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Dual winners at grad conference

Dual winners at grad conference

Preschool Māori animation needs to be reflective of the children that are watching it says Waikato masters graduate Kristin Ross.

“If Māori representation is important to us, we need to find ways to preserve its status in the animations we expose our children to and keep it from being shunned by cheap global products,” says Kristin.

Her presentation on the topic won top prize at Waikato University’s 2015 Te Toi O Matariki Māori Graduate Conference.

After her daughter was born, Kristin noticed all of the animation for preschoolers on Māori Television was from overseas and nothing was locally made.

"I started thinking: where are our own stories and our own heroes? Why are we only buying global products? What is more important to us, the economics or the authenticity?" says Kristin.

At the conference, students are given a 10-minute slot to present their research and Kristin delivered hers entirely in te reo Māori.

“Te reo is my second language and I’ve spent the last five years learning it so it meant a lot to present my research in this way,” she says.

Kristin shared top prize with Waikato doctoral mathematical student Paul Brown whose talk, Thomas Bayes and the Big Bang, covered Bayesian inference and Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation – two subjects he found challenging to explain to a diverse audience.

“I was nervous at first presenting such a technical topic to students and researchers from all different fields, but once I started, I really enjoyed myself,” says Paul. “It was nice to see everyone listening and following what I was saying.”

The annual research conference gives Māori graduate and postgraduate students the opportunity to promote their research and gain presenting experience, support each other and help raise the profile of graduate and postgraduate study at the University of Waikato.

Other winners from the conference included:

Best Faculty Presentation
School of Māori and Pacific Development

Highly Commended Faculty Presentation
Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences

People’s Choice Award
Mahonri Owen – Faculty of Science and Engineering

Highly Commended Presentations
Truely Harding – Waikato Management School
Shaunnie Farr – Faculty of Education
Mahonri Owen – Faculty of Science and Engineering
Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes – School of Māori and Pacific Development

Best Individual Presentations (first equal)
Paul Brown – Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Kristin Ross – School of Māori and Pacific Development


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