Tag: University of Auckland

Actual Liveable Cities – How to Build Inclusive Cities. A University of Auckland Winter Lecture

We need to make our Cities more inclusive   Yesterday my old University – the University of Auckland held one of its 2018 Winter Lecture Series yesterday. This particular lecture … Continue reading Actual Liveable Cities – How to Build Inclusive Cities. A University of Auckland Winter Lecture


You need critical thinking


From Scoop

“STEAM Power: Putting the Arts into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)”.

The University of Auckland’s Dean of Arts, Professor Robert Greenberg, is taking the positive message of the benefits of studying Arts on a lecture tour overseas.

Professor Greenberg will present at two Alumni and Friends Receptions in San Francisco and London next month under the theme; “STEAM Power: Putting the Arts into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)”.

In San Francisco, he will be joined by the New Zealand Consul-General Leon Grice. The pair will talk about the value of the Arts and the role it can play in technology. They will explore this trend focusing on the shining role our Film, Television and Media Studies disciplinary areas play internationally as New Zealand’s leading research centre in this field. He will highlight the contribution alumni, students and staff, such as award-winning filmmaker and 2014 Young Alumna of the Year award winner Roseanne Liang, make to this industry.

“My talk is on the value of the BA/Liberal Arts degree, and how a degree in the Arts disciplines prepares students for jobs of the future.

“Technology leaders have repeatedly praised the skill sets developed when studying for an Arts degree and are increasingly choosing to hire Arts graduates. Notably, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said: ‘Technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing’.”

In London, Professor Greenberg will be joined by Tom Mockridge, Chief Executive Officer for Virgin Media.

Tom is a University of Auckland Arts graduate who has had a successful and fascinating media career in print and broadcasting. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Media in June 2013 following the company’s acquisition by Liberty Global. His appointment came on the back of a 22-year career at News Corporation where he held a series of senior roles. Tom started as a journalist in his native New Zealand before moving to Australia where he worked for the Sydney Morning Herald before becoming an adviser to Prime Minister Paul Keating.

And in a short clip that will be presented at the event, television journalist Carol Hirschfeld will discuss the skills and experience she gained while studying for a Bachelor of Arts in English, Art History and Indonesian at the University.

Professor Greenberg’s lectures coincide with the recent release of the 2014/15 QS World University Rankings that ranks the University’s Faculty of Arts the top place to study arts in New Zealand.

“I am delighted and very proud to announce the faculty’s rankings in the recently released 2014/15 QS World University Rankings by Faculty. We have been placed at number 35 in the world for arts and humanities, while our social sciences were ranked at number 30. These rankings further reinforce our standing as New Zealand’s leading arts faculty.”

The University‘s ranking is out of the 399 universities surveyed worldwide. It puts us ahead of the arts and humanities faculties of Victoria University at 60, the University of Otago at 85, the University of Canterbury at 220 and the University of Waikato at 244.

Professor Greenberg will emphasise the versatility the BA can give students in their careers.

“Thirty-four of the FTSE 100 CEOs have an Arts degree. In this talk I will explore this trend and suggest that the Arts graduates are the ones best equipped to take on the jobs of the future.”

The San Francisco Alumni and Friends Reception is on October 2 at The Fairmont, while the London event is at The Chemistry Centre on October 6.

Please register online by Thursday 25 September at www.alumni.auckland.ac.nz/rsvp


Source: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/CU1409/S00433/steam-power-putting-the-arts-into-stem.htm


Someone needs to tell Minister Steven Joyce to get away from his STEM fetish which the Northern Hemisphere is fast finding is not working and get funding into STEAM which again the Northern Hemisphere is finding pays greater dividends in such a global competitive economy.

Someone of our best world leaders are Arts graduates and it shows that a good old Bachelor, and Masters of Arts goes along way. How can we innovate if we do not know history, philosophy (critical thinking), anthropology, Geography, economics, politics, the role of the media as well as many other things that an Arts Faculty teaches.

So come on Minister how about a cool $500m towards the eight universities’ Art Faculties so that we can truly compete against the rest of the world.


Disclaimer: I am an Alumni of the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Political Studies. It is my intention in the medium term to return to do my Masters of Arts in Geography.


Colin Maiden Park to come under Public Ownership

Colin Maiden Park transferred from Private to Public Ownership


Good news after a long campaign to have Colin Maiden Park in Tamaki converted over from private ownership (University of Auckland) to public ownership (Auckland Council).

From Auckland Council on the transfer:

Colin Maiden Park to stay in public ownership


Auckland Council has added Colin Maiden Park in St Johns to its parks network, ensuring this open space and sports field complex remains in public ownership and available to the people of Auckland forever.

The unconditional agreement with the University of Auckland means that the 20 hectare park will be taken over by council early next year, which allows the university to focus on plans for its new developments in the city centre and Newmarket. The park is being acquired for $60.7m.

Mayor Len Brown says this is one of the most significant urban park acquisitions in Auckland’s history and council’s decision to acquire the park will ensure that Aucklanders have access to this asset forever.

