Take a survey about the cost of textbooks and win!

  • Does the cost of textbooks affect which courses you choose?
  • Do you rely on the library having copies and not buy textbooks yourself?
  • Do you feel that lack of access to textbooks affects your grades?

Give your feedback in this survey which will take about 4 to 6 minutes to complete.

Each student who completes the survey can go into a draw to win one of ten $50 supermarket vouchers.



Celebrate Te wiki o te Reo Māori this week and take the #hono challenge and learn your pepeha

Ara is celebrating Māori Language Week during 9-13 Mahuru 2019. Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori – Māori Language week is Aotearoa’s annual week-long celebration of the Māori language. It is the one week when we get to focus on the beauty and importance of our indigenous language.   Te Reo Māori  is a taonga, a special treasure and it creates a sense of common purpose for many people in Aotearoa NZ. Every New Zealander can help revitalize and strengthen our language by incorporating Te Reo Māori  into conversations, whether it be formal greetings or the use of words and phrases that acknowledge and celebrate our values and our sense of belonging. Click here to see how we are celebrating at Ara this week.

This year we are drawing on Ara’s key values of Hono, Hihiri and Aroha as a framework for establishing relationships in a uniquely Māori way. Use Hono as a starting place to connect with each other and significant people and places through learning your pepeha. This inspires us to learn more and gain a new respect for the differences that make us unique.

Pepeha is a formal structured way of introducing yourself within the Māori world by locating yourself according to important landmarks and the people you descend from.  Research your own landmarks so that you can develop your own descent profile and foster whakawhanaungatanga – building connections.

In celebration of our language and our Ara values

       Hono – Connect

       Hihiri – Inspire

       Aroha – Respect

The challenge is to:

    •  Learn your pepeha
    •  Record your pepeha
    •  Share your pepeha

Tuhi – Prepare your pepeha

Use these downloadable resources to get started on your pepeha.

#HonoChallenge pepeha template
#HonoChallenge pepeha cheatsheet

And gain further inspiration from Mariam and Hinemoa in the following videos.

Mariam Arif is a student with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and teaches us how to do a mihi and pepeha for Non-Māori. She is learning te reo Māori and demonstrates not only a pepeha (2.43 mins) but starts with a greeting and finishes with a whakatauki (proverb)

Hinemoa Elder explains ‘How to structure your pepeha’ in preparation for meetings with key stakeholders. (2.44 mins)

There is even a pepeha app. Find out about it in this 1 minute video

Tongan Language Week

TLW posterThis guest blog is contributed by Georgie Archibald, Learning Advisor Pasifika:

Mālō e lelei, this week from 1-7 September we celebrate Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga – Tongan Language Week! It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate the language and culture of more than 60,000 people of Tongan heritage who live in New Zealand.

There are many ways to connect with this year’s theme, “Fakakoloa O Aotearoa ‘Aki ‘A E Tauhi Fonua: A Tongan perspective of enriching Aotearoa, New Zealand.” For me, it particularly feeds into our Tongan value of matakāinga – behaving like family with mutual care and respect. Embracing and living the value of matakāinga certainly enriches our communities.

At Ara, the Pacific Island Students of Ara (PISA) are celebrating Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga with events at Madras and Woolston campuses where there will be performances and food to share. To join the celebrations, head to the Rakaia Centre at Madras campus on Monday 2nd September 12noon and to the Student Hub at Woolston campus on Thursday 5 September 12noon.

‘Oua lau e kafo kae lau e lava – Stay positive and count your blessings

LinkedIn Learning – Video tutorials

LinkedIn Learning which used to be Lynda.com now enables you to build on your qualifications with mini or microcredentials. For any course you complete you can download your certificate of completion and you can add this to your LinkedIn profile.

If you are a first time user, read our guide to accessing LinkedIn Learning for the first time.  Whether you are LinkedIn member or not you can choose the option to “continue without connecting my LinkedIn account”. However to make the most of the full features of Linked In Learning it is a good idea to link it to your LinkedIn account.

The following video covers what you can expect from this amazing resource which you can access through Ara for free.

You will always find the link to LinkedIn Learning from the Databases tab in Primo Library Search which you access from My Ara. If you log in to LinkedIn Learning from the app just remember to choose to do this via the organisational account option and use your student email address and network / Moodle password to log in the first time.

If you have any problems logging in to LinkedIn talk to the library staff or ring (03) 940 8089.

So get LinkedIn today and launch your own self-directed lifelong learning journey.

ProQuest Central: Like google but infinitely better


By Colleen Finnerty: Knowledge Advisor, Ara

Have you ever needed an answer? Not just any answer, but the correct authoritative one? Don’t rely on crystal balls or Google when you can now access ProQuest Central! This respected database contains full text and peer review information on all subjects imaginable, including business, health and medical, social sciences, arts and humanities, education, and science and technology.

From a single search box, you can search over forty of ProQuest’s databases and find thousands of full-text scholarly journals, newspapers, magazines, dissertations, working papers, case studies, and market reports all together on this user-friendly platform

It is basically like Google but without the cat videos, fake news, and the rantings of the uninformed. Use of this database will result in tutors swooning and guaranteed scholarly success! You will find the link to ProQuest Central in the Library Database A-Z and in your subject guides.

Have a search today and find the answers you seek.


Matariki 2019

Connect – Reflect – Celebrate – Plan – Act

Matariki is a traditional time for many iwi (Māori tribes) to celebrate the beginning of each new year. The Matariki star cluster is more commonly known throughout the world as Pleiades or Messier 45 (M45). In Hawaii, it is known as Makali’i and in Japan it is called Subaru.

Reimana Tutengaehe, a tutor in Te Puna Wānaka at Ara, shares that “Matariki is about a lifecycle really. Traditionally speaking when Matariki first begins we farewell the dead, and then we look up to each star in the constellation to acknowledge how they correspond to our natural environment. So traditionally, Maori would use the stars to determine if it was going to be a good year for fishing, or for crops and harvest…”

[From Ara Institute of Canterbury. 2018. Reflecting, reconnecting and stargazing: Matariki makes its mark at Ara ]

You can visit our Te Ao Māori Subject Guide for more resources on Matariki.

Significant dates of Matariki in 2019

  • 27th May – Matariki sets
  • 25th-28th June – Matariki rises
  • 25th June – 3rd July – The period over which the stars of Matariki are observed
  • 24th June – 5th July – The period when Ara will celebrate Matariki

The nine stars of Matariki

Māori observed the nine visible stars of Matariki during the long dark nights of winter looking for signs of the coming season.

At the same time, Māori personified the nine stars of Matariki to provide us with a framework for thinking about the world around us and what we would do over the coming year.

Who are the stars and how do they help us?

MATARIKI – the personification of Mother & Nurturer
Matariki brings people together, connecting them with each other and their world.

TUPU-Ā-NUKU – the personification of Edible Plants
Healthy plants need healthy soils. Can you compost food scraps at home? What about a worm farm?

TUPU-Ā-RANGI – the personification of Forests
Pests and predators destroy our forests. Did you know feral cats are a major threat to native birds, insects and trees?

WAI-PUNA-Ā-RANGI – the personification of Sky Waters
Have you noticed the big changes in climate? Does it rain more or less now than when you were young? How long before the sea-level will reach your home?

WAI-TĪ – the personification of Freshwater
Why are other countries bottling our water? What’s wrong with theirs? Is our water actually that clean?

WAI-TĀ – the personification of Oceans
Did you know that fish think plastic is food, then eat it, then die? Can you commit to reduce or stop using plastic? What other options already exist?

URURANGI – the personification of Winds
Did you know windmills were used in China over 4000 years ago? We need more non-polluting and renewable sources of energy like wind.

PŌHUTUKAWA – the personification of those passed on.
Have you lost anyone this past year? What influence did they have on your life? How can you keep their legacy alive?

HIWA-I-TE-RANGI – the personification of Dreams & Aspirations
What do you want to achieve over the next year? Plan now how you will make that happen.

Matariki at Ara

There will be lots happening at Ara to reflect and connect around Matariki. Watch your My Ara app to see what’s on offer and look out for the Matariki Star Making activity in the Library. You can also visit our Matariki page in Te Ao Māori Subject Guide for more resources on Matariki.


[Image owned by Ara Institute of Canterbury]




My Endnote hacks

Particularly useful for postgraduate studies is software called Endnote. It is a versatile reference management tool which allows you to:

  • Store, manage, organise and search your APA references in a personal library
  • Create bibliographies.
  • Import references from Ara databases, Google Scholar, Worldcat and more.
  • Create in-text citations and reference lists in word documents automatically.

