29 January 2014
Dedicated Supporters Acknowledged In Science Festival Life Memberships
Two of the science community’s strongest supporters of the New Zealand International Science Festival have been rewarded
with life memberships at tonight’s AGM held in Dunedin.
Former Festival President Mike Harte and Financial Advisor Wai Piggott were each awarded a life membership of the New
Zealand International Science Festival for outstanding services and expertise delivered since the Festival was
established in 1997.
New Zealand International Science Festival president Dr Michele Coleman says while president, Mr Harte campaigned
heavily for the future of the Festival and was vocal about the Festival’s achievements, while Mrs Piggott’s expertise
has proved invaluable to the executive, securing the financial viability of the festival long term.
“Under Mike’s leadership the festival was able to move forward, seeking government funding and ensuring the festival’s
link with the global community through his IT skills and knowledge. Mike has also played an important part on the
development of the festival team throughout the years, assisting with recruitment and festival planning and helping to
build our relationship with the University of Otago.
“Wai has played an essential role on the festival executive as financial adviser, managing the festival finances and
investments and assisting the festival director and team with sound advice. Wai and her family are avid supporters of
the festival, attending many festival events. Without her support we wouldn’t have been able to ensure the financial
sustainability of the festival into the future.”
Tonight’s awards are part of the Festival’s recent practice of awarding life memberships for outstanding service, first
established in 2010 when Dame Elizabeth Hanan was awarded the festival’s first life membership, followed by Professor
Jean Fleming receiving the accolade in 2012.
Mike Harte, the Director of Information Technology Services at the University of Otago, also holds a number of other
roles including past national president and fellow of the New Zealand Computer Society, a past president and life member
of the Association of Local Government Information Management, founding director of New Zealand Local Government Online
Ltd, and a founding trustee of the Digital Community Trust for Dunedin. He is also an executive committee member of
Supporting Families Otago. Wai Piggott is a financial analyst at the Dunedin City Council.
The New Zealand International Science Festival will take place in Dunedin from 5 to 14 July and includes an exciting
line-up of international guests (yet to be announced), interactive events, and inspiring workshops for the whole family.