Its a knockout….grand final today….

‘It’s a Knockout’ – health and wellbeing activity for students with a great social atmosphere!

Jill Milburn (hospitality tutor) and Mark Wheatley (automotive tutor) have based this challenge on the British TV programme.

There are four teams; Fox Harriers, Aoraki United, Godley City and Coupland Athletics each led by tutors. Arnold Prasad (automotive), Joanne Fraser (business), Cody McMinn (painting & decorating) and Steve Le Corre (hospitality).


Every student who is enrolled at our campus has been put into four groups. If students can’t make it, they can still add points to their teams with other activities throughout the day.

  1. Outdoor Education – treasure hunt
  2. ‘Ara’s got talent’ singers’ rappers’ rhymers’ dancers and poets
  3. ‘Blind folded cake decorating’. A member from each team was given instructions on decorating a cup cake blind-folded from the other members of the team
  4. ‘Hungry Hippos’
  5. ‘Ara quiz day’ – music, general knowledge, films
  6. ‘Ara Kahootz’
  7. Inflatable obstacle courses on the green (today). Come and check it out!

Grand final today and there will a huge Barbecue 4-5pm thanks to Gene Foster and Wally Katene.


Thanks to Amanda from Fonterra who has been supporting us by donating cheeses and will attend prize giving and Leonie Rasmussen for being so supportive and contributing to every event.


Prize Money – 1st $300, 2nd $150, 3rd $75, 4th $50 and a trophy presentation from Fonterra.

Events have been held monthly on a Wednesday 3- 4pm followed by a barbecue – thanks Gene and Wally (hospitality tutors).

Helen Purdon

Library Assistant- Timaru Campus

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World Kindness Day

Today is World Kindness Day and there is a lot to like about the good feelings that stem from being kind to someone, or by having someone be kind towards you, or simply by being kind to yourself.

World Kindness Day is about thinking about how we can become happier, and help the world by doing kind things for ourselves and others.

Today is also referred to as Radom Acts of Kindness Day and you can find information about being a RAKtavist and many, many, suggestions for kind acts at RAK

Join us at the City Campus Library for Random Acts of Kindness Day where we have created a large scale dice that you can roll and it will reveal a kindness suggestion, plus you will receive a small gift form us. This activity starts at 10 am and will continue until there are no treats left.



What act of kindness will you do today?

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Ara closed for Canterbury Anniversary Day, Friday the 15th November

Canterbury Anniversary Day (Show Day) is on Friday the 15th November so Ara Institute of Canterbury (Christchurch and Ashburton campuses only) will be closed for the day. Canterbury Anniversary Day commemorates the founding of Canterbury Province in the 1850’s.


Emily Harper Christchurch from near the Gloucester Street Bridge 1857. Watercolour. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū,

If you have no plans for the public holiday why not take a break and immerse yourself in all things rural by heading to the New Zealand Agricultural Show at their Canterbury Agricultural Park near Halswell.



Approximately 100,000 people visit the show which runs from 13th-15th November and there is something for everyone to enjoy. Attractions in 2019 include; food, drink, live music performances, circus acts, equestrian events, carnival rides, wood chopping and livestock competitions.


The 2018 Agricultural Show, New Zealand Agricultural Show website


A visit to the Show is a great day out for both adults and children…



New Zealand Agricultural Show: map of the Addington Grounds

For more information about the show go to the New Zealand Agricultural Show website.

The Library will be open as usual on Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th of November. Have a great break on Friday…..

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Armistice Day 2019

Today marks 101 years since the end of the First World War, 1914-1918.


At 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the guns fell silent after more than four years of bloody conflict. Lest we forget…..


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Exams coming up? Feeling a bit stressed and Overwhelmed?

It’s the start of November and the end of the academic year is not far away.  The good news is, this means that summer is just around the corner, hot sun, ice cream, the beach and Christmas!!!  The bad news is that you probably have lots of assignments and exams to get out of the way first. So here are some tips to help you keep calm and manage that stress as you head towards the end of the academic year. 

Take Care of Yourself

This seems really obvious, but how many of us focus on this?  To be at your best, you need to:

  • Eat well – Going to MacDonald’s, Denny’s and hell pizza are quick and easy ways to get food.  But the body needs a balanced, healthy diet.  Try to cook some basic meals with fresh ingredients instead of relying on takeaways and pre-made meals. 
  • Be well hydrated – not with Alcohol.  That’s only going to give you a sore head and impede your ability to concentrate.  Go easy on the beer, wine and spirits and drink plenty of water instead.  You should be drinking about a litre a day.  
  • Get plenty of sleep – most people need seven to eight hours sleep per night to function well.  If you are having trouble sleeping, try doing something relaxing before you go to bed.  You might read a book, talk to a friend, watch TV but turn off your computer, turn your phone off or at least have it on silent and put your study materials to one side.   When you’re going to sleep, reduce as much light and sound distraction as possible from your room.  
  • Get some exercise – you don’t have to go and work out at the gym, although some of you might enjoy this.  But at least get outside and go for a walk each day to get some fresh air and avoid being cooped up studying all day. 

