Issue 22 November 2012

Issue 22 November 2012
The uses of NMR spectroscopy
The zine scene
News from Massey University Issue 22 November 2012
Nation builders
Massey’s Timor-Leste connection
A bit of a splash
Rescuing a threatened frog
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 1
24 In the beginning
Timor-Leste has just celebrated its 10th
anniversary as a nation. Massey alumnus
Aurélio Guterres, who heads Timor-Leste’s
only university, faces a mammoth task.
12 A bit of a splash
In the mountains of Chile, PhD student
Virginia Moreno is working to save a very
special frog.
14 Life lessons
28 Bricks and mortar
Master of Fine Arts student Ryan McCauley
has been visiting Timor-Leste, documenting
how the country’s built environment
expresses its history.
32 Finding the right words
An estimated 16,000 New Zealanders live
with aphasia, a condition often brought
on by a stroke that interferes with both
oral and written communication. On the
Albany campus, a group of Massey speech
and language therapy students are working
with an aphasia community support group to
provide intensive therapy.
An interview with Heather McCrae, the
Principal of Auckland’s Diocesan School
for Girls.
definingnz is published quarterly
by Massey University, Private Bag 11-222,
Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
Editor:Malcolm Wood [email protected]
Writers: Kelly Burns, Bryan Gibson, Michele Hollis, Jennifer Little,
Andrea O’Neil, Bevan Rapson, Malcolm Wood, Sonia Yoshioka Braid,
Redmer Yska
Thanks to: Jeannette McKinnon
Design: Grant Bunyan Proofreading: Foolproof
Subscription enquiries: [email protected]
Copyright: You are generally welcome to reproduce material
provided you first gain permission from the editor.
Compound interests
An introduction to the world of nuclear
magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
Life under pressure
PhD student Chris Lepper is using NMR
spectroscopy to investigate the origins of life.
Campus wide
A round-up of news from Massey’s three
campuses – and from further afield.
Mixed media
Incredibly Hot Sex (the zine and its author)
goes to Frankfurt, plus poetry by Johanna
Emeney and Karl Wolfskehl.
You’ve picked up the magazine,
now visit the website.
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 1
Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey writes.
How personally
significant was the
experience of New
Zealand to Aurélio?
One of his sons is
called Zelandini.
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
artin Luther King famously once wrote
that the arc of the moral universe is
long, but it bends toward justice. There
have been times when, I think, he may have been
right. For me, one was the fall of the Berlin Wall in
November 1989; another, the release of Burma’s
Aung San Suu Kyi after decades of house arrest
in November 2010; a third (midway between the
two),Timor-Leste’s departure from Indonesian rule.
These were occasions that would disarm the
meanest cynic, inflection points where history took
a new, astonishing and positive turn.
Who would have thought that after all those
years of obligatory protest outside any event
featuring Indonesia, out of the blue, Timor-Leste
would at last be given self-determination?
I remember greeting the news that a referendum
on self-rule would be held in Timor-Leste with
elated surprise.
I wouldn’t have been alone in feeling a lift in
my spirits. Like Timor-Leste, New Zealand is a
small, island nation, and one aspect of our national
character – something to which I will return – is
an instinctive sympathy for the underdog.
But for Massey’s Timorese community the news
would have stirred a mix of emotions. Whatever
the referendum’s outcome, difficult times would
be sure to follow and it would be their friends and
families who would suffer.
Massey’s extensive ties to Timor-Leste are the result
of enlightened foreign policy. In the early 1990s
New Zealand became the first Western nation to
offer scholarships to students from Indonesianoccupied Timor-Leste, the sole expectation being
that, once qualified, the students would return
home to make a difference.
The first, Armindo Maia, began his studies
at Massey in 1991, graduating with a Master of
Philosophy in development studies and education
in 1997. In the succeeding decades, more than 100
have come to New Zealand and a great many have
also chosen Massey.
One of them is Aurélio Guterres, the subject
of this month’s cover story. Aurélio spent two
periods at Massey – the first began in 1994, when
he came to do a masterate, the second in 1999
when he started his doctorate. For his doctoral
thesis he chose to look at patterns of rural-urban
immigration in Timor-Leste, and during the year
2000 he returned home to spend four months
interviewing immigrants for his research – along
the way picking up a case of malaria, a disease to
which he had mistakenly thought he had some
native immunity.
The stories related to him make harrowing
reading. Timor-Leste’s history is calamitous. First
there was colonisation by the Portuguese, with
an intermission during which the country was
occupied by Japan. Then came the 1975 invasion
and annexation by Indonesia and a succeeding
period marked by many tens of thousands of
conflict-related deaths and ‘excess’ deaths from
hunger and illness, and finally, in 1999 (the
year Aurélio returned to Massey) the yes-voted
referendum for independence – after which proIndonesian militia killed around 1400 people and
destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure.
New Zealand and Massey gave Aurélio Guterres,
Ar mindo Maia and their compatr iots two
extraordinary gifts: the time and support to think
in a structured educational setting about how to
address the needs of their country; and, perhaps just
as importantly, the experience of another culture
and its values.
Both have been able to put their time at Massey
to good use.Armindo was, until the recent national
elections, the Minister of Education; Aurélio is
now my equivalent at the Universidade Nacional
de Timor-Leste.
They are not the only Massey alumni in
positions of influence. The Minister of Justice,
Deonisio Babo Soares; the Minister of State
Administration, Jorge Teme; and the Secretary
of State for Art and Culture, Isabel Ximenes, are
Massey graduates too.
How personally significant was the experience
of New Zealand to Aurélio? One indicator: he
and his wife (another Massey graduate) have a son
called Zelandini.
How a nation begins is important. Recently I
happened to pick up an extraordinary book by
American academic David Fischer, Fairness and
Freedom: A History of Two Open Societies, New
Zealand and the United States. Fischer’s thesis is that
while both societies have values in common, the
balance is fundamentally different: in the United
States, the scales are weighted towards freedom; in
New Zealand towards fairness.
The origins of the difference stretch back to
the early colonial years of each country. The US
originated as part of the so-called first British
Empire, which began in the 17th century and
met its demise at the hands of the American War
of Independence; whereas New Zealand is the
product of the second British Empire, which began
in the late 18th century, reached a zenith between
1890 and 1940, and expired after World War II.
The first empire, writes Fischer, was marked by “a
clash of dynamic opposites: aggressive rulers and
assertive colonists who did not take kindly to being
ruled”, hence, in part, the present-day emphasis on
liberty. In New Zealand, part of what impelled the
colonisers were the (not always adhered to) ideals
of fairness and social justice.
The subsequent history of each nation has
reinforced these different emphases.
One result is New Zealand’s egalitarian culture.
One of my favourite anecdotes is of the apocryphal
reply the New Zealander General Freyberg gave
to a senior British officer who complained that
the New Zealanders were failing to salute:“Ah,
yes, but if you wave to them they will wave back”.
An emphasis on fairness is part and parcel of
why New Zealand consistently features as the
cleanest of the clean in Transparency International’s
Corruption Perceptions Index.
I would recommend Fischer’s book to any Kiwi
who has ever tried to make sense of why so many
Americans vilify universal health care (which
seems, on the face of it, to make such good sense
for all sorts of reasons), or defend the right to carry
arms (which doesn’t), or can, straight-facedly, refer
to President Obama as a leftist.
I would also recommend it to those who
believe that the answer to all of our problems is
to look to overseas models. Certainly we can learn
from the examples of others (our values do not
always serve to our advantage), but historically
and, as Fischer’s book shows, even today, the world
has often looked to our example.
How does this apply to Timor-Leste? What
values will underlie this new nation, now in its
own critical formative years?
Timor Leste faces immense challenges, but it
has an ace up its sleeve. Vast reserves of oil and
gas are known to lie just offshore. But having raw
material resources to draw on is no guarantee
of a happy and prosperous society. There is
such a thing as the curse of oil. In a number of
third world countries, oil wealth has led to vast
gulfs in income and to endemic corruption.
Big Oil creates Big Men; democracies become
Freedom and fairness. If Timor-Leste succeeds
it will be because its founders, people like Aurélio,
have found the right mix.
In an act of extraordinary philanthropy, Palmerston North couple Kenneth and Elizabeth Powell
have left more than $1.2 million to the Massey University Foundation.
The two decided several years ago that they wanted upon their deaths to establish a fund to support
the study of technology in engineering and health. Mr Powell, an engineer and specialist in aircraft
maintenance, said at the time that as technology and health had been central to their lives they
wanted to give young enthusiasts in their home city "an extra edge".
Mrs Powell was a registered nurse, who trained at Wellington Hospital and completed her training
as a midwife at Palmerston North Hospital, where she worked as well as at the former Rostrata
Maternity Home in the city. She died in October 2006, aged 96. Mr Powell, a World War II veteran
who served in the Pacific as instrument fitter with the Royal New Zealand Air Force, died in February
this year, aged 88. The couple married in 1958.
Introducing Wildbase
The birds, reptiles and mammals
in its wards will be none the wiser,
but Massey University’s 10-year-old
New Zealand Wildlife Health Centre now has a new name: Wildbase. Nationally,
Wildbase is known for its work with injured and sick native and endemic species.
Internationally, it commands a reputation for its expertise in the rehabilitation and
release of birds and marine mammals caught in oil spills. Wildbase staff led the
wildlife response to last year’s Rena shipwreck in Bay of Plenty. Wildbase plans to
partner with the Palmerston North City Council to build a wildlife rehabilitation
centre onVictoria Esplanade, giving the public the opportunity to witness its staff at
work and to come to a greater appreciation of New Zealand’s extraordinary wildlife.
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 3
Talking points
We estimate that land ecosystems provide an annual value of
around $52 billion. If the current export growth and additional
growth strategy diminish that value, we will reach a point where
this strategy becomes uneconomic; the costs of exports are higher
than the benefits.
Which brings me back to my original point. The Call to Arms
strategy must include a clear blueprint for defensive action and
the means of monitoring to ensure that future growth remains
‘economic’, ie the cost of export growth doesn’t exceed the
benefits of export growth.
While about 300 employees at NZ Statistics monitor
economic activity (GDP), we know only three people monitor
environmental statistics.
Marjon van den Belt, Director of Ecological Economics Research New Zealand,
in the pages of The Dominion Post, responding to the Riddet Institute’s A Call
to Arms: A Contribution to a New Zealand Agri-Food Strategy.
“like a drunken rhino”, “knocked for six”,“I wonder how many
sets of goal posts he’s looking at now?”, “he will take the knocks
but he will keep getting up”,“brave fella” ,“he was milking that”,
“think he’s just thirsty”, “bit of ice, won’t feel a thing”, “smelling
salts; that ought to do the trick”
The 2012 London Olympics
medal-count ranking that Massey
would have if it were a country.
During a visit to the Manawatu- campus,
cyclist Simon van Velthooven displays
the bronze medal he won in the London
Olympics men’s keirin. Van Velthooven, a
Bachelor of Applied Science student, is
now in Japan racing on the professional
keirin circuit.
