New dawn for university’s Tauranga campus

A dawn karakia has taken place at the University of Waikato’s Tauranga Campus in Durham Street this morning; the first step in opening the campus up to the people of the Bay of Plenty, on behalf of the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Partnership.

The ceremony, known as ‘Tā i te kawa’, will ensure the spiritual wellbeing of the new campus, and of staff and students who will make it their home.

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Alister Jones says the karakia is a significant step in the process of growing the University’s long-standing commitment to the people and communities of the Bay of Plenty.

“We are grateful for the key role iwi take in the cultural life of the campus. We are aware of our role in fulfilling the aspirations of Māori and all others who come to us to build knowledge and get world-class qualifications, on which they will found careers and futures.

“We’re also grateful for the hard work that has been done by many people to get us close to the point of official opening. In particular our key funders, the Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust.”

Some students are still completing their enrolment, so final numbers aren’t yet available, but Alister says enrolments are growing across all subjects, with numbers as of Monday 18 February 31 per cent up in the same time last year;

“It is a very promising start to the future we see here at the new campus, and our intention to see the Bay of Plenty prosper.”

Computer laboratories will open first, with the rest of the campus opening incrementally to students, staff and the wider public.

Key elements of today’s ceremony are the artworks that will help give the campus identity and breathe life into the new building.

They express a cultural narrative that reflects the relationship with mana whenua and, more broadly, with Tauranga Moana and Bay of Plenty iwi.

The artworks also acknowledge the University’s relationships with education partners in the region, and with the many diverse cultures that will make up the campus community.

To read the original Sunlive news article, click here.

Principal partners