had
there been a revolution at the time.
Fresh from studying the Arts at university,
and having read too many books on
anarchist philosophy, I’d landed a job writing
speeches for a government minister. I’d met
the minister only once, and mentally drifted
off during the conversation, so I had little
idea of what I was supposed to write.
I decided to pen a feel-good narrative,
contrasting the impoverished past with some
exaggerated current successes. I would have
cringed if I’d had to say the words myself, but
the minister delivered them confidently, and
sent me a message saying that he especially
liked the speech.
My discomfort at sexing up the minister’s
successes was small. This was, after all, a
political speech – it could hardly be an
announcement of his mediocrity.
But what happens when the stakes are
The issue has a special relevance in recent
times, as Bush’s speech writers dishonestly
sold a war that cost the lives of 4300 US
soldiers and up to 1.3 million Iraqis. Their
increasing influence on policy, especially
military policy, makes most of us feel tight
around the collar. A cartoon showing a king
speaking to a mob of people, “Sorry about
the war and the economy and everything,
folks – I was misled by my speechwriters”
sums up our discontent.
No doubt the victims of Abu Ghraib find
the joke hilarious.
The speech writing profession has also
taken a dive as the Internet has made it
easier to detect how much speech writers
plagiarise. In the usual mud-slinging of
American presidential elections, both sides
allege that their rivals are plagiarising. John
Kerry, George Bush, Barack Obama, Hillary
Clinton, Joe Biden: all have been accused of
swiping material. However, John McCain
really crossed the line when his recent
foreign policy speech turned out to be
copied from Wikipedia. To be sure, speech
writers usually draw on traditions of public
rhetoric. But Wikipedia? For a foreign policy
speech? Do we really want the world’s fate
decided by people who choose unreliable
and lazy options?
And then there are the stories we hear in
speeches. Maybe it’s just me, but each time I
hear one, I feel an urge to spike the speaker’s
water glass with sodium pentathol. Perhaps
the best known example is Hillary Clinton’s
speech at George Washington University in
which she talked of dodging sniper bullets
when landing in Bosnia. It was a tale worthy
of Saving Private Ryan, but footage showed
no sniper fire, just the beautifully coiffured
Hillary walking along the tarmac, smiling
and waving. According to her companion,
the only challenge she had was deciding
where to go for dinner.
When speeches turn out to be the literary
equivalent of celebrity breast implants, it’s
hard to view even a genuine speaker without
a whiff of suspicion.
So, is there anything great – or even noble
– about speech writing?
On the eve of Barack Obama’s acceptance
pledge for the Democratic Party’s presidential
nomination, three top speech writers were
interviewed on United States National
Public Radio, and asked what they thought
constituted a great speech. They replied
that a great speech wasn’t measured by lofty
rhetorical phrases, but by whether it stirred
the audience to action – in this case to vote
for the candidate. Speakers must, they said,
convince the listener that their life will be
better in a concrete, specific way.
Similarly, Helen Clark’s former chief
press secretary, Mike Munro, told me that
when people are asked what works for
them in speech making, the most common
tribute is “I felt that the speaker was talking
about me”. The speech must be personally
These are useful pointers for excellence;
however, they can’t be interpreted as the
sole criterion of a great speech. If stirring
the audience to action is the measure of
greatness, then Hitler and Mao Ze Dong’s
speeches that mobilised millions to kill
might rate higher than the Sermon on the
Mount. (Stalin’s speeches can be disqualified
because of his practice of having the first
member in the audience to stop clapping
shot dead.)
Seasoned speakers would agree that, no
matter how brilliant the speech, there are
some audiences that have the responsiveness
of a coma patient. In fact, some of the world’s
most powerful speeches were flops at the
time they were given. Abraham Lincoln’s
Gettysburg address, for example, was
followed by a dead silence and eventually a
scattering of barely polite applause. Similarly,
when suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst
delivered her acclaimed ‘Freedom or death’
speech, the theatre was only one third full,
and reporters ignored the speech, except
for one who described it as having “no
great results”.
If the speaker’s immediate impact isn’t
the measure of a great speech, what then
is? What is the difference between a speech
that dies in its infancy and one that resonates
through lifetimes?
I think author Roy Clark hit on the answer
in his analysis of Obama’s race speech. Clark
cites scholar W. E. DuBois on how people
experience double consciousness ­– a sense
of viewing one’s self through other people’s
eyes, of “measuring one’s soul by the tape of
a world that looks on
of the human spirit.
in amused contempt
Take away the soulful
and pity”.1
intonations and
Although Clark
the speech loses its
and Du Bois are
specifically referring Lecturer in Communications and Journalism Dr Heather Kavan has a richly varied background in writing and editing, research,
Most New Zealand
world religions, and developmental psychology.
to the dual experiences
speech writers would
of being black and American, I think double
When King gave the speech, singer Mahalia never get the chance to write an “I have a
consciousness can be interpreted more widely. Jackson was standing nearby. As King started dream” type of speech, but I think this says
A truly great speech is soulful: it lifts us above intoning “Go back to Mississippi, Go back to more about our leaders’ personalities than our
man-made judgements to a greater dignity. Alabama”, Jackson became concerned that he social conditions.
Like beautiful music and art, it seems to be might wind down the speech, so she cried
A music lover on has suggested
an inspired, rather than a mortal creation.The out, “Tell them about your dream, Martin.” that if we made our politicians sing instead of
words transport us to a transcendent place, and King launched into “I have a dream” and the give speeches, we’d be better at picking the
the closer we align ourselves with the other speech became a legend.
honest ones. I’d like to suggest an additional
consciousness, the better we seem to feel.
Speech writers employ rhetorical devices, test, which I call the Thomas question.
If that sounds too ethereal, we should look let’s call them special effects, to create this
Physician and poet Lewis Thomas was
more closely at the way the speech writer rhythm.The hottest special effect is reversible once asked: If we had to explain to beings
accomplishes this.
raincoat sentences (technically antimetabole from outer space what we’re like, what signals
The main technique is rhythm. Even those or AB BA reversal). Examples range from: should we send? Thomas suggested Bach, his
who aren’t black still bask in the intonations “Ask not what your country can do for you, music streamed out into space over and over
of African-American speakers like Martin but what you can do for your country” to the again. Then he wondered if this would look
Luther King, Malcolm X and Jesse Jackson more adventurous,“I’d rather have a bottle in like bragging, but reasoned that it would be
in their fight against racism.The words have front of me than a frontal lobotomy”.
excusable for us to make our best impression
a musical quality.When heard, they resonate
Other special effects include anaphora first, and then we could reveal our less edifying
through the body, and when read, they dance – repetition of the beginning phrase: “Call it creations later.
on the page – in both cases bypassing the pain, call it hurt, call it agony,” and its opposite,
I suggest we judge our politicians by
intellect and triggering emotions. Is it any epiphora – repetition of the end phrase: “to how their speeches would rate in the list
surprise that Bob Dylan has pledged his work together, to pray together, to struggle of creations to be sent into space. If when
support of the euphonic Barack Obama?
they speak, we can only imagine a thousand
together, to go to jail together”.
The musical quality is best illustrated
Also effective are antitheses: “His parents galactic yawns resonating across the cosmos,
by King’s “I have a dream” speech. What’s came together on immigrant ships; my then they’re unlikely to have anything special
interesting about this speech, and not parents came together on slave ships,” triads: to offer our country.
generally known, is that the “I have a dream” “ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished”, and
The Thomas question is the ultimate
part nearly didn’t get into the speech. King assonance:“meaning of its creed”.The handiest challenge not just for speech writers, but for
started writing the speech the night before, tool a speech writer can have is a rhyming all of us who write. Instead of appealing to
drawing on passages from his speech writer, dictionary.
the lowest common denominator, we could
Stanley Levinson, and his friend Archibald
Although seemingly contrived, rhythmic write as if our words were to be streamed into
Carey. He didn’t finish writing until 4am. utterances come across as more authentic than space, over and over again.
King included the “I have a dream” part, ordinary speech. Just as musicians say that music
After Bach.
but his political advisors told him to leave is like a truth serum – one can easily spot an
it out as he’d used it in 25 of his earlier insincere singer – so rhythmic speech demands
Clark, R. P. (2008). “Why it worked: A rhetorical analysis of
speeches, and they felt the crowd would be that the speaker vocalises from the heart. A 1. Obama’s
speech on race”. Retrieved: 27 Sept., 2008, from:
bored by it.
great speech is a genuine, vibrant expression
Advance and retreat
One of our iconic landscapes is changing rapidly, writes Dr Martin Brook. And there is nothing much we can do about it.
or somewhere to contemplate climate
change and its consequences, I can
recommend nowhere better than
floating on an inflatable boat on the everextending lake that now lies at the terminal
face of the Tasman glacier.
exercise.There are inputs, (collectively known
as accumulation) in the form of snowfall
and avalanching onto the surface. And there
are outputs (collectively known as ablation),
including surface melting, meltwater runoff
and evaporation, and the direct evaporation
of ice.
Thirty years ago there was no lake: theTasman
New Zealand’s mid-latitude situation and
river issued forth from the glacier’s face.
its particular geography mean that the effect
By the early 1980s there were a few surface of climate change – either current or historic
ponds – the technical term is ‘supraglacial’– – can lead to quite different glacial responses
toward the end of the glacier.
according to the glacier you choose.
By the late 1980s, when Martin Kirkbride,
Indeed, because the prevailing weather
(who would supervise my PhD in the late patterns have led to higher snowfalls in
1990s), undertook his first survey of what was upper basins or nevés, the Fox and Franz
happening, the ponds had begun to coalesce, Josef glaciers have advanced over a kilometre
and by 1990, the Tasman Glacier’s had its own from their 1950s and 1960s positions, even as
‘proglacial’ lake.
glaciers on the east coast of the divide have
When I first visited the Tasman Glacier continued to retreat.
in January 2000, as part my PhD fieldwork,
The Fox and Franz are ‘clean ice’ glaciers:
the lake was two-to-three
kilometres long, and today the
lake is an inescapably significant
geographic feature: six-to-seven
kilometres long, a couple of
kilometres wide and – as we
discovered in a detailed survey
in April 2008 – at least 245
metres deep.
No, this is not man-made global
warming at work,but something
much older.TheTasman Glacier
is belatedly responding to the
post-1850 century of climate
warming that began with close
of the ‘Little Ice Age’, a 400-year
event which included three cool
That climate warming may
not have amounted to much
– perhaps a 1 degree Celsius rise
in average temperature – but
it was enough. Worldwide, as
numerous studies have shown,
glaciers in general went into
In general, but not universally.
For when you look at an
individual glacier, matters
become more complicated.
The mass balance (or ‘health’)
of a glacier is a delicate budgetary
they lack the insulating rock, gravel and dirt
cover you see on glaciers such as the Tasman.
Because of this, they respond quickly to
changing climatic conditions.
A recent study published by our group1
found evidence that the terminus of the
very steep Fox Glacier responds to changes
in accumulation of snow in its nevé in less
than a decade.
In contrast, low-angle debris-covered
glaciers like the Tasman Glacier respond an
order of magnitude more slowly to climate
change, and when it is climate warming the
change often takes the form of a gradual
surface lowering.
Until the arrival of the lake, this is
exactly what happened to the Tasman, the
downwasting evident to anyone who, over the
years, had to climb ever further down steep
moraine walls to reach the glacier surface.
The Tasman Glacier and its surroundings as seen by Landsat in 2001. 1. Mount Cook Village; 2.
The Tasman Glacier’s proglacial lake; 3. The main body of the rock-and-scree covered Tasman
Glacier; 4. The high peak of Aoraki Mt Cook; 5. The Hochstetter Glacier, where the lake is likely
to eventually terminate. Image: NASA
With the for mation of the
lake, the equation changed. The
downwasting continues, but it
is the lake that is exerting the
greater influence: every day and
all day, its waters eat away at the
The lake allows the terminus
of the glacier to calve blocks of
ice off the snout.This happens in
a number of ways. At the water
line, a thermo-erosional notch
forms, melting a large, flat cavern
into the ice cliff.This destabilises
the ice above, causing subaerial
calving; sometimes there are
spectacular collapses of ice into
the water, sending waves across
the lake – to the consternation of
anyone in a small survey boat!
Another type of calving
happens beneath the water’s
surface, chunks of ice breaking
away from the submerged
portion of the glacier and rising
to the surface as icebergs. During
our April fieldwork, icebergs
would occasionally emerge from
the water at quite large distances
from glacial terminus.
The distance of the icebergs
from the terminus taken together
with the evidence of our sonar work suggests
that a large ‘foot’ of ice extends for maybe
200 metres under the water away from the
ice cliff into the proglacial lake.
The work that has been done on similar
calving glaciers in South America and Alaska
suggests that there is a direct relationship
between the calving rate of the ice cliff
and the water depth. As lake depth at the
snout increases, more glacier ice comes into
contact with the lake water, more melting
occurs, and the calving rate increases.
The Tasman Glacier – and the lake at its
tip – occupy a deep rock basin carved during
the last major Ice Age around 20,000 years
ago. As the Tasman Glacier retreats further
up the Tasman valley, the rock basin is deeper
and so the lake becomes deeper too, in turn
putting more and more of the front of the
glacier in contact with lake water.
Two boats were used in the survey of the Tasman’s lake, one
(upper photo) carrying an echo-sounder to measure lake depth,
the other (lower photo) pulling a towfish sonar, imaging the
sub-bottom materials beneath the lake floor. The towfish sonar,
a shallow seismic technique, is used to identify subsurface ice
and the sub-bottom sedimentary stratigraphy.
In the summer of 2008/9 Brook and his team will return to
Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park to continue sonar work at
the Tasman and other proglacial lakes. They will be using
ground-penetrating radar to study glacier structure; crevasse
geometry, continuity and orientation are key determinants in
glacier calving rates.
The data gathered will form part of an honour’s project by Rob
Dykes and a PhD thesis by Clare Robertson.
And whereas many glacial lakes are
dammed by narrow morraine walls, which
may eventually breach, the dam wall of the
Tasman’s glacial lake lies below the level of
glacial outwash plains that stretch tens of
kilometres to the south towards Lake Pukaki
and the Mackenzie basin.
So what is going to happen to the Tasman
Glacier and the lake with which it is now
twinned? Or, more particularly: How far will
the glacier recede? How large will the lake
grow? And how quickly are things going to
In the 1990s, when the lake was starting
to grow significantly, Dr Martin Kirkbride
put forward two scenarios, one moderate,
one more extreme. In his moderate scenario,
the glacier would retreat up the valley and
the lake, growing at a moderate rate, would
reach seven kilometres long by the year 2200.
In the more extreme scenario the glacier
would retreat rapidly reaching 10 kilometres
up-valley by 2008 from status quo in 1986.
With the lake now at seven kilometres and
growing, this is much closer to the reality.To
date, it looks like the ice cliff has retreated at
the rate of roughly 180 metres a year, but the
rate is likely to increase as the lake deepens.
The relationship between the lake and the
speed of glacial retreat is fascinating. Within
the glaciological community there is intense
debate about the relationship between
calving and glacier dynamics. A central issue
is whether calving losses are the cause of ice
flow acceleration or the consequence2.
One view is that calving is the ‘master’,
process, with calving losses triggering a
cascade of dynamic changes up-glacier,
including flow acceleration. A contrasting
view portrays calving as the ‘slave’ of glacier
dynamics, responding more or less passively
to changes in other parts of the system. In
this view, coupled dynamical and geometric
changes to the glacier system drive increased
calving rates, by causing the calving front to
retreat and increasing the rate at which ice
is delivered to that point.
Conceivably the glacier will continue to
retreat rapidly until bedrock in the valley
profile is exposed at water level (730 metres
above sea level) between the glacier and the
lake. Geophysical work carried out in the
British-born Dr Martin Brook completed his PhD at
Dundee University in 2001, having conducted fieldwork in
New Zealand’s Southern Alps, northwest Iceland, and the
Scottish Highlands. As well as his work on the Tasman
glacier, Brook is working on an understanding of the
dynamics of the Fox Glacier and of the rates of landscape
evolution in the North Island, particularly in the Tararua
early 1970s in the valley suggests that this
point will be reached after another eight
or nine kilometres of recession, where the
Hochstetter Glacier now joins the Tasman.
This will be vastly different landscape from
that which we know today.
Are there then wider lessons to be drawn
from all of this? I do not know. Certainly, as
I have said, the Tasman Glacier is reacting to
climatic changes that occurred well before
any concerns about global warming.
Perhaps what it illustrates is that small
climatic changes can have complex and
sometimes disproportionate effects.
1. Purdie et al. (2008). Seasonal variation in ablation
and surface velocity on a temperate maritime
glacier: Fox Glacier, New Zealand. Arctic, Antarctic & Alpine Research 40: 140-147.
2. Benn et al. 2007. Calving processes and the
dynamics of calving glaciers. Earth Science
Reviews 82(3-4): 143-179.
The Skiffington family: David, Heather, Megan and Anna.
Green horizons
Lindsey Birnie visits Young Farmer of the Year David Skiffington and his family on their
lifestyle property outside Feilding,
eet the Skiffington family. First,
inside the door is Angelina
Ballerina – a part Anna Skiffington,
age three, makes her own – then her fictional
sidekick, Henry, played with spirit by Heather
Skiffington, age two, finally the production
crew: dad, David, who bends down to adjust
Angelina’s ballet shoes, and mum, Megan.
Angelina Ballerina and Henry are characters
from a popular children’s book; David
Skiffington, the winner of this year’s 2008
Young Farmer of the Year, is the household’s
full-time dad, looking after the children
and two leasehold properties; and Megan,
a sales consultant for a scientific equipment
company, is, at least for the moment, the
principal breadwinner.
David, who comes from a farming lineage,
which includes his parents and grandparents,
grew up in Rotorua. It was there, as a teenager,
that he met and romanced Megan. One day
the two of them, he told her, would have a
family and a farm. Megan, whose family also
included grandparents who farmed, liked
David and his vision. “I knew I wanted kids
and it sounded like a fantastic lifestyle for
But first came Massey, where Megan
embarked on a Bachelor of Science majoring
in genetics (with a minor in physiological
and molecular plant biology), and David,
after dallying with the idea of becoming a
vet, began study for a Bachelor of Applied
Part way through his first year of the
degree David decided to set a ten-year plan
for the couple to achieve their dream of
farm ownership. One of the waypoints he
mapped out was to win the Young Farmer
of the Year.
The Young Farmer of the Year is a New
Zealand institution of many decades standing.
Held annually, the competition calls on every
skill that might be asked of a modern-day
farmer, from artificially inseminating a cow, to
erecting a fence, to explaining the difference
between pasture grasses, to delivering an after
dinner speech. Each year, hundreds of young
farmers enter the 22 district competitions
hoping to advance through one of seven
regional finals to the nationally-televised
grand final.
David first entered in 2006, taking to the
challenge of preparation with a will. He
learned how to bone out a shoulder of lamb
and the intricacies of tax flow and forecasting.