“We have acquired Colin Maiden Park for the people who use and enjoy it every day of the week, whether they are from Glen Innes, Glen Eden or Glenfield. We can all be proud that the last major piece of private open space on the isthmus has been retained for the people of Auckland,” he says.


The Chair of council’s Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee, Councillor Christine Fletcher, reflected on the significance of this decision to the community.

“Together with the netball centre and Ngahue Reserve, this decision creates an incredible 44 hectare sports and open space complex for Auckland. This rivals Western Springs or the Domain for scale and significance,” says Cr Fletcher.

Orakei Local Board Chair Desley Simpson expressed great pleasure and relief at the decision.

“We have honoured the opinions expressed by so many Orakei residents – the future of the park was the one of the most submitted-on issues in the draft Unitary Plan.

“Our community was particularly concerned that the park might become intensive housing. It is now guaranteed to remain as public open space and available to everybody,” says Ms Simpson.


The park will transfer to the council’s local and sports parks portfolio on 1 February 2014.

This acquisition was an unbudgeted item which has been factored into the draft Annual Plan 2014/15. Council has also agreed to explore the sale of three parcels of council-owned land around Colin Maiden Park, to assist with the cost of acquiring the park.

Sale of land will follow the relevant public consultation processes in the Reserves Act and the Local Government Act. If any land is sold, any existing uses and activities on that land will be provided for on Colin Maiden Park or in the same general area.

In the coming months, council will work with all current users of the park to discuss their existing arrangements and look at how we continue to work together. Long term management of the park will also be addressed through council and the local board’s planning processes.



I believe congratulations are in order for Orakei Local Board Chairwoman Desley Simpson as the public figurehead that spearheaded the campaign to have Colin Maiden Park transferred to public ownership – securing its place as Open Space on the isthmus. Well done Delsey and co for a job well done 🙂


Now just to get the bureaucratic proceedings out-of-the-way and Auckland has a very large park secured for its future.


The Geography of Tourism – Free Independent Travellers – Coming Up

Coming Up on Talking Auckland


It has been three years since I left and graduated from the University of Auckland as a Geography and Political Studies graduate. Who knew three years later I would be going through the Uni library database again to find academic material.

Well trawling through the database gathering materials on The Geography of Tourism is what I have been doing.

Coming up on Talking Auckland: ‘The Geography of Tourism – Free Independent Travellers

Why (using academic research) Te Papa North in Manukau WILL work compared to placing it in Wynyard Quarter. How do Free Independent Travellers “work” when visiting a foreign city. And how the joint initiative between; Te Papa, Auckland Museum and the Art Gallery not only benefits Southern Auckland but wider Auckland and the northern Waikato.


This will take about two weeks to write up as I will be writing it pretty close to academic level – something I have not done in while. However, I will keep you posted of findings and progress as it happens.


A Fresh Perspective at the Unitary Plan

The Unitary Plan from Zoe’s Perspective


I caught this piece from a comment mayoral candidate John Palino made on Facebook yesterday morning while I was reading Orsman’s piece from the NZ Herald. It is called “The Unitary Plan – Zoe’s Perspective” and it takes a look the Unitary Plan from Zoe’s viewpoint.

An extract from Channel:

The Unitary Plan – Zoe’s Perspective

Zoe Lenzie-Smith is a 20 year old student who stepped up to present her perspective on the Unitary Plan in the public forum of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board meeting held on Tuesday May 21st. Her perspective certainly added some balance to the heated debate.

Zoe is an undergraduate studying a BSc majoring in Biology, and a specification of Environmental Science at the University of Auckland. She was born in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England, and emigrated to Auckland in 2000 – and considered herself to be a kiwi as soon as she arrived. Zoe says she loves the sea, great music, weekend markets and is passionate about working with people to create positive change that benefits the survival of future generations. She is a member of a group called Generation Zero.


This is a solution focused social movement of young people. It’s purpose is to move thinking beyond fossil fuels and mitigate against the threat of climate change. This was the content of Zoe’s presentation to the Devonport Takapuna Local Board.

20 year old student Zoe Lenzie-Smith made this presentation to the public forum of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board in late May:

You can read the rest over at the Channel’s website

What Zoe did at the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board meeting on The Unitary Plan would have taken courage above and beyond what would be “normally required.” I say that as I know the North Shore UP meetings went towards the rabid end if the Auckland 2040 debunking on this blog was anything to go by.

In Zoe presenting her legitimate case to the Local Board though on what SHE wants to see in the Unitary Plan and thus the future of her Auckland – her home, I tip my hat out of absolute respect and encouragement.


Yet it is not over with the Unitary Plan. There is still more come even before formal notification at the end of the year. We still have:

  • Initial responses to the feedback round of the Unitary Plan
  • Changes to the UP as a result of the feedback
  • Southern Rural Urban Boundary work in getting studies and further consultations on the three options available to us down here in the South
  • That cursed Housing Accord and its Special Housing Areas

Oh the fun times ahead

But myself and my firm will be here through to the end with the Unitary Plan providing our range of services tailored for you.


Talking Auckland: Blog of TotaRim Consultancy Limited

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