Welcome to The Wanaka Branch of the
Royal Society of New Zealand.

The Wanaka group was formed in February 2013, becoming the 9th Regional branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand which is based in Wellington. Consistent with the aims of the central organisation, the main objective of the Wanaka Branch is to advance and promote science, technology and humanities in Wanaka and the Wanaka region.

The Branch seeks to achieve this by offering a series of 6 to 10 lectures each year. It aims to bring speakers who are highly regarded in their field of knowledge and expertise, as well as good communicators. Each year a number of eminent national and international speakers, who tour New Zealand under the umbrella of the Royal Society Wellington are included in the programme.

The Wanaka Branch is constituted as an unincorporated society and comprises a membership who appoint an executive committee at an AGM held in May each year. Members receive advance notices of lectures and other communications by email. Lectures are open to the public, and usually held at 6pm on a Friday in the Presbyterian Community Centre, 91 Tenby St, Wanaka.

Becoming a Member

Anyone is welcome to become a member of the Wanaka Branch. For information about types of memberships, subscriptions/fees, how to apply, and Rules of the Society, please click on the link below.

Upcoming Talks


Myth busting: the obesity epidemic.

Friday 13 April 2018, 6.00pm, Presbyterian Church Hall, 91 Tenby St, Wanaka.
Professor Tony Merriman, Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago.

In this talk I will address what we know about the causes of obesity, a risk factor for metabolic diseases (diabetes, kidney and heart disease, gout). I will then consider the long-term approaches required to stop and turn around the impact of metabolic disease.

I was born and bred in the South (Grants Braes, Tahuna, Kings High School). I did my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the Biochemistry Department of the University fo Otago (1986-93). After 4 years at the University of Oxford (UK) I returned to the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Otago (Dunedin) 1998. I am still there.


Digital breaths: The benefits of bioengineering

Friday 29 June 2018, 6.00pm, Presbyterian Church Hall, 91 Tenby St, Wanaka.
Professor Merryn Tawhai, Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland.

2016 MacDiarmid Medal winner and newly appointed Director of MedTech Core, Professor Merryn Tawhai explains how a fascination with mathematics and biology has led her to developing technology for healthcare, and why New Zealand has the capability to become a world leader in this market.

For further information, here’s our press release: https://royalsociety.org.nz/news/bioengineering-a-boon-for-new-zealand/



Follow the “Grebes of Wanaka” with committee member John Darby


Saving Our Lakes – What Can We Do?