Our History

Whitireia is a name our people brought from Hawaiiki with them. They believe it came from the ngā atua, from the gods. That name is very deep in the Māori world. There are two names in Māoridom that we say are from the gods, and Whitireia is one of them.

– Ihakara Arthur, Ngāti Toa kaumātua

Whitireia & WelTec is proud of our history. WelTec is one of New Zealand's oldest tertiary education institutions and the second-oldest in Wellington. Both schools have certainly changed over the years, but our values remain the same.

Whitireia was established in 1986 as a way of establishing a community college for Porirua. Minister of Education Russell Marshall wanted to offer the people of Porirua the same opportunities to succeed as the rest of New Zealand. Originally known as Parumoana Community College, Whitireia continues to democratise education by being one of the most diverse tertiary institutions in the country.

WelTec began life as the Petone Technical School in 1904, teaching evening classes in rented accommodation. After four years, we moved to our current site in Petone teaching high school students technical skills during the day and continuing part-time courses at night. 

Over the years, we've been known as Petone Technical College, Hutt Valley Memorial Technical College, Petone Technical Institute and Hutt Valley Polytechnic. We became the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) in 2001 and the name stuck. We’ve been providing high-quality education for over a century. 

Our focus today remains the same: providing all students with quality education, connecting them to industry and community, and launching you into your chosen career.


Find out more about our history:

Whitireia History  WelTec History