He enlisted the help of friends and neighbours.
“I rang people up and said ‘I don’t know how
to plough a paddock, can you help?’”
He missed out by a whisker. After making
it through to the finals and tying with the
eventual winner, he lost by a single point on
a deciding technicality: he had caught up to
his rival rather than the other way round. He
knew he had to have another go – “I’m pretty
competitive, I like winning” – and it would
have to be soon. David was nearing the cutoff age for entries.
This time he won convincingly.
Out in the yard you can seen the gleaming
evidence: the Ford Ranger utility (upgraded
to a double cab for the children) he uses when
off doing work on their properties and, in a
shed, a Honda four-wheel drive atv.
The Young Farmer win is also a useful
validation for anyone wanting to get involved
in the Skiffington enterprise.
Without land or start-up capital, any
aspiring farmer faces a challenging first few
years. When Megan and David first began
looking for blocks to lease, the greatest
argument in their favour was the promise
that any property the two took on would
be materially improved during their tenure.
Their ‘sell’ is their competence, dedication
and expertise.
Aside from the lifestyle block they live
on, they currently have two leasehold blocks
totalling 89 hectares, on which they graze
dairy cows and raise breeding ewes.
“ T h e bl o c k s h ave ve r y d i f f e re n t
management issues,” David says. “The main
challenge is feed budgeting; there are lots of
mouths to feed and lots of grass but it’s not
necessarily in the same place at the same time.
The soils are quite different and there are
notably different water patterns.”
David’s more hands-on farming knowledge
is complemented by Megan’s analytical and
forecasting skills – though she also dons
overalls and mucks in when she can.
They are on the lookout for more land
if they can find it. It is all part of a larger
“Within the next nine years we are looking
to buy a big breeding property,” Megan says.
“The goals you have to set to achieve that
are really aggressive. It really puts pressure
on David to get smart about the farm and
to do his best.
“I am happy for us as a family to work
really hard.”
Getting back to the land
Three new land-based bachelor’s degree qualifications have
been launched by Massey. The degrees are in AgriScience,
AgriCommerce and Environmental Management.
The BAgriScience is intended for those who want to work
at the interface of science, technology and management in
agriculture, horticulture or equine studies. The graduates
are likely to find careers as technicians, farm or horticultural
managers, fertiliser or seed company representatives.
The BAgriCommerce prepares its graduates to work in any
of a range of businesses related to primary production, including
agricommerce, banking, farming, exporting, rural valuation, rural
financing, logistics and supply chain management.
The Bachelor of Environmental Management will provide
the career foundation for managers who hold stewardship over
resources, environments, catchments and parks, as well as for
regional planners and policy analysts.”
The new programmes, developed after extensive consultation,
update the Bachelor of Applied Science, which was introduced
in 1994.
Matthew Brodie, the runner up in the
MacDiarmid Young Scientists of the Year Award, talks to Malcolm Wood.
chieving top one hundred status for
YouTube views nationally, being
interviewed by New Scientist for
its web site, featuring in the national papers
and on national television... Matthew Brodie,
the category winner of Future Science and
Technologies and overall runner up in the
MacDiarmid Young Scientists of the Year
awards, is taking his 15 minutes of fame all
in his stride, with a kind of self-possessed
The truth is that, for the time being, his life
is not as glamorous as all that. In a secluded
office on Massey’s Wellington campus,
Brodie’s days are devoted to compressing
four years of research into the under-100,000
words requirement for a PhD thesis.
And although his thesis is about the science
of skiing, the doctoral student – and newish
father – will not see much snow this year.
Brodie’s breakthrough is the development
of fusion motion analysis software that
will allow a skier’s run to be analysed and
understood in all of its detail.
It is a first.
Motion analysis has a long history. In the 1870s
Eadweard Muybridge photographed a horse
in fast motion using a number of cameras
arranged parallel to the track and triggered
by a succession of trip wires. It is believed his
stills settled a bet about whether a galloping
horse’s hooves are ever simultaneously clear
the ground – they are – and showed that the
illustrators of the time had things hopelessly
Until very recent times most motion
analysis has been carried out in a way
Muybridge would recognise, using cameras
in the controlled environment of the
laboratory, athletics track or film studio (for
3D animation-based and special effects).
In some situations, however, optically-based
motion analysis is not practicable. Downhill
skiing is one. Steep and irregular terrain,
extreme speeds (speed skiers routinely exceed
200 kilometres per hour), the dramatically
changing scale and orientation of the skier
in the camera frame, the need to tilt and pan
multiple cameras each with an operator, and
the visual problems of snow and natural light
all mean that optical analysis will never be a
practical or efficient solution, says Brodie.
Fortunately in the past decade a wave
of affordable, tiny microelectromechanical
sensor (MEMS) technologies for measuring
movement have come to market. Is this a
solution? Maybe.The problem, it turns out, is
making sense of the data they produce.
Matthew Brodie was raised in Palmerston
North.He did a degree in chemical engineering
at Canterbury University and took up a job as
a process engineer at Carter Holt Harvey, but
after a while boredom took hold.
So he quit, took three months out for an
invigorating tramp of the length of the South
Island, and went in a different direction. In
his early teens Brodie had been introduced to
skiing during family holidays at Mt Ruapehu.
Now, over a number of years, he embarked
on a series of ski-related jobs: ski-patrolling
at Mt Olympus and Temple Basin, working
as an instructor and coach in Japan in the
off-season, and eventually establishing a
small business bringing Japanese skiers to
New Zealand. For a while, before the dollar
inflated against the yen, he did well. But it
was a precarious lifestyle, and he had other
interests. Postgraduate study beckoned.
Brodie had his research topic in mind,
exploring the dynamics of skiing, and a
preferred city,Wellington, where his girlfriend
had just taken up a job. That being so,
Massey, which taught exercise science and
engineering and had a Wellington campus,
was the logical choice. Biomechanist Dr Alan
Walmsley, of the Institute of Food, Nutrition,
and Human Health and multimedia systems
engineer Dr Wyatt Page of the School of
Engineering and Advanced Technology
agreed to be his supervisors. He was awarded
a scholarship to help with his costs, and a
capital case was put forward for the sensor
system he would need.
What kinds of movement are there? In
the case of single sensor, there are three
perpendicular axes in which it can move
in three dimensional space (forward or
backward, up or down, left or right) and
three perpendicular axes around which it can
also rotate independently (forms of rotation
known as yaw, pitch and roll).
The sensors purchased by Massey would
measure each of these kinds of movement.
Although weighing just 30 grams, each
contains three gyroscopes (to measure
orientation), three accelerometers (to measure
acceleration), three magnetometers (to
measure the strength and direction of the
magnetic field in the immediate vicinity) and
a thermometer (for sensor calibration).
All up, the system purchased for Brodie’s
work consisted of 15 sensors wired to a
central bus, which could connect to a laptop
computer or modified logic board. What is
more, the system even came with ‘Nancy’, a
software body model, based on the scanned
To view skier animations visit
dimensions of a real person, to which the data
from the sensors could be mapped.
But Nancy, as Brodie was to discover, had
her limitations. For one thing, she had a
problem with her lower back: the software
assumed this was rigid. For another, as
supplied, Nancy also lacked legs. Hers was a
torso-and-arms model only.
A third problem was that the software
model worked on the assumption that the
sensors would be attached to the subject at
set body points in impossible-to-maintain
These were matters Brodie remedied. He
built Nancy her lower limbs, freed up her
lower torso, and devised a way of placing the
sensors where he wanted and subsequently
performing a calibration.
Then came the crunch. He put a subject
wearing his sensors on an office chair and
spun the chair to see what Nancy, the
computer double, would do. As the chair
rotated, its occupant and Nancy parted ways.
The subject kept her arms to her sides; Nancy
raised hers into the air.
“After I spun the person on the chair and
discovered that the model didn’t work, that’s
really where my novel contribution to this
begins,” says Brodie.
Brodie knew he would have to re-engineer
the modelling software and he knew too that
he would have to take steps to improve the
accuracy of the raw data. He embarked on a
series of experiments.
He could see that he would need another
external source of data. “The IMUs [Inertial
Measurement Units] just give you local
movements. I needed to know where a
person was and how fast they were moving
through global space.” He attached a GPS to
the helmet of his subjects, but, again, an offthe-shelf GPS was not going to work.
“But if you can get the raw data out of it
and combine it with the inertial measurement
data, you can get a more accurate position
and orientation.
“One step up from the raw data, GPS gives
you time-of-flight and carrier frequency,
which is like the Doppler effect you hear
when an ambulance goes past. When you
are going towards a satellite the frequency
gets higher; if you are going away from a
satellite the frequency drops. You can tell
the relative velocity. Then if you take the
accelerometer data and integrate it you have
another measure of velocity. So now we have
overlap: information on velocity from two
different sources.”
Brodie’s third source of data was a multiplesensor pressure-sensitive insole, again off-theshelf, and again needing to be tweaked to
provide the data he needed.
Brodie and his subjects became a regular
feature on the slopes, Brodie, the boffin with
his laptop and Ben Griffin, his test pilot, with
a tangle of wires sprouting from his daypack
and a GPS taped to his helmet.
Brodie’s first animations looked somewhat
awkward. “I had to assume some part of the
person was fixed. So I assumed the cervical
spine was fixed. My first animations look as
if they are hanging on a coat hanger.”
Gradually the software model was refined
to the point where Brodie and Griffin could
sit down after a run – perhaps back in the
“blue monster”, Brodie’s VW van-turnedlaboratory – and watch exactly what had
happened. How Griffin had angled his body.
Where his line had been. The pressure he
had exerted on the snow. How efficiently, in
Brodie’s terms, height and gravity had been
used to generate velocity.
Overseas, Brodie’s work was also becoming
noticed. At a science and skiing congress in
Austria, Brodie was given a coveted spot
as one of the early speakers and awarded a
Fédération Internationale de Ski sponsored
prize for innovation.
It was this, together with the fact that he was
not part of a large, well-established research
group, that Brodie believes clinched the award
from the MacDiarmid award committee.
A second wave of publicity for his work
– this time international – came when Brodie
was invited to write the lead article for the
first issue of the Journal of Sports Technology
and the publishers put out an international
press release.
Brodie’s work could have multiple
applications. The obvious one is in enabling
competitive skiers to improve their times, but
the animations it produces could also be used
as an add-on for televised ski races (in the
same way that animations are used to enliven
the America’s Cup races) or to identify and
address the causes of sports injuries.
Nor is there any reason why the technology
should not be applied to any other sport or
form of movement.
Already inertial sensors and other forms
of movement detectors are being used in
such consumer appliances as the Nintendo
Wii game controller and the Nike sensor for
running shoes.
Prices too are coming down. Brodie
calculates that the cost of the basic components
in the sensors he made use of has come down
by two thirds in the last four years.
It is a reasonable prediction that in future
we will not lack for technology or data when
it comes to motion analysis.The trick will be
to make sense of it.
Wow at WOW®
Photo: The New Zealand Herald.
Breaking through
From right: Tanya Marriott’s Kanak and Andrea
Clinton’s 5 Maarama Crescent.
Photo: World of WearableArt™ Ltd.
Nadine Jaggi has won the supreme award at the
20th MontanaWorld ofWearableArt™ Awards.
Her entry, the intricately crafted,Ornitho-Maia
or bird mother, involved more than a year’s
work, and was created using hand-dyed, handsewn, embossed and carved leather.With the
win came a trophy, $15,000 of prize money
From left: Tanya Marriott’s Kanak and Andrea Clinton’s 5
Maarama Crescent.
Photo: World of WearableArt™ Ltd.
and $10,000 worth of travel.
Jaggi, a costume designer for Weta
Workshop in Wellington, graduated in
2004 with a Bachelor of Design with firstclass honours majoring in fashion. She won
her first WearableArt award in 2003 in the
student category.
Tanya Marriott was runner-up in the
Shell Student Design Award with her
garment, Kanak. She is working on her
master’s in design, and also tutors. The
garment is made of laser-cut plywood. At
home, her closet is full of past entries and
of dolls and sculptures she has created over
the years.“I have so many ideas, I just have
to get them out.”
Andrea Clinton, who has an advanced
diploma in fashion design and technology,
was runner-up in the Air New Zealand
South Pacific section with her garment, 5
Maarama Crescent.
Michelle Wilson (pictured leading her
models) was the winner of Verge’s $10,000
Business Development Grant after a
showing of her Winter 2009 collection
at Air New Zealand Fashion Week. The
25-year-old Auckland-based designer, who
shows under the label MichelleYvette, was
one of five to show as part of the Verge
Breakthrough Designers Show.Wilson was
inspired by the beauty of Afghanistan and
opened the show with models in burqas
shipped from the war-torn country. She
was judged the winner by buyers, media
and fashion players in the front rows of
the show who chose the collection they
thought most commercially viable. The
Verge Breakthrough Designers Programme
offers designers mentoring and support to
show at Air New Zealand Fashion Week,
including a boot-camp introduction to such
things as marketing and finances.This is the
first year a grant has been offered.
Wilson, who completed a Bachelor of
Design majoring in fashion design at the
Wellington campus in 2004, first achieved
public recognition in 2003 when Lord of
the Rings star Viggo Mortensen wore a
Wilson-designed shirt to the premiere of
Return of the King.
PhD student Alistair Scarfe, whose face
adorned the last issue of MASSEY, has been
awarded one of three Dick and Mary Earle
Scholarships in Technology, worth $20,000
a year for three years by the New Zealand
Vice-Chancellors’ Committee (NZVCC).
Dick and Mary Earle, who are both Emeritus
Professors at Massey University,established the
scholarship in 1999 to support and encourage
postgraduate research into technology.
Eagle-eyed reader Robert Bruce has caught
us out on the date of Hillary and Sherpa
Tenzing Norgay’s first ascent of Everest.
MASSEY refers to Charles Evans and
Tom Bourdillon’s attempt on the summit
being on 22 May 1953 and the successful
attempt by Hillary and Tenzing following
two days later. In fact Bourdillon and Evans’
unsuccessful attempt was on 26 May and
Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay ascent
was on 29 May, three days later. The error
was that of the editor, not the author.
MASSEY welcomes letters and feedback from readers. E-mail the editor at [email protected]
Also welcome are overseas alumni magazines.
During a welcome to the Albany campus, Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey hongis with Gary Pratt, having
accepted a toki (adze) as a symbol of his new office.
Celebrating a life well-lived
Amster Reedy recites a traditional oriori (lullaby) to his grandson Rikipapaki. The oriori is about the mythical
origin of the kumara, composed in the 1600s by Enoka Te Pakaru of the Gisborne iwi, Te Aitanga a Mahaki,
“Po-! Po-! E tangi ana Tama ki te kai ma-na – Po-, Po- (thought to be the shortened form of Po-tiki or last born).
The boy, my son, he is crying for food.” Traditional Ma-ori lullabies – oriori – are the subject of Reedy’s PhD
research. His thesis is to be submitted in Ma-ori.
Professor Tony Signal chairs the New Zealand group collaborating with CERN’s Large Hadron Collider
project. The New Zealand group contributed to the design of the central detector and to ensuring the beams,
which are less than the width of a hair, enter the experimental apparatus correctly. Like other physicists,
Professor Signal is hoping that the 26 kilometre in diameter circular collider will find evidence for the
existence of the Higgs bosun, a particle predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics, and perhaps
lead to an understanding of the enigma of dark matter.
Graduation ceremonies are always a time of
heightened emotion for graduates and their
families, but May’s ceremony in Wellington
was particularly poignant for the Simpson
family. Nicola Simpson was to graduate that
day with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Instead,
it was 16-year-old Connor Simpson who
carried the pink hood that was his mother’s
by right. Nicola died of a brain haemorrhage
in November 2007, soon after completing
her Bachelor of Arts.
About 30 of Mrs Simpson’s family and
friends gathered for ceremony, and though
it was a challenging day, everyone wanted to
celebrate the life of the vibrant 35-year-old.
Mrs Simpson’s widower, Tim Simpson,
described his wife as a very spirited woman,
and “entirely her own person”.
The Manawatu branch of the New
Zealand Federation of Graduate Women
gifted the family the pink Bachelor of Arts
He and his late wife met and married
young, he said. She was very determined and
passionate about life, loving music and filmmaking. After her first brain haemorrhage
in 2003, Mrs Simpson seemed even more
determined to live life to the fullest, he
“After that first bleed she decided she
would just really get on and do things. She
was always like that but the haemorrhage
accelerated it. Getting her degree was one
thing she wanted.’’
Designing the food of love
A mathematical model developed by
Professor David Raubenheimer could lead
to an increase in breeding success for New
Zealand’s rarest bird, the kakapo.
The model compares the balance of
nutr ients needed by animals and the
balance of nutrients in foods. It has been
used to analyse dietary components and
their consequences for other birds as well
as humans, spiders, insects and fish.
Until now, protein-enr iched food
supplements have been f avoured for
kakapo; protein is an important nutrient
for breeding in many species. However,
Dr Raubenheimer’s analyses suggest that
calcium rather than protein is the limiting
nutrient for kakapo breeding.
“Calcium is needed in high levels during
breeding, for the development of egg shells
and for bone growth,” Dr Raubenheimer
says. “It is also significant that kakapo have
an unusually large skeleton and hence a
high demand for calcium.”
At New Zealand Ecological Society’s annual conference
master’s student Ben Barr won best student research
presentation for his talk titled “Investigating Chevron Skink
(Oligosoma homalonotum) Ecology, and the Impacts of Rat
Control”. His fellow student Dylan van Winkel, who works
with Duvaucel’s geckos, was the second place winner.
A three-week stay at the University’s wildlife ward did wonders for a misplaced and starving hoiho or
yellow-eyed penguin. Found on the Wellington coast – well away from the normal range of this sub-Antarctic
species – the penguin was initially cared for by the Native Bird Rescue Wellington Trust before being moved
to Massey’s specialist wildlife facility and finally being released on the Otago coast. “It was a young adult
and whether it had swum or followed a wrong current, it was very thin and extremely dehydrated. It was
doing what we call hock-sitting, where it is unable to stand up properly,” says wildlife vet Dr Roberto Aguilar.
Staff at the wildlife ward, which is sponsored by Shell New Zealand, did the usual medical tests but found
nothing other than some parasites. “We treated those and short of the penguin being debilitated there was
nothing else wrong,” Dr Aguilar says. “It may just have had what we call mal-adaption, that is he just didn’t
know how to survive properly without access to proper food. We started feeding it, made sure it got enough
energy and it started coming around pretty fast. It went from 3.5kg to 5.3kg, gaining about 100g a day. It left
looking pudgy, which is good because it’s the fat store that protects them from the environment.” There are
about 470 breeding pairs of yellow-eyed penguins in the South Island, with the rest of the 6000-7000 population
on Stewart and the sub-Antarctic islands.
