Conservation Week: 14th-22nd September 2019

Nature needs us…..

Saturday the 14th September marks the start of Conservation Week here in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Conservation Week is a series of events across the country around a central theme, in 2019 the theme is “Nature Needs Us”….

This year is also the 50th anniversary of the beginning of  Conservation Week in this country.  Originally started by the Scout movement it was meant to encourage people to think about the natural world which surrounds them. Once people take notice of their natural surrounds they are much more likely to want to preserve them. 

Why have Conservation Week?

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is responsible for roughly 40% of the landmass of  New Zealand with few staff and on a very constrained budget. They need our assistance to undertake all of the vital tasks required to advance bio-diversity, maintain our back country infrastructure and protect the beauty of our natural world.

              Regenerating forest on Otamahua/Quail Island, 2019…volunteer conservation in action

Now and into the future we should all be lending our support as DOC will never be in a position to do all these tasks on their own. While local environmental groups such as Regional Councils, Forest and Bird, Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, Native Forest Action, Rod Donald Trust, Permolat and various Aclimatisation/Regeneration/Replanting/Ecological Societies do excellent work they need people power to complete their tasks.

                                                         Biodiversity is the key to our future….

What is required are volunteers who are willing of give of their skills, experience and time to assist DOC by undertaking such tasks as pest control, replanting schemes, bio-diversity/species conservation and maintenance of our back country huts and tracks.

Otamahua/Quail Island: volunteers from the Quail Island Ecological Society on a planting day

This Conservation Week I would like to encourage everyone to think about nature and if possible volunteer to assist one of the groups doing this valuable work. Even one day of your time can make a dramatic difference and ensure these vital tasks are completed.

Project Janzoon: re-forestation and bio-diversity work in Abel Tasman NP

If volunteering is not your thing take individual action: plant some natives in your garden, undertake a pest control program around your home or set up a bush trap line, carry rubbish out with you from a back country hut. Get out into nature alone or with friends & family and go for a tramp/hike/walk/stroll. Short or long the distance does not matter.

      Nina Valley Restoration Group: Volunteer bio-diversity work in the Lewis Pass Scenic Reserve

Enjoy nature on her own terms….try going for a walk on a rainy day, it is an interesting and not totally unpleasant experience.

How can I help?

DOC have a full list of Conservation Week events happening around the country on their website. Here some of the Conservation Week events in Christchurch/Canterbury where I live….why not find out what activities are taking place in your part of the country.

Conservation Week 2019 events in Canterbury

There is also a list of activities you can undertake with your family to celebrate Conservation Week.

…do an activity for Conservation Week 2019

Whatever you decide to do have a safe and happy Conservation Week…and remember…

Nature Needs Us!!!


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Take a survey about the cost of textbooks and win!

  • Does the cost of textbooks affect which courses you choose?
  • Do you rely on the library having copies and not buy textbooks yourself?
  • Do you feel that lack of access to textbooks affects your grades?

Give your feedback in this survey which will take about 4 to 6 minutes to complete.

Each student who completes the survey can go into a draw to win one of ten $50 supermarket vouchers.



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Celebrate Te wiki o te Reo Māori this week and take the #hono challenge and learn your pepeha

Ara is celebrating Māori Language Week during 9-13 Mahuru 2019. Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori – Māori Language week is Aotearoa’s annual week-long celebration of the Māori language. It is the one week when we get to focus on the beauty and importance of our indigenous language.   Te Reo Māori  is a taonga, a special treasure and it creates a sense of common purpose for many people in Aotearoa NZ. Every New Zealander can help revitalize and strengthen our language by incorporating Te Reo Māori  into conversations, whether it be formal greetings or the use of words and phrases that acknowledge and celebrate our values and our sense of belonging. Click here to see how we are celebrating at Ara this week.

This year we are drawing on Ara’s key values of Hono, Hihiri and Aroha as a framework for establishing relationships in a uniquely Māori way. Use Hono as a starting place to connect with each other and significant people and places through learning your pepeha. This inspires us to learn more and gain a new respect for the differences that make us unique.

Pepeha is a formal structured way of introducing yourself within the Māori world by locating yourself according to important landmarks and the people you descend from.  Research your own landmarks so that you can develop your own descent profile and foster whakawhanaungatanga – building connections.

In celebration of our language and our Ara values

       Hono – Connect

       Hihiri – Inspire

       Aroha – Respect

The challenge is to:

    •  Learn your pepeha
    •  Record your pepeha
    •  Share your pepeha

Tuhi – Prepare your pepeha

Use these downloadable resources to get started on your pepeha.

#HonoChallenge pepeha template
#HonoChallenge pepeha cheatsheet

And gain further inspiration from Mariam and Hinemoa in the following videos.

Mariam Arif is a student with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and teaches us how to do a mihi and pepeha for Non-Māori. She is learning te reo Māori and demonstrates not only a pepeha (2.43 mins) but starts with a greeting and finishes with a whakatauki (proverb)

Hinemoa Elder explains ‘How to structure your pepeha’ in preparation for meetings with key stakeholders. (2.44 mins)

There is even a pepeha app. Find out about it in this 1 minute video

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Tongan Language Week

TLW posterThis guest blog is contributed by Georgie Archibald, Learning Advisor Pasifika:

Mālō e lelei, this week from 1-7 September we celebrate Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga – Tongan Language Week! It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate the language and culture of more than 60,000 people of Tongan heritage who live in New Zealand.

