Lecture programme March – October 2016
Venue and Times
All lectures are held from 10.30am – 12 noon in the Paramount, 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 email@example.com or any committee member.
Tuesday 1 March
Kathryn Carmody’s love of books has taken her from a commerce degree at Victoria University to organising her second Writers’ Week at the New Zealand Festival. Her first ‘real’ job was at Bennetts Bookshop on Featherston Street. She is a fourth (if not fifth!) generation Wellingtonian on both sides of her family.
Friday 4 March
Cancer, Therapy Resistance and the Surprising Role of Mitochondria.
Dr Melanie McConnell
Melanie, a senior lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington will talk about how mitochondria are the batteries of plant and animal cells, generating the majority of energy necessary for life. These organelles evolved from bacteria that moved into our cells 3 billion years ago, and all complex organisms have come to rely on mitochondria for their survival. Indeed, some might say mitochondria have been taken for granted. But have mitochondria retained more autonomy than we realised? Melanie will present recent findings that mitochondria are highly mobile entities that move between cells, and look at some of the implications of this for cancer treatment.
Tuesday 8 March
Does New Zealand Need a New Written Constitution?
Sir Geoffrey Palmer
New Zealand’s constitution is not well known or understood. It is time for a new written constitution which will be readily accessible, easily understood and fit for purpose in modern times. But what should it contain? Few people are better qualified to address this question than former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer, who has also been President of the Law Commission, as well as a constitutional lawyer and academic.
Friday 11 March 2016
Cancer Immunotherapy – The Science
Professor Gavin Painter
Gavin, the Science Team Leader at the Ferrier Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington will briefly outline the history of immunotherapy (i.e. an explanation of what it is and how is differs from conventional treatment options). He will discuss new immunotherapy treatment options and how recent clinical data has dramatically changed the outlook for patients with late stage disease (in some specific indications including melanoma). How their own work here in Wellington fits into this new landscape will also be discussed.
Tuesday 15 March
The Making of the Film Festival
Lindsay Shelton started his working life as a cadet reporter on the Dominion, before moving to the Sydney Morning Herald followed by a stint as an international correspondent in London’s Fleet Street. He returned home to become editor of network television news, a job which gave him time to also become president of the Wellington Film Society and founding director of the Wellington Film Festival. He ran the film festival for its first ten years and then spent 20 years promoting and selling New Zealand movies as the first marketing director of the Film Commission.
Friday 18 March
Work of the Land and Water Forum
Alastair has had a long career in the New Zealand Public Service. He was Secretary of Transport from 1998-2004. From 1967 – 1998, he was a member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in which he became a Deputy Secretary, and New Zealand’s Principal Trade Negotiator (1994-98).
During his diplomatic career, Alastair was posted in London, Brussels, Sydney, where he was Consul-General from 1982-86 and Geneva, where he was Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office, and Ambassador to the WTO. In that capacity, he led the New Zealand delegation in the final stages of the Uruguay Round. He was also accredited as Ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna. In Wellington, Alastair was the Director of the Economic Division from 1987-91, and during that period was New Zealand’s Senior Official to APEC.
Tuesday 22 March
Private Lives of Empire: Edinburgh, Rothschild and New Plymouth
Professor Charlotte Macdonald, Victoria University of Wellington, has research interests in women’s history, New Zealand social and cultural history and the history of sport and spectatorship. Her talk will be a discussion of recent discoveries in the falls and rises of families and fortunes, lives spanning late 18thC and 19thC Edinburgh and India, New Plymouth and Boston. An historical excursion from the Georgian squares of New Town to the barrack rooms of Taranaki (and much in between).
Friday 25 March – Good Friday – No lecture
Tuesday 29 March
Sustainable Development Goals
Friday 1 April 2016
The Cartoonist in NZ
Martin Doyle is a 59 year old Wellington-born artist and political cartoonist. He has worked as a teacher and civil servant. His mental development involved a BA and MPP at Victoria University, plus a life-long love of languages. He is humble about his visual skills. “Whatever skills I have in terms of art and cartoons are self-taught. You must truly believe, truly own your own work. I think that cartoonists should be scathing on all levels; otherwise their role is meaningless”.
