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Massey graduation ceremonies at Wellington

Māori graduates and staff from Massey University celebrate on the steps of the College of Creative Arts building Te Ara Hihiko, after last year’s graduation ceremonies

Gisella Carr

Miriama Kamo

More than 680 graduates will cross the stage of the Michael Fowler Centre on Thursday to have their degrees conferred in separate ceremonies that feature addresses from prominent identities in the creative industries.

In a new initiative, each ceremony will feature a valedictorian address from one particular graduate to their fellow class of 2018 graduates. Bachelor of Creative Media Production graduand Christopher Chalmers will address the ceremony for the College of Creative Arts, while former student president Adam Logan-Cairns, a Bachelor of Communication graduate, will speak to graduands in the afternoon ceremony from the College of Business, College of Health, College of Humanities and Social Sciences and College of Sciences.

World of Wearable Art chief executive Gisella Car is the guest speaker for ceremony one. She has enjoyed a diverse career across the creative industries, including in performing arts, film, the museum sector, design and visual arts and cultural policy. Before her current role, she has held senior positions with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Creative New Zealand, the Museum of New Zealand/Te Papa Tongarewa, and Film New Zealand. Among a host of achievements, she is also the originating strategist and creator of the New Zealand Arts Foundation’s Arts Laureate Awards.

Broadcaster Miriama Kamo will provide the guest address at ceremony two. In a career spanning nearly 25 years, Ms Kamo has worked in a range of roles both in front of the television camera and behind it. She is currently the host and a reporter for TVNZ’s flagship current affairs programme, Sunday, and presents Māori current affairs show Marae. After graduating from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Arts and later studying at the New Zealand Broadcasting School at Christchurch Polytechnic, her journalism career began in earnest in Wellington where she worked for four years, including on the art and current affairs show B@ckchat. Ms Kamo writes for various publications and has just published her first children’s book The Stolen Stars of Matariki. She is also working on a project to translate 100 classic and contemporary works in Te Reo Māori. She is an ambassador for Endometriosis New Zealand and for Pillars, an organisation that supports the children of prison inmates.

This year’s musical performance will be given by final-year Bachelor of Commercial Music student and acoustic singer-songwriter Connor Moore. Originally from Wanaka, she will be performing her own song called ‘Almost Perfect.’

Māori and Pasifika graduates will also be honoured at additional celebrations on Friday.

Below are research outlines for some of the doctorate recipients.


Domestic dressmaking is an under-researched aspect of the female experience in New Zealand. Ms Vincent used oral histories with archival and object research to recreate the practice at homes and in schools in the 20 years following World War II. Her findings suggest dressmaking not only shaped girls' clothing, it also shaped their way of being.


Everyday memory difficulties are a common experience that become more frequent with age. Ms Burmester's research examined whether there was a better way to explain what causes everyday memory difficulties. For the first time she showed that everyday memory difficulties can result from a combination of three factors: how we assess the memory difficulties, a person's emotional wellbeing, and their brain speed.


Ms Clark investigated the social dynamics of flatting among young New Zealand adults. Her research showed interpersonal relationships in the intimacy of domesticity need to be carefully navigated with a high level of co-operation and communication. She found a workable living arrangement entails treading a delicate balance between acceptable and objectionable behaviour.


Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that can significantly impact quality of life. Ms Ingram sought a deeper understanding of living with psoriasis, and investigated whether vitamin D supplementation could improve the condition. She identified three underlying types of experience in relation to psoriasis, and while the impact of vitamin D supplementation could not be determined, she found an overall relationship between higher vitamin D levels and improved psoriasis.


Mr Salter investigated the discursive origins behind an intense period of struggle between the National government and the school education sector. Interviews with education professionals and activists demonstrated widespread refutation of neoliberal education discourse and instead offered alternatives based on a New Zealand holistic teaching tradition, with its roots embedded in the early twentieth Century.


International disaster risk reduction efforts prioritise school safety. Ms Tipler investigated emergency preparedness and response activities in New Zealand schools, identifying key practices that support efforts to keep students safe during emergencies. The research findings have implications for enhancing school emergency management efforts in New Zealand and internationally.

Massey University’s Wellington graduation ceremonies are on Thursday at 9.30 am and 2.30pm at the Michael Fowler Centre.

Click to here to view a live stream of the ceremonies


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