2019 graduation season begins

Source: Massey University

2018 graduands parade down Hurstmere Road to the Bruce Mason Centre.

More than 1400 students will graduate next week, marking the end of their study journey and the beginning of Massey University’s graduation events for 2019.

The ceremonies, held at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna, start on Tuesday morning, and occur twice daily until the final ceremony on Thursday afternoon. There will also be events to celebrate Pasifika and Māori graduates on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

A total of 1437 students will graduate, including 18 with doctorates and 286 receiving master’s degrees. Graduation ceremonies will also take place in Palmerston North and Wellington next month.

Look out for Massey staff who will be on hand to take photos for social media before and after each ceremony. It’s a great chance to get some more casual photos with family and friends. These photos will be posted on Facebook, for students to share, like and comment on. We encourage Massey staff to engage with this content. It can be a great outlet for congratulating students, wishing them well for their next stage in life and inspiring future students.

Twitter and Instagram users attending graduation day, whether they are graduands, family, friends or staff, are encouraged to share highlights using the hashtag #MasseyGrad.

You can watch a live stream of each ceremony here.

Auckland Graduation Ceremonies 16-18 April 2019

Ceremony One – Tuesday, April 16 at 10.30am

Massey Business School – A

Ceremony Two – Tuesday April 16 at 2.30pm

Massey Business School – B

Ceremony Three – Wednesday, April 17 at 10.30am

College of Sciences

Ceremony Four – Wednesday, April 17 at 2.30pm

College of Creative Arts

College of Health

College of Sciences

New Zealand School of Music

Professional and Continuing Education

Ceremony Five – Thursday, April 18 at 10.30am

College of Humanities and Social Sciences – A

Ceremony Six – Thursday, April 18 at 2.30pm

College of Humanities and Social Sciences – B

Celebration to Honour Pasifika Graduates – Tuesday, April 16 at 6.30pm

Celebration to Honour Māori Graduates – Wednesday, April 17 at 6.30pm


New initiative encourages young people to ‘Go with Tourism’

Source: Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED)

Bright young things are being encouraged to consider a career in tourism as part of a new initiative to help address the growing skills shortages facing New Zealand’s largest export industry. 

Spearheaded by Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED), Go with Tourism aims to shift the perceptions many young people have about careers in tourism and provides a platform to connect talent with potential employers.

A soft launch of the platform began last month with cinema advertising, followed by promotional material around the city in the form of bus backs and posters, and has already generated significant activity; more than 300 young people have already registered their interest, and more than 100 employers are set up, ready to be matched with job-seekers.

Steve Armitage, ATEED General Manager – Destination, says getting more young people into tourism is one of the key strategic imperatives to emerge from the Destination AKL 2025 strategy and is critical to supporting the sustainable growth of Auckland’s and New Zealand’s visitor economy.

“The industry is facing growing skills shortages to support the record numbers of visitors coming here, yet there is a strong pool of young people across the country – one in every eight – who are not working or in study,” he says. “We need to better connect with this untapped talent so that we can get them into quality jobs and grow our region’s existing and emerging tourism businesses.

“Go with Tourism introduces a new platform to promote the stories of young people who are already making their way in the world and enables those who are still considering their career paths to explore the wide range of long-term employment opportunities within the tourism sector.” 

Tourism is New Zealand’s largest export industry, and with international visitor numbers increasing every year, an estimated 36,000 additional tourism workers are needed throughout the country by 2025 to meet growing demand.

“We know that this initiative itself will not solve all of these challenges and further advocacy work is necessary if we are to successfully attract the talent the sector is crying out for. This will include further engagement with central government about how tourism can be better recognised in the school curriculum and reflected in policy development,” says Armitage.

A nationwide research project led by ATEED and Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) was commissioned last year to discover what New Zealanders, particularly young people, think about working in tourism. The resulting report, Tourism Youth Perceptions, found that there is stigma associated with the industry.

Tourism Youth Perceptions also found that parents, who have the biggest influence on their child’s career path, tend to have limited understanding of the breadth and depth of opportunities within the tourism sector.

