Reflecting on 2017

Kia ora koutou and welcome to our final edition of Te Hononga for 2017. I hope you have enjoyed keeping informed about our achievements this year as we continue to build two incredibly vibrant tertiary institutions.

More than 7580 Equivalent Full-time Students (EFTS) enrolled in programmes at our Wellington and Auckland campuses. The number of students studying at tertiary level has fallen due to a decline in the school leaver population nationwide and uncertainty in the international student market as a result of perceived changes in international  policy settings.

We have, however, experienced strong growth in our secondary-tertiary pathway programmes particularly the Wellington Trades Academy with the Ministry of Education funding 20 additional places in July to make a total of 260 Trades Academy students at our institutions. We are very appreciative of Wellington secondary school principals who support this key initiative. The Wellington Trades Academy is now part of Learner Journey Centre of Learning and which is headed by Helen Gardiner.

There have been a number of significant announcements recently including fees-free which our new Prime Minister and Minister of Education estimate will create extra demand for places at polytechnics. We are excited about the possibilities and, along with our new free bus transport service, we expect that prospective students will take the opportunity to study with us.

In the last few weeks there have been many graduations including the Whitireia Certificate in Health and Wellbeing ceremony (pictured below), student exhibitions for our Business, IT, Built Environment and Engineering students, performances by our arts students and numerous outstanding events as our students showcased their talent at end-of-year shows.

I presented at a forum organised by the ASEAN NZ Business Council in Auckland alongside many Asian dignitaries and MFAT as we seek to further our international partnerships. The Electra Business Awards on the Kāpiti Coast and Hutt Valley Youth Awards also provide opportunities for our institutions to connect with our community and business partners. 

As the academic year draws to a close for 2017, I would like to acknowledge our hard working and dedicated professional teaching team, and also the staff who enrich the learning experience for our students.

I wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday and I look forward to a fantastic 2018 where our students continue to achieve to a high standard and go on to have bright and productive futures.

Ka kite anō au i a koutou Chris Gosling
Seasons greetings and best wishes for 2018 from the Whitireia and WelTec Joint Leadership Team

Te Auaha Coming Soon!

The interior fit-out of our new creative campus Te Auaha is finished. An incredibly moving blessing ceremony was held at dawn in early November led by elders from Te Atiawa and Ngāti Toa.  Now staff are moving in.

Our brand new Bachelor of Creativity, designed with the future of work in mind, is with NZQA for approval. The degree encourages inter- and cross-disciplinary practice.

We are getting ready for our grand opening and we will be hosting a number of events which are associated with the areas we teach in. Keep up-to-date with all our news by joining Te Auaha Facebook

We hope to see you at our new campus next year.

External link →

Check out the new Te Auaha signage installed in Manners Mall

Social Services Welcomed to Porirua

WelTec Social Services staff and students accompanied by Te Atiawa were welcomed to the Porirua campus in November, starting with a mihi whakatau lead by Ngāti Toa Rangatira. We are establishing a base for a Health and Social Services Centre of Learning at the Whitireia Porirua campus with a strong focus on diploma, degree and postgraduate programmes through to the Masters of Professional Practice.

Whitireia is nationally renowned for its health related programmes and WelTec is the sole national provider of a number of key programmes in addictions, counselling and youth development which are highly regarded by professional health bodies and organisations. WelTec and Whitireia are well placed to provide a cohesive package of educational options for the health and social services sectors.

“Through this hub and spoke model we are delivering training across the region and making tertiary education more accessible to learners. This is a very positive move for students and the health and social services sector. The Porirua community is diverse and the surrounding business area is expanding. There is a thriving student community which includes many hundreds of international students all adding to the vibrancy of the campus,” says Chris Gosling.

External link → Media Release

Whitireia Nurses Recognised

The Bachelor of Nursing Pacific (BNP) fakamavae (farewell) for Year 3 students in November acknowledged the 28 students who completed their nursing degree and sat the State Final exams this year. 

Inspiring messages from speakers, Carmel Haggerty (Head of School Health) and Dr Margaret Southwick (Dean Emeritus and Founder of the BNP Programme) emphasised that our graduates will make a positive and meaningful impact on the people that they are going to serve as Registered Nurses. Special acknowledgement was made of the presence and support of Capital and Coast Health DHB, the Hutt Valley DHB, the Ministry for Pacific People, and to families, friends and mentors.

External link → Nursing at Whitireia

Trades Training on the Move

Construction and engineering trades training at Whitireia is relocating to the Wi Neera Drive campus in Porirua.

"For many years construction and engineering trades training has been delivered out of public sight at the Industy Training Centre at Mohuia Crescent in Porirua. Due to the scale of our trades training delivery, and demand for skilled trades graduates, we are relocating from the Mohuia site to the main Porirua campus on Wi Neera Drive," says Chris Gosling.

"To facilitate this move we are investing in new trades facilities which will accommodate a range of trades including carpentry, electrical, and automotive engineering in 2018. The new workshops, classrooms and computer labs will also be accessed by Trades Academy students who will benefit from an enhanced tertiary experience.

"We have already started our mid-year carpentry programme at the new site with the construction of a three-bedroom house well underway. The move has attracted lots of public and community interest and enquiries for our trades training programmes have increased. The move onto the main Whitireia campus is a significant step forward as we realise our plans to further strengthen our trades training delivery through the Wellington Regional School of Construction and the Wellington School of Engineering.

"This second phase of establishing a Wellington-wide network of tertiary education trades training provision will see the completion of two main hubs centred in Petone and Porirua, and eventually preparatory programmes available across our region,” says Chris Gosling.

"We will now be able to provide students and staff with improved facilities and access to the full range of services available at the main Porirua campus. The relocation will also give our important trades training more visibility and profile in the local community,” says Neil McDonald, Head of Construction at Whitireia and WelTec.

Graham Carson, Head of Engineering at Whitireia and WelTec, commented that attracting more people to study engineering at Whitireia could only be good for local employers. "There are a lot of engineering companies in Porirua and on the Kāpiti Coast. We know there is a skills shortage in the engineering trades."

External link → Media Release

Changing Face of Construction

Meet the new face of construction. Azaria Felagai is pursuing her career goal to become a qualified builder and at the same time leading by example showing other young women considering a career in building that you can succeed in the construction industry.

External link → Media Release

Symposium Highlights Research Diversity

Kylie Reiri, keynote speaker
presenting on cutting edge data driven insights to improve outcomes.

Researchers joined together at the Annual Research Symposium recently held at Whitireia. They presented on a diverse range of disciplines and teaching areas.

The theme this year Innovating for Industry and Community showcased the strong connection ITPs have with their communities and industry. As well as researchers from WelTec, Whitireia and the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, there were presentations from Toi Ohomai and Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand.

Ruth Anderson, Director Academic WelTec and Whitireia, acknowledged that the diversity of applied research undertaken at our institutions was well represented. “Research areas including seismic assessment of structures; the language of trades; Māori values in Māori tourism businesses; mental wellbeing of paramedics; and juggling paid work and nursing studies featured as part of the programme.” 

External link →  Symposium in Wellington attracts 150 researchers.

Pasifika Trades Graduates

Pasifika Trades Training graduating students gathered at the beginning of November to celebrate the completion of their pre-trade qualifications with celebrations held in Porirua and Naenae. 84 Pasifika students participated in Pasifika Trades Training this year across the Wellington region studying fees-free at WelTec or Whitireia. From builders to plumbers, hairdressers to painters and automotive engineers, we congratulate our graduates on their academic achievements  – they have a bright future.

External link → WelTec Whitireia

AI, Big Data and Ethics

Dr Steve McKinlay presenting at the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Dr Steve McKinlay, Senior Lecturer in our School of Information Technology, presented AI, Big Data and Ethics: implications for a free society to a packed audience at the Royal Society Te Apārangi in October. With the increasing use of big data, and development of the Integrated Data Infrastructure hosted by Statistics NZ, the issue of ethics is very topical. Steve is an internationally recognised expert in IT and teaches a specialised course on IT Ethics. 

