The Wellington Regional School of Construction has been recognised by the NZ Institute of Architects at the Wellington Architecture Awards.  Our new campus received the sole award in the education category.
Photo by Jason Mann

In this Edition

Graduation 2017 Auckland Town Hall

News in Brief

Recent months have seen record numbers of students graduating from our institutions with skills and qualifications that are in high demand. Special thanks to Kriv Naicker from the telecommunications industry who was the guest speaker at our recent Auckland graduation.

New appointments have been made to our Joint Leadership Team. Read more here. Recent appointment, Helen Gardiner, is the new Director Learner Journey with responsibility across the full range of learner support, foundation studies, careers and secondary/tertiary pathways.  As reported in our last issue, Victoria Spackman is the new Director of Creative/Te Auaha. Read about Victoria here.

Programme delivery has been organised into Schools for Whitireia and WelTec with the following Heads appointed:
  • Business - Mick Jays
  • Construction - Neil McDonald
  • Creative - Esther Scammell (Acting) and Kaye Jujnovich
  • Engineering - Graham Carson
  • Health - Carmel Haggerty 
  • Hospitality and Tourism - Ben Shadbolt
  • Information Technology - Gerry McCullough
  • Social Services - Kendra Beri
In this issue we profile Neil McDonald, Graham Carson and Gerry McCullough.

We hosted the commemoration of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi by Ngāti Toa on 19 June at Te Kete Wānanga, Porirua campus.  Since 1995, Ngāti Toa and Whitireia have marked this day each year with a dawn ceremony. This is a very special occasion for Whitireia and celebrates our longstanding partnership with Ngāti Toa and the Porirua community. Our library, Te Kete Wānanga, (the basket of knowledge), provided an appropriate place to reflect on the responsibility and opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of the Treaty. Wendy Walker, Porirua City Council Chief Executive (pictured below) and Taku Parai, Ngāti Toa, spoke at the commemoration.

Matariki was also celebrated across our campuses with staff and students participating in a number of cultural activities including a kapa haka, weaving of whetu, staff waiata, taiaha and poi demonstrations.

The E Tu Whanau/Aiga WelTec, Whitireia and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa sports day also took place and was followed by the launch of the Māori Electoral Participation Campaign.

Numerous Pasifka events have been hosted including a celebration of the first cohort of Pacific nurses to be awarded the Master of Professional Practice (Leadership) qualification under the Aniva programme (delivered through Whitireia) and a ceremony recognising the recipients of 16 Pasifika Health scholarships by Nicky Wagner, Associate Minister of Health.

Dr Jane O'Malley (Chief Nurse, Ministry of Health) with Dr Margaret Southwick (Dean Emeritus, Whitireia) at the Master of Professional Practice ceremony

Members of the Tongan community got together to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths to their community.

We welcomed a prestigious group of visitors from the China Education Association for International Education to our campuses. The week of training and observations is part of a NZ/China collaborative programme focussed on assisting the Chinese to build the capability and capacity of their tertiary vocational education sector through relevant research collaboration, and practical demonstrations of “model” New Zealand delivery.

Te Auaha New Zealand Institute of Applied Creativity will open February 2018

Te Auaha News

Te Auaha construction and fit-out is well underway.  This week a mauri stone was laid on site by Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Toa at a special pre-dawn ceremony.  

Kura Moeahu Te Ātiawa said the energy or life-force of Te Auaha is contained in the mauri stone and that staff would now become its guardian.Jeanette Grace Ngāti Toa said the mauri stone provided a sense of being "strong and confident" that would exemplify campus life when the facility opens. Read more here.

Read more about Te Auaha news on our website and in the industry newsletter Waharoa.

You may have noticed the Te Auaha street posters up around central Wellington. They are the first wave of the Te Auaha brand and student attraction campaign.

The campaign is centred around a competition that calls for creative Kiwis to add their own unique flair to the distinctive Te Auaha logo.
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Talented tutor Tuaine-Nurse Tamarua Robati recently gave a TEDx talk on Nurturing Young Leaders through Dance and Creativity.  View it here.
WelTec and Whitireia Joint 2016 Annual Report  

2016 Annual Report published

Whitireia and WelTec have another first under their belt with the publication of a joint Annual Report, which outlines the achievements of both institutions, reflecting the strengthening and maturing of the Strategic Partnership. Together Whitireia and WelTec provided training to more than 15,000 students in 2016 equating to almost 8,000 EFTS.

The most popular areas of study for students provide an interesting snapshot of our institutions. At Whitireia, Health; and Business and IT together comprised almost 60% of the total EFTS achieved in 2016. At WelTec, Business and IT; and Engineering comprised half the EFTS delivered last year.  

Across our institutions over 3,350 qualifications achieved were at certificate level, with a quarter of the qualifications awarded by WelTec at diploma level and above; and just over half at Whitireia comprising diploma level or above qualifications.
Student satisfaction was high with 97% for students at Whitireia and 94% for WelTec students.  Employer satisfaction with the knowledge and skills of graduates was pleasing at 93% for WelTec and 87% for Whitireia.

Our contribution to the New Zealand economy was captured by economic research company BERL, who estimated WelTec and Whitireia generated almost $101.2M of expenditure in the Wellington regional economy and $15M to the Auckland economy, more than $140.1M in the national economy in 2016. 

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Greg Campbell is the new Chair of the Combined Council of Whitireia and WelTec

New Chair of Council for WelTec and Whitireia

Whitireia and WelTec warmly welcomed new Council Chair Mr Greg Campbell who was appointed by Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith. Greg Campbell took over from current Chair Hon Roger Sowry ONZM on 22 June 2017. Hon Paul Goldsmith specifically acknowledged the “valuable leadership” provided by Roger Sowry to our institutions.
“I am delighted to be part of such special organisations which play a unique role in our communities.   We live in a growing, vibrant place and WelTec and Whitireia are very much part of that,” says Greg Campbell.
Greg Campbell is the Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Wellington Regional Council. He has held senior marketing roles in the telecommunications, banking and finance sector, including being the Chief Marketing Officer for Vodafone New Zealand.
“We warmly welcome new Council Chair Greg Campbell to our institutions,” says Chris Gosling. “In doing so we acknowledge the contribution of outgoing Chair Hon Roger Sowry.” In 2010 Roger Sowry was initially appointed as Chair of the separate Councils of Whitireia and WelTec and in 2012 he was appointed as Chair of the Combined Council.
“Roger Sowry has overseen the Strategic Partnership between our institutions which has resulted in increased access for learners to tertiary education and greater efficiencies. Students are also achieving at high rates. We are amongst the highest performing institutions in the tertiary education sector in terms of course and qualification completions. Significant capital projects have been successfully undertaken during Roger’s term.  This has resulted in outstanding award-winning facilities for our students."

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L-R: Adele Bryant (ENZ); Brian Cao; Alex Grace (ENZ); Mike Keech; Fran Wilde; John McKinnon (NZ Ambassador); Mark Johnston; David Hope (Deputy Head of Mission, MFAT).

Strengthening connections with China

Whitireia and WelTec Council member Dame Fran Wilde travelled to China in June as part of a Whitireia and WelTec delegation with Mark Johnston (Director of Business Development) and Brian Cao (Regional Manager, China and East Asia). They were joined by Mike Keech (Sponsorship and Licencing Manger). The visit successfully strengthened our relationships with existing and new partner schools and we introduced Te Auaha to prospective education and commercial partners, particularly in Beijing and Shanghai.
Of particular significance was the signing of an Articulation Agreement between Guangdong Baiyum University and WelTec, which will see Chinese students study both electrical and civil engineering at WelTec’s Petone campus, as well as two-way staff exchanges in 2018.
The Beijing Film Academy expressed interest in connections with Whitireia, WelTec and Wellington’s film industry, and Shanghai Normal University are also keen to collaborate on postgraduate programmes across film, television and animation. Following recent auditions at the Performance Centre in Wellington, the Disney Resort Shanghai team were excited to potentially source talent for the wider Disney network from Wellington, having identified 10 possible recruits form their visit at the start of June.
An opportune catch-up with Alex Worker, Co-Founder of The Hatchery, a kiwi-inspired food and beverage service incubator in Shanghai, may lead to Whitireia and WelTec identifying a range of opportunities across our hospitality disciplines. 

Bachelor of Addiction Studies graduate Jonathan Sims  

Graduate recognised

Matua Raki National Addiction Workforce Development awarded Bachelor of Addiction Studies student Jonathan Sims a top student award.  Jonathan is pictured here with Dr Deborah Hume at the Michael Fowler Centre Wellington in April having his degree conferred.

Mandatory registration of social workers welcomed

WelTec and Whitireia issued a statement welcoming regulatory changes bringing in registration requirements for social workers.  Our institutions have a significant student body learning in this field and in related areas.

“The challenge for government agencies and NGOs is to make the investment to ensure staff are properly qualified and registered. We are very well placed to meet the new demand for training that will be generated by mandatory registration. The Bachelor of Social Work degree is the ideal pathway which allows graduates to meet these new registration requirements." Chris Gosling.

“Social workers deal with some of New Zealand’s most disenfranchised children and families. The work is important and complex and it is therefore important that practitioners keep up-to-date in their competency, which will be assured through the compulsory registration process." Kendra Beri, Whitireia and WelTec’s Head of Social Services.

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Chris Gosling, with Tim Sheppard at the Whitireia Foundation sponsor lunch 

Honouring Whitireia Foundation sponsors

Recently we honoured our family of Whitireia Foundation sponsors with a special lunch at Te Onepu Training Restaurant, prepared by our first year Diploma in Cookery students and served by students from our Certificate in Work Skills (Hospitality and Tourism). Foundation Chair Kelvin Irvine thanked our sponsors for their very generous support. He acknowledged that their connection with the Foundation, and Whitireia, opens doors for students in their studies and as they venture into employment. In attendance were Taku Parai, Pou Arahi and Ngāti Toa Rangatira Rūnanga Chairman, Porirua City Council Mayor Mike Tana, senior Whitireia management and staff, and also the Whitireia Foundation trustees. 

Find out more about the Whitireia Foundation Scholarships.

New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Level 3

WelTec and Whitireia gear up to provide training to care and support workers

The Care and Support Workers Pay Equity Settlement will allow employees, and those seeking to enter the industry, to follow a career path with qualification attainment linked to wage increases.
“For people working in the fields of aged and disability residential care, and home and community support services, training programmes are available through Whitireia and WelTec in Petone commencing on 17 July 2017, with offerings in Porirua and Kāpiti being planned for 2018,” says Chris Gosling.   
Part-time options, including evening classes, will be available from 2018 or earlier as demand requires.
Both WelTec and Whitireia provide the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Level 3, which is one of the qualifications, rest home workers must obtain within three years of employment. The programme is made up of blended learning methods for delivery that combines face-to-face tutorials, online delivery and work-integrated learning, which means that there is substantial flexibility for working students.
“We deliver the qualifications in such a way that there is maximum flexibility for the learner and their employer,” says Chris Gosling. 
“We look forward to working with the Wellington region’s employers to facilitate training programmes for their staff resulting from the Pay Equity Settlements.”
Head of Health at Whitireia and WelTec Carmel Haggerty says, “The Pay Equity Settlement has been long awaited by this group of workers.  Whitireia and WelTec are pleased to be able to offer training solutions to employees and their employers that mean the workforce can be upskilled as per the Settlement.
Employers and employees wanting to find out more about the training available for their staff should contact Jacquie Harrison via email at

Engineering fundamental to growing New Zealand's economy  

Meet Graham Carson Head of Engineering

Graham Carson believes the beauty of engineering is that it can be applied in everyday settings. “Engineering ignites change and makes a huge difference to our daily lives and how we live and work.”
Tinkering on projects - designing, testing and building - sustained Graham through his City and Guilds trade qualification in Mechanical Engineering and Higher National Diploma in Engineering. He completed a BSC Hons Engineering and Design (Bournemouth University) and Graduate Diploma in Management (Plymouth University) coming to WelTec in 2011.
Growing engineering is key to transforming New Zealand into a technology and innovation-led economy. “There’s a real shortage of technical engineers and with so many opportunities in the engineering and construction industry, we want to encourage secondary school students to think about a career in engineering.”
Getting the message out that a higher qualification from a polytechnic will open up career opportunities continues to be a challenge. “Industry has a high demand for our NZDE and BEngTech graduates and they are highly employable. Our strength is that graduates enter the workforce quicker, are well rounded and have a wide applied skill-set."
“Because we are present across the Asia-Pacific, our people can focus on the areas they are passionate about, whether that is working to solve environmental problems, improving water quality, or designing leading edge environmentally sound buildings.”

