Lecture Programme

Lecture Programme for 2017

 Venue and Times

All lectures are held from 10.30am – 12 noon in the Embassy Theatre, 10 Kent Tce, Courtenay Place, unless otherwise notified.

Please note that current membership cards must be shown for admission to the lectures.

There is no admission charge for current members of U3A Wellington City. For visitors accompanying a member the charge is $5 each.

If you have suggestions for possible speakers please contact Bruce Medcalf medcalfba@orcon.net.nz or any committee member.


Tuesday 7 March

All New Zealanders are equal, but some are more equal than others
Professor Lisa Marriott

Lisa Marriott is an associate professor of taxation at Victoria University’s School of Accounting and Commercial Law. Her research interests include social justice and inequality, and the behavioural impacts of taxation. She has worked in industry in the UK, the public and private sectors in NZ, and since 2008 in academia. In 2013 she was awarded a 3-year Royal Society Marsden Grant to investigate the different treatments of tax evasion and welfare fraud in the New Zealand justice system. Her presentation includes some of the findings from this study and subsequent related work, and outlines circumstances where those less advantaged in society can expect to be treated differently from those in relatively privileged positions.

Friday 10 March

Portholes to the past
Sir Lloyd Geering
Lloyd holds a Doctor of Divinity from the University of Otago, and a master’s degree in mathematics. He was a minister in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ) and turned to theological teaching in 1956. This talk traverses Lloyd’s reflections on two world wars, the Great Depression, the changes he has experienced in education, family life, growth in personal freedom, life in the churches and more.

Tuesday 14 March

PMs wise and wonderful, PMs great and small
Professor Nigel Roberts
Nigel Roberts is emeritus professor of political science at Victoria University, and was an election-night commentator on Television New Zealand for more than 20 years. He has written extensively about New Zealand prime ministers, and is currently researching the life and times of the first National Party Prime Minister, Sid Holland. In this talk, Nigel will analyse the performance and reputation of a range of New Zealand’s 20th and 21st century prime ministers.

Friday 17 March

The life and work of Suzanne Aubert
Sister Josephine
Presented by archivist and historian. Sister Josephine. Better known to many by her cleric name Sister Mary Joseph or Mother Aubert, was a Catholic sister who started a home for orphans and the under-privileged in Jerusalem, New Zealand on the Whanganui River in 1885.

Tuesday 21 March

The role of police in modern society
Greg O’Connor
Do the Police reflect their communities? What challenges face them in the future? How will they tackle problems such as organised crime and illicit substance use? These are some of the questions which Greg O’Connor, recently retired from 21 years as President of the New Zealand Police Association, discusses. The Association is a business with annual revenue of $45 million and a $60 million asset base, which not only represents police politically and industrially, but also provides a wide range of services to police and their families. Greg was also involved in the foundation, and is a past chair of the International Council of Police Representative Associations, which represents 1.5 million police worldwide.

Friday 24 March

Old St Pauls. Bringing stories out of the woodwork
Elizabeth Cox
This talk explores the architecture and objects of the church, its congregation, clergy and community, and its myths and mysteries presented by historian Elizabeth Cox, who specialises in social and architectural history, and Rebecca Nuttall, a student at Victoria University.

Tuesday 28 March

My life in film
Gaylene Preston
Gaylene Preston, one of New Zealand’s leading producers and directors of feature films and documentaries, discusses her work over the past 40 years. She has received many awards and distinctions for her films, including the Arts Foundation Laureate Award in 2001. She has chaired the Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Film Innovation Fund, and has served on the boards of the NZ Film Commission and NZ on Air.  For her services to filmmaking she has received both the New Zealand Order of Merit and the New Zealand Women of Influence Award. Gaylene was honoured by SPADA, becoming Industry Champion 2016.

Friday 31 March

Travelling in Iran repairing rugs, and viewing the demise of the carpet trade
Anna Williams
Anna Williams is a professional Oriental rug repairer and restorer who regularly travels through Turkey and Iran, to study with rug restorers for her professional development, and to purchase top quality yarns, wools, cottons and silks.

 Tuesday 4 April

The kidney: medical history
Dr Peter Hatfield
As well as being President of U3A Wellington, Peter Hatfield is a retired renal physician who has worked not only in New Zealand but also in England, the USA and Iraq. He was head of the Department of Renal Medicine at Wellington Hospital, and is a former president of the Medical Historical Society. In this talk, he traces the role of the kidney in the development and evolution of modern medicine.

Friday 7 April

Researching the everyday life of NZ Women who self-identify as “fat.”
Julie Howe
Presented by Julie Howe BA (Hons), Sociology and Criminology. “Fat” is used in this talk, and throughout this research, in the spirit of fat studies literature – as a non-stigmatising descriptor. This talk is based on qualitative research data gathered as part of a PhD dissertation. Large body size is typically studied from a perspective where ‘obese’ persons are indistinguishable from one another; however, this study actively seeks an alternate understanding: one from individuals who intimately know the life of the fat woman. Using a critical feminist viewpoint, this study uses the narratives of thirty women to explore how their large, or previously large, body size affects their daily activities and choices. This work is intended to break down some of the barriers to forming a better understanding of what it is to be a fat person in New Zealand. It is not designed to normalise fatness, but is intended to work towards reducing harm, to improve personal wellbeing and quality of life, and to foster acceptance of difference.