Excerpts from commentary on the free-to-air Ma-ori channel during the 2011
Rugby World Cup (RWC) after likely concussion incidents, as noted by psychology
student Natasha Bauer. Bauer compiled the excerpts as part of her honours
clinical psychology dissertation. Since the RWC, the New Zealand Rugby Union,
which has conducted its own research, has introduced further measures to make
sure that players do not continue playing if concussed.
So, for a small country in the middle of nowhere, the benefits of
being part of a larger economic zone are obvious. Already many
New Zealand firms either operate below an efficient scale or
need to export to survive. A common currency could help many
small firms make that first big step into exporting. New Zealand
has more than 470,000 small and medium-sized enterprises, so
encouraging more of them to grow their businesses to export
level would be an important boost to the New Zealand economy.
Professor Christoph Schumacher puts the case for Australia and New Zealand
adopting a common currency.
The New Zealand Herald, 8 October 2012
The percentage of New Zealand
nurses who have considered
quitting after struggling with
moral issues beyond their control.
From a ‘moral distress’ survey of 400
hospital-based nurses conducted by
Massey University School of Health and
Social Services researchers.
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
Good eating
In September the cream of New Zealand’s food industry gathered at a gala dinner in Auckland
to mark the 2012 New Zealand Food Awards. Among the companies and products honoured this
year were Auckland-based Paneton Bakery with its Ready to Use Flaky Puff Pastry, which took
out the Massey University Supreme Award and the Ministry of Primary Industries Bakery Award;
South Island artisan honey maker J.Friend and , which won the New Zealand Herald Viva Gourmet
Award and the KPMG Export Award; and fledgling food enterprise I AM SAUCE, which won the
Villa Maria Other Food and Beverage Award and the Foodbowl Value-Added Processing Technology
Award. The panel of judges included Ray McVinnie, Geoff Scott and Nici Wickes.
A full list of award winners can be found at
London Paralympian gold medallist and world record
breaker Mary Fisher is back to the books on Massey’s
Wellington campus. But first, there was a celebratory
afternoon tea with a cake baked and iced for the
occasion. The gold medal Fisher won for the S11
200-metre individual medley in a world-recordbreaking time was a particular audience pleaser.
Fisher, who is visually impaired, also won two silver
and a bronze medal in the swimming events. Fisher
is in her first year of a Bachelor of Science majoring
in psychology.
The LA Brooks Cup has a long history. The rugby fixture
between Massey and Lincoln Universities began in 1952,
when both institutions were rival agricultural colleges
and, following a 39-year hiatus after 1966, the event
is again going strong, with netball joining rugby as
part of the inter-university competition. This year the
netball teams competed for the inaugural Enid Hills
Memorial Trophy, donated by the family of Enid Hills
to commemorate Massey’s first woman student, who
died in June 2012, aged 99.
And the 2012 results? In the rugby Massey managed an
11-7 win, its third since 2005. In the netball the Massey
agriculture team won 36-34, pulling ahead in extra time.
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 5
Dividing life between water and air
brings its challenges. One is with vision.
In a phenomenon called refraction,
when light travelling through air hits
the surface of the
eye, it bends more
markedly than if
it were travelling
t h r o u g h w a t e r.
Hence, the eyes of
fish are much more
spherical than the
eyes of land dwellers,
and penguins and
seals have evolved
mechanisms to adapt
their vision as they
move between air
and water. But seals
and penguins move between land and
water at a leisurely pace. For a diving
gannet, the adaptation in eyesight needs
to happen near instantaneously.
“Gannets are able to make this
switch between air and water in
80-120 milliseconds,” says Gabriel
Machovsky-Capuska, a biologist at
the Institute of Natural Sciences at the
Albany campus.“They are able to see
in environments that are physically and
chemically completely different.” Now
Machovsky-Capuska has shown just
how this is done.
Working alongside his doctoral
super visor, Massey’s Professor
David Raubenheimer, and with the
collaboration of Professor Gadi Katzir,
a biologist from the University of Haifa,
Machovsky-Capuska has used a variety
of techniques to film gannets from the
Cape Kidnapper gannet colony diving
into the water held in an enclosure,
capturing the change in eye shape from
oval to spherical.
The work forms part of a broader
study of the foraging and feeding
behaviours of the Australasian gannet.
The resulting paper made the cover
of the United Kingdom’s Proceedings of
the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
Above: Third-year industrial design student Ben de la Roche (at left) was shortlisted for the
international Electrolux Design Lab 2012 Award for his design of an open refrigeration wall,
and Sweden-based industrial design graduate Nick Ross (at right) from Wellington has won a
James Dyson Award with Axolotyl, his concept for a tree-harvester that cuts and separates tree
trunks, branches and foliage on site.
In October de la Roche travelled to Milan to present his concept design to a panel of judges,
coming in as runner-up. Ross is to travel to the UK, courtesy of the British Council New Zealand,
to compete in the international James Dyson Award, the winner of which will be announced
in November.
Third-year fashion design student
Jack Hill was the winner of the
Westpac Young Fashion Designer
competition - an event in which
all three finalists were graduates
or students from the College of
Creative Arts. The award, which
includes a $5000 prize, was
presented at New Zealand Fashion
Week in September.
| defining
definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
$5.5 million in
Marsden round
More than $5.5 million has
been awarded to eight Massey
research projects by the Royal
Society-administered Marsden
Fund as part of its 2012 funding
round. This includes two Fast
Start grants, made to outstanding
early-career researchers.
Dr Phil Battley (pictured
above): The genetics and epigenetics
of bird migration timing ($920,000)
Associate Professor Mary
Morgan-Richards: Punctuated
evolution: is rapid morphological
change linked to speciation?
Distinguished Professor
Gaven Martin: Modern analysis
and geometry ($615,000)
Dr Paul Plieger: The good
without the bad: selective chelators for
b eryllium ($930,000)
Professor Regina Scheyvens
and Associate Professor Glenn
Banks: Harnessing the power of
business: the contested involvement
of corporations in community
development initiatives in the Pacific
Associate Professor Helen
Moewaka-Barnes: Affective
practice, identity and wellbeing in
Aotearoa ($850,000)
Dr Oleksandr Fialko:
Understanding quantum
thermodynamics with the smallest
heat engine ($345,000 Fast Start
Dr Imran Muhammad:
Institutional change, path dependence
and public transport planning in
Auckland ($345,000 Fast Start
The Marsden Fund supports
projects in sciences, technology,
engineering, maths, social sciences
and humanities. Eighty-six
projects were funded in the
2012 round.
Demography, disaster resilience and more...
Healthy living
Five Massey projects are to be funded as part of this year’s science
investment round announced by Science and Innovation Minister
Steven Joyce. In total, the projects will receive $3.8 million. The
research contracts take effect from October and extend for between
two and six years.
A project led by Professor Murray Patterson, from the School
of People, Environment and Planning, is to use Tasman Bay as a testbed to develop a framework to characterise, quantify, map and place
an economic value on coastal-marine ecosystem services.These are
benefits derived from ecological processes occurring in the natural
and human-modified world that often fall outside the notice of
economic decision-making: the likes of nutrient recycling, climate
regulation, carbon sequestration and food provision.The project has
been granted $1 million.
A study headed by Professor Paul Spoonley from the College
of Humanities and Social Sciences has been granted $800,000 to
investigate the regional impacts of demographic and economic
change. The work is timely. Mobility (immigration, emigration,
internal migration) is combining with an ageing population, affecting
the labour supply, community development and people’s sense
of belonging or attachment. These demographic and economic
changes vary considerably by region, with quite different outcomes
for rural and urban communities. Professor Spoonley will model
these changes at the regional level between 1986 and 2013 and will
provide projections out to 2036.
Professor David Johnston, from the Joint Centre for Disaster
Research, will study the factors that build resilience in New Zealand.
The project, awarded $796,000 over two years, will consolidate and
add to knowledge about resilient communities in New Zealand,
across the continuum of hazard mitigation, preparedness, response
and recovery. Indigenous knowledge will be a particular focus.
Building on research on the Canterbury earthquakes, the Rena
oil spill, responses to economic shocks, and recovery from natural
hazard events, the research will investigate post-disaster community
resilience in urban, rural and Ma-ori communities.
A project led by Associate Professor Chris Stephens, from the
School of Psychology, received $598,629 over two years to provide
answers to questions about older people’s aspirations for independent
living, their contributions to paid and voluntary work, and their
opportunities to use digital media. The Inclusion, Contributions and
Connections study will survey 3200 baby boomers aged 63-78 years,
and the findings will be used to develop digital information services,
housing provision and employment support policies.
Associate Professor Robin Peace from the College of
Humanities and Social Sciences will head a project creating a social
research knowledge space. The project, also granted $598,629 over
two years, will launch a website eSOCSCI Hui Rangahau Tahi
(engaged social science) to act as a virtual platform for dialogue.The
site will improve shared access to social research and knowledge and
help researchers, scientists, policy-makers and communities to further
research, evaluation and policy formation and implementation.
A health research project led by Massey epidemiologist Associate
Professor Barry Borman of the Centre for Public Health
Research has been awarded $1.5 million by the Ministry of Health.
The environmental health indicators project is monitoring
how environmental factors affect the health of New Zealanders.
The factors include air and water quality, transport, energy
consumption, housing and chemical exposures. Dr Borman says
the project will also investigate such things as how dairy run-off
into rivers affects people’s health and the long-term health effects
of natural disasters, such as the Christchurch earthquakes.
The research is being carried out over three years with the
support of Massey’s Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical
As part of the project a hazard surveillance system will be
established to track how many New Zealanders have been
exposed to dangerous goods and chemicals. This will draw on data
collected in partnership with the Best Practice Advocacy Centre
Inc from general practices throughout New Zealand.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry for
the Environment supported the centre’s funding application to
the Ministry of Health.
Building a better battery
Advocates of alternative sources of energy, such as wind and solar
have a problem: while the wind does not always blow or the
sun always shine, people always want constant access to power.
Advocates of the electric car are similarly challenged. Quiet and
cheap to run though they may be, electric cars are expensive and
have limited ranges.
The problem is energy storage: the world needs better, cheaper
batteries. Where will they come from? Perhaps, in part, from
research being conducted by Professor Simon Hall of the
Institute of Fundamental Sciences, and his colleagues Dr Mark
Waterland and Dr Gareth Rowlands. For some years now,
initially part-funded by the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced
Materials and Nanotechnology, the three have been working on
developing a better zinc-based cathode, along the way achieving
some success.
Now the team have had further validation of the promise of
their work with the announcement by Science and Innovation
Minister Steven Joyce of $964,050 over two years from the
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
A company, Synthodics Ltd, has already been formed by Massey
and its commercialisation partner the BioCommerce Centre to
commercialise the team’s findings.
The global stationary battery market is estimated to be worth
$4.9 billion, while that of the global electric vehicle market is
estimated to be $30 billion.
