Samoan Language Week – 27 May to 2 June 2018


By Georgie Archibald, Learning Advisor Pasifika

Talofa Lava! Samoan Language Week / Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa is being celebrated across New Zealand from Sunday 27 May – Saturday 2 June 2018. The Samoan language is the third most commonly spoken language in New Zealand, and the theme for this year is: “Alofa atu nei. Alofa mai taeao – Kindness given. Kindness gained.” You are encouraged to consider – what do the values of kindness and reciprocity mean for you? If you’re interested in learning about Samoan language and culture, the library has a number of great resources that can be found using the Pasifika subject guide. You may also like to connect in with the Pacific Island Students of Ara and/or keep up to date with their events.

Events at Ara

And you definitely don’t want to miss out on the fantastic events occurring across the Ara campuses celebrating Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa!

  • Ara Ava Ceremony – Monday 28 May, 12noon, Christchurch City campus, North Green or Rakaia Centre atrium dependent on weather
  • Ula lole (lollie necklace) workshop – Tuesday 29 May, 12noon, Christchurch City campus, library
  • Ula lole (lollie necklace) workshop – Tuesday 29 May, 12noon, Timaru campus, student cafe
  • Samoan cultural performances and ula lole (lollie necklace) workshop – Wednesday 20 June, 12noon, Woolston campus, SSD hub
  • Pasifika social volleyball – Wednesday 30 May, 12noon, Christchurch City campus, gym


E iloa ‘oe i lau gagana – Your language speaks volume of you.


Primary sources versus secondary sources – What’s the difference?


Pixabay – Image in Public Domain – CC0

By Colleen Finnerty, Knowledge Advisor, Education Resources Team

During your education, here at Ara you may be asked to use primary and secondary sources in your research. What exactly are these you may wonder? Well this blog can give you a quick rundown on what they are and provide links to handy one page printable guides!

What are primary sources?

These are contemporary accounts of an event written by those who have experienced or witnessed an event i.e. diaries, letters, speeches, interviews, photographs, video or audio recordings and some newspaper articles if they are eyewitness accounts not historical accounts.

What are secondary sources?

These interpret primary sources so are therefore removed from whatever is under review. They interpret, judge, have opinions on and draw conclusions i.e. textbooks, interpretive newspaper or magazine articles, newsletters, histories, and biographies.

For example, one of my favorite poems is Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. The poem itself is a primary resource but an article about the poem’s importance is a secondary source as it is interpreting a primary source. A diary that belonged to Kate Sheppard would be a primary resource whereas a biographical book about her would be a secondary source as it is written by someone else and is an interpretation of that person.

Ask yourself if in doubt:

  • How does the author know about the details?
  • Were they at the source of the information or are they drawing conclusions from a variety of sources.
  • Where does the information come from?
  • Does the information come from a variety of sources or is the author the source of the original information?

Further information can be found in the Information Skills Subject Guide and these:



Get your pink on!


By Rose Edgar, Advisor – Students Disability Services

Friday 18th May is Pink Shirt Day. Pink shirt day raises awareness about bullying, we need to stand up and put a stop to it. Pink shirt day first started in Canada, where two high school students took a stand against bullying of their male classmate for wearing pink. The two students bought pink shirts for everyone and gave them out to their classmates to wear. From their efforts, this movement has become worldwide and here in New Zealand we have been celebrating since 2009.

Bullying is not just something that happens in schools, but in every part of our society. When we think about bullying, we think about physical violence however, it’s often more subtle then that. Backhanded comments, leaving people out, online targeting, bossing people around or making them feel like they have to work to fit in are all examples of bullying. Bullying should not be tolerated, everyone has the right to feel safe and accepted in their school, work, home and life in general.

Why stop bullying? Bullying has a huge impact on a person’s health, mental and physical. It can lead to depression, anxiety and even suicide. While people may think what they are doing is just “joking around” or not harming anyone, it can have some very serious effects.

How will you be showing your support for Pink Shirt Day? Wear the best pink clothes you have? Dye your hair pink? Give a complement to someone? Have a diversi –TEA break.

Where to go for help

If you are affected by bullying, please talk to someone. Ara has free counselling for students at the health centre.

Health Centre 03 9407566

Free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor, anytime

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 for counselling and support

Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 for support from trained counsellors

Youthline – 0800 37 66 33, free text 234 or email for young people, and their parents, whānau and friends

Samaritans – 0800 726 666 for confidential support to anyone who is lonely or in emotional distress 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) for people in distress, and people who are worried about someone else

Further reading

Use your Ara network login and password to view any of the ebooks in our library on this topic below:

Ciocco, M. (2018). Fast facts on combating nurse bullying, incivility, and workplace violence : what nurses need to know in a nutshell. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.

Fast, J. (2016). Beyond bullying : breaking the cycle of shame, bullying, and violence. Oxford ;: Oxford University Press.

School bullying in different cultures Eastern and Western perspectives. (2016). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.














Happy NZ Music Month

I’m Kaye Woodward and I am an English Language Tutor and Teacher Trainer at Ara.

I’m also in an ancient band called The Bats. New Zealand Music Month might be an appropriate time for a peek in to how this aspect of my life ticks along beside the teaching one.
Bats 1

Photo © Kaye Woodward

Late last year this quaintly wrapped and instantly recognizable package arrived in our letterbox. It was the first batch of songs for Bats album number 10 and signalled the start of a process the four of us have been following since Robert Scott, our prolific song-writing machine, moved back to Dunedin in 1983. The process is unhurried and all up takes around 3 years.

More songs arrived at intervals over the summer and we are currently up to about 15. We don’t read music; we listen and play, so over winter we’ll hunker down in our living rooms and do just that. Next Spring, we’ll get together somewhere to record and mix what we’ve cooked up and anything more that presents itself in the studio. At this stage, we’ll also decide on the artwork for the release. A lot of messing about with the record labels will ensue in order to achieve mastering, manufacture, distribution and marketing (of sorts), but eventually there will be vinyl and CDs to hold in your hands and a digital version. The cycle is completed by playing shows in New Zealand and Australia. Sometimes we even venture to the US or Europe.

The life of a part-time musician seems to complement the life of a teacher quite well. They have almost nothing in common but sometimes one will make me appreciate the other, and sometimes the two lives overlap. While I’m wandering from the carpark, striding to the classroom or shuffling home, there are often bits of songs and guitar parts floating round in my brain, looking for approval, morphing into different ideas or becoming victims of rejection. On the other hand, I hardly ever do marking on tour!

Bats 2

The Bats, Griffith Observatory, LA 1986. © Kaye Woodward.

International Nurses Day

Nurses -3187087_1280

Today (May 12th) is International Nurses Day, the theme in 2018 is Nurses – a voice to lead, health is a human right. International Nurses Day is celebrated every year around the world to mark the important work nurses do in all societies.

May 12th is the birth date of Florence Nightingale. Florence was a great leader in health care and a visionary nurse, famous for her work during the Crimean War.

For more information on Florence Nightingale and her nursing legacy this new ebook “Florence Nightingale nursing, and health care today” by Lynn Mcdonald (2018) is useful. Click on the link below. You will need to use your Ara student login and password to access this ebook.

International Nurses Day is a significant day as we have all been helped by a nurse at some point in our lives. Today we thank all nurses for their amazing work in advocating, supporting and caring for us all.

New Zealand Sign Language Week

7th – 13th of May is New Zealand Sign Language week. 24,000 people use NZSL every day. NZSL became an official language of New Zealand in 2006 and is the main language used by the NZ Deaf community. NZSL reflects the culture of the Deaf Community here in New Zealand, including signs for Maori words and concepts, which cannot be found in other signed languages around the world.

NZSL is not only the use of hand movements but includes the body, mouth movements and facial gestures to indicate meaning. Each region of NZ also has its own NZSL variations, just like regional accents.


Ara is running NZSL taster classes where you can learn some NZSL for yourself.


Monday 7th May

12pm – 1pm

Atrium Rakaia Building City Campus

Tuesday 8th May

12pm – 1pm

SSB, Trades Campus

Wednesday 9th May

12pm – 1pm

Library, Ground floor City Campus

We would love to see you at these classes. If you cannot make it, check out for more information on NZSL.

Happy signing!

International Day of the Midwife, Saturday, 5th of May, 2018

International Day of the Midwife – courtesy of guest blogger Rea Daellenbach

Saturday, 5th of May, 2018 is the International Day of the Midwife. This is a day to celebrate the invaluable contribution made by midwives worldwide to women’s and babies’ health and wellbeing. The International Day of the Midwife was initiated by the International Confederation of Midwives in 1992. Two years earlier, midwives in New Zealand regained the right to practice without medical supervision and the recognition of midwifery as a separate profession from nursing. Since then midwifery in New Zealand and around the world has grown immensely.

In New Zealand, over 90% of women now have a community (LMC) midwife who provides and/or co-ordinates the care they need during pregnancy, labour and birth and up to six weeks after the birth. Globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) now promotes the education and registration of midwives as an essential strategy for improving maternal and perinatal outcomes, not just in low-income countries, but also in higher income countries where the overuse of interventions in pregnancy and birth leads to unnecessary harm to mothers and babies. However, the WHO recognises that in most countries midwives are undervalued. WHO is calling for midwives to be given the professional respect and pay that reflects their comprehensive knowledge and skills and huge responsibility.

This year midwives and families around New Zealand, are using the International Day of the Midwife to highlighting the inadequate pay for community midwives. There is a march to Parliament planned for Thursday, 3rd May, to present the Minister of Health with thousands of Dear David Clark messages that midwives and families have posted in FaceBook and Twitter. In 2015, after many years of trying get the Ministry of Health to increase the payments for LMCs, the New Zealand College of Midwives filed a case against the government in the High Court allegeing gender discrimination in the Minstry’s refusal renegotiate the contract. Subsequently the Ministry agreed to enter into a codesign process with the College of Midwives which comperehnsively analysed the work that midwives do and how they can be better supported. However, these changes need to be supported in the budget which is due out later this month. Therefore, the International Day of the Midwife is particularly important this year to draw attention to the issues facing midwives and express the deep appreciation women have for what midwives offer.

The Library has a comprehensive collection of resources for Midwifery students and staff; a  great place to start your search is with the Subject Guides.


May the Fourth be with you

May the Fourth

This guest post is brought to you by Georgie Archibald, Learning Advisor at Ara.

May the Fourth be with you on this most important date of the calendar year, Star Wars Day! Famous nerf herder and flyboy, Han Solo, echoes this sentiment above. Endorsed by LucasFilm and Walt Disney, May 4th is the official international Star Wars date because of the pun on the well-known catch phrase “May the Force be with you.” As a little light hearted relief, here are some other classic Star Wars catch phrases that can provide inspiration for study!

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

“Your focus determines your reality.” – Qui-Gon Jinn

“Patience you must have, my young Padawan.” – Yoda

“Aaaaaaaaaaaargh!” – Chewie

For those who are more serious about their Star Wars lore, the library has some great resources, including a collection of essays examining the culture behind the franchise and a beautiful hardcover showcasing the original Star Wars storyboards. Check them out, and May the Fourth be with you! Watch out for Revenge of the Fifth tomorrow …

Brode, D., & Deyneka, L. (2012). Myth, media and culture in Star Wars: An anthology. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

Rinzler, J. W. (Ed.). (2014). Star Wars storyboards: The original trilogy. New York, NY: Abrams Books.