Tuesday 5 April – To be advised.
Friday 8 April
Polish Children Immigration to Paihiatua
Growing up in exile. On 1 November 1944 a group of 732 Polish children and their 102 guardians landed in Wellington Harbour. Together they had shared the fate of 1.7 million Poles who had been ethnically cleansed from their homes in eastern Poland by the Russian Secret Police, under Stalin’s orders at the start of World War II, and deported in cattle wagons to forced labour camps thousands of miles away throughout Siberia and the Arctic Circle. This group of children, mostly orphans or having lost family members, were the lucky ones. Through the tides of wartime politics they fled from their bondage, found temporary refuge in Iran, and were finally offered a safe and permanent home in New Zealand. Their story is one of remarkable survival against all odds in war and successfully integrating into a foreign country.
Tuesday 12 April
The United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) was a UN peacekeeping operation in Cambodia in 1992–93. It was the first occasion on which the UN had taken over the administration of an independent state, and organised and run an election. Rae Julian was a civilian member of the mission. She went on to coordinate VSA’s activities in Cambodia until 1997 and has maintained contact with the region.
Friday 15 April
All You Ever Wanted to Know About TTPA
Stephen grew up in Auckland and was educated at Auckland Grammar and Auckland University. He has a First Class Honours degree in French and German and is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in Paris and the Institute for Strategic Leadership (Millbrook). Stephen has broad experience in industry and trade development. He earlier served as Chief Executive of the New Zealand Forest Industries Council, a national pan-industry body representing the forestry and wood processing sectors, the country’s third largest exporter. Earlier he established and led the New Zealand Trade Liberalisation Network – a business organisation aimed at building broad public understanding and support for trade. Stephen ran the NZ US Council as Executive Director 2005-2014. In these roles he has been a frequent media commentator on industry and trade issues. Stephen also has extensive diplomatic, trade and government experience including posts as Deputy High Commissioner in Ottawa, Assistant Trade Commissioner in Paris and adviser on trade and diplomatic issues with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was formerly Private Secretary to the Minister for Trade Negotiations, Hon Jim Sutton, advising on trade policy, international affairs and government-to-government negotiations.
Tuesday 3 May
Climate Change: A New Deal? Making Sense of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change
150 heads of state and government, mayors of major cities, and leading business CEOs descended on last December’s climate change conference in Paris to urge the parties to achieve an ambitious climate change agreement. There was an agreement. But how good is it? This lecture will look at the Paris Agreement in its recent historical context and discuss what it means for the planet – and for New Zealand. Adrian Macey, a former diplomat, is Adjunct Professor, New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute, School of Geography and Earth Sciences and Senior Associate, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, School of Government, Victoria University.
Friday 6 May
Wellington: from Conception to Capital to Empire City
Last year we celebrated the 150th anniversary of Wellington becoming the capital, so it’s worth reflecting on the period leading up to 1865 and the nature of our early settlement. What were the motivations of the New Zealand Company and how did economic conditions in Britain influence their actions? This generously illustrated talk will investigate these issues, examine the fragility of early Wellington and the impact that becoming the capital city had on our economy.
Tuesday 10 May
Should Wellington emulate Oslo’s goal of fossil free public transport by 2020?
Well over 50% of Wellington region’s public transport is powered by electricity, 80% of that produced with renewable fuels. Wellington City also has 60 zero emission trolley buses. Paul Bruce has been a member of the Greater Wellington Regional Council since 2007. He will outline the Public Transport Plan, and argue that renewal of trolley buses is a cost effective strategy, alongside developing modern light rail on the high capacity route through Newtown to the Airport.
