Thursday, 8 September: Towards carbon neutral fruit production

Jim Walker: Principal Scientist at Plant & Food Research

Date: 6pm, Thursday, 8 September 2022

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Eastern Institute of Technology, Taradale

Admission: Gold coin donation

As global leaders in sustainable production systems, the New Zealand fruit sector must continue to innovate to reduce both agrichemical inputs and CO2 emissions. Regulatory, consumer and environmental concerns over pesticide use are continual challenges for both the agrichemical industry and our apple sector. The pipeline for pesticide development has become more complex, reducing the frequency of new active ingredient availability. Adding to this challenge is the on-going loss of existing agrichemicals and increasingly trade-restrictive phytosanitary measures. Now export markets have signalled the need for our fruit sector to reduce their CO2 emissions with the challenge of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Is this achievable or an unrealistic pipedream? Issues and options for the future of New Zealand’s export fruit production will be presented in this lecture.

Dr Jim Walker is a scientist with Plant and Food Research (Hawke’s Bay) who is well known for his role in the development and implementation of the Integrated Fruit Production programme, an approach to pest management that has become a cornerstone of New Zealand’s apple export programme. He has led a team that has helped apple growers adopt practices that has greatly decreased pesticide use and residues. This programme prioritised greater use of biological control and non-chemical methods and has contributed to a 90% reduction in the quantity of insecticide used in New Zealand apple production today.

Thursday 11 August: The state and health of Hawke’s Bay’s environment – Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

Environmental Science team: Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

Date: Thursday 11 August, 6pm-7pm

Venue: Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Chamber (159 Dalton Street Napier)

Our environment is our precious taonga. It underpins all the values that we hold for our health, our wellbeing, and our physical and spiritual needs. To ensure that these resources stay healthy for years to come, we need to understand the current health of land, rivers, lakes, and beaches – and how climate change and human use will affect them in the future.

Source from: HBRC

The science of our natural resources underpins how people manage them moving forward, in a way that ensures that the resources are still healthy and functioning for generations to come.

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) has a team of technical and analytical specialists who collect environmental information. Over twenty scientists from the environmental science team of the HBRC have used this information to gain important insights into the health of the natural environment and the processes driving changes in these systems in Hawke’s Bay.

This presentation will introduce the findings from three-yearly check-in environment reports about the condition of waters, land, air, and coast that support the unique and valuable biodiversity in the Hawke’s Bay region. In addition, this talk will highlight where things are going well and where things may need more support.

More information is available on Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, and to download the full report of State of the Environment Three Yearly Reports, please click here.

Friday, 15 July: Matariki presentation at the Planetarium

Gary Sparks: Planetarium Director

Date: Friday 15 July at 6pm – 7.30pm

Venue: Hawke’s Bay Holt Planetarium, Chambers Streets

Cost: $15/person for the RSNZ and $20/person for non-members

Maximum number: 30

Light refreshments will be served afterwards. BYO beer and wine.

Using all the facilities of the Holt Planetarium, join Planetarium Director Gary Sparks on an exploration of the science, the cultural significance and the international celebration that is Matariki.

For more events organized by the Planetarium, click here.

Tuesday, 14 June: 2022 Annual General Meeting

Hawke’s Bay Branch of the Royal Society’s 2022 AGM will be held at EIT in Lecture Theatre 1, EIT at 5.30pm on Tuesday 14 June.

All members are welcome, and encouraged, to attend. We’ll tell you how the Society is doing, and listen to your ideas for our Society and its programme.

An invitation and Agenda will be sent to all members prior to the meeting.

Tuesday, 14 June: Transforming the governance of freshwater: A case study of farmer and regional council change in Hawke’s Bay

The Branch will hold its 2022 Annual General Meeting at 5.30pm, followed by:

Charlotte Drury: Director of View, a Resource Management consultancy

Date: Tuesday, 14 June

Admission: Gold coin donation

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, EIT Taradale

To attend this lecture at EIT, masks are required.

In New Zealand, two groups of actors are particularly involved in freshwater governing: namely farmers, who manage large areas of the countryside, and regional councils – the governing entity that has the legislative responsibility to manage the freshwater resources of a region.  

Based on the findings of her doctoral research, Charlotte will talk about freshwater management practices in the Tukituki Catchment region of Hawke’s Bay, and the regional council’s governance of farmland. The unexpected findings illustrate the raft of factors that shape freshwater governance, and provide some explanation as to why improvements in freshwater quality are yet to be fully realised.

Charlotte grew up on a sheep farm in West Otago, and studied geography and planning at university. Upon graduation she took up a job with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, where for 12 years she worked within the policy, consents and land management teams.  In 2017, Charlotte left to set up her own planning consultancy, View Consult.  She undertook her PhD study at Massey University, while continuing to live and work here in Hawke’s Bay. She is passionate about freshwater and farming, having been involved with both topics both personally and professionally throughout her life, and was keen to draw those together in her study and career. 

Thursday, 19 May: Green hydrogen: commodity chemical and future fuel

Sally Brooker: Professor of University of Otago

Date: 6pm, Thursday, 19 May 2022

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Eastern Institute of Technology, Taradale

To attend this lecture at EIT, masks are required.

Admission: Gold coin donation

Professor Sally Brooker will give a general introduction to the hydrogen eco-system. This talk will include several aspects:

  • The existing roles of hydrogen as a key commodity chemical, and the ‘colours’ of hydrogen, particular on the production of brown vs green hydrogen.
  • The future roles of green hydrogen as a commodity chemical and as a zero-carbon emission future fuel
  • The NZ situation and the aims of the German-NZ green hydrogen team

Sally Brooker is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Otago. Undergraduate and post graduate studies at the University of Canterbury were followed by post-doctorate work at the University of Göttingen in Germany. The recipient of numerous awards, Sally has wide ranging research interests ( Relevant to this talk, some of her research team are making catalysts for hydrogen production from water (and for the selective reduction of carbon dioxide) and she is a co-leader of the German-NZ green hydrogen team.