Maggie Ye is one of seven young people who have been identified as a ‘hero’ for the Go with Tourism campaign. As Groups Administrator at SKYCITY, her experience within the industry has been nothing but positive, enabling her to travel abroad and ignite an ambition to advance her career.

“I’ve been really fortunate to be surrounded by such amazing people,” says Ye. “Looking at their success makes me passionate and motivated because I’m on the same pathway that they once were.”

Fiona Melrose, People Experience Manager at HIPGROUP, has been a part of the steering group that helped develop the Go with Tourism initiative and is excited by its potential. One of her employees, Oriwia (Livvy) Morell, is senior chef de partie at Amano and is also featured in the campaign. 

“Through her apprenticeship, to see her today on the front line of the kitchen is a wonderful representation of how young people can excel when given the right tools,” says Melrose.

As well as attracting young talent to the tourism industry, Go with Tourism will provide employers with insights and supporting resources to share best practice on attracting, recruiting and retaining youth.

For more information on Go with Tourism, whether you’re a job-seeker or an employer, please visit gowithtourism.co.nz


Technology and creativity converge on Auckland’s path to the future

Source: Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED)

Three years ago, a young Auckland business renting out VR equipment became one of the first tenants in the AR/VR Garage, a facility set up by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) to grow talent, capability and innovation in our local mixed reality sector.

Fast-forward and that business, Staples VR, is working at the cutting-edge of live action VR content, with offices in Australia and the United Kingdom, and its founder Aliesha Staples, has gone on to win the Hi-Tech Young Achiever Award two years running.  Staples VR is one example of the future ATEED hopes to foster for Auckland and its people as we work to support the generation of quality jobs for the region, to help create a future of inclusive prosperity and opportunity.

In an era of rapid workplace change, where major forces are shaping the future of work, we need to help future-proof Auckland.  For ATEED, that means focusing on sectors with potential to provide high-skills jobs like tech and creative industries. 

The tech sector drives the region’s economic growth; Auckland is home to almost half of New Zealand’s tech firms and labour force, contributes over $9 billion a year in gross domestic product (GDP) and supports more than 65,000 jobs.  ATEED is working to stimulate tech entrepreneurship, as the city strives to become a major innovation hub of the Asia-Pacific.

We’re also focused on the creative industries, with their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent, creating wealth and jobs by generating and commercialising intellectual property.  Auckland’s creative industries play a key role in the local economy.

Like tech, Auckland is home to half of all New Zealand’s creative sector businesses and workforce.  There are over 10,000 creative businesses in the city, with 84 per cent of these in the design (advertising, architecture and software), screen, visual and performing arts subsectors.  More than 85 per cent of the nation’s television jobs are here.

Our prominence in the national and international screen production landscape often surprises people outside the industry.  With production companies like Warner Bros. Pictures, Netflix and Disney filming at the ATEED-operated Kumeu Film Studios and the screen expertise and innovation here, Auckland is on the world map as a production location.

Auckland’s strengths in the tech and creative sectors present exciting opportunities for our people, particularly our young Maori, Pasifika and Asian population and their working future.  We’re working to leverage these strengths, like supporting the Hi-Tech Creative Technology Solution Award, helping showcase Auckland’s world-leading creative technology and the people behind it.

It’s just one of the ways we work with public and private sector partners, to support a wide variety of creative tech programmes, education and training initiatives, provide business support across innovation hubs, and manage business innovation grants alongside agencies such as Callaghan Innovation.

Other examples of our work to date includes working with the nationwide WeCreate Alliance to accelerate the creative sector for greater and more sustainable prosperity; and aligning the 2019 Tripartite Economic Alliance with Techweek19, to showcase Auckland’s tech sector to Los Angeles and Guangzhou businesses and investors.

It’s a busy and exciting time for the tech and creative sectors in Auckland and ATEED looks forward to continuing our work in this space.  By leveraging the city’s existing strengths in these areas, ATEED hopes to help foster a vibrant and future ready city, where Aucklanders can benefit from innovation and creativity, and the opportunities for inclusive prosperity these bring.


