He tīmatanga hōu – new beginnings for Te Pūkenga

Celebratory ceremony marks early mover milestone for Te Pūkenga network.

Symbolic Māori rituals of karakia and karanga heralded a new dawn for New Zealand’s tertiary education sector in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton) in early June.

In a traditional ceremony of celebration, Te Pūkenga officially welcomed the first ‘early mover’ Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) to its national network: Wintec and Toi Ohomai along with their 24,000 ākonga (learners) and 1,700 kaimahi.

Once all remaining subsidiaries are dissolved, Te Pūkenga as a unified organisation will be directly responsible for more than a quarter of a million ākonga

Hui whakanui to mark the milestone were held at all eight Wintec and Toi Ohomai campuses around the Waikato and Bay of Plenty in tandem with a livestream of the main event at Hamilton’s Wintec House.

Wintec’s Pouārahi Māori (Executive Director Māori, Quality and Academic), Teurikore Biddle (Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Awa), said it was a privilege to lead kaimahi through the change process.

She shares her insights in a new video for Te Pūkenga, 'Early movers, a kaimahi journey'.

“This is an opportunity for us to rethink, reshape, re-envision vocational education in Aotearoa New Zealand …

“I would hope that everybody across the sector sees this as an opportunity for us to be better Te Tiriti partners, to make evidence-based decisions and to be equity-minded in everything that we do.”

Te Pūkenga Chief Executive Stephen Town said the early mover ITPs, Wintec and Toi Ohomai, are leading by example by taking a tuākana role, similar to an older sibling.

Through network-wide sharing and collaboration, information and insights will enable innovation, accelerate opportunities for ākonga and enhance learner outcomes.

“The vision come 1 January 2023 is to have approximately 12,000 staff who all know what they’re there to do and who they report to, and that we collectively are starting to share a vision of doing better than we have in the past.

“It’s not that everything we have done is wrong but there are opportunities to build (on) and make it better.”