Sunday, 27 February: 2022 Beatrice Hill Tinsley Lecture (RASNZ) A deadly dance: When black holes and neutron stars collide

Dr Heloise Stevence: Research Fellow of the University of Auckland

Date: 2.00pm Sunday, 27 February 2022

Venue: Hawke’s Bay Holt Planetarium, Chambers Street, Napier

Admission: Gold coin donation

Now, Heloise’s lecture is available in YouTube, click here.

An artist’s impression of a wayward star being shredded by the intense gravitational pull of a black hole. © Reuters / NASA-ESA

What happens when the densest objects in the universe collide at half the speed of light? It starts with a stretch of a wobble in the fabric of spacetime, and sometime sends in cosmic explosions that create some of the rarest and shiniest elements in the Universe. Together we’ll learn how some of the most massive stars in the cosmos live and die with bang, to create the black hole and neutron star mergers we can “hear” colliding a hundred million light years away. This 45 minute “lecture” will combine cutting edge science and wacky humour to make the mysteries of merging black holes and neutron stars accessible to all ages and backgrounds.

Dr Heloise Stevence.

Dr Heloise Stevence is an energetic, enthusiastic, educational and entertaining speaker well able to reach out to audiences of all ages and levels. Heloise, born and raised in France, moved to the UK to study Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield. After working as a support astronomer at the Isaac Newton Group in La Palma for a year, she obtained her Masters of Physics in 2015 and subsequently started a PhD studying the 3D shape of Core Collapse Supernovae. She completed her PhD in 2019 and joined the University of Auckland as a Research Fellow to research the evolution of massive stars to better understand how they die and produce Supernovae and Kilonovae.

Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand

Wednesday, 16 February: 1931 Earthquake Commemorative Lecture: Liquefaction – What is it, why it matters and what we can do about it

Rick Wentz: Geotechnical Engineer

Date: 5.30pm Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Venue: The National Aquarium of New Zealand – 546 Marine Parade, Napier

This lecture has been advertised as part of Napier’s Art Deco Festival and is therefore likely to be popular. Under the red traffic light, our venue The Aquarium has applied a capacity limit of 50 attendees. Please come early to ensure a seat.

Admission: Gold coin donation

This is the commemorative lecture for 1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake, also known as the Napier earthquake, which occurred at 10:47am on 3 February 1931, killing 256, injuring thousands and devastating the Hawke’s Bay region.

This year Rick Wentz is invited to give a lecture on liquefaction. The focus of this lecture will be to define liquefaction, describe the cause and the conditions under which it typically occurs, and to highlight its potential impacts on the built environment. Also discussed will be some things that individuals and communities can consider doing to reduce the impacts of liquefaction on homes and infrastructure.

Mr Wentz grew up in Northern California and completed his MS in Civil Engineering at the University of California – Berkeley where he got to experience the 1989 magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake first hand. He has been a practising geotechnical engineer for 30 years and has worked on a range of projects from residential subdivisions to nuclear power plants in the U.S., South America and New Zealand. He spent several years working in the corporate world before starting his own consultancy in Northern California in 2005. His career focus has been geotechnical earthquake engineering including design, forensic investigation of post-event ground and foundation performance, project / peer review, and applied research. Mr. Wentz came to New Zealand “for 1 year” in 2011 to work in the Christchurch Rebuild and recently celebrated his 10th anniversary of living and working here. Notable NZ projects include serving as an expert on the Government-appointed panel that investigated the performance of the Wellington Statistics House during the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, and helping to develop the MBIE document Planning and engineering guidance for potentially liquefaction-prone land. When not pondering liquefaction and other geotechnical issues, Mr Wentz enjoys flyfishing, cycling and tramping with the family.

Cancelled: Thursday, 3 February: The Future of Regenerative Farming – practical experiences at Mangarara, Hawke’s Bay

Greg Hart, owner of Mangarara Farm and Eco Lodge

Date: cancelled

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, EIT Taradale, Napier

Admission: Gold coin donation

Regenerative Agriculture (RA) is an ecological model that aims to correct perceived failings in our current systems of agriculture. The RA movement acknowledges that farmers can mitigate or reverse the negative impacts of the way that animals and plants are currently raised and grown for food production but suggests that they can benefit themselves at the same time. RA is touted as a part of the solution to reverse climate change, biodiversity loss and declining water quality, whilst improving the wellbeing of rural and farming communities and the quality of the food produced.

source: Mangarara, The Family Farm & Eco Lodge

However, there is a lack of clarity about what RA actually is, scepticism about its claimed benefits, and uncertainty whether or not it is relevant to New Zealand farmers and agricultural production.

In this lecture, Greg Hart will talk about his practical experience of applying regenerative agriculture at Mangarara, how to provide a stable financial platform for the continued restoration of the ecosystem, and innovating regenerative farming practices.

Greg Hart has made the switch from a traditional sheep station with typically 3,000 ewes to a diverse stock of approximately 1000 ewes, 500-1,500 lambs, 20-40 dairy cows, 60-100 Berkshire pigs, 150 Angus heifers and 100-200 other cattle. Meat is sold both locally and in Auckland. Over 100,000 trees have been planted and the quality of the soil is actively monitored and managed.

At the end of this lecture, you will have an idea about how a diverse and integrated farm can maintain the balance between ecosystem restoration and the production of healthy, nutritious food.