Pasifika Festival is not going ahead

Source: Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED)

Statement from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development’s General Manager Destination, Steve Armitage: 

Given the need to prioritise police resourcing following the terrible events in Christchurch, we have today decided to cancel the Pasifika Festival for the coming weekend, 23 and 24 March.  

Initial discussions with New Zealand Police gave us hope that through the festival we would be able to bring Auckland’s communities together at this time of national mourning, however, given the unprecedented nature of what has happened we appreciate and respect that the New Zealand Police must prioritise resourcing to ensure the safety of all our communities across Tāmaki Makaurau.  

Pasifika Festival will return bigger and brighter than ever in 2020.


Christchurch shootings – information for students and staff

Source: Massey University

Massey University has followed police advice to close Islamic prayer spaces at its campuses until further notice following the tragic shootings in Christchurch.

Anyone affected and requiring urgent support should do so through their local health or emergency services.

There is also a free national counselling service line to text or call on 1737 from mobile phones.

Massey staff are available to students in all halls at the three campuses to ensure they are supported.

Other students requiring Massey-specific support are welcome to contact its campus-based health and counselling services. Security at any campus can be contacted at any time on 0800 627 750.


New Poetry NZ Yearbook moves in many ways

Source: Massey University

Poetry NZ Yearbook 2019’s featured poet Stephanie Christie, about to read her work at the launch in Devonport Library, with Dr Jack Ross.

Launched last week at the Devonport Library in Auckland to a packed room of over 200, issue number 53 of New Zealand’s longest-running poetry journal and the third to be published by Massey University Press includes new migrant voices, veteran poets and even a veterinary professor-turned-poet.

Dr Ross, a poet, editor and senior lecturer in the School of English and Media Studies at Massey’s Albany campus, says the task of sifting through over a thousand submissions to choose 130 for the book is formidable as well as a tremendous privilege. Always with an ear tuned for fresh and challenging new voices and views, he has mustered a bracing array of poetry from a diverse set of writers.

From modern probes into religion, romance, love, death and loss to the inner lives of a retail worker, a refugee, a doctor, a drunk – the eclectic mix offers poems in a multitude of forms, including prose pieces. As well as captivating lines by emerging poets there is new work by some of the country’s most respected names, such as New Zealand’s inaugural Poet Laureate Michele Leggott, along with Elizabeth Smither, Emma Neale and Bob Orr. There are dual-text poems too, in Chinese, German, Spanish and te reo Māori, as well as 20 poems and an interview with featured Hamilton poet Stephanie Christie.

A number of Massey graduates and staff who are also published authors made the grade, including Professor Bryan Walpert, Dr Johanna Emeney, Dr Matthew Harris, Bonnie Etherington, Sue Wootton and Jessica Pawley, who wrote one of three literary essays in the book.

Wildbase vet a prize-winning poet

Another Massey contributor is Brett Gartrell, a professor in Wildlife Health in the School of Veterinary Science and clinical director of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at the Manawatū campus. He gained second place and a $300 in prize money for his poem; ‘After the principal calls’

Beyond his day job saving injured native birds and animals and teaching others how to do the same, he has been taking courses through the School of English and Media Studies for the past decade, including on fiction writing, creative non-fiction, children’s writing, life writing and poetry. 

“I never thought of myself as a poet previously, but I was inspired by the teaching and poetry of Professor Bryan Walpert in particular,” says Professor Gartrell, who has just completed a portfolio of poetry and essay for his master’s of Creative Writing. “I’ve discovered poetry as something that both challenges and intrigues me.”

His foray into studying poetry has, he says, “given me a perspective on my teaching. I have been challenged and mostly delighted by the teaching excellence of my tutors and lecturers. I think all academics could benefit from this role reversal from time to time.”

What does he most like about writing poetry? “It’s the combination of creative flow and control. It’s the challenge of allowing a poem to find its own direction and surprising conjunctions which then needs to be followed by the control of distillation; of condensing and communicating the most complex of lyrical moments through the words and structure of the poem. 

