Welcome from the Dean

Photo of Prof Kevin Watson, Executive Dean of Arts, University of Canterbury
Prof Kevin Watson
Executive Dean of Arts, University of Canterbury

Nau mai, tauti mai! A very warm invitation to join us in Ōtautahi Christchurch for IAMCR 2024. The University of Canterbury is a growing university in an energetic and liveable city. We sit in a beautiful landscape, close to mountains and spectacular coastlines. Come and explore it all. If you can, extend your stay and travel round the South Island. If time is tight, make sure you fit in at least a day trip to hot springs, local wineries or the scenery of Banks Peninsula. They’re all within an hour’s drive.

A few words about us. The University of Canterbury teaches Media and Communication, including the country’s only programme in Māori strategic communication, as part of a large offering of humanities and social science subjects, in many of which we are research leaders. We are proud of our newly launched Digital Screen degree and brand new facilities, offering a professional education at the cutting edge of digital film production, game development, and cross-reality technologies.

As Executive Dean, I’m proud also of our part in reworking the relationship between settler and indigenous societies here. The university has a strong relationship with Ngāi Tūāhuriri, the hapū (sub-tribe) who hold manawhenua or authority over the land here. In practical terms, that means all students are challenged to become confident as citizens of a bicultural nation through their course of study. It also means more and more of our research involves partnership between scholars and Māori communities. 

We are committed to sustainability in education, on which QS ranks us eleventh in the world. I’m impressed at how sustainability runs through every aspect of  IAMCR 2024, from reducing food waste to carbon offset to a commitment to social equity.

If you are planning to attend a pre-conference, you will be on our campus for a day. A very warm welcome to our place, which we know will enrich your scholarship. For those of you who will be based at Te Pae, the new, state-of-the-art conference centre in the middle of the city, please make the most of our city and the manaaki (hospitality) of Ngāi Tūāhuriri and of our colleagues from across Aotearoa’s New Zealand's communication programmes who have made this event happen. 

No reira, nau mai, haere mai, tauti mai, huihui mai. Once again, we welcome you to come, join us and be part of this great event.

Prof Kevin Watson
Executive Dean of Arts, University of Canterbury

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