Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani: Cook Islands Language Week


The annual ‘Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani: Cook Islands Language Week is being held from Sunday 29 July – Saturday 4 August 2018. This guest blog is by Francie Oberg-Nordt, Qualification Coordinator in Ara’s Hospitality, Travel & Tourism Department.

Some reflections from a NZ born Cook Islander


As a non-Maori speaking Cook Islander; born and raised in Christchurch by a Cook Island mother and NZ born Norwegian father I often reflect on why being a child of a multi ethnic background that I only speak English. I regret the fact my mother did not making a conscious decision to teach my sisters and me her native tongue. She left school at age 13 to come and work in NZ in the Wairarapa, to help support her family back in the islands. I guess she struggled with English herself and because both my parents worked long hours in our family business when we were young Cook island Maori was certainly not a priority. As mum spoke English and dad did not speak Cook Island Maori , English was our language by default.

I remember every Sunday as a child being taken to church for the combined service followed by a Cook Island service. Combined service was in English and at times interesting. I loved the old stories from the bible but in the Cook Island service, the minister would be rattling off in Maori and I found it hard to focus and sit still. I did not understand and I found it boring. Needless to say, I started finding other things to do on a Sunday. When in my teens, I would often say to mum “why didn’t you teach us Maori when we were young” and Mum always told us “ if you want to learn it you will learn it” and I guess she was right. If you want something bad enough then make the effort yourself to get it, however at the time there was nowhere in Christchurch to learn Cook Island Maori. I remember Mum helped organise Christchurch Polytechnic’s first Cook Island Maori language course in Christchurch.

I was unfortunately unable to attend any of these classes due to work commitments, and as you can imagine there was not a great demand for the language to be taught and the courses eventually stopped running.

When I started university I decided to take Maori 101 and it is because of this foundation Maori course that I can understand smatterings of Cook Island Maori and understand sentence structure and feel comfortable with pronunciation (to a degree anyway)

My inability to speak fluently and understand the language of my fore fathers has not really been a problem for me over the years however on my trips back to Rarotonga; which are two or three times a year now, I have encountered some problems. When it comes to formal protocol, community and land matters; all of which are important in our culture, Cook Island Maori is essential. At land and community/family meetings I know I have a right to be part of these events to be on the land and when there I feel that connection to the land but when it comes to formalities I often feel inadequate or left out or that I’m missing out on the deeper meaningful of the conversation… I look and feel like a Cook Islander but somehow I’m different. Some native Maori speakers see me as different; as a foreigner or a “snob” because my English sounds “too perfect” (which it is not) or my accent is not “fob ish” (it can be if I want it to be) enough. However, this is not everyone. At the end of the day, it does not matter what they think, it only matters what I think and feel about my identity as a Cook Islander.

With plans to move to Rarotonga in my later years i.e. retirement (if that day ever comes) I have decided one of the first things I will do is to learn Maori at the local school or polytechnic. Not because I need to or others think I should but because I want to learn. I want the language to survive and my culture to survive. My daughter moves back to Rarotonga soon and she will start lessons in October with my husband who lives in Rarotonga. In the meantime I am trying to learn and use some basic greetings and phrases. My focus next week at work will be to teach my students some of the following words and phrases.

Here are a few words you could start with:

Kia Orana (key a or rahn ah) = Hello

Aere mai (eyeear ree my) = Welcome

Meitaki (may tar key) = good

Meitaki ma’ata (may tar key ma art a) = good or thank you (formal)

Popongi (Paw pong e) = Good Morning.

Kia Manuia ( key a ma nu e a ) = good luck

Pe ea koe? (Pear ear Koy?) = How are you?

Ine (e nay) = Please

So, I hope young you give Cook Island Maori a go. You might find it useful when visiting the Cook Islands for a holiday.

A warm smile and Kia Orana greeting will be understood and much appreciated by the locals.

Kia Manuia!


Manawa, our newest campus, opened this week


This week medical imaging and midwifery students began their studies in this shiny new facility only seconds from the pictureque Avon river outlook as seen below.


This campus can be a little difficult to find because of the extensive road works at the front door which is at 276 Antigua Street, between Tuam Street and Oxford Terrace, close to the boatsheds. Here’s Manawa campus map if you’re still unsure.

Once inside, you’ll discover inspiring learning spaces. If you’re an early starter you will notice that the lights magically come on as you progress through the building without having to touch a light switch.

Library support is available at Manawa in the student space on the ground floor from Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm each week. Several students have already tried out the Library laptops to print off their Moodle course material and the Ara wifi is working well.  Incidentally did you know Ara has a new app for Android to help students connect to our wifi a lot more simply. It’s called Ara wifi connector. Why not check it out in your app store?

Students  can also request books from City campus and they will be delivered to Manawa campus for their collection.

Group study rooms like the one below are available to use.


It is still quite quiet at Manawa and so currently provides a very peaceful retreat for study  but it is sure to be a lot busier in September when the larger cohort of nursing students continue their studies on this new campus.

Here is more background information about Manawa.






Interactive science: ways to blow things up and put things back together

CC0 Public Domain

By Colleen Finnerty, Knowledge Advisor

Recently we have been gifted three new science databases from Gale Cengage Learning. These are available through the Library website in the database A-Z list and relevant subject guides. They may have been free, but do not underestimate their value for learning! These are all aimed at bringing science to life in a way that makes understanding its principles so much easier.

Gale interactive – Chemistry– Who doesn’t need an interactive periodical table? Explore models of elements, reactions, crystals, molecules and compounds.

Gale interactive – Human anatomy– Explore human anatomy by manipulating 3D models. It also contains reference and periodical material.

Gale interactive – Science– Quality information is paired with 3D models that allow you to visualize concepts in biology, chemistry, earth science and human anatomy.

Have a play today and prepare to be dazzled. Learning scientific concepts has never been this much fun or this safe. Nothing really risks getting blown … except you mind!

Māori Land Court Minute Book Index now free online

Once you have used the MLCMBI to find the Minute Books with the information you need you need to locate a library that holds the Minute Books you need. In Christchurch, you can locate some Minute Books at Christchurch City Libraries  especially for the South Island.

However if you need to access the full range of Minute Books for Aotearoa New Zealand, you can visit the Macmillan Brown Library at University of Canterbury who permit access to the general public. Note: You can also use your Ara student ID card to borrow books from any of the University of Canterbury libraries. You will need to talk to University of Canterbury library staff to get set up with borrowing privileges there.

Also every regional office of the Māori Land Court has a full set of Minute Books for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. Generally they supply up to 10 pages of information for free and apply printing charges for more than 10 pages.



World Chocolate Day today


[Image: CC0 – Public Domain – Pixabay]

Guest blog by Rose Edgar, Advisor – Student Disability Services

I have a problem….a chocolate problem. More often than not I am at Café X buying a chocolate Danish. It has become so regular that they even said “they would put one aside for me” each morning to make sure I don’t miss out.

Talking to others, it seems a lot of us have “a problem” when it comes to chocolate. Whether it’s a Danish, those awesome cookies from Countdown, or a straight up chocolate bar, we love the stuff.

Today is world chocolate day and while we may love it, what do we actually know about chocolate? A quick Wikipedia search on “chocolate” will give you all you need to know (yes, yes I know, Wikipedia is not the most ‘legitimate’ of sites, but come on, we all use it).

Chocolate is made with seeds of the Cacao tree – that’s right, it is totally a salad! The seeds are dried and fermented to create cocoa beans. This is ground, melted and processed into 2 parts and with the addition of sugar, milk solids, and oil, becomes the sweet chocolate we are familiar with.

Two thirds of chocolate production occurs in West Africa and contributes as a source of income for 50 million people. However, production of chocolate has been the subject of criticism as it is linked to child labour and slavery. Even with the increase in demand for chocolate products, farmers are still receiving less than fair pay and perpetuating child labour. This has become a huge ethical issue and many companies are now making sure their products are fair trade.

Some of you may have heard of the company Trade Aid. They sell many fair trade products, including chocolate! Even better, the chocolate is made right here in Christchurch at the Sweet Justice Chocolate Factory! Whittakers chocolate also has fair trade certification for their Creamy Milk and Dark Ghana 250g blocks.

So next time you are looking to get your chocolate fix, maybe think about switching to fair trade, or researching if your favourite chocolate is fair trade. As for me, I will be checking up at the café to see where the chocolate in my much needed Danish is coming from.

Check the shelf location TX767.C5 in the Library for more chocolatey inspiration.


Celebrating Culture: The 4th of July

It is nearing that time of year again – the 4th of July or Independence Day in America. It is perhaps that country’s most important holiday. On 4 July 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed and it is seen as the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation.

In the US the 4th of July is celebrated in three major ways: fireworks, football and barbeques. All the big US cities will have grand fireworks displays and the major ones in Boston and New York are usually broadcast live on television as well. Many people also fire off their own backyard fireworks displays.

American football can seem a bit alien to Kiwis but it is actually a lot of fun to play. It is usual for an extended American family to either play a game or watch football on the television on July the 4th.

The barbeque is an American tradition on the 4th of July If there is one day in the year where it’s normal to see every house along a suburban street having a barbeque in their garden, it will be on the 4th of July.

The classic American cookout usually consists of a few essential dishes. The burger is the most important. People will grill their burgers (preferably as thick and juicy as possible) on the barbeque and then have a table set up with soft white burger rolls, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, crispy bacon and all the toppings imaginable. Also popular are grilled frankfurters wrapped in streaky bacon.

Add lots of side dishes: salads (potato, pasta, coleslaw), Boston Baked Beans, pickles and lots and lots of corn: be it steamed, cooked on the barbeque, creamed or in a salad (Succotash). For dessert, festive cupcakes, apple pie, velvet cake and peach cobbler are popular.

This coming 4th of July why not get a group of friends together and celebrate the all American way…have a BBQ and play a game of football and make sure to say ‘Happy 4th of July’ to any American of your acquaintance.


America: The Cookbook, Gabrielle Langholtz, (2017): TX715LAN

The rules of American Football: https://www.thoughtco.com/football-101-the-basics-of-football-1333784

The National Football League (NFL): https://www.nfl.com/

Delish: 22 All American eats for 4th July: https://www.delish.com/holiday-recipes/g550/fourth-july-classic-recipes/

Womans Day: The ultimate 4th July menu for your summer cookout: https://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/food-drinks/g3008/4th-of-july-menu/