“As Jasper Fforde writes in First Among Sequels; “Whereas story is processed in the mind in a straightforward manner, poetry bypasses rational thought and goes straight to the limbic system and lights it up like a brushfire. It’s the crack cocaine of the literary world.”

Poetry editor to ghost writer

“I feel the most proud of this volume,” says Dr Ross, of the fifth consecutive edition of the Poetry New Zealand he has edited, not including as a guest editor some years ago. 

He says in the book’s introduction, What makes a poem good?,that being moved emotionally has increasingly become his sense of a successful poem, which may be about something funny, or painful or revealing. “It’s not that I sit here boo-hooing as I read through all the submissions for each issue – but every now and then something in one of them sits up and looks alive, persuades me that something is being worked out here that might be relevant to others simply because it seems so relevant to me.”

Mostly, he hopes the book will help to make poetry more visible, more accessible and maybe ignite new interest among a wider, more culturally diverse audience. This edition is his last as editor for the time being – he is handing the editorial reins for the next issue over to Dr Johanna Emeney, a published poet and creative writing lecturer at Massey. He is hoping to be able to devote more time to working on his own writing, with a project in the pipeline to explore his longheld fascination about ghost stories and the psychology behind them.


Trans-Tasman champion Sir Rob McLeod wins key NZ CFO award

Source: MakeLemonade.nz

Auckland – Champion of trans-Tasman gender equity and indigenous engagement Sir Rob McLeod last night won the 2019 Outstanding Contribution to Finance & Business award at the annual New Zealand CFO Awards in Auckland.

Sir Rob, of Ngati Porou whakapapa, received the prestigious judges award for an outstanding career built on tax expertise, leadership as chief executive of accounting firm EY Australasia and an almost unparalleled role in finance, governance and Maori and Australian indigineous initiatives across both New Zealand and Australia.

Growing up in Manutuke, just south of Gisborne, Sir Rob claims not to have been a diligent student.  But, when a maths teacher challenged him to teach himself a segment of the syllabus, he spent the weekend before the exam swotting it up and topped the class.

After graduating with a degree in commerce and law, he decided a career in taxation would be the best match, joining Gilfillan Morris & Co. He was made partner in that firm at 27 years of age.

Sir Rob practiced as a tax specialist for more than 30 years. He held a number of senior leadership roles in New Zealand, Australian and Māori business organisations, including chairing the New Zealand Business Round Table for eight years and chairing the 2001 government tax review.

He served as chief executive and managing partner of Ernst & Young New Zealand, before being appointed to the same role for EY Australasia, for approximately five years.

During this time, he pushed an active agenda for gender equity and championed indigenous initiatives, including EY filing its first reconciliation action plan in Australia. He was also instrumental in actively transitioning EY’s domestic focus on Australia and New Zealand to one of Asia Pacific integration.

Sir Rob also served on the Business Council of Australia’s taskforces on Indigenous Engagement and Economic Policy and Competitiveness.

Being entrenched in commerce, with his Ngāti Porou background, he found his way to championing Maori interests, small business and entrepreneurship and a key driver of Māori economic development. He served on the 2004 Hui Taumata Taskforce to increase Māori participation, leadership and governance in the workforce.

As Ngāti Porou engaged with the government, Sir Rob took the role of lead negotiator from 2008 to 2010 and a member of the Māori Economic Development Taskforce.  He was also a member of the establishment team for Maori development agency Te Puni Kokiri.

Sir Rob’s other governance roles include serving on an Independent Ministerial Advisory Panel for the Defence Review, the National Infrastructure Advisory Board and the Ministerial Taskforce on Tertiary Education and he has been a Commissioner of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission, and chaired Aotearoa Fisheries Limited.

When it comes to directorships, Sir Rob has also had significant impact on business through directorships of Tainui Group Holdings, Telecom NZ, ANZ, Sky City, Gulliver Travel and Sealord.  Directorships currently held include deputy chairman of Sanford, chairman of Quayside Holdings and the E Tipu E Rea Trust and a director of the Port of Tauranga.

Those who know him often refer to his rigorous intellect and certainly he is a man who likes to think in frameworks.  He has used this approach to championing diversity within corporates, CFO awards event organiser Steve Scott says.

