Gardeners of the Galaxy – Auckland – 1 December 2018 to 10 March 2019

Gardeners of the Galaxy at Auckland Botanical Gardens


Your space rocket has crash landed on an alien planet – how will you survive? What will you eat and how will you breathe? Life on an alien planet is tenuous, and the answer to surviving in this harsh environment is plants.

Plants are life!

Join us for family fun at Gardeners of the galaxy this summer and find out how plants are essential for life in space. Take one small step into life as an astronaut as you discover the tools needed for survival on an alien planet.

? Start your space mission at our Visitor Centre – pick up a Mission Sheet for kids, visit our crash-landed rocket and take an astronaut selfie!

? Check out the experiments and live plants being grown in the Science Lab.

? Play fun games in our kids International Space Station and get creative with our Future Plants colouring wall.

? Head outside to try MOTAT rocket power activities and take our Solar System Walk.

? Join us for free special events and activities including star-gazing in the Gardens, solar-gazing and more! Keep an eye on our website or Facebook to find out what’s on (please note some events have limited spaces and will require advance booking).

? Get extra fun facts and videos on your space mission using the STQRY app on your phone – see below for links to download the STQRY app.

Brought to you by the Auckland Botanic Gardens and Auckland Council in association with Stardome Observatory & Planetarium, MOTAT, Hyalite and the Auckland Astronomical Society.

When and Where

1 December 2018 to 10 March 2019
Gardens open 8am to 8pm every day.
Visitor centre is open daily from 8am – 4.30pm (closed Christmas Day).

Auckland Botanical Gardens
102 Hill Road, Manurewa, Auckland 2105.

How Much



Event information including links to apps on Auckland Botanic Gardens site and Facebook event.

Stargazing Lab – Auckland – 22 December 2018

Stargazing Labs at Maraetae Beach



The first session starts before the sunset in order to explain very basic concepts about astronomy, telescopes, and photography. After that, you will have opportunities to observe the craters and mountains on the Moon, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and the rings of Saturn.
You will also have a chance to observe deep sky objects like star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.

The sessions will target different objects and topics every day. Since these events are weather dependent, on occasions we may need to postpone the event at short notice. If this happens, you will receive a txt message in your mobile, one hour prior to the event, and your booking will be transferred to the next available session.

Even though the sessions end late, these activities are family friendly and ideal for kids. You will have a nice opportunity to learn more about the solar system and the Universe, and also to motivate interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in young minds. Some telescopes and additional resources will be available for use. Including telescopes that can be operated by kids.

We will help you to identify bright stars and major constellations. During each observing session, we will teach participants to find those elusive patterns in the sky with a simple monthly star map and a green laser pointer that projects a visible beam into the sky. Just like at a planetarium but under the real night sky!

Code of Conduct

In order to insure safety, protect equipment and to enhance everyone enjoyment, we ask that you follow the Code of Conduct:

  • Pets are not permitted nearby the telescopes.
  • Smoking and alcoholic beverages are never permitted within the area.
  • Minors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.
  • Aerosol bug spray repellent may only be applied away from the telescopes. (Sprays produce a fine mist which can settle on optical surfaces and is very difficult to clean.)
  • Remove any trash and keep the premises clean.
  • Visitors should bring a flashlight with RED light to use for the walk from the parking lot to the observation area and for reading star maps.

When and Where

22 December 2018
9:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Maraetai Beach,
Maraetai Coast Rd, Maraetai, Auckland

Stargazing Labs are taking place from Maraetai Beach, Maraetai, at just 40 minutes from the Auckland CBD. This beautiful location offers stunning views of the night sky and low light pollution coming from the city. This is key to allow long-term expositions to capture amazing pictures of the deep sky objects like nebulae and galaxies.

There are four public parking (free) available (+40 cars capacity) and public toilets close to the observation area.

How Much

$0 – $16.09
Under 5 yrs: free
Child (5 – 15 yrs): $10+fees.
General Admission: $15 + fees.

Please book here.


Stargazing Lab, Eventbrite event and Facebook event.
Organised by Skylabs

Games Night Down South – Auckland – 21 December 2018


My last event for the year so come on down and make some new friends over random board games and idle chit-chat at Spellbound games.

Spellbound has a decent selection of games but it would be awesome if you could bring your own, doesn’t matter how old school it is, always keen for a round of monopoly.

But yeah if this sounds like something you’d be interested in, don’t hesitate to join.

The Social Geek

A small oasis for Geeks to meet up and make friends with others who share similar geeky interests. Now if you’ve gotten this far and still haven’t clicked the join button yet, then that might be because you have no idea what a ‘Geek’ is exactly, well let me explain…

You see a Geek is an expert, enthusiast or a person obsessed with a hobby or intellectual pursuit mostly aimed at popular culture (Thanks, Wikipedia). However, there is more to Geeks than meets the eye. You see to me a Geek is a creative genius bordering on insanity and the only way to fend off the madness is by going to see the next Marvel movie or playing copious amounts of video games or even just a quiet night in pretending to be an Elf from Neverwinter.