PhD student Kirsty Hammond is the winner of a $10,000 Pukehou Pouto scholarship, one of two awarded
this year. Hammond is investigating the influence of changes in the chemical composition of fresh foragebased diets on methane production in ruminant animals. The scholarship, established from a bequest from
the estate of Edith Fraser, is managed on behalf of the estate by the Public Trust and awarded by the New
Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee.
A plea for small fish
A call to action has been issued by Dr Mike
Joy of the Institute of Natural Resources. New
Zealand’s whitebait – the cover-all term given
to the juveniles of a number of different species
of galaxiid fish – are fast disappearing from
our waterways and unless something is done
some species could vanish entirely.
Dr Joy, who has spent the past 15 years
researching whitebait and other freshwater
fish, has found that whitebait have disappeared
from about 75 per cent of their expected
habitats in Manawatu and Horowhenua.The
national group that monitors the fate of the
adult galaxiids is reporting a similar level of
Partly he attributes the problem to the
loss of bouldery stream beds, which are
good whitebait habitat, due to the deposition
of the sediments released by hill country
erosion; partly to pollution and diminishing
water quality. In studies conducted in the
Mangahao Stream Dr Joy and his team have
found that fish show a clear preference for
cleaner water.
“The analogy is a smoke-filled hallway in
a building on fire. If you were trying to run
out of the building you’d pick the cleaner
The dwindling numbers are further affected
by the many New Zealanders catching and
selling whitebait for up to $150/kg.
He compares the situation to that of
fish that is neither threatened nor native
– trout. Trout have legislative protection and
cannot be sold, enabling the fishery to be
sustainably managed, whereas endemic and
endangered adult whitebait species have no
such protection.
“If you could get $150 a kilo for trout,
there would be a whole lot more people out
Massey medal winners:. Top, from left: The Centre for Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation and Te Ropu Whakiri
(Team); Professor Harjinder Singh (Individual). Base, from left: Professor Tony Vitalis (Supervisor), Dr Bryan Walpert (Early Career);
William Fish (Early Career), Dr Vyacheslav Filichev (Early Career).
there fishing for them – and fishing as hard
as they could.”
Dr Joy says his computer modelling, which
he has focused on the greater Manawatu
catchment, shows him where the galaxiids
should be, including the upper Oroua, upper
Pohangina and upper Manawatu rivers.
“But they are not there; we have searched
and searched for them.”
Four of the five galaxiid species spawn
inland in forested areas, at a spring flood.
This makes them very susceptible to land
use around them, Dr Joy says, while the fifth
species spawns on a high spring tide around
the tidal zone. In all cases, the spawn hatch
and are washed out to sea some weeks later,
giving them a head start on their journey
in the seas around New Zealand. About
six months later, the juveniles are a few
centimetres long. Returning to the rivers to
the upstream home where they will spend
their lives, the whitebait are fished from
August to November.
Dr Joy says a few simple measures could
protect what is left of the stocks: prohibiting
the sale of whitebait in the same way trout is
protected, minimising high-country erosion
and cleaning up waterways from pollutants
including sewage and run-off.
He also believes better monitoring of
waterways would provide a clearer picture
of their state.
“On a motorway, if you simply measure
the cars going through at 11am every
morning you would possibly conclude that
the motorway is way too big. But you are just
measuring at one point in time. In the same
way, taking a water quality sample in a flowing
river at a set point in time doesn’t reflect what
may have been discharged over a period.
“If we don’t do something quickly we
won’t have these species any more.”
Tony Whincup accepts the Kiribati Order of Merit.
The award was made by the President Anote Tong in
the capital’s stadium in front of a large crowd at the
close of a week-long public holiday and celebrations
marking the Pacific island nation’s independence.
It recognises Whincup’s internationally published
visual research, documenting and communicating the
significance of a wide range of traditional artefacts and
practices. Associate Professor Tony Whincup is Head
of the School of Visual & Material Culture. His close
association with Kiribati began over 30 years ago.
Unsugared truths
Blood sugar levels might be just as important
a measure of health as blood pressure or
cholesterol, according to Naomi Brewer.
Brewer, a research fellow at Massey’s Centre
for Public Health Research, is the lead
author of a study published in Diabetes
Care, published by the American Diabetes
The study followed 47,904 people who
had undergone haemogloblin A1C testing
– a standard way to measure blood sugar
– as part of a screening program for hepatitis
B from 1999 to 2001. They were followed
until the end of 2004, by which time 815
had died.
Ms Brewer and her team discovered that
the likelihood of death rose in parallel with
blood sugar levels, even when the analysis
was restricted to people without diabetes.
Those in the highest category of blood
sugar levels had more than twice the death
rate of those with low levels.
“In future, people will need to know
their haemoglobin A1C level, just as they
may currently know their blood pressure
or their cholesterol levels,” she says.
Although the association is known and
has been observed in several overseas studies,
this new study is the largest international
study to date, and the first such study in
New Zealand.
When Governor-General Anand Satyanand presented
Leilani Isara with a New Zealand Freemasons scholarship
worth $6000, she reciprocated with a Massey Association
of Pasifika Students hoodie of her own design. Three other
Massey undergraduate students and one postgraduate
student also received Freemasons scholarships Courtenay
Jacks, a business studies student at the Albany campus,
Hilary Corkran, who is completing a Bachelor of Science
honours, and Adam O’Connell, who is studying towards
a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. PhD candidate Kirsty
Hammond received one of only seven $10,000 postgraduate
scholarships. She is completing a PhD on the effects of fresh
forage diets on methane production.
Peach-flavoured omega-3-enhanced ice-cream was one of the treats on the menu for the opening of Massey’s
$25 million state-of-the-art food pilot plant on the Manawatu campus. The most advanced facility of its
kind in Australasia, the plant is part of a complex that will be used for research and teaching. The plant
will also be used by companies to draw on the expertise of Massey’s staff and postgraduates to develop
commercial products. The plant was officially opened by Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton. Each serving
of the ice cream contains 60 milligrams of omega-3, or about 10 per cent of the recommended daily amount.
From left: the Hon Jim Anderton Minister of Agriculture; Professor Richard Archer, Head of the Institute of
Food, Nutrition and Human Health; Professor Ian Warrington, Acting Vice-Chancellor.
A new cell culture lab is the first of a series of initiatives undertaken by Massey to boost veterinary and
animal science research. The $250,000 Cell Culture Central (CCC), which was opened by Professor Hugh
Blair in June, is part of the multimillion dollar Building Research Capability in Strategically Relevant Areas
initiative, supported by the Tertiary Education Commission. It targets subjects where the Performance-Based
Research Fund (PBRF) results revealed gaps in areas of strategic relevance to New Zealand’s development.
CCC director Associate Professor Christine Thomson says cell culture is one of the fundamental techniques
underpinning biological sciences. Cell culture techniques are used to grow and differentiate cells in vitro,
that is in a Petri dish, or a culture flask in an incubator. “These cultures can then be used to study basic
cellular appearance, the cell’s physiology and function, the effects of drugs and mechanisms of disease.
The CCC lab is a clean facility and does not study infectious organisms. Pictured are Associate Professor
Christine Thomson and Professor Hugh Blair, both of the Institute of Veterinary and Animal Biomedical
Sciences, and Gareth Pryme of equipment supplier Bio-Strategy.
Associate Professor Christian Fischer (centre in brown jacket) with students at the Agricultural University
of Ashgabat in Turkmenistan. Dr Fischer’s six-day trip to deliver seminars and workshops to 20 students
and professors at the Agricultural University of Ashgabat was organised by the Organisation for Security
and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), an international organisation engaging in economic capability-building
projects in its 56 member states spanning Vladivostok to Vancouver.
Deputy Commander Yang, Professor Ma, Professor Yan, Professor Stuart Morris, Professor Yu, Associate
Professor Alex Chu, Professor Gao, Professor Hugh Blair, Professor Li, Professor Dai, Professor Zhao,
(soldier unknown).
Lambs without daffodils
New Zealand lamb could be produced in quantity year-round realising a
price premium if a partnership between Massey and China’s Peking and
Shihezi universities is successful. The three universities are working together
to identify gene markers that allow non-seasonal lambing in selected breeds
of Chinese sheep.
“We know that tropical breeds have a greater chance of breeding year-round
because, of course, they don’t have a winter,” says deputy head of veterinary
animal and biomedical science Professor Hugh Blair. “We were in Xinjiang
last year in August – our equivalent of February climate and season – and there
were lambs on the ground.”
In New Zealand, most sheep breed between February and June, with some
minor breeds breeding between November and August.“For most of our breeds,
as daylight hours are decreasing the animals come into cycle and that means
they will drop their offspring in the spring.This is sensible from an evolutionary
point of view but for farmers it’s a huge spike in supply and the work is also
very seasonal,” Professor Blair says. “If New Zealand farmers are to adopt an
intensive lambing system that requires ewes to get pregnant at any time of the
year, we require access to genetics that are not currently in New Zealand.”
The Chinese Hu-Yang sheep is of particular interest, although the breed is
too small to be economically viable in New Zealand. “What we need to do
is find the genes that enable the year-round breeding and then move them to
any breed we think is suitable,” Professor Blair says.
The partnership is working with the International Sheep Genomics
Consortium to gain access to their genetic tools, and Professor Blair has been
made an Honorary Principal Investigator in the Chinese Academy of Science
to enable him to represent the Chinese partners in the consortium. A target
date of 2011 has been set for proving the marker genes that correspond to
out-of-season breeding exist.
“But the work is likely to also find other things of interest,” Professor Blair
says. “We may find out about disease resistance or meat quality characteristics
for example – there’s always a degree of serendipity when you explore. We’re
also seeing opportunities for our staff and master’s and PhD students, and for
Chinese staff and students to travel to Massey.”
The Chinese Government has funded the project by around $750,000.
During celebrations for his 90th birthday, Dr Jim Pollok stands beside a presentation
plaque. Dr Pollok was an institution for generations of Massey students and staff
says Director of Massey Agriculture Professor Jacqueline Rowarth. “He was
known to generations of students as ‘Podzol Pollok’, an affectionate nickname
and reference to his favourite soil type. In his own words, he taught pretty well the
whole gamut of soil science to agricultural diploma students.” Dr Pollok worked
at Massey from 1955 until 1983.
Good sports
There are a number of measures by which
the prowess of Massey’s sportspeople can be
measured. One is Olympic representation: of
the 185 athletes representing New Zealand
this year, 23 had ties to Massey, as did many of
the sports scientists accompanying them.
Another is Pr ime Minister’s athlete
scholarships: 67 of this year’s 320 Prime
Minister’s athlete scholarships, which pays
tertiary fees and a living allowance, went to
Massey students.
For its part, Massey supports elite student
athletes through its Academy of Sport
scholarship programme and – in an initiative
launched this year – the Elite World Travel
The travel awards provide assistance
of up to $3000 to elite Massey athletes
representing New Zealand at international
sporting events. The six inaugural award
winners are:
Mike Dawson, who was selected
t o re p re s e n t N ew Z e a l a n d a t t h e
World University White Water Canoe
Championships in Slovenia and finished
18th overall in the Men’s K1 event.
Rob Eastham, who competed at the
Beijing, Munich and Milan shooting world
cups before heading to the Beijing Olympics,
where he placed 8th equal giving him a final
placing of 14th in the qualifying round of
the 50m rifle.
Samuel Gregory, whose performance as
a member of the New Zealand team at the
World DTL Clay Target Shooting Champs
in Ireland won him a silver medal.
Khord Kopu, who was a member of the
New Zealand men’s team at the World Inline
Hockey Championships in the United States,
where it finished 15th.
Mark Yungnickel, who represented New
Zealand at the World University White Water
Canoe Championships in Slovenia, finishing
16th in the Men’s C1 event.
Struan Webb (pictured), who competed in
the World Duathlon Champs in Rimini, Italy
winning gold in the under-19 age group.
Master’s student Amy Jerram with some experienced farm workers. Jerram is conducting research into
the life of farm dogs, collecting information from more than 100 farms in Manawatu, Wanganui, Hawke’s
Bay and Wairarapa. “We want to find out about the farming operation, the experiences of the people
with working dogs, the health of dogs currently in work on the farm and dogs retired from the farm in the
previous 12 months,” Jerram says. The research may show how to address some of the issues associated
with age and injury.
At this year’s BeST Awards, Massey’s School of Design
acquitted itself with distinction. Massey students won 29
awards, 10 of them gold; Professor Tony Parker won a silver
award in the non-consumer product category for his Smart
Reader, a portable hand-held electronic identification unit
intended for local and international markets in the agricultural
sector; and former School of Design staff member and alumnus
Mark Pennington (see cover feature and opposite page) was
a member of the team awarded a supreme product Stringer
award for its work on the HUM workspace system shown
Singapore Polytechnic and Massey have reached an agreement
under which top polytechnic students will be able to complete
the final two years of a Bachelor in Food Technology through
Massey papers offered in Singapore. Celebrating the
collaboration, over kiwifruit and a polytechnic-developed
drink, are (from left) Professor Ian Warrington, Principal of
Singapore Polytechnic Tan Hang Cheong, New Zealand High
Commissioner to Singapore Martin Harvey, Senior Minister of
State Lui and Dr Thomas Chai.
The Massey University Food Awards – the premier event for New Zealand food technologists – both
recognises achievement within the industry and fosters talent. At the awards four year-12 St Kentigern
College pupils – Esther Kim, Ceri McVinnie, Neala Ye and Megan Coetzer – were presented with a plaque
recognising their range of sophisticated sandwich spreads, which, earlier in 2008, had also won them a
Royal Society Creativity in Science and Technology award. The team worked with Massey experts on the
project. They are pictured with their teacher Carolyn Norquay and Professor Ray Winger. Tegel Foods’
Deluxe Roasted Chicken was the winner of the Premier Award.
Actors workshopping Sleep/Wake, a piece of performance theatre devised by sleep expert Professor
Philippa Gander, of the University’s Sleep/Wake Research Centre, and designer Sam Trubridge. Well
reviewed after opening in Wellington early this year, Sleep/Wake is being reworked for performance in
2009. The further development of Sleep/Wake has been funded by Creative New Zealand.
Clear choice
Bryan Gibson talks to Lisa Emerson, who received the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award at the 2008 Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards
It was a C that started it.
After five years of secondary school
assignments punctuated by the letter A,
first-year psychology student Lisa Emerson
was perplexed by the comments on her first
university assignments.
“I asked what the problem was and I was
told there was a problem with my writing,”
she says. “I was told it wasn’t clear, wasn’t
focused and I was mystified.”
Further enquiries were fruitless. “It was
an academy secret, apparently, and I wasn’t
privy to it.”
Later that year things clicked and the high
marks returned but Lisa Emerson, now a
senior lecturer in the School of English and
Media studies, wanted to know what had
changed in her writing, and why.
“It was obvious that secondary school
hadn’t prepared me for the work I was
expected to do at university. I had the
basic skills, but they were of no help at the
tertiary level.”
Dr Emerson completed an MA in English
Literature at Massey and was at home
occupied with her young family some years
later when the telephone rang.
“It was someone from the College of
Business, asking if I’d like to run their
Writing Centre,” she says. “I told them I
wasn’t qualified, but they said I had the right
What has followed is a 20-year career
helping students understand how to write
within the University, punctuated this year
with the Prime Minister’s supreme award at
the National Tertiary Teaching Excellence
Dr Emer son cur rently teaches
Communication in the Sciences and
Introduction to Technology, both of which
are compulsory for first year students. She has
also taught Life Writing, an extramural course
on writing biography and autobiography
and began the University’s creative writing
course in 2001.
“It doesn’t matter that I’m not a scientist,
as I don’t teach students how to write a
physics article, for example,” she says.“I teach
them how to identify the rhetorical strategies
of what they read so they can construct
a coherent and discipline-appropr iate
Compulsory classes are large and Dr
Emerson says a well-structured teaching plan
is necessary.“But some days I’ll turn up with
three possible plans, only to throw them out
when an interesting question is asked.There
needs to be flexibility.”
The emergence of online lear ning
technology has also been a great help, she
“Technology gives students more choice;
they can access learning material in different
ways, whether it be through lectures, small
group workshops, online exercises or a study
guide. We can build a learning community
online which is especially helpful to extramural
students who can often feel isolated.”
Dr Emerson hopes the teaching of
writing will become an explicit part of the
curriculum, university-wide. “Writing and
expressing your thoughts is fundamental to
every student’s success at a tertiary level and
the fact that many students don’t have those
skills is still not fully recognised, but it’s a skill
that can be the difference between an A and
a C, regardless of the discipline.”
The College of Creative Arts has inducted
three new entrants into its Hall of Fame.
They are painter Gordon Walters, fashion
designer Kate Sylvester and industrial
designer Mark Pennington.
Although Gordon Walters is best
known as a painter, printmaking and design
were an integral part of his work.
His iconic, and at times controversial,
contribution to New Zealand culture
is largely due to his synthesis of Ma- ori
and European symbols through geometric
abstraction. His interpretation of the koru
motif has been used to great effect to represent
New Zealand in such things as the NZ Film
Commission logo.
Kate Sylvester is well known for her
fashion label of the same name. Her immaculate
tailoring, high concept shows and conceptual
collections are widely admired.
Mark Pennington (profiled overleaf)
has had an extraordinary and influential
career as an industrial designer.
The three join last year’s inductees,
Richard Taylor, director of Weta Workshop;
NewYork-based fashion designer Rebecca
Taylor; and the late sculptor and filmmaker
Len Lye.
Take a
Mark Pennington has designed
everything from playgrounds, to
stereo systems, to the earthquake
house at Te Papa – but he says a
high-performance task chair was his
most difficult undertaking. The headdesigner of Formway furniture’s
world-leading Life chair, and former
senior lecturer at what is now
Massey University’s design school,
has been recognised for his varied
international career with entry to
the University’s College of Creative
Arts Hall of Fame. He talks to Keri
Mark Pennington strides ahead, into the
iconic world he created. This is Te Papa’s
Awesome Forces, the popular museum
collection which goes beneath the Earth’s
crust to explain lava, tectonic plates and
how the ground beneath us rumbles and
There’s the clock that illustrates the
millions of years of Earth’s development,
the lever that shows the Earth crack in
two, the globe which sets out exactly
where the tectonic plates meet. He
designed them all, everything you see,
during several years in leading roles within
Te Papa’s design team.
With a brisk walk and obvious excitement,
he heads for his most famous Te Papa creation,
the earthquake house where museum-goers
can experience the exact pattern of jolts
which rocked the eastern Bay of Plenty in
March 1987.
“Look at their faces,” he says, peering in
the door where visitors to the museum are
transfixed on the shaking around them.
Lower Hutt-raised Pennington, 62 years
old and a father of four, has worked alongside
some of the world’s most famous designers,
on everything from hi-fi systems to the
world-famous Life chair.The chair, designed
in Wellington and manufactured around
the world, can be found in homes and
businesses across Asia, Europe,The United
States and Australasia. It retails from $600
to $1200, depending on fixtures, and has
generated more than $400 million since
its launch earlier this decade.
