Lecture Programme


U3A LECTURE PROGRAMME 5th March to 1st November 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.


 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


 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

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

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. Children make up nearly a quarter of New Zealand’s population. But how well are they really doing? What do we mean by ‘’child poverty?” Do we have a comprehensive child and youth wellbeing strategy? Are the voices of children and young people in New Zealand actively listened to and factored into operation and policy decisions? And why should they be in the first place? And, is New Zealand really the best place to bring up a child? This talk will be a wide ranging general overview on the trends involving New Zealand’s 1.12 million children and young people.

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.

Our guest speaker, Tom Frewen, has filled numerous roles for a number of publications including copy holder, proof reader, sub-editor, reporter, theatre critic, columnist, and resident satirist.

He has also worked for Radio Otago and BBC London; and for 22 years was a NZ parliamentary reporter.

Tom now writes columns and articles for the Otaki Mail and is chairman of a trust committed to preserving Levin’s radio reading service.

Tom will talk on his experiences as a journalist.

Venue – Whitby Restaurant, 17th Floor of the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, 47 The Terrace.

Cost – $45 which includes a smorgasbord (table by table) and one drink. Purchase of further drinks available.
Dietary requests or for a group table for singles may be emailed to ‘events’ below.

Registration and payment – by 15 June to U3A Ac No. 03-1540-0009019-01 with self-identification by name.
(A teller at your bank can make the transfer from your account if required)

Please bring and wear your U3A name tag, for which plastic holders will be available for those without.

Email – <events@u3awellingtoncity.org.nz> or text – 021 0282 2082

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  

Dame Winnie Laban

Associate Professor Hon. Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban QSO, DNZM was appointed Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika), at Victoria University in 2010. The role was established to provide strategic direction and support for Pasifika students and staff. She previously served as Member of Parliament (1999 – 2010) and was Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Associate Minister of Trade, Associate Minister of Economic Development, and Associate Minister Social Development and Employment. Luamanuvao is a graduate in Social Work from Victoria University and completed a post-graduate qualification in Development Studies from Massey University. She is a Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, Patron of the Wellington Pasifika Business Network, Patron of the Cancer Society Relay for Life, Member of the Creative New Zealand Arts Council and Council Member of the National University of Samoa. As Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika), Associate Professor Laban provides strategic leadership to assist the University in achieving the goals set out by its strategic plan as they relate to growing Pasifika opportunities and success including Pasifika students and staff.

Friday 5 July                  NO LECTURE – Embassy Theatre Unavailable

Tuesday 9 July

GOVERNOR GENERAL’S HOME                                  OWEN MANN &        WELLINGTON- HISTORY.                                                   HEATHER MILLS

Owen Mann is an Educator at the Visitor Centre of Government House helping run the education and Tours Programme on the Historic Home (Category 1 Heritage Listed Building) of the Governor-General in Wellington. He has been an Archivist, Oral Historian, Researcher and Cultural Heritage practitioner before working at Government House. Owen has a Masters in History and a Drama Degree from Victoria University and a Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies from Deakin University in Melbourne.

Owen will talk about the History of Government House and the evolution of the Roll of Governor-General assisted by Heather Mills who also works in the Education and Tours Programme.

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

Existential Risk in the 21st Century: The challenge to the UN and Multilateralism.
Kennedy Graham

Dr Kennedy Graham has been a NZ diplomat, UN official, university teacher and Member of Parliament. His PhD was on nuclear weapon-free zones, and he was a member of the NZ delegation that negotiated the South Pacific Zone Treaty. He was a consultant to the UN Dept. of Security Council Affairs and to the UN Commission on Threats, Challenges and Change (2004). He taught International Relations as Visiting Professor in the College of Europe, and International Law at Canterbury University. He has authored or edited five books, most notably ‘The Planetary interest: A New Concept for the Global Age’. He is currently Director of the NZ Centre for Global Studies, an independent think-tank devoted to research and debate on issues of global concern. Many experts are now studying the phenomenon of ‘existential risk’, those activities that pose global problems which demand unprecedented global collaboration and organization. Existential risks – weapons of mass destruction, ecological stress and technological disruption – will challenge the skill of political leaders to weave a stronger multilateral rules-based order. What does this mean in an age of populist resentment – for the world, and for New Zealand?

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

Tuesday 20 August

Sex Workers Stepping Forward
Dame Catherine Healy

Catherine Healy BA Dip Teaching is a founding member of the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective (NZPC). She was instrumental in leading the campaign to decriminalise sex work in NZ, and is frequently called upon to advise government and non-government agencies. She is the co-editor of “Taking the Crime out of Sex Work” which was published by The Policy Press in 2010. She also successfully debated that sex work should be decriminalised at the Oxford Union in 2010 in 2018. In 2018 Catherine Healy became a Dame. Dame Catherine Healy will address the importance of New Zealand’s response to sex workers and why it matters on a global scale. 

