Queen’s Birthday Weekend 2020

Both branches of Ara Library will be closed from 5 pm on Friday 29th May –  8am on Tuesday 2nd June as it is the Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

The Queen’s Birthday public holiday is held on the first Monday in June. New Zealand has ten statutory holidays, of which Queen’s Birthday is one.

Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday is actually on 21 April, but it is celebrated on various dates across the Commonwealth of Nations to fit with each country’s roster of public holidays.

Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II – Queen of New Zealand


Those who have the day off will spend it with family or friends or will use the long weekend as a opportunity for a extended holiday away. It is an excellent opportunity to spend time in the outdoors before winter fully sets in.

Queen’s Birthday also sees the announcement of the Honours’ List where the Queen makes appointments to the Order of New Zealand including Orders of Merit, Dames, Knights, Companions, Officers and more. These appointments are nearly always based on a person’s services to the community or the nation in sport, business, charity, the uniformed services and arts.

The New Zealand Order of Merit


We will resume our usual hours from 8 am on Tuesday 2nd June.

We hope you have a safe and relaxing long weekend.




The International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Every May 29th the world celebrates the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. May-29 (1)This date marks the anniversary of the creation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in 1948 to monitor the ceasefire after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, which was the first ever UN peacekeeping mission.

Logo of the United Nations

The United Nations Peacekeepers are a force made up of over 120,000 people (though more than a million have served since it first started 72 years ago) from the military services, police forces and various civilian organisations.

The United Nations blue beret- worn by all UN Peacekeepers

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was created to celebrate the people who serve with the force and veterans of the service, to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives trying to make the world a better place through the force and help bring awareness of this force for good in the world.

New Zealand members of the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai Peninsula

While many are aware of the Peacekeepers, very few are aware of the long standing missions they carry out.  The current peacekeeper force is created from personal from 125 countries and currently serve in 17 missions around the world. UN Peacekeepers are used to protect and care for civilians, disarm ex-combatants, ensure ceasefires are kept, protect human rights, the rules of law and supporting free and fair democracy. They also work tirelessly to make sure women’s voices are heard  in civilian, military and political life.


This year alone UN Peacekeepers are present in Syria, the Sinai Peninsula, Cote d’Ivoire, Haiti, Liberia, Southern Sudan, Mali and continue to work across the globe on removing landmines and explosives abandoned after wars.



As an ex UN peacekeeper I would like to encourage you to spare time to consider the impact UN peacekeeping missions have played over the last 72 years. The late 20th century would have been vastly worse if not for their efforts.

Together for peace…


Samoan Language Week 24 – 30 May


Guest blog brought to you this week thanks to Sefa Faletanoai (Workforce Development Representative at Ara).

What does Samoan language mean to me? – First and foremost it’s a stark reminder to me that I need to use my language more in conversation with family and friends.

I’m one of those Samoans who understands Samoan fluently and I have the capacity to speak it, but my mind always does that thing where it second guesses itself and drops my confidence around other fluent Samoan speakers.

It’s really weird, my parents always spoke to me in Samoan but they never made it compulsory for me to do the same. It was only when I went to high school and interacted with my Samoan peers that I realised that I was behind on speaking my mother tongue.


Fast forward to now and I have definitely been using my Samoan more in work, life and in sport. However, Samoan Language Week always highlights my need to continue to use the language. It also delves a bit further during this special week as although the language is a focus, my Samoan culture gets a full celebration with food, dance, music, film and traditions.


So not only is it great for non-Pacific Islanders to learn our way and our background but certainly for Pacific Islanders to celebrate their corner of the Pacific and their very own claim to uniqueness.


Here are some Samoan language links:

Ministry for Pacific Peoples: https://www.mpp.govt.nz/

Samoan Language Week 2020 list of national events:

Gagana Samoa i Aotearoa Facebook page:

Learning Services and Disability Services during Level 2

Learning Services

Learning Services will be back on campus for those students returning on 18 May. We will have limited staff available for scheduled appointments only on Madras campus (9am-5pm), Woolston and Timaru campuses (both mornings only). If you are returning to campus, and have been referred for learning support, you can make an appointment with a learning or maths advisor at the Library Service Desk or by emailing learningservices@ara.ac.nz

In addition, we will continue to offer online Zoom appointments and our weekday 12-1pm Zoom Quick Questions and Maths Q&A sessions. More information and links on MyAra.