It may seem hard to imagine now, but
Pennington’s parents were supportive
but unconvinced by his career choice. In
the early 1960s, design had a low profile
and little appreciation in New Zealand.
They were concerned Pennington might
not be able to turn his artistic gifts and
inquiring mind into a real, wage-earning,
solid job.
But Pennington knew as soon as
he stepped inside the then Wellington
Polytechnic School of Design, that he
didn’t want to be anywhere else.
Pennington’s enthusiasm for design is
“It’s been the most fulfilling, stimulating,
rewarding career path… I’ve met great
people, I work with great friends, I’m
excited, I’m stimulated by it, it’s diverse,
and it’s good for New Zealand.”
He entered design school in 1963; part of
a group that became known as The Golden
Year. He studied with design critic Michael
Smythe, product designer and fine artist
Angus de Lange, the product and interior
designer Erica Duncan, and businesswomen
and designer Gay Ashford.
The school was then led by the
visionary James Coe, whose bustling
office Pennington remembers stuffed with
skeletons, books, artwork, inventions and a
curvilinear particle board desk.
Pennington plodded through the
introductory and theory lessons of the
first year. And then, in the second year, the
course moved to practical design.
“And suddenly, I remember, I got it.”
He was plucked from school by industrial
tycoon Noel Holyoake, nephew of then
Prime Minister Keith Holyoake, who
spotted Pennington’s talent at a student
exhibition. Holyoake wanted a designer
as his right-hand man in his domestic
heating enterprises. Pennington designed
range hoods and gas heaters and learned a
lot about fast decisions and seizing business
opportunities, but it wasn’t fun. He left to
set up a consultancy.
Clients included Caltex, Unilever, the
1970 New Zealand Expo in Japan and,
most significantly, work across Asia-Pacific
for Philips Electrical.
In 1970, when he was just 24 years
old, the electrical giant invited him to be
guest designer at its Concern Industrial
Design Centre in Holland. He worked
conscientiously on the projects they gave
him, but would then secretly work away at
alternative designs; dismissing the rules and
starting over.
“It was that healthy dissatisfaction and
ability of New Zealanders to challenge
convention and have a go.Without knowing,
that set me up. That made the difference. It
was an attitudinal thing; a willingness and
a desire to explore, to utilise and amplify
new technology. I was just wanting to do
something better.”
The director of the Centre, wellknown designer Knut Iran, noticed the
alternative design work on his desk and
asked Pennington to present it to the Philips
board.They were impressed and Pennington
was teamed up with futuristic US designer
Syd Mead, an already acclaimed and worldrenowned designer who would go on to
Hollywood fame with set work on films
such as Blade Runner.
“I couldn’t have hoped for any more than
that – to work with a guy of that calibre,”
Pennington says.
They were world trend setters, designing
1970s lawn mowers and hi-fi systems in
the days when led lights and touch controls
were emerging from the Philips technical
Pennington, his then wife and first child
lived on a farm near the Belgian border.There
was an equestrian centre on the farm and,
utilising his explorative nature, Pennington
borrowed a book on building, then designed
and built swimming pools and rooms at the
complex for his landlord.
From Holland, he moved to London to
work for Pentagram, a multi-disciplinary
company run by one of the world’s
most famous designers, Kenneth Grange
– designer of the Kenwood appliance
range, the Parker pen, trains and other
varied objects.
He was accepted into the Royal College
of Art in London to do postgraduate study
in design. But with a young family he
turned this down and instead moved to
the Cotswolds to work for David Carter
Design Associates. The family lived in a
400-year-old cottage; the intimacy and
richness of which would influence their
future home in New Zealand.
In the mid-1970s, they came home
in search of a Kiwi upbringing for their
children. The consultancy was resurrected
but New Zealand felt constrained for the
young designer.
“It was a young nation constrained
by import tariffs, with an introverted
production-led mentally.” Design, he says,
was an afterthought.
He got work with Philips and various
other clients, then James Coe came calling.
He asked if Pennington would consider
becoming a tutor.
Pennington was unsure is he was up to it.
He worried that he didn’t know anything
about being a tutor. But he found tutoring
an enriching experience, one that forced
him to consider his own ideologies and
“It was a huge growth curve for me. If
you want to teach someone about your
subject, you have to know it very, very
Third-year Industrial Design class of 1966, Wellington
Polytechnic School of Design. From left: Nick Stewart
(career path unknown); Mark Pennington (Holyoake
Engineering; Holland: Philips; USA: Fitch Richardson
Smith and Form Design; teaching at Rhode Island and
Wellington Polytechnic; Formway); Michael Smythe,
pictured in bath, (Fisher and Paykel, JASMaD, Marks
and Smythe Designers, Designforces, Designsource, the
Designers Secretariat, Creationz Consultants); Neil Booth
(Modern Signs, transforming Waiheke’s Treebeard craft
shop into the island’s first art gallery, freelance illustrator
and writer); Gary Dunn (Motat, Design Co, Jomax Toys,
Geddes Dunn Landscape Designers, Playgoods, Aquatic
park (co-director/entrepreneur)): Erica Duncan (later
Martin) (Sydney: Lester Bunbury Assoc; London: interior
and industrial design firms; Wellington: Crag Craig and
Moller, Erica Martin Designs); Gay Ashford (later Epstein)
(PDL Plastics, Ballantynes; Australia: Metters, British
Paints, David Epstein and Associates; Hong Kong: Concept
Consultants and Play Tennis Ltd, Ashford Australia); Jim
Dent (front) (career path unknown); Angus de Lange
(British Office Supplies, Dominion Museum, Finland,
teaching at ATI /Carrington Polytechnic, full-time painter).
Photograph courtesy of Neil Booth and with thanks to
Michael Smythe.
At far left: Mark Pennington with students during a
kite-flying field day. Photo courtesy of Bill Toomath
At left: Design School staff in the 1980s – Mark Pennington,
Jim Coe and Bill Toomath.
One of his students was Lyn Garrett, now
undergraduate programme co-ordinator
for the industrial design major within
Massey’s bachelor of design.
He says Pennington’s enthusiasm for
everything he does is hard to contain.
“But once he’s talking about design, his
passion for the topic oozes out of his pores
and hands in a way that is infectious and
inspiring. Mention the phrase ‘smooth
and creamy’ to any industrial design
student from the ’70s or ’80s, and they’ll
immediately say ‘Mark Pennington’, not
G a r re t t we n t o n t o wo r k w i t h
Pe n n i n g t o n a t Fo r m way a n d s ay s
his former tutor’s influence on New
Zealand design, as a designer, strategist,
inspirational educator and innovation
activist, is immense.
“It’s the quality of his vision alloyed
with his articulate passion for design and
New Zealand which is partly responsible
for what he has achieved: the other part
of his success is that he is an immensely
talented industrial designer. I’m not sure
that being Mark Pennington has ever gone
to his head,” Garrett says.
“I’ve always found him to be warm,
human, thoughtful and articulate, and he
smiles easily.”
Pennington loved working with students,
seeing them developing their projects. His
career developed too. He rose to head of
design, developed industry links with the
school, got a Queen Elizabeth Arts Council
grant, and travelled the world on a Fulbright
scholarship studying new educational
On his retur n, he helped move the
school’s philosophy away from the rigid
Bauhaus model common in Europe towards
a more liberal, eclectic, independent South
Pacific approach.
“We are isolated geographically but
certainly not in a technical sense. But
through that isolation, we have a sense of
independence which is to our advantage, to
view the world from afar… and to also be
unfamiliar with the rules.
“We have this wonderful sense of
independence and spirit of adventure as
an adolescent nation, and we’re simply
different. That is so utterly desirable on
a global scale.”
That spirit would not be suppressed
through the rigid German and English
design school ideologies any longer.
Instead, it was officially embraced.
Students started to win or be
continuously placed in major international
awards. Pennington says the school, and
its graduates, were starting to become
a significant design force in the world.
Students of that era have gone on to
lead design teams at Apple and Nike,
influencing global trends.
After 17 years, Pennington left the
design school. “It became part of me and
I became part of it.”
He returned again to consultancy;
interspersed with overseas roles such as a
position as Associate Professor of Design
at the Rhode Island School of Design,
and as consultant at Richardson Smith in
Ohio, US. Back home, work with a small
Petone furniture company popped up.
It was one of the businesses Pennington
had collaborated with through students
at the design school.
Through this exposure, Formway’s
owners – industrial chemist Allan Brown
and accountant Rick Wells – realised
they could grow the business through
differentiation, but they needed to buy in
Pennington tidied up their existing
models, then moved on to new products.
Their first ground-up design was the
Zaf chair. It won product design awards,
including the prestigious Prince Philip
Award for industrial design, and Formway
moved into Australia on the back of the
product’s success.
The company went beyond chairs to
workplace design and Pennington, by now
a shareholder and director, developed a desk
system called Free. The desk system was
entered in an international trade show in
America. Formway could hardly afford the
exhibition and travel costs. But, to everyone’s
amazement, the Wellington furniture
company won an unprecedented two gold
medals in the show. This success helped
launch Formway into the US market.
Pennington and his growing design team
travelled to many international trade shows
and moved from being initially in awe of
the designs, to slowly starting to believe
they could do better. There was always
something inadequate with each design
they saw. Imagine if you could eliminate all
of those shortcomings? This feeling became
overwhelming and Pennington and his
colleagues formulated an audacious plan.
The team would create “the best chair in
the world”.
The perfect chair is a complex product
to design. It must fit bodies of varied shapes
and weights, and remain comfortable.
Pennington says a chair is the ultimate
design challenge.
And it was certainly a bigger undertaking
than Formway realised at the time.
The design team grew to, at one point,
20 people.The development costs exceeded
$4.5 million. It was the project which would
either catapult Formway to global success,
or sink the business.
Formway realised that design was its
core competency and that manufacture
and distribution needed to be carried
out closer to the market. They courted
US company Knoll International and
convinced its top tier to travel to New
Zealand for a presentation. There were
risks taken on all sides, with the American
executives staking their reputations, and
undoubtedly their jobs, on the high-level
trip Down Under.
At this stage For mway not only
had to build a working model of this
revolutionary chair, but also build and
paint a presentation room.
W h e n t h e A m e r i c a n s a r r i ve d ,
Formway’s factory staff erupted into a
spontaneous haka. Everyone was painfully
aware that livelihoods were riding on
this meeting.
As soon as the chair was unveiled, the
Americans leapt from their chairs and
started embracing the Formway team.
After three days of staunch negotiations,
a deal was struck and the Life chair was
going global.
Since then, the Life chair has won the
Best of NeoCon at Chicago’s prestigious
Facilities Management trade show, and
numerous other international awards as
Page 20, clockwise from top left: the design concept for
a vacuum cleaner featuring handle-integrated controls,
created for Whirlpool; a conceptual sketch for an electric
blanket controller created for Ralta NZ; the final model
for the controller; enamel cast-iron cookware for global
distribution, created for Waterford of Ireland.
Below: Cassette-radio players designed for Philips Eindhofen
during late 1960s. A number of these design concepts feature
advanced technologies for their day, such as touch controls
and liquid crystal displays.
Page 23, clockwise from top: the highly successful Life
chair; the utilitarian military aesthetic of this cassette-radio
player designed for Philips Eindhofen in the late 1960s
became highly influential; completed in the late 1980s, the
Pennington-devised playground and lighthouse-slide on
the waterfront at Frank Kitts Park is a Wellington icon and
a popular meeting place.
well as a permanent place in the Chicago
Design Museum collection. Around
150,000 chairs are now sold every year
from Osaka to Oklahoma. It is one of the
largest-selling high-performance chairs in
the world and has become Knoll’s flagship
How is it possibly different from any
other chair?
The life chair is lightweight, with a
mobile support system. As you move
around, the back of the chair moves with
you, continuously supporting your body.
It measures your body weight and autoadjusts the back support system to give
the relevant resistance.
In demonstration Pennington stretches
back with his arms behind his head and
shifts to the left and right.
“It’s like a good shoe,” he says. “It will
always move naturally with you.”
His philosophies around design are
borne out in the Life chair. “People are
central to your work.The only reason you
are a designer is, in effect, to contribute to
people’s lives. So the better you understand
people, the better the design.”
Bedding in
and accomplishments give him mana
and his genuine joy when his students
produced work of quality fuelled an
atmosphere of striving for excellence and
Pennington’s recently bought a
“humble brick box” on the beach front
at Paekakariki and he’s looking forward
to transforming it into something special.
Of his four children, two are graphic
designers, one is a budding fashion
designer and another is in property but
with a well-developed appreciation of
Pennington says despite their initial
hesitation, his parents, now deceased,
would have been “thrilled as thrilled” by
his success; from his John Britten Award
for design leadership, to his work on the
national museum, to his years tutoring
other generations of New Zealand
“They would be moved and delighted
that a career path has opened up that they
never believed possible, and that I’ve been
able to contribute in a way they couldn’t
have foreseen.”
Malcolm Wood writes
If, five years ago, you had asked Alexander
Wastney what he saw himself doing for
a job, he would have said physiotherapist
– a profession the talented basketballer
had come to know something about – or
architect, an ambition he had harboured
since childhood. Instead the 22-year-old
is in New Plymouth working on the
prototype of an ICU (Intensive Care
Unit) bed.
The change in path came about when
Wastney, visiting Wellington in anticipation
of doing architecture, toured the School
of Design and decided he wanted to be
part of it. He has never regretted industrial
design as his choice of study or career. “It’s
fantastic. I love my job.”
Pennington says the Life chair is an
e nv i ro n m e n t a l l y s o u n d p ro d u c t ; a n
outcome he initially saw as a challenge,
then he decided was a responsibility with
a product selling in such high numbers,
and an opportunity for market advantage.
It has since become the first product in
America to win the environmental Smart
Formway no longer has to pitch to large
offshore firms. These days, prospective
manufacturers approach them.
Tony Parker, Massey’s current Professor
of Industrial Design, says Pennington’s
work, particularly with Formway furniture,
is studied, analysed and promoted as an
outstanding example of how good design
means good business.
“Working with other designers, both
inside and outside his team, he has influenced
the thinking and career development of
people who will, in their own right, make
significant contributions to design here and
“His passion and enthusiasm for design
is contagious. His knowledge is that of
a master or professor. His own talent
Howard Wr ight, the fir m he joined
immediately after graduating, was founded
by its namesake – “a genius who could make
anything work”, says Wastney. In the 1950s
Wright was asked if he could fabricate a
hospital bed similar to those being used
overseas.Working from photographs,Wright
did just that, adding, as his own touch, the
latest hydraulics. In the early ’60s he opened
a dedicated factory in his native New
Plymouth, and by the 1970s his hospital beds
were in use in throughout New Zealand.
The beds were beautifully engineered; the
M4 – the breakthrough 1976 model, which
won the firm international acclaim – and its
successor the M5 are still providing stalwart
service in many wards.
But in the new millennium, would good
engineering be enough to continue to sustain
the firm’s market share or margins in the face
of ever more international competition? In
2005 the company signed up for the Design
360 programme run under the auspices of
Better by Design (run as part of New Zealand
Trade and Enterprise), and in so doing began
a long term association with the design
luminary Peter Haythornthwaite.
One of the first products to emerge from
the new design-led approach has been the
highly successful M7 ward bed. In 2008
Howard Wright has been awarded an ongoing
Australian contract to supply M7 beds and
stretchers to Ramsay Health Care, a global
hospital group operating more than 100
hospitals, and a contract worth nearly half a
million dollars to supply 70 M7 ward beds
and 25 stretchers to a single Australian private
Wastney has been the beneficiary of Howard
Wright’s shift in orientation. As a freshlyminted industrial designer working with
three experienced, highly capable engineers
under the guidance of the company’s R&D
manager, Anthony Batley, on the ICU
(Intensive Care Unit) bed prototype, he must
sometimes argue his case. But it is more usual
for the engineers, all of them exposed to the
Better by Design programme, to be as much
engaged in solving the problems surrounding
the design aesthetics as he is. The result, he
says, will be an ICU bed with a distinctive
look-and-feel that declares its origins even
For information about studying industrial design at Massey, contact [email protected]
Table talk
when stripped of all logos or identifiers.
Before the point of producing a prototype
was reached, Howard Wright embarked on
an extensive research programme, bringing
in medical specialists and visiting hospitals,
analysing the ergonomics and the uses to
which the bed would be put. As Wastney
puts it, the difficulty lies in catering to all
of the many needs of those who operate in
relation to the bed: patients, nurses, orderlies,
cleaners, radiographers, doctors, surgeons.
Even now, the research process is far from
over; prototypes will be placed in a number
of Australian hospitals to gauge reaction.
“If you do fantastic research, then you will
have no changes,” says Wastney, and there is
no disguising the fact that he thinks that the
prototype, which will first be unveiled at a
conference in Sydney, is something special.
In fact he has become a connoisseur of
medico-industrial design. In Auckland for
the BeST Awards (see Table Talk), he tagged
on some visits to hospitals, and later this
year when he visits Britain as part of his
Dyson Award – his first overseas trip – he
will sidetrack to the massive Medica fair in
Dusseldorf, taking in the work of firms like
Philips and Siemens.
Massey, he says, has prepared him well, and
not just technically.The exacting demands of
the design degree have a side benefit: long
hours, such as those he is working now, no
longer faze him. “[As a student] you are just
so used to working crazy hours.Work’s great,
and you get paid for it – that’s sweet.”
Malcolm Wood writes
When Alexander Wastney was casting
around for a suitable end-of-year project,
a good candidate immediately became
apparent. A basketball player with the
Wellington’s Saints, Wastney had often
watched the team’s physiotherapist lug
beauty therapy tables on to the plane flights
for use after away games. He deplored
the make-shift solution; he imagined a
robust, highly portable, purpose-built
Wastney spent the first semester of
2007 – which happened to coincide
with his basketball season – collecting
and compiling his research: interrogating
the team’s therapist and physiotherapist
whenever he could and conducting his
own investigations into ergonomics. It is
an approach – research intensively first,
design later – he definitely favours over
more traditional trial and error. “Once
you discover the truth about a problem,
the product will design itself.”
Certainly it served him well at the
eighth annual Dyson Product Design
Awards in June 2008, where he won both
the overall award and the People’s Choice
category. (In October’s BeST Design
Awards, the table would go on to collect
a silver medal in the student category.)
Courtesy of the Dyson Awards,Wastney
gets to travel to the UK, where he will
tour Dyson’s research and development
facility, and meet with members of the
UK design community.
So what is likely to happen to the product?
In November 2007, Wastney, degree in
hand, walked away from Massey and into
employment with Howard Wright, a designconscious New Plymouth manufacturer best
known for its hospital beds, and in January
he presented his therapy table to the board
as a potential product. With the board’s
encouragement, he is currently putting
together a business case.
