Matariki – week three: favourite local Māori food

This blog is brought to you by Dora Langsbury, Māori Learning Advisor. Content for this blog was provided by the CCC library website.

Kai (food) was an important part of Māori events such as Matariki festivals or tangi (funerals). Different rohe (regions) had their speciality foods. These were always served at such special occasions to show manaakitanga (hospitality) to their guests and to uphold the mana (status) of the mana whenua (hosts). Most hapū (subtribe) in the Ngai Tahu rohe have their marae near the coastline and kai moana (sea food) is usually considered their speciality food. There are six Ngāi Tahu hapu marae nearby to Christchurch, Rapaki, Onuku, Wairewa, Koukourarata, Taumutu and Ngā Tuahuriri.

Below is a list of their specialities:

  • paki – pioke (lemon fish)
  • Ōnuku – hoka (red cod)
  • Wairewa – tuna & hāpuka (eel & grouper)
  • Koukourārata – kuku (mussels)
  • Taumutu – tuna & pātaki (eel & flounder)
  • Ngā Tūāhuriri – kōura & tuatua (mollusc)







If you are interested in some of the food gathering practices (mahinga kai) of Ngāi Tahu, then this link will take you to 12 ten-minute videos which describe these processes which have been handed down through the generations.

Kupu o te rā o Ara whare pukapuka

  • pioke (lemon fish) 
  • hoka (red cod) 
  • kuku (mussels) 
  • tuna (eel) 
  • kōura (crayfish) 

Waiata mō te kai moana

Kina, kina (sea eggs)

Wheke, wheke (octopus)

Ika, ika (scaly fish)

Tuna, tuna (slimy eel)

Pipi, pipi (sandy white shell fish)

Paua, paua (abalone)

Kai moana e (they are all food from the sea)

Matariki – week two

This blog is brought to you by Dora Langsbury, Māori Learning Advisor. Content for this blog was provided by Te Ara The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand website and The Spin Off website.

Traditional Māori used the stars (whetū) to determine time and seasons. The rise of Matariki would signify remembrance, fertility and celebration. The portents of the star cluster, when it rose, determined when the crops for the coming season would be planted. If the stars were bright planting would begin in September. Hazy and closely bunched stars signified a cold winter and planting would be delayed until October. Matariki was a time of celebration as the star cluster rises at the end of the harvest (hauhake). People sung, danced and feasted (hākari) to acknowledge the abundance of food (kai) stored from the previous year and acknowledge the beginning of a new year.

Maramataka, the Māori lunar calendar, is like the moon (marama) planting calendars of other indigenous cultures. Māori and Pacific people are reviving and reconnecting with maramataka to restore systems and knowledge of planting, gathering and harvesting, both on land and in the waters and air. This calendar helps to identify the best days for planting, fishing and harvesting, as well as help to predict the year ahead. The Allright campaign have produced Te Rātaka o te Maramataka that you can download from their website to start your lunar.












Kupu o te rā o Ara whare pukapuka

  • Whetū – stars
  • Marama – moon
  • Maramataka – Māori lunar calendar
  • Kai – food
  • Hauhake – harvest
  • Hakari – celebration meal

Karakia mō te kai

Tēnei te whakamoemiti               We give thanks

Mō ngā ringawera                         to the hands

i whakaritea i ēnei kai                   who prepared this food

mai i te rangi                                   from the sky

mai i te whenua                             from the land

mai i te taiao                                   from the environment

Mauri ora!                                       Good health!

The Southern Cupcake Challenge 2020: Winners Circle

This week saw the judging of the annual Southern Cupcake Challenge run at the Timaru and Ashburton Campuses. Participants entered six cupcakes with a theme of Winter with various prizes for the winners.



Winners of the Cupcake challenge for 2020 are: Joanne Fraser 1st place…

 Joanne Fraser (right)  receives her prize as the Cupcake Grand Winner

                             …Leonie Rasmussen was in 2nd place and…

 Leonie Rasmussen (left) receiving her prize


…Karl Basill was the 3rd place winner.

Karl Basill receiving his prize

We would like to thank everyone who entered.  Big thanks to Jill Millburn who organised the “Cupcake Challenge” for part of our Health & Wellbeing program.