Plan your studies

Picture of a diary in lap of person wearing an orange top, they are about to write in it with a pencil.

This is important, create yourself a study timetable.  Make yourself a weekly planning chart or use the one that Learning Services has.  You may need one for each week between now and the day of your last exam or last assignment due date. 

Start by putting in all the commitments you have for example, work, classes and other regular commitments.  Then block out the time you get up and get ready in the morning, your lunch break and the time to prepare and make your evening meal.  Indicate the time you go to bed. 

Make a list of all the study tasks you have to do and when each piece is due in.  Estimate how long you think each task will take you. 

Now place these tasks into your weekly study timetable.  Remember, you need to leave some time to go for a walk or do something enjoyable each day, even if it’s just half an hour. 

Keep to your plan.  Keep referring back to it to make sure you are following your timetable.

At the end of the week, review your plan and see if you achieved everything you wanted to.  If not, make sure you carry these tasks forward into the next weeks plan. 

The day of the exam

So the day of the exam is here and you’re feeling nervous.   Don’t worry, that’s perfectly normal and not a bad thing.  Anxiety is a natural response, it’s one of our basic survival instincts and has helped humans survive over hundreds of years.  Anxiety gets us into an alert state where we are ready to do one of two things, fight or flight.  That is, stay and face the challenge head on or run away before whatever is scaring has a chance to cause you harm. 

Anxiety can be our friend, it helps us feel alert and take notice of our environment, it helps us focus on the task we are about to do.  However, when we become too anxious then anxiety becomes a problem. 

If you’re sitting in an exam and you start to feel anxious and feel like running away and leaving the exam room, stop.  Take some deep breaths.  Breathe in through the nose, hold your breath for five seconds and release your breath slowly through your mouth.  Do this several times until you feel calmer. 

Another way to calm down in an exam is to focus on something else for a while.  Try this exercise.  Stop what you are doing and sit still and say to yourself:

  1. List five things I can see (do this in your head);
  2. List four things I can hear
  3. List three things I can touch (your hair, your desk, your pen etc);
  4. List two things I can smell (this is getting harder but try, move on if you can’t do it);
  5. List one thing I can taste (it might be what you had for breakfast). 

Do it again if you need to. 

The idea is that this is activity takes your focus away from the panic and brings you back into the present environment.  It centres you in that environment.  When you feel calmer go back to the test or exam you are doing. 

It is perfectly fine to spend the first ten minutes of your exam doing relaxation exercises so that you are calm and can begin. 

So, take care of yourself, plan your time, stay calm.

Good luck.

Advice from Pauline Melham, Manager – Disability Services.

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A quick refresher on APA referencing

The end of the year is nigh (…yes, regardless of the wintery weather!…), and those scary submission deadlines for final assignments are also creeping dangerously close.

With so much research to complete and writing to do, APA referencing seems like a minor thing to be worried about. But don’t be fooled by the APA’s apparent insignificance; in some cases, the correct referencing can “make or break” your final mark, contributing to either “fail” or “pass”.


The Ara APA Referencing guide….an invaluable resource

So, let us recap one of the main rules of efficient referencing: as you are doing your research, don’t forget to make notes about the sources of your information. It does not matter whether or not those facts, figures or ideas are going to make it to the “final cut” of your assignment; but it is absolutely crucial that you have instant access to all your sources the moment you need to provide a reference. These notes may save you hours of precious time and oodles of unnecessary stress.


Remember to keep notes on your sources of information…

You don’t even need that much information for your in-text referencing: just keep in mind the golden rule of (Who, When, Where) – Author, Year and (in some cases) Page/Paragraph number, and you are sorted!

If in doubt, you can check out the APA resources or drop by one of the many workshops and Q&A clinics offered by Learning Services. Copies of the Ara APA Referencing Guide for students are available at the Library Service Desk.

Good luck with your assignments! 😊

Nataliya Oryshchuk, Learning Services Advisor

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Labour Day Holiday: Monday 28th October 2019

Monday the 28th October 2019 is Labour Day. All Ara library branches will be closed on Monday. We will reopen at 8am on Tuesday the 29th October.

Labour Day has been a public holiday in New Zealand since 1900 and commemorates the struggle for the 8-hour working day and worker’s rights.


8 hour day

Slogan of the early Labour movement..8 hours labour, 8 hours recreation, 8 hours rest….

While many people will still be working the day can also be used for a multitude of alternate things. If the weather is pleasant, it can become a day of family outings and impromptu sporting events. You could stroll around the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, go to a cafe for a meal, have a picnic or spend time in the outdoors.


The Christchurch Botanic Gardens…lovely at this time of the year


From all of us here at Ara Library we hope you have a calm & restful holiday.


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