Need help with your final assignments or your exams?

Drop into the lunchtime Quick Questions at Learning Services at the back of the Madras Campus library! A learning advisor is available Monday-Friday, 12-1pm to answer your quick questions about exam strategies, APA, understanding your assessments, or anything to do with successful study.

Or do you prefer learning in your own time? Check out our online StudySmart resources, available through MyAra. StudySmart has videos, explanations, tip sheets and activities on all sorts of learning topics and assessment types. e.g. APA Referencing, Report Writing, Poster Presentations, Exam and Test preparation, and many other topics. Check them out today!

Tokelau Language Week 2020

Mālo ni! 

The Tokelau Language Week is on! Let us remind everyone a wee bit about Tokelau: this New Zealand dependent territory is located about 500 km north of Samoa. It consists of 3 atolls with the population around 1500 Tokelauans.

There are over 7000 Tokelau peoples living in New Zealand with over half of the country’s Tokelau community living in the Porirua and Hutt Valley areas of Wellington.

Flag of Tokelau

Tokelau Language week is an opportunity to celebrate the unique culture of Tokelau and its people.

The 2020 Tokelau Language theme is ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea i te galutau. Ke mau mai, ke mau mai’ which in English translates to, ‘Never give up hope, even amidst chaos and much uncertainty. Stay united, stay strong’.

Poster for Tokelau Language Week 2020

Get a sense of how Tokelau language sounds like in the following video:

And if you want, you can learn a phrase or two from the following table:

Mālō ni = Hello
E ā mai koe? = How are you?
Ko au e mālohi, Fakafetai = I am well, thank you
Tulou = Excuse me
Ulu tonu mai = Welcome
Tōfā = Good bye
Fakafetai lahi lele = Thank you very much
Ke manuia koe i te Alofa o te Atua = May you be blessed in God’s love
Ke fakamanuia e te Atua ia = Tokelau May God bless Tokelau

We’ll putting some useful links below where you can learn more about Tokelau, it’s peoples and its language.

Tofa ni!

Looking for a place to use te reo Māori on campus?

Kōrero mai, kōrero atu ki te Whare Pukapuka ki Ara

To acknowledge the Māori Language Moment on September 14th at 12 noon the Ara Academic Support team (Library, Disability and Learning Services) will all be using Te Reo Māori to greet students and staff. This will also signify the launch of the Ara Libraries as Māori Talk Zones.

Due to New Zealand being at COVID-19 Alert Level 2, many of the traditional celebrations for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori have been cancelled for 2020. Today at noon, our nation is coming together for a Māori Language Moment. This is to honour the presentation of a petition to parliament on this day, 30 years ago, asking for Te Reo Māori to be taught in Aotearoa New Zealand schools.

There are many ways for you to participate in the Māori Language Moment. Click on this link to find out how https://www.tewikiotereoMā and also remember to register online, so that we can reach our national goal of one million people engaging with Te Reo Māori during our Māori Language Moment.

When:             from Monday 14th September

Time:              12.00pm (midday)

Location:        Madras Library

Cost:               Free

On Monday 14th September

Greetings:           Ata marie – Good morning

Ahiahi marie – Good afternoon

Pō mārie – Good evening

Phrase:                 He āwhina māu Can I help?

Phrase:                 Ka pai! Well done

On Monday 21st September

Phrase:                 Kei te pai? Are you ok?

Phrase:                 Tino pai That’s great

There will be resources in the library to support staff and students, also on My Ara there is a link to the pronunciation of our 2019 Kupu Kards.

Our Ara Academic Support team are planning to have their Māori Language Moment last a whole year, and to add new greetings and phrases each year.

Festival of Adult Learning

What do Zoom meetings and the NZ Sharemarket have in common? These are two things I’ve learnt a lot more about in 2020.

What do kimchi and quilting have in common? Well, they are two things you can learn more about during this year’s Festival of Adult Learning!

The Festival of Adult Learning Ahurei Ākonga (formerly Adult Learners’ Week/He Tangata Mātauranga) runs from 7-13 September, 2020. It celebrates the endless possibilities and opportunities to take part in adult learning in Aotearoa New Zealand, which don’t necessarily take place in classrooms, require enrolment, assignments or assessments.

The Festival of Adult Learning also celebrates the achievements of everyone participating in Adult Community Education (ACE), both providers/educators and learners. With around half a million adult New Zealanders participating in community learning programmes each year, there is much to celebrate.

This year the Festival marks the culmination of a year-long celebration of Lifelong Learning. The Year of Lifelong Learning has included a symposium and other regular events to raise awareness of the benefits and outcomes of lifelong learning. Some key messages that resonate with me include:

  • Lifelong learning is one of four pillars identified as vital for wellbeing and positive ageing
  • Lifelong learning empowers adults by giving them the knowledge and skills to better their lives, their families and communities

So, would you like to learn how to quilt or make kimchi? They are just two of the 16 learning events taking place in Canterbury during the Festival of Adult Learning. Pop  into the Ara Madras campus Library for more information, or check out the Festival of Adult Learning website at

One final message about lifelong learning: Me ako inaianei – Learn Now!