“He is quoted as saying his success in life derives from the opportunities provided by two strong-willed and nurturing families.  The one family he married into and the other one he was born into. This has been enhanced by the role models he has met along life’s pathway,” Scott says.

“Sir Rob has previously been recognised, being named Knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and Māori.”

Other awards included Nicki Florence as Emerging Finance Leader of the Year, facilities management firm OSC took home the Financial Innovation Project of the Year, whilst Xero was awarded Finance Team of the Year. The other big prize of the night went to Scott Scoullar, CFO of Summerset who was crowned CFO of the Year.

The CFO Awards are an annual gala function recognising the best and brightest of New Zealand’s finance community and is hosted by stuff and Conferenz.

For further information contact Make Lemonade NZ editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

Photo: Sir Rob McLeod


NZ may become a global blockchain leader

Source: MakeLemonade.nz

Auckland – Kiwis could be future leaders in the billion-dollar global blockchain market across government and industry, BlockchainNZ executive director Mark Pascall says.

Blockchain is at its heart a decentralised distributed ledger – which is a way of replicating and sharing data between networked computers – which records the transaction of data, communication, tokens and money.

Pascall says it is one of the key new tech infrastructures that will disrupt traditional social institutions, such as banks, through the decentralising of data.

Over the next two weeks BlockchainNZ is hosting events in Wellington and Auckland to help Kiwis understand more about what is happening with blockchain. Techweek in May will also be featuring a number of blockchain events.

“Digital identity is at the core of every interaction online. It affects not only individuals, but businesses, government, and machines too. Blockchain is a game-changer,” Pascall says.

“It’s no secret that our current identity model with all its siloes and vulnerabilities is not sustainable. It’s a major pain point for both businesses and consumers.

“There is a growing global consensus that a self-sovereign identity model is the best solution. We are heading towards a blockchain model where users have more control, and there is more transparency and privacy around data shared on the internet.

“We are privileged to live in a country that has a democratically elected, trusted government that then we allow them to control our identity management systems.

“But the world is changing. Globalisation and internet commerce mean that more and more people need a global identity, not just one that is recognised in their country of origin.

“We’re all now transacting in a global market place even if we’re physically based in one country. We are seeing a handful of companies now effectively taking over the systems for managing our identity. These companies are not elected by us and they are there to make money for their shareholders.

“As these centralised databases grow so does the target for hackers. The stakes are getting bigger and bigger. How long will it be before people’s DNA code is on the dark web and accessible by every insurance company?

“Ten years ago, the Satoshi Nakamoto (the inventor of bitcoin) started the decentralisation revolution. He created an architecture that gave a way to create software systems that were tamper proof and had no central control.

“If these technologies are going to serve society then we need to solve the problem of giving one vote to one human, we need the social layer not just the technological layer.

“And to solve that problem we need to go back to the fundamentals of what human identity means in a technological age.”

New Zealand will be among the global leaders and early adopters under government stewardship, industry leadership, market agility and appetite for public and private collaboration.

For further information contact Make Lemonade NZ editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275030188


Auckland’s high five for rugby league fans

Source: Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED)

Rugby league will storm a rival code’s spiritual home this November with a triple treat of international matches at Eden Park when the All Blacks are away seeking more Rugby World Cup glory. 

A trio of tests on 2 November between the Kiwis and Great Britain Lions, the Australian Kangaroos and Tonga, and proud Pacific nations Fiji and Samoa take place on the same day as rugby’s world cup final. 

The Eden Park matches are part of a thrilling year for league fans, with Mt Smart Stadium to likely to become a temporary Tongan kingdom in June with a long-awaited re-match between the Kiwis and Mate Ma’a Tonga. 

The Tonga v Kiwis men’s test is part of a historic double header on 22 June also involving the Kiwi Ferns against a Pacific opponent. 

The five-match international smorgasbord was announced today at Eden Park by the Rugby League International Federation, New Zealand Rugby League, and England Rugby Football League – and brought to Auckland with the help of investment by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) on behalf of Auckland Council, and as part of the region’s annual major events portfolio, along with support from central government. 