Photographic Memory
Military historian Glyn Harper, the author of Images of War, talks to Malcolm Wood.
lust for pocketable gadgetry is not
something restricted to our times.
In 1912 the desirable object of the
day, the height of consumer aspiration, was
a new model of camera, the Vest Pocket
Kodak. Compared to cameras of a few years
earlier, this was a wonder of miniaturisation,
convenience, speed and affordability.
When the New Zealand Expeditionary
Force steamed away to war in October 1914,
many of the troops carried cameras like
this tucked away in their kit for the great
adventure that lay ahead.
Eventually, more than 100,000 New
Zealanders would serve in WWI. And
because of cameras like the Vest Pocket
Kodak, part of their documentary legacy
to us takes the form of many hundreds of
albums and thousands upon thousands of
Mailed home or carried back by the
returning soldiers, archived away in shoeboxes
and suitcases, the photographs, provided they
have been kept away from sunlight and
damp, have endured remarkably well, as
Professor Glyn Harper knows.
Over the past two years he, his wife
Susan Lemish, and Massey colleague
Tania Lasenby have viewed around 30,000
photographs from WWI: 20,000 or so
from the collections of the National Army
Museum in Waiouru and the remainder
sent in by individuals and families. From
these they have winnowed the 830
photographs that form the content of
Images of War: A photographic record of New
Zealanders at war 1914–18, which has been
published on the 90th anniversary of the
cessation of hostilities.
As this is New Zealand’s first photographic
history of WWI to be published in those 90
years, you might say it has been a long time
This is, after all, the war we remember
because its images speak so clearly. The
spectral figures in gasmasks, the torn apart
wreckage of the French countryside at the
front, the lumbering behemoths that were
the first tanks – are an indelible part of the
modern consciousness.
The other major allied combatants
published photographic histories long ago;
Australia published a weighty book of WWI
photographs as the final instalment of its
official history back in 1923.
New Zealand’s wartime history is familiar
territory for Harper. The school teacher,
turned army officer, turned academic has
– there’s a pause while he ponders – 17
books of military history and narrative to his
name, including a number for children and
younger readers.
It was his third book, this one about Major
General Sir Howard Kippenberger (also the
subject of Harper’s doctoral thesis) that first
took him into WWI and the trenches of the
Western Front.
THE HOME FRONT: Children taking part in fundraising for the
war effort. Mark Febery
Kippenberger’s reputation rests on his
accomplishments during WWII, explains
Harper, but he had also been a boy soldier on
the Somme.“He lied about his age.” Reading
about the Somme aroused Harper’s interest
in another less emblematic battle.
“I read about how badly New Zealanders
had been treated on the Somme, but in the
accounts there was always this throwaway
line: ‘but Passchendaele was much worse’.
So I wanted to find about Passchendaele and
how much worse it could be.”
In 2000, 80 odd years on from the tragic
debacle it describes – 846 New Zealand troops
were killed in a single morning in the First
Battle of Passchendaele – Harper’s book was
published – and within two weeks sold out.
How did a book of military history become
a bestseller? Why are the events of WWI still
so strongly with us? Partly, Harper says, this
has to do with the scale of New Zealand’s
involvement: the 100,000 individuals who
went to war came from a population just over
a million strong. Every family would have had
some close connection. Those connections
endure through family histories.“People want
to know why their relative went and what
they did, what they would have seen and
Then there is what you might call
the meta significance of WWI. As the
twentieth century recedes, many of its
most significant events, from WWII
to the Cold War to the collapse of the
former Soviet Union to the break up of
Yugoslavia, are seen as one long chain
of consequences tracing back to the
events of 1914-18.
“If you want to understand the
world today you have to understand
WWI was not the first war to
be photographed, says Harper. Professional
photographers followed the course of the
American Civil War, but photography in the
1860s was a complex and time consuming
procedure involving large glass plates that
had to be treated and sensitised in the field,
exposed for a period of many seconds,
and then swiftly developed in a darkroom
The Western Front 1917: Keeping a watchful eye on the enemy at Ida Post. Joan Miskimmin
The Western Front 1917: Trying to keep dry and prevent the low-lying trenches from flooding was a constant struggle. Soldiers pumping water away from the trenches.
Joan Miskimmin
Galllipoli: Enjoying a dip. Allan Comrie
Gallipoli: The road up to Walker’s Ridge behind Anzac Cove. Allan Comrie
Sinai-Palestine campaign 1916-1918: Farrier Sergeant Westwood and horse rest during one of
the Gaza battles. Lyn Murphy
Sinai-Palestine campaign 1916-1918: Albert Creed of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles in a snipers
position in the desert. Albert, a Gallipoli veteran, posted this photo to his family for Christmas
1917. David Mowat
Sinai-Palestine campaign 1916-1918: The New Zealand Mounted Rifles units labelled this
place Diahorea [sic] Valley. Its real name was slightly more attractive: Tel el Nag. Matthew
Sinai-Palestine campaign 1916-1918: The burial of Private Fred Crum, Mounted Field Ambulance
at Belah on 9 May 1917. Matthew Pomeroy
By 1914, things were very different. The
Vest Pocket Kodak – a version would later be
marketed as the soldier’s camera – was capable
of shutter speeds of around a fiftieth of a
second, and the rolls of celluloid film, each
yielding eight 15/8 by 21/2 inch exposures,
could be dropped off to a chemist for
development (entrepreneurial locals followed
the armies of the Sinai Palestine campaign
into the field). And it lived up to its name: in
its folded down state it was same size as an
iPhone, though twice the thickness.
This was good for the owner, but
not something the army was altogether
comfortable with. Understandably, then – as
now – military regulations forbade both
the keeping of diaries and the taking of
photographs on the front. Secretary of War
Lord Kitchener himself loathed the media
and didn’t want cameras, amateur or official,
anywhere near the combat action. “Official
photographers weren’t appointed until after
he died in 1916 and New Zealand didn’t
appoint its own until the early months of
1917,” says Harper.
So it is just as well for us that New
Zealand’s private soldiers carried their
cameras, or our photographic record of
those early campaigns, such as Gallipoli and
the first of the Somme offensives, would be
thin.“All the photographs in here come from
private sources so it is just as well that all those
people ignored the instructions to leave their
cameras behind.”
Harper began his work on the book by
writing a brief: these were segments of the
war he wanted to cover and these were the
photographic priorities. He wanted to cover
each of the major sites and years of battle
in which the New Zealanders took part, to
show something of life on the home front,
and he wanted to show something of the
consequences for those who made it home.
One major problem was the number of
generic WWI photographs – photographs
that could not be reliably tied to a time or
place.“If you knew the date, if you know the
unit name or the person’s name you can often
work things out. If you have nothing, you are
guessing.” Photos without provenance were
rejected. So too, except where there were
special grounds, were photos that appeared
to have been deliberately staged or tampered
with in the dark room.
The Australian war photog rapher
Frank Hurley (remembered most for his
extraordinary pictures of Shackleton’s ship
the Endurance) was known for improving on
reality. “One of Hurley’s images – the one
he liked best – is made up of 12 different
photographs.” Harper flips open a book to
the image in question: troops going over the
top, aeroplanes overhead, shells bursting, a
lowering sky pierced by shafts of light. “To
my mind it looks like something out of a
Hollywood movie.”
Harper has included just one suspect
image, a high-contrast nightmare vision of
New Zealand troops attacking.“I don’t know
whether it is a composite, whether it is faked,
whether it is staged. The typesetter reckons
its a composite. I have a letter that says it was
taken by a German photographer, just before
he was bayonetted. ”
Tania Lasenby was the person who first
saw the photos sent in by individuals after
an appeal was made to the public. It was an
experience she found deeply poignant. One
album contained foliage and flowers picked
from behind the battlelines.
To Harper’s surprise, among the photographs
sent in were several official war photographs
These New Zealand soldiers seem at home in their ‘Kiwi
Dugout’ in Belgium. Mark Febery
wounds suffered by the soldiers and the
attempts made at surgical reconstruction.
“I agonised about whether to put it in. I
removed the names so as not to cause distress
to their families and I haven’t shown the most
graphic of the photos. I was actually moved
to tears at times.”
– part of the ‘H-series’ – that had failed to find
their way into the armed forces collections.
A family in Palmerston North lent Harper
their grandfather’s album – he had been a
stretcher bearer on the Western Front – and
showed him the Box Brownie on which the
photos had been taken.
Then there were the mysteries: “Someone
sent this album of Sinai Palestine through to
Images of War:World War One
A photographic record of New Zealanders
at war 1914–1918 by Glyn Harper and
Queen Elizabeth II Army Memorial
Gallipoli: The road to Walker ridge. Allan Comrie
Harper Collins [publishers] and all it had on it
was ‘I don’t want this back’. I’d love to know
who it was, what the story was behind it.”
What sort of photos have made the cut? It is
an eclectic mix – the war in all its aspects, not
just the stuff of battle. There are photographs
of sightseeing and picnics, of patriotic
fundraising drives, of ruins and refugees, of
the washing of socks.
The hardest part of the book for Harper
was a section dealing with the horrific facial
A month in the middle kingdom
Massey journalism graduate Tom Fitzsimons recently spent ten weeks
working at the Shanghai Daily funded by the
Asia New Zealand Foundation.
hen I was in Shanghai, an Irish expat
who had lived there a decade told
me: “Whatever you do, don’t write a story
about China”.
He was talking about people who arrive with
no knowledge, see the huge buildings, the
bright lights and start talking about the rise of
“the dragon”. He meant that it was a mistake
to try to reduce China, with all of its history,
scale and complexity, to a simple narrative.
And he is right: the China I visited
is complex. It changes every time you
look. One moment there’s a beautiful
piece of government pageantry, the
next there’s two old women
locked up for trying
to protest at the
Games. One moment you see architectural
wonders of the world rising before your eyes,
the next you see hundreds of migrant workers
asleep on the backs of trucks at night. One
moment you choke back some fumes, the next
you’re told they don’t give out plastic bags for
free any more to help the environment. One
moment you talk to a Chinese filmmaker
who’s made the most poignant documentary
about his neighbourhood getting knocked
over, the next you see some drunken sleazebag
expat rolling down the street towards you.
The gap between China’s nouveau riche
and its peasants is huge and only growing,
while press freedoms are limited, dissent
tightly controlled and minorities vanquished
to the margins of society.
Similar tensions apply in the commercial
world. China may represent a nation of 1.3
billion potential consumers. It may be
the factory of the world. But any
foreign company setting up
a venture in China
must navigate
a welter
changeable regulation, breakdowns in
communication, a lack of accountability and
sometimes sheer bad luck.
When I visited Bob Major of Fonterra, he
was upbeat about prospects. A few days later
– according to news reports – the company
learned of melamine contamination of the
baby formula produced by San Lu, a company
in which Fonterra had a $200 million
shareholding. At press, there are reports that
San Lu may be wound up.
So China is complex. But that doesn’t
mean that stories about China should not
be written and it doesn’t mean China’s
not coming out ahead on balance. China’s
extraordinary economic growth has meant
new roads across the desert, and new office
towers, and shops, and schools, and clothes,
and food. It has meant real prosperity for
more Chinese, and a much bigger role for
China in the world.
Above all, China is endlessly fascinating.
As Bill McAulay, formerly of Plimmerton,
told me: “Every day you see something that
surprises you, every day you see something
and think ‘I haven’t seen that before. That’s
I’ll vouch for that.
Meet the waiguoren*
Whether it’s free trade, booming growth, the Beijing Olympics, or – most recently – tainted milk, China is
the talk of the world. But what is it like up close? Tom Fitzsimons talked to three
Massey graduates making mid-life forays into the Middle Kingdom.
hat to do when the kids have cleared
out of home, the mortgage is finally
looking more manageable and New Zealand
suddenly seems a bit, well, small?
In a word: China.
That’s been the answer for three Massey
alumni I visited while in Shanghai: Bill
McAulay of Sealed Air, Ron Houston of
Nestlé and Bob Major of Fonterra.
They are part of that great mass of expats
who have landed in the great Eastern
seaboard cities of Shanghai and Beijing over
the past two decades.
It’s not hard to see the attraction for
foreign enterprise. Since the first liberalising
reforms 30 years ago, China has grown at an
astonishing rate of nearly 10 per cent a year.
Even in the far-flung provinces, infrastructure
is well-developed and former “second-tier
cities” like Wuhan and Chongqing, Xi’an
and Chengdu, Tianjin and Lanzhou, have
become economic powerhouses in their
own right.
“There’s nowhere in the world like it,”
Major, Fonterra’s general manager in China,
says. McAuley, a site operations manager for
American multinational Sealed Air, agrees.
“I sort of see it this way: the 19th century
was England’s century. The 20th century
was America’s century and I think the 21st
century is China’s century. And of all the
places in China, Shanghai I think is the most
dynamic part and the fastest changing part to
be in at this end of the 21st century.”
Both Kiwis saw an opportunity based
as much on their time of life as the work
they do.
McAulay, who has a diploma in business
studies and has studied food technology,
had spent nearly two decades of marketing,
sales and manufacturing work for Cryovac
– a multinational firm that makes vacuum
packaging for products including New
Zealand beef, lamb and cheese – when a new
opening appeared.
“When the decision was made to build a
plant here, and they were looking for a start-up
manager, I put my hand up.
“Our three kids had left home, and we
had limited things anchoring us there, so we
thought ‘let’s give it a go’.”
Major did a master’s in microbiology at
Massey and worked as a scientist first for the
New Zealand Rennet Company making
cheeses and then at the Dairy Research
“Then I realised science isn’t where the
money and power is,” he says with a laugh, so
he joined the Dairy Board.
The new job took him to the Middle
East, then Hong Kong in the 1990s when
the Chinese dairy market was just starting to
open up.
After returning to New Zealand for the
children’s secondary school years, he and his
wife found their nest empty in Palmerston
“We thought it was time to go and do
something exciting again.”
Ron Houston, a dairy diploma graduate,
started off in Shannon working for the
Tokomaru Dairy Company before getting his
own Middle Eastern break in Kuwait.
The first Gulf War put paid to that, he says.
“I thought ‘shit, I’m not staying there’.” So
he ventured to Hong Kong for most of the
’90s too.
Now Houston is south regional manager for
Nestlé, a lone Westerner with 2800 Chinese
He still struggles with the language, and
holds bilingual meetings, but he must be
doing something right – the government of
Guangzhou has presented him with keys to
the city and its quadrennial friendship award
for foreign experts.
he three travellers have had quite different
experiences,but there are common threads
in what they say: in the past ten years China
has transformed itself; its young graduates
are hungry, but not necessarily mature after
a hothoused education; labour is cheap, but
might not remain so; the burgeoning domestic
market is as important to big multinationals as
the prospect of cheap exporting; government
intervention is frequent and sometimes invasive;
and everything, they repeat, is moving fast.
“Every day’s a challenge,” Houston says.
“Not knowing what’s going to happen. Our
biggest challenge is people, retention, keeping
the high-fliers. Chinese people are very
interested in moving up the ladder fast.”
Catering to the fast-changing tastes of
local consumers is also tough, he says. The
ice cream flavours in China might not sound
palatable to a Kiwi ear (“red bean, green bean,
chestnut”), but the fact they’re being eaten at
all is testament to the growth of dairy in the
“Your planning has to be long, but your
focus very short.There’s limited loyalty towards
brands in China.There are some repeat buyers
but they’re limited. There’s really such a huge
range out there.”
Most of what Major says has to do with
China’s promise: bigger dairy farms, more
products, potential windfalls. But there are
perils too, as many companies setting up
ventures in China have found.
McAulay, the most recent arrival, says he has
been stunned by what he has been able to get
accomplished in 18 months.
“It’s fantastic. You don’t get many
opportunities in a career to start something
right from the ground up.”
When he arrived, his factory sites were “just
holes in the ground”. Now they’re filled with
state-of-the-art equipment and an army of
newly-trained Chinese engineers.
* foreigner, literally ‘outside country person’
This page, left to right: Bob Major of Fonterra and Ron
Houston of Nestlé. Opposite page inset photos: the ‘Water
Cube’ Olympic pool and scenes from the Forbidden City
in Beijing.
If you go to San Francisco...
Fulbright-Platinum Triangle Scholar Fiona Millar talks to Malcolm Wood
t is 5.00 at the end of aWellington working
day and a matchbox-sized image of Fiona
Miller appears on my screen, and there,
a moment later, is my own thumb-nailed
face alongside. Ah, the miracles the Internet
makes possible.
For first-year MBA student Miller, it is
9.00 on a Tuesday night in her apartment
in Berkeley just outside San Francisco; she
has come straight from a student organising
committee and once she is done with talking
to me must make some headway with her
course work.
Last night she was up into the small hours
working on a microeconomics assignment.
It’s a subject new to this Bachelor of Applied
Science graduate.“I had a moment when it all
made sense,” she announces. “I must be very
lucid at 2.00 in the morning.”
It’s a more-than-full life. For her and the
other 240 students in her year, there are three
finals next week, two big group projects also
due and a flow of individual assignments.
Mid-term exams were three weeks ago.
Then there are her extracurricular activities.
Fiona is one of five students from her year of
240 students who are organising the annual
Venture Capital Investment Competition
Five teams, each of five students, play
the part of venture capitalists, deciding
how to disperse their notional investment
funds among a group of competing start-up
ventures. What makes this different from a
pure make-believe classroom exercise is that
the ventures are genuine enterprises in need
of venture funding and the judges of the
teams’ performance (the ‘dragons’) are real-life
venture capitalists, some of them commanding
multibillion dollar funds.
Miller’s committee will recruit the teams,
judges and entrepreneurs, encourage the
students to put together suitably diverse
teams, and raise the sponsorship for the travel,
expenses, prizes and gifts of appreciation.
The Haas MBA does not come cheap
– even though the University of California is
a public university, the course fees alone come
to US$40,000 a year – and the cost of living
is prohibitive. Miller’s time in the States has
been made possible by a Fulbright Platinum
Triangle Scholarship in Entrepreneurship,
which brings with it US$100,000 in funding
(plus travel expenses, insurance and a paid
This, together with a Haas Merit Scholarship,
makes Miller one of the lucky ones; whereas
many of the students – who range from
people who have been involved in not-forprofit work in Africa to Wall Street investment
bankers – must get by on loans and savings, at
least she does not need to worry about where
the next dollar will come from.
New Zealand’s venture capital market is,
by comparison, a recent development, and
it is tiny: in 2005 it represented just 0.11 per
cent of GDP. But with domestic initiatives
such as the Government’s New Zealand
Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) and
with canny investors outside New Zealand
increasingly looking beyond their borders for
opportunities, it is growing.
After graduating from Massey, Miller worked,
in turn, for Massey, Livestock Improvement,
and AgResearch, which is where she was in
2004 when she was alerted to the FulbrightPlatinum Triangle Scholarship, by Professor
Robert Anderson who had learned of the
scholarship’s inception:“He sent a photocopy
of the Fulbr ight memo to me with a
handwritten note: ‘You should think about
The scholarship was set up to enable a New
Zealand graduate student from a technical
background “to complete a master’s degree
at a US university in a knowledge economyrelated field, and to gain professional work
experience in the US and New Zealand”.
