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Canterbury University shines after Olympians golden glory

VIEWS: 87 PAGES: 12

									Chronicle
Volume 39, No. 14                                                                                                                    Thursday, September 2, 2004



Canterbury University shines after Olympian’s golden glory
 When cyclist Sarah Ulmer said last week
 that her Olympic success was a victory for
 all those who had helped her prepare for
 the Athens Games, she was referring to
 people like the mechanical engineering and
 sport science experts at the University of
 Canterbury.
 She is one of 52 New Zealand athletes who
 worked with UC during their build-up to the
 games, which finished last weekend.
 Alan Tucker, Graeme Harris and Eric Cox
 (Mechanical Engineering) and Biomechanist
 Jane Simpson worked with Ulmer to enhance
 the aerodynamics of her purpose-built bike,
 helmets and skin suits.
 For the first time, the cyclist was able to ride
 her bike inside a wind tunnel. Until then,
 most wind tunnel testing had been done with       Sarah Ulmer is put through her paces in the University’s wind tunnel.
 the cyclist in a static position.
 Sport Science Director Paul Carpinter says he     By the time Shaw left for the games he was                              have damaged thermal control mechanisms.
 had high hopes for Ulmer and is delighted by      consistently flicking the ball at speeds of                              Once the Paralympics are over, it will then
 her success.                                      more than 32 metres per second.                                         be back to the drawing board for the sport
“It just gives you one of those warm moments       A match in which he scored two goals                                    scientists.
 that you have from time to time that a            from three attempts prompted one sports                                 So how soon will it be before they have to
 number of University staff will experience        journalist to describe his drag flick from the                           start thinking about the Commonwealth
 when a programme that they’ve been                penalty corner as “deadly”.                                             Games in Melbourne in two years time?
 involved with achieves an outstanding result.”    While competition for New Zealand’s able-                               Immediately, says Paul Carpinter.
 He says Ulmer’s success will have positive        bodied Olympians has finished, it is all
                                                                                                                           The build-up to the next Olympic Games in
 spin-offs for Canterbury University.              about to start for athletes competing in the
                                                                                                                           2008 will not begin quite so soon. But it was
“The relationship we have with the New             Paralympics which begin in Athens in just
                                                                                                                           only six to nine months after the Sydney
 Zealand Academy of Sport can develop              over a fortnight.                                                       Olympics that planning for this year’s games
 even further now. I think the academy’s           Many of these athletes, including the Wheel                             began — it won’t be too long before the
 programmes in the future will continue to         Blacks rugby team and numerous track and                                path to Olympic glory leads many of New
 acknowledge the University as a key provider      field athletes and swimmers, have also spent                             Zealand’s top athletes back to the
 and an institution where there’s significant       time training at UC.                                                    UC campus.
 expertise and skills.”                            This has included heat acclimatisation
 Another athlete whose pre-games work at UC        sessions during which they exercised in
                                                   temperatures exceeding 30degC to help them
                                                                                                                           Inside your Chronicle
 paid dividends is hockey player Hayden Shaw.
                                                   prepare for competing in the heat of the                                3. First Canterbury Distinguished Professor
 For two-and-a-half years he and Jane Simpson
                                                   Northern Hemisphere summer.                                                named.
 worked on improving the speed and accuracy
 of his drag flick — one of hockey’s lethal         Paul Carpinter says these sessions were                                 4. Di Gala showcases UC talent.
 scoring weapons.                                  crucial as many of the paralympians’ bodies                             8. Library takes responsibility for art collection.
                                                                                                                                                                                 1
    Influential new relationship for UC’s European watchdogs
    The National Centre for Research on Europe
    at the University of Canterbury has formed a
    working relationship with the New Zealand
    Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and
    Trade Select Committee.
    The committee visited Canterbury last
    month in response to a call by NCRE Director
    Professor Martin Holland for enhanced links
    between New Zealand and the recently
    enlarged European Union. It was the first
    time the select committee had visited an
    academic foreign policy research centre.
    Also on the agenda were NCRE research
    and outreach activities, scholarships and
    internships.
    After the meeting the NCRE agreed to provide
    the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select
    Committee with regular research briefings.
    “The NCRE’s research, diplomatic and
     academic contacts can help keep                      (Left to right) Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Sharp and National MPs Dr Lockwood Smith and Simon Power hear first-hand of the work
     the committee current on European                    of NCRE.
     developments and inspire new thinking on
     EU issues in New Zealand,” Professor Holland
     said.                                                Council congratulates Dr Stoop
    Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Sharp was               Canterbury alumnus and University Council                          in the role and expressed Council’s desire for
    enthusiastic about the new working                    member Dr Graham Stoop has resigned                                relationships between the two institutions to
    relationship.                                         from Council following his appointment                             continue in the close and positive way they
    “The NCRE is a repository of unique expertise         as Principal of the Christchurch College of                        had developed recently.
     on Europe and the EU in New Zealand,” he             Education.                                                         Dr Stoop graduated with a first-class-honours
     said.                                                Dr Stoop’s resignation results in a second                         MA in history and a PhD in education from
    The National Centre for Research on Europe is         vacancy to be filled in the Court of                                Canterbury, and also holds postgraduate
    the only dedicated European research centre           Convocation election for graduates, being                          qualifications from other New Zealand and
    in New Zealand. It is a multi-disciplinary            held on 4 October. The other vacancy is to                         Australian universities.
    Centre of Academic Excellence and Expertise           replace long-serving Council member Dr Roy                         Until his CCE appointment Dr Stoop was
    that operates nationally, uniting students            Holmes, who is retiring from the role.                             principal of Burnside High School, the biggest
    and scholars from a wide range of fields in            Chancellor Dr Robin Mann congratulated Dr                          secondary school in the South Island.
    research and study of European issues.                Stoop on his appointment, wished him well


                                                          Television series taps into expertise at University
      Chronicle                                                                                                              was consulted for the section on traditional
                                                                                                                             Mäori clothing and appearance. She spent a
       Next Issue: 16 September, 2004                                                                                        morning filming at the Canterbury Museum
       Deadline: 10 September, 2004                                                                                          working with Associate Professor Roger Fyfe
       Editor:       Jeanette Colman                                                                                         showing different types of raincapes, woven
                     Ext 6260 or 364 2260                                                                                    materials, kaitaka and kahu-kuri as well as
       Sub-editor: Col Pearson                                                                                               items of adornment — titireia (whalebone
                                                                                                                             combs) red ochre, and kaka feathers.
       Photos:       Duncan Shaw-Brown,
                     Eve Welch                                                                                               In the afternoon, filming moved to the
       Artwork:      Michele Leeming                                                                                         University where staff and students
                                                          Mäori Liaison Officer Hemi Inia models a traditional Mäori          showcased a range of traditional hairstyles re-
       Distribution: Kate Frew
                     Design and Print Services
                                                          hairstyle.                                                         created by professional hairdresser Alli Barnes.
