All regular monthly meetings are 10am to noon at the Lincoln Events Centre, Meijer Drive, Lincoln, New Zealand.

There is no door charge for members.

Guests may come once for a charge of $5. Membership application forms will be available at each meeting.

2019 Programme

27 February 2019
Prof Paul Dalziel – Wellbeing Economics
Paul has been Professor of Economics at Lincoln University since 2002. He works full-time in the university’s Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit (the AERU) where he is deputy director. His research has focused on economic and social policy, with a particular interest on regional economic development. Paul has published more than 100 refereed publications, including papers on sustainable development indicators. He was the Science Leader for a national trans-disciplinary research programme on education and employment linkages (, funded over five years (2007-12) by the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation. Paul is in charge of the Economic and Governance pillars of the NZSD framework.

27 March 2019
The AGM will be held at 10am
Dr John and Janice Milligan – City Harvest Food Rescue – Canterbury
Operated by Janice and Brother Dr John Milligan City Harvest (recipient of the 2017 Civic Award for Emerging Leaders: for service to the city and the people of Christchurch) was established to work with food retailers, supermarkets, wholesalers, restaurants, caterers, universities and other food providers to rescue un-sellable but perfectly good food. This food is then distributed throughout the Christchurch to various community and charitable outreach centres.

24 April 2019
Dr Andrew Butler – Thorndon Chambers Law Society- Wellington – The New Zealand Constitution

Public law expert Andrew Butler moved to the independent bar and joined Wellington’s Thorndon Chambers in September 2018.Dr Butler was a senior lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington from 1991 to 1999 when he joined the Crown Law Office as Crown Counsel. He left in 2005 to join Russell McVeagh, where he became a partner in 2007. He has appeared regularly in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and has been chair of the New Zealand Law Foundation since 2013 and convenor of the New Zealand Law Society’s Human Rights and Privacy Committee.

Dr Butler is also General Editor of Equity and Trusts in New Zealand, 2nd edition (Thomson Reuters New Zealand Ltd) and co-author of New Zealand Bill of Rights Act: A Commentary, 2nd edition (LexisNexis NZ Ltd), co-author of A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand (Victoria University Press) and Toward Democratic Renewal (Victoria University Press).

22 May 2019
Kathryn Dalziel- Barrister – talking on Facebook Privacy Concerns

Kathryn Dalziel teaches part time at Canterbury University in Legal Ethics, Public Law and Employment Law. Her research interests are privacy law focused and include the privacy of personal data, freedom of information and the relationship between privacy and medicine.
Kathryn practiced from 1989 to 1996 specialising in Civil Litigation, Employment and Privacy law. Since 1996, she has been Seminar Leader for Office of the Privacy Commissioner for the South Island and is now in practice at Taylor Shaw.

29 May 2019
Megan Martin, Antarctica Communications Manager of Antarctica NZ

Megan leads a passionate team of communications professionals who are focused on celebrating and promoting Antarctic science and the logistical support that makes it all possible. Megan was a journalist for 20 years, 13 of that with TVNZ, before moving into corporate communications. She oversees Antarctica New Zealand’s Community Engagement Programme which takes media, educators, artists and writers to the Ice to help tell our Antarctic story. Megan has travelled and lived around the world, but Te Tiri o te Moana (Antarctica) holds a special place in her heart as the last great wilderness on earth.

26 June 2019
Carolyn Robertson, Turanga, Chief Librarian

Carolyn Robertson is the Libraries and Information Manager for Christchurch City Council, a position she has held since 2005. Carolyn leads the planning, development and delivery of public library services for Christchurch and sponsors several library building projects which form a key part of the Christchurch rebuild. The largest of these is the new Central Library, an important anchor project in the rebuild of the CBD, which is due to open in 2017. Carolyn is a fellow of LIANZA (the Library and Information Association of New Zealand) and served as president of the association in 2010/11. She has been a member of Public Libraries of New Zealand since its inception and is actively involved in several international library networks such as the Metropolitan Libraries Section of IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries Network INELI programme for emerging leaders.

