Lecture Programme

 

U3A LECTURE PROGRAMME 5th March to 19th July 2019

Lectures are held at the Embassy Theatre, 10 Kent Terrace
from 10.30 am until 12 noon

With regard to last year’s social experiment with an occasional Koffee Klub after lectures, the venue and acoustics proved less than ideal so the Koffee Klub will be held in abeyance for this year. Suggestions to Aidan Kay are welcome.

1ST LECTURE SESSION TUESDAY 5 MARCH TO FRIDAY 13 APRIL

 Tuesday 5 March

Making Wellington Wildly Famous
Lance Walker

Lance Walker is the CEO of WREDA the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency, whose purpose is to make the Wellington region wildly famous. Amongst other things, WREDA is involved in promoting the Wellington region as a great place to visit, host an event, study, make films and start a new business. WREDA also operates the main performance venues in Wellington on behalf of WCC. Prior to that Lance was CEO of Cigna Life Insurance and also CEO of Loyalty NZ – which runs the Fly Buys loyalty programme. Having graduated from Victoria University with a law degree, Lance began a career in marketing and was Managing Director of two different marketing agencies in Wellington. He started one of them, which was later acquired by the DDB advertising group. He is also the former Chairman of the NZ Marketing Association. Lance is currently a Director of Innovation company CreativeHQ and sits on the Boards of the Human Resources Institute and Sport Wellington.

Friday 8 March

Penguins, polynyas and ice ceilings: reflections on Antarctica
Associate Professor Rebecca Priestley

Dr Rebecca Priestley is an associate professor at Victoria University of Wellington and director of the Centre for Science in Society. She has visited Antarctica three times, on media and education and outreach programmes, hosted by Antarctica New Zealand. She has degrees in geology, history of science and creative writing. Her most recent book, “Dispatches from Continent Seven,” is an anthology of Antarctic Science. In this illustrated talk, Rebecca Priestley talks about her three visits to Antarctica (in 2011, 2014 and 2018) and reflects on the way Antarctica, and Antarctic science, has changed in the 50 years since the first women visited the South Pole in 1969.

Tuesday 12 March

Investigative Journalism – Checks and Balances
Nicky Hager

Since he last spoke to U3A, four years ago, Nicky Hager has continued to keep the flag of investigative journalism flying. He continues to be politically neutral and will again talk to us accordingly. Nicky has a BSc Physics and BA Hons Philosophy. He has written seven books, on issues including intelligence, war, public relations and the inner workings of politics.

Friday 15 March

Journey towards Justice –Beyond 2019
Sir Kim Workman

Kim (Ngati Kahungungu ni Wairarapa/Rangitaane) has worked in the public service including as head of the prison service. For the past five years he has worked in areas of justice policy and related areas. He will discuss the potential for future reform of the criminal justice system. “Journey Towards Justice” is the title of his memoir, and he will draw on some of his conclusions on the potential for change over the next two years and the appetite of the New Zealand public for change. He will also show a 15 minute video made in 1991 entitled ‘He Ara Hou’ (A New Way), which promoted radical prison reform.

Tuesday 19 March

Interest Groups
Margaret and Ian Garrett

An overview of the U3A interest groups with presentations from the different groups that members can join.

Friday 22 March

This Mortal Boy – moral panic and retribution in the 1950s
Dame Fiona Kidman

Fiona Kidman has been writing and publishing for some fifty years. Her early work consisted mainly of plays and short stories. Her latest novel, “This Mortal Boy,” is based on the true story of Albert Black, the second to last person to be hanged in New Zealand. It is set in the context of New Zealand culture in the 1950s. The book has been awarded the New Zealand Heritage Fiction Prize, included in the Listener’s Best 100 Books of 2018, and also the Spinoff’s Top 20 Novels of 2018. The book will be on sale at the lecture.