Tuesday 11 April

Psychiatry, blindness and me
Dr Toni Marks
Psychiatrist Toni Marks has experienced many changes during the last 45 years, not always for the better. He qualified in medicine at Otago University and, after post-graduate training in New South Wales, worked at Wellington and Hutt Hospitals, and later in private practice. He became blind at the age of 32, and in this lecture discusses how that affected him. Though always challenging and sometimes frustrating, blindness was often helpful in his psychiatric practice, as his main task was always to gain an appreciation of what was bothering the person who came to him, not to capture an image of them. As a specialist in Wellington, he was a big fish in a small pond, and so sometimes encountered extremes of human behaviour.

Friday 14 April (Good Friday) – Friday 28 April
Term 1 Holidays – No lectures

Tuesday 2 May

Making and managing orchestral music in Aotearoa
Christopher Blake
NZ’s professional orchestral era spans little more than 70 years, although the history of orchestral activity extends back to the 1860s. What is the legacy and what is its future?  Christopher Blake, the current Chief Executive of the NZ Symphony Orchestra, examines the evolution of orchestras in NZ and how this has influenced, shaped and supported the creation of music by NZ composers. His compositions include Till Human Voices Wake Us for orchestra and tenor soloist; a piano concerto, The Coming of Tane Mahuta; Clairmont Triptych for piano and wind quintet; Bitter Calm, an opera premiered at the 1994 International Festival of the Arts; Symphony – The Islands; and Concerto Aoraki premiered in 2006. A CD of his work for string orchestra, Angel at Ahipara, won the Tui Award for Best Classical Album in 2012. The NZSO premiered his second symphony, Symphony – Voices in 2016.

Friday 5 May

NZ Radar, raiders and speed cops
Cam Smart
Cameron is an engineer. He first heard the story of NZ’s radar pioneers at a DSIR Happy Hour during the 1970s, and was delighted to realise he knew and had worked with several of them. During the 1990s and early 2000s he worked for Broadcast Communications, now Kordia On taking partial retirement in 2012 he began research for the story, since then has written a book, and is now looking for a publisher. New Zealand first heard of the “new scientific technique of a defence nature” in the middle of 1939. By December 1939 the first NZ-built radar set was working from the top floor of the Wellington East Post Office, and by March 1940 a better NZ-built set picked up the inter-island ferry Rangatira from an aeroplane. This is a story of hardship on hill-tops in remote Pacific Islands, intrigue in the corridors of power where NZ snubbed the UK and the US, a story of defence then offence then air traffic control, meteorology, radio astronomy, and speed cops.

Tuesday 9 May

The role of business in achieving gender equality
Dr Jackie Blue
Business has a pivotal role to play in realising gender equality in New Zealand. Dr Jackie Blue is the Equal Employment Opportunities and Women’s Rights Commissioner at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.  She pioneered the role of breast physicians in the late 1990s. She was a List MP from 2005 until June 2013 when she joined the Human Rights Commission. She chaired three cross-party parliamentary committees, all of which had a focus on human rights and in particular women’s rights in the Pacific Islands.

Friday 12 May

Applied Mathematics: Problem solved
Dr Mark McGuinness
After a PhD in Physics in 1978 at the University of Canterbury, Mark was three years on a postdoctoral fellowship at University College Dublin, Ireland, then two years as Instructor in the applied math group at CalTech, Pasadena. The time has come to talk of many things; steaming volcanic bombs and frozen Southern seas, cooking crispy cereals, tall tapered feeders, and fast heavy fruit, to mention but a few. Mathematics is what binds these themes together and Mark will talk about how math has helped him to understand what is going on, and sometimes to solve the problem

 Tuesday 16 May

Turning knowledge into value
Bill Macnaught
The National Library’s strategic directions aim to achieve greater impact through collaboration. New knowledge will be created through the collection and preservation of our documentary heritage and taonga, access to and sharing of knowledge resources, and enhanced literacy skills. The National Librarian, Bill Macnaught, discusses the proposed outcomes. He began his career in his home town, Stirling, before moving to Gateshead in north-east England in 1984. As Director of Libraries and Arts in Gateshead, he championed several major initiatives and was awarded the CBE for services to public libraries and cultural life.  In 2005 Bill became Manager of Puke Ariki, New Plymouth, and was appointed National Librarian in 2011.

Friday 19 May

Maori relationship building at Treasury
Atawhai Tibble
In this day and age, one of the biggest issues for Maori and Iwi business is not the business itself, but the need to understand government risks and opportunities, to engage effectively with, and manage key Wellington based relationships, and to also understand, and manage the needs and expectations of the community. Atawhai Tibble (LLB) is focused on resolving these issues.

