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:

Samoan Language Week 2020 list of national events:

Gagana Samoa i Aotearoa Facebook page:

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 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.


Library Open Day Today!

Come  and see us and learn some stuff you didn’t know about the Library whilst munching on some Cookie Time Cookies, building a tower of cards and answer a skill question about the Library and go in the draw to win some movie vouchers. Winners will be drawn and announced by midday Thursday.

Celebrate International Mother Language Day – Friday 21st February

This Friday Library is International Mother Language Day and the Library would like to invite you to take part in our celebration of this important day. International Mother Language Day is a day that is intended to celebrate and protect all the languages of the world. There are approximately 6000 languages on this planet, of which 43% are endangered.

We wish to celebrate the diversity of culture we have here at Ara and we thought we could do this in a few ways. Please join us in the Library to stick a pin in our world map to share with others where you are from. There will also be board with a bunch of Post-Its where you can write and write a greeting or proverb in your mother language.

Or you could share an example on our Library Facebook Page, an image or short video of your written or spoken Mother Language

Contributions from students from previous years

Hope to see you in the Library tom

World Kindness Day

Today is World Kindness Day and there is a lot to like about the good feelings that stem from being kind to someone, or by having someone be kind towards you, or simply by being kind to yourself.

World Kindness Day is about thinking about how we can become happier, and help the world by doing kind things for ourselves and others.

Today is also referred to as Radom Acts of Kindness Day and you can find information about being a RAKtavist and many, many, suggestions for kind acts at RAK

Join us at the City Campus Library for Random Acts of Kindness Day where we have created a large scale dice that you can roll and it will reveal a kindness suggestion, plus you will receive a small gift form us. This activity starts at 10 am and will continue until there are no treats left.



What act of kindness will you do today?

Fijian Language Week

This blog is brought to you by Kevin Brennan, Manager of Learning Services

Na noqu vosa – ai takele ni noqui tovo

My language anchors my culture.

If you’ve ever been to Fiji, you’ll be very familiar with the greeting ‘Bula’, accompanied by a friendly, welcoming smile. With over 14,000 residents of Fijian heritage in New Zealand, you may have the opportunity to offer the greeting ‘Ni sa bula Vinaka’ to visitors yourselves. This is Fijian Language week (6-12 October), celebrating the culture and language of our Pacific neighbours (Ministry of Pacific Peoples, 2019).

Figure 1: Fijians meet to celebrate Fiji Day (Cook Island News, 2018).

Fijian Language Week is nearly over but not quite yet. There is still time to learn some of the Fijian language and partake in cultural activities in Christchurch. On Friday 11th there is a Cultural Night planned and on Saturday 12th the Fiji Language Week Family Fun Day is an all-day event. Check out the Ministry of Pacific Peoples’ webpage ( for more information. Another great source of information about Fiji, its people, language and culture, is the Christchurch City Libraries webpage.

Did you know next week (13-20 October is Nuie Language Week?

Vinaka moce mada

Cook Island News. (2018, October 15). Fijians meet to celebrate Fiji Day [Photograph]. Retrieved from

Ministry for Pacific Peoples. (2019). Celebration of Fijian language and Culture [Factsheet]. Retrieved from

Database, n. /ˈdeɪtəbeɪs/: A structured set of data held in computer storage.



I have been accused of always having to have the last word. Well I can assure you that is not the case. The only one who gets to have the final word is the Oxford English Dictionary, which is considered the definitive record of the English language. The last English word according to them is: Zyzzyva, which is a form of weevil found in South America. How do you pronounce it? Well they do have a pronunciation guide on the site, but I must admit I am still at a loss. So, I can’t have the last word as I can’t even spell it let alone say it. My innocence is confirmed.

The Oxford English Dictionary is just one of many Ara Library databases that can help you with your learning. They range in content from online interactive encyclopedias like Britannica to profession specific conglomerations (look it up) of full text research journals like CINAHL and Engineering Source. These databases are the best ways to find authoritative words turned into information that will make your tutor smile.

The Oxford English Dictionary has a “Word of the Day” on its website. Today’s word was Nebby which is a Scottish word for being inquisitive and nosy. So, I encourage you to get nebby today and see how our databases can help you. There are many more important words to be discovered, all of which promise to be more useful than the last word.

This guest blog has been brought to you by Colleen Finnerty, Knowledge Advisor


Samoan Language Week

Mālō le soifua manuia,

Greetings & good health to all you beautiful people.

Many of you may know that it is that time of the year again where we raise the stakes and challenge ourselves by learning and supporting our first Pacific nations to become independent but also one of the first pacific language weeks to celebrate and embrace for 2019 which is……the Samoan Language or in the Samoan Language it is O le Gagana Sāmoa.

The country of Sāmoa was formally known as Western Sāmoa, however since the celebration of the independence for this country (plus the Americans keep trying to claim them as one of their states) Sāmoa has become a nation that has integrated and migrated not just in Aotearoa but the people of Samoa have Success spreading all over the world and globally making an impact because the ROCK Dwayne Johnson has exploded onto the big screen and producing block buster movie after movie. We also can’t forget our sport superheroes and legends just to name a few Ma’a Nonu(All Blacks) and Maria Tutaia(Silver Fern). However in the music world particularly here in Aotearoa our very own Chch girl Ladi6 and even the opera sensations SOLèMio. The list could go on. There are a few things that they all have in common are:

– All Proud Samoans

– All believe in themselves

– All love Samoan foods


In short, the Pacific & Sāmoa is all around us and we can all support them. Until next time….

Manuia lava

Toe feiloa’i

Bless you

See you again


This guest blog has been kindly contributed by Jason Tiatia