Steve features in Are robots going to kill us all?  Max Towle/The Wireless.

International Student Excellence Awards

The 2017 Wellington International Student Excellence Awards recognised success of international students in the region. WelTec graduate Yorke Yu (Graduate Diploma in Creative Technology pictured above), and Whitireia student, Vineet Kaur (Post Graduate Diploma in IT) received recognition. Yorke received the International Alumni Excellence Award and Vineet the International Student Excellence Award (Academic Excellence). An outstanding result and we wish both Yorke and Vineet continued success in their careers and studies.

External link → Wellington’s international students continue to flourish

Prisoners Build a Future

Eight prisoners have built a three bedroom house behind the wire at Rimutaka Prison, and in the process achieved the NZ Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (level 3) from WelTec. View video: Corrections NZ  View article on Stuff.

Wellington Trades Academy

Congratulations to Wellington Trades Academy graduating students.  

Wellington Trades Academy students graduated this year in Early Childhood Studies, Hospitality and Tourism, Trades Skills, Engineering and Automotive, Health Sciences, Construction, Animal Care, Creative Technology, Sports and Fitness, Hair and Beauty, and Salon Environment. Helen Gardiner, Director Learner Journey, says these were very special events reminding us that accomplishments are often personal, reflecting how students gain self-confidence, motivation, commitment and focus. “These skills provide a base from which students can plan their future study or enter the workforce.”
Philip Kauika, Assistant Principal Pastoral - Teacher in charge of Trades at Wainuiomata College, says “There is no doubt the trades relationship with WelTec is valuable and the students selected for 2018 feel privileged and joy at being accepted into the course.”

Congratulations to Debbie Martin, Wellington Trades Academy Hospitality student who has earned a scholarship from City and Guilds. Debbie plans to study Bakery (Level 3) and Cookery (Level 4) at WelTec next year.

External link → Trades Academy at WelTec Trades Academy at Whitireia

Paramedics Share World-Class Experience

Sean Thompson, Ken MacIver, Howard Wills and Alan Wilson from our School of Health recently attended the Paramedics Australasia International Conference.  Ken outlined his Masters research on paramedic decision-making, Howard presented a poster on his Masters research about paramedic assessment anxiety, and Alan took out the grand prize for best poster based on his Masters research on the paramedic simulation debrief model.  Sean was a plenary keynote speaker and discussion panelist in the Resource Challenging Events session where he talked about the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.  Ken, Alan and Howard completed their Master of Professional Practice at Whitireia.

External link → #PAIC2017

Engineering and IT Graduating Students Showcase Commitment, Collaboration and Creativity

The final year projects for WelTec students completing the Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Information Technology, Diploma in Architectural Technology and Graduate Diploma representing more than 450 hours of each student’s time have been completed with and for industry as part of the final year of study.

More than 130 intermediate age children viewed the student projects during the showcase event at Petone with a formal function in the evening for industry and community. Guest speakers included Hutt City Mayor Ray Wallace, Chief Executive of Engineering New Zealand Susan Freeman-Greene, and Paul Matthews from IT Professionals NZ.

Susan Freeman-Greene (pictured above at right) highlighted the pace of change facing the engineering and IT industry. "Commitment, collaboration and creativity are essential for today’s workforce and these are exactly the skills being demonstrated by the students showcasing their talent."

Whitireia business and IT students also displayed their projects at an event in Porirua attended by Porirua City Council Mayor Mike Tana.

External link → Media Release

WelTec Engineer Represents NZ

Dr Gareth Gretton, fifth from the left, at the
International Energy Agency – Ocean Energy Systems meeting in India.

Dr Gareth Gretton from the School of Engineering, recently represented New Zealand at the International Energy Agency – Ocean Energy Systems meeting in Chennai, India. Gareth was there in his capacity as Chair of the Aotearoa Wave and Tidal Energy Association which advocates for the development of sustainable energy powered by the ocean through waves and tides. This form of sustainable energy represents a significant untapped resource and there is global interest in its development, with 2017 seeing the world’s first utility-scale tidal current turbine farm installed in Scotland.

External link → Ocean Energy Systems Newsletter

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