EndNote Is free for Ara students and staff. Ara recommends and supports EndNote X8. 

You can download it to your personal device from the Ara Endnote Subject Guide.

Staff can contact ICT to have Endnote deployed to their Ara device and City campus students can access the software in L131 computers in the Library and L247, L248 and L249. It is also deployed to two study room computers at City campus for collaborative work in L225 and L226.

Here a few tips I have used to customise my Endnote library so I have all the information I need at my fingertips when writing up my assignments.

  1. Drag and drop PDFs into Endnote for automatic citation population

Look for the Bottom-Split option in the Layout tab which is in the bottom right corner of Endnote Library in Windows. This will allow you to drag and drop or attach your Science Direct and Pub Med articles in the box for PDF attachments to populate the citation details automatically.

2. All book citations are available in Worldcat.

For any title click Cite / Export to download the Endnote citation file to import in to Endnote.

3. Import journal article citations from Google Scholar

Click the hamburger icon and then the Settings cog in Google Scholar and choose Endnote in the Bibliography manager next to Show links to import citations into

4. Save a backup of your Endnote to the cloud 

It is useful to back up your library to the cloud using File / Compressed library (enlx) and replace that file whenever you update Endnote. That way if your Endnote ever gets accidentally corrupted you can always reinstate it from your compressed file. Make sure your compressed file is moved to a hard drive before opening it in Endnote.

Setting up APA for Ara using Cite While You Write (CWYW)

1. Change font or line spacing in your reference list using Endnote X8 ribbon in Word

Change font or line spacing in your reference list in Word using the options arrow in the Bibliography section of the Endnote X8 ribbon and select Layout to add your preferences e.g.

2. Refer to the APA guide for Ara students from within Endnote to check your citations are completely correct

Add a new citation into your Endnote Library for  the APA guide for Ara Institute of Canterbury students and attach the PDF.  Now you can use the search feature in Endnote for that PDF to find the relevant page for the type of citation you need to check. e.g. ebook

3. Before you hand in your assignment you can remove all Endnote formatting to make little changes to your reference list like add Retrieved from Proquest Ebook Central etc. Click on “convert citations and bibliography” and choose “Convert to plain text“. This will create a completely separate document you can edit at will. This is useful if your output is for a publisher and they want your copy without Endnote formatting.


Note : It is also worth uploading the Basic Endnote guide and the Advanced Endnote guide to search for other useful Endnote tips straight from your Endnote Library.

The library also runs Endnote Q &A clinics  at City campus once a month. See the Free study skills workshops timetable  in My Ara for the next session. See you there!

Accessing library ebooks

This video explains how you can get the most from our Proquest Central ebooks.

It includes how to :

  • view an ebook online anytime, anywhere
  • print a few pages or a chapter from an ebook
  • download an ebook for a few days for offline viewing.

For more library videos click here or access them anytime from Primo Library Search in My Ara

For printable guides about using our library resources visit the How do I guides also available in My Ara  in  Primo Library Search and in every Subject Guide.


Free study skills workshops and Q & A clinics


We are running free lunchtime study skills workshops and Q & A clinics at three campuses.

Here you can download the timetables for:

Workshop topics include:

  • Introduction to academic writing
  • Essay writing
  • APA referencing
  • Paraphrasing
  • Grow your brain
  • Finding and using literature

Make the most of these freebies!




A Life Less Ordinary – Art exhibition by Julie Humby – February 25th -28th March at Chamber Gallery, Rangiora

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If you are in Rangiora, over the next few weeks, pop in to the Chamber Gallery which is in the Rangiora Community Library to view an exhibition by our very own Ara Art Curator and Assistant Librarian, Julie Humby.

“A Life Less Ordinary, sees Humby explore the beauty of everyday objects in nature – the poetic potential in the ordinary and the connection that we have with the natural living world, and our relationship with it, through wonder and curiosity.

The exhibition is comprised of objects of naturalia, artificialia, exotica and mirabilia displayed in a manner that references the Cabinets of Curiosity mode of display, referencing and questioning accepted scientific classification as we move into a post disciplinary era.” – (Humby, 2019) .


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As part of Julie’s submission for Master of Media Art, this exhibition is well worth a close up look to truly appreciate the enormous amount of work behind the creativity. My favourite is an amazing peacock feather lampshade. What’s yours?