Christmas holiday hours 2019/2020

The Christmas holiday season and the end of the academic year are upon us. As a part of the holiday break over December and January our hours of operation will be changing.

For the period Monday 16th December 2019 -Sunday 26th January 2020 the Library will observe the following hours:



Our normal hours of operation will resume on Monday 3rd February 2020. Please note we will be closed on Thursday the 6th February for Waitangi Day.

From all of us at the Library we wish you a safe and happy Summer break.


Hinewai Reserve: A Story of the Regeneration of Native Forest

When I first heard of Hugh Wilson and the Hinewai Forest Restoration Project, it immediately reminded me of one of one my favorite books, The Man Who Planted Trees. But, it was much later when I found out that Hugh didn’t actually plant any trees. He allowed nature to plant them instead. And nature has been doing well. After 30 years, the reserve is full of native trees and bursting with wildlife.


                        Main gate to Hinewai Reserve, author Michal Klajban, cc-by-SA 4.0

It all began in the ‘70s when Maurice White set up the Maurice White Native Forest Trust. White’s dream was simple but not easy: To find land and start a regeneration project on Banks Peninsula, White’s home, where just 1% of native forest remained. The rest of it had been deforested by European colonizers.

In 1986, White attended a Forest and Bird meeting where he met Hugh Wilson. That meeting changed their lives forever. Wilson, an avid botanist, dreamed about the possibility of land where nature could be left to regenerate without human influence. Maurice, more businessman than botanist, wanted the same thing but didn’t necessarily have the knowledge to do so.

Maurice White and Hugh Wilson in 2017, author Schwede66, CC-BY-SA 4.0

In 1987, Maurice White Native Forest Trust purchased 109 hectares of land. That became the core of Hinewai. Four years later, the trust purchased a neighboring farm and added over 1100 hectares to the reserve.

Now, 32 years later, the reserve consists of 1250 hectares and there are a couple of new, smaller reserves attached. It’s incredible to see pictures from the ‘80s when there was nothing but pasture and gorse (an extremely invasive prickly plant native to Western Europe and Northern Africa) knowing that now there is a forest of native Mānuka and Kānuka trees and other native saplings.

Map: Hinewai Reserve, Long Bay, Banks Peninsula

A documentary, Fools and Dreamers, was recently released about the reserve, the title taken from an early newspaper article in which a local farmer claimed White and Wilson to be “fools and dreamers” for wanting to convert “productive” pasture back into native forest. The documentary is available online and it’s a heart-warming and inspiring watch. It’s 30 minutes short and sums up the history of the reserve together with providing a snapshot of Hugh’s golden personality, relentless hard work and passion for the project.

The reserve is open to the public for free but welcomes donations. If you decide to go there, you’ll find something for everyone: waterfalls to admire, tramping tracks of various grades, viewpoints towards the ocean and Akaroa, and a visitors’ centre. The visitors’ centre is one of the gems of the reserve. It contains books handwritten and illustrated by Hugh on local fauna and flora together with other original materials from which you can learn all about the history of the reserve.

Overview of the reserve with Otanerito Bay in the back, author Michal Klajban, CC-BY-SA 4.0

White and Wilson dreamed big – perhaps too big for most of the local population at that time. But they have shown us that with patience and minimal input, nature can regenerate itself. It does not need humans to “manage” it.

Hinewai brings with it hopes for the future. With 99% of Banks Peninsula deforested, it’s food for the soul to see some of its lost treasure return, especially now with climate change making the need for native forest more important than ever before.

Kererū (New Zealand pidgeon) is a common citizen of Hinewai, author Judi Lapsley Miller, CC-BY 4.0

Hinewai reserve is one of the most successful private conservation initiatives in New Zealand. If you’re looking for a place where you can relax and recharge, you can find the reserve at 632 Long Bay Road R.D.3, Akaroa 7583.

Michal Klajban, Assistant Librarian

International Day of Disabled Persons

In 1992, the United Nations launched the International Day of Disabled Persons for the very first time.  Since then, it has been celebrated annually in early December and Tuesday 3rd December will be the 28th year of celebration.  Previous themes for the International Day of Disabled Persons have included; hearing the voice of disabled people, disabled people being included in decision made about their lives, access to education and access to technology. 

 In 2019, the theme for the International day of disabled persons is “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda’.  This ties in well with one of the eight key goals of New Zealand’s Disability Strategy, which sees enhancing the participation of disabled people in leadership roles.  The aim of this goal is not just to increase disabled peoples’ leadership in disability organisations but to wider spheres of influence such as taking on senior leadership roles in their workplace.  Strong, competently led Disability organisations, means that when government are looking for groups to consult about the issues that affect disabled people, they are more likely to turn to these organisations for advice.  Therefore, disabled people need to be leading these organisations, speaking for themselves and others with disabilities and offering the advice that government is seeking. 

Summer opening hours

With classes and exams slowing down, the City campus library has moved to its usual summer timetable:

Mon – Fri: 8am – 5pm

Sat – Sun: Closed

We will also close at 1pm on Friday December 6th and Friday December 20th.

You can still access the 24 hour computer lab if you have a valid Ara student card.

All Ara libraries will be closed from December 21st to January 5th – we will reopen at 8am on January 6th. During this time there will be no access to the campuses, even with an ID card.

We hope you have an enjoyable summer!