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


ADInstruments, Making Science Easier.

Saturday 12 May 2018, 6.00pm, Presbyterian Church Hall, 91 Tenby St, Wanaka.
Professor Michael Macknight, Co- founder and Director of ADInstruments, Dunedin.

The best universities in the world are using medical technology designed by a Dunedin student nearly 30 years ago.

Founded by Michael Macknight in 1988, ADInstruments sells hardware and software products to medical and health researchers, scientists and educators.

In 2007 International Space Station astronauts also started using its flagship product – the PowerLab data acquisition (DAQ) device.

Researchers used it to measure astronauts’ brain, aortic blood flows, arm vein pressure, arterial blood pressure, breathing rate and the amount of carbon dioxide exhaled.

By connecting patients or subjects to the module using electronic sensors, researchers are able to get readings at recording speeds of up to 400,000 samples per second.

Typical applications include research and teaching across human and animal physiology, pharmacology, neurophysiology, biology, zoology, biochemistry and biomedical engineering.

Michael, who is still company director, says its equipment can be found in leading universities and labs around the world including the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge.

The company employs staff in many international locations including more than 60 in Dunedin.

Michael’s talk will follow immediately after our AGM which is usually brief.


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?