24 July 2019
Associate Prof Amy Fletcher – University of Canterbury – American Politics

My major research area is science, technology and environmental policy. I focus on the integration of the computer science and biotechnological sectors and the impact of exponential technological change on public policies and society. My current specific interests include artificial intelligence/automation and employment, the impact of AI on the higher education sector, and disruptive biotechnologies in health and the environment. Research questions that I consider include: 1) what happens after new technologies ‘leave the lab’ and enter society; 2) what ethical and political challenges do new technologies pose; 3) how can scientific and technological innovation be fostered through smart regulation and community engagement; 4) what would it mean to “enhance” humans with advanced technologies and what might be the political and ethical implications? I also have an ongoing research interest in public engagement, science communication and methods for community engagement and scenario/foresight analysis.

31 July 2019
Surinder Tandon MNZM– Multicultural initiatives in Selwyn and Christchurch

Surinder Tandon was awarded the Member of the NZ Order of Merit for services to textile science and the community.
Formerly a lecturer in textile science at Wool Research at Lincoln University, Surinder is very involved in the Multicultural Council and Multicultural initiatives. Living in Lincoln, he is involved and knowledgeable about our local Muslim Community. Many of us know little about our Muslim Community and after the horrendous attacks on the two Christchurch Mosques, felt the need to be better informed

28 August 2019
Dr Susan Foster-Cohen, Director of Champion Centre

Dr. Susan Foster-Cohen has been Director of the Champion Centre since 2004. She combines this role with teaching a course in children’s language acquisition at the University of Canterbury and research in collaboration with the New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour. She also supervises graduate students in the Department of Communication Disorders and the Department of Linguistics. Her current research focuses on the language development of children with developmental disabilities in the context of their non-linguistic development. She welcomes national and international invitations to collaborate in research projects that can help advocate for children with disabilities.

25 September 2019
Chris Davey, Education Officer at The Wigram Airforce Museum will talk on Defence and Deception – the Wigram Story. This is a change to the original speaker.

This is the story of Wigram during its time as an Air Force Establishment. From an Air Station to an RNZAF Base. Defence and Deception takes you on the journey from the pilot training school at Carr’s Farm in 1916, through the deception plans used during World War 2, and then on to the final departure of a military presence in the area and what is now the Air Force Museum of New Zealand today.

Chris Davey is a qualified teacher who is responsible for the delivery of free education programmes to preschools, primary and secondary schools and some adult groups that book visits to the Air Force Museum. Chris gave the Natural History Group a talk about the Anne Frank Exhibition some time ago. Chris is employed by the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

23 October 2019
Prof Alex Tan University of Canterbury – China’s Influence in the Pacific

Alex Tan is Head of Department and Professor of Political Science and International Relations, University of Canterbury. He is also Honorary Professor of the NZ Defence Force Command and Staff College, Associate Director of the NZ Contemporary China Research Centre, Senior Fellow of the University of Nottingham China Policy Institute (UK), Fellow of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies (Dallas, USA), and University Chair Professor of Political Science (adjunct) at National Chengchi University (Taiwan).Alex is editorial board member of several international political science journals such as Electoral Studies, Political Science, Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs. He has published extensively in the areas of political parties and elections, political economy, Asian politics and international affairs.

30 October 2019
Dr Fiona Timms –Orthopaedic Hand and Wrist Surgeon- These Thorns can Kill!!

Fiona was born and raised in Dunedin. She graduated from University of Otago Medical School in 1992 and began her formal surgical training in 1998. She became a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2001 before completing further sub specialist training in Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney. She worked as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the hand unit at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland and then North Shore Hospital 2003-2005. In 2005 Fiona moved to Christchurch to work at Christchurch Public Hospital until the birth of her first child in 2006.

Fiona now works as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon in private practice. She specialises in hand and wrist surgery.

27 November 2019
Amanda Miller – Investigative Journalist – out of town speaker. To be confirmed.

Amanda Miller is a journalist, copywriter, producer and author. Amanda Millar is one of New Zealand’s most experienced and awarded television journalists. Millar has reported on many high profile 60 Minutes and 20/20 stories, including stories on former police Assistant Commissioner Clint Rickards, ‘Parnell Panther’ Mark Stephens, and disgraced Christchurch GP Morgan Fahey. Amanda has written articles and blogs for a variety of news outlets and is a former television news producer, writing and producing the news for one of the largest and highest-rated television stations in the Midwest. Amanda’s writing stretches outside of journalism, having written advertising copy for national companies like Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Pella Corporation and Pennzoil. Amanda holds her Master’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Iowa.

Programme archive