Miller was interested, but felt she needed
the more commercial experience. It was while
working for her next employer,WaikatoLink the commercialisation wing of the University
of Waikato – and just having turned 30, she
decided it must be now or never for her
to apply. “And I squealed with excitement
when I was told I’d been selected!” Her three
predecessors had entrepreneurial backgrounds;
hers was in commercialisation.
The Haas School of Business was a logical
choice. Not only does it have a strong
reputation, its location alongside San Francisco
places it in the heartland of American venture
capital funding – around half of American
venture capital comes from Bay Area.
How do you explain such American
phenomena as Silicon Valley (an hour’s drive
from Berkeley) or for that matter its growing
local biotech equivalent? A simple reductionist
approach does not work. Here you have the
workings of a well-established ecosystem:
ambitious and capable graduates coming out
of first-class educational institutions such as
Berkeley and Stanford; the research emerging
from private and public enterprises; a culture
that embraces risk; large sums of money;
and business expertise. It is these last two
that venture capitalists bring together. They
have money to invest, the discernment to
spot winning business opportunities, and the
acumen to exercise oversight and take good
ideas to market.
How is Miller finding life in Berkeley,
particularly during both a world financial
crisis and a US presidential election?
While Miller’s MBA largely dictates her
horizons, she is enjoying her interactions
with her fellow students, a third of whom
come from outside the US, and is looking
forward to establishing links with the wider
UC Berkeley community. “The other day
I had to walk across to the other side of
campus and I stumbled across the enormous
Life Sciences building. Being from a science
background, I was hankering to get inside
and find out more.”
The financial melt down and the election
occasion much discussion. She has heard
classmates who have taken time out from
Wall Street talk about the serendipity – or
otherwise – of their timing, and, if only she
had the time to get to them, the school,
which has a number of financial luminaries
on staff, has been running seminars to discuss
the implications of the financial crisis. When
it comes to the presidential election, San
Francisco and the Haas Business School
are generally Democrat in their sympathies,
values that gibe with Miller’s own. Some
things, though, are difficult to transpose to a
New Zealand setting. “Every day I see four
or five people wearing Obama t-shirts. I can’t
imagine New Zealanders wearing Helen
Clark or John Key t-shirts!”
What will happen once she has finished her
MBA and the 15 months she is allowed to
work in the States? Miller is set on a return
to New Zealand and taking up a role that
turns research breakthroughs into commercial
successes. Whether that will be within a
research organisation or a venture capital entity
remains to be seen; either way, an agricultural
biotech leaning seems likely.
“I’ve always had a passion for farming and
science, and I want to be involved with the
agricultural sector. There are a lot of things
we do well, but there are many ways we can
add greater value. It doesn’t just have to be
about meat, wool and milk any more.”
In the meantime, there is only that one
problem. “I just have to find another 10 or
15 hours a week. I figure I can always sleep
in 2010.”
Wetlands of New Zealand:
A bitter-sweet story
by Janet Hunt
Random House, $NZ69.99
Reviewed by Steven Trewick
New Zealand’s swamps and estuaries may not be the most romantic or photogenic when compared
with our mountains, rivers, beaches or lakes, but this brilliant book may make readers change their
minds.The author (who also designed the book) and the publishers have done a superb job producing
a fascinating book on a complex and important topic. With its pleasing layout, excellent captions,
and thoughtful text this book was a genuine pleasure to read and assess.
From judges’ report for the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2008. Wetlands of New Zealand
won the environment category.
Although I am perhaps not the general reader Hunt had in mind,
I am certainly interested in her topic. From my youth in southern
England I have always been fascinated by the nature and mechanics
of what technically are known as peaty wetlands but most of us know
as bogs. Mention bogs to me and I recall the black peat perched
paradoxically atop white sand, pools and rivulets the colour of
over-stewed tea, insect-snaring plants, dancing damselflies and the
faint morbid possibility that somewhere interred within them are
the ancient remains of bronze age human sacrifices. Similar bogs
exist in New Zealand, and in many ways they are familiar to me: the
sundew, damselfly, bladderwort and sphagnum moss are all recognisable
relatives of the species I already knew from England.
So as a biologist and a lover of bogs, you would think I would be
in accord with the Montana judges. And I am to a point: I too like
Wetlands of New Zealand, but not as much as they do.
The problem for me is Hunt’s ambition, for rather than restrict
herself to wetlands as they are popularly understood – the “swamps
and estuaries” mentioned in the judges’ report – she has chosen to
go with all of the wetland types defined by the Ramsar Convention.
This embraces all manner of wet places – bogs, swamps, lagoons,
saltpans, ponds, rivers, lakes and coastal areas (to a depth of six metres
at low tide!) – and Hunt has set out to document the geology, history,
social history, and biology of each.
The result is, I think, an eclectic assemblage, a mass of observation,
opinion and fact, some of it fascinating and revealing, some of it, at
least for me, a distraction.The multitude of digressions – even though
they may each have their individual interest – result in more of a
montage than a flowing narrative. For example, we are introduced
to New Zealand mammal fossils because they formed in a lake (thus
a wetland) that existed 16 million years ago. That allusion is merely
tenuous, but the description of the animal the fossils represent as a
“Jurassic mouse”, even if it has come from other sources, is misleading
(it is neither Jurassic nor a mouse).
Hunt, I think, would like us to read this book as a narrative from
start to finish, but it is not a bedtime read. It is also not purely a
coffee table book as there is so much to be read. As a reference book,
it is a little frustrating as there are gaps in the index. For instance,
although mentioned in the text, the godwit (one of our most
amazing wetland birds) and the limestone (that forms the wetland
cave systems) are not among the entries.
So, I suggest the book lives on the coffee table and is equipped
with a robust book-mark so you can follow Hunt’s story, because
it is worth hearing.
Hunt and I are definitely in agreement when it comes to the
importance of New Zealand’s wetland environment and preserving
what little we have left. In New Zealand we are often a little smug
about the percentage of our landscape protected by national parks
and reserves, forgetting that type of land in reserves is dominated
by areas that were the least easy or valuable to exploit. Thus,
mountainous land is (rightfully) fairly well represented, but lowland
forest is not. Similarly, wetlands tend to be underrepresented in our
parks and reserves because they have in the past been drained and
improved, so they tended to be swiftly modified beyond recognition
after European settlement.
Those wetlands that remained were often tracts of infertile,
troublesome land such as the West Coast pakihi swamps. Yet today
even these are under pressure. Mechanical diggers are now used to
smash the buried, impervious mineral pan (a method called flipping)
creating land that can be used profitably to graze dairy cattle. This
type of ‘improvement’ – which destroys the drainage, vegetation and
natural history – is still widely regarded as converting ‘wasteland’
to productive use.
Perhaps the loss of wetlands can be regarded as a proxy for the
way humanity makes use of its global environment. Today, with 83
percent of the Earth’s land surface directly influenced by human
activity, I and many others believe that the impact mankind is having
on the only planet we have is unsustainable.We need to change our
behaviour, work towards reducing the global population, and rid
ourselves of the anthropocentric assumption that we are the only
species that matters.
Steve Trewick is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Natural Resources. Janet
Hunt has a BA (Hons) from Massey.
The Great New Zealand Pie Cart
Lindsay Neill, Claudia Bell & Ted Bryant, Hodder
Moa, $29.99
Reviewed by Malcolm Wood
Sophia Scarlet and Other Pacific
by Robert Louis Stevenson, edited by Robert
H. B. Hoskins, AUT Media, $25.00
This handsomely produced work brings
together the outline of a novel-to-be, Sophia
Scarlet with the highly accomplished short
story The Bottle Imp and a number of what
are best termed occasional pieces: addresses
to Samoan chiefs and to Samoan students;
abbreviated legends; letters and articles that
appeared in journals and newspapers of the
time. Robert Louis Stephenson’s hold on
the popular imagination lies with Kidnapped,
Treasure Island, and The Strange Case of Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. His later works are largely
neglected. Sophia Scarlet and other writings is a
testament to his engagement with his adopted
Samoan home in the years leading up to his
death at age 44.
Associate Professor Robert Hoskins,
who edited the collection, is a long-time
Stevenson aficionado. He is best known as
an expert in 18th Century and New Zealand
The Career Maze
by Heather Carpenter, New Holland, $24.99
If you have always known how you wanted
to make your career and things have turned
out just as you have foreseen, then lucky you.
You are one of what Heather Carpenter calls
‘bright lights’. Finding the occupation that has
the right fit is rarely so straight forward and
many young people find themselves making
false starts, to their own and their families’
consternation.The Career Maze is full of
sensible advice on how parents can instill self
knowledge, self belief and self confidence in
their children, providing an environment in
which they can come to the decisions that
are right for them.
Alumna Heather Carpenter is a careers consultant
and counsellor.
Let us hope New Zealand’s economic prospects
improve, but if they don’t, it probably will do
no harm to the sales of Lindsay Neill’s book
The Great New Zealand Pie Cart.As Neill readily
admits, the book is trafficking in baby boomer
nostalgia; when times are troubled we turn to
the comfort of those good old days, that golden
summer when life was simpler and sweeter.
Some pie carts themselves trade on this, says
Neill. The Alexandra pie cart offers a pea, pie
and pud menu in the same way that a retro
nostalgia menu is available at the upmarket
Antoine’s restaurant in Parnell.
Mind you, you really need to dial up the
nostalgia to forgive the practices of yesteryear.
Take the proprietor of the Motueka pie cart’s
recipe for coffee in the good old days:“I would
fill it [the urn] with half a crate of milk, add
instant coffee, and let it heat up. At night I
would drain the unsold coffee, strain it, and the
next day reheat it in the urn. If I made it Tuesday,
by Friday we had a beaut brew on the go.”
Although Neill fits the baby boomer
demographic, in his younger years he was never
a pie cart regular. His interest in pie carts arose
much later.
Neill started out in his working life as a
chef, training in San Francisco and working
in America and Britain before ending up
at AUT as a chef lecturer. AUT was then
a polytechnic, but changes were afoot, and
Neill thought it would be wise to set about
acquiring a new qualification. He enrolled
at Massey extramurally, over the course of a
decade accumulating the
papers he needed one by
one for a BA in social
anthropology. “Looking
back, I should have done
it much more quickly.
I wish I had done it in
five years.” Being older
than the run of students
meant that Neill had
no problem with self motivation, he says, and
because none of the papers he elected required
block courses, he did not meet a fellow student
or a lecturer for the duration of his degree
– though he did tailor his essays to what he
knew of the biographies of his teachers.
BA completed, he now embarked on an
MA, this time with AUT. The subject of pie
carts arose when he was casting around for a
thesis topic, finally settling on the history of an
Auckland pie-cart institution, the White Lady.
The thesis-to-be (to be completed this
year) became the basis of the book proposal
which became The Great New Zealand Pie Cart
that Neill has coauthored with Ted Bell and
Claudia Bryant.
Neill has covered the more traditional pie
carts; Bell, its more contemporary incarnations
(the Ponga Bar in Hahei will serve you
macademia muesli with artisanal organic
yoghurt if you ask); and Claudia Bryant has
provided the sociological gibbstopping that
holds the publication together.
As with so many other what I suppose
you might call microhistories, the Great New
Zealand Pie Cart, is a window into the wider
surrounding world. Pie carts have been around
since the Great Depression, and they can be
found literally from Stewart Island to Kawa
The book’s construction is quirkily eclectic;
there is the odd poem,reminiscences from the
likes of Ray Columbus and Georgina Beyer, a
recipe for whitebait fritters, and highlights such
as the Duke of Edinburgh’s 1950s visit to one
of Christchurch’s pie carts.
Ironically, the stock in trade of pie carts is
no longer pies, says Neill.“Because of hygiene
issues and rehandling and reheating, they are
best to stick to burgers.”
These days, Neill, though still with AUT
(now a university), no longer teaches cooking
and has very little contact with kitchens. “I
hardly cook anything. I can burn water.” He
likes it that way.
Being a chef has rid him of any illusions
about the profession. Popular culture may
have become fixated on
celebrity chefs and the
romance of cooking, but
the show ponies of the
industry are anything
but representative.Think
instead, he says, of the
person on the line who
has to cook 80 meals, he
says, or the hard working
sous-chef who does the work while someone
else takes the glory.
However, he has not renounced his interest
in the food and beverage industry. He hosts
Easy Mix radio’s ‘Dining Detective’ slot and
recently won the New Zealand Guild of
Foodwriters’ 2007 Emerging Food Writer of
the Year for ‘Comer Con Gusto’ an intimate
look at dining in his favourite city, Buenos
Neill’s own good natured review of his
book: “It’s a must-read. Massey should make
it a compulsory text.
New Zealand Chapter events
An After-5 Function was held in Pakuranga
in July, with Associate Professor Peter
Lineham delivering a talk, “Gales of the
Spirit: the changing world of religion in
New Zealand”, which led to animated
discussion.Thanks to Ken Wood and Jan
Bier man from the Auckland Chapter
committee who organised this event. • A visit
was made to the new state-of-the art New
Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine
at the Auckland Zoo in September. Centre
manager Craig Pritchard talked about the
establishment of the centre and conservation
medicine in today’s world, and the alumni
met and were fascinated by a tuatara. The
thoughts of the tuatara are unknown! This
event was oversubscribed within 24 hours
so the goal is to stage a repeat early next
year for those who missed out.
At the Auckland zoo.
Palmerston North
The annual general meeting of the
Palmerston North Alumni Chapter was held
in April.The committee as elected is Morva
Croxson (convenor), Douglas Coles (deputy
convenor), Leanne Fecser (secretary), Bessy
Rasmussen, John Wheeler, John McCarthy,
Frances White, Johanna Wood, Richard
Forgie, Jocelyn Carver and Ken Milne. • A
cocktail function was held in Palmerston
North during the May graduation week.
Hosted by the Palmerston North Alumni
Chapter, the evening brought together
new graduates and their families with the
wider alumni community of Palmerston
North. Howard Moore, executive director,
BioPacificVentures and a Massey alumnus
addressed the audience of 45 alumni and
friends. • The Alumni Relations Office
hosted an Old Rivals Dinner for the LA
Brooks Rugby Trophy on Friday 15 August
before the game between Massey and
Lincoln universities on Saturday.The chapter
and the School of English and Media Studies
hosted an event for alumni and their families
to learn how drama student performances
were developed through rehearsal and saw
a glimpse of student theatre performances.
A special thanks to Dr Angie Farrow and
her students for a thoroughly enjoyable and
entertaining afternoon.
Hawke’s Bay
Hawke’s Bay After-5
Thirty-eight alumni and friends met for an
After-5 function in April.The event was held
to canvass ideas for future events, and the
Hawke’s Bay alumni committee looks forward
to establishing a keen group of alumni in the
region. • In August, 55 alumni and friends
attended a panel discussion entitled“The Price
of Food is a Political Issue”.The guest speakers
were Professor RayWinger,Director (Albany),
Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human
Health, Massey University; Annette Garrett,
Salvation Army; and a Brazilian academic
from a delegation visiting New Zealand to
consider joint ventures with Massey.
The Wellington Alumni Chapter hosted a
cocktail function in May during graduation
week. Chancellor Nigel Gould addressed the
gathering and welcomed the new graduates
and their families to the wider university
The Massey Alumni Online Community goes live at
Massey has launched a web-based online community for
Massey alumni.The site can be found at http://alumnionline.
When you first visit the site you will be asked to register.
Once you register you will be given a limited degree of access
to the website, with full access being granted once your details
have been verified. Although this may take up to three days,
most requests will be processed more quickly.
My Profile
This feature lets you easily make updates to your contact
information, make your information available for others to
see, and manage which e-communications you would like
to receive from us.
Community information
In community information you can search an online directory of fellow classmates and alumni members, register for special events, access
the CareerHub, and be part of the mentoring programme.
Chapters and networks
Each regional chapter has its own page with the latest information about the chapter and events in its region and a discussion group
available for each chapter region to share ideas.
Take some time to explore the site and let us know what you think and where we can make improvements.
Alumni Relations • Private Bag 11 222 • Palmerston North • New Zealand •Phone: 64 6 3505865 • Fax: 64 6 3505786
E-mail: [email protected] • Web address:
Many alumni and friends attended the
Mystery Creek Fieldays alumni function
on Thursday 12 June. They ranged from
Massey University 75th Medal recipient
Dr Brian Wickham, who was visiting from
Ireland, to the 2007 Ag student of the year,
agribusiness banker Sammi Werder.
Coming events
28 November Palmerston North Graduation
Convention Centre, Palmerston North.
1 December Alumni Dinner and Wine Tasting (Auckland)
The Auckland Alumni Chapter committee has organised an
end of year dinner and wine tasting at Annabelles Restaurant,
409 Tamaki Drive, St Heliers. For the occasion Annabelles has
designed a menu to match Riverby Estate wines.
21 – 23 April Auckland Graduation
Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna.
11 – 15 May Palmerston North Graduation
Regent Theatre, Palmerston North.
29 May
Wellington Graduation
Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington.
10 – 13 June Mystery Creek Fieldays (Hamilton)
At the Mystery Creek Fieldays gathering.
Drop in and see the Massey University site PA1-4 in the Mystery
Creek Pavillion.
11 June
After-5 Function (Mystery Creek)
There will be a function at Mystery Creek Fieldays from 5.00–
6.30pm hosted by the College of Sciences Pro Vice-Chancellor
Professor Robert Anderson and the Office of Development and
Alumni Relations.
Old Rivals dinner – LA Brooks Trophy
A dinner is being organised in Christchurch by both Massey and
Lincoln alumni offices for the Old Rivals of the LA Brooks Trophy
from 1952-1966 and recent players from 2005-2007. Invitations
will be sent out at a later date.
LA Brooks Trophy Rugby Match
Massey University and Lincoln University will compete once again
for the LA Brooks Trophy on Lincoln soil. We would like to see
as many Massey alumni as possible to come and support our
team. Kick-off will be 2pm on the Lincoln University grounds.
International Alumni Events
Please note these details are provisional and should be confirmed with the Office of
Development and Alumni Relations. To this list we will continually be adding events, so
to confirm a reunion or event contact us at [email protected] or visit our website
In Brisbane
The staff from Alumni Office and the Massey University Foundation met up with alumni living in Queensland on Tuesday 9 September.
It was great to talk with alumni who had travelled two hours through the desert to attend the event, alumni who had moved to Brisbane
for opportunities to advance their music careers and those who enjoyed the warmer climate of the Australian weather!
A gathering of alumni was held in Melbourne on Friday 25 April. The evening was hosted by the Massey University Foundation and
served to bring alumni together, renew old bonds and rekindle friendships. An update on activities within Massey was provided and an
appeal was made to support the Massey University Foundation’s scholarship campaign.Following on from the Melbourne gathering was
a reunion for Massey degree classes (B Agr Sc, B Hort Sc, B Dairy Tech) starting in 1958, completing around 1961 on Saturday 26 April.