Friday 13 May
Forensics of Catastrophe: Volcanic Eruptions
Professor Colin Wilson
Erupting volcanoes are one of the great natural sights on the planet. There are, however, volcanoes on Earth which erupt on such a scale that if you are in a position to be able to see the volcano you are also certain to die. Apart from being somewhat career-limiting, the chances of making useful observations are almost nil. Thus, much of what is understood about such eruptions has to be gained from studying the products of past events, in a form of geological forensic science. In this talk, Colin will outline the ways in which insights into large explosive eruptions can be gained from studying rocks in the field, then applying a variety of analytical techniques down to the microscopic scale.
Tuesday 17 May
St Peter’s Basilica, Rome – a ‘Communis Patria’
Taking up and exploring two specific meanings – beauty as ‘that which pleases upon being seen’, and art as ‘right reason in making things’, this lecture looks in depth at how these meanings have been applied throughout the ages to produce one of the world’s most impressive buildings – The Basilica of St. Peter, Rome – and reveals what has essentially become a ‘communis patria’ (universal homeland), irrespective of the building’s religious message, attracting visitors from diverse cultural backgrounds from all over the world. Dr Christopher Longhurst has worked as a docent at the papal basilicas and Vatican Museums, Rome, since 1997. He holds a doctorate in theology summa cum laude from the Pontifical Angelicum University, Rome, specialised in the interdisciplinary study of theology and the philosophy of art.
Friday 20 May
The Commercialisation of University Technology
Geoff Todd, the Managing Director of VicLink Limited has extensive and well-recognised international skills at raising capital, buying and selling technology businesses, formulating joint venture agreements and adding significant commercial value to technology projects. He will look at where commercialisation fits into the University’s role and then talk about why and how Universities commercialise technology and provide some examples.
Tuesday 24 May
New Zealand Opera in the 21st Century
Stuart, who has been General Director of New Zealand Opera since 2014, will give us an insight into opera in New Zealand in particular. With his broad experience directing opera in New Zealand, Australia, England and America he will offer his thoughts on the future of opera in the 21st century. Particular reference will be given to the forthcoming production of Mozart’s popular opera The Magic Flute, which opens at the St James Theatre later in the week.
Friday 27 May – No Lecture, due to School Shakespeare at venue.
Tuesday 31 May
Cabinet, Ministers and Cabinet Office: Is Yes Minister a documentary?
Where does the power really lie and how do Ministers, heads of departments and political advisers go about the vital decision-making business inside government? Marie Shroff will explain the practical workings of Cabinet and central government processes, and how the Cabinet Office runs the Cabinet system and plays mediator and referee. She will also explain the constitutional moderator role of the Cabinet Secretary and how this works at times of political turbulence and change of government. In the course of a varied career, Marie was the Cabinet Secretary for 16 years, and then served as the Privacy Commissioner for 11 years.
Friday 3 June
Chinese Immigration in Wellington
Lynette Shum is a third-generation Chinese New Zealander, who had no idea that a Chinatown ever existed in Wellington until her uncle, who grew up in the area, proposed it to her as a research topic. After embarking on the Haining St Oral History Project, she completed a Masters thesis on the subject. She now works at the Alexander Turnbull Library, where the interviews are archived, as their Oral History Advisor. She has two grown-up daughters and lives in Plimmerton.
Tuesday 7 June
Inequality: Where We’ve Been, and Where We’re Going
Widening wealth and income gaps have drastically changed New Zealand in the last 30 years. How has this happened, what does it mean for our country, and is it going to get better – or worse? Max Rashbrooke is the author of Wealth and New Zealand, published in November 2015, and edited the best-selling Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis, published in June 2013. He is also a research associate of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University.
