Ground broken on new UCSA building Haere-roa

A ground-breaking ceremony was held on Friday to celebrate the new University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) building, with Leighs Construction to begin work before the end of the month.

Despite the wet weather there was a good turnout at the event. Guests included UC alumni, donors, friends of the UCSA, Leighs Construction staff, UC staff and UC clubs and students.

UC 17-0296-39 - UCSA groundbreakingUCSA President James Addington and Chancellor | Tumu Kaunihera  Dr John Wood were on official ground-breaking duties, along with Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Whakarae Dr Rod Carr and Chair of the UCSA building fundraising committee David Caygill.

At the ceremony James also announced the new UCSA building will be named Haere-roa. The name has been kindly gifted to the UCSA by mana whenua, Ngāi Tūāhuriri and is linked to the Ōtākaro Avon River, which flows past the UCSA site. The name also strongly aligns with UC’s campus-wide cultural narrative.

James explained the name Haere-roa translates to the longest stream or the long wanderer. It recognises the UCSA as a space that hosts and welcomes people. For many UC students the UCSA will be an important part of their journey, it’s a place where they will receive support, access resources, learn new things and meet new people, preparing them for the next part of their journey.

Read the full story about the UCSA ground-breaking.

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Our roving Intercom reported  sat down with UCSA President James Addington to get his take on the new UCSA building:

What facilities/events can students expect in the new building?Everything that currently happens in the UCSA Events Centre (Foundry & Bentley’s) will move into the new building. The large events that happen on the fields (e.g. Tea Party) will also move back to the UCSA building site. Performance clubs will have a fit-for-purpose theatre. There will also be additional spaces, eg, movie space, outdoor amphitheatre and multi-functional spaces, where our students can organise new events and activities.

What aspect of the new building are you most excited about?Personally, the Ngaio Marsh Theatre is what I am most excited about. Instead of our performance clubs having to make do with the Jack Mann Theatre, they will now have a brand new student facility available for shows.

What will happen to the beloved Foundry building?
UC owns the building (UCSA operates and owns the fit-out) so who knows. It could potentially stay where it is and be repurposed.


Get ready for a week-long festival of sustainability, celebrating the best of what people are doing to create a sustainable future!

This festival brings together students, staff and the wider community, and showcases a range of sustainability initiatives. These include a market day hosted by UC’s Eco Clubs, e-bike trials and a cycle cinema, a tasting session, a spotlight on green building and a garden party to wrap the week up… plus heaps more. Check out the full Sustainapalooza programme here.


During the week we will also be celebrating the 2017 UC Sustainability Awards. These are a great chance to acknowledge the hard work, the innovation, imagination, optimism and endurance of many of our students and staff beavering away to make our world a greener place. Nominations for the Awards are open until the end of August. If you know someone whose work deserves acknowledgement, nominate them! The nomination form can be found here.

Nominations for the 2017 UC Sustainability Awards are open from 1-31 August.

The Supreme Winner this year will win a package trip to one of the South Island’s best little towns – Hokitika – via a stunning journey through the Alps on the Tranz Alpine train.

Sustainapalooza is being held 18-22 September. The Sustainability Awards Ceremony is Thursday 21 September.

See you there!

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us:

Learn to Negotiate

We come across situations all the time at work where two parties have different priorities and need to come to an agreement. Come along to our one day Negotiation Skills workshop to learn how to create a win-win situation.

This one-day course provides practical tools and strategies that managers and staff can implement in everyday negotiations so the perceived stress and fear of negotiation is removed, resulting in improved morale, creative solutions and successful outcomes.

A participant who attended the last workshop commented:

“I feel I have more confidence and can plan better for situations where negotiation is required.”

Find out more about Negotiation Skills and enrol now so you don’t miss out!

Negotiation Skills Workshop

Date: Friday 22 September

Time: 9am – 4.30pm

Not the course that you are looking for? Please visit our Learning and Development intranet page to view our courses/workshops and programmes or if you have any questions contact Learning & Development.

UC part of ‘Week of Engineering’

From welding chocolate to virtual reality bike rides and robotic vehicles, the ‘Week of Engineering’ has something for everyone.

Running from 31 July to 5 August in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, the ‘Week of Engineering’ (now in its second year) is all about showcasing amazing engineering and attracting people to the profession.

170727 - Week of EngIPENZ Chief Executive Susan Freeman-Greene says it offers people the chance to indulge their curiosity, be challenged and explore an interactive world of engineering.

“More than 45 engineering organisations around the country will be giving the public a hands-on look at what engineers do – perfect for kids and anyone who wants an inside look at how things work.”

UC Engineering will have several displays at the expo at Ara Institute in Ōtautahi Christchurch, which will feature design-and-build competitions and interactive displays.

170727 - Week of Eng text

UC is also involved in other engineering-related events during the week, including:

I thought I was quite privileged, until….

I thought I was quite privileged, until I did the UC DiversityFest privilege walk.

I had a light-bulb moment when I went to see how the Privilege Walk board was filling up in Puaka-James Hight Library. I set the board up a week ago, and was the first person to mark my final position. At number 17 I thought that must be about average, because it’s in the middle.

Fast-forward a week and I was floored to find out… I’m not average at all!

170727 - privilege walk diversity

Participants are asked to respond to 35 statements about power and privilege by either taking a step forward, back, or remaining in place. The closer you are to number 1 at the end, the more power and privilege you have. Participants are then asked to reflect on the question, ‘How can my understanding of my privileges or marginalisations improve my existing relationships with myself and others?’

As a sociology graduate these kinds of questions have always fascinated me, but my light-bulb moment was to realise another reason why; because in this environment, I’m not actually that privileged. In some deep corner of my mind I must have guessed it but here was the proof I needed. So how can I use this new-found knowledge?

Going back to the question, how can my new-found understanding improve my relationship with myself: This exercise made me see how many of the circumstances in my life, beyond my control (such as my parents going through a divorce, having to work during secondary and higher education, and being bullied for something I can’t change) have made me less privileged than others. It made me reflect on some of the challenges on my path to university, and how the echoes of certain unavoidable marginalisations continue to challenge me today.

As to the question, how can my new-found understanding improve my relationship with others: The exercise made me wonder about the stories of those at numbers 34 and 36 – those individuals must have overcome incredible odds to be at UC today. And for numbers 1 and 3, did it come as a surprise to them; how did it make them feel? How do we feel as a group to realise our ‘average privilege’ is quite high?

It was certainly an eye-opening experience for me and I hope you will give it a go. The displays are up until 1 August, in all campus libraries.

I’m looking forward to the follow-up talk on 2 August and hearing about your experiences!