Mayor Phil Goff says Auckland is the perfect city for a league showdown of epic proportions.

“Rugby League has a passionate following in Auckland, and it’s great to see some of the world’s best teams coming to our shores in 2019. It follows a fantastic summer of sport, with the ASB Classic, FIH Hockey Pro League and world-class international cricket showcasing Auckland to the world.”

Stuart Turner, Head of Major Events at ATEED, says the huge year of league tests are expected to deliver more than $1.2 million in new GDP and more than 18,000 visitor nights, as well as being broadcast to millions worldwide. 

“Tonga’s fans are famed for their passion, and for turning stadiums into a sea of red and song. Kiwi and Kangaroo fans now have a chance to show their true colours in what will be earth-shaking league encounters,” says Stuart Turner. 

The Kiwis v Tonga, Kangaroos v Tonga, and Fiji v Samoa matches form part of the new six-nation Oceania Cup, while the Great Britain Lions test is part of that team’s two test series in New Zealand – the famed combined British side’s first tour here for 13 years. 

Stuart Turner says the matches in June and November will bring visitors to the region in traditionally quieter times of the year for the visitor economy, which is a key ATEED priority under the Destination AKL 2025 strategy released last year. 

“We are working closely with Auckland’s tourism industry on concepts which will focus future visitor growth in periods outside of the traditional peak summer season, and the multi-match weekends are great news for accommodation providers looking to fill rooms at quiet times.” 

Last October, two international rugby league tests in Auckland across consecutive weekends – Tonga v Kangaroos, and Kiwis v Kangaroos – combined to deliver $1.16m in regional GDP and more than 15,000 new visitor nights. 

ATEED will be involved in detailed planning for the two busy sporting weekends with event delivery partners, Duco Events, and agencies including Auckland Transport, Auckland Airport, venue staff and New Zealand Police. 

Photo: George Burgess GBRLLions, Roger Tuivasa-sheck (Kiwis) and Leivaha Pulu (Mate Ma’a Tonga) at Eden Park 



Tech firms’ continued R&D growth driving economic growth

Source: MakeLemonade.nz

Auckland – New data from Statistics NZ highlights the continued growth of R&D (research and development) by tech firms, with computer services and scientific and tech services making up 35 percent of all R&D investment.

Computer services companies alone invested $586 million in R&D in 2018, an increase of $150 million, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

“The scale of R&D investment by tech firms should be recognised and celebrated as many of these firms develop solutions that are enablers for other sectors,” he says.

The tech sector is made up of more than 20,000 firms, most of them small businesses, yet they contribute around $16 billion to GDP and close to $7 billion in exports, making them the country’s third largest export sector.

“The growth of the tech sector is contributing to regional growth and employment, with over 100,000 Kiwis now employed by tech firms. However, the biggest impact from a growing tech sector is the positive impact of its growth on the economy as a whole.

“Research has shown that for every new tech job created a further four other jobs are created around it.”

It is also cause for celebration to see investment in ICT not limited to the tech sector with Statistics NZ data showing that across sector R&D investment in information and communication services reached $431 million, a 40 percent growth, which now accounts for 11 percent of all R&D invested in New Zealand, Muller says.

“As New Zealand businesses invest in technology their productivity and profitability improves. Increased use of internet services by small businesses in New Zealand could be worth $34 billion in economic growth according to a 2016 study.

“Hopefully the transition from growth grants to the R&D tax credit system will not slow this growth in R&D. There are still a couple of definitional issues to resolve to ensure software firms can continue to have access to R&D incentives and that high growth pre-profit firms are also given incentive to invest. However, it is expected that overall R&D investment by tech firms will continue to grow,” Muller says.

New Zealand has a growing number of successful software firms like Xero, Pushpay, FarmIQ and Soul Machines who continue to spend significant amounts on R&D as their products need constant development.

The R&D incentive will help get New Zealand tech and innovation to the world and support the growth of the fastest growing industry in the country, he says.

For further information contact Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

Photo: NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller