Making sense of an uncertain world: lecture series

Source: Massey University

Humanities and social sciences scholars share their expertise and insights on a diverse local and global topics in the Our Changing World lecture series.

China’s influence, Auckland’s superdiversity, philosophical issues in health and science research, the transformative power of theatre, music, literature – just a few of the sizzling topics in this year’s Our Changing World public lectures by Massey University humanities and social science scholars.

Exploring, analysing and understanding complex and compelling issues is where philosophers, sociologists, historians, linguists and other arts scholars shine. The series, now in its third consecutive year at the Auckland campus and expanding to Wellington this year, offers a diverse range of fascinating topics of interest to the wider public, offering fresh perspectives and food for thought.

Hosted by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the series kicks off on March 6 with Dr David Belgrave – a lecturer in citizenship and politics – discussing New Zealand’s policy towards China. His talk, Watching China’s Rise: Past, Present and Future Options for New Zealand, will provide historical context to the New Zealand-China relationship and look at policy challenges for the future in what has become a hot button already issue this year.

Next up, French language and literature specialist Dr France Grenaudier-Klijn will explore how the Holocaust of World War II continues to haunt French society and culture in her talk: Ghosts of the Holocaust in contemporary French fiction.

Philosopher Dr John Matthewson will share insights on populations in science research and applications. He will explore how science applications and funding gets targeted to particular groups, moving from philosophical analysis through scientific methodology to ultimately consider practical outcomes. 

The first lecture, in Auckland, looks at past and current contexts for New Zealand’s relationship with China.

Protest origins and sports’ allure

Historian Dr Amanda McVitty takes the audience back to medieval Europe to consider the earliest voices of protest in politics. She will discuss how and why the voices of the people emerged “as a formidable and unpredictable force in medieval politics,” and explore the strategies ordinary men and women used to protest injustice, defy corrupt leaders, and demand change. 

Back to the future and closer to home, historian and author Dr Geoff Watson considers the world of sport in New Zealand and why it is so important to many in our nation, in his talk:Continuity or Change? Sport in New Zealand Society c. 1840-2019.

The Auckland series concludes in November with renowned demographer Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, discussing the latest trends in Auckland’s fast-growing population in his tall: “Superdiverse Auckland: A New City Emerges.”

Professor Spoonley launches the Wellington series on March 19 discussing hate speech in the age of the internet. Following lectures include Professor Richard Shaw on the Fourth Industrial revolution and work of the future; Dr Germana Nicklin on New Zealand’s borders from European and Māori perspectives; Dr Anna Powles on the implications for the Pacific ‘reset’; Associate Professor Christine Kenney on indigenous approaches to disaster management; and Dr John Fitzgerald on policy and strategy for suicide risk and prevention. Associate Professor Elspeth Tilley will share her research insights and experiences from pioneering work in performance arts and activism, while Associate Professor Leonel Alvarado will talk on the impact and influence of Latino music around the world.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Regional Director in Auckland and lecture series convenor, Dr Damien Rogers.

Fresh insights on complex issues of our time

Convenor Dr Damien Rogers, a politics lecturer in the School of People, Environment and Planning, says; “These days, the world around us seems more complex than ever before. For some, humanity is on a precipice, tearing itself apart in some regions of the world as a global ecological crisis appears ever closer on our shared horizon. For others, we live in an era of unparalleled opportunity and unsurpassed prosperity. How are we to make sense of it all?” 

 “We offer these lectures free to the public to better connect with our local communities and to fulfil, in part, our cherished role as critic and conscience of society. We hope the series will inform, and perhaps even transform, the way in which people think about a broad range of fascinating topics.”   


TIME: Doors open at 6pm. Lecture 6.30-7.30pm.

VENUE: Round Room, Atrium Building, Albany campus, Massey University



TIME: 6pm to 7pm, third Tuesday of the month.

VENUE: National Library of New Zealand, Programme Rooms, Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Thorndon.

For more information or to register: 

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Massey researcher receives Fulbright to study indigenous enterprise

Source: Massey University

Dr Jason Mika.

Dr Jason Mika from the School of Management has received this year’s Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Scholar Award, which will see him visit Stanford University and the University of Arizona.

The Fullbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Scholar Award is for a New Zealand academic, artist or professional to lecture or conduct research at a United States institution in the field of indigenous development.

Dr Mika says he is “humbled and honoured” to receive the award and is looking forward to the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

He will research the design of effective enterprise assistance for indigenous entrepreneurs. He has extensively researched Māori enterprise assistance in New Zealand and is keen to compare what works in the United States.

“I’m hoping to get some new ideas about the kinds of theories and programmes that have worked well, to see what we can learn that may help Māori entrepreneurs,” he says. “But I also want to share knowledge and collaborate with international researchers as we will have a lot to learn from each other.”

Centres for innovation and indigeous studies

Dr Mika has chosen to visit Stanford because it is associated with one of the world’s most established entrepreneurial ecosystems.

“Everybody has heard of Silicon Valley but how inclusive is it for indigenous entrepreneurs? I want to know if they are well supported and whether or not are part of that system,” he says.

The University of Arizona was chosen by Dr Mika because it is home to the world-leading Native Nations Institute. 

“The researchers there are experts in indigenous leadership and governance and they have been effective at supporting Native nations to realise their own economic independence and self-determination.” 

Dr Mika’s award is one of seven grants made by Fulbright New Zealand in 2019. The awards are unique in that they are available for research in any field but are united in the common goal to forge international collaboration. 

Dr Mika will be honoured alongside the six other award recipients at the annual Fulbright Award Ceremony in June. He will then travel to Arizona in July to visit the Native Nations Institute before heading to Stanford University.

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‘Salad days’ for Summer Shakespearians

Source: Massey University

(from left) Matt Schaw (as Alexas, a high-ranking member of Cleopatra’s court) and Kathleen van Rooyen (Cleopatra) as Cleopatra laments Antony’s absence. (image/Zak Rodgers)

Massey students taking part in this year’s outdoor Manawatū Summer Shakespeare production of Antony and Cleopatra might feel they are in their ‘salad days’ – an expression that refers to a time of carefree innocence and pleasure of youth.

The phrase, from a line by Cleopatra – “my salad days, when I was green in judgment, cold in blood” – is one of the better known from the play to be incorporated into modern speech as well as for the title of a 1950s musical. The play itself combines politics, betrayal and an exotic love story which ends tragically. 

Director, veteran screen and stage actor and Shakespearian stalwart Ralph Johnson says the play dwells on the attraction between “two flawed human beings” – Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt and Mark Antony, a Roman general. “They’re not heroic types – they fail often, but they redeem themselves through their humanity.”

Antony and Cleopatra begins with the titular lovers living together in Egypt when an uprising against Caesar in Rome forces Antony to return. However, Caesar does not fully trust Antony and begins to scheme behind his back. Cleopatra, meanwhile, is left behind in Egypt, where she sets in motion plans of her own – plans which Caesar may be involved in.

Mr Johnson has acted and directed numerous Shakespearian products in New Zealand and abroad, starred in television dramas such as The Legend of the Seeker, in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, and tutored theatre studies at Massey’s School of English and Media Studies. In this year’s production, he decided to cut the three-hour play by half, editing out minor sub-plots before rehearsals kicked off a few weeks ago.

From left: Iras (Jayda McIndoe), Cleopatra (Kathleen van Rooyen) and Charmian (Sarah Angland grieving over a deceased Antony (Rob Lloyd). (image/Zak Rodgers)

Gender equality among generals

Gender fluidity, a feature of several of William Shakespeare’s other plays, is also an element of this production. A requirement for 50/50 gender casting means there are women generals in the Roman army. It is a contemporary twist because they are not women pretending to be men, but women generals, he says. The set comprises a modernist Egyptian-style pyramid made of steel, while costumes have a futuristic look with military generals clad in motor cross gear.

Six of the cast members are current Massey students, including actor and publicist Zak Rodgers (Bachelor of Communication in Expressive Arts and Journalism), Sarah Angland (Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies and Theatre), Matt Schaw, Cameron Dickons (Bachelor of Arts in English and Theatre), Jayda McIndoe (Bachelor of Science double major in Zoology and Ecology) and Georgia-Rae Lochore.

“Much of the cast is made up from members and veterans of previous Summer Shakespeare productions, which means we’re already familiar with each other,” says Cameron, who plays Octavius Caesar. “Ralph has an exquisite attention to detail and a real drive to get everyone to their best. He’s also quite fun-loving – rehearsals with him are equal parts intense and goofy!” 

Local actor Kathleen van Rooyen, who plays Cleopatra, says the Queen of Egypt famously played by Elizabeth Taylor on film and Judi Dench on the stage, “is a complex and fascinating character. She is ugliness and beauty, vice and virtue. Many stage and film adaptations often portray her as seductive and cruel. But those portrayals of her do not fully capture the queen that once bewitched the western world.”

Summer Shakespeare poster; and director Ralph Johnson.

Theatre magic under the trees

Mr Johnson, currently Massey’s artist in residence, says he is glad to be working with “an experienced and enthusiastic production team, which feels such a blessing. In the cast, also, I feel that same verve. I feel delighted and privileged to be able to build on such a strong platform, to create the next piece of this tradition to enthral this year’s audience.”

This is his third time directing the Manawatū Summer Shakespeare. He’s been an avid fan of Shakespeare since going to see a production of Henry VIII as a boy at Christchurch’s Theatre Royale. 

Award-winning playwright and theatre studies lecturer Professor Angie Farrow in the School of English and Media Studies, who launched the Manawatū Summer Shakespeare 16 years ago, says; “It’s a delight to have Ralph Johnson back amongst us. His productions of Romeo and Juliet and Comedy of Errors were outstanding – he knows how to get the very best from emerging actors.  

“Since he last directed, the Manawatū Summer Shakespeare has gone from strength to strength attracting huge family audience and gaining a reputation as high-quality entertainment.”

The appeal of Antony and Cleopatra for local audiences? “It’s less to do with Shakespeare and more to do with being with a group of people picnicking, being part of creating magic under the trees,” says Mr Johnson.

Antony & Cleopatra runs from 28 February to 3 March and 7 to 9 March. 

Time: 6:30pm and 4:30pm Matinee (4 March) 
Venue: Victoria Esplanade Arboretum, Palmerston North.
Koha (donation) entry. No booking required

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Student helps create craft beer with gin

Source: Massey University

Massey student Tash Snowball Kui and Lila, the Juniper Wit beer she helped create

Most students leave their summer internship with new skills or knowledge or maybe even a job offer, but Tash Snowball Kui gets to leave with a beer she helped create.

Studying a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours (Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering), Miss Kui landed a summer role with Taranaki Gin Distillery, BeGin, researching how the water by-product from BeGin’s distilling process, could be used to create a beer.

The Belgian Wit was released on January 5 by Three Sisters Brewery, named “Lila”, after the largest of BeGin’s copper stills. It is currently in five stores around Taranaki, with plans to produce more batches later in the year for further distribution.

Miss Kui says that people’s reactions to the beer have been amazing.

“It’s the first-ever gin / beer that I have heard of in New Zealand. As a student, to make something, it’s pretty amazing. It’s definitely one of the best things I’ve done in my life so far.

“At the start we started off with just the still-water, which is the by-product that comes out of the distillation and then we ran some tests on it to see if there were any starches that could be used for fermentation for beer. We found some, so we decided to do a trial brew batch. The trial batch was quite zesty, quite orangey and a real light summer beer, which was different from the final batch. Which was surprising as when we increased the amount that we made, it changed the flavours, so we added gin and juniper berries to it as well and got a whole new flavour.”

“It is such an achievement because I’ve never really done anything like this. I’m being able to do something I love and learn new things, other than just learning the theory of it at university.”

BeGin’s Dave James, Jo James and Tash Snowball Kui, and Three Sister’s owner Joe Emans; Tash Snowball Kui.

From idea to beer

The initial idea came from BeGin owners, Jo and Dave James, who have a strong commitment to sustainability in their business. 

Jo James says that they try to find alternative uses for the by-products of their signature Juno gin. 

“When you are making gin, you end up with solid and liquid material at the end. The solid material is the juniper berries, which goes to a local chocolatier Giles who makes Juno Gin truffles, which are delicious. But we hadn’t found a home for the liquids and it was a discussion with the beermakers at the Auckland Food Show where we came up with the idea. Because it’s had all this juniper through it, it’s got starches and sugars, could we use that to ferment and make a beer? We didn’t know, so we were really looking for someone who could take that project on and run with it. “We had an application for an internship from Tash who said her interest were brewing, so it was a no-brainer.”

“The beer is delicate, refreshing and delicious — a perfect middle ground upon which craft beer and gin enthusiasts alike can get excited.”


