Holiday adventures on Quail Island

Quail island

Looking for something interesting to do over the Christmas holiday break. Why not spend a fascinating day exploring Quail Island in Lyttelton Harbour.

The island is steeped in history. At various times used as a leper colony, quarantine station and working farm. Today the island is a nature reserve with extensive planting and a resident population of native bird species.

There is an excellent 2.5 hour circuit track around the island taking in many points of interest. There are a number of historic sites to visit as well as an informative heritage centre. Alternatively, take a picnic lunch and your swimming gear and spend a relaxing day at Swimmers Bay. Access to the island is via Black Cat cruises each morning and afternoon except Christmas day.

Additional information is located here:


Christchurch NZ tourism i-site:

New Zealand Geographic:

Black Cat Cruises:



Architectural Design students work on display

When you visit the library over the next couple of weeks you will be able to view some examples of work from our 2015 Architectural Design students

A requirement of their study is to consult with an existing business, then design and build a piece of furniture/equipment for them.

Information card for multi-level student study nook

We are pleased to have the following four examples on display in the library.

Mondrian inspired display unit






 These items fill a dual need:  partially as functional furniture but also as uplifting works of display art.

Bespoke desk – storage unit


Multilevel student study nook


Mirror image display installation

















These items will be on display for the next four weeks, please come and view them!

SMS notification service now available!

Are you sick of paying overdue fines for late Library books? Want to know when your hold books are available?

We have the solution for you…

email-notification-on-smartphone-shutterstock-350pxWe are pleased to announce the arrival of our Library SMS notification service.
Register now to be instantly notified of:

  • upcoming due dates
  • holds available for pick-up
  • overdue materials
  • outstanding fines/fees
SMS notifications will not replace or override your current notification preferences.

Want to Sign Up?

It’s Easy! First go to the LRC homepage:
1.  Click on [My Library Account] at the center right of the page.
2.  Under the login boxes click on Sign up now to register for text messages.
2.  Read the information about text messages, then click [Continue] on the bottom left of the page.
3.  Complete the boxes with your contact information and click [Submit]
4.  Click [register] to join. You will now receive text notifications.
Please make sure you read the terms and conditions before signing up for this service.

ANZAC Day 2015: 100th Anniversary

Anzac Day Commemoration

This ANZAC Day, April 25th 2015,  marks one hundred years since the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) first landed on the beaches of the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Many special commemorative events will be held throughout Christchurch to mark the event.

The following information is from the Christchurch City Council community events page.

Anzac cove, dawn service

Dawn service

The dawn service will be held in Cranmer Square.

  • 6am–6.15am: the people gather
  • 6.15am: the parade begins
  • 6.30am: the service begins centred around the memorial cenotaph
  • 7. 15am: the service concludes with wreath-laying

Organised by the Canterbury Branch of the Malayan Veterans Association in conjunction with the Christchurch Branch of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RSA) and Christchurch City Council.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel will lay a wreath on behalf of the citizens of Christchurch.

Citizens’ Service: 10am – Christ Church Transitional Cathedral, Latimer Square

Organised by Christchurch City Council in conjunction with Christchurch Cathedral and the RSA. It will be attended by representatives of the Defence Force, Consular Corps and various Christchurch youth groups.

Find more Anzac Day services

CPIT will be closed on Saturday the 25th for ANZAC commemorations and also Monday the 27th as this is the first instance of a “mondayised” holiday.

Changes to library opening hours over Summer

The Christmas holiday season and the end of the academic year are almost upoun us. Our hours of operation change for the period December through January.

Our opening hours for the period Monday 1st December 2014 -Friday 30th January 2015 will be:

Monday to Friday          8 am – 5 pm

Saturday                          Closed

Sunday                             Closed

Our usual opening hours will resume from Monday the 2nd February 2015.

Cup and Show week: 8-16th November 2014


New Zealand’s most vibrant and exciting spring festival, New Zealand Cup and Show Week, kicks off on Saturday 8th November 2014.


Canterbury A & P Show 2013,
Canterbury A & P Show 2013,


New Zealand Cup & Show week has something for everyone: fashion, racing, cuisine, outdoor activities and the A & P Show.

CPIT  will be  closed on Friday the 14th November for Canterbury Anniversary Day, it is a perfect opportunity for you to take part in some of the many exciting activities available over the week.


For more information check out the official site:


1916: The Year of Stalemate

1916: The year of Stalemate

By many measures, 1916 was the worst year of the First World War. More soldiers were killed during 1916 than any other year of the war. Although the year would start with some small hope, by the end stalemate on land had truly set in. Gone was the belief that the war would be “over by Christmas”, and a new understanding of the price to be paid would start to emerge.

The Battle Of The Somme - Attack Of The Ulster Division - By J. P. Beadle (Cranston Fine Arts)
The Battle Of The Somme – Attack Of The Ulster Division – By J. P. Beadle (Cranston Fine Arts)

Focus on Europe

Of note during the year were the final withdrawal from Gallipoli, the Battles of the Somme, Verdun and massive conflagrations on the Eastern Front.  The battle for control of the Atlantic had started to heat up, with major sea battles at Jutland and Dogger Banks and the scourge of the U Boat developing.

On land, the focus of battle had shift from peripheral regions to the trenches of the Western Front. For good or for bad the war would be decided at sea and in Northern France and Belgium.

British 39th Siege Battery RGA Somme 1916, IWM
British 39th Siege Battery RGA Somme 1916, IWM


New Zealand’s role

New Zealand forces had finally shift our prime focus to Europe, before the end of the year the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) would be fully committed to the titanic battles taking place there.

Thankfully, we were not involved in the early stages of the disastrous Battle of the Somme ( 60 000 casualties on day one, 20 000 dead within 24 hours).

NZ troops unloading at a French port 1916, IWM
NZ troops unloading at a French port 1916, IWM



However, our forces would play a significant part in the later stages of the battle and start to build the enviable reputation for toughness and resourcefulness that characterised them later in the war.

WW100: Disease: The greatest enemy of all

When people think about casualties caused by war they envision combat dead but disease has historically been a far greater danger.

A Hospital Ward : a dysentery ward of the General Hospital at Port Said. James McBey 27 June 1917. © IWM (Art.IWM ART 2941)
A Hospital Ward : a dysentery ward of the General Hospital at Port Said. James McBey 27 June 1917. © IWM (Art.IWM ART 2941)

Disease: the greatest enemy?

Was the Great War the first major conflict in which disease caused fewer deaths than armed combat?

 A comparison of war casualties from the pre First World War era is informative:

  • Peninsular Wars, Southern Europe, 1808-1815. Deaths from disease 70%, combat deaths 30%.
  • Crimean War, Eastern Europe, 1853-1856. British deaths from disease 55%, combat deaths 45%.
  • American Civil War, North America, 1861-1865. Deaths from disease 56%, combat deaths 44%.
  • First and Second Boer Wars, South Africa, 1880-1881, 1899-1902. British deaths from disease 66%, combat deaths 34%.
  • Russo-Japanese-War, Asia, 1904-1905. Japanese deaths from disease 35%, combat deaths 65%.
Apart from the Russo-Japanese war, it is obvious that more soldiers died from disease than from combat in the pre war period.
Malaria prevention at Salonika, during the  Q 32159 British soldiers stand on parade, waiting to receive their daily dose of the anti-malaria drug quinine, in Salonika during the First World War
British soldiers stand on parade, waiting to receive their daily dose of the anti-malaria drug quinine, in Salonika during the First World War. © IWM (Q 32159)
Of the 10 million military deaths during the First World War, 6-7 million died in combat and a staggering 3-4 million died from infectious diseases.

Improvements in ambulatory services, surgery and medical treatment meant that fewer died from infections & sickness. Regardless, a third of deaths during the war still resulted from disease.

Common vectors of illness

The types of illness across theatres is remarkably similar. Epidemics of typhus, malaria, typhoid (the infamous enteric fever), diarrhoea, yellow-fever, pneumonia and influenza, innumerable cases of venereal disease & scabies affected all nations.

A sergeant of the Lancashire Fusiliers in a flooded dugout opposite Messines near Ploegsteert Wood, January 1917. © IWM (Q 4665)
A sergeant of the Lancashire Fusiliers in a flooded dugout opposite Messines near Ploegsteert Wood, January 1917. © IWM (Q 4665)

Conditions in the trenches also caused specific diseases: trench fever, trench mouth and trench foot were all caused by the filthy conditions. Gangrene and tetenus were also problems.

