Category Archives: Past Events

6 Nov 2018 Exploration of the deep sea around New Zealand: progress and promise

Tuesday 6 November 2018 at 6.00pm

National Aquarium, Marine Parade, Napier

Dr Dave Pawson

Emeritus Senior Scientist
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA

Admission: Gold coin donation


The great ocean depths affect our day-to-day lives in many ways, and they are home to mysteries, monsters, and minerals that capture our imagination. New Zealand, with its immense Exclusive Economic Zone, has played a large part in the 150-year history of deep-sea exploration. How much do we know today about the deep sea, and what do we need to know?

Dave Pawson was born and raised in Napier, and he received M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Zoology from Victoria University, Wellington. He joined the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA, in 1964. Now retired, he was a Senior Research Scientist for many years. He has taught courses at several universities, published 300 scientific papers, presented more than 200 public lectures.


During a long career in research in the deep sea, making more than 200 dives in manned research submersibles to depths in excess of 4,000 metres, Dave has had many deep-sea adventures, involving new and amazing animals, sunken ships, unexploded ammunition from two World Wars, and piles of automobiles!



Dr. Pawson is a marine biologist, specialising in deep-sea biology and the marine biology of isolated oceanic islands, and his research specialty is the echinoderms – sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and their relatives and has had this starfish named after him.



1 Oct 2018 The Trouble with Memory

Monday, 1 October 2018 at 6pm

EIT Taradale
Lecture Theatre 2

Professor Maryanne Garry,
NZ Institute of Security and Crime Science,
University of Waikato

Admission: gold coin donation

The Trouble with Memory

Most people think memory is a faithful recorder and archiver of experience. But memory is a liar, a con artist, and a self-serving autobiographer. Memory causes trouble for us, and for others. Yet without memory, we couldn’t function, and our institutions would collapse. In this lecture, Professor Garry will present some of the science of memory, and talk about when and how memory causes trouble.

Maryanne Garry received her PhD in 1993 from the University of Connecticut, and did postdoctoral work at the University of Washington. In 1996 she moved to Victoria University of Wellington, where she worked for 20 years before taking up a joint appointment in 2016 at the University of Waikato, as a Professor of Psychology and a Professor in the New Zealand Institute for Security and Crime Science (one of only two in the world) at The University of Waikato.

She studies a puzzle of memory: how is that otherwise intelligent, rational people can remember things they never really saw, or experiences they never really had? Over the years, she has amassed a solid body of theoretically-grounded applied research that helps us shed light on the causes and consequences of these false memories. Her work has been funded by granting agencies in the US, Japan, and in New Zealand, where she has been awarded four Marsden grants from the Royal Society.

17 Sep 2018 Hochstetter lecture: The Pounamu Terrane

The Geoscience Society of New Zealand’s 2018 Hochstetter Lecture

The Pounamu Terrane: a new component in the assembly of Zealandia


Emeritus Professor Alan Cooper,

Geology Department, University of Otago

Date: Monday, 17th of September, at 7.30pm

Venue: Hawke’s Bay Regional Council,

corner Vautier and Dalton Streets, Napier

Admission: Gold coin donation

Stretching from the Hokitika River in Westland through to the Dunstan Range in Central Otago, the Pounamu terrane is a newly-identified component of the ancient Zealandia continent. Zealandia now is largely submerged (excepting the islands of New Zealand and New Caledonia), but it broke away from Australia and Antarctica between 85 and 60 million years ago.
Professor Cooper details how the Pounamu terrane is much younger than the adjoining components of New Zealand’s Eastern Province and formed after the original subduction zone, situated at the Chatham Rise, was blocked by collision of the Hikurangi Plateau approximately 105 million years ago. This collision ended a 200 million year phase of west-dipping subduction during which marine sediments scraped off the subducting oceanic crust were assembled to form the Eastern Province of New Zealand. The deeper levels of these off-scraped sediments were metamorphosed by extreme heat and pressure, producing the Haast Schist (dominated by Otago, Alpine and Marlborough schists).
However, new evidence suggests that a second subduction zone developed subsequently on the western margin of the South Island with off-scraped sediments, making up the Pounamu terrane, accumulating above an east-dipping subduction zone. Deep in the subduction zone, the Pounamu terrane underwent metamorphism at around 70 million years ago forming this younger component of the Alpine Schist.

Alan was educated in Burton-on-Trent and Sheffield, England. He came to New Zealand in 1966 as a Teaching Fellow to undertake PhD study at the University of Otago, under Professor Douglas Coombs. His thesis area was the Haast River, south Westland, where he investigated the structure and progressive metamorphism of greenschists and amphibolites in the Alpine Schist. In 1970, he was appointed a Lecturer at the University of Otago, from where he retired in 2012 after 46 years service.

Alan continues to do research work in the Southern Alps. Subjects of his research include: a lamprophyre-carbonatite dyke swarm intruding the schist (first documented by Julius von Haast); the Pounamu Ultramafics and correlative rocks; marine terrace remnants and uplifted Holocene sedimentary sequences; mapping of the Alpine Fault; anatectic pegmatites; ages of detrital zircons within the Alpine Schists. He has undertaken experimental work on carbonate minerals in Canada, and mapping of carbonatites in Antarctica, Namibia and Turkey. He has spent eight field seasons in Antarctica: supervising students and investigating the basement geology of the Transantarctic Mountains and the Neogene to Recent alkaline volcanic rocks of the Erebus Province of the McMurdo Volcanics.

The Hochstetter Lecture is named in honour of Ferdinand von Hochstetter and a speaker is chosen annually by the GeoScience Society of New Zealand. Hochstetter is known for the geological maps of the Auckland and Nelson areas produced in conjunction with colleague Julias Haast whilst on a scientific voyage in 1859.

6 Sep 2018 The Theory and Practice of Culinary Arts

Thursday 6 September 2018 at 6.00pm

Mark Caves, Culinary Arts Tutor, EIT 

Venue: Scholars Restaurant, EIT Taradale

Cost: $35 per head for a 4 course meal
Cash bar
Pay at door

We have booked the restaurant, seating 60, exclusively for this event. Level 4 student Chefs will prepare our meal.

First come, first served; non-members welcome.

Book your places now with an email to:

As the restaurant needs to know in advance, please advise of any special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free) when you make your booking


Mark started his career in a five star resort in Noosa, Queensland in 1990 and went on to cook in a fine dining seafood restaurant in Sydney and an Australian ski chalet, before returning to Napier. He has been teaching Culinary Arts at EIT since 1999. Mark has a passion for teaching people the craft of cooking, enjoys using the high quality produce available in Hawke’s Bay and introducing his students to modern trends in gastronomy.

Whilst loving to teach the artisan crafts of bread, charcuterie, fermentation & cheese making, Mark also delivers programmes on modernist molecular gastronomy. He has built 2 wood-fired pizza ovens from the ground up and the third is in the planning stage!

Mark has implemented E-portfolios for level 5 chef students, entailing the use of ICT tools, food photography, social media, capturing video and posting online.

In his down time Mark consults to UNESCO developing and designing Occupational standards, Curriculum and teaching and learning material for the hospitality sector. In this role he has completed three trips to Iraq, helping re-build the hospitality sector destroyed in the long war against ISIS. At the same time, he has brought back inspiration for dishes prepared back in NZ, including at this year’s Hawke’s Bay F.A.W.C. event

28 Aug 2018 Rutherford lecture: The Life and Times of Supervolcanoes

Tuesday 28 August at 6pm

Ballroom, Napier Conference Centre, Marine Parade Napier

Professor Colin Wilson FRS FRSNZ Victoria University of Wellington

2017 Rutherford Medal winner for research into understanding large, explosive supervolcanoes and the hazards they pose.

All Welcome. Free Admission. Please register:

Aotearoa New Zealand sits astride the Indo-Australian and Pacific tectonic plates and is subject to tremendous natural forces. Usually experienced as earthquakes, Kiwis also need to keep in mind that Lake Taupō was created by the world’s most violent volcanic eruption within the last 50,000 years! Colin Wilson has gathered many accolades for studying volcanoes, and in particular, supervolcanoes. He likens his work to that of a crime scene investigator, piecing together the dual puzzle of why such cataclysmic explosions occur and why they are joined by much smaller eruptions. His aim is to forecast volcanic phenomena with enough warning so that communities can respond. But although Colin is digging deep in the Earth’s crust to find the triggering mechanisms, volcanic systems are not letting their secrets go easily…

This nationwide tour is proudly presented in partnership with

9 Aug 2018 How do you go from a physics lab to Rocket Lab?

Thursday 9 August 2018 at 6pm

Magadalinos Room
Havelock North Function Centre
30 Te Mata Rd.

MacDiarmid Science: From the lab to the marketplace


Ben researches electronic devices for the next generation of supercomputers and data centres, and is involved with wider educational, environmental and commercialisation impacts of nanotechnology.