Massey professor named Senior New Zealander of the Year

Source: Massey University

Professor Bill Glass from the Centre for Public Health Research.

Professor Bill Glass from the Centre for Public Health Research has been named Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year in the 2019 Kiwibank New Zealanders of the Year awards.

Professor Glass has, throughout his long and distinguished career, considerably advanced occupational medicine, workers’ health, and policy development in New Zealand, through original research, his work as an occupational physician, and his long involvement with WorkSafe.

One of the major successes of his career was the creation of the Asbestos Exposure Register. His efforts have resulted in better health outcomes for countless workers by not only highlighting the dangers posed by substances like asbestos, lead and silica, but also by offering solutions to reduce exposure.

College of Health Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Mills congratulated Professor Glass.

“Congratulations Bill on receiving this well-deserved recognition of your major contribution to New Zealand in the field of occupational health. We are very proud that you have chosen to continue your research in the Centre for Public Health Research. Your leadership and mentoring is much appreciated by all at Massey and we thank you for your local contribution to our research culture.”

The awards recognise those aged 67 and over who are making a positive contribution to New Zealand. Mental health advocate, comedian and TV personality Mike King was named New Zealander of the Year for shining a light on the effects and impacts of mental health, particularly among Māori and young people.

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Industrial relations expert shares insights from Europe

Source: Massey University

Social dialogue in Europe has declined since the Global Financial Crisis.

A visiting professor to Massey University will discuss some of the “megatrends” transforming industrial relations in Europe at the Massey Business School’s first ‘Business after 5’ event for 2019.

Professor Christian Welz, a senior research manager at European Union agency Eurofound, will outline the industrial and social changes that have led to a decline in collective bargaining, or “social dialogue”, in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. 

Professor Welz says social dialogue, which occurs when trade unions and employer organisations, often in collaboration with government, solve work-related issues through negotiaton, has been a key element of the European economy for three decades. However, the level of social dialogue can vary significantly between EU member states, and there has been a general trend away from centralised collective bargaining across the board.

“This megatrend has been in play for quite a while,” he says, “but that process was accelerated by the Global Financial Crisis. Of course, Brexit has brought a new period of turbulence, and it is hard to say with any certainty how this will affect industrial relations both within the EU and in Britain.”

Distinguished visiting professor Christian Welz from Eurofund.

The benefits of social dialogue

Professor Welz says the decline in social dialogue has eroded protections for workers in the countries worst affected by the crisis, and his most recent Eurofound research has attempted to measure the outputs of countries with different industrial relations systems.  

“The results of this study show that those countries performing best in social dialogue are also top of the table in terms of social justice, decent work and competitiveness,” he says.

“The research results indicate there are many advantages to co-regulating the employment relationship. Collective negotiations between employers and employees makes them social partners, and it’s something that we advocate at Eurofound as a way of improving living and working conditions.”

While he admits his local knowledge is still limited, Professor Welz says New Zealand’s industrial relations system probably sits alongside Britain on the social dialogue continuum.

“In Europe, nations like Germany, Austria and Sweden have a long history of collective bargaining, but then, at the other end of the scale, are the newer member states from Eastern Europe,” he says. “Britain sits somewhere in between after jointing the EU in 1973. I suspect countries like New Zealand, which have shared history, would be rather similar in terms of social dialogue.”

One of his research objectives while visiting New Zealand is to partner with local academics to measure the level of social dialogue here. “That will allow New Zealand to compare its industrial relations landscape to other countries around the world – and to learn how other approaches may be of benefit.”

Professor Christian Welz’s presentation at the Massey Business School’s ‘Business after 5’ event is titled: Brexit, voice and loyalty: European social dialogue in turbulent times. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Event details:

Venue:             Massey Business School Building, Massey University Auckland campus, Gate 1, Albany Expressway

Date:                Tuesday, February 26, 2019  

Time:               From 5pm, for a 5.30pm presentation



The hidden gem of Studio Ghibli

Source: Massey University

© 1993 Saeko Himuro – Studio Ghibli.

Ocean Waves will screen at Massey’s Auckland
campus on March 6.

Ocean Waves, also known as I Can Hear the Sea, is the first Japanese film to play at Massey University’s Auckland campus this year, as part of the monthly Japanese film series.

