Tag Archives: O Day | Herea tō waka

UC Herea tō Waka | Orientation Day (O Day)

Kia ora koutou,

UC Herea tō Waka | Orientation Day (O Day) will take place tomorrow (Friday 14 February) from 9.30am – 2pm.

For most students, family and whānau, O Day is their first true exposure to university life and their experience tomorrow will set the scene for their time here. We hope the day will lay the foundations for academic success and connections with the UC community.

O Day is a great opportunity to showcase UC at its best, get to know our new students and demonstrate the tools UC offers to help them succeed.

Feel free to join in the O Day experience – mark where you are from on the world map outside C Block, have a chat to a new student or buy lunch from one of the food trucks along the pathway – but please leave the giveaways for our new students.

Volunteers play essential roles in these events and we are enormously grateful to the staff who have generously donated their time to help. If you haven’t signed up and would like to volunteer, you can email events@canterbury.ac.nz. Even if you can’t volunteer, please make our new students welcome with a smile and a ‘kia ora’.

Campus activity
O Day will bring a large number of people into the centre of campus throughout the day and there will be increased noise from activities, live music, food vendors and people moving about. This may affect people in nearby buildings, who might choose to locate themselves elsewhere for the day if they need a quiet workspace. We expect the busiest periods in the centre of campus will be between 9.30am – 1pm.

Parking and road closures 
Some car parks will be unavailable for a set period of time to cater for our new students and their whānau. There will be more vehicles parking on campus and there will be road closures in place from 8am tomorrow to allow for students and whānau to walk the O Day trails.

The Psychology and Te Ao Marama car parks will be affected by a road closure. These will be accessible before 8am and vehicles can remain parked there, but will not be able to leave until after 12pm.

  • Arts Road will be closed from the Clyde Road car park west
  • There will be no access to Arts Road from Forestry Road past Rehua
  • Attendees will be encouraged to park in the Clyde Road car park, but we expect that all car parks will be affected in some way.

Your cooperation and understanding on these during this time are greatly appreciated.

New student initiatives
Two initiatives are being introduced this year to help transition new students into UC and ensure they stay on track to succeed in their studies.

Orientation+ induction modules
All first-year undergraduate students will be required to complete five online induction modules. The modules are designed to ensure new students have the essential information they need for a successful first year of study, understand their responsibilities as part of the UC community and know how to access support services and facilities available on campus. Topics covered include wellbeing, belonging/inclusiveness, the student code of conduct, safety/security, and alcohol/drugs.  UC will follow-up with students who do not complete the online induction modules.

Analytics for Course Engagement (ACE)
Analytics for Course Engagement (ACE) is a new online dashboard platform that will provide students and staff with a real-time view of engagement with learning systems like LEARN and Echo360 data. It will help to flag decreased student engagement, as well as sudden changes in engagement compared to their peers, and connect the student with institutional support resources.

The tool will be visible on LEARN from Monday 17 February, with work identifying students at risk of disengagement starting from week three. ACE will initially be rolled out to first-year (100-level) undergraduate students, with further developments to come over the year. More information about ACE will be available from the start of next week on the UC website – keep an eye out in Intercom for more information.

We’re looking forward to welcoming our students back on campus.

Ngā mihi,

Lynn McClelland and Catherine Moran


Herea tō waka: The phrase ‘herea tō waka’ means ‘tie up your waka’ and is a reference to what we do when our waka (sailing vessel) comes into landing – we tie it firmly to the shore so that it doesn’t drift away.

For our students arriving at UC and particularly on their first day (O Day), they are metaphorically tying their waka to the shoreline that is UC to ensure their grounding here is firm.

Be part of the fun on campus and volunteer at Herea tō waka | Orientation Day. The Events and Partnerships team are looking for friendly, charismatic staff volunteers to welcome new students, families and whānau to the UC community. This is an opportunity to welcome new students to our diverse UC community – Kotahitanga – we’re all a part of shaping our new students’ experience.

Orientation Day | Herea tō waka (O Day)
Friday 14 February, 9.00am – 2.30pm.

From Supplier of Smiles to Information Guru, there is a position for everyone. Read the role descriptions, check in with your manager and click on the sign-up link below.

O Day volunteer roles:

  • Supplier of Smiles – you have a great smile and enjoy meeting new people
  • Information Guru – providing help and support is your gig
  • Session Greeter – you’re there to scan people into sessions
  • Data Gatherer – you’ll happily ask people what they think
  • Campus Explorer – you know the campus well and can’t wait to show it off.

CLICK HERE to sign up!

Here’s what our volunteers had to say about volunteering for Herea tō waka | Orientation Day in the past:

 “Campus was so busy, great atmosphere.”

“Was good to see a huge number of students coming through… a good number from all over the country.”

 “Helpers were so positive and everyone genuinely wanted to help students and have fun.”

If you have any questions, CLICK HERE to email the events team.