Left to right: Murray Patterson, Paul Spoonley, David Johnston, Chris Stephens,
Robin Peace, Barry Borman and Simon Hall.
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 7
These Rough Notes is a performative
Antarctic-themed song cycle created
by photographer Professor Anne
Noble from Massey’s School of
Fine Arts, jazz musician Associate
Professor Norman Meehan from the
New Zealand School of Music and
poet Professor Bill Manhire from
Victoria University of Wellington.
The title is drawn from Captain
Robert Falcon Scott’s last diary.
The cycle, with vocals performed by
School of Music graduate Hannah
Griffin, has been performed in
Wellington and Christchurch, and
most recently formed part of the
Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany,
where New Zealand was this year’s
guest country of honour.
It’s fab and it’s a lab
Australasia’s first Fab Lab is open for business and busily fabricating.
The lab was opened during Fab8NZ (the eighth annual meeting of
the international Fab Lab network), an event hosted by Massey and
MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Fab Labs began as an outreach project from MIT’s Center for
Bits and Atoms in 2003, and the Massey Fab Lab is officially MITaffiliated – meaning that it adheres to a common set of operating
principles and offers a standard range of equipment, including laser
cutters, milling machines and 3D printers.
Industrial design lecturer Chris Jackson hopes the lab will be a
catalyst, giving individuals and small firms access to technology and
promoting multidisciplinary and cross-industry links.
Fab Lab Wellington will be open for use by the general public
during designated hours and will be the venue for industrial design
At left: A hoverboard from the Fab Lab competes in a flying machine
competition at the close of Fab8NZ. Below: The Fab Lab itself, with industrial
design lecturer Lyn Garrett.
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
Rise from the Ruins, a garment
constructed from paint tin lids
collected in post-earthquakc
Christchurch, has won 24-year-old
third-year fashion design student
Nicole Linnell the Shell Student
Innovation Award at the 2012
Brancott Estate World of WearableArt
Awards Show (WOW).
Linnell has earned her success. Rise
from the Ruins was her fourth entry
in WOW (in 2011 her entry Proud
to Wear the Pinny picked up third
place in the American Express Open
section), and she deliberately chose
the lids as a difficult-to-work-with
Other Masseyites who acquitted
themselves with distinction were
fashion design graduate Rebecca
Maxwell and fourth-year student Sally
Spackman, both first-time entrants.
Maxwell won the WOW Factor Award
for Noor Reverie and Spackman
was placed third in the Air New
Zealand South Pacific section for
Powelliphanta Pine.
Linnell’s win brought with it an award
of $5000, as did Maxwell’s. Spackman
received $1200.
At the close of the Fab8NZ, a ‘Fab World Cup’ featuring flying machines
of every description was held in the Wellington campus Great Hall.
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 9
No laughing matter
Nitrous oxide emissions threaten algae’s environmental credentials
It thrives in fresh, brackish or salty water in places too hot, dry
or infertile for other forms of agriculture. It grows many times
faster than conventional crops, consuming quantities of carbon
dioxide (CO2) as it does so. And it can be used to produce a
form of ‘green crude’, freeing societies and nations from their
reliance on fossil fuels.
So why aren’t we topping up our tanks with green biofuel
produced from algae? Price. As yet, algal biofuels are many
times more expensive than the conventional kinds.
But price may not be the only barrier. There is also the
matter of algae’s environmental credentials, which, it turns out,
are not entirely impeccable.
In 2009 Associate Professor Benoit Guieysse and colleagues
at Massey’s School of Engineering and Advanced Technology
were surprised to find that nitrous oxide (N2O), also known as
laughing gas, was seeping from a batch of microalgae.
This was not a good thing.Algae may be good at consuming
the greenhouse gas CO2, but per molecule N2O has 310 times
the ability of CO2 to trap heat in the atmosphere, and it is also
an ozone-depleting pollutant.
Guieysse was intrigued and concerned.“So I did a couple of
simple calculations, which showed that the emissions seemed
significant. Then I looked for confirmation.”
He found that the algae were indeed producing N2O, and,
subsequently, that by changing the parameters he could vary
how much of it was produced.
Adding nitrite, for example, increased the production of N2O
and incubating the algae in the dark increased it further still.
“When the experimental microalgae were deprived of
light and fed with nitrite, the emissions of N20 increased by
a factor of 40.”
Not only does the finding have worrying implications for the
use of algae in biofuel production and wastewater treatment, but
it could upset the scientific consensus that most atmospheric
N2O originates from bacteria involved in the nitrogen cycle.
Guieysse’s challenge is now to work out how to cultivate
algae in a manner that minimises how much N2O is produced.
He and his colleagues have begun screening algal species
and postgraduate student Quentin Bechet is working on a
computer model that will incorporate various parameters to
predict the scale of N2O emissions resulting from the full-scale
outdoor cultivation of microalgae.
Guieysse does not regard the N2O problem as insurmountable.
He believes that as universities, such as Massey, and private
enterprise tackle the problems one by one, algal biotechnologies
will become cheaper and more environmentally friendly,
forming the basis of new industries.Whether one of these will
be a major biofuel industry remains to be seen.
Guieysse’s project Is algal photosynthesis sustainable? is funded
by a 2011 Marsden allocation of $774,000.
Associate Professor Benoit Guieysse and, inset from top, PhD student
Quentin Bechet and visiting PhD student Cynthia Alcántra.
| defining
definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
Entries are open to nominate a quote for the annual list of top 10 New Zealand quotes. You’re invited to send in any rousing, amusing or otherwise memorable one-liner said by a New
Zealander during 2012. The quote can be from any public source, including movies, TV, stand-up comedy,
speeches, advertisements, and news reports. The first sender of the best quote will receive $100. You can send in more than one quote.
We’ll be keeping nominations open until midnight 1 December 2012.
Any questions? Contact Heather Kavan: [email protected] To check out last year’s top 10, find out
more information and nominate a quote, head to:
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 11
A bit of a splash
Jennifer Little talks to frog conservationist Virginia Moreno.
Virginia Moreno has a thing
for frogs and for one frog in
particular: the Nahuelbuta
mountain frog, Telmatobufo
bullocki. Moreno first met T.
bullocki – a brownish, eightcentimetre-long, yellow-eyelidded frog with a distinctively
knobbled back – in 2011 during
a field trip to Chile’s coastal
mountain ranges and had a
moment of communion.“When
I found the frog, he looked at me
as if to say: ‘this is your destiny –
here’s your PhD’.”
The sighting was good news,
for life has not been easy for
T. bullocki or Chile’s fauna in
general. Over the years, Chile’s
coastal ranges have been cleared
for cattle farming and then,
partly driven by government
subsidies, planted out in pine
and eucalyptus, leaving scattered
native bush remnants to support
species such as Darwin’s fox,
native deer, puma and the black
“My sighting was one of the
few in the past decade. A lot
of people thought they were
extinct, or close to extinction.”
Moreno and her colleagues
went on to find three more
populations – one of them in
pine forest. But the species’ status
is far from secure.
T. bullocki breeds in fastflowing streams, the tadpoles
attaching themselves to rocks
with specially adapted suction
mouths and feeding on algae
until they metamorphose into
adult frogs and return to the
Hence, it is not just forest
disturbance or harvesting that
threatens the species, but the
degradation of stream water.
“Stream water gets silted
after heavy periods of rain,
as erosion is greater in exotic
plantations than in native forest.
This sedimentation makes it
difficult for the larvae to feed and
survive. Sedimentation causes
a whole lot of problems too.
Then there are the pesticides and
fertilisers in the water.”
For her PhD thesis, Moreno
is performing a census of T.
bullocki in native and pine forests,
© 2011 Danté Fenolio/
| defining
definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
establishing what makes good
frog habitat, using tiny radio
transmitters to map the frogs’
movements between forest and
streams, and establishing their
breeding habits.
One of the frog populations
found by Moreno is perilously
situated in a soon-to-be-felled
pine plantation, and Moreno has
been negotiating with a forestry
and pulp company to hold off
the harvest until she has worked
out the feasibility of performing
a translocation to a protected
“It’s easy to be a conservationist
and say ‘no, no – we don’t want
pines’. But it’s not the reality.You
have to accept economic factors.
So if I want to make a difference,
I really need to work with them,
and not against them.” Working
in her favour is the consumer
demand for companies to exercise
environmental responsibility
to achieve Forest Stewardship
Council certification.
Moreno came to New Zealand
in 2007 with her boyfriend,
who is pursuing postgraduate
study at the University of
Waikato. A Google search
led her to Associate Professor
Dianne Brunton’s Ecology and
Conservation Group at Massey’s
Albany campus. It was here that
she did her Master’s, taking
as her subject New Zealand’s
Hochstetter’s frog, the most
common of New Zealand’s
native frog species. (One legacy
of her masterate is a programme
monitor ing the population
dynamics of Hochstetter’s frog
in the nearby Waitakere Ranges,
as well as checking for the
presence of the introduced
chytrid fungus that in other
countries has pushed a number
of frog species into extinction.)
New Zealand, she says, has a
strong culture of environmental
awareness. By contrast, her fellow
Chileans are just beginning to
be more aware of environmental
issues. Before coming to New
Zealand, Moreno used to spend
her spare time fleeing the bustle
and noise of Santiago for the
tranquillity and beauty of Chile’s
national parks. But most of
her fellow city dwellers did
not have the means to travel.
However, as Chile has become
more prosperous, things are
changing, and she has noticed
more locals – not just tourists –
visiting parks and experiencing
the natural world first hand,
something she believes is the key
to conservation.
“Once you experience nature,
you can’t do anything else but
love it. And once you love it, you
start to care about it.”
Moreno’s work is supported
by the European Association of
Zoos and Aquaria Amphibian
C o n s e r va t i o n F u n d , t h e
Mohamed bin Zayed Species
Conservation Fund, and the
New Zealand Society for
Research on Amphibians. She
has a PhD scholarship from
the Chilean Government and
in September she became an
inaugural recipient of Massey’s
Sir Neil Waters scholarships.
At right: Virginia Moreno at work in
the forests of Chile. At left: A female
T. bullocki photographed by Danté
Fenelio of the Atlanta Botanical
Garden. The Atlanta Botanical Garden
and the National Zoo of Chile in
Santiago are allies in the Darwin’s
Frog Conservation Initiative, which, in
the past year, has set up a T. bullocki
breeding colony at the zoo and is
currently working with Moreno to
determine the incidence of disease in
the wild.
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 13
Heather McRae kicked off her career with a science degree at
Massey, and since then has been a teacher, worked on major
curriculum projects, established new schools in Asia and been a
principal in the state system. Today she runs one of the country’s
leading private schools for girls, where she remains a keen advocate
of studying science. She talks to Bevan Rapson.
“There’s a
certain logic
to science,
and a certain
A lot of it is
thinking and I
love that side
of it,” she
hree and a half years ago, Heather McRae
made a remarkable transition, jumping
education’s state-private divide. She left
Pakuranga College in suburban east Auckland,
where she had been Principal since 2006 and
Associate Principal for two years before that, to
take over at Diocesan School for Girls, in the leafy,
old-money heart of the isthmus.