The reunion was organised by Bill Schroder and Jock Macmillan.
A small group of alumni met with Associate Professor Mark Brown, Director of Distance Education in September at Suze in Mayfair. It
was, he says, an enjoyable evening. Several people attending said they would bring other Massey alumni to future events. The suggestion
was also made that in the future this network might prove to be very useful in helping Massey alumni to secure jobs in London.
Register as a chapter member to be invited to events in your local area. Visit
If you are associated with a business or service that would like to provide a benefit
to Massey alumni and friends, staff or students, please contact us.
E-mail: [email protected]
Kevin Bills Photography Ltd in Palmerston
North offers a 10 per cent discount on the cost
of the sitting fee plus print orders over $250
or the choice of an extra 18 x 12cm print.
Kevin Bills Photography Ltd will donate $10
to the Massey University Scholarship fund for
print orders over $400. Different packages are
Duty Free Stores New Zealand
available to help you commemorate those
special occasions. This benefit applies to all
individual, business, family, child and parent
portraits in the studio or at a Palmerston North
location. Visit Kevin Bills Photography Ltd
on-line or
contact them by phone on (06) 357 8757.
Duty Free Stores New Zealand offers a 20
per cent discount on phone and internet
orders and a 5 per cent discount at all airport
stores across New Zealand for alcohol,
fragrances and cosmetics (discounts cannot
be combined with other offers) to Massey
University alumni and friends. For every $50
or part thereof that you spend in their outlets,
Duty Free Stores New Zealand donates $1
to the Massey University Scholarship Fund.
Simply present the required coupon when
making a purchase, or use the required code
when placing an order over the Internet or
telephone. Contact the alumni office for your
coupon or required code.
Hunter’s Wine
Support our new PhD Scholarship
Support our new Alumni Doctoral Scholarship
Last year the University began a new scholarship appeal based on the sales of Hunter’s
Massey wine. Support our Massey University Alumni Doctoral Scholarship by
ensuring you download an order form from
Bi-monthly electronic
The alumni office invites you to subscribe
to our bi-monthly email newsletter.
The newsletter contains articles and
updates on Massey University, and
about our alumni chapters around New
Zealand and the world, giving you an
exclusive lead on what’s happening in
your region. In addition, we will be
including commentary from our alumni.
It only takes a few seconds to register,
and it’s free!
To subscribe visit alumnionline. and follow the links or email us at [email protected]
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007
$18 per bottle
The wine shows gooseberry herbal aromas balanced with ripe tropical fruit flavours of
passionfruit, peach and melon.The palate has crisp acid and is textured with herbaceous,
citrus and tropical fruit flavours.
The Chase 2005
$16.20 per bottle
Pinot Noir strawberry and cherry flavours, combined with the earth and plum of
Merlot and cassis/chocolate aromas of the Cabernet blend together to form a wine
of medium weight with light oak and berry fruit flavours. The delicate flavours and
aromas will increase in complexity over the three years following.
Alumna Jane Hunter began supplying us with our own Massey label in 2006. Sales have
been impressive since.The wine is extremely well priced and very good drinking!
Discounted Rates for Massey Alumni
Massey University Alumni receive a minimum 10 per cent discount with increased discount for longer stays.
To enquire about this offer contact
E-mail: vacation
Phone +61 7 5592 1744
Massey University Foundation is Massey University’s registered charitable
trust. The Foundation exists to enable excellence at the University. To achieve
this, the Foundation works with alumni and other supporters, industry,
Government and charitable organisations to find funding for scholarships,
research projects and other activities at the University.
As costs of postgraduate study are often daunting to many students, the University is asking for your support
towards this campaign to support our research initiatives. The campaign features a range of scholarship appeals
to enable alumni and friends to contribute in their areas of interest. All funds are invested and the income spent
on scholarships. Three particular scholarship appeals are featured below. You can support these or others such as
the First Fifty Years Reunion Scholarship Fund or the Australian Alumni Scholarship Fund. You can also find more
information about all the scholarships at the Foundation website. Please indicate which scholarship you wish to
support on the form provided, or by visiting the Foundation website,
This fund was launched to coincide with the opening of the New Zealand Institute for
Advanced Study at Massey University. The Institute is dedicated to providing a platform of
pure research led by world-leading Massey staff. Former Vice-Chancellor Sir Neil Waters is
honorary patron of the Institute. Sir Neil has always recognised the essential role students
have played in the research programmes of the University. The scholarship fund will support
senior students working with Institute professors. You can help support leading-edge science
by contributing to this fund.
Named in memory of staff member the late Professor Brian Murphy, this fund was instigated
by College of Business Pro Vice-Chancellor Larry Rose and Brian’s son Andrew. Brian was
an acknowledged pioneer and practitioner of marketing research and a widely respected
educator in marketing. If you are alumni or staff of the College of Business or from the wider
community of Brian’s friends and academic colleagues, please consider supporting senior
students completing research in marketing, business ethics or future studies at Massey.
peter turner
scholarship in
documentar y
This fund has been created in the memory of the late Peter Turner - an esteemed author, editor,
publisher and curator. Peter established an international reputation before moving to New
Zealand in 1991, where he championed photography as an art form and contributed to public
knowledge and understanding of the medium. He was a teacher at the former Wellington
School of Design, now Massey University. This scholarship fund will support an exceptional
photographer whose work is grounded in ‘the real’ and addresses personal, political, social or
community concerns. You can make a real difference by giving practical support to this fund.
Supporting the University has become easier!
Visit the Foundation website to find out more
about current activities, register for e-newsletters
and donate to areas of your interest. You can use
your credit card to support University projects,
scholarships and trusts through the safety of
PayPal - the electronic alternative to cheques.
If you are alumni, you may be aware of the new
interactive website ‘Massey University Alumni
Online Community’ where you can also donate to
the Foundation scholarship campaign.
New Zealand’s tax law changes provide greater
incentives for individuals and companies to
donate more to charities and other non-profit
organisations. Major changes include the removal
of the $1,890 threshold, meaning individual donors
can now claim a 33.33% tax rebate for donations
up to their net annual income. This simply means
you can donate a greater amount this year and
claim a tax rebate. For more information, please
contact the Foundation.
study- -aavery
Campaign (Please
$50 $100
$100 $500
$500 Other
$50 $100
$100 $500
$500 Other
$50 $100
$100 $500
$500 Other
$50 $100
$100 $500
$500 Other
I Irequest
E:E:[email protected]
[email protected]
Send us your news
Leanne Fecser, Massey’s alumni relations manager
and an alumna herself, is moving on to fresh
opportunities. Massey’s alumni have benefited from
her endeavours and many will have had personal
dealings with her. A new appointee will be in place
in early 2009.
To appear in notes and news either
• visit the and
fill in the online form
• send your information to
Alumni Relations
Private Bag 11 222
Palmerston North
New Zealand
• send an e-mail to [email protected]
Information may be edited for clarity and space.
Tom Wallace, Diploma of Agriculture, is a past
president of the New Zealand Veterinary Association,
served for 18 years on the Ruakura animal ethics
committee, and co-edited the book The Farmer’s
Veterinary Guide.
John Bryant, Bachelor of Arts 1987, Bachelor of
Arts (Humanities) 1984, Diploma in Education 1976,
is now working as assistant parish priest at St John
the Evangalist Church.
Edward Millett, Diploma of Agriculture, retired June
2002 after 36 years on his own farm east of Wellsford
(hill country sheep and beef cattle breeding).
I f yo u a re a n e m p l oye r, t h e n
NZUniCareerHub will allow you to
easily distribute information about
your organisation and vacancies to jobsearching students and recent graduates
throughout New Zealand. To find out
about NZUniCareerHub point your
browser at
If you are a student or recent graduate,
then the Massey CareerHub makes it
easier for you to connect with employers
and find out about their job vacancies,
graduate programmes and employer
Gavin Bayliss, Master of Arts, 1971, Bachelor of
Arts, 1968, has retired to the Marlborough Sounds
after 22 years in the Palmerston North City planning
Join the Massey Library
Massey University Library offers alumni
and friends a 50 per cent discount on
membership. For only $100 per year you
can have the same borrowing privileges
as an undergraduate distance student.
Borrow books in person or have them
delivered to you anywhere in New
Zealand. Contact the alumni relations
for more information.
Find a classmate
With a database of over 98,000 names,
there is a good chance that we can help
you to get in touch with your former
Contact us with information about
who it is you would like to catch up
with and, if it is possible, we will help
you to get in touch.
To protect the privacy of alumni, this
process is carried out in accordance with
the Privacy Act (1993).
Dalsukbhai Patel, Diploma Dairy Technology,
returned to India in 1969 and joined Sagar Dairy,
Paula Gilbert, Bachelor of Science, is working as a
consultant and diagnostic specialist with dyslexia.
Annie Weir, Bachelor of Education 1991 and Bachelor
of Science 1972, writes: “I did my BEd at Massey,
then went on to do a MEd and PhD in education at
Victoria University of Wellington. I have been living
in Edinburgh for about five years.”
John Benseman, Masters of Education 1980,
Bachelor of Education with Honours 1979, Bachelor
of Education 1975, spent 12 years teaching adult
education at The University of Auckland. He is now
principal researcher for a national research project on
workplace literacy, and has also worked for UNESCO
and OECD on adult literacy projects.
Amir Hashim, PhD (Business) 1985, Master of
Arts 1977, was an associate professor at the National
University, Malaysia from 1976-1995, general
manager of National Entrepreneurship Development
Corporation from 1995-2004, and is currently a
trainer and motivation consultant with AmirConsult
and Services (www
Sia Teng Teck, Bachelor of Agriculture Science,
is cur rently working for Sg. Budi Group in
Mike Moyo, Bachelor of Resource & Environmental
Planning, returned to his homeland of Malawi in
1982. He worked as a physical planner and in 1984
was promoted to head the regional planning office.
From 1987-88 he studied Transport Planning at the
University of Wales (UK), graduating with an MSc. In
1992 he became assistant commissioner for physical
planning in Malawi, later rising to the rank of deputy
commissioner before his retirement from the Civil
Service in 2000. In October 2000, he joined GITEC
Consult GmBH, a German consulting firm, as an urban
management adviser, helping the Malawi Government
develop medium sized towns as part of the Secondary
Centres Development Programme (SCDP). Between
2002 and 2007 he was the programme manager of the
implementation unit of SCDP, planning and supervising
the development of five Malawi townships. Since
September 2007 he has been senior programmes officer
with GTZ on the Malawi German Programme for
Democracy and Decentralisation advising the Ministry
of Local Government and Rural Development. He
is the president of the Malawi Institute of Physical
Planners (MIPP), and chairman of the Town and
Country Planning Board (2005-2009) in Malawi.
Then and now
In March the BAgrSc class of 1949-51 held a reunion in Palmerston North, visiting
the campus and sharing memories of earlier times.
Polar fleece jackets 8 - 18
T shirt - V neck (black) 8 - 18
Polar fleece jackets XS - 3XL
T shirt - crew neck (black) XS - 3XL
Hoodie (grey) XS - 3XL
Hoodie (navy) XS - 3XL
Parka (wind and shower proof - hood in collar)
XS - 3XL
Polar fleece sweatshirt (half zip) XS - 3XL
Polar fleece vest XS - 3XL
Polo shirt - navy with yellow trim on sleeves
-(quickdry) XS - 3XL
Polo shirt - (navy) S - 3XL
Rugby jersey - short sleeve (harlequin) XS - 3XL
Rugby jersey - long sleeve (striped) XS - 3XL
T-shirt (navy) XS - 3XL
T-shirt (white) XS - 3XL
Trackpants (Unisex) XS - 3XL
Viaduct Jacket (women’s) XS - XL
Lyttelton Jacket (men’s) S - 3XL
Beaumont Vest (women’s) XS - XL
Wanaka Vest (men’s) S - 3XL
Paihia Shirt (short sleeved) S - 4XL
Parkhurst Shirt (long sleeved) S - 3XL
University cap
Merino wool scarf
Merino wool beanie
Possum / Merino scarf
Possum / Merino beanie
FAX this form to : +64 6 350 5790
POST this form to (no stamp required)
Free Post Authority 114094,
Alumni Relations Office, Old Registry Building, Massey University
Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Alumni Relations Office
Contact Office
The Old Registry Building
Ground Floor, Block 4
Palmerston North Campus
Wellington Campus
Contact Office
Cashiers, Quad A
Albany Campus
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#20A #22A
#24A #25A
#26A #27A
[email protected]
Bookmark (rimu)
Briefcase (leather)
Business Card Holder
Ceremonial Tie
Charm (silver)
Coasters - Stainless Steel (set of 4)
Coasters - Rimu (set of 4)
Coffee Mug
Degree Frame (rimu, non-reflective glass,
acid free backing)
Key Fob
Lapel Pin
Lanyards (blue OR red OR yellow)
Necklace (silver)
Ring Women’s (silver)
Ring Men’s (silver)
Pen (in box)
Pen (in velvet sleeve)
Photo Frame (8” x 10”)
Shot glasses (per glass)
Thermal Mug
Tie Slide
USB Drive (1GB)
Wallet - (leather)
William Bear Degree
(degree ___________________)
William Bear Diploma
(graduate OR postgraduate)
William Bear – PhD
Wine Glasses – set of 2
Postage and handling (NZ $5 - Overseas $30)
Name (for order)
Delivery Address
Ph (work)
Ph (home)
Cheque (made payable to Massey University)
Credit Card Number
Expiry Date
Card Holder’s Name
Card Holder’s Signature
Capturing the Cup!
Gabi Wehrle, Post Graduate Diploma in Dairy
Sciences & Technology, 1993, Bachelor of Technology
with Honours 1991, was employed by the New
Zealand Dairy Board as a technical officer after
graduation. “I completed the graduate training
programme and gained a postgraduate Diploma in
Dairy Science and Technology. I started legal studies
at Victoria University in 1994; graduated LLB (Hons)
and was admitted to the bar in 1998. I worked as a
solicitor with two commercial law firms in Wellington,
specialising in environmental and planning law. I moved
to Switzerland in 2001 and took up a legal position
at the headquarters of multi-national pharmaceutical
company Novartis. I have been Head of Legal, Novartis
Institutes for Biomedical Research, Basel since June
Edna Ladapo née Jekennu, Diploma in Education,
teaches history in an all girls secondary school owned
by the Federal Govt of Nigeria. She is now an Assistant
Director of Education (Level 15) with the Federal
Government of Nigeria civil service. She attended
Massey University as an Education Officer level 10 and
has been in her present position since 2005.
The victorious Massey Ag team after the match.
The Massey Ag XV has won the LA
Brooks Cup for the first time since the
rugby rivalry with Lincoln University was
renewed in 2005.
The fixture, first contested between
1952-66, is played between teams made
up of agricultural students from the
universities. Massey won the match 2010 in front of a boisterous crowd at the
Sport and Rugby Institute its first win
since 1966.
The night before the match, the “Old
Rivals” dinner was held. Among the 80
alumni and current and former players there,
were former All Black John Hotop, who was
part of the Cup rivalry in the fifties.
Russell Farmery, Bachelor of Business Studies, says
he joined Nielsen (the market research company)
in 1984, soon after graduation. “I held a variety
of positions in the company including managing
director. In 1997 I was offered the role of global
account director for our business with The CocaCola Company. I was based in Atlanta, USA. I
then moved to a regional Asia Pacific role based in
Hong Kong for a few years. In 2003 I took up the
role of managing director South Asia, where I was
based in Mumbai and responsible for the company’s
businesses in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.
It was a large business with over 2000 employees. In
late 2004 I was transferred to the position of MD,
Greater China based in Shanghai looking after the
company’s businesses in Mainland China, Hong
Kong and Taiwan. The staff count was just under
3000 employees. At the end of that assignment we
made a lifestyle decision and returned to NZ to
live in Havelock North. I currently have short term
consulting jobs with my old company but am also
Lisa Chittick née Mihaere, Certificate in Wool
Handling Systems, is currently sheep and beef farming
with husband John in Puketitiri, Napier.They have two
primary school children.
Old Rivals Peter MacGillivray and John Hotop reminisce
at the dinner.
as a programmer for Anchor in Hamilton (after working
for Massey Library for 15 months). He then had IT
Management and Project Management roles with Tip
Top, Watties, Shell, Kiwi Dairies, TVNZ, and Weta.
Grant Dennis, Bachelor of Business Studies, writes:
“After seven years’ living and growing businesses in
Asia it was time to return to NZ and enjoy what makes
living here unique. I am living in Eastbourne with four
boys and alumni wife Tracey!”
Lemuel Diamante, PhD (Technology) 1992, Masters
of Technology 1987, Post Graduate Diploma in
Technology 1985, says he arrived in Christchurch in
May, 2008. “When I left the Philippines I was already
a professor at Visayas State University (located in the
central part of the Philippines). I decided to leave my
job there and seek work here in New Zealand. My
daughter (a NZ citizen) and wife have been in New
Zealand since last year. I hope to get a job teaching
in a university or R & D work in a food or dairy
processing company.”
enjoying being back in NZ and all that it offers.”
Stephen Tysoe, Graduate Diploma in Business Studies
1989, Bachelor of Agriculture Sciences 1984, initially
worked as MAF engineer and in Water Rights for
Northland Catchment Board. He retrained and worked
Peter Fowler, Bachelor of Arts (Humanities), writes:
“Nothing very interesting: teaching, odd jobs, part time
writing, running AFS Roadshow.”
Trina Parker née Booker, Bachelor of Applied
Sciences, and her business partner Sigi both attended
Massey University. They have a Pukekohe-based
business making baby clothing and accessories from
pure NZ merino and cotton fabrics. She writes that
they are primarily internet-based, although they do
have some retailers, both internet and shops, stocking
their products.“NZ made type businesses mainly stock
our products. We are also about to launch our unique
New Zealand made sleeping bag for infants. We are
committed to being NZ and locally based. I enjoy
using my agricultural knowledge for our business, while
profiling our merino products. For more information
visit our website”
Tevita Veikoso, Bachelor of Business Studies, writes:
“After graduating, I returned to my home country to
work for various sectors with the technological push
toward computerisation and automation. These range
from government departments to banking sectors.
Since 2002 I have been employed by governmentowned telecommunications company Tonga
Communications Corporation in the Information
Technology. Telecommunications services in Tonga
provide a lot of technological and social challenges,
as well as assisting in the economic development of
my country.”
Shaaban Hoza, Master of Veterinary Sciences, was
appointed Principal of Livestock Training Institute
(Liti) Morogoro in July, 2008.
Mataa Kataueana née Keebwa, Diploma in
Education, writes: “Prior to graduation with DipEd
I was a primary teacher. After graduation, in 2002, I
became a lecturer in education at the Kiribati Teachers
College. I want to take this opportunity to thank
all lecturers during this time for their support and
wonderful lectures, in particular Dr Jenny Poskitt,
A return to Argentina
When John de Lautour graduated from
Massey in 1948 with a Diploma in
Agriculture he headed not to some local
farm but to Argentina where he took up
a management cadetship. He worked on
the 200,000-hectare Estancia Condor, a
vast estate near the Chilean border, and
although, after a number of years, he and
his wife eventually moved back to New
Zealand, he never lost touch.
In 2006 John was asked to arrange
an exchange work experience for three
fourth-year undergraduates of the Catholic
Agricultural University of Buenos Aires.
He placed them on the North Island east
coast stations of Tangihau, Okare and
This year the exchange was reciprocated.
Dean McHardy, the manager of Tangihau
and its well known Angus stud, heading to
Estancia Condor. John accompanied him,
and he describes the following three weeks
of travel around Argentina, often in Dean’s
company, as easily the greatest journey
of his life. The two visited a large sheep
show and an Angus artificial insemination.
breeding centre. With John’s entrée into
the farming community, the two were
given a privileged insight into Argentina’s
agriculture and pastoral farming, the
business of stock selling and processing,
lecturer in school organisation, Anne Marie O’Neill,
my lecturer for curriculum theory, Clive Harper,
lecturer in educational psychology.”
Christine Long née Meads, Bachelor of Arts, has
been teaching at Wanganui Girls’ College, Wanganui
Collegiate School, St Margaret’s College and now Mt
Albert Grammar School since graduating. She was
a boarding house manager at St Margaret’s College
and now has changed direction, moving into the
development/alumni area of Mt Albert Grammar
Helen McGregor, Bachelor of Business Studies, has
been working in London, Vancouver and New York
for professional service and industry firms, along with
extensive travelling.
Sumi Ramu Naidu, Bachelor of Business Studies,
writes: “Back in Malaysia after graduation, I started
my career as an account assistant for five years in
Kuala Lumpur. In 2001 I got married, and I now have
the hunting of wild animals, the business
investment opportunities, and Argentina’s
cultural and social life.
How has Argentina changed? John notes
a shift away from cattle and towards huge
paddocks of soya, sunflower and maize
grown for biofuels. The fertile, formerly
undeveloped, well-watered lands of the
subtropical northern provinces of Argentina
and Paraguay, have now been turned to
biofuel cropping, beef and dairying.“I
believe the Uruguayans over recent years
have been happily selling up their farms
and moving capital there to develop these
already hugely rewarding operations.”
Other impressions? The meat-based
eating habits: “We could not handle their
one kilo T-bone steaks.” The affordability
for foreign travellers: “Our New Zealand
dollars went a long way. A taxi for an hour
cost NZ$20, a bottle of malbec NZ$2.50.”
The inflation:“Inflation has been cruising
at 25 per cent annually the last two years,
even their good Old Smuggler whisky
had gone up 100 per cent to US$6 a litre
Most memorable of all, writes John,
was returning to Estancia Condor.Today
the ranch runs half the number of sheep
it did in John’s day and many fewer horses
– those the estancia needs are brought in.
Otherwise, some things remain the same,
writes John:
“Several thousand wild ostriches and
guanacos (a llama relation), grey and
red fox, skunks and the very ocasional
mountain lion still roam the farm that has
never seen fertiliser on its paddocks.These
animals, including predators, are hunted
for meat, dog tucker and fur pelts.”
At the house where he and his wife
lived between 1954-7, John was welcomed
by the manager, his family and the farm’s
management team, and treated to a whole
lamb roasted (asado palo) in a corner
three children. My husband is a Systems Engineer at
Citibank. He moved into business in 2004. I furthered
my studies in education and became a teacher. Now
we are living in peace and harmony. In future I plan
to migrate with my family to New Zealand.”
Markus Meyer, Masters of Business Studies, writes:
“Kia Ora, further details about my life after uni can
be found on the following websites
Catherine Strachan née Plowman MBS, has just
returned to NZ after six-and-a-half years in Seattle,
Gary Severinsen, Masters of Education 2008, Post
Graduate Diploma in Education 2004, Bachelor of
Education 2001, is still working as head of mathematics
at Hukarere Girls’ College in Napier. He writes:“I have
been busy as a Justice of the Peace, a past secretary
and now a director of the Taradale Rotary Club, as
well as a number of other community committees.
I really enjoyed the postgrad course with a focus on
mathematics, so I decided to finish the master’s. I am
very grateful for the scholarships, including the Massey
Scholarship I received.”
Gabr ielle Bahler, Post Graduate Diploma in
Education 2005, Graduate Diploma of Teaching
(Secondary) 2005, Bachelor of Arts 2002, is teaching
health sciences and psychology at a large secondary
school. She is also an accomplished cyclist, holding a
current NZ title and several records, and is mother of
a six-year-old girl. She says she is keen to study some
more postgrad psych if the opportunity arises.
Karin Menon née Mciver, Master of Arts 2004,
Bachelor of Arts with Honours 2003, Bachelor of
Arts 2002, writes: “After three years of postgrad
assistant work and several other jobs at Massey, I am
now dedicating almost all my time to completing
my PhD thesis, which I will hopefully submit by
the end of this year. I am looking forward to being
out there in the real world after having studied for
nine years, including my BA Hons, and master’s, at
Massey. I also spend some time exploring possible
work avenues I might choose after PhD completion.
Having actively participated in a number of diversity
and migrant-related conferences, I realised that there
is a need for more research in these fields and in
cultural psychology in New Zealand. Well, let’s see
what comes my way!”
Lauren Parsons née West, Post Graduate Diploma
in Business Administration 2003, Bachelor of Business
Studies 2002, is running her own personal training
business in Waiouru. She is also employed by the army
to take aerobics classes (something she learnt to do
while at Massey).
Barbara Plester née Costello, PhD (Business) 2008,
Masters of Business Studies 2004, Bachelor of Business
Studies 2002, was offered a position as a lecturer in
the Department of Management and International
Business at the University of Auckland during the
final stages of her PhD thesis. She started this position
in February, 2007 and continues to work there
lecturing in business communication, management
and organisational behaviour. She is continuing her
PhD research into workplace humour and has been
granted a research grant.
Andre Falconer, Postgraduate Dip Aviation 2005,
Bachelor of Aviation 2003, writes: “After graduating I
had a large student loan to pay off and my wife wanted
to study as a dental therapist at Auckland University.
Unfortunately inexperienced pilots don’t find jobs
quickly, so I had to start my own business as a selfemployed builder, which I did for four years until my
wife completed her studies.We were interested in using
our professions in remote/needy areas and have now
been in Arnhem Land for almost two years helping the
indigenous peoples. I fly much needed food/teachers/
doctors/nurses/development workers etc. to remote
bush strips, and my wife, Caroline, is fixing some of
the most dentally unhealthy teeth around (if they have
anything left!)”
Charles Noovao, Post Graduate Diploma in Business
Administration 2007, Bachelor of Engineering 2003,
returned to the Cook Islands to work for Telecom
Cook Islands for three years after graduating with
his engineering degree in 2003. During this time
he worked in various roles, ending up as project
manager on projects such as the GSM network
In less than a year, Julie Chu, Bachelor of Business Studies 2007, has gone from Massey University’s
Palmerston North campus to a Shanghai skyscraper. She talks to Tom Fitzsimons.
It’s been a long return trip for Julie Chu.
Raised in China, the outgoing
22-year-old was sent by her “businessminded” parents to New Zealand for study
six years ago.
After attending New Plymouth Girls’
High School, she headed to Massey’s
Palmerston North campus.
Now, with a degree in finance and
marketing communication to her name,
she’s back on home ground in shimmering,
ever-changing Shanghai.
She speaks both Mandarin and English
fluently, the latter with a mix of New
Zealand, American and Australian tones.
Those language skills, as well her New
Zealand connections, landed her a job at
multi-national corporate real estate firm
In essence, Julie says, the company finds
and makes over office space for foreign
companies wanting to do business in China.
Clients pay per work station, and get a work
site that’s ready to use straight away.
“We deal with the landlord and say if
the building’s useable. It’s really convenient,
because it’s hard to get a space if you’re a small
company here.”
Well-established in Europe, MLS has not
been in Shanghai for long but is starting to
build contacts and make headway, she says.
“People are getting the idea. It actually
Julie’s role is three-pronged, she says. With
her language skills, she helps with company
PR – where her degree in marketing
communication comes in handy.
She is also interacting with clients at a
junior level, “going out and doing the first
basic analysis of buildings”, she says.
Finally, she is also an assistant to New
Zealander and MLS chief executive Joe Clark,
whom she met during her time in Palmerston
“He really wanted someone who
understands him. Most of the colleagues are
Chinese, and I had this connection.”
Now as well as assisting roles like organising
rollout, international roaming, fibre network rollout
etc. He returned to Massey in 2006 to do a one-year
postgraduate diploma in business administration
majoring in marketing. He is currently working as a
Vodafone business consultant and account manager for
First Mobile, based in Palmerston North, where he lives
with his partner, Laura.
with these students and see them making progress
in a semi-inclusive setting was very satisfying. The
small piece of land my partner and I bought between
Rotorua and Taupo has taken a lot of time away from
further studies, but was equally satisfying! I found a
job at a primary school in Rotorua where I work as
the special education teacher. Our school is a magnet
school for students who are deaf or have hearing
impairments, so I am learning NZSL now. My studies
at Massey University have guided me to the sector of
education where I feel I can make a real difference for
some young New Zealanders.”
Ben Green, Diploma in Tourism & Travel, writes
that he has come a long way since graduating from
Massey University Wellington. “I am now running
a small regional television station here in Wellington
broadcasting on UHF and TelstraClear. It’s a big
challenge and a lot of fun. My job entails wearing many
different hats on any given work day.”
Pia Marty, Post Graduate Diploma in Education 2007,
Bachelor of Arts 2004, writes:“During my postgraduate
studies I helped establish a class for students with
intellectual disabilities at Howick College. To work
Sharon Page, Bachelor of Arts, began her Master
of Arts in children and public policy this year with
Sara Tresch née Page, Bachelor of Science, moved to
Wellington after graduating and had a three-year stint at
Westpac Bank before she found her dream job in 2006.
“I now work at GNS Science with the GeoNet project,
where I spend my days locating earthquakes, editing
his schedule, she’s learning the trade as
“He’s really willing to teach me how to
do the basics.”
At school, Julie’s passions were fashion
and design, and she even worked part-time
at a fashion store in Palmerston North
while at university.
But with the encouragement of her
parents, she took a degree she thought
would help her career, and now thinks it
has paid off.
“Even if I don’t do it for all of my life,
they’re still good skills to have … [In my
job] I kind of have to know a little bit about
everything – the marketing side of it, the
financial side of it.”
Now her long-term dream is to fuse her
business knowledge and love of fashion.
“There’s an MBA in luxury brand
management in France that I would love
to do.”
But right now, she’s happy learning
more about her home city’s roaring urban
“This has really helped me to know a
lot about Shanghai, even though I’d already
been here.”
With an office right next to the towering
Shanghai World Financial Center building,
known as the “bottle opener” for its
distinctive design, the rising CBD is
appearing before her eyes.
“They build one building then they
build another one and then another one,”
she says.
When university friends come over to
visit, they’re routinely blown away by the
city’s pace and size.
“When they saw this place, they thought
this city was just so amazing,” she says.
Though she hopes to return to New
Zealand eventually, she’s in Shanghai for the
foreseeable future – and says it’s the ideal
place for graduates keen to see China and
get into business at the same time.
the GeoNet News, and dealing with the councils and
public as part of an outreach role. I have also begun
studying again this year, with a Graduate Diploma in
Emergency Services Management keeping me busy
in my spare time.”
Jane Bryce, Masters of Science 2008, Bachelor of
Science with Honours 2006, Bachelor of Science
2005, has been at North Shore Hospital since leaving
Massey, working as part of a team investigating the
effects of anaesthetics on attention and memory. “It’s
a major longitudinal study called CAPES - Cognitive
Assessment Post Elective Surgery. High spots have been
presenting some of our early findings at conferences,
and discovering how we can use our work to reduce
the incidence of post-operative cognitive decline.”
Pamela Todd, Bachelor of Arts 2008, Cert in Soc &
Com Work 2005, says she has really enjoyed her study
through Massey University.
Nida Joyce, Bachelor of Education 2007, Certificate
of Teaching English as an Additional Language
2006, was awarded a scholarship by the Ministry of
Education for a certificate in teaching English as a
second language. “I enjoyed the course so much I
carried on to obtain a BEd (TESOL). I have been
more confident in teaching since then.”
Gaylene Little née Clapman, Post Graduate
Diploma in Arts, went on to study a Bachelor of
Social Science with the University of Waikato. She is
currently doing a Master’s year there while working
in social services at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga in
Hastings as a Kaimahi Whanau in Tautoko Whanau/
Family Start.
At the 2008 NZ Student Craft/Design Awards, sponsored
by TheNewDowse Friends, Massey students made a
clean sweep, with Genevieve Packer’s entry Aerial
Antics declared the overall winner, with a prize of $3000.
Genevieve recently completed her master’s. Her entry is
a response to the sight of a fantail performing its distinct
aerial manoeuvres, high above the viewer, with bush and
sky in the background.
Angela Norton, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of
Business Studies, completed a Graduate Diploma
in Journalism from AUT and started up an online
magazine for young women called Indigo - www.
Helen Pulman née Johnston, Bachelor of Arts,
is married with three married children and four
grandchildren. She trained as a nurse, graduating
in 1964 and worked in medical, paediatrics and
district nursing. She has been involved with Plunket
(secretary), Guides and school committee (secretary)
and she initiated Life Line Franklin in 1979. She set
up a Family Support Centre in 1981 where she was
involved in co-ordinating, counselling, budgeting
and group facilitation. She has been involved with
many community groups including Council of Social
Services, Franklin Save the Hospital committee, Ma-ori
Women’s Welfare League 1990-96, HFA/Homecare
Providers Working Party, COSS subcommittee for
setting up ‘Heartland’ Service Centre Community
Care committee, a WINZ review panel member,
Police Consultation Group, Safer Community
Council management committee. Helen is a NZFFBS
budgeting trainer, COSS executive committee
member, chaplain assistant at Middlemore Hospital
and chairperson of Counties Homecare committee.
She is a Justice of the Peace and marriage celebrant.
Community awards include Rotary Community
Award 1991,Women’s Suffrage Medal 1993, Queen’s
Service Medal 1994, and Paul Harris Fellow (Rotary).
Her qualifications include BTheol. (Melbourne)
1995, Dip in Violence & Trauma Studies (AUT) 1999,
B.Soc. Sci. (Massey) 2006, Member of NZ Assoc. of
Counsellors (MNZAC).
Yang Yang, Bachelor of Arts, writes that after
graduating he spent another half year in New
Zealand and did some travelling. “I travelled around
the South Island by following the coast. The NZ
landscapes enchanted me and I can still remember
a lot of names... Kaikoura, Cromwell (I miss the
fruit there),Christchurch, Queenstown. In 2007 I
went to Australia for my master’s degree. Although
I got a psychology degree from Massey, there was
no postgraduate programme, but the University of
New South Wales gave me a chance to do a master’s
degree by coursework. I watched the All Blacks and
Wallabies’ loses in the World Cup in Sydney. At the
end of 2007 I finished my degree and in March 2008
returned to China, where I am working for Small &
Young mining company.”
Collette Hutchby, Bachelor of Education (Teaching)
Early Years, is currently teaching in a 3-6 class at a
Montessori school.
Hilda Ng, Bachelor of Science, writes: “The vision
of my organisation is to guide students to be a faithful
evangelical witness on campus and in society, making
and building disciples of Jesus Christ. I have been
with this organisation for about four months and am
working with the ministries in the polytechnics. I
come into a lot of contact with polytechnic students
and spend a lot of time interacting and ministering to
them. I am hoping to undertake a basic counselling
course so that coupled with my psychology degree, I
can be more effective and efficient in my work.”
In 2007 at the age of 79 Kiwi-born Sydneysider Dr Con
Scott Reed collected a masterate in philosophy in history
in an Albany graduation ceremony. This year Dr Reed was
honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia in the
Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Dr Reed is a consultant physician, a former president of
the state branch of the Australian Medical Association,
a long serving member of the New South Wales cancer
council, and an official visitor and consultant to the Mental
Health Centres of New South Wales. His masterate was
awarded after eight years of extramural study, with his
thesis being entitled Military Medicine in the Army of
Elizabeth the First in Flanders.
Bronwyn Sweeney née Thompson, Bachelor of
Health Science, is working part-time at the Sleep/
Wake Research Centre while completing BHlthSc
Janet Cooke, Bachelor of Accounting, writes:
“Graduating at 49 is better than never. Career wise
I have developed each time I committed to higher
education and believe now that the ceiling which
existed in jobs of the past has finally been broken.”
Cindy Hart, Bachelor of Science, received a
scholarship for Honours in Information Technology
and an award for top IT student from IIMS.
Lynette Lee née Grinder, Bachelor Business Studies,
says she is graduating this year after many years of
interrupted extramural study. “I am semi-retired and
just do a little locum work to keep in touch and am a
member of the Disciplinary Tribunal under the Health
Practitioners’ Competency Assurance Act.”
Eugene Leone, Bachelor of Science, says he is
exploring options for further study. “I am also doing
some independent study in the areas of mathematics
that I never quite understood, with hope of being
more mathematically minded.”
Larraine Nielsen, Bachelor of Business Studies,
wr ites: “The ability to study at my own pace,
extramurally, has enabled me to travel, move jobs and
country. It has equipped me well to further my career,
with subjects relevant to my profession. Graduating
(at last) is exhilarating!”
Vicki Phillips née Krinkel, Bachelor of Business
Studies, has been working as a property valuer with
Barker and Morse Ltd since May 2007. She is working
towards achieving registration in 2010.
Michelle Shen, Bachelor of Business Studies, writes:
“The lecturers in the University are all friendly and
helpful and the university offers the opportunity to
meet friends and share information.Therefore you can
receive knowledge from both lecturers and friends
who are from all over the world.”
Renata van Dam, Graduate Diploma of Teaching
(Secondary), is a first-year teacher, and the only drama
teacher in the school. Although she is not trained in
drama, she is re-establishing the drama department,
while also teaching PE and Health. She owns a house
in Wanganui.
Giles Whitaker, Bachelor of Fine Arts, had two
abstract films shown at The Artists Film Festival 2008,
at The New Zealand Film Archive April-May 2008.
He worked on the documentary 20 years of Chinese
Trading on Molesworth St as editor/production designer
(screened at Film Archive Feb 2008).
Ornitho-Maia, designed by Massey graduate Nadine Jaggi, won the supreme award at the 2008 20th Montana World of WearableArt ™ Awards.
Photo: World of WearableArt™ Ltd.
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