New Zealand Chinese Language Week.

September 26 – Oct 2 is New Zealand Chinese Language Week.

The Asia NZ Foundation describes NZCLW as

a Kiwi-driven initiative designed to increase Chinese language learning in New Zealand.

NZCLW seeks to bridge the cultural and linguistic knowledge gap between China and New Zealand by delivering fun and practical initiatives that assist Kiwis to learn Chinese

 They offer some online resources aimed mainly at school students and teachers but many of the videos are of interest to anyone who does business in China.

So why learn Mandarin Chinese?  New research from the McKinsey Global Institute states that

China offers a $5 trillion consumption growth opportunity over the next decade

That’s a lot of business and one Wellington businesses could be getting a slice of.

If you have a product that could appeal to the Chinese market a new opportunity has recently been released with the establishment of the Kiwiso store as a unique way of presenting New Zealand brands to the Chinese market.

NZ Trade and Enterprise offers a free Intro to China overview and make many more resources available after signing up to access their portal.

Returning to Asia NZ Foundation and a recent interview with Richard Dunsheath, New Zealand’s trade commissioner to Shanghai, discusses how the Covid pandemic has impacted Chinese consumer behaviour and New Zealand businesses operating there.

If you are thinking of unlocking some of business opportunities offered by the Chinese market then kick off your learning of the language with some of the resources available through WCL

Unlocking Mandarin Chinese with Paul Noble (2021)

By Noble, Paul

Ever tried to learn Mandarin Chinese and found it too hard? Bestselling language coach Paul Noble has a quick and easy way to get you back on track with his unique tried-and-tested method.

Mandarin Chinese for beginners : learning conversational Chinese (2018)  By Ren, Yi

Chinese is fascinating and learnable, and this friendly approach to the basics helps you understand the language by comparing and contrasting it with something you already know: English. This book is for people who want a grasp of how to speak and understand Chinese–for business, for pleasure, or for travel. Chinese for Beginners abounds with extra touches that are tried and true, drawn from the authors’ years of teaching.

Mango Languages – accessible with your WCL registration card – gives you access to
an online language-learning system for Mandarin Chinese as well as Cantonese Chinese.



COVID-19 community fund to provide support for vulnerable women and girls

Community organisations play a vital role in supporting women and girls at the grassroots in our community. COVID-19 can affect the services these organisations provide to local communities, so in order to support organisations to continue to support acute and immediate needs, the Minister for Women, Hon Jan Tinetti, announced a new COVID-19 Community Fund for 2021.

The $2 million COVID-19 Community Fund is for community organisations that support women and girls in Aotearoa New Zealand and are facing significantly increased demand for their services and/or decreased resources as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications for the fund will open on 17 September and can be made via the Ministry for Women’s website. Applications will close on 1 October.

Criteria and application information can be found here

Prosearch / Rapu ngaio me ngā ratonga mōhiohio

There are many business resources across the Wellington City Libraries network and as a dedicated Business Development Customer Specialist I can help you access them.

Alongside our books, magazines and online databases we offer Professional Search services (ProSearch).

Prosearch is Wellington City Libraries’ professional search service. We have the skills and specialist resources to track down reliable, up-to-date information quickly.

How does it work?
For all individuals or organisations with a Wellington City Libraries card we can offer up to 1 hour’s non-urgent free research per topic, plus any direct costs. For urgent enquiries, work can be undertaken at $60 per hour.

You can still use our services, whether or not you have a current library card. A clear cost-estimate will be given beforehand.

Those who live outside Wellington but are based in the city for work can also enrol under the Wellington Worker category.

Innovative and cutting edge business ideas are based on good market insights. For over 25 years Wellington City Libraries has provided a wide range of business services and resources, including access to market research reports, industry trends and company profiles. We provide free search training, and confidentiality is guaranteed.

• You know what information you need — we know how to find it
• Save time and money by focusing on what you do best
• As skilled information professionals, we can make a difference every day in the speed, relevance, and accuracy of research projects that meet business, industry, government, non-profit, and other needs

The covid pandemic has brought many changes to the way businesses operate and Wellington City Libraries are set to support your business information needs as you navigate through these uncertain times.

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library. We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources. Or call 021 596 274

Your thoughts on the kind of business information you would find helpful on this blog are also welcomed.


Business networking

Business networking, or making connections, is an important part of running a business. Business people can’t operate in isolation.

To keep up to date professionally, gather new ideas, talk to clients, grow your customer base or find a new job you need to interact with others.

This can be done online or in person.

Within Wellington there are a number of business networks who meet regularly.

All have a different focus but their main purpose is to support likeminded business people.

Some of the networking groups in the Wellington region include

Chrysalis for women

Future Dragonz : Chinese young professionals network

Meetup – various networking groups have a presence on meetup. Search for what interests you or start your own group

Sustainable business network

Te Awe Wellington Maori business network


Wellington business network

Wellington Pasifika business network

Women in Leadership Aotearoa

But what if you aren’t a “people person” or are shy or don’t feel like you fit in a crowded room?

Online methods of networking involve social media like Linkedin or connecting via a Twitter or Facebook page.
Wellington Small business group and Small business New Zealand are both members only, moderated facebook groups

Business Networking NZ is another online site

Justin Pot’s article The secret trick that makes networking suck so much less lists some Dos and don’ts on connecting with people online if you don’t know where to start.

In WCL’s ebook collection you will find Devora Zack’s
Networking for people who hate networking : a field guide for introverts, the overwhelmed, and the underconnected
Would you rather get a root canal than face a group of strangers? Does the phrase “working a room” make you want to retreat to yours? Devora Zack, an avowed introvert and successful consultant who gives presentations to thousands of people at dozens of events annually, feels your pain. She found that other networking books assume that to succeed, you have to act like an extrovert. Not at all. There is another way. Zack politely examines and then smashes to tiny fragments the “dusty old rules” of standard networking advice.

A course based on Zack’s writings is the base of a Linkedin learning 

How to Network When You Don’t Like Networking
Devora highlights three critical differences in how introverts and extroverts socialize, from the way they think to the way they talk. She provides tips to smoothly start, sustain, and end conversations, and some advice for presenting yourself and easing any pre-networking jitters. Plus, get practical advice on re-connecting after an event is over and following up in person or online.

Available both online in ebook format and on the shelf as a hard copy is Karen Wickre’s

Taking the work out of networking : an introvert’s guide to making connections that count  

Karen’s “embrace your quiet side” approach is for anyone who finds themselves shying away from traditional networking activities, or for those who would rather be curled up with a good book on a Friday night than out at a party.

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library. We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources. All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Katalyst Business Directory

Are you seeking information on potential suppliers, competitor products and companies or possible new clients?

Why not ask us to do a search in Katalyst?

Katalyst is a New Zealand business directory that provides business users with comprehensive information about NZ companies, people, products, and services.

Katalyst contains comprehensive profiles on 17, 500 New Zealand businesses including details on their activities, brands, people, products and services searchable by 30 different criteria including location, number of employees, turnover, products (by ANZSIC code), job category or job title.

Use Katalyst Business to:
• Find new suppliers of products and services
• Research companies, markets and industries
• Identify and target key areas
• Produce lists for direct mail campaigns
• Find sales leads & make new contacts
• Put your products in front of B2B purchasers

Remote access to Katalyst is not available however it may be accessed for free via the public internet computers in our libraries, or by placing a request with the Proquest team.

Click here to contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Organic week

Along with celebrating Te reo this week it is also Organic week throughout the country.