It was a switch from a co-ed to a girls’ school,
from middle New Zealand to an institution
steeped in tradition, and from the constraints of
Ministry of Education priorities to the freedoms
of the private sector.
In her sun-drenched office in a heritage
building set in Diocesan’s manicured grounds,
McRae seems entirely adjusted to the demands of
a different kind of school, diplomatically batting
away thornier questions with practised ease.
Working at Diocesan has been her first time in
a predominantly female environment and that’s
been “interesting”, she says with a chuckle. In fact,
about a third of the staff are men and while the
organisation works a little differently, “people are
people regardless of gender”.
But then, changes of direction are nothing new
for McRae. Her path to the prestigious Diocesan
job was far from a conventional progression
through the teaching ranks.
of it is conceptual thinking and I love that side of
it,” she says. She believes that New Zealand doesn’t
train enough scientists. “I think it is a fantastic
degree for giving students a whole range of views
about the world.”
From Massey, she went on to train as a teacher
and taught at Fraser High School in Hamilton
for four years before motherhood intervened (she
has three grown-up children). After several years
teaching part-time, she was head of science at
Awatapu College back in Palmerston North, then
became a science advisor before being seconded to
the Ministry of Education to work on curriculum
From there she joined the Multi Serve
consultancy, which led to curriculum work and
school review projects in Asia. She helped to
establish a new international school in Brunei and
also worked on projects in the Philippines, China,
Indonesia, Japan and the Pacific before taking up
the role of Establishment Principal of a new school
in Beijing, where she lived for two years from 2002,
relishing the chance to experience first-hand the
pace of growth at that time. “Being up there was
incredible,” she says. She picked up “very basic”
Mandarin – a language that she moved quickly to
introduce to the curriculum at Diocesan when
she arrived.
Raised on a farm in rural Wairarapa, McRae’s own
secondary education was at a state co-ed, Tararua
College, where she developed a passion for science
first sparked by stories in her parents’ National
Geographic magazines. While there was a family
connection to Diocesan in far-off Auckland – one
of her grandmothers attended the school – it was
the subject only of an unrealised threat.“My mum
used to say to me, ‘If you don’t toe the line we’ll
send you boarding at Dio’.”
McRae preferred farm life with her brothers and
toeing the line appears not to have been an issue:
she became head girl of Tararua before moving
on to study science at Massey, where her degree
was a double major: chemistry and biochemistry.
Thirty-five years on, she still considers herself a
scientist and does her best to encourage students
into science subjects. “There’s a certain logic
attached to science, and a certain creativity. A lot
McRae returned to New Zealand in 2004 and
soon landed a job at 2200-pupil Pakuranga
College. One obvious difference between
Pakuranga and Diocesan is that Pakuranga – like
any similar school – has to deal with around 120
suspensions and stand-downs each year, of which
90 percent involve boys.While she actually misses
the engagement with boys, McRae detects clear
benefits for girls in an environment free from the
distractions of those discipline issues.
This hadn’t been her perception during her state
school years. “To be honest, I probably had to be
convinced about that.”While holding to the view
that “good teaching and learning is good teaching
and learning, wherever you go”, she admits she’s
something of a convert to the advantages of singlesex schools. “Once you see it in action, you see
the level of input you can have that is focused on
your core business.”
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
At Pakuranga she helped to lead an attempt to
identify at an early stage those students who were
likely to run into serious discipline problems, so
that support programmes could be put into action.
“When they walk in the gate, you can often spot
them.” Frustratingly, by the time they reached high
school it was hard to change students’ directions.
“Whatever we do for these students, we have to
get in earlier than Year 9.”
Pakuranga College joined nearby primary
schools and the local intermediate to put forward
a project to address this shared problem.They won
Ministry of Education funding and devoted time
and resources for two years, but after the change
of government in 2008 the initiative was scrapped.
“Every time you get a change of government you
get that whole change of strategy,” says McRae.The
decision clearly still rankles.“The one criticism that
I’d have of the state sector in New Zealand is the
lack of co-ordination and continuity in the way
that different governments approach educational
Since her arr ival at Diocesan the school’s
curriculum has been overhauled, as has its physical
environment, with the construction of a multimillion-dollar hockey turf and an underground
car park. While those projects were conceived by
others, the campus has been transformed on her
watch. Along with the introduction of Mandarin,
her review of the school’s curriculum introduced
dance for the first time and she has also led the
introduction of a leadership programme, an ethics
centre and a new digital design faculty.
Her arrival has coincided with tough economic
times, which have affected the number of parents
who can find the money for a private school. But
while that has presented challenges, McRae has
also enjoyed being free of the constraints of the
state system, where funding formulas limit schools’
ability to find their own solutions. “The problem
with the Government is that it says, ‘We want this
vision for education but we’re going to give you
this much money to carry out the vision’, and the
two don’t meet by a very large stretch,” she says.
“In the private sector I like the fact that I’ve got
total independence to be able to provide a school
that the community is demanding or requires.”
One of McRae’s initiatives has been to grow the
number of international students, hiring a director
to take greater advantage of that market. “It’s an
area in which we could do very well,” she says.
Diocesan has only about 16 international students
– compared with about 120 at Pakuranga College
– and the Principal believes that could grow to an
ideal of about 40.
The school has plenty of immigrant students –
the second largest ethnic group after Europeans
is Chinese – reflecting the demographics of the
Auckland isthmus. Eighty percent of its roll comes
from the local area, while 36 boarders come
from further afield. Twenty girls from lowerincome families attend Diocesan through the
Government’s Aspire Scholarship.
Soon after her arrival McRae got a taste of how
the media spotlight can turn on what is perceived
to be a ‘top school’. Several Year 10 girls were
stood down after making derogatory remarks on
Facebook about a teacher and a student. A story
duly appeared in The New Zealand Herald quoting
the Principal, but also quoted a “well-placed
source” who questioned the school’s right to act
on comments made in a supposedly private forum
in the girls’ own time. McRae is unrepentant about
her tough line: “Being prepared to take a stand
about things definitely makes a difference,” she says.
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 15
“The one
criticism that
I’d have of
the state
sector in
New Zealand
is the lack of
in the way
that different
She has also been part of a move to discourage
school ball after-parties, which have become a
hot-button issue for many Auckland schools. “I
think it’s great that the Police have taken a stand
and provided some support for us as principals,”
she says. “Schools were getting all the bad press
around what happened [after balls]. We couldn’t
have our staff following kids around until four in
the morning.”
There is also a perception that the balls
themselves are the cause of extravagant spending
by wealthy girls at private schools, but McRae
says that issue is overplayed. “I haven’t noticed
any difference really between Pakuranga and here.
One might say the girls here have got much more
money to spend, but actually that’s not necessarily
the case.” She says many parents work two jobs to
be able to send their girls to Diocesan and don’t
have disposable income to splash out extravagantly.
“People make these huge assumptions about
families in schools like ours.”
Another consistently contentious issue among
Auckland schools is that of ‘poaching’, when top
athletes and scholars are attracted from one school
to another, with state schools in poorer parts of
town often pointing the finger at independent
schools. McRae has seen the issue from both sides.
Yes, Diocesan has sports scholarships, along with
others based on academic ability and achievement
in the arts, but she says the school abides by rules
agreed between the region’s schools.“We don’t go
out and shop for girls.”
McRae, who chairs of the Auckland Secondary
Principals’ Association, admits there are grey
areas but feels strongly that a minority of schools
shouldn’t be allowed to dominate sporting codes
through poaching. “I think it is about looking at
what is best for the kids, the big picture behind
that, and not letting egos or agendas drive that,
and sometimes that’s where it goes. We’ve all got
to step back and say, ‘What’s best for the students
across the whole of the Auckland region?’.” So
when is it okay for a school like Diocesan to give
a scholarship to a talented young sportswoman?
“For instance, she may be a premier-quality player,
but her school only has a team in the B Grade
[so] she’s probably never going to get looked at or
developed or experience a higher level.”
While we’re discussing contentious issues, it’s
impossible not to touch on the NCEA (National
Certificate of Educational Achievement) versus
Cambridge exams debate that raged a few years
ago. McRae advocates strongly on behalf of the
NCEA system. Diocesan gives its girls the option
of doing International Baccalaureate, but less than
a quarter of students opt for it. Yes, NCEA had
teething issues, she says, “and it was getting a lot
of mud slung at it from Cambridge schools for
political agenda reasons, really”. But it has become
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
a “fantastic qualification” that wins top scholars
places at international universities. “That’s kind
of quietened everyone down, really, because it
speaks for itself.”
She also rates New Zealand’s teacher training.
While in China she recruited internationally and
the best teachers, she says, were New Zealanders
and Australians.
McRae returned to Massey in the 1990s to
do MBA papers, then completed a Master’s in
educational administration. She relished the mix
of people from different fields she encountered
and calls it “the best professional development I
ever had”.
She believes her varied career path has brought
many benefits. “What I would like to see in
education is that we encourage our people to have
that range of experiences. Go and do different
things – you don’t have to go through being a
teacher, to a head of department, to a deputy
principal, to a principal.”
She rejects the idea that we ‘lose’ people overseas.
“We can’t think globally if we then say we don’t
want that to happen.” She says teachers who have
worked in different countries “understand all the
different cultural intonations that make learning
rich and valuable”.
She doesn’t rule out heading overseas again
herself in future, although she is keen to see
various projects at Diocesan through to fruition
first. “Because I’ve worked internationally before,
that’s not out of the question.”
The evening before our interview with McRae,
she hosted the school’s Scholars’ Dinner, with girls
returning from their first year at university. Lizzy
Chan, an old-girl who was a finalist in the Young
New Zealander of the Year awards earlier this
year, was a speaker, and the Principal sat alongside
Nina Huang, who last year won a $50,000 Prime
Minister’s Future Scientist Prize.
In her congratulatory remarks McRae took the
chance to quote a figure from her favoured field
– Albert Einstein: “The important thing is not to
stop questioning… never lose a holy curiosity”.
She is clearly inspired by the success that her
ex-students are enjoying as well as their allroundedness. In a school that produces plenty
of academic high achievers, it’s easy to imagine
some might be sucked on to career treadmills of
long hours, but McRae believes today’s students
are well equipped to maintain their work-life
balance. “I think our new generation of kids
coming through has got it sussed,” she says. And
professions themselves have shifted away from a
survival-of-the-fittest mentality: “Different ways
of working are being explored now by a lot of
different businesses. I think our kids in some ways
have a lot more flexibility, and think about the
world in a different way.”
Teaching the
Massey’s approach to teacher qualification is about to change,
writes Professor James Chapman.
When the nod came from Government last May that a postgraduate
qualification would be the minimum for new teachers from 2015,
Massey was poised to act.
We had already elected to become the first local university to
focus on graduate rather than undergraduate teaching qualifications.
