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Services for Open Polytechnic students

If you’re a Canterbury-based Open Polytechnic student, you can now access a range of services on campus at Ara.

Through our partnership with Open Polytechnic, Ara is pleased to welcome you to our campuses and offer the following services to support you in your studies.

Access & Security Cards

To access Ara services and facilities, you’ll need a student ID card. This is available to you once you’ve completed formal enrolment with Open Polytechnic and received your Open Polytechnic welcome letter. Your card is valid for the year of your study and is not transferable to anyone else.

Getting your card

If your nearest Ara campus is in Christchurch:

  1. Bring your Open Polytechnic welcome letter to the Security Office in the Rakaia Centre (open Monday to Friday, 8am-4.30pm) and request a student ID card
  2. We’ll verify that you’re enrolled
  3. We’ll take your photo
  4. We’ll issue your card (at no cost) while you wait

If your nearest Ara campus is in Timaru:

  1. Bring your Open Polytechnic welcome letter to Registry in A Block (open Monday to Friday, 8.30am-4.30pm) and request a student ID card
  2. We’ll verify that you’re enrolled
  3. We’ll take your photo
  4. Your photo and details will be sent to Christchurch where your card will be made (at no cost)
  5. Once your card is available, Registry will contact you to collect it
Lost or stolen cards

If your card is lost or stolen, please report it immediately to Admissions at the Rakaia Centre (Christchurch) or Student Central/Reception (Timaru). Your card will be cancelled and a new one will be issued. Replacement cards cost $20.

If you have any problems or questions relating to ID cards or campus access, visit the Security Office at the Christchurch campus or Registry at the Timaru campus.

Access to Library Computers and Internet

Before you can access computers and the internet in Ara libraries, you need to set up an Ara login.

To set up your Ara login:

  1. Visit the Welcome Desk (Rakaia Centre, City campus) or Registry (A Block, Timaru campus)
  2. Provide your legal surname, legal first name, date of birth, address, contact phone number and email address
  3. Receive your login details in the mail


As an Open Polytechnic student, you can access Ara’s Wi-Fi on your smart phone, tablet or laptop.

Connecting to Ara Guest Wi-Fi

  1. Open the Wifi setting on your phone, tablet or laptop
  2. Choose the network ‘Ara-Guest’
  3. You will be prompted with ‘Sign into a Wi-Fi network’
  4. When the pop-up window appears, accept the terms and conditions (if you don’t get a pop-up, open any web page in your browser and the terms and conditions will appear)
  5. Once you’re logged in, you’ll be redirected to the Ara home page then you can access the internet on your device

If you have any issues accessing Wi-Fi or logging in, contact ICT on 940 8800.

Campus Library

There are libraries at both the Christchurch and Timaru campuses. You’re welcome to use these spaces to study and use the Wifi. You can also read any of the library's books while you’re there.

Printery Services

If you’re based in Christchurch, you can access our on-campus printery service for A4 and A3 printing. Fees apply.

To access this service:

  1. Visit T Block and ask to speak with the printery manager
  2. Discuss your requirements and receive a quote
  3. Email your print job to the printery
  4. Collect your printing (once you’ve been notified that it’s ready) and pay in cash upon collection

Gym Membership

As an Open Polytechnic student you can join Ara’s gym at the City campus in Christchurch at the student rate.

To join the gym:

  1. Read the gym’s terms and conditions
  2. Go to Student Finance in the Rakaia Centre to pay the membership fee
  3. Send your receipt (showing your name, student ID number and the date) to
  4. Fill in the online membership application form and select ‘student’ as your membership type
  5. Your membership will be automatically activated by the Rec Centre team

You can find out more about the gym here.

Support from Ara’s Rainbow team

If you require support or a referral, contact The team organises regular events for students and will share information as it comes to hand.

Daily Karakia

You’re welcome to attend the daily Karakia at the City campus in Christchurch. This takes place in Te Puna Wanaka at 9.15am on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.