Tuesday 26 March

How Music Changes Lives
Virtuoso Strings

Dr Elizabeth Sneyd QSM. (NZ Inaugural Music Teacher of the Year) and Craig Utting QSM, M.Mus.1st Class Hon set up a music teaching business in 2006 from their home with a side line of importing violins. It started with 17 violins and two schools in the Porirua area. In 2013 the Virtuoso Strings Charitable Trust was formed and its orchestra now boasts 150-200 students. They have national tours and have recently played with Grammy award-winning opera singer Jonathan Lemalu in the Opera House. Liz and Craig have dedicated their lives to bringing music to underprivileged children with amazing results. This is the story of their journey which will be revealed using the interview format. We also hope to have a performance by one of their pupils.

Friday 29 March

Has membership of the Open Government Partnership made any difference to open government in New Zealand?
Keitha Booth

Keitha is an independent consultant advising and commenting on open government and information-related matters. The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is an international initiative with about 70 country members that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders in each country to create action plans committing governments to be more inclusive, responsive and accountable to the public. Keitha will describe what New Zealand’s membership means, what the Government has committed to doing, what it has done and then report on her research assessing whether membership of the OGP has opened up government in New Zealand.

Tuesday 2 April 

Lessons from a grassroots campaign to double refugee quota
Murdoch Stephens

Murdoch Stephens is the founder of the successful “Doing Our Bit’’ campaign to double New Zealand’s refugee quota from 750 to 1500 places. He has a PhD on critical theory and environmental communication and is currently a contract lecturer at Massey University. He is also the editor of Lawrence & Gibson Publishing, a small outfit which has published two dozen works on New Zealand fiction. After living in Syria for four months prior to the civil war, Murdoch Stephens felt a deepening sense of responsibility to help those displaced. In 2013 he started the “Doing Our Bit’’ campaign to double New Zealand’s refugee quota. Over the next five years he built up the campaign to its ultimate success in becoming government policy. In August 2018 he released a book on the campaign, which will be the basis of this talk. Rather than re-litigating the reasons for an increase in the quota, the talk will focus on the challenges of campaigning in an age of digital media and the highs and lows of trying to get MPs to do what you want them to do.

Friday 5 April

Discovering Ferns
Dr Leon Perrie

Dr Perrie is Curator of Botany at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa where his responsibilities include the development and interpretation of Te Papa’s collection of 300,000 dried plant specimens. Ferns are prominent in both New Zealand’s environment and cultural iconography. But what distinguishes ferns from other plants? And, how are New Zealand’s ferns different to those from elsewhere? The talk will also cover examples of recent research on ferns, including a discussion of why scientific names change. We will use ferns as a lens to broadly explore the conservation status of New Zealand’s biodiversity. The talk will finish with practical tips for identifying ferns.

Tuesday 9 April

What gender equality means today, here and internationally
Dr Gill Greer

Dr Gill Greer CBE, MNZM, PHD. has held CE positions with the National Council of Women of NZ and Volunteer Service Abroad NZ, and as Director General of IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation) (London) and CE of NZ Family Planning. Prior to this she was Assistant Vice Chancellor (Equity) of Victoria University, Director of Student Services, a teacher and writer. Much of her work has been with community groups in NZ, and internationally, with a focus on ensuring gender equality across the gender spectrum. She has been included on NZ and NGO delegations to the United Nations and the Pacific with Ministers and the Prime Minister and led the Volunteer Groups Alliance to ensure the inclusion of volunteering in the SDGs. At IPPF she led the development of the Declaration of Sexual Rights, used to persuade governments and leaders to address the denial of human rights because of gender, sex, or sexuality. In 2011 she was named by the International NGO, Women Deliver, as one of the “100 most inspiring people who have delivered for women and girls.” Gill will talk on 125 years of suffrage – where are we really and some parts of the recent Gender Equal NZ – Making Equality Reality – Gender Attitudes Survey Results.

 Friday 12 April

Developing new lures to control rats
Dr Rob Keyzers & Dr Michael Jackson

Rob Keyzers is a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry and Michael Jackson is a post-doctoral fellow within the Centre for Biodiversity and Restoration Ecology at Victoria University. Rodents significantly impact global agricultural production, human and animal health, and our indigenous biodiversity. Their control, however, still depends on the use of perishable food-based products such as peanut butter to attract animals to monitoring devices and kill traps. In their talk, Drs Keyzers and Jackson will detail their work to identify and develop their new compound-based lures, moving step-by-step through the research process – starting with trialling food products on rats and the identification of attractive compounds in those foods, to current work to develop commercially available lure products for both national and international markets

TERM BREAK

 No lectures 13 to 29 April – Easter and Term 1 Holidays

Tuesday 30 April

The NZ Portrait Gallery
Jaenine Parkinson

Jaenine Parkinson became director of the New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Te Pekena Whakaata, in late 2017. Previously she was Arts, Museum and Heritage Advisor at Kapiti Coast District Council and Exhibitions Project Co-ordinator at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki. Recently Jaenine was chosen as one of the few representatives attending the NZ Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. She has held positions as Programmes Manager for an arts and culture centre in Ottawa Canada and as Director of Blue Oyster Art Project Space in Dunedin. She has a Masters in Art History from the University of Auckland and has undertaken a number of independent curatorial and writing projects. Jaenine will talk on the History of the NZ Portrait Gallery situated in Shed 11 on Customhouse Quay. She will also discuss the finer points of a few selected and significant portraits.

Friday 3 May

A Vision for Kiwibuild based upon co-operation
Andre de Groot

Andre de Groot is a structural engineer with a wide variety of experience across New Zealand and Canada. He has wide interests including urban design, sustainability, seismic engineering, religion, organisational form and social democracy. Andre will outline a vision for Kiwibuild where there is co-operation between government, civil society and the private sector. A focus will be on redeveloping town centre sites, with an open invitation to civil society and land owners for co-operation to agree on sites and building form. For the design and construction stages the alliance model will be presented as a way to include the private sector. The downsides to the private sector’s constant precariousness will form an argument for the government to directly hire a significant portion of designers, construction managers and tradespeople.

Tuesday 7 May

The First Emperor of the Qin: Reflections on a recent exhibition
Duncan Campbell

Duncan M Campbell is a graduate of Victoria University and he spent the years 1976-78 in China as an exchange student. Since then, he has taught Chinese language, literature and history at various universities. Between 2015 -16, he was curator of the Chinese garden at the Huntington Library in San Marino, USA. The bulk of his research concentrates on the literary and material culture of late imperial China, with particular reference to the late Ming – early Qing period (1550s -1660s). Most recently, he contributed an essay in the catalogue produced to accompany Te Papa’s “Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality” exhibition. This exhibition afforded us the opportunity to rethink this period of China generally, and the role and personality of the first Emperor of Quin (221-206 BCE) in particular. Was he really the harsh tyrant that he is so often represented as having been? Does the archaeological evidence suggest a more complicated story? And how best should we assess the various legacies of this watershed period of history? This lecture will offer reflections on such topics.

Friday 10 May

Actually sports commentaries are not boring
Emeritus Professor Koenraad Kuiper

Dr Kuiper is a linguist with qualifications from Victoria University, Simon Fraser University and the University of Canterbury. Sports commentaries are a genre like death notices. They have their own rules and they fit into their own unique social niche. Dr Kuiper became interested in sports commentaries not so much for their language itself but by asking, how could a commentator produce them? Horse races are, for example, very fast and a commentator of them must be able to keep up. How do they do that? Cricket tests are very slow. How do commentators fill the time a cricket test takes with talk? The talk will engage with some of these questions and report on some more recent research on sports commentary talk.

Tuesday 14 May

Beekeeping
Ian Goodwin

Ian studied for his Engineering Degree- Electrical at Canterbury University. He worked in television broadcasting and designed microwave linking systems, television studio system engineering and TV and FM transmissions. He worked over the period when there was constant technology developments from black and white TV to colour TV and later to fully digital transmission. For ten years Ian was Vice Chairman of the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) working for television standards, meeting regularly in Geneva to develop international television standards. Ian has also been a beekeeper since 1983 and he will talk on the origin of beekeeping, evolution of the hive, the dangers for bees and the NZ manuka honey industry.

Friday 17 May

Surviving the war was not enough
Barbara Mulligan

Barbara Mulligan is a local historian and genealogist deeply familiar with Karori cemetery and its occupants. Over the past 2 years she has been leading a project to document the lives of a sample of around 130 victims of the 1918 flu pandemic and clean their burial sites. She will speak about her activities at the Karori cemetery, especially those concerning the flu victims and their stories.

Tuesday 21 May

Impacts of sexual assault
Dr Linda Beckett

Currently retired, Dr Beckett has had a long involvement in variable aspects of responsiveness to victims of sexual violence. She has conducted academic research at Honours, Masters and Doctoral levels; worked as coordinator of the specialist Wellington District Medical Forensic Unit and been politically active in seeking improvements to the way victims are responded to. In this presentation, Linda will expand on that research, work and activism, and then move on to discuss sexual violence – expanding on the MANY significant harms it creates. It remains then to discuss whether NZ’s services are (enabled to be) there yet in mitigating those potentially debilitating impacts. If not, why not? Is there more that needs to be enacted at Governmental level in order to facilitate recovery?

Friday 24 May

Using genes to detect and treat diseases
Professor David Ackerley

Professor David Ackerley conducted his PhD studies at Otago University after which he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University from 2001-2005. At the conclusion of his postdoc he was recruited by Victoria University to help establish their new teaching and research programme in Biotechnology. Professor Ackerley has been the primary lecturer in, and director of, the Biotechnology programme ever since. Professor Ackerley’s lecture today will be as follows- Wikipedia tells us genes are “molecular units of heredity.” That’s all very well for our kids-but what do they mean for us? Professor Ackerley will discuss how genes can be used in the diagnosis and treatment of inheritable diseases and cancers, how these new types of therapies are trialled and some ethical and practical issues around gene patients.

Tuesday 28 May

Privatisation failed – so how do we fix government?
Max Rashbrooke

Max Rashbrooke is an author, journalist and academic. He is senior associate of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University, and as a journalist has written for outlets in Britain and New Zealand. He has twice been the recipient of the Bruce Jesson Senior Journalism Award and was a 2015 Winston Churchill Fellow. Liberal democracies started at a crossroads. Disenchantment with existing governments is growing, even in New Zealand. The key political movements of the last few decades, such as privatisation and other market-based reforms, have generally failed to deliver better services that are deeply responsive to people’s needs. How then can we build governments fit for the 21st century and reconnect them with citizens? Based on his ground breaking book “Government for the Public Good: The surprising Science of large-Scale Collective Action,” Max Rashbrooke suggests the answer to our problem lies in finding new and innovative ways to allow citizens to discuss issues deeply with each other and directly influence policy.

Friday 31 May

Electricity Industry Prices and Profits
Dr Geoff Bertram

Dr Bertram is an economist who has taught at Oxford and Victoria University and has worked on the NZ electricity sector since the early 1980s. Three decades of radical reorganisation of the New Zealand electricity industry have produced higher prices and massive profits with no matching gains in the quality of supply. The dry-year problem has not been solved and the current market structure offers no easy entry for new technologies such as rooftop solar. The talk will review the history and consider options for future policy.

Tuesday 4 June

Photography
Barry Durrant

After a jaunt with the boy scouts Barry started tramping in the hills and valleys around Wellington and joined the Wellington City Tramping Club in his teens. This led to an interest in photography mainly to record where he had been, the people he had tramped with and the great views. Barry started as a Cadet photographer at The Dominion in Wellington in 1957. He found that because he was the fittest and most active newspaper photographer in Wellington, all the search and rescues and any job that needed walking or physical toughness came his way. In 1969 Barry changed papers and for two years worked for the Wilson & Horton’s stable of magazines and the NZ Herald. In 1971 The Dominion enticed Barry back and for 14 years he was their Chief Photographer. Barry’s career covered many significant events and he will show photos covering many of them including The Waihine disaster; the Inangahua earthquake; the Manapouri tunnel development; the 1972-3 All Black tour of UK & France; Royal Tours; 15 Prime Ministers and related Political Events.

Friday 7 June

Aotearoa NZ and Italy: links to ensure our access to world-class early childhood education
Dr Anne Meade

Anne Meade has been a teacher of young children, researcher, lecturer, author and policy developer. She is co-leader of the NZ study tour of teachers in Italy in April 2019. Why does Reggio Emilia teaching of infants, toddlers and young children inspire educators around the world to do more for young children? Those inspired include thousands of early childhood and primary teachers from dozens of countries as well as eminent professors, including from Harvard. Anne Meade will share the philosophy underpinning Reggio Emilia early education and describe its teaching approaches and their impact on children’s thinking. She will ponder aloud about how Reggio educators’ documentation of their teaching and of the children’s articulation of their learning have effected world-wide interest and positive change. She will tell stories about how Reggio positively affects teaching and learning in New Zealand.

Tuesday 11 June

Child and Youth Wellbeing Report
Judge Andrew Becroft

After graduating from Auckland University in 1981 with a BA/LLB (Honours) degree, Judge Becroft practised in Auckland until 1986 when he then assisted with the establishment of the Mangere Community Law Centre and worked there until 1993. He then worked as a criminal barrister in South Auckland until his appointment to the District Court in Whanganui, from 1996. Judge Becroft was the Principal Youth Court Judge of NZ from 2001 to 2016; and was appointed the Children’s Commissioner for NZ in June 2016. Judge Becroft is a former council member of the Auckland District Law Society and the NZ Law Society. He is the Patron of the NZ Speak Easy Association Inc., which assists those with various forms of speech impediment, and is the Chairperson of the Board of the Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship (NZ) Inc.

Friday 14 June

Autoimmunity: The consequences of losing your immune balance
Professor Anne LaFlamme

Professor LaFlamme is from the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University and leads the Multiple Sclerosis Research Programme at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research. Every day we are confronted by dangerous pathogens, greedy microbes, and innocuous organisms, and our immune system must continually react, defend, and return to steady state so as not to upset our natural balance – our “homeostasis”. Thus, we balance in a rocking boat. But, we are not static; we are continually changing – we eat, we sleep, we party and feel and run. How do we balance our system when we are continually changing? And what is the consequence of losing your balance?

Tuesday 18 June

An Interview                                                                                                                   Lindsay Perigo

Lindsay Perigo (broadcaster, libertarian musicologist & critic), is a former New Zealand television and radio broadcasting personality, founding leader of the Libertarianz political party and an Objectivist organisation called Sense of Life Objectivism (SOLO). In 1993 he quit television work in the process denouncing TVNZ news and current affairs as “brain dead.” Deborah Coddington, former Free Radical assistant editor, wrote a biography of Lindsay Perigo entitled “Politically Incorrect” in 1999, which was published by Radio Pacific. Lindsay is a noted fan of singer Mario Lanza and in August 2013 a collection of his writings on Lanza’s life and work was released called “The One Tenor.” He also wrote a foreword for Amando Cesari’s Lanza biography, “Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy.’’ He has interviewed Jose Carrreras and Luciano Pavarotti, and appeared with Dame Malvina Major in a television tribute to Pavarotti in September 2007. A collection of his cultural and political commentaries was released in September 2012 titled- “The Total Passion for the Total Height.” Lindsay will talk to us on these subjects and his life using the Interview Format.

Friday 21 June

Shakespeare on Political Violence and Warfare
Burton King

Burton King is a general surgeon with a lifelong interest in the works of Shakespeare. Major King is a reservist in the Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps and has served in Iraq. Burton will compare and contrast Shakespeare’s descriptions of political violence in Julius Caesar. Macbeth and Henry V, drawing on some of his experiences and events in Iraq with the New Zealand Defence Force.