A listing of events associated with Organic week can be found here

With a growing interest in organic products here are some of the library resources that may interest those who are either working with organic products or considering developing or diversifying into that field.
Read Organic NZ online via Overdrive
Organic NZ.
“Organic NZ is filled with info to live a healthier lifestyle – for you and the planet! Published by the Soil & Health Association of New Zealand, working since 1941 for sustainable organic agricultural and good health. Topics range from home garden to large-scale success stories; eco-building; urban organics; genetic engineering & chemical issues; food matters & natural health.” (Catalogue)

Some hands on advice for regenerative gardening comes in this new book by a New Zealand market gardener. Available in both hard copy and e-format 

The abundant garden : a practical guide to growing a regenerative home garden / Kay, Niva
“Niva and Yotam Kay of Pakaraka Permaculture, on the Coromandel Peninsula of Aotearoa New Zealand, share their long experience of organic gardening in this comprehensive book on how to create and maintain a productive and regenerative vegetable garden. Taking care of the soil life and fertility provides plants with what they need to thrive. This is grounded in the latest scientific research on soil health, ecological and regenerative practices.” (Catalogue)

If you wish to know more about building organically, or in an eco-friendly, sustainable fashion then you will glean some ideas from
The sustainable house handbook : how to plan and build an affordable, energy-efficient and waterwise home for the future / Byrne, Josh
“The Sustainable House Handbook is your comprehensive guide to building an affordable, eco-friendly and energy, plus water-efficient green home for the future. In this book, sustainability expert and Gardening Australia presenter Josh Byrne takes takes readers through the process of planning a 10-Star rated high-performance home according to the Australian Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), and outlines how it is possible to build with conventional materials, in an accessible and cost-effective way.” (Catalogue)

If you wish to reduce synthetic chemical cleaning products in your home then checkout
Fresh clean home : making your own natural cleaning products / Graham, Wendy
“Discover how to make your own cleaning products to maintain a germ-free home whilst avoiding a cocktail of chemicals. Reap the potential health and environmental benefits of natural products with these organic and environmentally friendly mixtures. Using a base of essential oils and natural ingredients, these cleaning products are easy, eco-friendly and as effective as any shop-bought mix.” (Catalogue)

You can learn how to make your own skin care and hygiene products with
Botanical soaps : a modern guide to making your own soaps, shampoo bars and other beauty essentials / Tarallo, Marta
“Learn how to simplify your beauty regime with Botanical Soaps as this book shows you how to create your own beauty products using all natural ingredients. Demystify your skin type and discover how to combat bathroom plastic, minimize your routine by making your own soaps, shampoo bars and other beauty products including, lip butters, cleansers, bath salts and natural deodorants. Botanical Soaps is a beautiful and inspiring guide that will encourage you to green up your beauty regime with all natural, organic projects that are kinder to both the planet and your skin”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Māori Language Week

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori has been celebrated each year since 1975.
This year it runs through 13-19 September

If you want to increase your workplace use of te reo there are a number of resources to assist.

The Maori Language Commission has learning resources here

Through Wellington City Libraries you can access Māori at work : the everyday guide to using te reo Māori in the workplace by Scotty Morrison in either hard copy or ebook format

A simple, practical and engaging guide to using the Maori language in and around your workplace. Maori at Work offers phrases and tips for greetings and welcoming people, emails and letters, speeches and social media, with specific chapters on the office, construction and roadworks, retail, hospitality, broadcasting and teaching. This is the perfect book to start or expand your te reo journey – no matter your skill level!

Your library card will also give you access to the Lingogo App 

Read and listen to Māori stories on Lingogo  simply by downloading the app. 
Lingogo is a library app dedicated to epic stories in indigenous languages — and it’s free to access with your library membership! It’s great for beginner and intermediate language learners as well as fluent speakers. Simply tap any sentence to listen to it aloud and find its English translation. Download the app and follow the instructions below to get started!

There are other resources available through the Maori online resources section of the Library website.


Let’s Stop Talking About Soft Skills: They’re Power Skills

Tech Women NZ invite you to a webinar on 12 October to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day

This webinar will discuss why soft skills such as empathy, listening, being a good team player, thinking holistically, effective communication etc really are business Power Skills and why we need to see more of them in lead roles.

