Sustainable Futures

Integrating sustainability across EIT

The push to integrate sustainable activities across EIT – in practice, teaching research and relationships – is being led by Professor Natalie Waran, the Executive Dean for the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Health Science and Chair of One Welfare along with Jo Blakeley, Director of Academic and Student Services.

The One Welfare project at EIT is interdisciplinary, breaking down traditional silos, provoking debate and discussion to provide new approaches and ways of thinking that will contribute to the development of a healthy, productive and sustainable region.

EIT to host inaugural Wine Research Symposium


An inaugural wine research symposium aimed at presenting recent New Zealand research to industry and helping develop an agenda for future wine industry related research is due to be hosted by EIT’s School of Viticulture and Wine Science later this month.

The one-day symposium called Advancing Viticulture and Wine Related Research on October 28, will feature researchers from EIT, the University of Auckland, Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), Lincoln University, and the Bragato Research Institute (BRI) among others.

Three EIT researchers will present papers at the symposium. Viticulture and Wine Science lecturer Dr Chandré Honeth will present on using deficit irrigation to modulate Syrah quality parameters, while her colleague Dr Victor Ye’s presentation will be on the characterisation of commercial examples of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Dr Rory Hill, Programme Coordinator and Lecturer – Wine Business and Innovation, will give a presentation entitled: Through a glass, darkly: what do we know about restaurant wine sales by the glass.

Sue Blackmore, Head of EIT’s School of Viticulture and Wine Science says interest in the symposium is very positive. She says the symposium is aimed at the local wine industry, researchers across New Zealand and EIT students.

“We see our role as assisting  collaboration with a range of research institutions and industry towards the future of research.”

“This is an opportunity for researchers in quite diverse areas of wine related research to present in a conference setting  and gain feedback from each other and the wine industry.

Chandré says: “This symposium is a fantastic opportunity to bring researchers in the field of winegrowing together, to generate discussion and encourage networking and collaboration across the various institutes in New Zealand.”

Rory says this symposium is important for researchers to present their findings, at a time when conferences and symposiums have been cut, curtailed, and postponed around the world.

“It is also a great chance for leaders and change-makers in the industry to learn about some of the latest developments, to network, and to talk to researchers,” he said.

Sue says the symposium is also a “fostering environment” for EIT students who will have an opportunity to present posters.

“It is also an opportunity for young researchers who have not necessarily done a lot of public speaking to hone their skills.”

More details about the symposium can be found here. It will go ahead under Alert Level 2 but will move online if Hawke’s Bay returns to Alert Level 3 and Alert Level 4.

Digital divide an issue facing small businesses

The threat of digital exclusion facing small businesses in Napier and the rest of Hawke’s Bay is the focus of a research project by EIT and InternetNZ.

The research, which is being done by Dr Emre Erturk, the Principal Academic Staff Member at EIT’s School of Computing, is examining how digital exclusion could affect the quality of life for local small businesses owners and managers and stymie the success of their businesses.

Learning in nature project - EIT a finalist in prestigious Awards

EIT is, for the second year in a row, a finalist in the prestigious Green Gown Awards, run by the Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS).

One of only two of the country’s tertiary institutions to make it through to the final round of judging, EIT has been shortlisted in the Benefitting Society category for its community-focused Learning in Nature (LIN) project. The awards are open to all Australasian tertiary institutions and recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives.

EIT’s entry last year described the development of the Ōtātara Outdoor Learning Centre (OOLC) on the Hawke’s Bay Campus and related activities, enabling Learning in Nature (LIN) within an immersive mindspace.

This year’s entry  “Ko au te taiao, ko te taiao ko au: I am nature, nature is me” describes the project’s increased community reach and how it enhances lives by connecting people with nature and cultural heritage, whilst supporting the connection of schools with their own local environment. LIN has developed through research and regional engagement with educators and learners at EIT and through communities of practice. It has advanced teacher ability to embed nature literacy and sustainability values  within the region’s educational culture from early childhood to post-graduate level teaching.

Regenerative Agriculture and the future of farming in the spotlight

Regenerative Agriculture and the future of farming will be the focus of a Policy Think Tank organised by EIT’s Research and Innovation Centre next month.

The forum, scheduled to be held on EIT’s Hawke’s Bay Campus in Taradale at 5pm on Thursday, 28 October, is part of the Institute’s commitment to progressing applied research, curriculum content and community initiatives that support improved sustainability.

Professor Natalie Waran, Executive Dean and Professor of One Welfare says EIT graduates will contribute to the development of a healthy, productive and sustainable region, as well as to the National and Global drive towards achieving a more sustainable future for all by 2030.

The discussion will be led by a university sociologist and local farmers practising regenerative agriculture. They are Edgar Burns, Associate Professor at the University of Waikato and the inaugural Hawke’s Bay Chair of Integrated Catchment Management, based at EIT; and local farmers, Greg and Rachel Hart, from Mangarara Station near Elsthorpe, Central Hawke’s Bay.