The 1993 anime film, from the famed Studio Ghibli, is directed by Tomomi Mochizuki and based on the novel of the same name by Saeko Himuro. Rarely screened outside Japan, Ocean Waves is one of Studio Ghibli’s most sought-after titles.

Kochi is an average coastal town on the sleepy, idyllic island of Shikoku. Young Taku is your average high school student, but his life is quickly turned upside down after the arrival of Rikako – a beautiful student who recently transferred from Tokyo. By the end of the school term, Taku will have learnt a valuable lesson in love and friendship.

Wonderfully detailed and incredibly subtle, there are very few films in the history of animation that have managed to capture so well both the joys and drama of adolescence and teenage alienation.

Ocean Waves will screen at Massey University’s Auckland campus at Albany on Wednesday March 6. The monthly Japanese films play on the first Wednesday of the month, at 6.15pm. Preceding the main feature is a short documentary on life and culture in Japan, which starts at 6pm. Unless specified, the films are screened in the Atrium Round Room on the ground floor of the Atrium Building. There is free parking available on campus.

Ocean Waves is rated PG – mild themes

Director: Tomomi Mochizuki

Running time: 73 minutes

For more information on the Japanese films visit the Consulate-General of Japan in Auckland website here.

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Workshop tackles global look at nutrient loss and water quality

Source: Massey University

Jenny Deakin of the Ireland Environmental Protection Agency, Flemming Gertz of Denmark’s Seges, and Peter Thorburn from CSIRO, Australia. 

As the world’s attention turns increasingly towards both feeding the world and improving waterways, Massey University is once again hosting its annual workshop focusing on water quality and soils both here and abroad.

The 32nd Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre annual workshop, nutrient loss mitigations for compliance in agriculture, aims to facilitate information transfer amongst industry, science, policy and regulatory personnel concerned with primary production in New Zealand. More than 85 submissions were received for this Workshop, which has been hosted at Massey since 1987.

Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre acting director Professor Chris Anderson says the Annual FLRC workshop is a major event in the NZ agriculture and horticulture calendar. 

“Agriculture and Horticulture are key sectors for New Zealand’s economy but their impacts on the environment have never been more scrutinised than today. Primary producers are being increasingly challenged to comply with social expectations for ‘healthy food, healthy environment’. Regional councils are working on regulations guided by science which target the balance been production and environmental protection.

“The workshop has provided over the last 30+ years a platform for science, policy and farm advisors to jointly review the state of this balance, with input from international experts. Compliance is a key theme of this year’s workshop. Compliance is not only about meeting the expectations of regulators but is also about meeting the public’s expectation for clean rivers, affordable housing and safe food. Massey and FLRC has a key role to play in supporting the agricultural and horticultural sectors comply with public and regulator expectations, through forums such as the FLRC Workshop.

“We are on forefront of providing education and teaching, in delivering professional short courses which support capability development, and in finding innovative solutions through research and development for increasing primary productivity with reduced environmental impacts.”

The first session of the three-day workshop focused on what other countries are facing and their current management.

Jenny Deakin – Ireland Environmental Protection Agency – The Key Water Quality Issues in Ireland and the Irish Epas River Basin Management Plan.

Dr Deakin spoke about Ireland’s challenges with excess phosphorous in rivers and lakes and excess nitrogen in estuaries, as well as the implications and impacts of the end of the milk quota’s abolition in 2015.

She outlined the work to improve water quality under the River Basin Management Plan, which Ireland must produce a river basin management plan under the Water Framework Directive (WFD). It sets out the actions that Ireland will take to improve water quality and achieve good qualitative and quantitative status of all water bodies by 2027.

“It has to work,” Dr Deakin said. “The stars are aligning in agriculture; the evidence base is strong. We had the dairy quotas lifted, which led to opportunities for expansion, but there are concerns about the environment.”

“We are making good steps forward in public sector and public engagement programmes. Lots of collaboration, lots of investment in engagement and we are starting to see the fruits of that, but it is still
early days.”

She ended the session with the Irish phrase “Ní neart go cur le chéile – By working together we will achieve more.” Dr Deakin has come to the country accompanied by other key players involved in the delivery of the Irish River Basin Management Plan, who will be liaising with key players in NZ water quality management.

Flemming Gertz of Denmark’s Seges, Denmark Engaging Farmers in Environmental Management in Denmark.

