So you broke your New Year’s resolution


Image from Te Ara (2016) Story Matariki

No problem. You have another chance.  Matariki is a great time to gain new skills and set yourself some new goals.

The Māori New Year is marked by the rise of Matariki (Pleiades) and the sighting of the next new moon. The pre-dawn rise of Matariki can be seen at the end of May every year and the New Year is marked at the sighting of the next new moon which occurs during early June.

Matariki can be translated in two ways – Mata Riki (Tiny Eyes) and Mata Ariki (Eyes of God). Some say Matariki is a mother surrounded by her six daughters while others suggest Matariki is a male star.

Manu tukutuku (Māori kite) flying traditions have a highly symbolic connection to Matariki. They are seen as the connection between the heavens and earth. Acknowledge the year gone by, and turn to the future and celebrate new beginnings.

Dream big, set goals and take action!

Written by Emma Royal, Ara Learning Advisor



World Environment Day


The 2016 World Environment Day will convene under the theme, ‘Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care’.

Guest blogger Dave Irwin, Manager of Sustainability and Outdoor Educational Programmes at Ara writes: ” The natural systems that sustain life on the planet are being compromised by human existence.  In 2005, UNESCO released the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment found that 60% of the planet’s ecosystems were degraded, and that no place on the planet was free from human impact.  Environmental scientists have used the term Anthropocene (the human epoch) to mark this current geological period of mass extinction that rivals the great extinctions in the past.  Nothing like this has happened in 65 million years and yet it continues to unfold beyond the reality of most people.  Earth Day was established by the UN as a way to encourage global awareness of these environmental problems increasingly visible in our lives.  This year the focus of Earth Day is on challenging the illegal trade in wild life.  Keep your eyes open for events related to Earth Day!”

“Ara is committed to working towards a more sustainable future.  Across the institution staff and students are engaging with collaborative projects such as Eco Showcase hosted by Student Voice and courses such as the new Creating Living Buildings that demonstrate our commitment.  Earth Day is a chance for us all to reflect on our relationship with the planet and to adjust our behaviors accordingly”.

Ara students can join NZ sustainable building organisation for free learn more here.