Category Archives: Sustainability

Bike Aotearoa Challenge 2021 wrap up

UC staff again put in a sterling effort, jumping on their bikes during February and placing UC first in the tertiary sector, third for Christchurch 2000+ staff and fifth for NZ 2000+ staff in the 2021 national bike challenge.

Thank you to all of our bike champions for your amazing efforts! You reduced carbon emissions, reduced congestion on the roads, boosted your health and got around town for free (very smart!).

UC’s wrap up stats for Aotearoa Bike Challenge 2021:
• 240 staff cycled
• 4031 trips
• 25,505 commute kms
• 5,202kg co2 saved
• 6.7% participated

Three of UC’s bike challenge champions – from left: Diana Hinterleitner, Moira Fraser and Kiel Hurley

Congratulations to Kiel Hurley who logged the most rides during the February at an impressive 106 rides (that’s 3.78 average a day). Director of People and Culture Amanda Derry, on behalf of Paul O’Flaherty, presented him with a $100 UBS voucher and UC merch pack (glass drink bottle, keep cup, blunt umbrella, hoodie and sunnies!).

Kiel’s top tip for cycling was “don’t have a car!” He said there are more cycleways around than you might think.

Director People and Culture Amanda Derry presents Kiel Hurley with a prize pack for the most rides during February.

Random participation prize winner Moira Fraser also received a UC merch pack. Biking since she was 15, Moira has a flash electric bike these days, which has replaced her car. She says Christchurch is the best city for cycling in NZ, and there are a lot of recreational trails to discover as well.

Moira Hurley (right) won the randomly selected prize for participating in the Aotearoa Bike Challenge 2021.
Moira Hurley (right) won the randomly selected prize for participating in the Aotearoa Bike Challenge 2021.

The amazing Diana Hinterleitner was recognised for her efforts in promoting cycling at UC with a UBS voucher. She joined UC up to the Aotearoa Bike Challenge in 2016 and has been urging people to get on their bikes ever since! She cycles because she doesn’t want to pay for parking and invested the money instead into a beautiful electric bike.

Diana Hinterleitner (right) was recognised for encouraging UC staff to get on their bikes by Director People and Culture Amanda Derry.
Diana Hinterleitner (right) was recognised for encouraging UC staff to get on their bikes by Director People and Culture Amanda Derry.

We are now looking forward to Biketober coming to Christchurch this (you guessed it) October. UC Bike and UC Sustainability Community will even shout you breakfast! Keep an eye on Biketober Christchurch – Festival of Cycling (

Finally… a plug for our UC Cycling Facilities and Dr Bike our free weekly bike repair service – just some of the resources available to get you on your bike!

The Edible Campus Project is complete!

Thanks to the Geospatial Research institute, we are excited to present to you our Edible Campus Story Map! This is an interactive map designed to encourage people around the UC campus to appreciate and enjoy the wonderful fruit trees and berries on offer. Any feedback would be appreciated as the map is currently in its final draft form as we work through a few issues, however, it is ready to be used and enjoyed. Feedback can be sent directly to our UC Sustainability Facebook page and the Edible Campus Story map can be accessed here

Ash and I have had a blast working on this project alongside Chloe and Matt in the Sustainability Office and we can’t wait to share it with you all. This project has involved a lot of research, fruit tree examining and hunting. I personally have learnt about so many exciting things around campus such as these fruit trees and the community garden. One of my favourite memories would be discovering a selection of delicious fruit trees such as peaches, apricots and apples all along the wall behind the Ilam apartments. 

We would like to extend a big thanks to the Geospatial Research Institute for making this project possible. It has been such an exciting project to work on. We hope you have a blast forging for delicious and local food! 🍐🍊🍑

This photo is taken from a video Ash and I made to accompany the map, which can be viewed here.

Thank you very much, we hope you enjoy the map!

Ash & Zin

BrainDate: Sustainability

The UC College of Engineering BrainDate series is designed to bring industry and academics together around a common theme.

Our theme for January’s BrainDate is Sustainability.

Book your ticket before the seats fill up!

We have lined up some fantastic academics and industry guests to share their knowledge, experiences, and what the future holds for sustainability in both academia and industry.

Planned industry and academic presentations:

  • Nigel Davenport | Venture Timaru
  • Jonathan Pooch | DETA Consulting
  • Simon Love | Asure Quality
  • Rae Stewart | BECA
  • Associate Professor Aaron Marshall | Chemical and Process Engineering
  • Daniel Bishop | Mechanical Engineering
  • Dr Matt Morris | Sustainability Advisor
  • Professor Richard Green | Computer Science and Software Engineering
  • Professor Tom Cochrane | Civil and Natural Resources Engineering

For this BrainDate session we are joined by speakers from Callaghan Innovation, who will share with you the importance of collaboration for Christchurch, and highlight research funding opportunities that may be available to you.

Following on from our speakers there will be an opportunity for our guests to tour the College of Engineering facilities, see our capabilities, and ask as many questions as you can.

Commonwealth Climate Research Cohort – an invitation to participate

The VC has received the following invitation from the Chief Executive and Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and encourages UC staff to participate.

“In the lead up to COP26, the ACU has partnered with the British Council to launch the Commonwealth Climate Research Cohort – a platform for local researchers to bring multidisciplinary knowledge and expertise to a global stage, build international collaborations, and work with experts to influence on issues related to climate and environment in their communities and beyond.

We are seeking 24 rising-star climate and environment researchers to form the cohort, and as an ACU Council member, I’d like to ask you to share this opportunity with your network and recommend outstanding research talents to apply.

We are especially keen that experienced researchers from the Commonwealth’s most climate-vulnerable regions take part in this opportunity to advocate on behalf of local concerns.

 Benefits of the cohort

ACU members involved in the cohort will have opportunities to enhance the contribution of their researchers to the SDGs and access a platform for partnership development on climate-related issues (i.e. via the ACU’s Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network), resulting in potential new research collaborations.

Throughout 2021, successful applicants will benefit from funded attendance at COP26 in Glasgow (travel restrictions permitting), attend expert-led training to strengthen leadership skills, engage with climate change policy dialogues, connect with other bright minds in the field, and complete a peer-led research-to-action project with seed funding.”

Seeing the Change for the SDGs in Aotearoa

The first online hui of the Aotearoa/NZ Sustainable Development Goals Summit Series was held last month, attracting virtual participants and a group of inspiring speakers, who sparked conversations and connections across Aotearoa.

Co-hosted by UC and Lincoln University, the 2020-2021 SDG Summit Series focuses on how Aotearoa can implement and take action on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The series is designed to take people on a journey; from an individual understanding of the Global Goals to how to take collective and urgent action to achieve them. This journey will take place through a series of online events and a final in-person Summit event to be held in September 2021.

Last month’s online hui was themed ‘See the Change’ and was designed to help participants gain a solid foundation and a better understanding of the SDGs. It was also an opportunity to hear from inspiring people in our communities, through lightning talks and a panel Q&A. The event was MC’d by Corban Te Aika, Kaiārahi, and the incredible speakers included;

  • 14-year-old climate activist and singer/songwriter Lucy Gray (coordinator of the Christchurch School Strike for Climate)
  • Ngāi Tahu student Tāmati Cunningham (Cashmere High School student leader and manawhenua representative for Environment Canterbury’s Youth Rōpu)
  • Raewyn Jones (WEL Energy Trust Chief Executive and Waikato Wellbeing Project Co-Chair)
  • Dr Pedram Pirnia (Special Advisor for Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations Association of New Zealand).

See Raewyn Jones speak to the collective impact happening within her community as part of her work as Co-Chair of the Waikato Wellbeing Project, below:

Following a beautiful musical performance by Lucy, the hui finished with participants breaking out into two practical and interactive workshop streams, one aimed at those new to the SDGs and one for those wishing to take them to the next level through creativity and visual story-telling.

See the entire first half of Hui#1: See the Change here:

Interested in being part of the journey with us?

The second online hui, ‘Be the Change’ is scheduled for 25 March 2021, and the third online hui, ‘Working Together for Change’ will be held on 24 June 2021.

The third and final summit will be a face-to-face event on 2-3 September 2021, with day one being held at UC. The theme of the third Summit will be ‘Collaboration for Systemic Change’ with day two featuring field trips to experience SDGs in action in and around Waitaha Canterbury.

More information on these events and how you can participate are coming soon.

What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

The 17 SDGs are the world’s best plan for achieving a better future for all. In September 2015, the leaders of all 193 UN member states (including Aotearoa New Zealand) adopted Agenda 2030, a universal agenda that contains the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Over the next ten years, countries will mobilise efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring no one is left behind.

New Zealand’s eight universities have unanimously resolved to work together and with other sectors – specifically central and local government, civil society, the private sector and youth – to show leadership in the implementation of the SDGs at a national level.

This includes a commitment to hosting a series of national summits that aim to promote, build and accelerate multi-sector action to implement the SDGs in New Zealand.

The 2020-2021 SDG Summit Series is co-hosted by the University of Canterbury and Lincoln University. This event and the ones to follow are organised with Ngāi Tuahuririri and Ngāi Tahu, as well as Pasifika communities, and involved support from the Ara Institute of Technology and the Christchurch City Council. Supporting partners also included ChristchurchNZ, SEEDS Podcast, Tourism NZ and the New Zealand National Commission for the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Stay connected with the Aotearoa SDG Summit Series via their website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and by signing up to the mailing list here.