Dr Gertz focused on farmer engagement in Denmark and their focus on reducing nitrate levels and the difference between Denmark’s approach and neighbouring countries in terms of focus nutrients. A key issue being the nitrogen contribution to coastal water bodies, with a large coastline.

One key mitigation technique he spoke of was the countries focus on restoring and constructing wetlands. As well as increased farmer engagement through the use of catchment officers, who are working closely with farmers to deliver technical advice based on local needs, a new concept in Denmark which has traditionally used legalisation to enact change.

CSIRO Agriculture and Food (Australia) Peter Thorburn, Digital Agriculture, Helping Farmers Reduce impacts of cropping on the Great Barrier Reef.

Dr Thorburn spoke about the technical and cultural challenges around reducing the impact of cropping, through dissolved nitrogen, on the Great Barrier Reef. With a large body of work underway to protect the Australian asset.

He spoke about the work being done through incentives, possible market based-approaches such as a water quality credit system, and regulation. As well as engagement with farmers around nitrogen and the development of several applications to guide their decision-making. CSIRO aim to roll out these apps and improve upon them through public engagement.

The whole picture

Other sessions over the three-days include: environmental challenges for agriculture; regional policy initiatives; reducing agricultural emissions; reducing nutrient loss to water; managing critical pathways; developments with overseer; challenges for irrigated agriculture; measurements and tools. Where participants will hear from council staff, organisations and other scientists.

Catalyst Water Quality Workshop

After the conclusion of the workshop, the group will be running the Catalyst Water Quality Workshop will run on Friday, focusing on targeted and effective water quality management, sharing and advancing science and policy tools to manage nutrient flow pathways and attenuation in sensitive agricultural catchments.

 This workshop will include world-leading researchers and policy managers from Denmark, Ireland, USA and New Zealand, sharing learnings and new initiatives from around the world.


Model for improving campylobacter management

Source: Massey University

Massey PhD student Jing Liao

A refined model for understanding the source of campylobacter infections may be a key management tool for public health officials around the world.

The pathogen campylobacter, which causes the gastrointestinal infection campylobacteriosis, is the most frequently notified enteric disease in New Zealand, according to the Ministry of Health, and places an incredible stress on the public health system. An outbreak of campylobacteriosis in Havelock North in 2016, caused around 5,500 out of 14,000 residents to become ill.

Massey University PhD student Jing Liao says in recent years, the rates have dramatically reduced, thanks in part to the guidance provided by statistical models, however, New Zealand’s rate is still high by international standards.

“Understanding the source of infection, including drinking contaminated water, eating undercooked animal food products, or handling food products contaminated by animal faeces, is essential for the implementation of control measures. By modelling the potential sources and pathways of infections, you gain the ability to identify where the highest risks are and where interventions will do the most good.

“It provides timely and accurate data on high-risk areas for public health officials to guide efforts,” she says.

For example, in 2005-07, the models identified high-rates of campylobacteriosis cases attributable to poultry. This allowed the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (now the Ministry for Primary Industries) and the poultry industry to intervene with measures such as improving slaughter and processing, to reduce levels of contamination.

Currently scientists use a range of models to help distinguish between different animal sources of human infection, Ms Liao says. “This includes the asymmetric island model; a statistical source attribution model which uses microbial genetic data and evolutionary processes.”

However, she adds, a key question for scientists is whether these complex genetic models yield superior attribution results compared to simpler, non-genetic models, and whether the models can be improved to include risk factor information on individual human cases. “Simpler non-genetic models can help to test model assumptions that underpin the more complex genetic models, but they may not perform well under certain conditions.”

The research used surveillance data on campylobacteriosis gathered in New Zealand’s Manawatū region between 2005-14. The team compared the asymmetric island model with an adaption of the Dirichlet model, a genetic-free model, to determine whether it could guide management with the same success as the other model.

The comparison found that the simpler model proved just as robust as the more complex model for identifying the source of common human strains of Campylobacter, but did not perform as well for rare strains. However, if the majority of infections are caused by highly observed strains, the simpler model may be fit for purpose and has the advantage of being quicker to implement.

The study found strong differences between rural and urban populations in Manawatū, with those living in highly rural areas much more likely to get campylobacteriosis from mammals, while poultry was the predominant source in urban settings.

A poster about the work

Future work

Ms Liao says the research is promising, but there are more areas to explore.


One future direction is to adapt the models with additional risk factors, which might include age, occupation, and contact with animals. For example, there is evidence that children in rural areas are at higher risk of campylobacteriosis through contact with farm animals.

“Another direction is in expanding the role of water. In these models, we have assumed that water is a source of human campylobacteriosis infection, but water differs from the other food and environmental sources in that it is not an amplifying reservoir for Campylobacter. While there is presently little evidence that water is an important source for human campylobacteriosis from the current models, these are fitted to data on sporadic cases of campylobacteriosis. However, as the residents of Havelock North are well-aware, water is known as a key source of outbreaks of campylobacteriosis.

“Characterising the source of Campylobacter found in water has important implications for both water quality and public health,” she adds.

Ms Liao says the research also represents the results gained from interdisciplinary collaboration in the area.

“This work took the cooperation of not only a number of organisations in the health and agriculture sectors, but also a lot of scientific disciplines. Modelling zoonoses [infectious diseases that can be naturally transmitted between animals] requires an advanced approach with the focus changed from just epidemiology to a combination of epidemiology, evolutionary genetics and biology.”

Extending statistical models for source attribution of zoonotic diseases: A study of campylobacteriosis, was published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

Ms Jing Liao was co-supervised by Professor Martin Hazelton, Dr Jonathan Marshall and Distinguished Professor Nigel French. The work was funded by Massey’s Infectious Disease Research Centre, School of Fundamental Sciences and the New Zealand Food Safety Science & Research Centre (NZFSSRC), with support from MidCentral Public Health Services, Massey’s Molecular Epidemiology and Public Health Laboratory for data collection, and the Ministry for Primary Industries. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Cras tincidunt nonummy quam. Praesent auctor sapien at massa. Duis pellentesque condimentum nunc.


Mastering sports event management

Source: Massey University

Amanda Isada, Masters in Sport Management graduate and business administration manager at Volleyball New Zealand.

A year ago, Amanda Isada was completing her Masters in Sport Management undertaking a professional practice placement with Harbour Sport and Harbour Volleyball in Auckland. Next month, she will manage the 51st Volleyball New Zealand Secondary School Championships held at the Central Energy Trust Arena Manawatu and Massey University – a role she picked up as a direct result of her Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) experience.

The business administration manager for Volleyball New Zealand says the WIL placement was very rewarding. “I learnt so much about community sports, marketing, communications and event management. Not only did I learn about the organisation, but I learned about myself as well. How I work with others, what part of the industry I want to pursue, what type of people I would want to work for and with. I was able to contribute to the organisations, and there was never a dull moment.”

Professor Andy Martin from the School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition supervises the WIL placements. His recent research focused on how to enhance supervision and student WIL experiences. The research, funded by Ako Aotearoa, was undertaken in conjunction with colleagues from Auckland University of Technology, University of Waikato, the New Zealand Council for Educational Research, and Malcolm Rees, manager of Massey’s Student Survey and Evaluation Unit.

Professor Martin’s findings highlighted that workplace supervisor support in setting expectations and engaging in the initial planning and organising were important factors in effective management of the WIL placement. “The workplace supervisor role then moved beyond providing the student direction and feedback to more of a mentoring role. This role provided them with professional development and continued to be valuable into the future,” he says.

Ms Isada’s experience reinforces these findings. “My mentors and colleagues were very supportive in every way. I learned so much from them and talked to them about various things happening in sports around North Harbour, Auckland and the country. My colleagues gave me advice in terms of personal growth; my mentors helped my professional growth. The culture is great and gave me an understanding of the kind of environment I would want to work in, the kind of people I want to work with, and the kind of person I should be as well.”

Professor Martin says, “The student focus on setting clear expectations for themselves and the placement, and making the most of the WIL experience is important in enhancing the development of Massey graduate’s employability characteristics, such as of self-management, effective communication and leadership.”

Next month’s national volleyball tournament will be supported by current Massey sport development students who will be helping at the event in volunteer roles.

 “The new sport development majorwithin the revised Bachelor of Sport and Exercise will help prepare students for work in the varied and growing area of sport development by providing knowledge in topics such as sport organisational structure and function, event and facility management and sport coaching, along with sociological, performance and business issues linked to sport,” Professor Martin says.

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