The deadly 1918 Spanish Influenza was indirectly a result of the massive concentration of men in sub optimum conditions.

The New Zealand story

Of our 16 700 war dead, approximately 11% died of disease. This is 1600 women and men, including 275 from the 1918 Influenza pandemic alone.

Further reading:

Jared M. Diamond, (2005). Guns, germs and steel : a short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years. HM626DIA

Here is transcript of a lecture delivered by Professor Francis Cox, of Gresham College on this subject:  The First World War: Disease, The Only Victor:

Here is an interesting statistical breakdown from the Otago medical School about New Zealand casualties:

Nick Wilson et. al. Injury Epidemiology and New Zealand Military Personnel in World War One:

The primary site for WW100 commemoration in New Zealand:New Zealand WW100:

The Breeze Walking Festival

Why not get outside and enjoy our beautiful City.

The Breeze Walking Festival 2014 starts this Saturday and runs through until Monday the 6th October.


The Festival is a celebration of walking in Christchurch. All trips are free to join & are a great introduction to the joys of travel on your own two feet. There are a series of 38 walks of different length and difficulty ranging from strolls with young children right through to all day tramps on the Port Hills and Canterbury foothills.

Details of the walks with information about transport, meeting places and grade can be found at any of the following sites:

Click to access WalkingFestivalBookletV2WEB.pdf


Walking “The Long Pathway”

Spring has arrived and for people who enjoy the outdoors fine weather means trips to the mountains, valleys and forest. What a lot of people dont realise is that New Zealand has one of the premier long distance walking trails in the world, the Te Araroa Trail

Te Araroa Trail (TaT)

CapeReinga, start of Te Araroa trail
Cape Reinga, start of Te Araroa trail,

Te Araroa (The Long Pathway) is New Zealand’s long distance tramping route, from Cape Reinga to Bluff, a distance of over 3000 km’s.

Mark Percy (left) and Fiona Mackenzie, Te Araroa’s project manager in the North, install the sign at the Govan Wilson end of the new track. Te Araroa Trust, 2011


The trail has approximately 300 sections ranging from walks of 1–2 hours through to a 9-day route in the South Island where full equipment must be carried. Te Araroa joins a mixture of existing tracks and walkways, new tracks and link sections alongside roads.
The straight line distance from Cape Reinga to Bluff is 1475 km, but the Te Araroa Trail covers a longer nominal distance of 3000 km. and is constantly being adjusted.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing, part of the Te Araroa Trail,



Methods of madness

“Through hiking”, or walking the full length of the trail in one go,  takes three to six months. The fastest effort was by British ultramarathon runner Jezz Bragg, who managed 53 days during the 2012-13 season.

Some walkers report around 100 days, but many take their time to enjoy the whole season and spend around 150 days. Most start in September-October and finish early in the new year.

Ridge to Roses saddle, Motatapu Alpine track, Te Araroa,




You can also “section hike” various parts of the trail. Section hikers work their way along the trail section by section. In this case it may take several years to complete the whole trail, but the end result is the same.

I am currently section hiking the South Island part of the trail.

Looking north and back down the West Sabine as we climb the moraine above Blue Lake. The hut is just inside the bush edge at the far end of the lake.
Blue lake to Waiau Pass in Nelson Lakes National Park, Te Araroa Trail,



How about it, will you take up the challenge?

If you are a fit, keen person looking for a life altering challenge, perhaps the TaT is for you. Check the resources below for more information about the Trail and those who have walked its length:






A Walking Guide To New Zealand’s Long Trail: Te Araroa by Geoff Chapple. This is the official guide book for anyone thinking of walking the trail


TeAraroa_logo The official Te Araroa Trust website:  Information, trail maps, gear lists etc.


patbanner3Here is one of my favourite blogs from Kiwiscout, a New Zealander who through walked the trail in2013/2014:


StartPortraitAnother great blog about walking the Te Araroa, from Nicky and Cookie:


CaptureSome section hikers, Rob and Debby McColl walk from Cape Reinga to Bluff on the Te Araroa Trail: