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by Dr Jennifer Funk: Thursday 28 Jan, 4-5pm, SG.03

Jennifer Funk is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Chapman University, California, USA. She is visiting U Waikato for 2 weeks on her sabbatical. Her research focuses on identifying characteristics of invasive plant species and using that information to restore native plant communities. Please join us for a special School of Science seminar. If you would like to meet with Jennifer while she is in Hamilton, please contact Daniel Laughlin (


Time and Place: Thursday 28 Jan, 4-5pm, SG.03 (University of Waikato campus)


Trait-based approaches to ecological restoration in invaded plant communities

Seminar Abstract

One of the greatest challenges for ecological restoration is to identify which species will establish, co-exist, and perform the desired suite of services to re-establish ecosystem function. Organizing candidate species into plant functional groups based on a few key attributes for a given system may elucidate which species are likely to succeed as well as their influence on ecosystem function. I will discuss the functional trait approach to restoration in the context of resource limitation and plant invasion. Community ecology theory predicts that an invasive species will be unlikely to establish if there is a species with similar traits present in the resident community or if available niches are filled. I will discuss results from two experiments and the implications for management of invasive plant species. The first experiment examines resource manipulation in a desert annual community and the second examines competition in serpentine grassland.



Messages from Laura on behalf of the Action Station team.

The government are currently taking submissions from the public on their Bill to improve minimum housing standards for rentals in New Zealand.

This is our opportunity to push for standards that would ensure everyone in New Zealand has access to a warm, dry home.


Will you make a quick submission? It will take 5 minutes.



The Bill that would enact the proposed changes has just been tabled in the House and referred to Select Committee. What that means is thatmembers of the public can now have a say on minimum housing standards for rentals in New Zealand by making a parliamentary submission.

The catch is these submissions close on January 27th

We believe that's because although the changes proposed by the government have been a very welcome first step on the path to warm, dry and affordable homes for all - The Bill doesn’t go nearly far enough, and they know it.

Thanks so much for caring,

Laura on behalf of the Action Station team

TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement)

Heres Laura again..

The TPPA is a far-reaching “trade deal” that was negotiated in secret by the governments of New Zealand, USA and ten other countries. It was agreed upon after years of covert negotiations in October of last year.

Now that the text of the agreement has been made publicly available, it is clear that the deal is designed to serve the interests of large corporations and powerful states, not the interests of people or the planet.

Here are five reasons we believe New Zealand should say no to the TPPA:

The TPPA will:

  • Take away our democratic right to decide our own laws and policies in ways that best serve the national interest
  • Put corporate interests ahead of urgent priorities like climate change, affordable medicines, internet freedom, quality jobs, social justice
  • Allow foreign companies to sue us for taking measures to protect the environment or public health in ways that damage their profits
  • Give foreign investors special rights not available to New Zealanders and a guarantee that government won’t restrict foreign purchases of residential homes and land or control of key sectors
  • Bind New Zealand governments to a pro-corporate agenda for the indefinite future, in violation of our democracy, sovereignty and the Treaty of Waitangi

The TPPA will be signed in New Zealand on February 4th despite the fact that the majority of New Zealanders do not want us to sign the deal.

So we’ve launched a petition for people who disagree with this un-democratic and dodgy deal so that we can show our dissent. We’ll be delivering this petition to Parliament just before the signing, so please add your signature and share widely to help us make this petition huge.

Sign and share here >>

Power to the people,

Laura on behalf of the team at ActionStation.

Applications are in for a Coal Mine on the Panirau Plateau – have your say and be a voice for Ecological Justice!

Mokau South Resources has submitted a number of resource consent applications to the Waikato Regional Council for a coal mine on the Panirau Plateau, about 20km east of Mokau and in the Mokau River catchment. If a mine were to go ahead in this location it would have negative implications in terms of water quality, ecosystem health and traffic volumes, not to mention Climate Change! The Waikato Environment Centre is encouraging people to have their say on this proposal. The deadline for submissions is 5.00pm on Tuesday 2 February.

Coal Action Network Aotearoa has been working with Anglican Action Social Justice Centre to develop a submission guide. They have consulted with some experts and produced a guide that has some excellent submission points. You can access a word version of the submission guide here and a pdf version here.

