Wed 6 Nov 2019

NZIHT welcomed at opening powhiri

Students and staff at the New Zealand Institute of HighwayTechnology (NZIHT) have been formally welcomed by Tainui iwi at their Hamilton campus.

A powhiri at the new Victoria St building heard Te Hā o te Whenua o Kirikiriroa chair Sonny Karena tell the students they would leave NZIHT with a “wairua Māori” which has now been installed in the walls of the building.

“You are culturally safe - we hold our arms out to embrace you,” he said.

Te Hā o te Whenua o Kirikiriroa is an iwi group representing five Hamilton hapu – Ngāti Māhanga, Ngāti Tamainupo, Ngāti Wairere, Ngāti Haua and Ngāti Koroki.

The group welcomed more than 60 staff and students, predominantly international students from India and Nepal, and also Taranaki iwi and staff from the Western Institute of Technology and Taranaki (WITT), represented by chaplain Tuari Reweti and Kaitakawaenga Allana Prestney.

Some of the Kirikiriroa iwi had been in Taranaki a week earlier for New Zealand Land Wars commemorations gatherings.

NZIHT is a wholly owned subsidiary of WITT and has had a presence in Waikato for some years. It has moved from its previous campus in Collingwood Street, on the edge of the burgeoning Hamilton CBD, to a newly fitted home in the middle of it.

The Institute is one of the country’s largest providers of civil engineering, roading and technical skills training and has 130 students on its new campus studying a Graduate Diploma in Engineering Highways.

More than 350 other students are completing formal qualifications through the Institute – while they work and more than 3000 participants have enrolled on short courses this year. 

Last week about 40 industry leaders visited the new campus to view the facilities.

Pictured: Iwi group chair Sonny Karena welcomed NZIHT to the centre of Hamilton