Friday 10 June
Freaky Scientists Who Have Come My Way
Bob Brockie is a New Zealand cartoonist, scientist, columnist and graphic artist. He has been an editorial cartoonist to the National Business Review since 1975, specialising in political satire. As a biologist he is interested in animal populations, animal behaviour and diseases and did his PhD on hedgehog ecology. He has published material on butterfly evolution in Sicily, behaviour of sparrows, magpies, possums, starlings, mange mites, animal roadkill, flax flowering, cabbage tree disease. He has been a science columnist for Wellington’s Dominion Post newspaper since 2001. Brockie takes a strong interest in refuting popular myths, like danger to humans from 1080 poison used to control possum populations. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2013, he was appointed a Member of The New Zealand Order of Merit for services to science and cartooning.
Tuesday 14 June
50 Countries in 50 Years
David Barber has spent 60 years in the newspaper business and is one of New Zealand’s most travelled journalists. He will talk about his fascinating career as a foreign correspondent which took him to 50 countries in half a century of overseas reporting. It also accounted for his being the only newspaper journalist on the frigate HMNZS Otago, which the New Zealand government sent into the Pacific in 1973 to protest French nuclear tests. David has recently published Whizzing all over the place – a foreign correspondent’s memoir.
Friday 17 June
400 Years of Shakespeare
Dawn Sanders fell in love with the arts when she was a youngster, and at age 15 read the entire works of Shakespeare. She performed as many Shakespearean roles as she could and loved helping her thespian father run lines. Now, after running the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival for 22 years, Ms Sanders has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to theatre. “I was sort of gobsmacked,” she said. “But it really belongs to the students because if they weren’t so lovely, enthusiastic and talented then the festival wouldn’t exist.” More than 90,000 students have taken part in the festival since 1992, and every year she helps select 24 to travel to London to perform at the Globe Theatre. She also arranges for groups of theatre students, teachers and actors to make the trip each year. “It’s a fulltime job, I probably work 80 hours a week.”
Wednesday 22 June NOTE CHANGE OF DATE
MID WINTER LUNCH
Jenny Pattrick talks about her work
Jenny Pattrick is a fiction writer, widely known as a historical novelist. She is also a celebrated jeweller, and plays an active role in the New Zealand arts community. Her first novel, The Denniston Rose, published in 2003 and its sequel, Heart of Coal, published a year later, are two of New Zealand’s biggest-selling novels. Her other books include Landings, Inheritance, Catching the Current, In Touch with Grace, and Skylark. She has also written fiction for radio. She was the winner of the 2009 New Zealand Post Mansfield Prize.
Friday 24 June
WWI Exhibition at Te Papa
Sir Richard Taylor
The name of Richard Taylor is often mentioned in the same breath as Wellington special effects and design empire Weta — which Taylor helps command — and director Peter Jackson. The blockbuster success of The Lord of the Rings and King Kong has allowed Taylor to apply his imagination, lateral thinking and leadership skills across a range of areas, from monster-making and costume design, to children’s TV programming. Taylor and his partner Tania Rodger have been helping bring Jackson’s visions to life ever since the director’s second film, “Meet the Feebles.” A passionate advocate for local talent and ingenuity, Taylor was proud to have hired “almost completely a New Zealand crew” for Lord of the Rings. Taylor grew up on a farm south of Auckland. The child of an engineer and a science teacher, he taught himself to sculpt using mud dug from a creek behind his house. Keenly interested in art, he was 17 before realising that soap opera “Close to Home” was filmed in a television studio, instead of someone’s house. Moving to Wellington with his creative and romantic partner Tania Rodger, he studied graphic design at Wellington Polytechnic. The rest is history.
Tuesday 28 June
Never work with kids and animals
Karen Fifield regards herself as both privileged and lucky to have been able to work with kids and animals in her career. She will talk about how her career led her to Wellington Zoo as Chief Executive for the past nine years. As they say, animals and kids will always upstage you but what fun they are!
