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Hawkes Bay Biodynamics course is proving increasingly popular.


Covering a holistic landscape of agriculture and horticulture, Havelock North-based Taruna College's Certificate in Applied Organics and Biodynamics is proving increasingly popular.

"Students are passionate about the land and are looking for a picture of agriculture that is slightly different to the norm," says programme tutor and interim college manager, Erin Simpson. "The course covers all aspects of agriculture and horticulture, from soils and germinating and growing seed, to the use of biodynamic preparations and providing an in-depth analysis around permaculture and bio-intensive gardening."

As a sign of appreciation from the Biodynamic Society, Erin recently won an award for his work in the programme, which he has been tutoring for the past six years.

"It was great to be recognised, as I am passionate about sharing my knowledge," he says.

As well as an effective plan for land management, students leave the programme with a network of mentors within the biodynamic and organic community, ensuring they have ongoing support in their work. From owners of lifestyle blocks to people working within the viticulture industry, Taruna College pairs people with others in the area in the same field.

"These days it seems agriculture and horticulture are moving more towards organics and biodynamics," Erin says. "There is a growing awareness of a more holistic way to care for our land and the course gives people that different viewpoint."

Run over 36 weeks, the course is seminar-based with workshops, classwork and tutorials mixed with assignments. The programme is NZQA Level 4, so students have the option to further their studies if they want.

To find out more about the programme, or Taruna College's other programmes in education, health and art, see their website,

Waikato University recruiters are coming to Hawkes Bay.


Student Recruitment Advisers from the University of Waikato will be at the Hawke's Bay regional information evening on August 27 at Portmans Motor Lodge, Hastings from 3.30pm-6pm.

The advisers talk to potential students about the flexibility of study at the University of Waikato, student life and academic choices.

Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, 027 5511 821, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

University of Waikato News...

City plans up for discussion at Winter Lecture Series

As Hamilton City Council explores plans to better connect the city with its natural resources, the University of Waikato's final lecture in its Winter Lecture Series this Wednesday, August 27, will consider whether the city can also learn from the revitalisation of its Canadian namesake, Hamilton, Ontario. Hear from Canadian Neil Everson, on how he led the successful revitalisation of his city; Andrew Yeoman, Waikato alumnus and director of Yeoman Developments; and the University's Professor Natalie Jackson, a demographer who will look at what an ageing population will mean for Hamilton in the future. The University of Waikato's Winter Lecture Series is an annual series held on Wednesdays in August. It is a focused and relevant seminar series designed to provide an opportunity for robust discussion on topical issues affecting the community. All lectures are free and open to the public, and take place from 6-7pm at the Academy of Performing Arts. For more information, visit

Contact: Nicola Lee, 07 838 4401, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Coming clean on water

Five freshwater experts will host a panel discussion on what the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management means for the region. The Statement directs regional councils to establish objectives and set limits for fresh water in their regional plans but has been criticised for not addressing water health. The scientists taking part are: Dr Bryce Cooper, General Manager - Strategy for NIWA; Dr Alison Dewes, lead consultant for agribusiness consultancy Headlands; Prof David Hamilton, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair in Lake Restoration at the University of Waikato; Dr Mike Scarsbrook, Environment Policy Manager at DairyNZ and Bill Vant, a scientist with the Waikato Regional Council. The discussion takes place in Room A.G.30 at Waikato University on Tuesday, September 2 at 7.30pm and is free to attend.

Contact: Tracey Cooper, 07 858 5014, 022 071 2443, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

University gets set for Kīngitanga Day

The University of Waikato is preparing to celebrate Kīngitanga Day on 18 September. Kīngitanga Day is an annual event that recognises the university's connection with Waikato-Tainui and the Kīngitanga. The day-long event has a range of activities including seminars, panel discussions and presentations from guest speakers and leading academics. This year's keynote speaker is Dr Lance O'Sullivan, who will speak on "Advancing Māori Health from the Flax Roots". Named 2014 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year, the Kaitaia-based GP is a passionate advocate for Māori health and a pioneer for equal healthcare in the community. There will be stick and poi demonstrations, food stalls, presentations, panels, workshops, exhibitions, performances and activities. Most activities are free and open to the public. For more information visit

Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, 027 5511 821, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Researcher learns lessons from church

Whitiaua Ropitini isn't used to delivering public presentations, but if his first attempt is anything to go by, he's a natural. Whitiaua, who is completing a Master of Arts in Māori, was judged the winner of the Te Toi O Matariki Māori Graduate Conference, which gives Māori graduate and post-graduate students the opportunity to promote their research and gain presenting experience, support each other and help raise the profile of graduate and post-graduate study. Students get 10 minutes to present their research and Whitiaua delivered his entirely in te reo. His research is looking at ways to strengthen the Ringatu Church in his hometown of Ruatahuna. Other winners included: Best Faculty Presentation School of Māori and Pacific Development; People's Choice Jordan Cooper - Faculty of Science and Engineering; Best Overall Presentation Whitiaua Ropitini - School of Māori and Pacific Development.

Contact: Tracey Cooper, 07 858 5014, 022 071 2443, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Waikato grad selected for Imperial College London doctoral programme

University of Waikato chemistry graduate Sophie Sim will join 12 top young scientists from all over the world at Imperial College London next month, where she has been selected to participate in the NexGenAgriChem Innovative Doctoral Programme. The programme is funded by Syngenta, one of the world's largest crop protection companies, and will bring together talented physical sciences graduates to investigate new ways to improve crop protection. The primary objective of the three-year PhD programme is to nurture the group of early-stage researchers in a way which will create a new generation of multidisciplinary researchers to support the challenges of the future. In conjunction with the PhD research, the programme also includes substantial training in the form of lecture courses, and a transferable skills course in areas such as science communication, as well as professional internship placements. Sophie is a former student of Thames High School.

Contact: Sophie Sim, 020 4039 9545, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Natalie Guest, 07 838 4628, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Waikato Philosophers Secure International Doctoral Awards

University of Waikato education lecturers Sonja Arndt and Sharyn Heaton have both won an international doctoral scholarship. The Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA) doctoral scholarships, valued at AUD$10,000, aim to help students advance serious philosophical discussion about education. Two of these highly competitive international scholarships are awarded annually. Sonja's doctoral thesis explores understandings and experiences of diversity, difference and marginalisation with a particular interest in the orientations of early childhood teachers and their teaching teams. Sharyn's doctoral research examines and extends current understandings of the whare tapa whā, a Māori philosophical model of hauora/health wellbeing. Recommendations from her research aim to inform future Māori medium curriculum development. The Waikato lecturers, who will present at the 44th Annual PESA Conference in November in Hamilton, say the scholarships will enable them to engage with top philosophers nationally and internationally. PESA aims to promote research and teaching in philosophy of education. This global organisation has a broad membership across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and North America.

Contact: Emma West, 07 838 4466 ext 6404, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Supporting rugby

A new grade of rugby has kicked off and the University of Waikato is getting behind it. The Waikato under 19 side, to be known as the Waikato Juniors, is being sponsored by the university in the inaugural national under 19 competition, which involves a round of games against other provincial sides before a national tournament in Taupo in early October. Kent Currie, the Waikato Juniors' assistant coach and academy manager at the Waikato Rugby Union, says the competition is good enticement for boys to stay in the game, join a club and strive to make a provincial team. Many of the Waikato Juniors have a Waikato University connection. Captain Mitchell Jacobson, fellow loose forward Mungo Mason and prop Atu Moli are Hillary Scholars at the university, and Tau Koloamatangi, Josh Dowsing and Te Raina Richards-Coxhead are all students who play for the university club.

