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.

Queen
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.

nz-order-of-merit-comp-lg
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.

unlogo
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.

BlueBeret
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.

mfo-teaser
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.

Peacekeepers

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.

UNForce

 

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…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

supergroove

2. Big Canoe, Tim Finn, 1986

BigCanoe

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

fatfreddys

4. Crowded House, Crowded House, 1986

Crowded+House

5. Revival, Katchafire, 2003

Katchafire

6. Loyal, Dave Dobbyn, 1986

Loyal

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

BrookeFraser

8. Broadcast, Strawpeople, 1992

hero_thumb_StrawpeopleCD

9. Six 60, Six60, 2011

Six60

10. Natures Best, Various artists, 2002

Nature's_Best_1_CD_cover

 

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?

Anzac Day 2020: #Stand at Dawn

AnzacBanner

This Saturday the 25th of April, 2020 is ANZAC Day.

ANZAC Day is the public holiday we have in New Zealand to honor those women and men both past and present who have served in the military services of our nation. Many did not return home so it only right that we remember them.

Anzac Day Crowd
A large crowd in the Strand, London on the first official Anzac Day in April 1916. (Getty Images)

ANZAC Day 2020 will be very strange indeed…because of the Covid 19 outbreak and subsequent lock-down this will be the first time since 1916 when there will be no public celebrations of the day anywhere in New Zealand or Australia.

The New Zealand Returned Services Association (RSA), Australian Returned Service League (RSL) in concert with both local and national authorities are promoting an alternative to the usual Dawn Service.RSALogo

This commemoration is titled:  #Stand at Dawn- apart but together as one. 

At 0600 hours on Saturday the 25th April they would like all New Zealanders & Australians to stand at their letterbox, at the end of their driveway, in their front yard or in their lounge as a way to commemorate the day.RSL-ColourGoldprint-Official

 

 

A national remembrance service will be broadcast by Radio New Zealand online and on the radio for those who wish to listen in.

This will truly be in the spirit of the ANZAC tradition as this event will be happening in Australia with the exact same format.

Join myself and the many millions of other Australians and New Zealanders both at home and around the world who will Stand at Dawn this Saturday.

StandatDawn

Lest we forget…..

Please note that as ANZAC Day falls in the weekend this year Ara Library will be closed on Monday the 27th April but will be back from 8 am on Tuesday the 28th.

Library availability over the Easter break

Once again and despite the Covid 19 situation Easter is upon us.

EasterHeading

No doubt Easter 2020 will be one to remember as we cannot do the usual things we would be doing at this time of the year…visiting our friends & family, going on vacation, Autumn trips into the back country or for those who are religious going to church.

Aratramping3
Stay home this Easter….the outdoors will still be there after Covid 19 is defeated…

Despite our requirement to stay isolated we can still celebrate the holiday with those in our social bubble. This Easter break why don’t you plan a special Easter meal, go for a local walk/bike ride with your bubble, contact a friend or family member to check their status or just stay home & treat yourself to a stress free day or two.

EasterMeal
Why not have a festive Easter meal over the holidays….

Here at Ara Library we will also be celebrating the Easter break so we will not be available from Friday the 10th April through to Tuesday 14th April. We will be monitoring our communication channels (both phone and online) but will not be able to answer any inquiries until the morning of Wednesday the 15th April.

From all of us here at Ara Library we wish you a happy Easter and we look forward to assisting you after the holidays.

Finally, please remember this Easter to stay home to fight COVID-19…

Covid19StayHomeBanner

Student Life: The Ara Tramping Club

Being a student is about hard work, striving to attain your goals and being your best possible self. But all work and no fun is a sure fire way to burn yourself out…even the most conscientious student needs to take a little down time to recharge those batteries.

StudentsStudy
Hard work is good but the body also needs emotional nourishment…

To that end there are a number of different clubs at Ara which cater to different interests. From sports clubs, cultural clubs to groups for social get togethers there are groups for everyone.

One activity that is personally close to my heart is tramping. Tramping is the word we use in New Zealand to describe hiking/walking trips into the outdoors. A tramp could range from a couple of hours walking to monster 10+ day expeditions to remote Wilderness Areas. There is no better way to experience New Zealand’s legendary scenic delights that by walking there on your own two feet.

Aratramping3
Classic New Zealand tramping: sand beaches, swing-bridges and bush….
Aratramping5
…..and mountain and stream…

Here at Ara we actually have a student tramping club which caters to this interest. The Ara Tramping Club was set up in 2019 by a group of students and aims to assist both the novice and the experienced back country trekker to find experience and companionship while outdoors.

AraTramping
Article about the Ara Tramping Club in the Feb/Mar edition of Waha Korero

There is a long history of club tramping in this country and it is an excellent way to find people with a similar interest in the outdoors. It also allows you to access the skills and experience more seasoned trampers have and is the best way to begin your introduction to this most excellent pursuit.

AraTramping2
Photos of a 2019 Ara Tramping Club trip to Woolshed Creek, Mt Somers

There is a recent article in the Ara student magazine, Waha Korero (February/March 2020) about the Ara Tramping Club. It is well worth a read if you are looking to join a club to get outdoors. They are actively seeking members (both experienced and inexperienced) and would love to hear from you.

Aratramping4
Port William Hut, Rakuira, backcountry huts are the focus of tramping in New Zealand

 

You can contact the club via email at aratramping@gmail.com or on Facebook @AraTramping. The club also advertises their regular planning meetings around the Campus. If you are a student, love the forests and hills and want to experience the essence of New Zealand then you should drop them a line.

I hope to see many of you out in the backcountry…

….may your lunches be dry, your huts empty and your wood sheds full….

Waitangi Day 2020…

Thursday February 6th 2020 is a public holiday in New Zealand…it is the day we celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

waitangi-meeting-house
The meeting house at Waitangi

The Treaty was signed in 1840 by representatives of the Crown and 45 Maori chiefs at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. Copies of the Treaty were then taken around the country and signed by various chiefs and sub chiefs.

Treatyofwaitangi
The actual Treaty of Waitangi

Waitangi Day was officially commemorated for the first time in 1934, and became a public holiday in 1974

If you would like to know more about the history of the Treaty, and the social, legal, and political impact the Treaty has had on life in Aotearoa, there many resources available in the library & online. Here are a few examples:

WishartbookWishart, Ian. (2012) The Great divide: the story of New Zealand & its treaty

Claudia Orange    Orange, C. (1989). The story of a Treaty

Vincent O'Malley   O’Malley, V. (2010). The Treaty of Waitangi companion

The Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti O Waitangi, from the Waitangi Tribunal website

If you are planning on staying home on Thursday then tune into Maori TV . There will be extensive coverage of Waitangi Day celebrations from around the country.

Whatever you do on February the 6th, enjoy the day, and celebrate the uniqueness that is Aotearoa New Zealand.