Friday 1 July
The Place of the Battle of the Somme in WW1
On the centenary of “going over the top” on Saturday July 1 1916, NZ’s pre-eminent WW1 historian, Christopher Pugsley, puts the Battle of the Somme into the wider context of WW1. It was a controversial event, still widely debated by historians today. Meticulous planning – much of it the brainchild of British Commander-in-Chief Sir Douglas Haig – lay behind the Somme campaign. An intense week of shelling the German lines would destroy all forward German defences. Allied troops could then move across no-man’s-land and overrun the Germans. It was expected that the surprised Germans, exhausted from the week-long bombardment of their trenches and bunkers, would put up little fight. The Allies could then advance on the next line of trenches, with troops moving safely behind a curtain of artillery fire. With the German defence extended, a cavalry charge would eventually rupture the entire line. But that was not the reality that prevailed.
Tuesday 5 July
New Zealand’s Marine Estate From the Perspective of a Seafloor Geomorphologist
Joshu Mountjoy is a marine geologist with NIWA. New Zealand has a very large and dynamic offshore area making it one of the most exciting places in the world to study the processes that shape the seafloor. Thousand-metre deep submarine canyons, subduction fault zones and mountain scale landslides work together to shape this hidden landscape. NIWA’s mapping efforts over the last 15 years have revealed much of this seafloor and enable us to gain some insight into the important processes and the timescales over which they occur.
Friday 8 July
The United Nations – Can it Survive, Can it be Fixed?
From 1993 to 1996, Colin Keating was the NZ Ambassador to the UN in New York. He represented NZ on the Security Council in 1993-1994 and was the President of the Security Council during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. After his return to NZ he was appointed as the Secretary for Justice. From 2000-2004 he worked in the private sector in NZ as a partner in legal practice. Colin Keating is currently advising the NZ Government on its role as an elected member of the UN Security Council. From 2012-2014 he was Special Envoy for the Prime Minister in support of the campaign for election to the Security Council. From 2005-2011 he was the founding Executive Director of the independent Security Council monitoring organisation in New York, Security Council Report. He was concurrently a Senior Research Fellow at Columbia University in New York. Colin will talk about the UN which has just had its seventieth birthday. Some question its ongoing utility. NZ currently has an unparalleled vantage point to assess and influence the way the UN operates through its membership of the Security Council. This is a good time to weigh up what the UN has achieved over the past seventy years, to consider how well it has adapted to the changed world of the 21st century and to think about the prospects for the future.”
Tuesday 26 July
Human rights and human wrongs in New Zealand
Judy McGregor, a journalist and former newspaper editor, is a trained lawyer and has a doctorate in political communication. She was the first Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and is currently Head of School of Social Sciences & Public Policy at AUT University. Her recent human rights research was funded by the New Zealand Law Foundation and conducted with Professor Margaret Wilson of Waikato University and human rights lawyer Sylvia Bell. It will be published as a book this year.
Friday 29 July
Exploring Northeast Zealandia NB LECTURE STARTS AT 10 AM
Hamish Campbell is a geologist and paleontologist with GNS Science. However, he is perhaps best known as the ‘geologist at Te Papa’ and as an author of popular books such as ‘Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed’ which was published by Penguin in August 2014 and co-authored with Nick Mortimer. Hamish is especially interested in the geological origins of New Zealand, and hence Zealandia, and is famous for running trips to eastern Zealandia, namely the Chatham Islands.
Tuesday 2 August
Diabetes and obesity
Jeremy is an endocrinologist with a particular interest in obesity and diabetes. He trained in endocrinology at Wellington Hospital and did his doctorate with the Medical Research Council – Human Nutrition Research Unit in Cambridge. His thesis was on the impact of dietary factors in obesity and insulin resistance. He returned to NZ in 2002 and is now a consultant endocrinologist at Wellington Hospital and Associate Professor with the University of Otago. Jeremy will discuss the nutritional aspects of obesity and diabetes, bariatric surgery, diabetic service delivery and his research interests.
Friday 5 August
International Court of Justice NB LECTURE STARTS AT 10 AM
Sir Kenneth Keith
The Court has a twofold role: to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies. The first case entered in the General List of the Court (Corfu Channel (United Kingdom v. Albania) was submitted on 22 May 1947. From 22 May 1947 to 19 May 2016, 161 cases were entered in the General List.
Tuesday 9 August
The future of privacy: the internet of things and other challenges
John Edwards spent more than 20 years practising law, specialising in information and privacy law, and also holding warrants as a district inspector for mental health and a district inspector for intellectual disability services. Since February 2014 he has been the Privacy Commissioner and is currently also the Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. He discusses how technology is changing concepts of privacy and how regulators need to adapt and evolve to be effective in a changing environment. New technologies create new ways to easily collect huge amounts of information. But just because they can, does it mean they should?
Friday 12 August
Economics of Wellbeing
Dr Arthur Grimes
Dr Arthur Grimes was the Chair of the Reserve Bank and is a Motu Senior Fellow. He is particularly interested currently in the economics of wellbeing and the Auckland housing ‘crisis’.
Tuesday 16 August
The notorious Captain Hayes
Famed throughout the Pacific, Captain Bully Hayes has been the inspiration for writers ranging from Robert Louis Stevenson to James A Michener. Rousing films have been based on his life, and his name adorns bars and hotels all over the Pacific. But the truth is both less noble and more intriguing than the myth. Joan Druett sorts the facts from the fantasy and recounts an amazing true story of a genuine rogue and adventurer, against the backdrop of the Pacific during the great age of sail and trade. Joan’s previous books have won many awards, including a New York Public Library Book to Remember citation, a John Lyman Award for Best Book of American Maritime History, and the Kendall Whaling Museum’s L. Byrne Waterman Award. Her biography, Tupaia, won the general nonfiction prize in the 2012 NZ Post Book Awards.
Friday 19 August
Work of a Coroner
The role of the Coroner is to establish when, where, how and why the death happened, and also to work out whether anything can be done differently that might stop similar deaths in the future. If so, they make recommendations. They don’t hold trials. The coronial process is fact finding, not fault finding. This means it is not there to blame or punish anyone, but instead it aims to work with the families of the person who died to try and answer any questions they might have, and to improve public safety. Every year approximately 3500 sudden deaths in New Zealand are investigated, with the assistance of Police, by Coroners. These include suicides, sudden or unexplained deaths and those which happen in official custody or care.
Tuesday 23 August – Note change of topic
What Rudyard Kipling can do for you
Kipling’s fiction and poetry made him the most famous author in the world, revered, reviled, endlessly quoted. He was fascinated by independence, dependence and interdependence. Find out in this lecture what he can still do for us.
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.
Friday 26 August
From Mull to Mongolia – Wanderings of a materials scientist
Kenneth MacKenzie, Professor of Materials Chemistry, MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, Victoria University of Wellington. Since graduating from Victoria University almost 50 years ago, Prof Kenneth MacKenzie, Professor of Materials Chemistry has been engaged in research and development of new high-temperature high-technology materials, including ceramics, glasses, cements and most recently, new ecologically-friendly inorganic polymers. In this talk he has chosen to describe a few of these more interesting research projects in such diverse places as the Island of Mull, Germany, Sheffield, Iran, Oxford, Cameroon and Mongolia.
Tuesday 30 August
Community music: what is it and who is it for?
Julian Raphael is an experienced community musician, music educator, composer and performer who works alongside children and grown-ups with a philosophy and teaching style that is influenced and informed by music-making of the world’s cultures. He is director of Community Music Junction, which has been operating in Wellington for the past ten years, enabling both children and adults to sing together and learn a variety of musical instruments. Julian will talk about his career as a community musician, with particular reference to Community Music Junction and the Wellington Community Choir. There will be some practical demonstration of Julian’s style of informal group singing.
