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Havelock North Intermediate will celebrate its 40th birthday with a makeover.

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Four schools have been selected to receive a $10,000 Treemendous school makeover in 2015 - a joint initiative between the Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson Trust.

The Treemendous team will carry out the school makeovers in 2015 together with help from the local school communities, parents and students, and the local Mazda dealerships.

Havelock North Intermediate will be visited next year by the Treemendous team for a native tree planting working bee. The schools' outdoor areas will be transformed into a space for students to learn and explore.

"The standard of entries for the Treemendous School Makeovers were incredibly high this year, making it exceptionally difficult to choose the four winners," says Mazda Foundation chairman Andrew Clearwater.

"It was clear that a lot of thought and planning from both the staff and students went into the applications, resulting in a huge variety of creative and original ideas."

Havelock North Intermediate will celebrate its 40th birthday next year. A large disused area of the school grounds will be transformed into a place where children can learn about native flora and fauna. A new path will create a link between three local schools, allowing children to socialise with pupils from other schools in a shared community area. A waharoa (gateway), bird houses and feeders, beehives, and a substantial number of natives will also be included in the transformation.

More than 31 schools have now been awarded Treemendous Makeovers.

Project Crimson Trust chairman Devon McLean says it was wonderful to see so many schools passionate about the environment and eager to create their own educational outdoor area.

"Since the programme's inception in 2008, more than 27 schools have benefited from an outdoor transformation and we are looking forward to seeing even more creative environmental initiatives from around the country, when entries open in 2015."

"The quality of entries this year was outstanding and we're thrilled to see how much schools are embracing the importance of conservation and outdoor learning," says McLean."

All Primary and Intermediate Schools can apply for a Treemendous school makeover. Finalists will receive $500 for their school and the winning four schools will receive a $10,000 school makeover. Entries will open again in the first term of the New Year.

Young Viticulturist of the Year and EIT graduate gears up for more competition.

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Winner of the prestigious New Zealand’s Young Viticulturist of the Year title, Paul Robinson is an outstanding success story for the Hawke’s Bay winegrowing industry.

After leaving school a decade ago, Paul moved from Taranaki in pursuit of a horticulture-based career. Studying at EIT and working part-time in a friend’s vineyard combined theory and practice, he says, which made him want to finish the Bachelor of Viticulture and Bachelor of Wine Science concurrent degree.

The 27-year-old is now the assistant vineyard manager of Villa Maria’s Joseph Soler and Te Awa blocks, west ofHastings.

Having won the national title on his fourth attempt, Paul is feeling "over the moon". He outperformed more than 45 budding viticulturists who entered from wine regions nationwide~and he is the third successive EIT graduate to have claimed the national title.

Paul was one of five to make it through to the finals, held as part of the recent Bragato Conference in Blenheim. Two others, Brenton O’Riley and Jeffery Farrell, were also EIT degree graduates and Brenton placed third.

Paul says he worked hard for his win.

"It’s been a while coming," he laughs. "The extra work I put into the event paid off. I refreshed in my mind the things I do on the vineyard with trellising, wire work and tractor maintenance as well as viticulture work. That definitely helped."

A huge benefit of taking part in previous competitions was the confidence and knowledge he had gained in delivering a speech and preparing for the judges’ interview.

"With the past experience, I feel I performed better."

Pointing out that EIT graduates have won the title for the last three years, he says that’s good news for the tertiary educator. "It shows the quality of the graduates as well as lecturers and the things EIT has in place."

Paul’s prize package is a $5000 travel voucher, a week-long trip to visit established New Zealand industry leaders, $2000 in cash, wine glasses and a year-long lease of an SUV.

Representing the viticulture industry in November’s New Zealand Young Horticulturist of the Year competition, he appreciates the enormity of the challenge ahead. For the multi-faceted event, finalists have to come up with a market innovation and shape a presentation around that.

"It keeps your brain ticking over," says Paul, who is delaying any decisions around travel until he knows the outcome of the competition.

"There are a lot of European wine regions I haven’t seen yet and in particular I’m keen to see Bordeaux. I’ve never been to Australia’s wine regions either and that is somewhere I’d like to go. They are, after all, our next door neighbours."

After leaving school, Paul moved to Hawke’s Bay, he says, because he wanted to do something horticulture-based.

"I thought I’d give EIT a go and, at the same time I got a job on a friend’s vineyard. Villa Maria took him on as a cadet in the third year of his degree studies and from there he worked his way up the ranks.

"They’re a good company to work for," says Paul, who regularly updates his knowledge and experience of safe, responsible and effective use of agrichemicals by attending Growsafe courses at EIT.

- Two EIT students made wines that won bronze in the Bragato Wine Awards. Bachelor of Viticulture and Bachelor of Wine Science concurrent degree student Jascha Oldham-Selak made JOS Vintages Syrah 2014 from grapes grown by Danny van Zelm while Bachelor of Wine Science student Manuele Peretti used Delegat’s grapes to make H.Ave Wines Chardonnay 2014.

The wines were judged alongside commercial wines entered in the competition.

Marae cookery course a Hawke's Bay first

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Learning cookery skills on their home marae is the icing on the cake for a group of students from Omahu.

Just weeks into the four-month marae cookery programme, EIT tutor chef Kat Sheridan is finding her students a "fun bunch" who are enjoying their learning.

One of the group, Mike Wati endorses that.

"I love it, it’s awesome," he enthuses. "It gives us all a chance to learn a whole lot of skills for the future and what we learn we can pass onto the younger ones as well," says the father of two.

Mike and his classmates are enrolled in the National Certificate in Hospitality (Basic Cookery), which EIT is also offering as a first on Pukemokimoki marae in Napier, Te Pahou marae at Manutuke in Tairāwhiti (Gisborne) as well as a group from Flaxmere on its campus in Hawke’s Bay.

Over 18 weeks, students are learning the basics of cookery, budgeting and how to work out portions in catering for large numbers of people.

Dicing steak for scotch broth, Mike says he and his fellow students have already learnt how to make sauces, velouté and mayonnaise - "now we’re getting into the serious recipes."

Doreen Nuku also loves the learning, particularly about health, safety and hygiene.

"It opens up another opportunity for me. It’s a ticket for what I really want to do - prepare food on the marae and to do it a lot better."

Betty Hanara thinks it’s important to learn new cookery skills such as handling knives. "And we’re teaching Kat some new tricks too," she laughs.

Coming from the same community, the students know one another well and often work together preparing food on the marae.

Kat, who did her initial training as a chef at EIT, likes the real-life working environment of the marae kitchen.

"It’s nice that they are working in their community," she says of the students. "I think that’s the best part of it, that they are demonstrating tautoko - support for one another."

Iwi are collaborating with EIT in offering the marae cookery programme as a national qualification. Each marae has assigned a kaumātua to guide students on the protocol for serving food on a marae - tikanga which includes welcoming manuhiri (visitors) and the order of service.

A Level 3 qualification, the National Certificate in Hospitality provides a pathway to Level 4 professional chef practice programmes at EIT Hawke’s Bay

Hawkes Bay Biodynamics course is proving increasingly popular.

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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, taruna.ac.nz.

Waikato University recruiters are coming to Hawkes Bay.

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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 http://www.waikato.ac.nz/go/wls

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 www.waikato.ac.nz/events/kingitanga/

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.

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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!

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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

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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."