Tuesday 23 May

Preparing Wellington for the shocks and stresses of the 21st century
Mike Mendonca
Mike Mendonca is Wellington’s Chief Resilience Officer, an appointment funded by the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative, which looks to build city resilience to the shocks and stresses of the 21st Century.  He has worked for Deloitte, local government, central government and the New Zealand Army.  Mike discusses the global and local background to the Wellington Resilience Strategy.  He explains the challenges the city anticipates, including earthquake, sea level rise and social challenges, and the proposed courses of action to address each of these.

Friday 26 May

60 years of NZ science endeavour in Antarctica: What we learned and why it is important
Nancy Bertler
BSc at Ludwigs Maximilians University, Munich, Germany, MSc at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK, and PhD at Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University, New Zealand. Nancy is a NZ Rutherford Discovery Fellow and is jointly appointed by Victoria University and GNS Science. She is the leader of the National Ice Core Research Programme and manages the NZ Ice Core Research Facility. In 2016, Nancy was awarded the Blake Leaders Award and was named Wellingtonian of the Year in the Category of Science and Technology. NZ led scientific expeditions to Antarctica every year since 1957, when Sir Ed Hillary led the NZ team to build Scott Base, NZ’s home of its Antarctic Research Programme. In 1967, the first tetrapod fossil was discovered by Prof. Peter Barrett, which provided critical support for the then newly developing theory of continental drift. NZ’s research success is based on world leading technology, international collaboration and environmental stewardship. Here we will explore some of most exciting scientific discoveries of the past 6 decades and look towards the future, how rising seas from collapsing Antarctic ice sheets will affect every New Zealander now and for generations to come.

Tuesday 30 May

The state of play in our media
Colin Peacock
RNZ’s Colin Peacock is the producer and presenter of Mediawatch. He looks at forces at work behind the scenes at New Zealand’s news media companies, and how this is changing the nature of the news and information we get from them After his postgraduate diploma in journalism from Canterbury University, he went to London where he worked for BBC World TV, the BBC’s 24-hour news network 5 Live and BBC World Service, before returning to New Zealand in 2002.

 Friday 2 June

VUW: A true-blue green university
AProf Marian van den Belt
Internationally respected and sought after as an adviser and speaker on sustainability, Associate Professor van den Belt comes to Victoria from Massey University, where since 2009 she was Director and Principal Ecological Economist of Ecological Economics Research New Zealand. As well as explaining the essence of ecological economics (which takes a system-wide approach to terms like ‘capital’ and ‘value’—i.e. natural, human and social capital are measured alongside financial and manufactured capital; and price is only one element of value), Associate Professor van den Belt will draw on such experiences as helping to found a co-housing community of privately owned energy-efficient homes in Vermont, United States, and running her own research consultancy on waste minimisation in Stockholm, Sweden.

 Tuesday 6 June

Victoria University: past, present and future
Sir Neville Jordan
Sir Neville Jordan is an engineer. In 1975 he founded a telecommunications microwave company, later listed on the main board of NASDAQ. He founded Endeavour Capital Ltd in 1998 and established two venture capital funds. He is an honorary Captain in the Royal New Zealand Navy, Past President of the Royal Society of New Zealand and a Chartered Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors. He has received numerous professional and business awards, and was Wellingtonian of the Year in 2012. He was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1999 for services to telecommunications and exporting, and in 2015 he was knighted for services to business, science and the community. In 2014 he was elected Chancellor of Victoria University. In this lecture Sir Neville reviews the University’s history, its contribution to the Wellington region’s economy, and where its future lies.

Friday 9 June

Co-creating with a computer
Ross Stevens
Ross Stevens is an industrial design icon and design futurist. He co-founded and is the design director for Pure Audio which involves hand building high end audio products for people who love music. He is senior lecturer on complex 3D digital form at Victoria University School of Design in Wellington, New Zealand. As co-designer of the Fisher & Paykel Smart Drive™ washing machine, between 1987-1991, Ross has been integral to the evolution of innovative industrial design solutions in New Zealand and world-wide. He sees his products go from dreams, to production, to sale, to use, then inevitably to disposal. Ross will talk about his recent experiences collaborating with computer programs to produce product well beyond his limited imagination. He will illustrate this with objects he has produced using a wide range of 3D printing technologies ranging from nano scale through to architectural.

Tuesday 13 June

Translation as socio-political commentary: Heaney and history
Dr Marco Sonzogni
Can history be experienced in literature? Can words be as powerful as actions? Can translation generate hope and initiate change? These questions continue to divide writers, scholars, readers. The Irish poet and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney credited poetry’s “power to persuade that vulnerable part of our consciousness of its rightness in spite of the evidence of wrongness all around it,” and chose verse translation of literary classics to address current concerns affecting histories and private and public decisions. Marco Sonzogni, Reader in Translation Studies at the School of Languages and Cultures at Victoria University, illustrates the way Heaney used translation as socio-political commentary. Marco is an award-winning literary translator, poet and editor and has been reading, studying, translating and annotating Heaney’s work for over 20 years.