Author: Helen Purdon (Posted by Jonathan Moake)

Celebrating Matariki







This blog is brought to you by Dora Langsbury, Māori Learning Advisor

From ancient through to modern times many cultures around the world have used the moon and the stars to guide their planting and food harvesting strategies. The Matariki star cluster is used by many Māori iwi (tribes) to signal the start of their food planning for the coming year. Some iwi on the west coast of Aotearoa (New Zealand) use Puanga (Rigel in the Orion constellation) as the Matariki cluster is not visible. Māori New Year festivities begin either on the first full moon after the star cluster rises, or on the next new moon. You will see the Matariki cluster on the north-east horizon, before sunrise, from early June. It is the star cluster closest to Earth. In 2020 the Matariki period is 13-20 July.  

Watch a video on how to find Matariki  

Matariki has nine visible stars, according to leading Māori astronomer, Dr Rangi Matamua, who’s been researching Matariki for over 30 years. As part of his research, Dr Matamua found that some of his own tūpuna were able to see nine stars. 

The nine visible stars include: Matariki, Tupuārangi, Waipuna-ā-Rangi, Waitī, Tupuānuku, Ururangi, Waitā, Pōhutukawa and Hiwa-i-te-Rangi. 

Each star holds a certain significance over our wellbeing and environment, as seen from the Māori view of the world. 

Matariki is the star that signifies reflection, hope, our connection to the environment and the gathering of people. Matariki is also connected to the health and wellbeing of people. 

Pōhutukawa is the star connected to those that have passed on. 

Waitī is connected with all fresh water bodies and the food sources that are sustained by those waters. 

Waitā is associated with the ocean, and food sources within it. 

Waipuna-ā-Rangi is connected with the rain. 

Tupuānuku is the star connected with everything that grows within the soil to be harvested or gathered for food. 

Tupuārangi is connected with everything that grows up in the trees: fruits, berries and birds. 

Ururangi is the star connected with the winds. 

Hiwa-i-te-Rangi is the star connected with granting our wishes, and realising our aspirations for the coming year. 

Watch a video of Dr Rangi Matamua talking about Matariki 


Kupu o te rā o Te Whare Pukapuka o Ara 

  • Matariki 
  • Waitī & Waitā 
  • Waipuna-ā-rangi 
  • Tupu-ā-nuku & Tupu-ā-rangi 
  • Ururangi 

Waiata mō Matariki 

Waitī, Waitā, Waipunarangi,  

Tupu-ā-nuku, Tupu-ā-rangi, Ururangi e  

Koinei ngā tamariki o Matariki  

(These are the children of Matariki)  

Ngā whetū e pīataata i te rangi e  

(The bright stars that shine in the sky)  

Ngā whetū e pīataata i te rangi e  

(The bright stars that shine in the sky) 

The content for this blog was provided by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa website and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa website      

Southern Cupcake Challenge 2020

The annual Southern Campuses Cup Cake Challenge is happening once again on Tuesday the 21st July.

The final day for entries is Tuesday 21st July by 10am (Entries will be accepted from 2pm on Monday 20th July) in the Timaru Campus staff room. Competitors will be allocated a number for their entry and judging will take place after morning tea by the hospitality team.

Cupcakes need to be winter themed…

A few hints and tips for you:

  • If you haven’t made it yourself-remove the wrappers….😊
  • 6 cup cakes to be presented
  • They need to be in a Winter theme
  • They will be judged on- Flavour- Aroma- Creativity -Theme ( all entries will be tasted).

More Winter themed cupcakes….snowflakes!!!

There are some great prizes up for grabs from 1st place and the title of “Southern Campuses Cup Cake Challenge Winner 2020”

There are also prizes for 2nd, 3rd and 4th place.

If you are still looking for inspiration or recipes, give one of the hospitality team at Timaru Campus a shout 😊 😊


Author: Helen Purdon posted by Jonathan Moake

Why the 7th July is an important day

Can you guess why this today is a very important day. No idea? Today is . . .

World Chocolate Day, also known as International Chocolate Day!

What’s the history of chocolate?

Chocolate was first introduced to Europe in the mid-16th Century (“History of Chocolate,” 2020). But chocolate consumption actually goes back about 4,000 years – the ancient Olmec people of Latin America drank a form of hot chocolate and used it as a medicine (Kim, 2019). When the European explorers arrived in South American Cacao beans became a very valuable trade commodity. Cacao beans are the most raw form of what eventually becomes chocolate.

Cacao Beans are the raw ingrediant for making chocolate…

Back to today…

How do we celebrate this awesome World Chocolate Day?

No prizes for the correct answer. Yes, celebrate by consuming (even more) chocolate. What’s your favourite chocolate? Cadbury dairy milk, Whittakers fruit and nut, Queen Anne boxed chocolates or an Italian Ferrero Rocher? What about the pricey but definitely worth it handmade Belgian or Swiss chocolate? Whatever your preference just enjoy…

Queen Anne boxed chocolates…

Why not try a different variety of chocolate today. It’s a great idea – you never know what you’re missing, till you try it for yourself!

Is Chocolate Good for Us?

Wait a minute! Isn’t overindulgence in chocolate not exactly good for our waistline and overall health? What does the science say. Milk chocolate, seemingly the most popular and affordable type of chocolate in the world, gives us beneficial protein and calcium. But milk chocolate is often very high in sugar, which has been linked to tooth decay, diabetes, cardio-vascular ailments and other health issues. So, it seems that we need to curb our over-indulgence in milk chocolate.

Figure 1. Chocolates (JillWellington, n.d.).

What about dark chocolate?

Dark chocolate has been touted as a healthier chocolate. The reason..its main ingredient cocoa has biologically active phenolic compounds, which Nordqvist (2018) says may benefit us by:
• lowering cholesterol levels
• preventing cognitive decline
• reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems

Dark chocolate has many positive health benefits…


Takeaway: Based on what is known, it seems that eating high cocoa content dark chocolate that is low in sugar is beneficial, especially for those of us who enjoy chocolate frequently.

How is Chocolate Made?

Curious about how chocolate is made? Watch this very interesting video while savouring your chocolate!


History of chocolate. (2020, July 5, 08:20). In Wikipedia. Retrieved July 7, 2020, from
JillWellington. (Photographer). (n.d.). Chocolates [Photograph]. Retrieved from
Kim, J. (2019, October 16). A brief history of chocolate [Web log post]. Retrieved from
Nordqvist, J. (2018, July 17). Health benefits and risks of chocolate. Retrieved July 7, 2020, from Medical News Today website:

Leonard Yeo,  posted by Jonathan Moake

Library opening hours in semester two

I am pleased to announce that the City Campus library will be returning to our usual hours of operation starting from the beginning of semester two.



From Monday the 20th July the Library will be open:

Monday-Friday      7 am-8 pm

 Saturday                  10 am-5 pm

     Sunday                    12 noon-5 pm

We also welcome back our Student Assistant Team (SALT) for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown. You will see them working around the library from 7 am on the Monday after the semester break.

Our opening hours are extended from semester two….


From all of us in the library we wish you a restful semester break and look forward to seeing you soon.


July the 4th is American Independence Day…

This Saturday is the 4th of July or American Independence Day.


On this day in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was ratified by the Continental Congress and the American colonies formally severed ties with Great Britain. This happened during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) and was one of many steps in the United States becoming a sovereign nation.

Declaration of Independence: (1819) by John Turnbull

Independence Day is perhaps the most important holiday in the United States and it is widely celebrated with decorations, fireworks, parades, barbecues and football games. For many Americans the day is a significant celebration of their identity and has become deeply steeped with emotion, tradition and pride.

Typical July 4th fare….hot-dogs, potato salad and BBQ beans…

I imagine that celebrations are going to be a bit subdued in the United States this Independence Day as they have been severely effected by the Covid-19 pandemic. That is why it is especially important that we acknowledge the day for any Americans of our acquaintance.

Make sure you wish any American you know a happy Independence Day tomorrow. I am sure they will appreciate it.

For more information about Independence Day:

Fourth of July: Independence Day

The rules of American Football

The National Football League (NFL)

Delish: 22 All American eats for 4th July

Womans Day: The ultimate 4th July menu for your summer cookout

World Music Day

This guest blog is by Andrew Snell, Head of Performing Arts at Ara

Today (June 21) is World Music Day. For most of us, even those of us that are musicians, it’s a day that often goes by relatively unnoticed. Sadly, in 2020 it will barely register. You see, the main aim of World Music Day is to celebrate with free performances in large, public spaces; the very spaces in which audiences across the globe are not currently able to gather.