We were also ready to create an Institute of Education where
this could become a reality. Here, we could prioritise educational
learning focused on postgraduate education and research equal to
any equivalent institution in the world.
The decision was not easy for those of us who had come up
through the teaching training colleges that shaped the identity of
our colleges of education.
But for those committed to ensuring that Massey truly lives up
to its aim of becoming this country’s defining university, it felt like
crunch time. Our future lies in innovative teaching and research
programmes that can drive improved cultural, economic and social
outcomes. The College of Education simply could not continue
with business as usual.
So after consultation with our staff and the wider educational
community, we have decided to focus all initial teacher education
programmes at the graduate/postgraduate level by teaching
beginning teachers through the graduate diploma pathway and to
phase out of teaching on Massey’s undergraduate initial teacher
education programmes from 2013. At the same time, an Institute
of Education will be established within the College of Humanities
and Social Sciences.
Our task is clear.We need to advance our knowledge and research
to fully understand factors like the influence and impacts of emerging
technology in – and on – education and learning.
We need to understand more about how we can deliver better
education for an increasingly diverse base of students with different
backgrounds and ethnicities. Massey education academics need to
undertake more of the relevant research that will equip teachers
with the knowledge and skills to meet these challenges head on.
The changes we are making at Massey will start to address these
issues by taking teachers to the next level of professionalisation. As
graduates and postgraduates, our students will be able to progress to
Master’s and doctoral degrees and they will be well positioned to both
move up the career ladder and assist those entering the profession.
The advantage of graduate and postgraduate teacher education is
that the students have already qualified in a wide variety of degrees
– sociology, psychology, maths, science, technology, the arts, Ma-ori
studies etc – and they bring those specialist skills and the ability to
apply them.
Two undergraduate pathways will remain.The first is the Bachelor
of Arts education major, which allows for specialist study alongside
relevant education papers. The second is the general Bachelor of
Education degree available to teachers who are upgrading diploma
One of the arguments repeatedly put forward against this move
is that it is not possible to prepare a teacher in one year. This is a
misrepresentation of what we are doing. The students completing
the graduate diploma path will have studied for a minimum of four
years – and they will undertake the required two years of professional
practice before being fully registered.
Around half of all graduates entering primary teaching come
through the graduate diploma route; that increases to over 80 percent
for the secondary sector.
At Massey we talk about the role that we, as an academic
institution, can play in making what we call the new New Zealand a
reality.The answer is a fresh approach to education in general, and in
particular, the way we teach education and professional development.
The Government has signalled its clear intention to improve the
quality of initial teacher education, improve the quality of teaching,
and raise the achievement rates in our schools. In embracing the
direction I have outlined here, so have we.
Professor James Chapman is the Pro Vice-Chancellor
of Massey’s College of Education.
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 17
Chemistry honours student David Nixon uses the
400-MHz Bruker NMR spectrometer to check his
reaction product.
The console housing the hardware
for transmitting and receiving radiofrequency
PhD student Chris Lepper is working on how RNA
behaves under conditions of high temperature and
pressure. Behind him is the 500-Mhz spectrometer he
is using.
Compound interests
Enquiries about making use of
the Massey NMR laboratory
are welcomed.
Contact: Pat Edwards
[email protected]
Sometimes the most extraordinary technology doesn’t
look nearly as sophisticated
and powerful as it really should.
This is the case with Massey’s
nuclear magnetic resonance
(NMR) laboratory. Although
it is capable of elucidating the
structure and chemistry of
matter at a very small scale, the
average NMR spectrometer is
not physically prepossessing
and nor is explaining how
one works easy.
When Massey
spectrometer in
2004, journalists
looking for
a way to
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
explain the significance of the $3
million purchase decided to liken
it to a “microscope”, one with a
magnifying power equivalent to
a telescope that could be used
in Palmerston North to view
an insect fluttering its antennae
on top of the Sky Tower in
In fact, other than being able
to glean information about the
very small, the spectrometer is
not much like a microscope, or
a telescope for that matter.
In appearance the 700-MHz
spectrometer, just like the
others surrounding it, is a white
bulbous-topped vat, close to
three metres tall, which perches
on three stubby legs.
Nor do the results from an
NMR spectrometer resemble
Malcolm Wood writes.
anything like the results of an
optical or electron microscope.
The product of a sample
subjected to NMR is a graph
showing a series of sharp and
broad peaks rising above a flat
line. Deeply meaningful peaks
for those who know how to
interpret them, but nothing like
a faithful visual rendering of a
hugely magnified molecule –
although eventually, after much
detective work, this may be the
What can the NMR
laboratory be used for? Almost
anything that involves the
analysis of matter, from testing
for the use of drugs in sport, to
understanding the chemistry and
physics of food, to investigating
the origins of life itself.
From left: Professor Geoff Jameson, Senior Research
Officer Pat Edwards and Dr Jason Hindmarsh.
The results of a Fourier transform. This is the
information from which the physical and chemical
properties of the sample will be derived.
The largest and most powerful of the NMR
spectrometers, a 700-MHz Bruker, has a room
to itself.
Dangerous attraction
Operating an NMR spectrometer
has its hazards. Each of the
smaller NMR machines sits at
the centre of a carpeted circle, an
exclusion zone that is observed
at all times. The circle marks
the realm where the spillover
of the powerful magnetic field
generated by the helium-cooled
superconducting magnet is at its
In itself, the magnetic field does not pose any known biological
dangers, but any ferromagnetic material within the radius of the circle
will be powerfully affected. If not well secured, gas canisters can be
transformed into missiles, colliding with people and equipment; credit
cards can be wiped; and electronics, such as cellphones or – more
seriously – pacemakers, be damaged or destroyed.
In days gone by, Senior Research Officer Pat Edwards would
demonstrate the strength of the field to visiting school groups by
floating a tethered pair of scissors between himself and one of the
NMR machines. Edwards recalls a colleague who ruined a treasured
multi-thousand-dollar designer watch by forgetfully wandering into
the forbidden circle.
A second set of hazards has to do with the liquefied gases that
maintain the superconducting magnets at their operating temperature
of close to absolute zero (4.2 Kelvin or -268.9 degrees Celsius). Once
a week the NMR machines are topped up with nitrogen that is used
for the outer jacket of the magnets and once every few months with
helium, which is used for the inner. “We go through hundreds of
litres of helium every year,” says Edwards.
Here the risk is that containment of the gases is somehow breached,
leading to the NMR ‘quenching’ and releasing volumes of gases,
which though inert could still lead to asphyxiation.
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 19
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
under pressure
Malcolm Wood writes.
t is heady territory for a postgraduate student:
making sense of the origins of life itself. And
the key to it all, explains Chris Lepper, holding
it up for inspection, is this beige-coloured ceramic
tube.Theoretically, inside its three-millimetre bore,
the NMR specimen tube can contain 250 times
atmospheric pressure, the equivalent of burying the
tube’s contents deep within Earth’s mantle, which
is more than enough for what Lepper wants to do.
His interest, and that of his PhD supervisors,
Professor Geoff Jameson, Associate Professor
Bill Williams and Dr Pat Edwards, is in how the
molecules crucial to life’s origins behave at the
lesser pressures found in the ocean deeps.
What do we know about how life began? Earth
itself is known to be about 4.5 billion years old, and
the earliest evidence of life comes in the form of
fossilised mats of cyanobacteria called stromatolites
in Australia that are about 3.4 billion years old.
But these cyanobacteria are biologically complex;
the consensus is that life began much earlier,
perhaps around 3.8 billion years ago, and that the
crucial molecule in the construction kit – the
one Professor Jameson terms the ‘cantilever’ – was
DNA’s near relative RNA.
As for where life began, one of the best
candidates is in the deep sea around the hot,
mineral-rich waters spewing from hydrothermal
vents. Here can be found the sort of primordial
stew of sulphur, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and trace
metals in which simple organic molecules could
form. But that notion is not without its difficulties,
says Edwards.
“A lot of people liked the idea that the origin
of life was at the bottom of the sea by these black
smokers, but then people said, ‘Well it’s too hot
down there, things will tend to fall apart’. But
we haven’t looked at whether pressure might
compensate by conferring some stability.”
This, then, is the basis of Lepper’s project: first
to look at how the individual bases that make
up RNA and DNA behave under conditions of
extreme pressure and temperature; then to do the
same thing with short sequences of bases; and
finally to test RNA itself. Whatever the outcome,
the result will be scientifically significant, but
Edwards is in no doubt about the one that would
create the most excitement.
“The great thing would be if we found that the
pressure conferred greater stability, in which case it
would lend credence to the idea that the origin of
life was indeed at the bottom of the ocean near
these black smokers.”
The next in line after Lepper for the use of
the high-pressure NMR apparatus is Dr Jason
Hindmarsh, who plans to investigate the use of
pressure in food sterilisation. To date, most of the
work that has been done on the effectiveness of
pressure sterilisation has been relatively crude:
subject samples of bacteria to varying conditions
of pressure and temperature and only afterwards
determine whether or not they have died. Using
the high-pressure NMR, Hindmarsh believes he
can short-cut this, identifying the exact moment
and the precise conditions under which
the bacterial cell membranes begin to
break down and cell death occurs.
The ceramic tube used to hold highly
pressurised NMR samples.
A black smoker at a mid-ocean
ridge hydrothermal vent.
At left: PhD student Chris Lepper standing alongside the
set-up for pressurising NMR samples that he helped to
design and build. At right: A cloverleaf RNA motif.
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 21
NMR at work
Inside the NMR spectrometer the sample is positioned in a magnetic field and excited by pulses of
radiofrequency radiation at a frequency matched to the characteristics of the sample. The pulses
cause the sample to resonate; the nuclei emit tiny radio signals that create a corresponding voltage
in the surrounding tuned coil of wire. The signals are recorded, fed through an equation called a
Fourier transform, and graphed – and this constitutes the basic results of an NMR analysis. The
greater the power of the spectrometer’s magnet, the greater the strength and frequency of the
signals and hence of the spectrometer’s sensitivity and resolving power.
Many atomic nuclei have a property called ‘spin’.
No field
With No
The combination of spin with the charge of the
nucleus causes it to behave like a tiny bar magnet.
radiofrequency input
No field
radiofrequency output
7.57.0 6.56.0 1.5 ppm
Above: The one-dimensional NMR
spectrum from a rye grass alkaloid.
At right: A rendering of a cloverleaf
RNA motif derived using an NMR
With field
With field
Immersing these nuclear magnets in the strong
magnetic field generated by the superconducting
magnet in the NMR spectrometer causes them to
align with a net magnetisation parallel to this field.
sample tube
No field
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
A pulse of radiofrequency radiation can tip
this magnetisation away from this equilibrium
alignment, whereupon it will switch orientations at
a frequency dependent on its chemical environment.
This gyrating magnetisation produces a tiny
oscillating voltage in the receiver coil wrapped
around the sample tube. Complex molecules such
as proteins have magnetic nuclei in many different
chemical environments, yielding many different
signals and complex NMR spectra.
ir Ernest Rutherford, the
New Zealander who split
the atom, was famously
frugal. Legend has it that a
student in his laboratory who
asked for a piece of metal piping
was given a hacksaw and told to
find a bicycle. Jason Hindmarsh, who has created a remarkable
piece of research equipment out of recycled machinery, would
be a man after Rutherford’s heart.
Hindmarsh is a food engineer who “fell into NMR” during
postdoctoral work at Cambridge University. But he hankered
to return home, and when Sir Paul Callaghan, then a Massey
professor, visited his research group Hindmarsh enquired about
work. Callaghan, although keener on physicists than food
scientists, said that Hindmarsh would be welcome and that a
mothballed NMR machine used during the 1990s by Callaghan
and HortResearch to look at ripening disorders in kiwifruit,
would be available to him if he could raise the money to put it
back into action. Soon afterwards, Hindmarsh found himself a
Foundation for Research, Science and Technology fellowship
and set about doing just that, and the recommissioned NMR
machine is now the centrepiece of a sophisticated set-up that
is almost entirely made up of equipment that has already led a
rich and full life with earlier owners.
Hindmarsh’s speciality is solid state NMR, a category of NMR
with its own set of complexities. In solids, atoms that are close to
one another or are chemically bonded can interact in ways that
are orientation dependent. Solid state NMR lends itself to many
kinds of work. Hindmarsh’s machine has been used to analyse a
whale’s eyeball, kiwifruit vines and, recently, the curing of sheep
skins and the ripening of cheese.
“In the case of the sheep skin, we were looking at how it
responded to different treatments.With the cheese we are looking
at what happens to the distribution of minerals like calcium and
sodium as the cheese matures.”
Dr Hindmarsh’s work has been made possible by the generous assistance of Scion
Research; the MacDiarmid Institute; Industrial Research Limited; the Institute
of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University; Fonterra; and the Riddet Institute.
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 23
In the beginning
Aurélio Guterres is one of a number of prominent Massey-educated graduates
helping to create the new nation of Timor-Leste. Kelly Burns writes.
Additional reporting by Malcolm Wood.
here must be many a morning when
Aurélio Guterres, the Rector of the
Universidade Nacional de TimorLeste (UNTL), wakes up and wonders at the
Herculean scale of the work ahead of him.
He has been in the job for a little over
a year, and there are so many things to
be done, so many needing his urgent and
immediate attention.
Timor-Leste, now entering the first
year of its second decade of independence,
faces immense challenges.This is a country
where the average gross national income is
just NZ$2700 per annum; where many of
the population suffer from chronic disease
and malnutrition; and where around one in
every two people is illiterate.
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
It is a country of around one million
inhabitants, of whom fewer than 10,000
are tertiary educated.
Guterres is one of them. In two stints at
Massey he has gained Master’s and doctoral
degrees, becoming the third staff member of
UNTL to hold a doctorate. In comparison
with most Timorese, his life has been
extraordinarily blessed. Now the time has
come for him to pay it forward.
Postg raduate fine arts student Ryan
McCauley visited Guterres in September
2012 during the course of a masterate project
(see page 28). Gutteres’ office, he says, is
pleasant but unremarkable, a book-lined
space on the second storey of what was
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 25
once a technical high school. But outside
the office UNTL is a place of spartan
classrooms crowded with wooden desks, yet
empty of the sorts of thing that crowd most
universities: computers, books, photocopiers.
Even so, given the circumstances, for
Timor-Leste to have a working university
is remarkable.
Timor-Leste has had an unfortunate history.
In 1975, the year Guterres turned 12, it
was decolonised by the Portuguese only
to be annexed by the Indonesians nine
days afterwards. It was the beginning of a
notably brutal occupation during which
Timor-Leste was kept deliberately isolated.
“We didn’t have any contact
with the outside world,” says
The answer for many
Timorese, like Guterres,
was to look elsewhere for
their education – to the
main islands of Indonesia
(Guter res gained his
undergraduate degree from
a university in Java) and
further afield to places
like New Zealand. “New
Zealand was one of the few
Western countries to give scholarships to
Timorese under the Indonesian occupation,”
Guterres told McCauley.
Guterres arrived in Palmerston North
in 1994 on a Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and Trade scholarship to begin a masterate,
discovering a place, unlike his homeland,
where “everything was free, you could
express your ideas, your views”.
Regina Scheyvens, then a fellow student,
now a Professor of Development Studies,
describes Guterres and his fellow Timorese
students – some studying development
studies, others ag r iculture and rural
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
development – as “lovely people. They
were extremely conscious of how lucky
they were to be able to study abroad, and
both humble and temperate”.
All of them were determined to return to
Timor-Leste and to make a difference.
Scheyvens remembers Guterres boogying
down on the dance floor of Palmerston
North’s ‘Cossie’ club at a farewell function,
shortly before his return to his still-occupied
homeland, where he took up the position
of International Director of Planning,
Cooperation and International Relations
at UNTL.
But things were about to change. In 1998
Indonesia’s President Suharto died and the
to come back and build my country,” he says.
But some other good things were
happening. He was now mar r ied to
Humbelina, also from Timor-Leste (who
was studying towards a postgraduate diploma
in business and now runs her own business
consultancy), and during their time at Massey
the couple had two boys, one of whom they
named Zelandini.
And when he and his family returned
to their homeland of Timor-Leste it was,
at last, free.
How do you build a nation from scratch?
Guter res, whose qualifications are in
development studies, divides the challenges
into three interdependent
realms: the economy, health
The Kiwi connection
care and education.
In many ways, TimorSince the early 1990s more than 100 New Zealand
scholarships have been awarded to Timorese students Leste has already made great
according to New Zealand Aid’s Mike Burrell. Many strides. Take UNTL. In the
have chosen to study at Massey – leading to joking year 2000 there was nothing
references to a Massey mafia.Among Massey’s other – no phone network, no
distinguished alumni are Timor-Leste’s Minister of IT systems, no audio-visual
Justice Deonisio Babo Soares; the Minister of State equipment, no accessible
Administration, Jorge Teme; and the Secretary of library.
Today, Guterres’ campus
State for Art and Culture, Isabel Ximenes.
has wireless internet – a very
recent arrival – and plans are
way opened for a United Nations-sponsored well advanced to build a campus outside Dili
referendum in which the Timorese voted for in the village of Hera, where it is quieter and
independence by a massive majority.
less crowded.
It was not an amicable parting. ProTimor-Leste has a significant advantage
Indonesian militia went on a rampage, over most third world countries: it has money
destroying homes and infrastructure and to spend.The Timor Sea holds major gas and
killing opponents.The university was largely oil reserves; and tankers are a common sight
destroyed and the Guterres’ family home was off the coast.
among the many that were razed.
The revenue will go to fund roads, bridges,
These were times of such ubiquitous and airports, port facilities, schools, health clinics
painful personal tragedy that Guterres and and hospitals. But in tandem, the university
others like him seldom touch on them.
will need to provide the country with the
Unable to do much directly, Guterres human capital it so desperately needs: people
concentrated on his studies. “My hope was like doctors, engineers and teachers.
It also needs to help guide how
development takes place. Most of TimorLeste survives on subsistence agriculture,
and the new influx of money could, if not
carefully managed, be socially destructive,
crowding the towns and cities with
young unemployed people in search of
opportunity and creating social, political
and environmental problems. Under the
Indonesians, the movement of the population
was both coerced, by resettlement, and
restricted, by requirements for household
registration and travel documentation.
Rural-to-urban migration patterns were
a particular focus of Guterres’ PhD thesis.
“You need to have access to medical
facilities and schools at the village level,
so the population doesn’t have to come
to town. Then you can start to use public
education to address pressing issues like
disease and malnutrition. But you also need
to raise people’s incomes, and many of our
people have no experience of a market
Timor-Leste does not lack aid and
development advisors or advice. The
challenge is for the country to determine
its own way.
Guterres also talks of other risks. Oil
revenues can be as much of a curse as a
blessing, creating socially divisive disparities
in wealth. “Timor doesn’t have rich people.
The president and the prime minister are not
rich. If we can stay this way, we can minimise
social jealousy.”
As for UNTL, many universities are
keen to help. Guterres has visited a number,
enjoying near celebrity status. In the US,
during a visit to Stanford University, he
secured an introduction to Mark Zuckerberg,
founder of Facebook.
In New Zealand, Waikato and Massey
universities have strong relationships with
UNTL through their development studies
Guterres has been known to speak of
working towards the ‘Massey model’, and
his former classmate Professor Scheyvens
is actively fostering collaboration between
the two universities and had championed a
memorandum of understanding. Massey, has
sent lecturers and university administrators to
UNTL to assist the university in developing
its teaching and research culture, and a
deputation of six UNTL representatives
visited Massey in August 2012.
Under, Guterres’ leadership, Scheyvens
thinks UNTL will prosper. He has passion,
energy, vision and something else.“His heart
is in right place.”
Changing the world
- campus,
From her office on the Manawatu
Professor Regina Scheyvens works with a
United Nations of student bodies. On the
roll are Kiwis, Zimbabweans, Burmese, Lao,
Solomon Islanders, Timorese, Brazilians,
Pakistanis, Chinese and Papua New
Guineans. Just as varied are their professional
specialisations. There are aid workers,
architects, accountants, missionar ies,
lawyers, midwives and diplomats, all of
them united by their desire to improve
their skills and understanding and make
the world a better place.
Scheyvens herself has been interested
since childhood in other cultures and in
alleviating poverty and inequality, and
after an honours degree in geography and
anthropology followed by a year’s travel in
Asia, she enrolled in a PhD in development
studies at Massey.
“I did my fieldwork on the empowerment
of women in the Solomons. I was really
impressed by the way they used their
resources. Even during the political crisis
in the late 1990s, their agricultural and
fishing traditions meant they could still
feed themselves. They had a different sort
of poverty to struggle with, a poverty of
opportunity. They lacked educational and
health resources.”
In recent times Scheyvens has focused
on the Pacific and the economic sector
that has grown most strongly in the past 20
years, tourism. “Making sure that Pacific
peoples and governments can capture the
A number of Massey’s development
studies students and graduates are working
in nations that are rebuilding themselves
after conflict: Timor-Leste, the Solomons
and Papua New Guinea.
“It is very satisfying for us to see.”
Countries where Massey has development studies students studying extramurally.
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 27
Photograph of Ryan McCauley by Lillian Baker
Bricks and mortar
Master’s student Ryan McCauley visited Timor-Leste 10 years on from independence.
Kelly Burns writes.
imor-Leste is not yet on the backpacker
circuit. Few international flights touch down
there, and travel advisories speak warningly
of civil unrest and the risk of disease.The foreigners
who do visit are likely to be part of the aid and
development community. So when 22-year-old fine
arts student Ryan McCauley arrived in Dili in May
2012, he was an anomaly.
McCauley says he was drawn to Timor-Leste
by its location within the Asia – Pacific region
and its connection to New Zealand. He wanted
to see how the country of just over one million
people had physically developed 10 years on from
independence, and to make what he saw the subject
of his Master’s project.
“Very little visual research has been done in
Timor-Leste,” he explains.
For someone who had never travelled outside
Australasia, landing in Dili was a wake-up. “I just
thought, ‘wow, what have I got myself into?’ I tried
to think about what I thought it would be like, but
I don’t think I expected the poverty.
“Until you do something like that, I think there
is a sense of naivety. It was my first intrepid journey.”
McCauley describes his photography-based project,
Neo Colonialism and the Built Environment in PostConflictTimor-Leste, as an investigation into the nature
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
of post-conflict architecture: what it looks like, who
is involved in its creation, how it is being built and
used. More broadly, McCauley is interested in the
way that Timor-Leste’s architecture expresses the
country’s social, cultural and political history.
McCauley has now been to Timor-Leste twice on
missions to photograph the Portuguese, Indonesian,
Chinese and Western influences on the ‘built
In Dili, Portuguese colonial buildings in
whites and pastels sit side by side with traditional
Timorese homes. Sometimes there are revealing
crossovers.“You’ll see ramshackle homes painted in
beautiful Portuguese pastels – local people aspiring
to have the wealth and power associated with the
coloniser’s colours,” McCauley explains.
Then there is the imprint of China, one of the
first countries to establish diplomatic ties with
Timor-Leste, which has sunk its aid money into
such highly visible infrastructure projects as the
Ministry of Defence headquarters, the foreign
affairs office, the presidential palace and the
Chinese embassy.
“These structures are the physical and visual
outcomes of economic and political negotiations
and constructions – they are politics played out
through the built environment,” he says.
He believes that one inadvertent effect is a
complication and disruption of national identity
– an identity that is already complicated enough.
Then there is
the imprint of
China, one
of the first
to establish
ties with
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 29
“... you’d see
painted in
pastels –
local people
to have
the wealth
and power
with the
McCauley, a monolingual English speaker, speaks
wonderingly of the difficulties of dealing with three
languages: Tetum and Portuguese, which are the
official languages, and Indonesian, which is widely
spoken among younger Timorese.
Meanwhile, out in rural areas, where 70 percent
of Timorese live, life goes on. Here the overriding
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
concerns are grinding poverty, malnutrition, disease
and lack of access to education.
But as the nation increasingly reaps the revenues
from offshore oil and natural gas reserves, a brighter
future beckons.
“I think there is a strong sense of hope,” McCauley
World Bank research has shown that it typically
takes 15 to 30 years for countries to rebuild after
conflict, and by this yardstick Timor-Leste is doing
okay: hospitals and schools are being built, the
university plans to double its student numbers, and
its people are gradually becoming accustomed to
peace and stability.
“For the entire population, war and occupation are
all they’ve ever known, it’s not just a switch that can
so easily be switched on and off - but as the country
moves forward, so too does their way of thinking.”
He remembers Dili on 20 May, the country’s
10th anniversary of independence, when its new,
peacefully elected leader,Tau Matan Ruak, a former
guerrilla commander and independence hero, was
sworn in as President. It was a day of flag-waving
school children lining the streets from the airport
to the city centre; of welcoming dignitaries lined
up outside the presidential palace; and of crowds
celebrating along the waterfront.
McCauley’s project is due to be completed in
February. But that is unlikely to be the end of the
relationship with Timor-Leste. It is a place where
he feels at home; one to which he is determined
to return.
“There seems to be a sense of community. One
of the best things was walking down the street in
the morning and saying hello to everyone as you
went by. The people are wonderful, really friendly
and very proud.”
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 31
finding the right words
Sonia Yoshioka Braid explores an outreach programme for aphasia sufferers
ine years ago, a stroke
welcome to attend. Clients
silenced Auckland
attend one-on-one sessions
broadcaster Peter
with their designated
Kingston, leaving him dead
student therapists to work
for four minutes. When
on language areas with
Kingston awoke, he was
which they have identified
unable to speak.Two months
they want help.
passed before he could say
They then come together
“yes” or “no”. His career as
as a group to practise the
a broadcaster was over. He’d
strategies learned in their
become – in his words – an
sessions, and share their
experiences. It is a safe,
Kingston is one of an
supportive environment
estimated 16,000 New
w h e re e n c o u r a g e m e n t
Left to right: Patrick Gaiter (third-year student), Patty Govender, Sharat Rao, Miriam Rao,
Zealanders who live with Stella Karaman (fourth-year student).
matches the laughter
aphasia, an impair ment
shared around the table, and
mostly caused by stroke, occasionally by the a c a d e m i c p rog r a m m e. “ S p e e c h charades feature as an icebreaker.
head injury. It leaves sufferers unable to and language therapy deals with any
Along the way, students learn a new set
express or understand written or spoken communication problems across the life- of skills, including slowing down their own
language. Six of us develop it every day. span,” she says.
speech and allowing other people time to
There is no age barrier and no cure, and
The programme started in 2011, with speak.They learn to prompt with questions.
aphasia touches not only the individual, but clients referred by the Rodney Aphasia “Is that what you meant?” gives the client
their family, friends and community.
Group (RAG), a community-based support the option to self-correct. Asking for a
But thanks to an intensive collaboration group established in 2006 and chaired by description, a drawing or a gesture can also
between Massey speech and language Kingston. RAG secretary and pioneering help if the word is momentarily lost.
therapy students on the Albany campus and speech and language therapist Elle Glazer
Scripts can also be written out, making it
a local community-based support group, was instrumental in bringing the two easier for the client to say what they mean,
people like Kingston are being actively groups together.
or the student supplies the first letter of a
helped to reclaim their lost communication
To r un the prog ramme, final-year word or the first word of a sentence, with
students gave up their semester break to the client finishing it off. Repetition of the
The programme is the brainchild of provide one-on-one therapy and group right sentence can also help.
speech and language therapy clinical sessions with clients, under the guidance
“It’s important to try not to speak for
educator Patty Govender. She had long and supervision of Govender and third- them, and that’s something that the students
wondered whether br inging together year students.
and the clients’ families also need to adapt
a group of people with aphasia for an
“Students gain a real-life experience of to,” Govender says. “For these clients,
intensive therapy programme could help working with adults with communication this current state is ‘normal’ for now, but
them to improve their communication skills. disorders. For some students this is their things can improve if they keep practising.
Fortunately she was in just the right place first experience working with clients with Working on different strategies can help
to implement this intensive-style therapy.
strokes and aphasia. They describe this as a build confidence, which is incredibly
Associate Professor Helen Southwood, great learning opportunity,” she says.
important. For us, it is extremely rewarding
head of the School of Education in Albany,
The programme provides 24 hours of to work with our clients and to see their
was open to the idea of incorporating intensive therapy in a two-week period, progress during and after the programme.”
intensive group therapy for aphasia into and caregivers or family members are also
A month after the completion of the
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
Speech language therapy
intensive group therapy phase, there is a final
group catch-up session. Here everybody
prepares for the next challenge – presenting
a speech at RAG’s monthly meeting in
Kingston is one of four graduates in the
most recent programme, each of whom
came along with different stories. One
was still coming to terms with having had
a stroke and didn’t want to be identified.
Another wanted to be able to go back
to church and hold a conversation with
members of the congregation.
The youngest member of the group is
Sharat Rao. His aphasia was the result of
a head injury he received in a motorcycle
accident in India 14 years ago, on his last
day of university.
He went from being an active, cricketplaying, fun-loving mathematics whizz to
spending six months in a coma. Convinced
that he was going to die, the hospital sent
him home – but not before someone
had tried turning off his life support and
attempted to swipe a kidney.
Fortunately for Rao, his family intervened
just in time and brought him home, where
his bed was placed in the living room. He
spent two years in a catatonic state – ‘locked
in’ – where he could understand what was
going on around him, but couldn’t convey
that understanding. After five years he could
say “yes” and “no” but he still struggles to
make himself understood, especially when
he is tired.
“Sharat wanted to lear n how to
communicate with his family and friends
overseas using a computer,” Govender
says. “His speech has improved but he still
struggles. Stella, his speech therapy student,
helped him to use a computer to send emails
and to use Facebook to communicate with
family and friends. He also has a smartphone
that he uses to take photographs that he can
share online – all of which match the goals
he set at the beginning.”
With his family’s dedicated support,
Rao has learned to walk and talk again,
and he is learning to play the piano.
Daily walks and physical therapy are also
helping with his ongoing recovery, and his
enthusiasm for life is infectious. He happily
shows off pictures of the famous people
he has met, including cricketer Rahul
Dravid, a beautiful former Miss India and
broadcaster Paul Holmes.
“When people come to us, they can still be
grieving for what they’ve lost. We focus on
client-driven goals – what they want to work
on – and then we come up with strategies
together,” says Govender.
“For some, it could be drawing a picture
to get their point across. For others, sounding
out the first letter of a word or describing the
colour or shape of an item works. Gestures
and scripts can also be helpful.
“Aphasia is there for life – there is no cure,”
Govender says.
“What this group therapy programme
gives the clients is support and acceptance.
They can go at their own pace, learn to tell
jokes again and have conversations. Nobody
hurries them. The psychological wellbeing
of clients is a key component in this
programme, and it’s worked very well for us.”
The programme has now attracted
the attention of Henrietta, the Duchess
of Bedford, and Chair of the UK-based
Tavistock Trust for Aphasia. Established in
1992, the trust provides grants for research
and programmes on aphasia all over the
world. Geraldine Everett, who worked on
one of the earlier programmes, was a 2012
recipient of a Tavistock Trust New Zealand
University prize.
Plans are already in place for the next
programme in February 2013, and the speech
and language therapy team is also planning
new projects including a paediatric feeding
“Aphasia can’t be cured, but people
with aphasia – and the people with whom
they interact – can learn strategies to
communicate better. With this programme,
people discover they are not alone and things
can improve,” Govender says. “It’s not just
about words – communication is who we
are. Communication is life.”
Peter Kingston is happy to tell people he
has aphasia and readily uses the strategies he
learned in the group therapy programme,
including asking people to slow down
while they are speaking. He continues to
raise awareness of the impairment, using
his broadcasting contacts to tell his story on
television and in the local media.
“Being aphasic is not necessarily bad, but
it can be hard work.You’ve lost some of the
speech but the communication isn’t gone.
You can use an eyebrow, a wink, or find a
strategy that works to convey your message,”
he says. “You just want to be normal.”
The speech and language therapy degree
is a four-year qualification combining
academic course work with supervised
clinical experience in speech and language
therapy.Students work alongside practising
speech language therapists to gain a
minimum of 300 clinical hours in a wide
range of settings, including pre-schools,
schools, rehabilitation centres, child
development settings and community
Disorders studied include language
disorders, phonological and articulation
disorders, fluency, voice, motor speech,
aphasia and swallowing (dysphagia)
Places in the speech and language
therapy course are limited and admittance
is by selected entry.