Let’s Stop Talking About Soft Skills: They’re PowerSkills is a title used by Josh Bersin in his on-line publication of the same name , a good read if you get the chance.

Companies of today are not only looking for technical skills, but behavioural skills to increase and support their business.

Skills such as empathy, listening, being a good team player, thinking holistically, effective communication etc – these are as important as having five years of technical experience and certification.

This has often been where women have naturally been the strongest players, but in the IT industry, they have been woefully under-represented at the Senior Leadership Table, as well as within technical teams.

However, things are changing, more women are returning to their IT careers and pockets of strong female leaders have emerged.

Businesses have recognised the worth of behavioural skills and company culture.

Skills that have often taken years to acquire owing to a rollercoaster of experience both at work and in our personal lives.

The webinar is going to discuss why these soft skills really are business Power Skills and why we need to see more of them in lead roles.

Julie Fitzgerald – Organisational Learning Manager at Z Energy NZ
Angela Cunneen – Country Manager at VMware

Event Details:
• Online webinar
• Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm NZST
• Free for members & non-members

Register here

Online resource tutorials

If you are a Wellington City Library user but don’t where or how to start with some of the online resources, then check out the Niche Academy tutorials

Not only are there tutorials for the e-resources we make available but also beginner tutorials on learning the basics of Microsoft programmes like Excel as well as social media platforms.

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Toxic work cultures

IN recent weeks reports have emerged about the toxic culture impacting several New Zealand organisations and the impacts on the health and wellbeing of those who work for or with those organisations.

A toxic work environment is one where there is, among many things,  mistrust of others, high turn over of staff, bullying, lack of communication, unrealistic goals and general incivility towards others.

This environment has implications not only for individuals but also organisational productivity and reputation.  
In 2003 Andrea Needham wrote the first book on Workplace Bullying  (since updated) and this info is still relevant today.

More recently (2020) MBIE released an issues paper on Bullying and Harassment at work

outlining  “…what we know about the nature and extent of bullying and harassment at work in New Zealand,” along with examining current systems for preventing and responding to such behaviour.

WCL’s collection also has a range of resources for those who find themselves facing the challenges of a toxic workplace.

The article How to Deal With a Work Bully lists some steps for coping when faced with a nasty workmate.

Bully blocking at work : a self-help guide for employees and managers (2012) by Evelyn M. Field can be downloaded in e-book format

Written by an experienced psychologist this book helps the reader to understand the toxic, destructive impact of bullying on all employees — whether they are targets, bullies or onlookers — and provides advice for coping and confronting bullying, from both a personal and organisational perspective.

Also available for download as an e-book is :

How to deal with toxic people : clever ways to handle manipulative, difficult, & sensitive people using emotional intelligence (2018) By Bob Scott

While common in the workplace, toxic people are also encountered in families and social relationships.  This book highlights “… several ways of dealing with difficult, immature and toxic people” and reveals how to “deal with several traits accompanied with social toxicity” as well as advising how to manage your emotions and responses around toxic behaviors.

For those seeking an audiobook resource there is Robert Sutton’s  The asshole survival guide : how to deal with people who treat you like dirt (2017)

Stanford professor Robert Sutton offers practical advice on identifying and tackling any kind of asshole — based on research into groups from uncivil civil servants to French bus drivers, and 8,000 emails that he has received on asshole behaviour. With expertise and humour, he provides a cogent and methodical game-plan to fight back.

In print, and available when library doors are once again open to the public is this new addition from Peter Economy

Wait, I’m working with who?!? : the essential guide to dealing with difficult coworkers, annoying managers, and other toxic personalities (2021)

Described as “… the go-to guide on working with anyone in your office–from the difficult or negative to the toxic and destructive–whether they are your manager, a team member, or someone who’s just waiting out the clock. Chock-full of useful advice that will make your workday happier and more productive.

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.