The Political Science Program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMU-K), with the assistance of the University’s Division of International Studies & Programs, is pleased to introduce its Pacific Studies Program 2015 - a collaborative initiative between A&M-Kingsville and the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. The Pacific Studies Program (PSP) is being co-directed by Dr. Nirmal Goswami, Professor of Political Science, TAMU-K and Dr. Elaine Webster, Director, Summer School and Continuing Education, University of Otago. The PSP will include graduate and undergraduate students traveling to and staying in New Zealand in July of 2015, attending classes at the University of Otago, and visiting multiple sites through field trips in the greater Otago region. Areas of focus include history, politics, economics, culture, sustainability and environmental policies, etc., with reference to both the greater Pacific region and New Zealand. You are all invited to cyber travel with us as we learn about the uniqueness of New Zealand and the surrounding region. This blog will document our experience. You are welcome to post comments.

Hoggies NZ Slideshow

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Saturday, July 18th. We were finally able to sleep in after our exhausting day-trip to Queenstown. After breakfast, we got ready ready for our next “first.” Tony, our shuttle driver, told us about a rugby match at Forsyth Barr Stadium that day; his son and (future) son-in-law were playing. We headed out, stomachs full and all, with Tony and his daughter, Karla for the stadium. 
Upon arrival, we admired the modern architecture of a New Zealand sports stadium and found our seats. Little did we know this was a semi-final match between two of the better local clubs for a chance to advance to the Otago Rugby Union championship game; this was going to be a good one! The match was between the 
Harbour Hawks - representing the Harbour area of Dunedin and University-representing the University of Otago. Since Tony and Karla’s family was playing for Harbour, they were “our team.” Lights, camera, action. Time for kickoff, even though there were a ton of seagulls chillin on the field. As the game progressed, we annoyed Tony and Karla with our million questions about the game. Rugby is a very strategic sport; it has the nonstop pace of soccer, the roughness of American football (without pads and helmets!) with the technicality of boxing all smashed together as one. It was awesome! Before we knew it, the 40-minute half was over and “our team” was down 11-23. A come-from-behind game was on the way, we could just feel it. As the second half was under way, Harbour kept us on our feet with their continuous scoring and sure enough, they were up 30-28! We were cheering for Harbour as if it were a Saturday night Javelina game. Unfortunately, Harbour lost the match 33-35 but the closeness and intensity really had us, Tony, and Karla on the edge of our seats. The rugby match was a great experience for us all and really gave us a good idea of why Kiwis love this sport so much. I predict a rugby club at TAMUK is in the near future. 

-- Anthony G. 

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