Friday 23 August

Challenging dogma in clinical research
Professor Richard Beasley

Richard Beasley is Director of the Medical Research Institute of NZ and Professor of Medicine at Victoria University of Wellington. One would expect that common medical treatments would be based on high level scientific evidence. However for the management of many medical conditions, the available evidence is either weak or contradicts current practice. The MRINZ comprehensively assesses common medical treatments in a range of areas to ensure that an adequate evidence base is available to guide clinical practice. 

Tuesday 27 August 2019

A Multiplicity of Rhapsodies                                                                                      Richard Keller

Richard (MA Ohio) has been a public school teacher (Maths) in the USA, involved in Information Technology in the USA and NZ and is an avid letter writer. His interest in band music reaches back to his beginnings as a musician in high school and university bands in Ohio USA in the fifties and sixties, and has extended through to today with the proliferating availability of music and videos found on ‘’You Tube.’’ Bohemian Rhapsody is an iconic rock song by Freddy Mercury and the band Queen. Richard is amazed at how well the song is known and how many tribute videos there are on ‘You Tube.’’ He will play music videos of all sorts of tributes and special arrangements of Bohemian Rhapsody made as far back as 1992, a year after the death of Freddy Mercury. 

Friday 30 August

Pain, Opioids and the global addiction crisis
Associate Professor Bronwyn Kivell

Dr Kivell is a neuroscientist in the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University. She will talk about the links between pain, addiction, the global opioid crisis and what lessons have been learned, and current strategies that are being used to combat the problem. 

Tuesday 3 September

Dance Teacher Taonga – NZ and the World
Deirdre Tarrant

Deirdre Tarrant has been a Wellington and a national figure in dance spanning over 50 years. Initially as a dancer in the Royal New Zealand Ballet and on her return from studying in London and dancing in Europe, her studios in Wellington have been a creative home for thousands of young dancers and choreographers. She founded Footnote Dance in 1985, and led it to become the national treasure of choreography and dance exploration. Her own ballet background began in Wellington with Jeane Horne and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. A QE2 study grant took her overseas to dance and on her return she choreographed a number of works for the RNZB. She has developed many works for Footnote and led creative change as the company has evolved over 30 years. Deirdre held the position of an international vocational examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance for 40 years, at the time one of only 43 in the world. She is currently ‘retired’ but is still teaching, her first love, and is Director of Tarrant Dance Studios and the Deirdre Tarrant Dance Theatre. Deirdre was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to the community in 2000, a Distinguished Alumni of Victoria University in 2006 and received an Absolutely Positively Wellingtonian award and was Arts Wellingtonian of the year 2012. In 2013 she was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to contemporary dance. 

Friday 6 September

Should we all have some knowledge of Te Reo?
Professor Rawinia Higgins

Rawinia is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori) and Chair and Commissioner of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori – The Māori Language Commission. Why should we all have some knowledge of te reo Māori? Is it just political correctness gone mad? Should it just be left to Māori to sort out or do we all play a role in supporting the language? These questions and others will be discussed when we look back to understand the context of the decline, the resurgence and revitalisation efforts of te reo Māori, the current state and the potential future state.  

Tuesday 10th September

Transmission Gully – from concept to construction
Craig Nicholson

Craig has been New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA) Principal Project Manager for the Transmission Gully Project since early 2009 and has been involved in the project since late 2006. Craig has over 25 years’ experience in traffic engineering, road safety engineering and project management. The majority of his experience has been on State Highway projects within New Zealand, but he also has project experience in Jordan, Malaysia and Bhutan.

 Friday 13 September –  AGM
Please note early start time of 10 am to allow for the AGM

AGM Speaker
Meandering with Mansfield
Redmer Yska

Redmer Yska is a Wellington writer and public historian. He will discuss the promise and peril of Mansfield scholarship and how he came to write A Strange Beautiful Excitement. 

Tuesday 17 September

Gentlemen art thieves and their art: Enduring myths and great art
Arthur Tompkins

Arthur Tompkins is a District Court Judge based in Wellington. He graduated Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours from Canterbury University in 1983, and then Master of Laws from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, in 1984. Each year Judge Tompkins teaches the ‘Art in War’ component course as part of the annual Graduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Heritage Protection Studies, presented by the Association for Research into Crimes against Art in Amelia, Umbria, Italy. In 2016 he edited Art Crime and Its Prevention: A Handbook for Collectors and Art Professionals and in 2018 his Plundering Beauty: An illustrated history of art crime in war, was published. The suave and omni-competent gentleman art thief is an enduring character, in fiction and on screen, if not in real life. This illustrated talk will examine some of the origins of this character and, if he existed, what great stolen (and still missing) art might be in his (mythical) collection? 

Friday 20 September

Whose child? Our outdated adoption laws
Anne Else

Dr Anne Else is the author of A Question of Adoption: Closed Stranger Adoption in New Zealand, 1944-1974 (Bridget Williams Books, 1991), and many subsequent papers and articles on adoption and assisted reproduction technology. The Adoption Act 1955 was drawn up when attitudes to women, children, relationships and families were very different from today. This talk sums up the main problems with New Zealand’s adoption legislation, and looks at what changes are urgently needed, and why. 