Celebrating another successful O Day

This year’s Orientation Day | Herea tō waka (O Day) at the University of Canterbury has been another record-breaker.

According to preliminary numbers we’re up 8.5% on 2018, with more than 3800 new students and whānau attending O Day.  Which is an increase on 2017 as well.

A total of 3193 people attended our College sessions – well up on 2715 in 2018.

A big thanks to our Events team and all of the staff who volunteered their time to give a warm welcome to the students joining our UC community this year.

With all new and returning students on campus from Monday, we are set for a fantastic 2019.


With O Day just one week away, and new and returning international students on campus from this week for International Enrolment in Person, we are ready to kick off a new academic year at UC.

In preparation for start-of-year, here’s a rundown of what’s taken place, what’s coming up and an introduction to some new materials designed to support our new and returning students:

  • International Enrolment | Whakamanuhiri mai – We’re welcoming all new and returning international students to campus this week, with International Enrolment in Person sessions running from Thursday 7 – Friday 15 February.
    Find out more>
  • UC Orientation Day | Herea tō waka – With one week to go we are looking forward to welcoming our new students to campus next Friday 15 February from 9.30am – 2pm. For most new students, family and whānau, O Day is their first true exposure to university life, and their experience on the day will set the scene for their time here. We hope the day will set the foundations of academic success and connection with our UC community.
    Find out more>
  • Welcome Centre – International students can come and get help printing any documents they need for enrolment.  Students can also get help with enrolling in courses, sorting out their timetable, and can find out what services UC provides.  Domestic students can also register for their Community Card, which makes general practitioner visits free and lowers the cost of other medical services.

A new slide pack has also been developed to play on a loop at the Welcome Centre. It highlights a variety of services on campus and tells students where they can go online to find out more information about each. Stop by the Welcome Centre on the first floor of the Matariki building to find out more.

  • Student handbooks – Three new student handbooks have been developed to help students navigate their waka at UC:
    • UC Wellbeing – Details support, health and advice services available on campus, including the Student Services Centre, Student Care, the Health Centre, UniLife and equity and diversity.
    • UC Study – Provides information and guidance to help students succeed academically. Features services like LEARN, the Academic Skills Centre, Disability Resource Service and mentoring.
    • UC Student Life – Illustrates the variety of opportunities to get involved and find something geared towards a student’s specific interest. Highlights services like UC Rec & Sport, UCSA and clubs and societies.

Copies will be distributed to new students on O Day. Electronic versions of the handbooks can be downloaded HERE.

  • Staff and student referral guide – This helpful guide has been revamped to include additional services offered to both students and staff. While it is still primarily student-focused, staff members can now use it themselves for services such as Communications and Events, Media, Marketing, Design and the Canterbury University Press (CUP). Additionally, services such as IT, printing and copying and the Library have been added to help make students’ lives easier, along with a campus map highlighting the locations of some key support services.

Copies of the new referral guide will be distributed at the Staff Forum on Wednesday 13 February.

  • O Day | Herea tō waka video – An engaging video detailing a few of UC’s key services will be played on a loop around campus to help familiarise new students with the resources we offer to help them succeed. Check out the video here:

  • New Students webpage – New students can find all of the information they need on the New Students webpage. On the page, new students can download the new student guides, find information about their first six weeks, review the Code of Conduct and find information about support services.

ODay call for volunteers

Orientation Day | Herea tō waka (O Day) falls on Friday 15 February from 9.30am – 2.00pm this year – it’s our biggest event to welcome new students, families and whānau into the UC community.

To ensure the day runs smoothly, our Events and Partnerships team need your help as a staff volunteer.

O Day is a great opportunity to connect with new students and be part of the buzz. From “Supplier of Smiles” to “Information Guru”, there’s an opportunity for everyone to be part of O Day.

If you are interested in taking part, take a moment to review the roles (see below), check with your manager/supervisor to confirm your availability then click the sign-up link.

O Day volunteer roles:

  • Supplier of Smiles – you have a great smile and enjoy meeting new people
  • Information Guru – providing help and support is your gig
  • Foot traffic Controller – you’re there to scan people into sessions
  • Data Gatherer – you’ll happily ask people what they think
  • Campus Explorer – you know the campus well and can’t wait to show it off.

CLICK HERE to sign up!

If you have any questions, email the Events and Partnerships team.

Welcome Centre volunteers:

The Welcome Centre will be open between 4 February to 1 March on the Matariki ground floor. The Welcome Centre is a drop-in point of contact and referral for students and whānau, and is designed to help transition students into the UC community.

Staff volunteers are welcome to support our student leaders working at the Welcome Centre. Shifts are in two hour blocks from 9am – 4pm, 4 February to 1 March.

If you can help, please email your preferred dates and times to Elisabeth Baker by Friday 1 February.

Thanks in advance for your support of O Day 2019!