But because of these interests, we tend to stay indoors a lot as we play Overwatch while watching Game of Thrones that we don’t have the time to venture out into the real world and meet up with people that might want to do the same stuff we do—and that’s where we come in.

When and Where

Spellbound Games
29 Aviemore Drive
Highland Park

Friday, December 21, 2018
7pm to 10pm

How Much



Games Night Down South Meetup page
The Social Geek Meetup Group

Christchurch Aerospace Centre Meetup 4 – Christchurch – 11 December 2018

Christchurch Aerospace Centre Logo


At our previous meet up we heard talks about CubeSats, air launch rockets and jet packs. As we glide to the end of the year, we’re going to be zooming in on the human element with talks from a NASA astronaut candidate finalist and a jet pack test pilot, as well as discussing a number of other recent developments.

Sarah Kessans, University of Canterbury. A plant biologist and biochemist by training and an adventurer thriving on challenges by nature, Sarah decided to throw her name in the hat for NASA’s 2017 Astronaut Candidate selection cycle. The journey through the selection process to becoming one of the top 50 Finalist Interviewees (out of 18,000+ applications) revealed many lessons that can be applied to New Zealand’s emerging space ecosystem. In that same spirit of adventure and innovation, Sarah is excited to play a role in developing Christchurch into a hub for space industry and research.

Michael Read, Skybase. After an exciting career as a pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force, Michael went on to become a test pilot and executive at Martin Jetpack. Michael now resides in Christchurch and is a founder of Skybase, who are leading developers in the drone industry for Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) flight. In his presentation, he’ll pass on some stories of the past, a look to the future of unmanned and autonomous systems and how Christchurch/ Canterbury is ideally placed to become a nexus of aerospace innovation and launch platform.

So come along to the GreenHouse at 146 Lichfield Street, be inspired and network with our local aerospace community!

The generous sponsor of this event, BizDojo Christchurch, will be providing delicious food and wet beverages.

When and Where

Tuesday 11 December 2018
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM NZDT

146 Lichfield Street, Christchurch 8011

How Much

Free. Please register here.



Christchurch Aerospace Centre Twitter @chchspace.

Code Session: IDE and Time Saving Tips – Tauranga – 13 December 2018

Junior Dev Meetup Logo


Pack your laptops and join us for our last meetup of the year where we’ll talk and learn about something we all use: IDEs.

An IDE is an Integrated Development Environment and where we live in our day to day lives as working or learning developers. We’ll look at some of the different IDEs out there, functionality and how they compare, as well as extensions and keyboard shortcuts that can make your life easier, including making your own code snippets.

This talk and the exercises will be led by Jeff Kranenburg, a senior tutor at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in web and software development.

5:30pm – Doors open, catch up.
6:00pm – Welcome
6:10pm – IDE Talk and Practical Exercises
7:30pm – CodeChallenge reviews (see the #codingchallenges channel on our Slack for more info)
8:00pm – /end

To prepare:
Make sure you have your chosen IDE on the laptop you’re bringing, and while there are no wrong choices, we will be looking a lot at one of the most popular: Visual Studio Code.
Make sure you’ve joined our Slack channel, as we often share resources through there on the night.

What to bring:
Your laptop + charger
Drink bottle
Your IDE, extension, and shortcut suggestions!

Thanks to VentureCentre at BaseStation for giving us the facilities to host, and don’t forget to familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct before attending. This is a safe and inclusive space for everyone!

When and Where

Thursday, 13 December 2018
5:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Base Station, 148 Durham Street.
We’ll gather in the cafe Folk on the ground floor and then head down into the basement after 6pm.

How Much

Free. Please register here.


Code Session: IDE and Time Saving Tips.

JuniorDev Tauranga Meetup.

Agile, Testing and UX Xmas Lightning Talks – Christchurch – 12 December 2018

Combined Christchurch Christmas Lightning talks for UX, APN and TPN meetup groups.


Shared get together with three Christchurch IT Groups:

Christchurch Agile Professionals Network.
Christchurch Testing Professional Network.
Christchurch User Experience Design Meetup

Lighting talks are 5 – 10 minutes and X-mas themed.

Short talks include:
– Leon – From the Agile Professionals Network
– Chris – from the Testing Professionals Network
– More to come…

When and Where

12 December 2018
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

146a Lichfield Street, Christchurch.

How to find us
Knock on the door.

How Much

Free. Drinks and snacks provided.


Event by APN, TPN or UX.

Christchurch Agile Professionals Network.
Christchurch Testing Professional Network.
Christchurch User Experience Design Meetup.



OWASP NZ Auckland area meetup – Auckland – 11 December 2018



We’ll plan to meet on the second Tuesday of April, June, August, October, and December.