Friday 16 June

Stone rubble masonry buildings – can they survive earthquake effects?
Win Clark
Win Clark is a structural engineer with over 46-years of experience in building design, assessment and construction. A notable heritage project was the design and construction monitoring of the replacement piles and foundation substructure for the 4 storeys historic “Government Wooden Building”, Wellington. Win was involved in heritage assessment, repair and retrofit projects as a consequence of the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence and recently the Kaikoura Earthquake. His role is to provide technical support, review of retrofit projects, and work with building owners to assist with the process for repair and/or strengthening, and identify options available. Since 2008 Win has been the Executive Officer of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Inc. The presentation will explore the topology of stone rubble masonry construction, characteristics that enhance seismic resistance, and identify possible retrofit solutions. Overseas research into identifying failure modes and structural strengthening solutions will be introduced, and discussion on how these techniques can be applied to New Zealand’s small population of stone rubble masonry buildings. Examples will be shown of recent retrofit construction in New Zealand that uses these techniques.

 Tuesday 20 June – Mid-winter lunch

‘While I don’t agree with everything you write…’
Dave Armstrong
Dave Armstrong talks about his life as a freelance writer, including his weekly Dominion Post column, plays and television. Dave’s plays include Anzac Eve, Central, Niu Sila (with Oscar Kightley), The Tutor, King and Country, The Motor Camp, Rita and Douglas, Where We Once Belonged (with Sia Figiel), Kings of the Gym, and the children’s opera Kia Ora Khalid (with Gareth Farr). His television credits include Billy, about legendary comedian Billy T James, Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby, Shortland Street, Spies and Lies, and Spin Doctors. Dave also wrote the National Radio political satire Down the List, and co-wrote the TV series Hope and Wire, set in the aftermath of the Christchurch quakes, with director Gaylene Preston.

Friday 23 June

The past and future of virtual reality
Prof Neil Dodgson
Professor Dodgson grew up in Taihape. His first degree was in Computer Science and Physics, from Massey University, where he studied under Prof. Paul Callaghan. In 1989 he was awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge. Originally planning to be in Cambridge for 3 years, he went on instead to a semi-industrial post-doctoral position helping to design and develop a novel 3D TV, becoming one of the world’s experts in the various ways that 3D TV can be built. In 1995 he was appointed to a lectureship at Cambridge. His research expanded over the years to include ways to model three-dimensional shape and then to considerations of the intersection of art, design, computing, and psycho-physics. At Victoria, he has become interested in the burgeoning field of virtual reality Over the last two years, virtual reality (VR) has burst into the public’s consciousness. Neil will talk about the history and pre-history of VR, about visions for where this might go, and about other technological successes and failures that cast light on where the world might be headed with VR.

Tuesday 27 June

The complexity of youth offending – the more we know the harder it gets
Judge John Walker
Young people in the Youth Court come with histories of trauma, exposure to family violence, neurodisabilities, emerging mental illness, alcohol and other drug dependency. How does the Youth Court deal with those challenges?  What are the opportunities for early intervention? Judge Walker was admitted to the bar in 1976 and was appointed as a District Court Judge in 1994.  He has been instrumental in developing court-assisted interventions for alcohol and drug dependency, including the establishment of the Youth Drug Court in Christchurch and the Adult Drug Courts in Auckland.  As Resident Judge at Porirua, Judge Walker encouraged better engagement between the Court and the community, mainstreaming the community justice centre model and developing a solution-focused judging approach. More recently, he has been leading the development of District Court responses to family violence.

Friday 30 June

Economic developments in China and Asia: What NZ needs to know and look out for
Prof Siah Hwee Ang
Professor Siah Hwee Ang (PhD) is the inaugural BNZ Chair in Business in Asia. In this role, Siah works closely with various stakeholders and companies on their strategies in Asia and Asia’s engagement in NZ. Before joining Victoria University, he was Professor in Strategy and Associate Dean Postgraduate and International at the University of Auckland Business School, research fellow at both Cass Business School, City University in London and National University of Singapore, where he completed his PhD in Management. The development and diversity of Asian markets pose significant challenges to any NZ organisation looking for a way in. There are various regulatory, cultural and business practices that need to be understood. Then there is the competitive and aggressive behaviour of other organisations clamouring for market share to contend with. This talk explores some of the recent developments in Asia and in China, the likely evolution, and what NZ needs to know and look out for.

Tuesday 4 July

Living together: Aotearoa/New Zealand’s new religious diversity
Professor Paul Morris
NZ is increasingly religiously, ethnically, linguistically and culturally diverse. This lecture makes a detailed historical and contemporary examination of our religious and cultural demography. How did a country that was overwhelmingly made up of Maori and Pakeha Christians become one where the fastest expanding religious category is ‘no religion’; less than half the population is now Christian; and there are now substantial and growing migrant religious communities? The lecture also explores the implications of this diversity for education, work, health, moral debates and social cohesion. Paul Morris is Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University and holds the UNESCO Chair in Interreligious Understanding and Relations in NZ and the Pacific. He has published on a wide range of religious subjects. He is the author of the New Zealand Statement on Religious Diversity and is currently writing about radical theologies.