Tuesday 24 September

The World lacks progressive leadership – could NZ provide some?
Thomas Nash

Thomas Nash BA (Hons) is Social Entrepreneur at Massey University and Adjunct in Politics. He is the co-founder and Co-director of NZ Alternative, an independent organisation promoting a progressive role for Aotearoa NZ in the world. He led the global campaign to ban cluster bombs, co-founded and directed London-based disarmament group, Article 36, and served on the board of the Nobel Prizewinning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons.  International politics appears more chaotic than usual. National populism is on the rise. Mainstream political parties are in decline. The pace of technological development and the power of its owners have outstripped our liberal democratic systems. Globalisation has not only failed to share wealth evenly, its growth-based economic systems are literally burning, flooding and poisoning our planet. The rules-based international order set up after 1945 is creaking. Human societies have reorganised ourselves to survive and flourish in the past. To do that the world will need international cooperation, diplomatic ambition and transformation leadership. What could New Zealand do to help? 

Friday 27 September

What comes after Jacinda?
Colin James

Colin James was a political journalist for 45 years. He has written eight books and has one last one on the keyboard. What makes the nation Aotearoa/New Zealand? How will it evolve over the next 10 years? What have been the politics behind and reflecting that evolution? Where will those politics go over the next three years and 10 years as politicians wrestle with a changing society inside the nation and a turbulent world outside, both driven by rapidly evolving new technologies, environmental constraints and threats and ideological argument? In short, what can we expect from Jacinda Ardern and what comes after Jacinda?

TERM 3 HOLIDAYS  28 September – 13 October 

Tuesday 15 October

Sound Sculptures
Paul Dunham

Paul is our current Wellington U3A mature student scholarship winner. He holds a Bachelor of Music (Composition) with First class Honours. Paul is currently studying for a PhD in Music Composition and Sonic Arts. He has produced a number of works across different media. His work “Click” was a finalist in the 2017 Lilburn Trust NZSM Composers Composition. His current practice-based research is focused on creating a series of sound sculptures that establish a narrative between the past and present through the convergence of absolute and current media technologies.

Friday 18 October

Flying High – The Photography of Lloyd Homer
Simon Nathan

Simon is a geologist and science writer. Much of his career has been with GNS Science and he has also been science editor for Te Ara. Simon has worked with Lloyd Homer for many years and has recently published a book on his photographic career.
Lloyd Homer is one of the leading photographers of New Zealand’s natural environment. Working for the Geological Survey (now GNS Science) for over 35 years, he was at hand to record the impact of events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides. For this illustrated talk, Simon has chosen a selection of his favourite images from the book (some around Wellington).

Tuesday 22 October

Orchestra Wellington
Kirsten Mason

Kirsten has been the General Manager of Orchestra Wellington since early 2016 and is a graduate of Victoria University and a proud Wellingtonian. Kirsten has had extensive experience overseas in a variety of roles involving music before taking up her current position.
Her talk today will give us a view inside a Symphony Orchestra – how they work and what they do – the whole business of running an orchestra.
PLUS there will be a short live performance by a small number of musicians.

Friday 25 October

History of our Health System
Dr Alastair Mcdonald

Alastair went to medical school in Edinburgh and graduated 1968. He has worked in the USA, UK, East Timor, Iraq, Abu Dhabi, and Vietnam. He is a retired kidney doctor and is currently a clinical ethics advisor.
He will talk a little bit about the history of our health system and examine the inherent values which were part of the foundation of the system in 1938. He will look at the various challenges to ensuring the continuity of the system by examining the potential roles of systems thinking, anticipatory governance and artificial intelligence.

Tuesday 29 October

Bougainville Conflict 20 Years On
Brigadier Roger Mortlock

Brigadier Mortlock served in the New Zealand Army for 33 years, retiring in 1999. In the course of his service, he saw active service in South Vietnam (1970-71), was deployed to the United Nations Mission in Angola (1992-3) during their civil war, and led the Truce Monitoring Group on to Bougainville in 1998.
On leaving the service he was employed variously as a consultant, and National Operations Manager for OSH (Occupational Health and Safety) within the Department of Labour, and as a university lecturer. In the latter role, he taught Command Studies (‘The Art of Command’) at Massey University, and The Royal Brunei and NZ Defence Force Command and Staff Colleges.

Friday 1 November (Final lecture for the year)

Scandalous Past Times of the Parisian Belle Epoque
Dr Wendy Nolan Joyce

Wendy teaches French culture for Victoria University Continuing Education and leads culinary, art-themed tours to France. She will discuss the Golden Age (1870-1914) in France with its progress in the arts, science and industry as well as the revolutionary artists and how their work reflects the darker side of Paris at the time.