       E-mail:       comms@canterbury.ac.nz               A television crew was at the University                            Dr Wallace said Mäori traditionally wore
                                                          last month to film for the upcoming series                          a wide range of garments and hairstyles.
       Fax:          Ext 6679 or 364 2679
                                                          Frontier of Dreams.                                               “Design and style were just as important then
       Address:      Communications and                                                                                      as it is now.”
                     Development Department,              Frontier of Dreams is a 13-part series which
                     University of Canterbury,            traces the history of New Zealand from                             Frontier of Dreams, directed by Howard Taylor
                     Private Bag 4800,                    its geological formation to present day.                           of Whakapapa Productions, will screen on
                     Christchurch.                        Historians from around the country were                            TVNZ next year. The Canterbury footage will
                                                          asked to write essays which serve as the story                     feature in the second episode which covers
                    The Chronicle is typeset and          lines for the 13 episodes.
                    printed by Design & Print Services.                                                                      the first Polynesian footsteps through to the
                                                          Dr Patricia Wallace of the Mäori Department                        arrival of European settlers.
2
Black Hole expert up there with the best
A retired University of Canterbury
mathematician, Emeritus Professor Roy Kerr,
has joined the likes of physicist Stephen
Hawking in winning the prestigious Marcel
Grossman Award.
The award, which will be officially presented
at the next Marcel Grossman Meeting in St
Petersburg in 2006, recognises outstanding
achievements in the fields of general
relativity, gravitation and relativistic theories.
Professor Kerr won the prize for his discovery
of a solution to Einstein’s gravitational field
equations. The Kerr Solution, as it has come
to be known, provides an exact description of
the space outside a rotating black hole.
With more than 100 million trillion black
holes in the observable universe, his
achievement of 1963 has been of crucial
importance for science.
It has come to be regarded as the most
important exact solution to any equation
                                                     Professor Roy Kerr celebrated his 70th birthday at a special symposium held in his honour.
in physics, and has been pivotal in
understanding the most violent and energetic         Black Hole Symposium, which was held in                              Black Hole.
phenomena in the Universe.                           honour of his 70th birthday.                                         The Marcel Grossman meeting, where the
Professor Kerr’s solution has already been           More than 40 black hole experts from the                             award will be officially presented, is held
recognised by the Royal Society, which               UK, Europe, USA, Asia, Australia and New                             every three years. It discusses advances in
awarded him its Hughes Medal in 1984, and            Zealand gathered at Canterbury University for                        relativistic astrophysics, gravitation, general
by the Royal Society of New Zealand which            a special symposium and public lecture.                              relativity and relativistic field theories, with
awarded him its Hector Medal in 1982 and its         Dr David Wiltshire (Physics and Astronomy)                           an emphasis on mathematical foundations,
Rutherford Medal in 1993.                            said it was fitting that the Marcel Grossman                          physical predictions, and experimental and
He became aware of this latest award at a            Award comes in the form of a sculpture                               observational tests.
presentation during last week’s Kerr Fest            depicting the path of particles around a Kerr



Nobel laureate first Canterbury Distinguished Professor
                                                                                                                          He was visiting in 2003 when he was
                                                                                                                          announced as joint recipient of the Nobel
                                                                                                                          Prize for Economic Sciences “for methods
                                                                                                                          of analysing economic time series with
                                                                                                                          common trends (cointegration)”.
                                                                                                                          Professor Les Oxley, Head of the Department
                                                                                                                          of Economics, said Professor Granger, one of
                                                                                                                          the world’s leading econometricians, would
                                                                                                                          be visiting the department again this month,
                                                                                                                          staying until December.
                                                                                                                         “He is a wonderful visitor, keen and happy
                                                                                                                          to share his incredibly insightful mind with
                                                                                                                          students and faculty members, in economics,
                                                                                                                          finance and mathematics and statistics
                                                                                                                          departments alike,” he said.
                                                                                                                          The University Council approved the new
                                                                                                                          position of Canterbury Distinguished
                                                                                                                          Professor at its meeting last week “to
                                                                                                                          recognise the exceptionally prestigious
                                                                                                                          position of occasional academic visitors to
                                                                                                                          the University, such as Nobel Laureates”.
                                                                                                                          It is envisaged there may be only two or three
Nobel Prize winner Professor Clive Granger           Porfessor Granger first visited Canterbury’s                          such titles awarded over the next five to ten
(above) is the inaugural holder of the               Department of Economics as an Erskine                                years.
newly established position of Canterbury             Visiting Fellow in 2000 and has since made
Distinguished Professor.                             two private visits to the department.
                                                                                                                                                                            3
    Di Gala showcases talent of students and staff
                                                                                                                           costuming. The young singers made a very
                                                                                                                           convincing job of characterisation in a very
                                                                                                                           short time and are to be commended for
                                                                                                                           realising their performance on stage.
                                                                                                                           Either side of the interval the audience had
                                                                                                                           the chance to let their hair down somewhat
                                                                                                                           with cool jazz from the CPIT’s jazz students,
                                                                                                                           first with a clutch of standards featuring
                                                                                                                           vocalist Annabel Harrold and secondly with
                                                                                                                           the Southern Lights Jazz Choir. It’s great to
                                                                                                                           see a jazz culture blossoming in Christchurch
                                                                                                                           and being nurtured by the two institutions.
                                                                                                                           Iain Brandram-Adams’ string quartet, Mijn,
                                                                                                                           voor mij, showcased an original work by this
                                                                                                                           talened Masters student in Compostion. With
                                                                                                                           some parts pure Piazzola and others most
                                                                                                                           definitely the humour of Brandram-Adams
                                                                                                                           himself, this was an intelligently conceived
                                                                                                                           work with beautiful orchestration.
                                                                                                                           Mixing the old with the new in a very striking
    Student musicians perform at Di Gala.
                                                                                                                           way was the University Recorder Ensemble.
    The annual showcase for the combined              verses, delivered very dryly by Elric Hooper,                        Director Wolfgang Kremer programmed
    talents of staff and students from the            added much humour to the occasion and                                extended solo passages of medieval and
    University of Canterbury School of Music          nicely offset the excellent playing, while                           renaissance music with the avant-garde
    and the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute        Martin Setchell and student conductor                                Peter Hoch in an almost seamless blend.
    of Technology Jazz School broke new ground        Jo-Ying Huang succeeded in taming this                               Particularly effective was the inclusion of
    this year with two larger scale items.            menagerie of instruments. Carnival was a                             spoken passages in Hoch’s work — even
    The highlight of the concert in the James         brilliant note to end the evening on.                                now these pieces have the potential to put
    Hay Theatre was Saint-Saens’ Carnival of          Staging an excerpt from Act I of Mozart’s The                        an audience on the edge of its seat and to
    the Animals. Although it was symphonically        Magic Flute added a further dimension to                             provoke debate and thought.
    conceived it worked extremely well here in a      the concert, utilising the depth of the stage
    large chamber format. Ogden Nash’s linking        and minimalist, but effective, lighting and



    Aficionados of the ancient world do battle at Canterbury
     While athletes from around the world
     converged on Athens for the Olympics,
     local secondary school children gathered at
     Canterbury University for their own classical
     pursuits.
     The students took part in the annual Classics
     Schools Quiz, organised by Dr Patrick
     O’Sullivan through the Classical Association
     of Christchurch.
     Twelve teams competed, with students
     answering a range of questions on all aspects
     of the ancient world — myth, literature,
     history, art and archaeology. The four teams
     with the most points moved onto the
     final round to face yet more questions to
     determine the overall winner. Top honours
     went to Christchurch Boys’ High, followed by
     Christchurch Girls’ High, Hillmorton High and
     Villa Maria.
     A highlight of the evening was the mascot
     competition with entrants ranging from a
     toga-wearing giraffe to busts of Pericles and
     Aphrodite. It was won by Cashmere High with
     a reincarnation of Jason touting the
     Golden Fleece.
    “The mood was light, fun and good-humoured
    — clearly a step-up from the ancient Olympics,”
     Dr O’Sullivan said.                              Students from Lincoln High School hope their bust of Greek statesman Perikles will bring them inspiration.
4
Scientific goldmine sheds light on climate change history
                                                                                                              Assessment of these records has barely
                                                                                                              begun, and he is excited by the potential
                                                                                                              they hold.
                                                                                                              Canterbury University paleoclimate scientist
                                                                                                              and geophysicist, Dr David Nobes, says
                                                                                                              the records could come to be as important
                                                                                                              to science as the Vostok ice cores of East
                                                                                                              Antarctica.
                                                                                                              The Vostok cores are the only ice cores
                                                                                                              acknowledged by the scientific community
                                                                                                              to have remained undisturbed for the last
                                                                                                              interglacial and the penultimate glacial
                                                                                                              periods.
                                                                                                              Drs Nobes, Augustinus and Shulmeister
                                                                                                              worked on the research project with
                                                                                                              Canterbury University graduate student
                                                                                                              Andrea Pepper.
                                                                                                              The team acknowledges the pioneering work
                                                                                                              of Dr Brent Alloway (Institute of Geological
                                                                                                              and Nuclear Sciences) and Dr Phil Shane
                                                                                                              (Auckland University) on the records, and the
                                                                                                              collaboration of a large team from Victoria
                                                                                                              University, IGNS, Canterbury University and
                                                                                                              Auckland University.



                                                                                                              Quality reports bring
                                                                                                              awards for students
                                                                                                              Beating students from all over New Zealand,
                                                                                                              two University of Canterbury engineering
                                                                                                              students have won $1500 ACENZ Awards for
                                                                                                              the Best Practical Work Report in 2004 .
                                                                                                              Third professional year students Emily
                                                                                                              Hodgkinson (Civil Engineering) and Yiing
                                                                                                              Leong Chin (Electrical and Computer
                                                                                                              Engineering), were presented with their
Dr Jamie Shulmeister sheds new light on climate change.                                                       awards in front of their classmates by
                                                                                                              Mr Andrew Read from the Association
Researchers from the University of                         patterns, like El Nino, in the records. And that   of Consulting Engineers of New Zealand
Canterbury and the University of Auckland                  is exactly what we appear to see — El Nino,        (ACENZ).
have used what they describe as one of                     which wasn’t affecting New Zealand prior to
                                                           this event, suddenly it did.                       ACENZ said the judges enjoyed reading the
the most important climate archives in
                                                                                                              reports and that they were of a very high
the world to prove that a major Southern                  “We were able to do this because there were
                                                           algal bloom layers in the mud. We could tell       standard. Both Emily and Yiing Leong’s
Hemisphere cooling 14,000 years ago was
                                                           that each of these were a year apart, because      reports were well written and well presented.
transmitted from Antarctica to New Zealand
                                                           we also had ashes from volcanic eruptions          The scores and comments from the three
by El Nino.
                                                           which we knew the ages of.”                        judges were combined to select the three
Their findings have been published in the                                                                      winning reports. The other award went to a
                                                           Dr Shulmeister says while the abrupt climate
prestigious international journal Geophysical              change was a cooling, it happened during a         student from Massey University.
Research Letters.                                          period of rapid warming — similar to current       Emily’s report was on work experience with
Canterbury University paleoclimate scientist,              conditions.                                        Opus International in Wanganui while Yiing
Dr Jamie Shulmeister, says analysis of                     So what if the same kind of event happened         Leong’s report was on work at the National
laminated sediments taken from the                         now?                                               University of Singapore.
Onepoto volcanic crater in Auckland has                   “It would probably give us a prolonged period,      ACENZ offers the awards to encourage
provided the first conclusive insight into how              potentially a century or more, of on average
                                                                                                              prospective engineers to develop good
the New Zealand climate responded to the                   cooler and wetter years, at least in western
                                                           New Zealand.”                                      written communication skills. This year the
catastrophic climate change.
                                                                                                              awards were offered to the seven tertiary
He describes the findings as stunning.                      Fellow paleoclimate scientist Dr Paul
                                                                                                              institutions throughout New Zealand
                                                           Augustinus, of Auckland University, says
“They are stunning because we were able to                 the Onepoto crater’s sediments (along with         offering four-year engineering or engineering
 examine the climate history at a yearly scale.            other crater records in Auckland) are the most     technology degrees which are IPENZ
 You normally can’t do this with geological                important climate archives in the Southern         accredited. The awards are for students about
 records. This allows us to see real climate               Hemisphere.                                        to start the final year of their courses.
                                                                                                                                                              5
    Access to ocean floor biota brings German scientist to Canterbury
    Exploring the ocean floor miles away from                                                                        “Increasingly we are becoming aware of the
    home is something Thomas Jellinek, from                                                                          fact that deep-ocean environments respond
    Germany, finds exciting.                                                                                          quickly to the effects of man-induced and
    “So little is known about the ocean floor                                                                         natural environmental change. There really
    — there are so many undiscovered and                                                                             are decades and decades of work that can
     unclassified species down there. To give an                                                                      be done in this area, Kerry and I are simply
     idea of how much work there is to do — there                                                                    scraping the surface,” Dr Jellinek said.
     are 13 million square kilometres of ocean floor                                                                                                     Jane Lucas
     and only 22 square kilometres have been
     sampled in a way which provides statistically
     reliable information on the biota.”                                                                            UC in hunt for
    On a three-year transfer from Senckenburg
    Museum of Natural History Research Institute,
                                                                                                                    sponsorship award
    Frankfurt, Dr Jellinek will be based at Gateway                                                                  The University of Canterbury has been
    Antarctica as a senior research fellow. Over                                                                     named as a finalist in this year’s National
    the past five years he has been travelling                                                                        Business Review Awards for Sponsorship
    to and from New Zealand to continue his                                                                          of the Arts for its sponsorship of Dick Does
    research on the biota of the ocean floor, and                                                                     Dinner in the 2003 Christchurch Arts Festival.
    over that time has co-authored a number of                                                                       The sell-out show featured the culinary
    papers and formed a friendship with Kerry                                                                        talent of Dick, the alter ego of Christchurch
    Swanson in Geological Sciences.                                                                                  restaurateur and chef Richard Till who is
    He first met Dr Swanson at a conference in                                                                        also technical director (theatre) and resident
    Frankfurt in 1989. Since that time they have                                                                     designer in the University’s Theatre and Film
    participated in a number of oceanographic                                                                        Studies programme.
    cruises which had research objectives focused                                                                    Marketing Manager Brigitte Murray said she
    on the Southern Ocean in particular.              Dr Thomas Jellinek settles into his new role at Canterbury.    was delighted with the national recognition
    “The fact that we have been on a number of                                                                       of the quality of the sponsorship of Dick Does
                                                      currents are geologically speaking quite                       Dinner.
     research cruises together, have worked in
                                                      recent dynamics — we want to understand
     each other’s institutions to continue our                                                                      “The University has a limited sponsorship
                                                      how such things impact on what lives on the
     research of the same group of organisms in                                                                      budget, therefore it is important to ensure
                                                      sea floor. Living here, it will be great to be
     the ocean, is an indication of the strength of                                                                  that there are strategic benefits for us in
                                                      able to research in what is in effect my own
     the relationship. It’s a great opportunity to                                                                   being involved.
                                                      backyard now.”
     have someone here of his calibre and we have                                                                   “The sell-out success of the show, the
     set some quite ambitious research objectives     Oceanographic cruises are very expensive
                                                       which is one of the reasons why there has                     involvement of our staff and students,
     for the next three years,” Dr Swanson said.                                                                     national and local publicity and innovative
                                                       been so little research on the ocean floor
     Drs Swanson and Jellinek research ostracods,                                                                    leveraging of the sponsorship for recruitment
                                                      — the deeper the sampling the greater the
     an abundant, small crab-like organism that                                                                      purposes made it a very successful project for
                                                      cost and the potential for equipment loss or
     lives on the ocean floor. Fossils of ostracods                                                                   both the Christchurch Arts Festival, and the
                                                      damage.
     provide an evolutionary record of hundreds of                                                                   University of Canterbury.”
     millions of years. Although small — they are   “Research ships used for oceanographic
                                                                                                                     The prize for the overall winner will be
     0.5mm to 1mm long — they can be used to         cruises can often be in a very hostile
                                                                                                                     presented by Prime Minister Helen Clark at a
                                                     environment. We are out for 30-40 days at
     profile oceanic change through time.                                                                             gala dinner on 22 September in the Auckland
                                                     a time, often in huge swells and 190km/h
    “Ostracods are a great indicator of ocean                                                                        Town Hall.
                                                     winds. Though I don’t get sea sick it takes
     change as its shell doesn’t decompose.          time to adjust to the conditions.
     Therefore we are able to analyse the
     chemistry of the shell which allows us to
                                                    “Sampling the ocean floor is time consuming.                     Staff
                                                     We tow a dredge with special trapping
     determine changes in ocean temperature and                                                                                                Dr Morgan Thomas
                                                     devices over the floor, the contents are then
     water chemistry over time.                                                                                                                has joined the
                                                     examined and isolated under a microscope.
    “Looking at that data allows us to compare       This work starts immediately on board the                                                 School of Fine
     change in the past with modelling attempts      ship because we want to ensure that live                                                  Arts as a lecturer
     to predict future environmental change.         tissue is as fresh as possible.                                                           in art history and
     We have also developed a new hypothesis                                                                                                   theory. Dr Thomas
                                                    “Over the next year or so we plan to                                                       gained her PhD from
     relating to the origins and maintenance of
                                                     participate in cruises to the Angola Basin,                                               the University of
     deep-sea, benthic biodiversity. This will also
                                                     the Pacific Basin east of Tahiti and hope                                                  Sydney in 2003. Her
     be a focus for us over the next three years,”
                                                     work on the canyon systems off southern                                                   research interests
     he added.
                                                     Australia will also result in another sampling                                            include post-war
     Dr Jellinek regards New Zealand well suited to programme in that area.
                                                                                                                                               American painting
     the study of ostracods in the ocean.
                                                    “Another reason for the lack of previous                         and art criticism, contemporary Australian
    “New Zealand is a key location for our           research is that the ocean floor was                             and international art, and critical theory and
     sampling as it sits astride some critical       considered to be a very unfriendly                              aesthetics. She is currently revising her PhD
     oceanographic and atmospheric boundaries.       environment and the techniques for                              thesis on the painting of Mark Rothko with a
     The westerly wind systems’ associated ocean     surveying the floor were rudimentary.                            view to publishing it in book form.
6
 Radio duo fired up by physics                                                                                                 UC Golden Key group
                                                                                                                              wins second award
                                                                                                                              For the second year in a row the Canterbury
                                                                                                                              chapter of the Golden Key International
                                                                                                                              Honour Society has been awarded a Key
                                                                                                                              Chapter Award at the annual convention in
                                                                                                                              the United States
                                                                                                                              The award — one of only 29 made to 335
                                                                                                                              chapters worldwide — was presented at
                                                                                                                              the Golden Key Convention in Atlanta. The
                                                                                                                              group’s academic adviser, Dr Jessica Johnston
                                                                                                                              (Culture, Literature and Society), was
                                                                                                                              presented the Adviser of the Year award for
                                                                                                                              the Asia Pacific region.
                                                                                                                              Canterbury Golden Key President Nancy Milik
                                                                                                                              said she was thrilled with the Key Chapter
                                                                                                                              Award.
                                                                                                                              “It recognises the Canterbury chapter’s
                                                                                                                               standard of excellence for all the hard
                                                                                                                               work, commitments and successes we have
                                                                                                                               achieved this year. A number of our activities
                                                                                                                               gained a special mention including our
                                                                                                                               Youth Forum, our support of Cholmondeley
                                                                                                                               Children’s Home and our mentoring
(Left to right) MoreFM breakfast show hosts Gary McCormick and Simon Barnett take some last minute advice from Graeme Plank    programme at Ilam and Aorangi primary
prior to their firewalk.
                                                                                                                               schools.