Harry is a Test Engineer for Rocket Lab, working on the electron programme, from development through to launch of New Zealand’s first orbital rocket earlier this year.

Rocket image is courtesy of Rocket Lab Ltd.

18 Jul 2018 Electric vehicles – international trends and innovation

Wednesday 18 July 2018 at 6.00pm

Lecture Theatre 1, EIT, Taradale

Nigel Purdy, Manager – Innovation Delivery, Unison Networks

Debbie Vanderschyff , Sales Specialist, EV Infrastructure, ABB

Admission: Gold coin donation

This presentation will be in two parts.

In the first half, Nigel from Unison will give some background to the current growth of electric vehicles using facts and trends.

In the second, Debbie will describe ABB’s latest technology and some case studies around success stories happening in the rest of the world.

A Question and Answer session will follow, and there will be EVs on display (possibly even a Tesla X)!


Urban restoration ecology: building forests in the city

Tuesday 3 July 2018 at 6.00pm

Lecture Theatre 1, EIT, Taradale

Kiri Wallace PhD.
Research Officer,
Environmental Research Institute, University of Waikato

Admission: Gold coin donation

Planting of native species to restore forest in urban centres is an important conservation activity that has been gaining momentum in New Zealand for over 40 years. Early projects were few in number, largely isolated from each other, and weren’t based on scientific knowledge. In contrast, today’s urban forest restoration projects are numerous, increasingly linked by conservation networks and knowledgeable communities, and are often on the cutting-edge of our ecological understanding.

The People Cities and Nature programme facilitates research addressing the demand for new information on best practice in urban ecological restoration. We are studying plantings throughout nine New Zealand cities to better understand the requirements for efficiency and success of restoration efforts of city councils and community groups.

Come along to hear about this scientific research and see a snapshot of the data collected so far in Napier’s very own restored urban forests.

Kiri has had an interest in biology since childhood. After high school she completed a BSc. in animal science and a masters in wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware in the United States, receiving afterwards a full research assistantship to study the integration of biological control and native plant seeding as a method for forest restoration and gain her Masters degree. In 2013 she was awarded the University of Waikato Doctoral Scholarship and moved to New Zealand to study her PhD on urban forest restoration ecology. During the course of her doctoral work here she has received several scholarships and awards, including the University of Waikato Top Achiever Award.

Digital breaths: The benefits of bioengineering

6pm Wednesday 20 June

EIT, 501 Gloucester St, Taradale,  Lecture Theatre LTH1
Free admission
Register to guarantee your seat at:

Professor Merryn Tawhai

Director MedTech CoRE & Dep. Director Auckland Bioengineering Institute

An aging population and increase in people living with chronic disease calls for new approaches to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes. Recent advances in imaging, sensor, and communications technologies, combined with innovative bioengineering approaches, has the potential to revolutionise healthcare.

Does New Zealand have the capability to become a world leader in this industry?

Merryn’s own research advances computer modelling of the human lung in search of better methods to diagnose and treat lung disease.

Proudly presented in partnership with the Auckland Bioengineering Institute of the University of Auckland and the Medical Technologies Centre of Research Excellence.

Branch AGM and lecture: Do animals experience happiness and why does it matter?

Thursday 14 June 2018

Lecture Theatre 2, EIT, Taradale

5.30pm: AGM Hawke’s Bay Branch, Royal Society Te Apārangi

6.00pm: Do animals experience happiness and why does it matter?

Professor Nat Waran, Executive Dean – Faculty of Education, Humanities and Health Science, EIT

Admission: Gold coin donation

Until recently, animal welfare assessment relied on measures of physical health, and changes in behaviour and physiology related to negative emotional states such as pain and stress. However, it is now widely accepted that good welfare is not simply the absence of disease or negative experiences, but also the presence of positive experiences such as pleasure. Understanding what good welfare is, how welfare can be assessed across a range of environments and uses, and what needs to be done to achieve higher welfare, is considered to be a key priority for ensuring the welfare of animals in their interactions with humans.

Before joining EIT, Nat led a number of strategic projects in her most recent role as a professor and inaugural director of the new International Centre for Animal Welfare Education at the University of Edinburgh, one of the UK’s leading universities. From 2006 to 2011, she was Associate Dean (Research) at Unitec’s Faculty of Social and Health Sciences in tandem with her role as Head of the School of Natural Sciences.

Nat has a first class zoology degree from Glasgow University and a PhD from Cambridge University, and has worked in many different countries including China, India and Malaysia.