Category Archives: Helping the community

Amazing people doing great things locally, nationally and internationally and opportunities for students to volunteer and get involved with community projects.

Christchurch roadwork update website

Screenshot of the Transport for Christchurch website
Screenshot of the Transport for Christchurch website

I don’t know about you but driving through Christchurch can be incredibly frustrating! It really boils my blood when I’m trying to get somewhere and then I realise that the road up ahead is closed and I’ve been diverted. And then I’m on a one way. And then I’m stuck in traffic. And then I’m going in circles, still unable to reach my destination.  AHHHHH.

However I just discovered this really handy website which I find a lifesaver…so I wanted to share it with all of you! Once you head to you’ll see that there are a few helpful tools to stop your road rage in its tracks! You can look at a map of the city and see where there are: roadworks, road closures, incidents and get an idea of your approximate journey time. I find this really great for planning the fastest and least stressful driving route. The website also includes information about parking spaces and rates within the city, which makes it even easier for you to head out and about in Christchurch.

So check it out and make your sure you’re having lazy Sundays instead of stressful ones!

My day at the Human Rights Commission Diversity Forum!

The other day (Monday 25th) I had a really awesome experience when I attended the Human Rights Commission Diversity Forum as part of their media team. I first heard about this opportunity through an email from the Media and Communications Department at UC, and as soon as I saw it I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.

The forum was held at UC, mainly in C Block lecture theatres. On the day I was given control of the NZ Race Relations Twitter page to update throughout the forum with photos, quotes from speakers and information from various talks. I sat right in the front row along with two other UC media students which was  a prime position for capturing photos! Over the day many interesting issues were discussed including:  how employers can embrace diversity, what tools are provided by Immigration New Zealand to help new workers integrate into society, and employment challenges new migrants encounter. Once the forum had ended we were invited to attend an awards ceremony where I had the pleasure of meeting the Governor General, and even the Chancellor of the University, Dr John Wood.

For me this experience was incredibly valuable, as it is in my area of interest (media) and allowed me to make contacts within the industry. My advice for UC students would be to give everything a go as you’ll never know what great chances you could be missing if you don’t try. I highly recommend making the most of opportunities such as this while you attend UC as they are enriching experiences that provide you with great work experience for the future, and are valuable on your CV! Remember to check your emails regularly to see what pops up, and don’t feel shy to ask lecturers and department co-ordinators, as they have the inside knowledge.

If you would like to read more about this year’s Human Rights Commission Forum, or would like to keep a look out for next year’s date, then visit this website (this annual event is free)

NZ SIGN LANGUAGE COURSE – embracing the official language

Most of us know that the New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is one of the official languages; the third one to be precise and yet is hardly ever used by a hearing person. This could simply be due to the lack of knowledge or understanding of the culture and norms of the deaf community.

Fortunately, the University’s Disability Resource Services offers a short course in sign language in Term 4 which has returned on popular demand. Open to all students and staff, the course covers basic phrases in NZSL, finger-spelling alphabets, some University specific vocabulary, basic grammar and information about deaf culture and norms.

The course is taught by Josje Lelijveld, who is deaf herself. Don’t be startled by that, she has over 20 years of experience in teaching deaf awareness and sign language classes. So, you’re getting the real deal, legit and straightforward. For a humble fee of NZ$60, the course runs every Tuesday from  9 September to 14 October from 1-1.50 pm in Seminar Room 210 of Puaka-James Hight.

Here’s the link to the course that contains more information, the course registration form and fee payment instructions:

A few things you should know and consider before registering:

  1. The course will only run IF there are sufficient enrolments
  2. Once the course is confirmed, the course fee is non-refundable.
  3. There is only one session very week in the same time frame. So make sure you will be available to commit to the time, as the classes are interlinked. However, you won’t be at a total loss if you miss one.

If you’re keen but still need more information then please contact the Disability Resource Services team at