 Physics staff turned up the heat recently                        So for a person with a normal thickness of                  “We were also very pleased to see our fabulous
 on MoreFM breakfast show hosts Si and                            sole skin they can be in contact for up to two               academic adviser, Dr Jessica Johnston,
 Gary. And they are about to nail home the                        seconds due to the low thermal conductivity                  recognised for her everlasting support and
 point that certain death-defying feats are all                   of the coals.                                                great commitment.”
 explained by simple scientific principles.                      “The length of pit we make is around three                    Founded in 1977 in Atlanta, Golden Key is
 Technician Graeme Plank was pit master                          metres which means each foot would fall                      a non-profit, student-run society which
 at a firewalk organised for radio hosts                          about twice, giving you about one second                     provides academic recognition to high
 Simon Barnett and Gary McCormick. He                            contact time per foot walking at a normal                    achieving students as well as leadership
“volunteered” his services after hearing                         pace.                                                        opportunities, community service, career
 that Simon had lost the July “Battle” and                                                                                    networking and scholarships.
                                                                “Most people should not get burnt because
 his forfeit was to do a firewalk in front of                     their feet are not in contact with the coals                 More than 850 delegates from 335 colleges
 the studio. Graeme usually does firewalk                         for long enough. About 10% of walkers                        and universities in six countries attended the
 demonstrations with Senior Lecturer Dr                          may receive a small blister on the relatively                convention for four days of intense leadership
 John Campbell, who was unavailable on this                      thinner skin of their instep and that usually                training, career development, networking
 occasion.                                                       heals overnight,” Graeme explained.                          and community service. Among them were
 It was a 5am start for Graeme so he could get                                                                                five Cantabrians — Dr Johnston, Nancy Milik,
                                                                “After some expected hesitance Simon                          Fiona O’Neill (adviser), Hayden Peacock
 the fire burned down to embers for an 8am                        surprised all around by calmly walking over
 walk.                                                                                                                        (vice-president) and Jennifer Molina (past
                                                                 the embers. I don’t think I have seen such                   president).
“Simon started to sweat when he learned of                       relief and disbelief of not bursting into
 the 1200 degree temperature of the fire but                      flames.                                                       The Cantabrians were not only mentioned in
 was much relieved to learn that the embers                                                                                   the awards ceremony but were among the
                                                                “Gary was so amazed that he went across                       leaders and presenters at the convention.
 he would walk on were only at around 800
                                                                 twice to go one better than Simon.”
 degrees,” said Graeme.                                                                                                       “We presented a service display showing how
                                                                 The firewalk was then opened up for a few                      we run our e-pals programme — an email
 As an optical pyrometer would not be any
                                                                 members of the public to have a go including                  buddy system for international students
 use in measuring the ember temperature in
                                                                 a visiting American tourist who had a very                    coming to study at Canterbury,” explained
 daylight, PhD student Sarah Wheaton cooked
                                                                 memorable start to her holiday in New                         Nancy.
 bacon and eggs.
                                                                 Zealand.
“If you can cook your breakfast, it is hot                                                                                      “We also held two workshops, one detailing
                                                                “That is what it is all about, getting science                 our ‘Don’t be a sitting duck… get involved’
 enough to walk on,” said Graeme.
                                                                 out into the public arena. And it is good PR                 campaign and the other presenting how we
“It is a bit of mind over matter taking that                     for the department and University.”
 first step but the reason that it can be done is                                                                               run our successful Colloquium/Youth Forum
                                                                 Hot on the heels of the successful firewalk                   — a day for year 13 students to discuss a
 pure physics.
                                                                 Graeme has laid down the next challenge for                  controversial issue.
“The key is the low thermal conductivity of the                  Si and Gary — the bed of nails. With about
 coals. We only burn particular sorts of wood                                                                                 “The Youth Forum is now being considered for
                                                                 2800 nails used in the bed Graeme is hoping                   implementation worldwide,” she said.
 and we burn it right down to embers. The                        to press home the point that “it’s only
 critical thing is the thick skin of your feet will              physics, folks”.
 be damaged once it heats up over 55 degrees.
                                                                                                                                                                                7
    Library takes responsibility for art collection                                                               Computers add a new
     Works in all of the University’s art             and what defines its distinctive character is
                                                                                                                  dimension to language labs
     collections are to be managed by the library,    the number of works produced by artists with
     with the establishment of a specialist           an association with the institution and the
     position within the library’s current staff.     region,” the report says.
     A part-time art collection manager will          A number of recommendations are made on
     take responsibility for the cataloguing,         cataloguing, conservation, art promotion,
     conservation, display and loan of all the        art policy development and the physical
     University’s art works.                          management of the collection.
     Librarian Gail Pattie is also seeking a small    Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Sharp
     capital sum to allow the purchasing of art       considered the report, consulted with the
     works, a role undertaken by the art purchases Librarian, Head of the School of Fine Arts and
     committee until its disestablishment recently members of the art purchases committee.
     as part of the committee review process.        “I see the art collection as a teaching and
     A 2001 report on the University’s art            research resource for the University, and the
     collection identified more than 1100 works        library’s expertise in managing collections     The language labs in the School of
     held in collections in the School of Fine Arts,  makes it the most suitable custodian,” he       Languages and Cultures have a new lease of
     academic and service departments and the         said.                                           life with 53 new Apple Macintosh computers
     libraries, many acquired by donation, bequest                                                    to replace the old tape recorders that were
                                                      Policy and collection development and
     or bought for the University.                                                                    previously in use.
                                                      establishment of processes and systems for
     The report identified some 200 works              managing the collection will be led by the     “The computers add a new dimension to the
     by notable contemporary and historical           library with input from staff in the School of  labs,” said senior technician Mike Clayton.
     professional artists, as well as many others of Fine Arts and the wider campus.                 “Students can complete interactive language
     immense historical and cultural significance.                                                     exercises on them, which was not possible
                                                      The change took effect from 1 September.
    “The existing strength of this art collection                                                     with audio cassettes and also there’s a visual
                                                                                                      dimension, which is important. Learning
                                                                                                      a language is much easier when you can
    Mechanical mayhem returns                                                                         see things like gestures, body language
                                                                                                     — the whole physical context in which the
     Never undie-estimate the imagination             in the Arts car park. On hand to judge the      conversation takes place. It’s like comparing
     of students. Lego men, lawn bowlers and          best dressed cars were rugby stars Caleb        having a telephone conversation with having
     redskin Indians lined up alongside terrorists, Ralph and Norm Maxwell. The top prize             one face-to-face.
     M*A*S*H medics and Reno 911 cops for the         went to “Boganised” while the crew from        “Computers have the ability to interact with
     2004 Undie 500.                                 “Legoland” were second and “Indians on the       students, they can highlight if a word is
     Academic pursuits were abandoned as              Interislander” were third.                      misspelled or an expression is grammatically
     students took up the challenge of buying         With eggs and fruit raining down on             incorrect. They also provide immediate access
     a road-worthy car for less than $500,            spectators the convoy departed for Dunedin      to a potentially unlimited range of reference
     decorating it and then getting it to Dunedin     at midday, taking pre-determined breaks at      resources — dictionaries, grammars, literature,
     in one piece.                                    several watering holes en route.                authentic audio and video material. It really
     This year entries were limited to just 150       Organiser Sam Mayston said the annual event adds a new dimension and provides a much
     vehicles in a bid to relieve pressure on         had gone well. “I have had a lot of positive    richer education for the student.”
     watering holes during what is arguably the       feedback from the security, pubs and the        A large satellite dish on the James Hight
     country’s longest pub crawl.                     students that went on the pub crawl.            Library enables the department to pick
     The day began with the traditional send off                                                      up and video a number of European and
                                                                                                      Middle-Eastern television programmes that
                                                                                                      can be used in the languages courses taught
                                                                                                      at Canterbury. “Language learning with the
                                                                                                      new labs is a more interesting and more
                                                                                                      motivating experience for the students as we
                                                                                                      have a much wider scope in which to teach,”
                                                                                                      Mr Clayton added.



                                                                                                                  Scholarships
                                                                                                                  Su Jian Ji has been awarded the 2004 Fulton
                                                                                                                  Hogan Scholarship. The scholarship was
                                                                                                                  established in 2002 by Fulton Hogan Ltd to
                                                                                                                  encourage research relevant to pavement
                                                                                                                  engineering. It is worth $12,000, plus $2000
                                                                                                                  research expenses.
                                                                                                   Matt Walters




                                                                                                                  Xin Liu has been awarded the Electric Power
                                                                                                                  Engineering Centre Postgraduate Scholarship,
    Every kid’s dream - a working lego car and a real lego man.                                                   valued at $12,500.
8
Retiring HR Director’s career favoured by chance
 Retiring Director of Human Resources Bruce
 Jamieson says serendipity was a critical
 factor in the form his career in education
 took.
 He highlights three specific occasions when
 serendipitous events shaped the direction
 of his 39 years service to the University of
 Canterbury and educational governance.
 The first was when psychology professor
 Alan Crowther asked the recently appointed
 lecturer to teach the occupational psychology
 course in 1966.
  The second was in 1975 when former Vice-
 Chancellor Professor Neville Phillips asked
 him to join the Riccarton High School Board
 of Governors.
 And the third was in 2000 when a chain of
 events led him to apply for the position of
 Director of Human Resources.
 Associate Professor Bruce Jamieson retired
 last month after a diverse career which saw
 him set up a seminal programme in industrial
 and organisational psychology and earned         Children at the Early Childhood Learning Centre farewell Bruce Jamieson who was Licensee of the Centre.
 him an ONZM for services to psychology and
                                                  During his 34 years in the psychology                                 when invited to apply but was involved
 education administration.
                                                  department Professor Jamieson saw the                                 in early meetings assessing the human
 His long association with the University         discipline grow into the most popular subject resources Peoplesoft system and decided he
 began as a mature student, studying              in the University with a major factor being                           was already doing a big part of the job and it
 geography in the mid 1950s and returning         the growing number of women studying                                  looked interesting.
 some years later to begin psychology while       psychology.
 teaching at a primary school in Christchurch                                                                           He sounded out whether Vice-Chancellor
 and lecturing in social studies at Christchurch “I think that has had quite a significant effect                        Professor Le Grew would be interested in
 Teachers’ College.                               on the discipline and on psychology at                                receiving an application and was advised
                                                  Canterbury.”                                                          he would have to go through “the full set of
 When he had completed the papers year
                                                  Professionally he has served on the                                   hoops”. That included psychological testing
 for his MA in psychology he was hired as a
                                                  Psychology Board and with the New Zealand                             by the consultants.
 lecturer in psychology by Professor Crowther
 who asked him to take the occupational           Psychological Society for which he was                              “It turned out they would be administered by
 psychology course as he was the person who       national treasurer for two terms and a                                a recent graduate of mine. So she did so and
 had done it most recently as a student.          member of the National Council for three                              scored them and interpreted them and loved
                                                  terms. His service was honoured with the                              every minute of it. She ended up knowing
“So I went from being a masters paper student
                                                  Golden Jubilee Special Award in 1988 for a                            more about me than I know myself.”
 in 1965 to actually teaching it in 1966.”
                                                  significant contribution to the society and to                         Many people have asked him why he would
 That was the beginning of a Canterbury           psychology in New Zealand.                                            take up such a difficult role in the latter stage
 association with occupational psychology
 that evolved eventually into a post-masterate    Educational administration also started                               of his career.
 diploma in industrial and organisational         with Professor Crowther, who thought                                “I always had a hankering to go beyond
 psychology for students with work                Professor Jamieson should have a period on a                          consulting work. When you are in a staff
 experience, to the highly regarded MSc in        secondary school board of governors. He was                           position you have to live with the results of
 applied psychology.                              one of two candidates for the Riccarton High                          the decisions you make and what you do.
                                                  School Board and Vice-Chancellor Professor                           And I always had a question mark in my own
 His experience and skill in the field have seen
                                                  Phillips told him he had tossed a coin, “which mind whether I could handle a role like this.”
 him undertake numerous consultancy and
                                                  seemed an improbable Phillips solution to a                           Given his long and diverse service Professor
 commercial research projects with a number
                                                  choice of this kind”.                                                 Jamieson has many stories and anecdotes
 of major New Zealand organisations, and has
 had a significant influence on practices in        At his first meeting at Riccarton he was                               he could tell, but he adheres to a principle
 industrial and organisational psychology in      nominated as deputy chairman and soon                                 he agreed with a psychology department
 New Zealand.                                     after he became chairman.                                             colleague whereby their “secret files” remain
“Over 30-odd years I probably had contact         He also served on the Christchurch Secondary closed – for the present at least.
 with more than 400 graduate students             Schools Council for 12 years, including five as                        Instead his parting comment is a piece of
 in that field. In a country the size of New       chairman, and began a 15-year association                             advice “that befits an historian manqué”, that
 Zealand that is fairly significant.”              with the Christchurch Teachers College/                               the University should “learn from the history
 He has also been a wonderful advocate            Christchurch College of Education Council in                          of the institution, and value it, but not be
 for the University as an alumnus. His four       1985, chairing the council from 1995-2000.                            shackled by it”.
 children are Canterbury graduates as are         Professor Jamieson’s move into the role
 his two sons-in-law, his two brothers, three     of Director of Human Resources also had
 nieces and a nephew.                             serendipitous roots. He had initially declined
                                                                                                                                                                           9
     Involvement in California-based research team expected to have
     positive spin-offs for Canterbury
     Chemistry Professor Leon Phillips is a
     member of an international research team
     that has been awarded US$7.5 million to
     study urban atmospheric chemistry.
     The award has been made by the US National
     Foundation for Science to scientists based
     at the University of California at Irvine. The
     money will be used to establish a new
     Environmental Molecular Science Institute
     (EMSI) at UCI.
     Such a facility amounts to a major upgrade
     of the team’s existing NSF program for
     Cooperative Research in Chemistry (CRC),
     with three times the funding, expanded
     membership, a new five-year grant period
     beginning in September, and the possibility
     of renewal after five years, which could not
     have happened with the CRC program.
     Professor Phillips is the only New Zealander in
                                                                           The existing University of California, Irvine group. (Back row, left to right): Pavel Jungwirth (Czech Academy of Science), Doug Tobias
     the group, which is headed by UCI chemistry                           (UCI), Benny Gerber (Hebrew University of Jerusalem and UCI) and Donald Dabdub (UCI). (Front row): Leon Phillips (Canterbury),
     professor Barbara Finlayson-Pitts. The CRC                            Barbara Finlayson-Pitts (Project leader, UCI) and John Hemminger (UCI).
     team includes other members of UCI’s
     departments of chemistry and mechanical                               of the air-water interface, of aqueous                                 global significance.
     engineering, and professors Pavel Jungwirth                           aerosols, and of the sea-salt aerosols that                            Professor Phillips said news of the grant was
     from the Czech Academy of Science and                                 arise from drying sea-spray. (An aerosol is a                         “a great morale booster”. Even though the
     Benny Gerber, who has a joint appointment                             cloud of micron-sized droplets or particles,                           NSF funds have to be spent within the US,
     between UCI and the Hebrew University                                 not the spray-can, breaking wave, or cooling                           Professor Phillips said Canterbury students
     of Jerusalem. The EMSI team will include a                            air mass that creates it.)                                             would benefit directly through a proposed
     Russian and a second Czech scientist, and                             The resulting new interface chemistry will be                          exchange programme.
     American scientists from the Lawrence                                 incorporated into a state-of-the-art air-shed                         “One of the objectives of my three-month
     Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, and Pacific                              model for the Los Angeles Basin. Los Angeles-                          Erskine visit to UC Irvine next year is to set up
     North-western National Laboratories.                                  type smog, also known as photochemical                                 student exchanges between my group and
     The planned research, for which the                                   smog, occurs in every city where air                                   the one at Irvine.
     Canterbury contribution will be dependent                             containing a significant concentration of car                          “The exchange will be of benefit to graduate
     on local support, consists of wide-ranging                            exhaust gases is exposed to strong sunlight,                           students from both places, but Canterbury
     theoretical and experimental investigations                           therefore the results of the research will have                        students stand to benefit the most.”



     Will you have tea with your knitting?
                                                                                                                                                  Gone are the days when morning tea at
                                                                                                                                                  Okeover involved simply coffee and idle
                                                                                                                                                  conversation.
                                                                                                                                                  Now the predominant sound in the
                                                                                                                                                  Continuing Education tea room is the clicking
                                                                                                                                                  of knitting needles as the peggy squares
                                                                                                                                                  brigade gets into action.
                                                                                                                                                  In the last few weeks, the team of dedicated
                                                                                                                                                  knitters — led by Rosalie Lyttle — has
                                                                                                                                                  produced more than 200 squares that will be
                                                                                                                                                  donated to the Red Cross for making blankets.
                                                                                                                                                  With each blanket consisting of 36 squares,
                                                                                                                                                  the team is well on the way to completing its
                                                                                                                                                  sixth blanket.
                                                                                                                                                  Such is the enthusiasm for the project that
                                                                                                                                                  the group has agreed to keep knitting while
                                                                                                                                                  there is a supply of wool. If anyone has some
                                                                                                                                                  spare double knitting wool, please contact
                                                                                                                                                  Rosalie on ext 6475.
      Liz Tully (front) checks out the wool supply while Shandley Wenborn (back left), Rosalie Lyttle, Carol Walsh and Julia Simmons add to
     the mounting pile of peggy squares. Absent are Libby Newcombe, Shirley Roberts and Teresa Croft.
10
Visiting fellows provide valuable industry experience for forestry students
Learning from students and reminiscing                                                                                  to engineers and accountants. “We see that
about old times, Nelson forestry consultant                                                                             it is important to provide a benchmark for
Peter Hay has just spent a valuable 10 days in                                                                          graduates to achieve and it would be good
the School of Forestry as a visiting industry                                                                           for the industry. I’ll look at the options and
fellow.                                                                                                                 existing schemes and see how a forestry
“I had a thoroughly enjoyable time and                                                                                  model could work.”
 especially enjoyed the contact with the                                                                                The visiting industry fellow programme was
 students. It’s great to come back, see the                                                                             instigated by the school three years ago. “The
 changes and joke with the students. I                                                                                  school is very professionally focused and has
 mentioned to one of the classes I lectured                                                                             strong links with industry,” says Bruce Manley,
 that I have fallen asleep in lectures exactly                                                                          Acting Head of Department.
 where they are sitting now.”                                                                                           “It ensures that our graduates meet industry
Mr Hay visited the school as an industry                                                                                 requirements and by having industry fellows
fellow, a forestry professional invited to                                                                               it strengthens those links. It also allows us
interact with staff and students and to                                                                                  to informally chat with the fellows and learn
impart their industry knowledge and provide                                                                              from them in an informal environment. A lot
insights into the current courses and                                                                                    is picked up from these informal situations.
development of the school.                                                                                              “We have been very pleased with the calibre of
“It’s important for industry to experience what                                                                          industry professionals who want to come to
 the school is teaching and to see how the                                                                               the school under the programme.” While on
 students learn and what their experiences in                                                                            campus, visiting fellows are able to continue
 the forestry sector are. Modern students are                                                                            their professional corporate roles, work on
 different from when I graduated. I’ve been        Peter Hay returned to Canterbury to share his industry experience.    projects and give guest lectures and seminars.
 very impressed with the standard of skills                                                                              On average they stay for three weeks. “We
 each students has. Most of the options are        an opportunity to speak to someone in the                             provide an office and all the necessary
 relevant to industry — the last thing the         industry, to hear about their experiences and                         requirements for them to have an enjoyable
 industry wants is tutors teaching obscure         to see how they have developed their career                           time here.
 subjects.”                                        path and to hear what industry expects from                          “It’s a win-win situation, industry
Working in the forestry industry since             them when they graduate.                                              professionals see what the school is
graduating in 1974, Mr Hay, currently a            As well as lecturing and speaking to students                         achieving and we learn from them too. It
director of Forme Consulting Group, has            in the school, Mr Hay has spent time with                             benefits everyone.”
held various positions in the industry. He         the staff and started working on an initiative                                                              Jane Lucas
says it is important for students to have          looking at an accreditation scheme similar




Adult education focuses on less formal learning                                                                         New Staff member
With adult learner’s week beginning next           an enquiring mind. I have always found a                             Dr Clive Sabel has been appointed lecturer
week (6th September), Liz Tully, University        course that interests me in the brochure; you                        in the Department of Geography. Dr
of Canterbury Community Education                  gain more knowledge from these courses                               Sabel has a BSc (Hons) in geography from
Manager, is keen to highlight the value            than if you read a book. On an Antarctica                            Lancaster University, an MSc in geographical
of adult and community education (ACE)             course I attended Edmund Hilary’s second in                          information systems (GIS) from Edinburgh
programmes and lifelong learning.                  command spoke to us explaining how they                              University and a PhD in GIS, environmental
                                                   completed their expedition and why they                                                       exposure and health
Community education caters for a range of
                                                   made some of the decisions they did. It was                                                   from Lancaster
creative and intellectual interests and attracts
                                                   invaluable information we couldn’t have got                                                   University. Prior to
a wide range of people to the university,
                                                   elsewhere.”                                                                                   joining the staff at
says Dr Tully. “There is a perception that it
                                                                                                                                                 Canterbury, Dr Sabel
is mainly retired people who do community          Mr Saunders intends doing more courses. “If                                                   worked for two
education courses, but that’s not the case.        there’s one on volcanoes I’ll do that – I enjoy                                               years in Sweden as a
The programme attracts a wide variety of           learning. They are taught in an informal,                                                     lecturer and tutor at
people, many of whom have a particular area        relaxing manner and are non-threatening as                                                    Linköpings University
of interest they want to develop or are keen       there are no exams at the end of the course,                                                  and also as a senior
to try new subjects.                               which appeals to me,” he adds.                                                                research fellow at the
“A lot people want to plug some gaps in their      Dr Tully believes the popularity of Community                                                 Karolinska Institutet.
 knowledge, but may not have had the chance        Education (5500 enrolments a year) is due
 earlier in life – community education courses     to the range of subjects offered, the calibre
 give them that opportunity.”                      of the teaching and the quality of course
Peter Saunders (43) a maintenance gardener         content. As well as being satisfying for
has always had an interest in history and          adult learners, the courses offer academic                           Change of name
enjoys learning and has completed courses          staff and graduate students that chance to
ranging from history and photography to            engage with lively, interested and often well-                       The Department of Mäori has been renamed
astronomy and forestry. “I suppose I have          informed audiences.                                                  the School of Mäori and Indigenous Studies.
                                                                                                                                                                            11
     Calling the shots at the Olympics
     For New Zealanders watching Olympic
     Games coverage on television the voice of
     basketball was that of Canterbury’s own Bob
     Manthei.
     As the Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns found
     themselves time and time again in games
     that went to the wire, Bob had viewers
     on the edge of their seats. With his
     distinctive American accent adding that
     air of authenticity to the commentary, Bob
     captured the highs and the lows, the ecstasy
     and heartbreak.
     His infectious enthusiasm and passion for
     the game transported Kiwis from their living
     rooms to courtside in the Heliniko Stadium.
     Bob, an Associate Professor in the Education
     Department, was in Athens as part of
     Television New Zealand’s 96-strong media
     contingent.
      Bob described his Olympic experience as a
     “sports commentating marathon”.
     Not until he arrived in the Greek capital did
     he discover he would be commentating
     21 games in 10 days. “It was all full on, no
     breaks, and all live to more than 25 countries
     which had contracted TVNZ’s coverage of
     basketball.”
     He found comfort in the knowledge he was at
     least commentating on a sport he knew and
     loved. “Some commentators were thrown in
     at the deep end to cover events they knew
     nothing about.”
     Home for the duration of the Games was
     Athens University - “very nice but a long way
     from the centre of things”.
                                                      The voice of basketball Associate Professor Bob Manthei.
     During the ten days of competition Bob faced
     a gruelling schedule - up at 5.30am, catching   Security was always going to be tight in what    Nevertheless, it was a privilege and a pleasure
     the first of three buses at 6.30am in order to   were the first Olympics to be held since 9/11.    to be there.”
     be seated in the commentary box by 8am.        “Security popped up everywhere. Every time        Topsy-turvy results made for a cracker
     The first game began at 8.50am, the second       we went into a building it was like being        basketball competition. “If you were a book
     at 11.15. During lunch the stadium was cleared checked before proceeding to the boarding         maker, you would be out on the street having
     for the afternoon session with games starting gate in an airport.”                               lost your shirt, shorts and favourite baseball
     at 2pm and 4.15pm. Again the stadium was        When he wasn’t commentating Bob would            cap.”
     emptied in preparation for the two night        stay to watch the other basketball games.        Bob described the basketball as “superb”
     games at 8pm and 10.15pm. Seldom did he        “And what basketball fan would not, given the adding the Tall Blacks were “the hardest
     leave the venue before midnight.                quality of the competition?”                     working team” in the competition. “It was
     If the schedule wasn’t tough enough Bob         He also managed to take in some of the           interesting to hear every coach praise New
     had the added challenge of going through        athletics in the main stadium. “It was a good    Zealand for its doggedness, tenacity and
     24 team sheets trying to figure out how to       session competition-wise, but really, the        never-say-die attitude.
     pronounce players’ names. He said so many       highlight for me was just sitting there, mouth “New Zealand is firmly on the international
     looked like “a mixed up scrabble board, as      agape, head slowly going right, left, up, down,
                                                                                                      basketball scene. I only hope we have the
     though a monkey was given free rein to play     left, right..... What a magnificent sight, and
                                                                                                      younger players coming through to stay
     with the letters”.                              the sound, rising and falling with the action
                                                                                                      there.”
     One of the main stories of the Games was        in the arena. A virtual feast of colour, noise,
     the drug scandals. “Sad, but that’s modern      warm soothing air, comfort, and all tinged       The irony of the Tall Blacks meeting Australia
     economics, chemistry and sport all mixed        with awe.                                        for the play-off for 11th and 12th position was
     together.” Another was the low attendance                                                        not lost on Bob. “It was a long way to come
                                                    “How odd though, I thought, when I realised
     at many of the events. “For example, there      that here I was at an athletics meet and         to play your neighbour.”
     were officially 600 people in the 13,500 seat    watching a huge telly for results, the races,    Despite the Kiwis loss to their trans-Tasman
     basketball stadium for the Korea versus China the jumps, the throws. It was like having          rivals, Bob said the team was magnificent.
     Game.” All the Greek games were sell-outs,     ‘atmosphere surround’, but still reliant on      “They have once again given so much pleasure
     he added.                                       television to actually see what was going on.    and excitement to so many.”
12

								
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