Friday 7 July  Note: Change of Speaker

Bringing New Zealand’s industrial heritage back to life.
Tom Williamson

Tom Williamson recently celebrated his 50th year as a documentary film maker.  For fifteen of those years he was a senior producer at the National Film Unit.  Since the demise of NFU, he has been an independent, working under commission for a wide range of clients, but also making his own films, mostly about ‘industrial history’ subjects within New Zealand.  He will present three of these:

“THE LYTTELTON TIMEBALL STATION” was made to explain to visitors to the site what a Timeball station did, and why, and how it did it.  The film includes computer graphics from Oscar-nominated animator Bob Stenhouse; and spectacular footage from the Greenwich Observatory in London.  Showing this film is especially timely, given the pending reconstruction of the tower after it was destroyed by the Christchurch earthquakes.

“THE DAWSON FALLS POWER STATION” is a detective story.  The generator is the oldest working dynamo outside of the USA, built by the General Electric Company (GEC)  of Schenectady, New York State.  It is over 115 years old.  But interestingly, nobody quite knows how it came to New Zealand –  or where it was before it finished up on the slopes of Mt Taranaki.  Putting together that story takes us on a journey into unexpected territories …

An excerpt from “SEVEN SAWMILLS” to show how just how unexpected industrial heritage can be. And fun – you will never guess the surprise ending of this clip.

11 – 21 July
Term 2 Holidays – No Lectures

Tuesday 25 July

The office of the Ombudsman – democratic watchdog
Judge Peter Boshier
The Chief Ombudsman, Judge Peter Boshier, discusses the various ways in which the Ombudsmen help to ensure accountability in the public sector. He was appointed a District Court Judge with a specialist Family Court warrant in 1988. He has a long association with Pacific judicial issues and holds the Samoan Matai title of Misa, bestowed in 2000. Judge Boshier was the Principal Family Court Judge from 2004 to 2012, when he was appointed a Law Commissioner, a position he held until becoming the Chief Ombudsman in 2015.  He has served on the Government’s Family Violence Taskforce, and is Patron of the White Ribbon Trust and Patron of the Dwell Community Housing Trust in Wellington.  In 2009 he was made a distinguished alumnus of Victoria University for his contribution to the law. He is currently the President of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts based in the United States, the first New Zealander to hold this position.

Friday 28 July     NOTE: Lecture starts at 10am

New Initiatives in crime prevention
John Goddard
John Goddard is Practice Leader at the School of Prevention at the Royal NZ Police College. The NZ Police has a key strategy of “Prevention First”. This makes obvious sense when one considers that if undesirable things do not happen, then there is no requirement to deal with them, nor is there any associated undesirable by-product. So we are either trying to prevent something from happening, or prevent it from being ABLE to happen, which is clearly not the same thing.

Tuesday 1 August

Our elusive constitution
Professor Claudia Geiringer
What is a constitution? Does New Zealand even have one? Where on earth do we find it? And is it fit for purpose? Professor Claudia Geiringer holds the Chair in Public Law at Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law and is a director of the New Zealand Centre for Public Law. In an era of increasing calls to reform the New Zealand constitution, Professor Geiringer aims to advance the national conversation.

Friday 4 August     NOTE: Lecture starts at 10am

Digital media design and wearable technology
Prof Anne Niemetz
Anne Niemetz is a media artist and designer working in the fields of wearable technology, interactive installation and audio-visual design. She is particularly fascinated by the convergence of art, science, design and technology, and she pursues collaborative and cross-disciplinary projects. Anne holds a Media Arts degree from the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe (HfG), Germany, with a focus in digital media and interactive sound installation. She continued her studies at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) where she received an MFA in Design and Media Arts in 2004. In 2007 she moved to New Zealand, where she holds the position of Senior Lecturer in the Media Design programme at Victoria University of Wellington. For over two decades media artist and designer Anne Niemetz has been working in the areas of audio-visual design, interactive installation and wearable technology. She’s been running the Wearable Technology course at Victoria’s School of Design since 2010. In her talk, Anne will be presenting wearable technology projects that have been created by her students, including World of Wearable Art finalist garments.

Tuesday 8 August

Brexit and New Zealand: is history any guide to the future?
Professor Jim McAloon
The June 2016 referendum delivered a majority vote for the UK to leave the European Union. Some commentators and politicians in Britain and New Zealand later suggested that Britain outside the EU would restore the closer relations which, they said, existed within the Commonwealth.  In popular memory we enjoyed a close relationship with the United Kingdom until a sudden and traumatic divorce in 1973, when the UK joined what was then the European Economic Community.  Jim McAloon, an associate professor in History at Victoria University, discusses the history of the British-New Zealand relationship, asking whether it was ever as good for New Zealand as is sometimes imagined, and what the future relationship might be. Among his books is Judgements of All Kinds: Economic Policymaking in New Zealand 1945-1984 and he is a co-author of Labour: The New Zealand Labour Party 1916-2016 and Unpacking the Kists: The Scots in New Zealand.

Friday 11 August     NOTE: Lecture starts at 10am

Golden keys for your grandchildren – unlocking New Zealand’s future
Dr Rosalind McIntosh
Rosalind McIntosh has a PhD in Biological Physics from the University of Cambridge.  During 35 years of research she became a Professorial Medical Researcher at the University of Otago, contributing to complex biological system modelling, neurophysiology, structure-function relationships in cell communication, and DNA methodologies. In further studies on the nature of existence, she became a monastic for 10 years, and then a social activist in the US and Europe with Zen Peacemakers.  She is currently Officer for Sustainability Goals in the Wellington United Nations Association.  Our ancestors adapted to severe challenges, environmental and human. Elder experience, arguably, was crucial.  Now we face destruction if we react inappropriately to current challenges.  But we can re-evaluate what is humanly important, and we can leverage the 2015 commitment by our Government to consult with us in acting for NZ’s future when implementing the UN Sustainability Goals.  The basis of UNSDGs is inclusion, participation and respect for all in caring for the resources essential to our survival and flourishing.  This talk suggests keys and specific steps to take before and after the election.

Tuesday 15 August

The headquarters of the verb: A vision for the Wellington region
Derek Fry
Magnet cities draw in new residents, visitors and business investment. People, ideas and money mix and ferment in them, like hops and grain in a beer barrel. The Wellington region has all the necessary components to be a magnet region, distinctive for its liveability, vibrancy and prosperity. Derek Fry, interim Chief Executive of WREDA, will outline the opportunities and challenges for the Wellington region and what WREDA is doing to embrace and meet them.  He has held a variety of senior roles within the Wellington City Council.  He was a member of the City Council’s Executive Leadership Team and was instrumental in establishing a Major Events team within Wellington City, leading this group through a period of major event acquisition including The World of Wearable Art.  He also had direct responsibility for the City Council’s Rugby World Cup 2011 preparations.

Friday 18 August

What’s wrong with my house
Nigel Isaacs
Dr Nigel Isaacs is a senior lecturer in the School of Architecture at Victoria University. Earlier in 2016 he was on a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Illinois, exploring the background to a 1922 building code which travelled to NZ in the form of the 1924 NZ building code. The time most people look seriously at their house is just before it is offered for sale. Based on a study of house inspection reports, this presentation illustrates common problems. Just 21 % of the houses could be considered to be in excellent condition, suggesting there is a very large need for house maintenance. Common issues include high levels of moisture, asbestos, poor sub-floor structure, untreated timber, poor management of external moisture, corrosion, fungal plant and ground movement.

Tuesday 22 August

Why consumer protection matters
Sue Chetwin
Do consumers need special legal protection and, if so, why? Sue Chetwin is the Chief Executive of Consumer NZ, an organisation that promotes the interests of New Zealand consumers. Before joining Consumer ten years ago, she had a 25-year career in journalism in New Zealand. She has been the Editor of the Sunday Star Times, the Herald on Sunday and Sunday News. She is Consumer NZ’s representative on the board of the Banking Ombudsman scheme, Enviro Mark Independent Advisory Group, Consumer and Public Health Dialogue of the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.

Friday 25 August

Upping the ante on antibiotics
Dr Rob Keyzers
Rob Keyzers from Wellington used his 2016 Fulbright New Zealand Scholar Award to research the use of microbial imaging mass spectrometry to fast-track the discovery of new antibiotics at the Skaggs Institute of Pharmacy, University of California in San Diego. Currently, scientists can culture less than one percent of bacteria that exist on Earth and this one percent has provided most of the antibiotics we currently use in medicine. But resistance to these antibiotics is spreading, so we need to turn to the unculturable bacteria to find new drug candidates.

Tuesday 29 August

My life in film
Gaylene Preston
Gaylene Preston, one of New Zealand’s leading producers and directors of feature films and documentaries, discusses her work over the past 40 years.  She has received many awards and distinctions for her films, including the Arts Foundation Laureate Award in 2001.  She has chaired the Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Film Innovation Fund, and has served on the boards of the New Zealand Film Commission and New Zealand on Air.  For her services to filmmaking she has received both the New Zealand Order of Merit and the New Zealand Women of Influence Award. Gaylene was honoured by SPADA becoming Industry Champion 2016.

Friday 1 September

Digital futures and learning
Prof Steven Warburton
Professor Warburton has recently been appointed as the first person to hold the newly-created role of Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Digital Futures) at Victoria University. He works closely with Victoria’s multidisciplinary group formed to carry out research into new technologies, understanding the impact and possibilities of a digital future and preparing students to be educated citizens in a digital society. Professor Warburton led the strategic vision for the University of Surrey’s digital learning environment and was the academic lead for technology and education. He has had extensive involvement in the successful implementation of digital projects, such as the development of active learning spaces and lecture capture that have helped lead Surrey to become one of the top universities in the United Kingdom.