Tuesday 25 June – MidWinter Luncheon

The custom of a Midwinter Luncheon continues this year, replacing this day’s lecture.  As usual, we have booked for 100 members for a smorgasbord lunch in the Whitby Restaurant on the 17th Floor of the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, 47 The Terrace, which is easily accessed from Lambton Quay.  After dinner speaker to be advised. 

Friday 28 June

Future Directions in New Zealand Schooling
Rob McIntosh

 Rob currently works as an education adviser providing strategic advice for New Zealand entities and also working internationally including on education aid programmes in the Pacific.   He was a Deputy Secretary in the New Zealand Ministry of Education, also Acting Chief Executive of the Education Review Office and the Acting Director of the New Zealand Teachers Council. New Zealand schooling is currently undergoing significant change with a series of policy reviews being conducted.  This presentation will provide a perspective on policy priorities for the future direction of schooling, given its past and present performance and what factors such as changes in technology, work, society and the environment mean for what our young people need to learn in the future.

Tuesday 2 July  

Topic and details will be advised in the May Newsletter
Dame Winnie Laban

 

Friday 5 July                  NO LECTURE – Embassy Theatre Unavailable

Tuesday 9 July

Life in the ballet world
Sir Jon Trimmer

Sir Jon Trimmer, KNZM, MBE was born in Petone and took up ballet when a sister was going to classes. He joined the NZ Ballet Company in 1958 (which is where he met his wife Jacqui, also a dancer). Sir John attended the Royal Ballet School from 1960 to 1961 and toured with the Sadlers Wells Ballet from 1962 to 1964. He danced with the Australian Ballet from 1965 to 1966 and with the Royal Danish Ballet from 1968 to 1969. Jon has danced with Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev. He returned to NZ in 1970 to help and revive the NZ Ballet and became the principal male dancer. He has been with the company now known as Royal NZ Ballet ever since. Jon still dances, mainly character rolls and said he plans to dance till he is 80. Jon and Jacqui live in retirement at Paekakariki and two of their many interests are making pottery and painting. Jon will talk to us about his phenomenal career and his book published in 2018 titled “Why Dance.”

Friday 12 July

Unmaking American Greatness: Trump, Populism and American foreign policy
Emeritus Professor Roberto Rabel

Dr Rabel is a Professorial Fellow at the Centre of Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. He is also an Emeritus Professor at Victoria, having retired in 2016 as Pro Vice-Chancellor (International Engagement) after 10 years overseeing the University’s internationalisation strategies and activities. In keeping with his promises to put ‘America First’, Donald Trump has presided over a dramatic erosion of America’s leadership in the global community. The unilateralism of the Trump Administration is not unique, but represents the most recent version of a theme in American politics that has been bubbling under the surface for decades. This talk offers an historical perspective on the challenges posed by Trump’s ‘America First’ approach and considers the implications it carries for the commitment of the United States to a liberal world order.

Tuesday 16 July

Global Challenges and the UN
Kennedy Graham

Details to be advised in the May Newsletter.

Friday 19 July

How DNA from museum collections is informing our understanding of New Zealand’s plants and animals
Dr Lara Shepherd

Lara is a scientist at Te Papa who uses DNA sequencing to understand the evolution of New Zealand’s plants and animals. Advances in DNA analyses have revolutionised our understanding of New Zealand’s flora and fauna. For example, ancient DNA can now be sequenced from fossils that are thousands of years old allowing new insights into extinct species. Lara will talk about some of the DNA discoveries she has made from Te Papa’s natural history collections including finding new species, determining where species occurred prior to human arrival and the relationships of New Zealand’s extinct species to their overseas relatives. She will finish off with how DNA is helping us understand the origins of cultural objects made from biological materials.

TERM TWO HOLIDAYS  –  20 July to 19 August