Tongan Language Week 2020

Mālō e lelei! New Zealand celebrates Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga – Tonga Language Week this year from Sunday 6 September – Saturday 12 September. It’s an opportunity for us to connect with the language and culture of more than 80,000 people of Tongan heritage who live in Aotearoa.

This year’s theme is “Fakakoloa ‘o Aotearoa aki ‘a e Lotu Mo’oni – Enriching Aotearoa New Zealand through prayer and faith.” This theme is particularly timely as it drives our Tongan community’s response to the challenges of Covid19, with faith the foundation of much of the work occurring to persevere through these changing times. Our belief systems are helping us to connect and support one another in new ways, and churches are leading much of the recovery efforts, including creating and distributing masks, and addressing urgent food and housing needs.

The Pacific Island Students of Ara (PISA are marking Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga with a performance for students and staff by the Canterbury University Tongan Student Association. To join the celebrations, head to the Rakaia Centre at City Campus on Monday 7th September 12noon.

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

Matariki – week three: favourite local Māori food

This blog is brought to you by Dora Langsbury, Māori Learning Advisor. Content for this blog was provided by the CCC library website.

Kai (food) was an important part of Māori events such as Matariki festivals or tangi (funerals). Different rohe (regions) had their speciality foods. These were always served at such special occasions to show manaakitanga (hospitality) to their guests and to uphold the mana (status) of the mana whenua (hosts). Most hapū (subtribe) in the Ngai Tahu rohe have their marae near the coastline and kai moana (sea food) is usually considered their speciality food. There are six Ngāi Tahu hapu marae nearby to Christchurch, Rapaki, Onuku, Wairewa, Koukourarata, Taumutu and Ngā Tuahuriri.

Below is a list of their specialities:

  • paki – pioke (lemon fish)
  • Ōnuku – hoka (red cod)
  • Wairewa – tuna & hāpuka (eel & grouper)
  • Koukourārata – kuku (mussels)
  • Taumutu – tuna & pātaki (eel & flounder)
  • Ngā Tūāhuriri – kōura & tuatua (mollusc)







If you are interested in some of the food gathering practices (mahinga kai) of Ngāi Tahu, then this link will take you to 12 ten-minute videos which describe these processes which have been handed down through the generations.

Kupu o te rā o Ara whare pukapuka

  • pioke (lemon fish) 
  • hoka (red cod) 
  • kuku (mussels) 
  • tuna (eel) 
  • kōura (crayfish) 

Waiata mō te kai moana

Kina, kina (sea eggs)

Wheke, wheke (octopus)

Ika, ika (scaly fish)

Tuna, tuna (slimy eel)

Pipi, pipi (sandy white shell fish)

Paua, paua (abalone)

Kai moana e (they are all food from the sea)

Matariki – week two

This blog is brought to you by Dora Langsbury, Māori Learning Advisor. Content for this blog was provided by Te Ara The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand website and The Spin Off website.

Traditional Māori used the stars (whetū) to determine time and seasons. The rise of Matariki would signify remembrance, fertility and celebration. The portents of the star cluster, when it rose, determined when the crops for the coming season would be planted. If the stars were bright planting would begin in September. Hazy and closely bunched stars signified a cold winter and planting would be delayed until October. Matariki was a time of celebration as the star cluster rises at the end of the harvest (hauhake). People sung, danced and feasted (hākari) to acknowledge the abundance of food (kai) stored from the previous year and acknowledge the beginning of a new year.

Maramataka, the Māori lunar calendar, is like the moon (marama) planting calendars of other indigenous cultures. Māori and Pacific people are reviving and reconnecting with maramataka to restore systems and knowledge of planting, gathering and harvesting, both on land and in the waters and air. This calendar helps to identify the best days for planting, fishing and harvesting, as well as help to predict the year ahead. The Allright campaign have produced Te Rātaka o te Maramataka that you can download from their website to start your lunar.












Kupu o te rā o Ara whare pukapuka

  • Whetū – stars
  • Marama – moon
  • Maramataka – Māori lunar calendar
  • Kai – food
  • Hauhake – harvest
  • Hakari – celebration meal

Karakia mō te kai

Tēnei te whakamoemiti               We give thanks

Mō ngā ringawera                         to the hands

i whakaritea i ēnei kai                   who prepared this food

mai i te rangi                                   from the sky

mai i te whenua                             from the land

mai i te taiao                                   from the environment

Mauri ora!                                       Good health!

World Music Day

This guest blog is by Andrew Snell, Head of Performing Arts at Ara

Today (June 21) is World Music Day. For most of us, even those of us that are musicians, it’s a day that often goes by relatively unnoticed. Sadly, in 2020 it will barely register. You see, the main aim of World Music Day is to celebrate with free performances in large, public spaces; the very spaces in which audiences across the globe are not currently able to gather.

Covid-19 has all but killed off the global live performance industry. Cameron Mackintosh, one of the most successful producers of musical theatre has said that his four most successful West End shows won’t return to their London Theatres until 2021. Opera companies in the US are not planning to return to the stage until April next year. Some of the world’s leading orchestras are unlikely to survive without audiences. None of the world’s pop stars can tour.

Musicians around the world were familiar with the ‘gig economy’ well before it became a thing. The concept of the gig economy was founded on the way most musicians live; from gig to gig. Freelance musicians have seen almost all their work disappear from their diaries. But we’re a resilient and creative lot, us musicians!

Technology enables us to work in a different way, from isolated locations around the globe. A friend of mine from the UK received a text at 10pm while she was playing trombone in a west-end show (pre-lockdown). The text asked if she could record the trombone track for a TV commercial? No problem. By midnight? She finished the show, went to her camper van (where she had her laptop), sat in an empty carpark at 11.30, recorded a couple of takes and emailed them off by tethering her laptop to her mobile. The following morning, she turned on the TV and heard the track she’d recorded 10 hours earlier on a supermarket Christmas TV ad!

At Ara we have a responsibility to enable our students to embrace these challenges. Technology is embedded within our Music Arts programmes and the laptop is becoming as important an instrument as the guitar, bass or drums. Live performance, with human interaction will never be replaced as the main motivation for both performers and audiences, but this use of technology is an ever-growing part of the ‘gig’.

Here in Aotearoa we’re lucky to be able to restart our live performance industry. Music Arts students are playing to live audiences again, and we’ve already staged two productions at the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA), with a 3rd opening next week. During lock-down, our 200 performing arts students were able to connect with their tutors for instrumental or singing lessons online, NASDA students learned entire shows in isolation, then pieced them together once we returned to campus. Music Arts students created music projects by collaborating with each other online.

Music is arguably the art form that most influences our lives. We hear music every day; on the radio, on the TV, on our phones and in the street. Music triggers memories; of weddings, funerals, of events, significant or insignificant. We listen to music to relax, to brighten our days and to grieve. This is one reason why every Ara graduation ceremony contains music. NASDA students were due to perform at the Ara graduation ceremony earlier this year. When it was cancelled, and we went into lock-down we decided to perform anyway. Over a period of a few weeks, 80 NASDA students learned, practiced, and recorded their own individual parts for the song they would have sung to honor the graduates. These 80 individual recordings were then balanced, synchronised and eventually brought together in this video. Happy World Music Day. The music industry may be battered and bruised, but we’ll be back, and we’ll continue to write the soundtrack of your lives!

Help Us to Build the Biggest Repository of Free Images in the World

I have to admit that I have a thing for Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. I also have to admit that I have an even bigger thing for Wikimedia Commons, the biggest repository of free images in the world. 

Main page of Wikimedia Commons

One of the nicest things about the Commons is that everybody can contribute, including you!

Interested? Keep reading! 

In particular we’re after images that can illustrate articles on Wikipedia, or Wikidata, a new project that is trying to describe the whole world in a machine readable language. But, whenever you take a trip or anytime you go for a local stroll, there will likely be something that we would love to have in our photo collection. Things like sculptures, buildings, streets, bridges, hills, plants, animals, beaches or just public street lamps are all on the list of desired content.

But, there’s one catch. All of the images that you upload on Wikimedia Commons need to be released under a free licence so that they can be freely reused by anyone for any purpose. 

This is something that puts many people off. But the way I see it, in this world of private ownership, free sharing of information is the main benefit! 

Free images are often reused by the media or publishers and they all have to state me as an author. So, from a brief search on Google I can see that my photos have made it all the way to places like Radio New Zealand, Scoop or Stuff.

By releasing your photos under a free licence you help building the biggest educational source on Earth

How to start contributing? It’s easy:

  1. Identify Images That are Needed

You don’t have to do this and I often just take pictures of whatever I like. However, it’s always nice to see your pictures being used on Wikipedia or Wikidata. At this link you can find a map which shows red spots representing missing photos for objects in Christchurch that we would love to have. It’s far from an exhaustive list but it’s a great starting point.

We’re missing photos from all of these places!
  1. Go and Take Some Photos

Alright, this is the most entertaining part. Going to new places always feels good. Sometimes I think that it’s in our DNA to be on the move, to discover all the possibilities and corners of this beautiful world. It’s always better to use a camera for taking pictures but if you don’t have one, your smartphone will do the job too!

  1. Upload the Images

First, you need to create an account on Wikipedia Commons which is a very easy thing to do via this link. Then you can start uploading images. Don’t forget to give your photo a meaningful name and description so people can actually identify what’s in the picture. There is nothing more frustrating than a good picture of an unidentified object.

Upload form is straightforward – just follow the instructions

And that’s it! Congratulations, you have contributed to a project based on the idea that every single human has something to contribute to the image database that is trying to capture all areas of the world. Our work is never complete so be cautious of becoming a wikiholic.

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

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.