Gerry McCullough Head of School (Information Technology)

Hands on learning key to success for ICT students

Gerry McCullough has a deep commitment to teaching and learning. “I started out teaching mathematics to adults and discovered what a privilege it is to sit with students when the learning clicked - the ‘aha’ moment when they get it,” Gerry says. A dedication to adult and life-long learning, and a keenness to empower students and teachers, continues to shape Gerry’s approach. “I came to Whitireia from the Open Polytechnic in 2009 with the belief that, as teachers, we can provide a learning environment that challenges students to be the best they can be."
As Head of School Information Technology, ensuring the highly regarded qualifications from certificate level to Master’s degree (offered through the ICT Grad School) retain their strong focus on what businesses need is key.  “Our programmes give students a focussed, applied pathway to employment in Information Technology. Students are work-ready with relevant skills to help businesses and the economy grow.”

Our institutions have strong industry connections. Recent ICT events showcased this. The Intergen Young Achiever Awards featured three top WelTec ICT degree students.  Read more about this event here.

Simon Bright congratulates Aleisha Perry WelTec Bachelor of Information Technology student and winner of the Intergen Young Achiever Award.

Shadowtech Day by NZTech and WelTec when 120 secondary school girls spent a day in Wellington ICT companies.  Read about it here.


Students from the School of Information Technology and the School of Business displayed their work in the regular industy showcase.  View photos on this link .
Neil McDonald Head of School (Construction)

Practical problem-solving skills key to success in the construction industry

“The intrinsic belief in teaching is that what you do adds value to peoples’ lives,” says Neil McDonald.  “Helping people achieve good outcomes in their lives - that’s the reward our tutors see.”
This is especially evident when past students, who are now business owners and employers, send their apprentices to Whitireia and WelTec. “This demonstrates to us that we are providing relevant, meaningful qualifications and experience that is highly regarded within the sector.”
Meeting the evolving needs of industry is always on the radar. “Our School of Construction is highly regarded due to the tremendous experience and knowledge of our staff. Developing and acknowledging the capability of our people, and retaining and growing this, is a priority and ensures our graduates will continue to be smart and competent.”
An interest in New Zealand’s landscapes, and being outdoors, led Neil to begin his working life as a trainee ranger for the New Zealand Forest Service. He then moved into a construction apprenticeship with Mainzeal Construction Ltd, continued on to work with a private residential building company, then studied through the Wellington College of Education. Working as a primary school teacher at Hutt Intermediate developed into an opportunity to become a carpentry tutor at the then Hutt Valley Polytechnic and seamlessly on into roles with Whitireia and WelTec.
“The strength of the construction industry is its practical problem solving and our approach is very hands-on with achievement that focuses on physical and tangible outcomes. It’s a real privilege to see students succeed in this – in some instances gaining qualifications for the first time in their lives.”

House building at the Wellington Regional School of Construction was recently profiled on Stuff. View the video here.
ICT, Engineering and Quantity Surveying students take next step on career ladder

Women to watch

You may not know their names now, but these three women are on the rise and will no doubt be making their mark as their careers unfold.  The road to success has been varied and challenging for Sally Smith, Rachel Marr and Abi Harper.

From archaeological digs in Greece, to furniture making and structural engineering, Sally, Rachel and Abi are nearing the end of their academic studies at WelTec and will shortly be moving into new careers in areas significantly under-represented by women. 

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Paramedic Training at Whitireia Set to Expand

Whitireia to deliver New Zealand Diploma in Ambulance Practice

Paramedic training is set to expand in 2018 with Whitireia announcing it will deliver the NZ Diploma in Ambulance Practice in response to demand from emergency and non-emergency ambulance service providers. Delivering this qualification will enable staff engaged in the industry to achieve the diploma whilst working and to attain the ambulance industry authority to practice as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Completion of this diploma staircases into the BHSc (Paramedic) degree programme and provides an alternative access pathway to the traditional full time on-campus pathway.

Whitireia is one of only two public institutions nationally who provide paramedic training.
"The New Zealand Diploma will allow EMTs to be trained for the job they will be required to do on board an ambulance or emergency services vehicle. Whitireia paramedic training is delivered in partnership with Wellington Free Ambulance and has Council of Ambulance Australasia accreditation. We also work with St John Ambulance New Zealand to ensure that our programmes meet the requirements of the modern paramedic industry," says Carmel Haggerty Head of Health Whitireia and WelTec. “The paramedic degree has been reviewed to accommodate the changing work practices being experienced by the modern paramedic, including primary health and mental health."
Please contact Paramedic Programme Leader Glenn Mitchell via email on for more information.

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