Orion Health has agreed to host our meetings in their main conference room. Parking is available in the car park at the corner of Grafton and Khyber Pass. Entry will be through the staff entrance, just to the left of the main Reception entry. To comply with facility security requirements, all attendees will need to sign in.

At each meeting, we’ll have the following general agenda:

6:30 – 6:45 – Administrative Items
6:45 – 7:10 – OWASP Top 10 Focus Discussion
7:10 – 7:30 Networking
7:30 – 8:30 Technical Presentation, followed by Discussion/Q&A
8:30 Adjourn to local pub, if desired, for further networking

December Top 10 Focus: A4 – XML External Entity (XXE)
December Technical Topic: Threat Modelling

And, starting in December – we’ll have food! This month, I’ll be ordering pizza – hopefully, we’ll get more interesting for future events.

We’re looking for presenters and topics for future meetings – contact John ( if you have an idea for a topic, or a presentation you’d like to make.

When and Where

How Much

Free. Meetup event.


Meetup event.

OWASP New Zealand Chapter – Auckland is a meetup group for Auckland-area events held by the New Zealand chapter of the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP).

DevOps Auckland: Approaches to solving software delivery risks earlier and faster – Auckland – 10 December 2018

DevOps Auckland


Our presenter is Stephen Phillips – Sumo Logic’s voice in New Zealand. Stephen has been working with leading global software ISV’s and service providers over his long career, he is ever curious about improving outcomes.
His background in management consulting and product delivery is underpinned by a pragmatic understanding of technology engineering principles.

He will share with us “Approaches to solving software delivery risks earlier and faster”: Learn about techniques for reducing the effort to troubleshoot software systems, without building unnecessary technical debt.

** This meetup is on the early schedule **

Doors will open at 16:00, and the presentation will run from 16:30 to 17:30, and we’ll leave by 18:30.

** Please note the venue **

Thanks to Catalyst IT for hosting us once again in their central downtown office.

When and Where

10 December 2018
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Catalyst IT,
Level 4, 2 Commerce St,
Auckland CBD

How Much

Free. Please register here.


Meetup event.

DevOps Auckland Meetup Group


Pop Kultcha – Auckland – 15 December 2018


Returning by popular demand, Pop Kultcha will have tables of both new and pre-loved goodies, toys, action figures, comics and more!

Expect more of the same and a bit of the new as we prepare ourselves for pop culture goodness.

Please note we have changed venues from the Rose Centre to the Ellerslie War Memorial Hall. As updates and posts will be added please watch and like this event page.

When and Where

Ellerslie War Memorial Hall,
138 Main Highway,

Saturday 15 Dec 2018,
10am – 3pm


How Much

Family Pass: $10.00
Adults: $5.00
Door Sales Only


Facebook Page
Eventfinda Page

Decision Making: Human vs Machine – Auckland – 5 December 2018

Logo for Stats NZ and CSDA free lecture


Decision Making: Human vs Machine

Stats NZ and Centre for Social Data Analytics (CSDA) are hosting a free lecture presented by international tech ethics expert Lorena Jaume-Palasi.

The use of algorithms in decision-making is growing steadily, so it has never been more important to understand how algorithm-assisted decisions differ from human decisions, and what good practice looks like.

Lorena Jaume-Palasi will explain the major differences between human and algorithm-assisted decision-making and share the trends she is seeing internationally. Her talk will focus on the key issues that algorithms tend to raise for governments, organisations and communities and how those concerns, like ethics and bias, can be navigated and algorithm-assisted decision-making done well.

With a background in founding ethics organisations including  AlgorithmWatch and the Ethical Tech Society, and consulting to numerous governments and organisations in this space, Jaume-Palasi will present her experiences and recommendations.

CSDA co-director Rhema Vaithianathan is pleased to host Jaume-Palasi:

“It is very exciting to have Lorena on board for this presentation as it is the time to have extensive and more importantly, informed conversations about ethics and how organisations can use algorithms well.”

“Lorena brings a well-versed perspective to this argument and it will be a privilege for New Zealanders to hear from someone with such extensive experience in tech ethics.”

Key issues covered in the talk will include bias, automated inequality and ethical dimensions.

Lorena Jaume-Palasi

Lorena is the founder of non-profit advocacy organisation AlgorithmWatch (Berlin) and of non-profit research and advocacy organization the Ethical Tech Society (Berlin). Her work focuses on the philosophy of law and ethics of automatisation and digitisation. She serves as the head of the secretariat of the German Internet Governance Forum and is a member of the Spanish Government’s High Level Expert Council on Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. Lorena consults to international institutions, governments and corporations, and regularly writes and lectures on data protection, privacy, discrimination and the public sphere.

This lecture is proudly presented by the Centre for Social Data Analytics, in the School of Economics at Auckland University of Technology, together with Stats NZ.

When and Where

Wednesday. 5 December 2018
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm NZDT

AUT City Campus,
Room WG404, Sir Paul Reeves Building,
55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland

How Much

Free but registration required. Please register here.


Event at AUT’s website and on Eventbrite.