Friday 2 September
Creating new Futures with the Children of the Mist
Hugh Tennent – Director of Design at Tennent and Brown Architects – will discuss current projects of transforming Kirkcaldies and Stains into NZ’s first David Jones store, and a series of regenerative projects for Ngai Tuhoe, in the heart of Te Urewera. These projects represent part of Tuhoe’s journey from dependency to self-sufficiency in arguably the remotest and most beautiful part of the North Island. Hugh has been selected for numerous awards juries and panels, convened the NZIA National Jury and lectured widely at conferences and speaking tours. He was made a Fellow of the NZIA in 2002 and regularly lectures, tutors and critiques at VUW and Auckland Schools of Architecture.
Tuesday 6 September
Being a Public Servant in Wellington and Whitehall
Len Cook was our Government Statistician from 1992 to 2000. From 2000 to 2005 he was Great Britain’s National Statistician and Director of the Office for National Statistics. How did these two roles compare? How different is the British system from that in New Zealand, from the perspective of a public servant? And how did the expectations of a public servant at the top level differ between the two countries?
Friday 9 September
Emissions Trading Systems and Pathways to a Low Emissions Future
Dr Suzi Kerr
Dr Suzi Kerr is NZ’s pre-eminent economist working on climate change and an originating Senior Fellow at Motu. Suzi will talk about using dialogue between stakeholders and markets to improve water quality and climate change outcomes. She has spent a lot of time in Colombia and will talk about the differences and similarities between NZ and that country and their climate change challenges.
Tuesday 13 September
UnionAID – cycling solo in Myanmar
UnionAID is the international aid and development agency of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, established to help workers form unions in developing countries. Mike Naylor, UnionAID’s Executive Officer, discusses how the organisation is contributing to projects aimed at aiding fledgling workers’ groups, and describes his solo cycle journey around Myanmar in 2014 meeting people involved with UnionAID projects there.
Friday 16 September – Note: Change of speaker and topic
Botanic intrigues – from g-forces and radicals to Agincourt
Reg will enliven the botanical landscape with a look at extreme ground-level violence, the power of the vortex, coal forest, the Julius Caesar effect, what’s going on inside the tree, the processes that plants and humans share, ‘MedTox duality’, the Albert Einstein effect, what holds trees up, why wine barrels like oak, a bit of fifteenth century stoush, and Life’s Big Formula.
Reg’s studies at University of Otago [science with botany major] and Australian National University [forestry science] are augmented by his enduring interest in botany and associated sciences. In the last two years he has been directly involved in bringing Wellington Botanic Garden and Victoria University of Wellington together in the interests of higher education in the field of biology. For 10 years he has focussed on the advancement of the Regenerative Medicine industry in New Zealand. The field is ‘leading edge’ and brings together life sciences with the principles of engineering in the development of biological substitutes for the replacement and repair of human tissue and organs damaged by trauma and age-related afflictions. He is involved with the Consortium for Medical Device Technologies and is an Associate Investigator with the Medical Technologies Core of Research Excellence. Both of these are academia-industry initiatives.
In 2006 he was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to review the evolution of ‘Centres of Excellence’ for advanced manufacturing in the UK and to translate findings in the New Zealand setting.
Tuesday 20 September
Renaissance art and science
Phyllis Mossman studied Art History at London University, specialising in the Renaissance period. She is a lecturer at Victoria University, coordinating the 200 and 300-level Renaissance papers, as well as contributing to VUW Continuing Education courses and study tours.
Friday 23 September
Photography at Te Papa
Athol McCredie is Curator Photography at Te Papa, where he has worked since 2001. Prior to that he was curator and acting director at Manawatu Art Gallery (now Te Manawa), and he has been involved with photography as researcher, curator and photographer since the 1970s. Athol McCredie offers a fresh and compelling narrative that foregrounds photography’s wide-ranging uses across portraiture, landscape, science, documentary photography and art, and contemplates the way it has been collected – both privately and publicly – through time. What emerges is not only an illuminating new history of the photographic medium but also a surprising and powerful portrait of Aotearoa New Zealand – its landscapes, its people and its changing character as a nation.
