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Port Hills fire

A message from Head of Ara, Darren Mitchell


Kia ora to our Ara community

Once again, we find our city in the grip of natural forces much greater than ourselves as the Port Hills fire remains, as of this morning, uncontained.

I want to express my concern and support for those in our Ara whānau who may be directly affected by it. Please stay safe and, if this event is impacting on your ability to be engaged with your learning, let your tutors know so that we can support you at this time. Disruptions to your learning will be accommodated and remedied when you can return to your course. 

For those of us who aren’t directly impacted, it is nevertheless an unsettling and uncertain time. No matter how many emergencies our region has endured, each and every one will always bring with it a significant impact on the wellbeing of the communities in which we all live. 

A few things to keep in mind as we monitor the situation closely:

  1. People are being urged to stay away from the area so that emergency services can work at pace.
  2. The fire affected power to more than 30,000 homes in Christchurch yesterday. As of this morning, there remain some outages.
  3. A public health warning for smoke from the fire has been issued by Te Whatu Ora.

If you or any of our people are affected by the fire, remember that our organisation has numerous support services. Please enable each other to use them:

  • Health Centre ph: (03) 940 7566 for access and appointments with a social worker, nurse, doctor and counsellors.

Student Support  – domestic and international students:

We will be in touch with any further information that affects our Ara community.

Noho ora mai,

Darren Mitchell

Ara Operational Lead