There are many ways to connect with this year’s theme, “Fakakoloa O Aotearoa ‘Aki ‘A E Tauhi Fonua: A Tongan perspective of enriching Aotearoa, New Zealand.” For me, it particularly feeds into our Tongan value of matakāinga – behaving like family with mutual care and respect. Embracing and living the value of matakāinga certainly enriches our communities.

At Ara, the Pacific Island Students of Ara (PISA) are celebrating Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga with events at Madras and Woolston campuses where there will be performances and food to share. To join the celebrations, head to the Rakaia Centre at Madras campus on Monday 2nd September 12noon and to the Student Hub at Woolston campus on Thursday 5 September 12noon.

‘Oua lau e kafo kae lau e lava – Stay positive and count your blessings

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Are you looking for work? Do you have a disability?…then join us for free pizza!

Ara Institute of Canterbury and Workbridge, New Zealand’s largest organisation that works with disabled people to assist them into work have formed a new partnership. 


The purpose of the partnership is to help get Ara students into work.  If you are studying at Ara and have a disability, then you need to join us for this evening.


What:                    A pizza night

When:                  Tuesday 27th August

What time:         4.00-5.30pm

Where:                 Rakaia Centre, L202

Whether you are interested in working part time whilst you are studying, working more regular hours now that you have your qualification or you just have some questions about Disability and Employment, then please come and join us for this night.  Representatives from all three services will be there and it’s a chance for you to meet and talk to all of us, as well as to interact with other disabled young people who are also looking for work. 


 Please contact to let her know you are going to attend the event.  If you have particular dietary requirements then please let us know this as well.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Pauline Melham and the Disability Services Team. 


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Do these two things to improve your finances

Like every one of us, students need to look after their finances well. We all need to know how much money is coming in and how much money we are spending.

Tracking these two amounts and using the following tips will enable you to manage your finances better. You’ll also stress less about money.

A jeans pocket with a credit card and cash in it.

#1 Track Your Money

The first step towards improving your financial situation is to know where you are financially. It means you need to be aware of the amount of income you have and the amount of spending you’re making.

A good habit to nurture is to track your money regularly. Use this Student Budget Tracker to record all the amounts that you spent in the past month. Try and include every single purchase or payment you made.

Then write down all your sources of income that you received last month. These may include your student allowance and the income you made from working part-time.

Compare the amount you spent to the income you received last month. Did you overspend and exceed your income? Or did you spend less than your income?

Congratulate yourself if you had surplus money last month. I hope you saved up that amount.

But if you spent more than your income, do not despair. Read on to find out what you can do to improve your money management.

A man and a woman with shopping bags.

#2 Buy What You Need

Do you save money regularly? Or do you spend more than your income?

Whatever your money situation, it’s a very good idea to set the goal of reducing your spending. The old adage “a penny saved is a penny earned” remains relevant today.

People who manage their money well know the difference between what they need to buy, and what they want to spend on. Develop the self-discipline to avoid always buying the things you want – this is successful money management.

Let’s look at an example. A pair of Nike Air shoes usually costs around $200 or more.

$200 shoes are clearly a want and not a need. If you buy Nike Air shoes, you are paying a premium for a famous brand, and becoming poorer by $200!
But if you buy a more affordable pair of shoes (just to replace an old pair that’s worn out), you can easily save more than $100. This $100 can become part of your saving or emergency fund.

Let’s look at another example:

If you continue using your current phone that’s working well, you can easily save yourself $400 to $600 or more, by NOT buying a new phone.

I know of Ara students who have chosen to work extra hours and pay by hire purchase, just to own a pricey phone. They are paying a lot of interest with their hard-earned money. This isn’t advisable as it harms their finances.

Therefore, set the goal now of buying just what you need. Question your spending.

Avoid buying the things that you want but actually don’t need.

Your finances will improve greatly when you:
• Track your income and spending
• Avoid unnecessary spending and develop a saving habit.

Check out this money advice for students: Victoria University of Wellington.

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LinkedIn Learning – Video tutorials

LinkedIn Learning which used to be now enables you to build on your qualifications with mini or microcredentials. For any course you complete you can download your certificate of completion and you can add this to your LinkedIn profile.

If you are a first time user, read our guide to accessing LinkedIn Learning for the first time.  Whether you are LinkedIn member or not you can choose the option to “continue without connecting my LinkedIn account”. However to make the most of the full features of Linked In Learning it is a good idea to link it to your LinkedIn account.

The following video covers what you can expect from this amazing resource which you can access through Ara for free.

You will always find the link to LinkedIn Learning from the Databases tab in Primo Library Search which you access from My Ara. If you log in to LinkedIn Learning from the app just remember to choose to do this via the organisational account option and use your student email address and network / Moodle password to log in the first time.

If you have any problems logging in to LinkedIn talk to the library staff or ring (03) 940 8089.

So get LinkedIn today and launch your own self-directed lifelong learning journey.

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