You can also contact Anna at the Waikato Environment Centre for a copy of the guide -

If you would like to hear more in person about Mokau South, their application and the submission process - please come along to the Waikato Sustainability Network on Monday 25th of January, 12-1.30pm. Robert Moore from Anglican Action will be talking about his research and the submission process.


Waikato Sustainability Network Meeting – Monday the 25th of January, 12-1.30pm

Are you interested in talking with others about sustainable food and agriculture, the health of our waterways, climate change, waste minimisation, the sharing economy...

Sharing knowledge, information, insight and questions is what the network is all about. Very informal. Conversation and korero over lunch. Come along if you can - 12-1.30pm, Monday 25th of January. Kapu ti provided. Contact Anna for more information –

Robert Moore will be there to talk about his research on Mokau South’s intentions to develop a coal mine on the Panirau Plateau and how the community can have a say about this!



Please check out our FB page and our website

 Attached is the flyer for our course for seniors 65+ that starts in February

age concern Feb 2016.pdf



Welcome to 2016!

The TEDx Team have been back into planning for a couple of months now. And we are looking forward to having a bigger and better TEDxRuakura in 2016.

How can you help?

As a complete voluntary endevour the TEDxRuakura team needs as much help as it can get. Here are a few ways you can help us out this year.

#1 Spread the word!

Get the word out to friends, family and TED lovers everywhere. Get them to sign up to this newsletter, follow us on Facebook or twitter, or write us a nice letter or postcard :)

#2 Help out as a volunteer

We are making this years event bigger and better, this means we need a few more hands to help. We have a few spaces on the TEDx organising team, so for those real full on TED Heads this could be for you. Plus we need some other helpers out for odd jobs and other things for the next 6 months and on the day. Shout out by whatever means you have available and let us know you are keen.

#3 Speakers, We know you are out there!

The event would not be possible without an amazing cast of speakers, so who do you know who has an idea worth spreading?

Let us know and then we will let them know that we think their idea is GREAT!

#4 Show Me The Money (or in kind Sponsorship)

To make an event like this work we need a few people (businesses) who love TEDx so much they reach into their pockets and give some sponsorship.

We have gone over the books and we know what we need for a great event so if you want to help out by sponsoring the event this year let us know. This could be in cash or kind.

#5 Watch some videos

Get yourself all revved up for this years event and start watching some great TED and TEDx videos. You can find all our last years speakers HERE.




We offer up a specially designed programme for current and potential leaders working/volunteering within the not-for-profit sector. The programme is a National Certificate in Business, First Line Management Level 4 and it is delivered over an 8 month period with 8 Sunday sessions and then the participant goes back into their organisations and does the practical side of the learning. The participants also have to complete workbooks and an organisational based project. It’s a very practical programme of study for potential and current leaders within our community & volunteer organisations and offers up an opportunity for people to work/volunteer whilst they are gaining a nationally recognised qualification

Waikato LTW Flyer - December 2015.pdf




Saturday: explore Waikawau headland and beach. For those meeting us on Saturday morning we will meet at 10am, outside the Waikawau tunnel at the end of Waikawau road

Sunday: walk up Mt Whareorino

Monday: visit the largest puriri tree in NZ at a little reserve in Waikawau. Leave at lunchtime.


The trip up Whareorino will be 8-9hrs so a good level of fitness will be required. The other days will be easy. Bring good boots

I have arranged a place to camp on Nukuhakari Station (after finding out recently the Waikawau campground has been closed). Please bring everything you would normally bring when camping. Hopefully we have use of the shearers quarters for toilets, cooking etc but if they are still shearing we might be elsewhere. I will be able to confirm exactly where we will be camping at the start of next week.

Nukuhakari Station is at the end of Te Marama road, off Waikawau road, off Manganui road if coming from the south or Mangatoa Rd if you are coming from the north.

Can you confirm you are are coming on the trip so I can let the manager know exact numbers by the end of the week.

Can people also let me know if you are planning to arrive on Friday night or Saturday morning by the end of this week. I will be there from Friday night.

I am away in the field this week but will answer any questions when I get back on the weekend.





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