We will not be running any workshops or Quick Question sessions on campus.

Disability Services

Welcome to Level 2!

  • If you are coming onto campus and wish to see a Disability Advisor, please book your appointment in advance.
  • Disability Services will only be operating at the Madras Street Campus in Christchurch.  We will not be taking drop in appointments and will only be open some afternoons for face to face appointments, exact times to be confirmed. 
  • The staff at the Library Service Desk will be able to make these appointments for you.
  • Zoom appointments can be booked and will be available throughout the day, as they have been under level 3 and 4.
  • The Timaru campus will be open for disabled student appointments either face to face or via Zoom every morning.  

Celebrating New Zealand music month: Great Kiwi albums…

My choice of 10 great Kiwi albums

May is New Zealand Music Month, a celebration of Kiwi music.  New Zealand has a rich, vibrant music scene which has led to the creation of many excellent musicians over the years. I thought I would highlight a few great albums from Kiwi artists.

Here is my personal pick of 10 great New Zealand albums in no particular order:

1. Traction, Supergroove, 1994


2. Big Canoe, Tim Finn, 1986


3. Based on a true story, Fat Freddys Drop, 2005


4. Crowded House, Crowded House, 1986


5. Revival, Katchafire, 2003


6. Loyal, Dave Dobbyn, 1986


7. What to do with fire, Brooke Fraser, 2003


8. Broadcast, Strawpeople, 1992


9. Six 60, Six60, 2011


10. Natures Best, Various artists, 2002



There are many excellent New Zealand music albums and this is simply a small fraction. All of these albums are worth listening to but if you want an overview of Kiwi musicians find a copy of Natures Own which is a compilation of New Zealand music from the 1960’s-2000’s.

What is your favorite Kiwi album?

International Day of the Nurse

On Tuesday May 12, the world celebrated the International Day of the Nurse. 2020 is also the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, in honour of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. The theme this year is “Nursing the World to Health”.

Comprising more than half of global health workers, nurses routinely give promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative care to meet individual health needs. They are also among the most vital healthcare professionals fighting the current pandemic.

International Day of the Nurse (World Health Organisation, 2020)

The contributions of nurses have not gone unnoticed – many people in countries around the world, from New York to New Delhi, have been showing their heartfelt appreciation for their nurses’ dedication and sacrifices in giving care and saving lives during this pandemic. By way of example, every night New Yorkers clap at seven to express their gratitude for nurses and other hospital staff on the front lines. This is part of the trend called #ClapBecauseWeCare.

Closer to home is news about United Kingdom Prime Minister Johnson expressing his thanks to his nurses for helping save his life, “when things could have gone either way”. Among the team was New Zealand born nurse Jenny McGee.

Most people value good health and longevity as among life’s greatest blessings. Nurses are therefore deservedly appreciated as the professionals who meet our health needs. So, it would be a nice gesture to say thanks to the nurses we know or meet, including our nurse educators and nursing students at Ara.

Watch this 2-minute video tribute to the incredible work of nurses.   

Library Service Update

The Library at COVID-19 Alert Level 2 for the week 18 May – 24 May







The City and Timaru Campus libraries will be open for borrowing and returning items only. Study spaces and computers will not available at this stage.

All items issued before the closure have been extended until the end of May. If your course is running online, or you do not feel comfortable returning to campus, please keep your books until then.

All our electronic resources are still available: access them by searching above or through our Subject Guides . Additional online resources are also available – find out more here.

Contact library staff for help with resources: email library@ara.ac.nz or chat with a librarian via AskLive.

Library staff are available for video help, 10am-3pm, Mon-Fri. Click here for more information.

City Campus Library will be open 9am – 5pm  Monday – Friday

Timaru Campus will be open 9am – 4.30pm    Monday – Friday


May is New Zealand Music Month







May is New Zealand Music Month, and whilst we can’t get along to live concerts at the moment we can still enjoy music in other ways.

Tomorrow, Wednesday 6th May at 7pm is the Big Little Lockdown Kiwi Music Quiz. Sign up with your team, test your Kiwi music knowledge, and play the Big Little Lockdown Kiwi Music Quiz, live from your bubble! Donations are requested on registering your team to aid MusicHelps Lives,  a charity providing support to Kiwi music people affected by COVID-19.  Find out more at The Big Little Lockdown Kiwi Music Quiz.

Events on throughout New Zealand Music Month can be found here.