Tuesday 5 September

Prospects for democracy in Asia-Pacific monarchies
Christine Bogle
Christine Bogle is a former New Zealand diplomat who worked for MFAT in Wellington.  Overseas she served in Peru and Italy and was Head of Mission in Madrid, Tonga and Mexico City.  In 2014 she began a PhD on Democratisation in Asia-Pacific monarchies: drivers and impediments, comparing the cases of Tonga, Bhutan, Nepal and Thailand in their respective transitions to (or regressions from) democracy. She is the recipient of the 2016 Wellington U3A Victoria University scholarship for mature students. Her talk will describe some of the theories of democratisation, and present some conclusions from the comparative study of the four cases, noting how they conform with or differ from the theory.

Friday 8 September

Kevin Norton
Dr Norton is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Victoria University. His research aims to determine which processes are responsible for generating the landscapes that we see today and to measure the rates at which they change. He draws on expertise from across the geosciences (e.g. tectonics, petrology, geochemistry, geomorphology) and applies a variety of methods including; cosmogenic nuclides, geochemical tracers, GIS, surveying, and numerical modelling to geomorphic problems. Using these tools, previous research has focused on topics ranging from historic sediment movement in non-tidal coastal settings, to numerical modelling of glacio-isostatic rebound in alpine settings, and the relationship between chemical and physical weathering rates.

Tuesday 12 September

Frances Hodgkins, people painter
Dr Pamela Nunn
Frances Hodgkins is often described as a landscape painter or as a progressive artist best represented by her late works in which subject takes second place to expression. In fact, from the start of her career, she was inspired by people as much as any other subject-matter. This talk will illustrate the extent and variety of her use of human figures as subjects. This interest resulted in a wide range of pictures, from caricature through anecdotal genre to portraits and group compositions. Dr Pamela Gerrish Nunn has been an art historian for over 30 years. She came to New Zealand in 1989 as a specialist in British art and women artists to teach at the University of Canterbury. Well known internationally for her publications and exhibitions, she is now a freelance researcher, teacher and curator.

Friday 15 September

Annual General Meeting

The AGM will commence at 10am followed at approximately 10:30 by Nigel Isaacs who will talk on:

Development of thermal insulation for NZ houses
Nigel Isaacs
Dr Nigel Isaacs is a senior lecturer in the School of Architecture at Victoria University. Earlier in 2016 he was on a Fullbright Scholarship at the University of Illinois, exploring the background to a 1922 building code which travelled to NZ in the form of the 1924 NZ building code. This lecture traces the development of thermal insulation in NZ from the traditional Maori whare, through to the requirements of the modern NZ building code. It explores insulation materials such as raupo reed , pumice, cork, perlite, glass fibre, rock fibre, polystyrene and polyester.

Tuesday 19 September

A Suffrage Day reflection on New Zealand’s struggle for gender equality before and since 1893, when women won the right to vote
Sue Kedgley
Sue Kedgley has been actively involved in women’s issues since the early days of the women’s liberation movement, when she founded Auckland University Women’s Liberation and the National Organisation for Women. She worked in the Women’s Secretariat at the United Nations in New York in the 1970s, and has written five books and made five documentaries about women’s issues. She is a Board member and past President of UN Women NZ and was a 2016 Westpac Woman of Influence award winner. She is a Wellington Regional Councillor; a Board member of Consumer New Zealand and Capital and Coast District Health Board. She was a Green MP for twelve years from 1999-2102 and a Wellington City Councillor for 8 years from 1992-1999.

Friday 22 September

Antarctica, the Southern Ocean and a cold day in Wellington.
Prof Lionel Carter
Lionel Carter is Professor of Marine Geology at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, trained in geology and oceanography at the universities of Auckland and British Columbia, Canada. Wellingtonians are well aware of Antarctica’s influence via those bone-chilling, southerlies that frequent the province. Lionel Carter, Professor of Marine Geology, will reveal how the great polar weather machine and its surrounding Southern Ocean affect New Zealand’s maritime realm. This discussion is especially timely as the modern ocean is undergoing great change. Climatic and oceanic forces from the South Pole and equator are battling it out and our ocean is right in the middle.

Tuesday 26 September

The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato, 1800-2000
Dr Vincent O’Malley
Vincent O’Malley is a founding partner of HistoryWorks, a Wellington consultancy specialising in Treaty of Waitangi research, and is the author of several books on New Zealand history, including The Meeting Place: Māori and Pākehā Encounters, 1642–1840, which was shortlisted in the general non-fiction section at the New Zealand Post Book Awards in 2013, and Beyond the Imperial Frontier: The Contest for Colonial New Zealand.  His 2016 book, The Great War for New Zealand, tells the story of what he argues was the defining conflict in New Zealand history. The war in the Waikato in 1863–64 shaped the nation in many ways: setting back Māori and Pākehā relations by several generations and allowing the government to begin to assert the kind of real control over the country that had eluded it since 1840. Spanning nearly two centuries from first contact through to settlement and apology, the book focuses on the human impact, origins and aftermath of the war, and is written in the conviction that a mature nation needs to own its history, warts and all.

Lectures from 29 September will be held in the Embassy Theatre, 10 Kent Tce  

Friday 29 September

NZ China relations in the Trump Era
Dr Jason Young
Jason Young is Acting Director of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre and Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington. His research interests focus on Chinese politico-economic reform, Chinese foreign policy and New Zealand-China relations. Jason is author of China’s Hukou System (Palgrave 2013) and a number of journal articles and chapters in both English and Chinese as well as a frequent commentator in New Zealand and international media. Jason was the recipient of a 2013 Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fast Start to investigate investment in rural China. His current research focuses on Chinese international relations writing on the Belt and Road initiative.

Following decades of domestic growth China is going global at a time when the U.S. appears to be looking inward. What does it mean for New Zealand that China has embarked on the ‘project of the century’ seeking to economically connect the Eurasian continent to China and fund development projects from Suva to Athens under its Belt and Road Initiative? How ready is New Zealand for a more internationally active and engaged China?


Tuesday 17 October           

Writers and cricket
Professor Harry Ricketts
Harry Ricketts teaches English literature and creative non-fiction at Victoria University. He has published 30 books, including The Unforgiving Minute: A Life of Rudyard Kipling and Strange Meetings: The Poets of the Great War, numerous articles on Kipling, personal essays and ten collections of poems (most recently Half Dark, 2015). He has also co-edited several anthologies of New Zealand poetry, a collection of new essays about WW1 (How We Remember: New Zealanders and the First World War, 2014) and, most recently, with Gavin McLean, The Penguin Book of New Zealand War Writing. His book on cricket, How to Catch a Cricket Match (2006), has been regularly broadcast on Radio New Zealand.  This talk looks at the great cricket writers from Richard Nyren’s The Cricketers of My Time (1833) to Gideon Haigh’s On Warne (2012). These include C L R James, Neville Cardus, John Arlott, Alan Ross, Jack Fingleton and Dick Brittenden, and cricketers who have written memorably about the game, such as Mike Brearley, Jeremy Coney and Martin Crowe.

Friday 20 October

Urban development in NZ
Dr Arthur Grimes
Arthur is Senior Fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, Wellington, and Adjunct Professor of Economics at Victoria University. He has a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics. Auckland is now quite clearly the pre-eminent city in NZ, but still small in in world terms. We examine the causes of population growth, and what these trends tell us about whether Auckland growth is a sign of success or a harbinger of a forthcoming bust.

Tuesday 24 October

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, two hundred years on
Dr Heidi Thomson
(1818) has become the most famous gothic novel of the Romantic Period. Mary Shelley began work on it during the abysmal summer of 1816, when the ash cloud of the catastrophic eruption of Mount Tambora caused a year ‘without a summer’. The darkness in the sky was reflected in the mood and concerns of this exceptional novel. This lecture explores who is the monster in Frankenstein. More than ever, its concerns about the scientific and moral limits of humanity ring true. Dr Heidi Thomson is English Programme Director at Victoria University and President of the Romantic Studies Association of Australasia. She is the author of Coleridge and the Romantic Newspaper (2016) and her current research focuses on the connections between Wordsworth and France.

Friday 27 October

The history of the breast in art and medicine
Dr Burton King
Dr Burton King started his career as a Surgeon with a special interest in breast surgery and abdominal wall reconstruction. Now an Oncology surgeon, Burton talks about breast cancer, being in the army, and his experiences in NZ and overseas.

Tuesday 31 October

Who owns the sea and the seabed? Prospects for peaceful use or conflict
Bill Mansfield
This talk will outline the history of the law of the sea, discuss some of the complex interests and issues involved in the negotiation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and assess its present and future significance for New Zealand and the Pacific island countries. Bill Mansfield was the first chair of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation and chaired the international negotiations that led to its establishment.  He was counsel for New Zealand before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea and served a five-year term as a member of the United Nations International Law Commission. Bill has held senior positions in the Public Service, including Director-General of the Department of Conservation, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Justice, and Head of the Legal Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was a member of the New Zealand delegation to all negotiating sessions of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea.

Friday 3 November

Tackling poverty in New Zealand: reflections from the 2016 regional workshops
Wendy McGuinness
Wendy McGuinness, BCom (Auckland), MBA (Otago) and FCA, is the founder and chief executive of the McGuinness Institute. As a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) specialising in risk management, Wendy has worked in both the public and private sectors. In 2004 she established the McGuinness Institute as a way of contributing to New Zealand’s long-term future. An observation made by participants at a 2015 McGuinness Institute workshop was that poverty in New Zealand is too complex an issue to be resolved with a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, solutions must be developed and implemented at a local level as poverty has vastly differing characteristics for people in different areas of New Zealand. To explore this idea, the McGuinness Institute undertook six one-day workshops (in Queenstown, Manawatu, Rotorua, Gisborne, Kaitaia and Kaikohe) specifically designed to provide a platform for local voices to address poverty. This talk will reflect on the ideas that came out of these workshops, including a policy proposal to the prime minister for demarcation zones which would enable local councils to tackle poverty in their areas.