In 2013, the speech and language
therapy programme will celebrate its
10-year anniversary at the Albany campus.
If you have trouble with words:
• Relax and slow down so others can
hear you
• Go at your own speed
• Give the other person time to speak
• Use new strategies – draw a picture
or a letter
• Spell the word or sound it out
• Describe the thing you are after.What
colour, size or shape is it?
• Use a gesture to describe the word
you want to say
• Plan your message in advance
• Use a script that you can follow
• Be patient
Miriam and Sharat Rao at the Speech and Language
Therapy Clinic.
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 33
Incredibly Hot Sex goes to Frankfurt
Bryce Galloway explains zines to Michele Hollis.
“I grew up in Hamilton, which is the butt of national jokes.
There was one cool café and I was on my way there, and
there was a little circle of people guffawing. They had a
copy of this fanzine called Truck Guy, by a guy called Glen
Frenzy – that’s his punk name.”
Fanzine (noun): a magazine, usually produced by
amateurs, for fans of a particular performer, group, or
form of entertainment. [Oxford English Dictionary]
“It was photos of truck guys; the archetypal big Mac
truck, budgie smuggler Stubbies, muscle shirt, baseball cap
guys standing outside their cabs. So it was a rather ironic
homage to the macho truck guy. I don’t think there was
any text at all; just these images.”
Bryce Galloway had known about the fanzine
phenomenon before his first ‘real life’ encounter in 1980s’
heartland New Zealand. He’d read about them in the UK
music magazine NME, when punk rock was new and
dangerous. Zines like the London-based Sniffin’ Glue were
a strident alternative to mainstream commercial music
media, sloughing off advertising and editorial pressures,
writing idiosyncratic articles, using the cheap production
methods of the time (photocopy and Letraset), which
created a rough-and-ready look: “Vivid marker titles,
typewriter texts, really rudimentary reviews - even though
the final circulation was quite extensive, it never really got
much flasher than that in terms of aesthetic.”
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
Twenty years on, Galloway is a lecturer in fine arts
and one of New Zealand’s best-known zine artists. His
quarterly zine, Incredibly Hot Sex with Hideous People, is up
to 46 issues. It “plumbs the embarrassing”, diarising in
words and sketches the minutiae of life as a middle-aged
man with a mortgage and two kids. (His wife has right
of veto – rarely exercised.)
As a genre, zines are loose and unpredictable. Some
are one-offs, others are regular series. They may be
a self-indulgent vehicle for someone’s lousy poetry
Excerpted from Incredibly Hot Sex with Hideous People #46,
Frankfurt 2012.
“No. I’ll catch the next
flight.” So now, with a yawning
6 hours before my flight, I’m
ever so casually checking my
bags in and getting ready to
make a tour of the terminal.
“Don’t head through the gates
until a half hour before your
flight sir, there’s just one
overpriced café through there.”
Before sending my exotic
looking luggage on its way,
I fossick around for a clean
T-shirt and socks. I do not
want to subject my very close
economy flight neighbours to my
rising stink.
Flashback: 1993 and I am on a
long haul flight from London
to New Mexico. My shoestring
budget insists I take a flight
that includes a night in
Charles De Gaulle Airport,
slumped in a plastic chair. I
have a bandaged broken ankle,
and a pair of crutches from
the National Health Service in
Scotland (too much alcohol and
weirdness on summer solstice).
The labour of heaving around
on crutches is working up more
of a sweat than usual. I know
this, but the reality of its
perfume is masked by the fact
that my intolerance to dairy
means I always have a blocked
nose. On the flight from Paris
to the US, I hobble off to the
bathroom and with considerable
dexterity, I soap my sweaty
feet in the hand-basin. Now I
can relax without shoes. How
considerate I am.
or a delightful piece of comic whimsy. Formats and
production values vary wildly. Since they derive from
an anti-capitalist, anti-authoritarian counter-culture,
most cost little or nothing, and few carry advertising.
In theory, they answer to no-one, although over time,
well established zines may evolve a clear voice, consistent
aesthetic and strong audience expectations. What unites
them, perhaps, is their diversity; their content is more
varied and their personality less massaged than in the
Once we touch down in New
Mexico and the safety belt
light blinks off, the woman
two seats to my right leans
over and glares at me. “Your
feet stink!” she scolds.
“It’s bad enough for me, but
for the last 11 hours, this
poor woman right next to you
has had to endure even more.
Shame on you.” I pout, and
with a hopeless expression,
I make a show of collecting
my crutches. Perhaps she will
forgive an invalid. She shows
no sign of it.
That horrible woman could have
told me earlier in the flight.
I would have put my shoes
back on. No, not so brave.
She’d rather chew me out once
she could safely run away. Of
course I’m quite mortified by
the memory of this and now
intensely sensitive to the
idea that I should make any
noses suffer.
So now I’m killing time:
buying a copy of the trashiest
US souvenir I can find (The
National Enquirer on Randy
Travis’s drinking binge, and
the existence of angels),
checking Facebook on the free
Internet service, searching the
- also overpriced - franchise
eateries for something...
anything... gluten free, and
finally, indulging in a sponge
bath in the terminal toilets,
with a fresh T-shirt and socks
at hand.
By Galloway’s guesstimate, there are currently about 200
titles across the country. Most of the larger centres have
thriving zine-scenes, except Hamilton where there has
not been an institution, group or person mentoring new
zinesters. “The current crop of Auckland zines emerged
from a craft house, so tend to reflect more attention to
making (hand-stitched binding, different paper stocks on
each page, tooled vinyl on cover…). Wellington’s scene
was stimulated by the public library’s decision to start
archiving ephemeral publications, so there’s no common
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 35
stylistic or thematic concern. Dunedin came from a couple
of indie rockers running the local gig guide.”
At 46, Galloway admits he is probably one of the oldest
zine-makers in New Zealand, although there’s growing
interest from people born before 1990. “It is one of the
reasons I do the autobiographical narrative. If you’re
concerned about your skinny jeans and the fact that
someone stole your iPhone, what’s it gonna be like to
read about domestic fatigue of the father and some kind
of ailment that’s to do with getting older? The mortality
and complications of age that play out in my narratives
might be a challenge to the forms of self-obsession that
are part of being young.”
The cover of issue 44 is a self-portrait of Galloway’s
shirtless torso with underpants on his head. That image
graced posters advertising
t h e re c e n t Z i n e s a u s
Neuseeland show at the
Weltkulturen Museum, an
ethnographic museum in
Frankfurt. The exhibition,
coinciding with the
book fair, was curated by
Galloway and Associate
Professor Heather
Galbraith, head of Massey’s
School of Fine Arts, and
featured about 110 titles
by 36 New Zealand zinemakers.
There were few
glass display cases. To
a p p l y t h a t t re a t m e n t
to f anzines would be
“quite precious”, argued
Galloway. Instead, they
provided a photocopier
and long-armed stapler
and encouraged visitors to make their own irreverent mix
of articles and drawings from the zines on display. Even
zines with national or international distribution, such as
White Fungus, agreed to waive copyright. “They believe
that the mainstream channels for publication in New
Zealand do not allow for very varied content. So I think
they’re happy to allow me to celebrate what fanzines are.”
The very notion of curating a zine show, however, is
anathema to some in the zine-scene, since it suggests
hierarchy and elevates the curator’s taste. But despite his
love of the medium, Galloway knows there would be
plenty of dross between gems in any random selection.
“Whilst it’s an all-comers medium, I do like that the
Wellington zinefest has a Best of the Fest award, because
it does say ‘let’s not make it a total love-in, let’s look at
what’s good writing, good drawing, what’s well made,
what’s intriguing, what’s not’.”
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
There are ducklings
around the place this morning—
ducklings that cats dare not disturb
because their lines
are so unnervingly straight,
their mother’s quacks
too loquacious
and their fuzzy down
too bee-coloured
to engage with.
Even if one were to straggle,
to drop off the end
like a misplaced preposition,
lost for a moment in the long grass,
no cat would mess with it
because today belongs
to the ducklings
and all the other
spring things
that on some mornings
and some afternoons
are just plain off-limits.
Johanna Emeney is in the second year of a creative
writing PhD at Massey Albany. Her first collection,
Apple & Tree, was published in 2011 by Cape Catley.
AUF ERDBALLS letztem Inselriff
Begreif ich was ich nie begriff.
Ich sehe und ich überseh
Des Lebens wechselvolle See.
Ob mich auch Frohsinn lange mied,
Einschläft das Weh, das Leid wird Lied.
Bin ich noch ich? Ich traue kaum
Dem Spiegel, alles wird mir Traum.
Traumlächeln lindert meinen Gram,
Traumträne von der Wimper kam,
Traumspeise wird mir aufgetischt,
Traumwandernden Traum-Grün erfrischt,
Hab auf Traumhellen einzig Acht.
So ward der Tag ganz Traumesnacht,
Und wer mir Liebeszeichen gibt
Der fühle sich, wisse sich traumgeliebt!
ON THE GLOBE’S last island reef
I understand what was once beyond belief.
I observe and oversee
Life’s ever mutable sea.
Though happiness has long avoided me,
The pain falls asleep, suffering becomes song.
Am I still me? I hardly trust the mirror,
Everything turns into a dream;
A dream smile soothes my grief,
A dream tear from my eyelash drops,
A dream dish is served up to me,
The dream wanderer refreshes dream-green,
I take care only for the one dream-light.
Thus turned the day into a dream-night,
And who gives me signs of love,
Should feel and know he is loved in a dream!
Karl Wolfskehl, UNDER NEW STARS:
Poems of the New Zealand Exile
German and English.
Translations by Andrew Paul Wood, Margot Ruben, Dean and
Renate Koch, edited by Friedrich Voit, The Holloway Press, $290
Karl Wolfskehl (1869-1948) was probably the most
prominent literary figure among the refugees from Nazi
Germany who came to New Zealand in the 1930s. Aged
69 when he arrived in this country, Wolfskehl wrote his
finest poetry here in the last decade of his life. Until
now little of his work has been available in English
translation. Now Massey alumnus Andrew Paul Wood
has added many new translations to existing versions by
Margot Ruben and Dean and Renate Koch to provide a
substantial bilingual selection of the work of Wolfskehl’s
New Zealand exile.
Wood, who has a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum
Studies, writes:
The preservation of heritage is not just restricted to
tangible objects in museums – and in its way this
book is a museum of a time, a place, an individual and
very much in keeping with the same preservationist
philosophy. It is as much curated as it is translated.
| Massey University | November 2012 | definingnz | 37
Recently the Marsden Fund awarded more
than $5.5 million to six of Massey University’s
research projects and to two outstanding researchers in
the early stages of their careers.
We would like to congratulate:
Institute of Natural Resources
Institute of Natural Resources
Institute of Fundamental Sciences
New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study
School of People, Environment and Planning
SHORE and Wha-riki Research Centre
New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study
School of People, Environment and Planning
At Massey University our students and
staff are the engine driving change
in the new New Zealand and globally.
| definingnz | November 2012 | Massey University
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