Contact: Alison Robertson, 07 858 5135, 027 309 4420, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Two degrees, two countries, faster delivery

The University of Waikato's Te Piringa - Faculty of Law is partnering with one of the top US law schools to offer double masters (LLM) degrees. Waikato has negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with the James E Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona which will see both institutions making available their respective LLM programmes to students recommended by the other partner. Essentially, students studying in one university will gain advanced standing or cross credit a part of their first master's qualification to the other, enabling them to obtain both LLM degrees in a shorter time with lower costs than they would by enrolling in the two degrees separately. Waikato Law dean Professor Brad Morse also says there's a natural synergy between the specialisations offered by the two institutions, both being strong in aspects of indigenous law, environmental and resource law, and international human rights.

The sold out book on childrens' homes in Hawkes Bay is now online.


A sold-out book that records the harrowing and sometimes heartening stories of people who grew up in children’s homes in Hawke’s Bay can now be read free of charge on EIT’s website.

Read more: The sold out book on childrens' homes in Hawkes Bay is now online.

Register to drive sober at the All Blacks game in Napier and be in to win!


Road Safe HB and Police will team up to provide a sober driver register at the All Blacks game being held at McLean Park on the 6th September 2014.

The purpose of the register is so people plan before hand who will be the sober driver to and from the event.

Drivers will be able to register as they head into the grounds, they will receive a 'goody bag' along with some refreshments and rewards for being the sober driver.

As drivers leave the game they will then be breath tested to ensure they have had no alcohol and then go into the draw for prizes.

The key focus for everyone is to provide a safe and social evening for everyone attending.

If you would like further information please contact Linda Anderson on 0274747294 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bragato students meet on Hawkes Bay EIT campus


Italian and New Zealand Bragato scholarship winners Christopher Bonifacio and Ben Tombs found plenty of common ground when they recently met in Hawke's Bay.

On a month-long tour of New Zealand's wine regions, Christopher, like Ben, most enjoys making and tasting wine.

And Ben, who heads off on his four-week trip to Italy early next year, shares Christopher's enthusiasm for rugby. Last year, he transferred his playing skills from Blenheim to Hawke's Bay where he moved to study EIT's Bachelor of Viticulture and Bachelor of Wine Science concurrent degree.

While Ben plays centre for Napier Pirates, Christopher switches between flanker and lock playing for his club side in Italy.

Learning about one another's culture is very much what the annually-awarded Bragato scholarship is about.

Established 11 years ago, it fosters the link between Italy's famed Scuola Enologica di Conegliano and the Eastern Institute of Technology's School of Viticulture and Wine Science.

The scholarship also celebrates the legendary Romeo Bragato, who attended the school in the northeast of Italy and, as a viticulturist appointed by the New Zealand Government, recognised New Zealand's potential for growing grapes over a century ago.

Every year, the Bragato exchange programme provides a high-achieving EIT viticulture or wine science degree student with a month in Italy to visit wine regions and visit the school in Conegliano. Similarly, a student from Italy's premier viticultural training institution spends four weeks in New Zealand, learning about the wine regions, attending the Bragato Conference and visiting EIT. A little less than two weeks into his trip, Christopher had gained a favourable impression of the respect Zealanders showed towards their environment.

"It's a young country still, so I hope that continues and you don't make the same mistakes as Italy and other European countries. New Zealand has to be careful to maintain healthy soils."

Christopher's father owns hillside vineyards where he grows Glera for Prosecco. While the 19-year-old feels many villages making much of Italy's wine often lack the necessary equipment, he has found New Zealand producers are balancing tradition with better technology.

Working at Wither Hills has nurtured Ben's interest in the wine industry. He was employed by the Marlborough winery as a cellarhand in 2011 and decided to pursue tertiary studies two years later. He returned south to work at Wither Hills over his last summer break.

This year, Ben was awarded a Constellation Wines scholarship, which is helping to fund his studies and also provides him with part-time and holiday work.

He's looking forward to exploring Italy next year.

"The only time I have been out of the country was to Australia when I was 10," he says. "I'm interested in seeing the culture, the passion for family and the rules and regulations for appellations."

Hawkes Bay EIT visual arts and design student is shortlisted for a prestigious award.


EIT ideaschool visual arts and design student Tara Cooney has been shortlisted in the Wallace Arts Trust Awards - New Zealand’s most prestigious awards for contemporary art.

Tara has been a selected as a finalist for her series of three wooden sculptures, ‘Roger, Ruth, and Paris’, crafted in repurposed wood as part of her portfolio of work for EIT’s Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design.

The awards, which encompass painting, sculpture, video, drawing and unique photography, provide overseas artist residencies ranging from three to six months in New York, Vermont, San Francisco and Solothurn in Switzerland.

Tara’s entry encourages the viewer to encounter the sculptural pieces as though they have some machine-like purpose. They aim to evoke a sense of curiosity.

"Yet they are designed with limited function," she says, "and remain purposefully pointless."

A second-year degree student, Tara considered what conceptual form a new model of reconnection may take in response to an increasing dependency on technology and the development of the ‘restless user’.

The series of three assemblages are a tactile investigation of handles, strings and moving parts. In what they reveal and what they hide, they challenge the viewer to consider how meaning might be generated.

The 31-year-old student says the constructs, influenced by Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters and Stephane Mallarme, appear to have a nihilistic approach to the model of rational capitalism and industrialisation intent on seeking maximum speed, maximum efficiency and maximum output.

"Embedded within this is a sense of irony as the notion of the machine is deliberately subverted, upsetting the balance of function and predictability."

Tara’s work will already be familiar toNapiershoppers and visitors. In 2012, she won the city’s Box Art competition, having responded toNapierInner City Marketing’s challenge to beautify the variously-shaped transformer boxes in the CBD.

Tara took as her motif an unravelling ball of wool and, drawing on stories of the city’s past, she incorporated that into the designs applied to the boxes.

The exhibition of Wallace Trust Art Awards winners and selected finalists will be open to the public at the TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre in Auckland’s Pah Homestead from 2 September to 9 November. Works not chosen for that exhibition may be hung in a Salon des Refusés which will run from 2 September to 19 October at the same venue.

From Taradale, Tara will attend the opening of the Wallace Arts Trust Awards exhibition with partner and fellow Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design student Jeff Robertson.

Hawkes Bay EIT hospitality students win a haul of medals at the Nestlé Toque d’Or competition.

A team of EIT hospitality students has won a cache of medals in the Nestlé Toque d’Or competition in Auckland.


Front of house student Ashleigh Butler scored a silver medal and culinary students Kayla Hughes and Sabrina Faes each picked up a bronze medal in the nationwide event.

FromNapier, Ashleigh is studying the one-year Certificate in Front of House Operations (Advanced).

Kayla is fromHastingsand is the second year of her Diploma in Professional Chef Practice while Swiss-born Sabrina, from Waimarama, is in the first year of the programme.

Having developed a menu comprising three courses, Kayla and Sabrina worked over three hours to prepare the dishes served by Ashleigh to guests.

The pressure throughout the live kitchen cook-off was intense, with the team fighting the clock and working under the ever-present gaze of a panel of industry judges.

The 12 teams taking part were marked against World Chefs Societies’ international judging standards encompassing food preparation, presentation, taste and service.

This year was the 24th for New Zealand’s longest-running student cookery and food event, which is also held in 17 other countries and has helped launch the careers of chefs such as Jamie Oliver.

Hawkes Bay and Gisborne school leavers get in quick for EIT scholarships.


EIT’s Year 13 degree scholarship, offering students a year’s free tuition fees, is to be awarded on individual merit.

The popular scholarship provides a fees-free first year for successful applicants wanting to study any of EIT’s 15 undergraduate degree programmes. They are available to secondary school leavers in the Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne regions, from Hicks Bay to Dannevirke.

Scholarships for the Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts (Te Toi o Ngā Rangi), the Bachelor of Viticulture, the Bachelor of Wine Science and the Viticulture/Wine Science concurrent degree are open to students nationwide.

In the restructured format, the scholarships will be awarded by a selection panel on the basis of criteria applying to students enrolling for programmes in 2015 and beyond. The value of each fees scholarship will be between $4805 and $6000 depending on the programme.

Priority applications close on Friday, 17 October. For further information, phone 0800 CALL EIT (0800 2255 348).