Tuesday 11 October
What’s all this about poverty and inequality in New Zealand?
We are told that a quarter of a million or more New Zealand children live in poverty. Statistics NZ reports that over 50% of the net worth of all New Zealanders belongs to just 10% of New Zealanders. It has been predicted that wealth inequality in rich countries (including NZ) is set to get a lot worse. It is too easy to conclude that the poor are poor because the rich are rich. This address will argue that exaggerated and simplistic claims are unhelpful. The problems far too many people are facing have many causes, and effective responses must address those causes. Bryce Wilkinson is a director of a Wellington-based economic consultancy company, and a Senior Research Fellow at The NZ Initiative. He was formerly a director of Credit Suisse First Boston NZ, and has worked in the Treasury.
Friday 14 October
Annual General Meeting Please note 10.15 am start – Followed by:
Devils on Horses Terry Kinloch
Lieutenant-Colonel Terry Kinloch has held a commission in the NZ Army since 1983. He has completed operational tours in Bougainville, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Egypt. He spent much if his regimental career in Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles, an armoured unit that is the last Regular Force link to NZ’s horse-mounted units. Reunited with their horses in Egypt after the shattering experience of Gallipoli, the Anzac mounted riflemen were initially charged with the defence of the Suez Canal, then with the clearance of the Sinai Peninsula, and finally with the destruction of the Turkish armies in Palestine & Syria. They could pursue the style of warfare for which they had been trained: on horseback.
Tuesday 18 October
U3A special interest groups
An introduction to the various interest groups available to U3A members. Some of the groups will give short presentations about their activities.
Friday 21 October
South Island Alpine Deep Fault Drilling Project
The project is led in New Zealand by Rupert Sutherland (GNS Science), John Townend (Victoria University of Wellington) and Virginia Toy (University of Otago). The Deep Fault Drilling Project (DFDP) proposes to drill, sample, and monitor the Alpine Fault in the South Island to better understand fundamental processes of rock deformation and earthquakes. The Alpine Fault in western South Island ruptures every 200-400 years in a magnitude ~7.9 earthquake, and is thought to have last ruptured in 1717 AD. The Alpine Fault is globally significant and similar in character to the San Andreas Fault in America or the North Anatolian Fault in Turkey. However, the Alpine Fault is unique in the fact that rapid uplift and mountain building has exhumed fault rocks from depth, and uplift continues to restrict earthquake activity to depths that are shallower than normal.
Tuesday 25 October
Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
Heidi Thomson is an Associate Professor, School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. 2016 is the 300th birthday of Thomas Gray (1716-1771), the poet of the famous Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. Memorised by millions, Gray’s Elegy was the most popular English poem well into the twentieth century. This lecture revisits the life and poetry of Thomas Gray, with particular emphasis on his most treasured poem.
Friday 28 October (FINAL LECTURE FOR THE YEAR)
Mountains, Mausoleums and Murder along the Silk Road
Dr Les Molloy
For the past 23 years, Point Howard resident and scientist/author Dr Les Molloy has been visiting the wild places and historic sites of China, Pakistan, Central Asia, Mongolia, Siberia and Japan. Some of these visits have been on behalf of IUCN (The World Conservation Union). Other trips have been guiding groups along the Silk Road or trekking into (or around) the remote mountain ranges of Central Asia, Pakistan and Tibet. The Silk Road of antiquity is steeped in mystery and exotic accounts of perilous travels by European explorers. This began with Marco Polo, followed by a succession of religious emissaries from various Popes, through to the British and Russian military spies in the ‘Great Game’, and the ‘Foreign Devils on the Silk Road’ as the Chinese called Sven Hedin, Aurel Stein, Albert von Le Coq, Paul Pelliot and the succession of European explorers – raiders who hauled off to Europe camels, loads of priceless paintings and manuscripts.