Category Archives: Wellbeing

New financial support at UC: Pōhā Iti bursary

UC understands that being a student can be financially challenging, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the issue for some. It’s important to know that domestic students and international PhD students who are currently experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 may be eligible for financial support via a newly created bursary named Pōhā Iti.


A pōhā is a kelp bag that was used traditionally (and is still used today) for preserving meat and birds such as tītī (muttonbird) for extended periods of time. Just as a pōhā can hold several birds at once, but we only take them out one bird at a time as we need sustenance, this financial support provides an opportunity for ākonga (students) to receive incremental payments over time in order to help sustain them in their studies.


The monetary value of the bursary is $3,000 split across three payments of $1,000 each, and there are 100 currently available for students who meet the eligibility criteria to apply for. For this, applicants must:

  • Be a currently enrolled student
  • Be a part time or full time domestic student (Undergrad, Postgrad, PhD) or an international doctoral student studying towards a PhD or equivalent
  • Be currently in New Zealand
  • Demonstrate that you require assistance as a result of COVID-19


For more information about Pōhā Iti and other financial support options available at UC, please visit the financial assistance webpage. The online application form for Pōhā Iti can be found here.

Orbit Travel – deals for UC Staff

Orbit travel are here to help UC staff with any and all leisure travel plans.

Orbit have access to all the great deals you may have seen advertised recently (e.g. camper-van hire) and can be a one-stop-shop for arranging all your travel plans.

Orbit also have other industry-specific discounts and deals they can offer to UC staff including discounted Air New Zealand airfares.

As an additional bonus, UC will cover the Orbit $25 booking fee for all UC staff who use at least three annual leave days for their domestic travel trips booked with Orbit. This will continue until the end of September 2020.

To talk to the Orbit team about your leisure travel requirements call them on 03 339 3440. Alternatively you can email them at the

PS: Don’t forget to post your holiday snaps on social media with tag #WhatDidUC

Play social sport for fun, health and fitness

Staying active and connecting with others is really important to both our physical and mental health.   Playing social sport is a great way to do both of those.  The UCRec&Sport team have multiple sport options to suit your lifestyle & budget, readily available on campus at the UCRecCentre. 

Social Netball game
Social netball competition at the UCRecCentre.
Social Sport

Have you considered getting a work team together, and entering our afternoon social sport leagues (or volleyball in the evenings)?   We can try to accommodate a regular time slot for staff teams, so that we can work it around your lunch or afternoon break time and keep it consistent. 

We offer seven leagues, across six different sporting codes, for you and your department to get involved. It costs just $160 per team, per term to play, meaning if you get a group of 10 of you together, that’s just $16 each for 5 weeks of play. There’s no ref duty, no uniforms, just turn up and play for 30mins. We supply everything. Try the usual suspects – netball, futsal, basketball, volleyball and ultimate, or our new sport this term, Handball. Check out the social sports page for days/times. Registrations close Friday 17th July.

Drop-in Sport

Did you know that we offer a drop-in sport session, where you can meet up with others to play sport?   For just $2, or free if you’re a RecCentre member, you can join in a rousing game of Volleyball, Badminton and Futsal, all equipment provided.   Check out the schedule online, and if you’re game, just turn up by yourself, or bring a colleague, along with your staff ID card.  The game starts when you’ve got enough players, and you self-referee. 

If you have any questions, please just chat to one of our customer experience team or you can email

Play sport and be well!
UC Rec&Sport Team

Run Mt Cook with Run Canterbury

Is completing a half or full marathon on your  bucket list? What about a scenic 5 or 10km?  Do you need a little support to get you there?   Run Canterbury is kicking off again in Semester 2, targeting the gorgeous views of Aoraki / Mt Cook Marathon in October – listed by Runner’s World as one of the most beautiful road marathons in the world!

runners completing the dunedin half marathon
Dunedin Half Marathon

Experience and Knowledge

Run Canterbury has been operated by UC Rec&Sport for well over 25 years.   We have experienced runners leading our pack runs, which are sorted into beginner, intermediate and advanced paced groups.  If you under or overestimate your pace, you can switch between the groups to suit.   Our training programmes have been designed by experienced runners, strength & conditioning coaches and sport scientists.   You are in safe hands!


Sure, you can run by yourself.  Sure, you can download a training programme.   The difference with joining a running group, is intention to run and actually running!   Pack runs leave the RecCentre twice per week, there’s an online community to find running buddies for your other runs during the week, plus we’ll be able to provide individual advice should you hit barriers (like injuries for example).     Having a group to connect with each week keeps you accountable and on track, and more motivated to complete your other runs (or you’ll start to struggle to keep up!)


Check out everything that’s included on our website, and you’ll find 12 weeks of support for just $95 an absolute bargain.  If you have friends or family, who aren’t at UC as staff or students but would like to join in, they can for just $155.    Pack runs commence  Tuesday 14th July, and online registrations are available.

If you have any questions, please contact 

Run and be well!
UC Rec & Sport


Wellbeing at work

If you’ve ever walked in the door and complained about your work, you’re not alone. What if, instead of being a source of stress – our work (and workplaces) were good for us?

In Episode 9 of Te Rāngai Pūtaiao | College of Science’s weekly podcast, UC Science Radio, Professor of Psychology Katharina Naswall talks about the world of work in uncertain times, how to reduce stress and increase health and wellbeing in the workplace, and how to make sure it’s good for us.

Check out the episode here or on Spotify | Stitcher | Youtube | Apple Podcasts.