Covid-19 has all but killed off the global live performance industry. Cameron Mackintosh, one of the most successful producers of musical theatre has said that his four most successful West End shows won’t return to their London Theatres until 2021. Opera companies in the US are not planning to return to the stage until April next year. Some of the world’s leading orchestras are unlikely to survive without audiences. None of the world’s pop stars can tour.

Musicians around the world were familiar with the ‘gig economy’ well before it became a thing. The concept of the gig economy was founded on the way most musicians live; from gig to gig. Freelance musicians have seen almost all their work disappear from their diaries. But we’re a resilient and creative lot, us musicians!

Technology enables us to work in a different way, from isolated locations around the globe. A friend of mine from the UK received a text at 10pm while she was playing trombone in a west-end show (pre-lockdown). The text asked if she could record the trombone track for a TV commercial? No problem. By midnight? She finished the show, went to her camper van (where she had her laptop), sat in an empty carpark at 11.30, recorded a couple of takes and emailed them off by tethering her laptop to her mobile. The following morning, she turned on the TV and heard the track she’d recorded 10 hours earlier on a supermarket Christmas TV ad!

At Ara we have a responsibility to enable our students to embrace these challenges. Technology is embedded within our Music Arts programmes and the laptop is becoming as important an instrument as the guitar, bass or drums. Live performance, with human interaction will never be replaced as the main motivation for both performers and audiences, but this use of technology is an ever-growing part of the ‘gig’.

Here in Aotearoa we’re lucky to be able to restart our live performance industry. Music Arts students are playing to live audiences again, and we’ve already staged two productions at the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA), with a 3rd opening next week. During lock-down, our 200 performing arts students were able to connect with their tutors for instrumental or singing lessons online, NASDA students learned entire shows in isolation, then pieced them together once we returned to campus. Music Arts students created music projects by collaborating with each other online.

Music is arguably the art form that most influences our lives. We hear music every day; on the radio, on the TV, on our phones and in the street. Music triggers memories; of weddings, funerals, of events, significant or insignificant. We listen to music to relax, to brighten our days and to grieve. This is one reason why every Ara graduation ceremony contains music. NASDA students were due to perform at the Ara graduation ceremony earlier this year. When it was cancelled, and we went into lock-down we decided to perform anyway. Over a period of a few weeks, 80 NASDA students learned, practiced, and recorded their own individual parts for the song they would have sung to honor the graduates. These 80 individual recordings were then balanced, synchronised and eventually brought together in this video. Happy World Music Day. The music industry may be battered and bruised, but we’ll be back, and we’ll continue to write the soundtrack of your lives!

Celebrating World Albatross Day 2020

Friday 19th June will see the inaugural celebration of World Albatross Day, the theme for this year is Eradicating Island Pests.

Albatross_LogoEvery year many thousands of critically endangered Albatross, Shearwaters and Petrels are caught as a by-catch of commercial fishing activities. This had become such a critical issue that an international agreement was signed by 13 nations on the 19th June 2019 to improve the protection of these species.

This annual event is seen as a way to highlight the many challenges that Albatross, Petrels and Shearwaters face and enhance international awareness of their plight.

World Albatross Day, 2020 (art work)


New Zealand has several internationally important Albatross breeding grounds on our off shore islands as well as several mainland sites. The most well known site is of course the Albatross breeding ground at Taiaroa Heads at the entrance to Dunedin Harbour.

A Royal Albatross at the Taiaroa Heads breeding colony

There are also significant breeding sites for Petrels & Shearwaters at Punakaiki on the West Coast, Great Barrier Island and on several of the Auckland Island group.

Many of the breeding grounds for these birds are threatened by introduced pest species like cats, rats and mice. Events this year will highlight how we can combat these threats and the groups involved in eradicating pests at sites around the world.


Hopefully this new focus will assist the recover of these important species and ensure their continued survival in the wild.

For more information see:

Introduction to World Albatross Day

World Albatross Day 2020

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research

Royal Albatross Centre