Ngā mihi o te tau hou – Happy new year!

Action for Happiness Calendar,

City Campus Library is open for your Library needs from 8am – 5pm Monday – Friday for the month of January. Pop in and see us sometime!

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Christmas holiday hours 2019/2020

The Christmas holiday season and the end of the academic year are upon us. As a part of the holiday break over December and January our hours of operation will be changing.

For the period Monday 16th December 2019 -Sunday 26th January 2020 the Library will observe the following hours:



Our normal hours of operation will resume on Monday 3rd February 2020. Please note we will be closed on Thursday the 6th February for Waitangi Day.

From all of us at the Library we wish you a safe and happy Summer break.


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Hinewai Reserve: A Story of the Regeneration of Native Forest

When I first heard of Hugh Wilson and the Hinewai Forest Restoration Project, it immediately reminded me of one of one my favorite books, The Man Who Planted Trees. But, it was much later when I found out that Hugh didn’t actually plant any trees. He allowed nature to plant them instead. And nature has been doing well. After 30 years, the reserve is full of native trees and bursting with wildlife.


                        Main gate to Hinewai Reserve, author Michal Klajban, cc-by-SA 4.0

It all began in the ‘70s when Maurice White set up the Maurice White Native Forest Trust. White’s dream was simple but not easy: To find land and start a regeneration project on Banks Peninsula, White’s home, where just 1% of native forest remained. The rest of it had been deforested by European colonizers.

In 1986, White attended a Forest and Bird meeting where he met Hugh Wilson. That meeting changed their lives forever. Wilson, an avid botanist, dreamed about the possibility of land where nature could be left to regenerate without human influence. Maurice, more businessman than botanist, wanted the same thing but didn’t necessarily have the knowledge to do so.


Maurice White and Hugh Wilson in 2017, author Schwede66, CC-BY-SA 4.0

In 1987, Maurice White Native Forest Trust purchased 109 hectares of land. That became the core of Hinewai. Four years later, the trust purchased a neighboring farm and added over 1100 hectares to the reserve.

Now, 32 years later, the reserve consists of 1250 hectares and there are a couple of new, smaller reserves attached. It’s incredible to see pictures from the ‘80s when there was nothing but pasture and gorse (an extremely invasive prickly plant native to Western Europe and Northern Africa) knowing that now there is a forest of native Mānuka and Kānuka trees and other native saplings.


Map: Hinewai Reserve, Long Bay, Banks Peninsula

A documentary, Fools and Dreamers, was recently released about the reserve, the title taken from an early newspaper article in which a local farmer claimed White and Wilson to be “fools and dreamers” for wanting to convert “productive” pasture back into native forest. The documentary is available online and it’s a heart-warming and inspiring watch. It’s 30 minutes short and sums up the history of the reserve together with providing a snapshot of Hugh’s golden personality, relentless hard work and passion for the project.

The reserve is open to the public for free but welcomes donations. If you decide to go there, you’ll find something for everyone: waterfalls to admire, tramping tracks of various grades, viewpoints towards the ocean and Akaroa, and a visitors’ centre. The visitors’ centre is one of the gems of the reserve. It contains books handwritten and illustrated by Hugh on local fauna and flora together with other original materials from which you can learn all about the history of the reserve.


Overview of the reserve with Otanerito Bay in the back, author Michal Klajban, CC-BY-SA 4.0

White and Wilson dreamed big – perhaps too big for most of the local population at that time. But they have shown us that with patience and minimal input, nature can regenerate itself. It does not need humans to “manage” it.

Hinewai brings with it hopes for the future. With 99% of Banks Peninsula deforested, it’s food for the soul to see some of its lost treasure return, especially now with climate change making the need for native forest more important than ever before.


Kererū (New Zealand pidgeon) is a common citizen of Hinewai, author Judi Lapsley Miller, CC-BY 4.0

Hinewai reserve is one of the most successful private conservation initiatives in New Zealand. If you’re looking for a place where you can relax and recharge, you can find the reserve at 632 Long Bay Road R.D.3, Akaroa 7583.

Michal Klajban, Assistant Librarian

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International Day of Disabled Persons

In 1992, the United Nations launched the International Day of Disabled Persons for the very first time.  Since then, it has been celebrated annually in early December and Tuesday 3rd December will be the 28th year of celebration.  Previous themes for the International Day of Disabled Persons have included; hearing the voice of disabled people, disabled people being included in decision made about their lives, access to education and access to technology. 

 In 2019, the theme for the International day of disabled persons is “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda’.  This ties in well with one of the eight key goals of New Zealand’s Disability Strategy, which sees enhancing the participation of disabled people in leadership roles.  The aim of this goal is not just to increase disabled peoples’ leadership in disability organisations but to wider spheres of influence such as taking on senior leadership roles in their workplace.  Strong, competently led Disability organisations, means that when government are looking for groups to consult about the issues that affect disabled people, they are more likely to turn to these organisations for advice.  Therefore, disabled people need to be leading these organisations, speaking for themselves and others with disabilities and offering the advice that government is seeking. 

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Summer opening hours

With classes and exams slowing down, the City campus library has moved to its usual summer timetable:

Mon – Fri: 8am – 5pm

Sat – Sun: Closed

We will also close at 1pm on Friday December 6th and Friday December 20th.

You can still access the 24 hour computer lab if you have a valid Ara student card.

All Ara libraries will be closed from December 21st to January 5th – we will reopen at 8am on January 6th. During this time there will be no access to the campuses, even with an ID card.

We hope you have an enjoyable summer!



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Reach your goals the SMART way

We all have goals – things we would like to achieve. As a tertiary student, it’s savvy to prioritise your goals.

You may have goals to:

  • Get higher grades in your assessments
  • Take a holiday after the exams

These are worthy goals – you’ll feel great when you make them happen. To reach your goals, you need to use a proven way to get started.

You need to set SMART goals to ensure that you get what you want. SMART typically stands for:

S: Specific

M: Measurable

A: Achievable

R: Relevant

T: Time-bound

Let’s take a look at 2 examples of SMART goals in action:


I want to score better grades


I want to score an A- or higher in each of my courses.


Tomorrow at 2 pm, I will access the Ara Learning Services Exams and Tests resources

I will note down the advice given and take steps to study more effectively.


Tomorrow, after accessing the Exams and Tests resources, I’ll create a weekly time schedule. I’ll use the tips found in:

Organising Your Time

Organising Your Time handout

My schedule will show my class times, part-time work hours, self-study times, breaks and leisure times.

I’ll plan enough time each week to study each course.

I’ll consistently use improved learning strategies based on the Exams and Tests resources and:

How to Learn

How to learn handout


I have the potential to score better grades, as I have obtained good grades like B.

Excellent grades will jump-start my career when I graduate.

I’ll be more likely to get an attractive job offer sooner.

My self-confidence will increase.


In the coming exams, I’ll be scoring more A- or higher grades in my courses.

In a year’s time, I’ll have more A- or better grades.


I want to save for my holiday

Specific: I’d like to save $200 for my holiday in Nelson.


I’ll take a close look at my finances tomorrow – my monthly income and expenses.

I’ll write down the ways I can reduce my spending.

I’ll think of new part-time work to look for.


Every Saturday I’ll record my savings, income and expenses.


I would like a Nelson holiday with friends during the summer break. It would be a reward for my hard work.


I’ll have saved $200 in 6 weeks’ time (I’ve calculated that I can save $33.33 per week).

I’ll go on my Nelson holiday in mid-January 2020.

Saving money regularly is a great habit to develop. But are you doing everything you can to protect your money and financial information?

Use these 14 Ways to Protect Your Money and Financial information

These 2 examples above show that setting SMART goals makes them more than just wishes or dreams. SMART goals give you focus and clarity regarding:

  • What exactly is your goal? (Specific)
  • What exactly must you do, by what deadline? (Measurable & Achievable)
  • Why and how are your goals important to you? (Relevant)
  • When can you reasonably expect to reach your goals? (Time-bound)


How to stay the course and reach your SMART goals

How do you stay on track with the goals you’ve set? Some ways are:

  • Vision: Create a vision board or vision screen – look for attractive pictures, whether hard copy or online. Display in prominent places the pictures of your goals e.g. photos of the places where you plan to holiday. Make the pictures a part of your phone or computer home screen.
  • Reminders: Give yourself reminders – you can use phone apps or a digital/hard copy organiser.
  • Reward: Reward yourself for the milestones achieved, to sustain your momentum towards reaching your goals. Treat yourself to a special meal or a present.


Step 1: Write your SMART goals.

Step 2: Keep yourself rewarded and motivated.

Step 3: Stay the course and walk the talk.

Step 4: Relish reaching your goals. Rejoice.


Start making and carrying out SMART goals to succeed. Check out these videos to find out more:

All the best and good luck!

Take action and make all your SMART goals come true


Leonard Yeo

Learning Services

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Trans Awareness Week: How to support Trans and Non-Binary folk

Trans and Non-Binary people are everywhere. On the street, in our classes, on TV, at the library, on the bus, at the marae, in our neighbourhoods and homes. You may be a trans or NB person (Kia ora! How’s your week going?). For those who are not, Transgender Awareness Week is a great time to reflect on how to support Trans and Non-Binary people.

While attitudes and institutions are changing slowly to be more accepting and inclusive (in places like Ara), there is still much to be done to create safer spaces for transgender people. Here are some resources with tips on how you can help:

Learn / Whakaakoako

Are you new to the idea that people exist whose gender is different to the one assigned at birth or whose gender doesn’t fit the binary of male or female? Fear not – there is heaps of information out there for you!

This comic by NZ artist Sam Orchard is easy to read and is very colourful:

From Sam Orchard’s Queer and Trans 101 comic

Rainbow Youth, Inside Out and LUSH cosmetics created this booklet: How to be a trans alley .

These videos from Australia cover a lot of ground, starting with ‘The Basics’. For all those visual learners out there:

You may find this glossary helpful too, to get your head around words used to describe gender (including Māori and Pasifika terms):

Listen / Whakarongo

Right, so you’ve got your head around the language and ideas, where to now? Listening to transgender people gives you insight into experiences that may be different from your own.

A recent episode of He Kākano Ahau, a podcast series on Radio NZ exploring what it means to Māori in the city, is about decolonising gender and sexuality in Wellington City and includes interviews with two Whakawāhine Māori.

Inside Out, an organisation dedicated to supporting and advocating for Rainbow youth in Aotearoa NZ, has created a series of videos that are worth checking out, including this one on being non-binary.

Gender Minorities Aotearoa has created a series of posters that are available here:

Support / Āwhina

Trans Awareness week finishes on November 20th, Transgender Day of Remembrance – a day to remember all those trans people who have been murdered. The reality and consequences of transphobia are very serious and we urgently need to respond to this crisis.

The Counting Ourselves report was released in September this year and gives a comprehensive picture of trans and non-binary people’s health and wellbeing in Aotearoa. It makes for some pretty hard reading, finding high levels of discrimination and violence. The report itself is a step towards addressing these issues, providing evidence for making informed decisions on laws, policies and practices that will improve health and wellbeing for trans folk.

The authors of the report wrote this article for Trans Awareness week that includes suggestions for supporting trans people.

Making the world a more inclusive, accepting and safer place is important mahi for all of us, whether you’re trans or cis. Each of us doing our bit can make a big difference.

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