Kia ora te reo Māori

The theme Kia ora te reo Māori was chosen for Te wiki o te reo Māori 2017 to celebrate New Zealand’s indigenous greeting.

I am Dora Roimata Langsbury and I am the Learning Advisor – Māori here at Ara. You will find me in the Library at our Madras Street City Campus.

I am of Ngai Tahu, Ngati Mamoe and Waitaha descent. I was born and raised at Otakou Marae on the Otago Peninsula, near to the Albatross Colony. My family all live in Otepoti (Dunedin).

As Māori, when we greet people for the first time, we always like to share with people, where we come from, and which families we are related to. We also like to find out from you, where you are from and who your family is.  When we greet you and share these details with each other, we call this a mihi. This helps us, as Māori, to establish an actual connection with each other.

When you come to work with the Learning Advisors at Ara, we will always want to know your name, your student ID# and your course code. However, as the Māori Learning Advisor I also like to know who your family is and where you and your family come from, originally. I have had the opportunity to live and work all over the world, so I enjoy meeting students and finding out which cities or countries they have come from originally.

Two of the posters that have been developed for Te wiki o te reo Māori this year will help you to greet us in Maori and also help you to tell us where you are from. (See Below) Te Puna Wanaka will be offering a pronunciation workshop on Friday 15th September from 12pm-1pm at Te Puna Wanaka. Practise some common greetings  from Te Taurawhiri website.

Why not come to as many of our Ara Institute Te Wiki o te Reo Māori activities as you can. They are great fun and they will help you to build your confidence to use Māori greetings, everyday.

The Library has two fun events for you to join in during Te wiki o te reo Māori language week.


Ngā whakaahua ō te wiki o te reo Māori

Celebrating Māori language week with photobooth fun. Bring your friends, have some fun with our props and have your photo taken.


Wednesday September 13th 11.30am – 1.30pm, at the City Campus Library

Macron Workshop – The difference a macron makes
Ko te reo kia tika, kia rere, kia Māori

Join us to learn about macrons, plus how to macronise your computer, whilst creating and consuming a yummy macronised biscuit.

E.g. He keke rā whānau          A birthday cake

       He kēkē rā whanau          A birthday armpit

Friday September 15th 12-1pm, at the Timaru Campus Library



Posted in Events | Tagged | Leave a comment

Free study seminars

Posted in Announcements, Events, News and hot topics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Never lower your standards

My personal standards are pretty low. I could get out of bed earlier and straighten my hair and put more make up on but that would require waking earlier and I would hate that. In other areas of life deciding not to bother and taking shortcuts is not an option. For example, in Christchurch we are currently living through the “rebuild” – a lovely understated term for years of tears, disruption and frustration peppered with occasional joy.

A massive part of this is making sure standards are enforced. Standards are agreed specifications for products, services, or performance. They are there to improve safety and meet various industries best practices. When standards aren’t met then there are repercussions as you can see on the news with Christchurch families in tears at poorly restored foundations on their homes.

rules-1752415_1920 (1)

We have access to Standards New Zealand through Ara Library so we can bask in the knowledge that our students and staff will always follow best practice. We even have a helpful handy handout to help you search for standards. So regardless of how late you like to get out of bed there is no excuse for remembering the standards that do count – straight lines rather than straight hair!

Colleen Finnerty

Knowledge Advisor

Posted in Resources | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Five things you didn’t know about yoga

Today’s guest blog is brought to you by Breeze Robertson, Ara staff member and experienced yoga instructor.

Yoga goes back some 5,000 years, maybe even longer! There are many branches and brands of yoga that have developed as modern yoga has moved beyond the Indian subcontinent via the United States and Europe. The original yoga looked a bit different to what we think of as yoga today. Some people say that all these different approaches to yoga are good and some say that modern yoga styles lose the essence and power of yoga. See what you think!

  1. It’s not about the poses

Asanas, the postures or poses of yoga, are just one of the eight limbs of classical yoga. When we focus on the poses alone we leave out lots of other very effective yoga tools such as the codes for living (being kind and telling the truth for example), breathing techniques, focusing on the senses and mindfulness. Recognising this, some teachers will incorporate other limbs of yoga into their classes.

  1. It’s not a gym workout

For starters, yoga is not about pushing yourself further. It is about listening to your body and finding a balance between exertion and acceptance of where you are at (called “relaxed effort”). If you find yourself grunting or straining, you are no longer doing yoga but some sort of other workout. A traditional yoga teacher will encourage students to rest when they need to and ease off if they experience pain or discomfit. This sums up the yogic philosophy: “You don’t have to touch your toes to touch your heart” (Shanti Gowans).

  1. It’s not gentle either

Traditional or hatha yoga is a training for the body and mind, with a lot of core strength and discovering intelligent, integrated ways of moving that are coordinated with the breath. Maybe you could say it is sometimes gentle, but it’s not easy! Awareness is key.

  1. The benefits go beyond the physical

Most people come to yoga to gain more flexibility and strength, to improve the look of their body or perhaps to heal an injury or illness. Yoga has all those benefits, as well as deeper physical effects such as balancing and strengthening the systems of the body. But research suggests it can also have help people to be calmer, happier and more productive. These are just a few of the benefits that have been studied. It all does depend on the type of class you do though!

  1. Yoga is vast!

Yoga is essentially a devotional practice, “a whole body prayer to life” according to Mark Whitwell, linking us to the very essence of nature and ourselves. BUT everyone is free to take this in their own way. Generally teachers will finish class with saying Namaste (meaning: the divine in me sees the divine in you) as a recognition of this basis of yoga. Others will incorporate a chant into their class (such as ‘Om’, the syllable that is said to contain all seen and unseen existence). These techniques all help to replenish the body and mind in some way. It’s fascinating to look into, so don’t be scared off, just explore, go with the flow, and see what happens!

Want to give yoga a go? Why not try some of our free classes on at our City, Woolston and  Timaru campuses? For further information on what is available at the Recreation Centre check out Campus Life.

The Library has a number of electronic and physical resources you can borrow on yoga from Yoga for everyone to Yoga anatomy.

Our guest blogger Breeze Robertson, of Santosha Yoga Christchurch, has been practising hatha yoga for some 15 years and teaching for seven years. See:

Posted in Resources, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tips for opening Flash Video from Moodle


If you have trouble opening a video in Moodle, here is a tip.

Open the Chrome web browser

Go to settings

Search for Flash in the search box

Go to content settings

Allow flash

Refresh page

Then go to your Moodle course to open your video.

Posted in Resources | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bit chilly, isn’t it?


This time of year resounds with sharply indrawn breaths, chattering teeth, and cries of “it’s a bit chilly!”. I for one struggle to drag myself from my warm bed, and the walk to work is an exercise in determination.

We are now past the shortest day, so in theory it’s all uphill from here – but as weather records show, it is usually as cold (if not colder) in July and August as in June (scroll to the bottom of the page for historical data). I apologise for the bad news…

A warm jersey, a hot cup of tea (or coffee, or chocolate, or blackcurrant), a good book or movie, and something comforting for dinner can go a long way to make up for the rain, frost, and (lack of) snow. To achieve this, try some of these library resources:

For the jersey (although this may take until next winter):

Teach yourself visually: Knitting

Rowan’s designer collection: summer and winter knitting

Sew eco: sewing sustainable and re-used materials

For the tea (or coffee):

The book of coffee & tea : a guide to the appreciation of fine coffees, teas, and herbal beverages

Tea : discovering, exploring, enjoying

For the book or movie:

You will, of course, be studying hard – either for exams or for the start of semester two. Won’t you?

If you are lucky enough to have a break, the Books & Authors database has some good recommendations and background information on books new and old.

For the comforting meal:

Try the winter issues of Cuisine magazine, or Australian Gourmet Traveller, for some seasonal inspiration.

And remember: our libraries are open their usual hours over the semester break. Come in and see us – it’s nice and warm.





Posted in Resources | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment