Our History: 1988

The polytechnic continued to grow in 1988 with student numbers increased to over 300 full-time students,  taught by 61 full-time teaching staff and over a hundred part-time tutors.

The Porirua campus was steadily evolving to meet the needs of increased students and increased offerings. There were now 28 classrooms, six specialised rooms for word-processing, typing or computing, three laboratories, a clerical school and a woodwork room. 

Accounting for half the student population of the polytechnic, the nursing studies programme had 150 students, and their role as the senior students of the campus was confirmed at the end of the year when third-year students sat finals for the first time. A range of other programmes was introduced this year, including business refresher/retraining options, a bilingual word-processing and shorthand course, and media studies.

View of the Porirua campus prefabs and courtyards

Aerial view of the Porirua campus and the health block comprised of prefabs surrounding interior courtyards

Media Studies

Journalism, which had its origins in short community courses offered in 1986, came into its own in 1988 with the launch of a media studies programme under the aegis of journalist, producer and documentary maker Adriann Smith. The programme covered writing news stories and features, taking photos, writing ads, interviewing, and making radio commercials, with the student's work having a tangible output via a campus radio station and a three-issue of a college magazine. Over time, media students at Porirua would produce a number of publications including Parumoana PressTech Talk and the Whitireia Times.

Many of the broadcast media elements initiated by Adriann Smith and her programme are still a feature of training at Whitireia where they are included as part of the broader journalism curriculum, and in a more specialised manner within the programmes offered by the New Zealand Radio Training School, a private training establishment purchased by Whitireia New Zealand Limited. The print format of the Parumoana PressTech Talk and the Whitireia Times has given way to the news website Newswire, and radio stations have also taken to the web.

Parumoana Press, November 1988  (1.98 MB PDF)

Adriann Smith and radio student 1990sMedia studies with Adriann Smith

Māori Language Week

In July, Parumoana celebrated Māori Language Week with a series of events, including a kaumātua hui. The hui provided the polytechnic with an opportunity to thank Ngāti Toa for their support over the previous three years.

Turoa Royal described the attendance of Ngāti Toa elders at the celebration as an example of the aroha between Parumoana and the people of  Takapūwāhia Marae. He and Māori studies co-ordinator Rangi Nicholson acknowledged that the iwi had played a major part in the polytechnic from the start, providing the site with its name, while rangatira Wāra Katene had lifted the tapu so that the first building stage could begin. Since then, Ngāti Toa had always been there when the polytechnic needed support, said Turoa Royal, and in turn "Whenever anything happens at  Takapūwāhia, people from the polytechnic go across and help." Polytechnic council member Taukiri Thomason spoke to this connection too, mentioning that each of the three local marae,  Takapūwāhia, Maraeroa and Hongoeka, had their own representative on the council.

Presciently, Turoa Royal spoke of the need for Māori to train in the use of high technology. "Computers are a must," he said, looking to the many jobs that were beginning to open up in hi-tech and media fields for people who were fluent in Te Reo Māori. He also told those in attendance of the plans the polytechnic had for growth, including a centre of cultural studies to promote Maori and Pacific Island culture, setting up a radio station on campus, and the establishment of computer, performing arts and trades options. 

First visual arts graduate show

Mahi a ringa exhibition 1988Mahi-A-Ringa Exhibition poster

The foundation graduates of the Parumoana Craft Design Certificate programme held the first of what would be many exhibitions for the Visual Arts department when they exhibited their work at the Villas Gallery in Kelburn.

Called Mahi-A-Ringa, the exhibition showcased the result of two years of intense study in craft, drawing, and design, and included work in bone, silver, paua, wood and fabric.

Ngāti Toa kaumātua Ihakara Arthur provided the blessing for the opening, with local media commenting on the diversity in age and ethnic background of the 18 students. There was an Australian former kindergarten teacher, a group of Samoan students who used the course to start the hard road towards fashion and textile design, and Sam Kaio, a carver in his 50s. 

Beginning the programme at his age had been frightening at first, Sam Kaio said, noting the ages of his fellow students. "The youngest was 15, and the next in age to me was 32 years away," But, he reflected, "It has been good to mix with other students and craftspeople. My work has been recognised. I grew from a shy old man to a far too outspoken person."

In the news

University goes to Parumoana
Kapi Mana 19.01.1988

In an innovative move, Victoria University will reach out into the community this year, holding Māori language courses for beginners at Parumoana Community Polytechnic. Two language courses will be offered for credit towards a BA or Diploma in Māoritanga on a trial basis. Classes will be held after 4 pm when classroom space is available and teachers and other mature students will be able to attend.

The establishment of classes at Parumoana is another way of bringing more people into the system, says Professor Hirini Mead, head of Māori Studies at Victoria University. "Many Māori are afraid of the institution of the university and regard it as the epitome of Pakehatanga. Some who would not be able to travel into Victoria to attend classes will be able to experience the demands of a university course in a more familiar environment, closer to their own work and homes."

Mr Turoa Royal, the principle of Parumoana Community Polytechnic, has welcomed the opportunity for people in the Porirua Basin to attend university courses in space that the college can provide. If other university departments are interested in a similar venture, he says, he would be interested discussing it with them. 

Māori language has depth
Contact 29.01.1988

Māori language and culture course are an important feature of Parumoana Polytechnic in Porirua. The Māori Studies department at Parumoana is planning both part-time and block courses this year covering beginners and intermediate level Māori communication, language, poetry and wood and bone carving for beginners. Formal oratory, Māori language for public servants and Māori language for teachers are also planned this year, depending on availability of staff and other resources.

Last year, 40 courses were held with 30 part-time tutors. A highlight was the involvement of 260 State Services Commission staff in an intensive Tikanga Māori course. The polytech also hosted 20 primary school teachers and tutors who stayed on a marae and spoke only Māori for four days. The immersion hui was part of a three-week pilot Māori language course for primary school teachers in the Wellington and Kāpiti Coast region. It is believed the total immersion approach can help teachers and others speak Māori confidently and fluently.

Parumoana media class broadcasts its message
Contact 29.01.1988

Parumoana Community Polytechnic's third year gets underway next month with the introduction of a new course in media studies. The polytechnic is calling for applicants for the course, which will give 18 students the chance to try their hand at the skills used in broadcasting and publishing.

Students will run a lunchtime radio station and produce three issues of a college magazine. Included in the studies is writing news stories and features, drawing cartoons, taking photographs, writing advertisements, interviewing and making radio commercials. The course tutor is Adriann Smith, formerly with Radio New Zealand.

Another new course being introduced this year is one leading to the New Zealand Certificate in Engineering. According to course tutor Van-Long Tuong, it is a "para-professional" qualification with five stages of the study. It is fulltime for one year and covers stages one and two of the certificate. After the first year, students have a choice of going on to stage three in the first half of the next year or working then returning in the second half.

Funds for Polytech not meeting demand
Te Awa-iti 12.02.1988

Parumoana Community Polytechnic enters its third year 'bulging' with people and plans. The carpark is overflowing, more classrooms are going up, the administration block is on the move again and the crèche is nearly ready.

The Polytech now caters for over 300 full-time students, compared to 73 two years ago. Full-time staff grew from 24 to 61. There were over 100 part-time tutors. Director, Turoa Royal, told Te Awa-iti he thought the rapid growth of the Polytech reflected the times. There are now 1600 unemployed as compared to 1100 in Porirua when the Polytech opened, two years ago. "Employers want workers with skills that can only be found at a Polytechnic." But funding he said "was not matching the expectations of people out there. We have had our reasonable share of resources thanks to the past Minister of Education," Mr Royal said, but resources have to be shared with other Polytechs and Universities "which is nowhere near enough to fit the bill."

Polytechnic offers bilingual typing course
Te Awa-iti 22.02.1988

Fourteen Māori language speakers will soon have the opportunity to learn new typing and word processing skills. Parumoana Community Polytechnic in Porirua is offering an eighteen-week full-time Bilingual Typists Course began on Monday, 18 July 1988.

"This is the first time that a typing course for Māori language native speakers and second language learners has been held in Aotearoa," said Mrs Rehu Wieser, Course Tutor. "There is a real demand among Government Departments and other agencies for competent Māori language typists. Successful graduates could look forward to new and exciting careers," said Mrs Wieser. "Students will be prepared for the New Zealand Trade Certificate Board, Pitman and Parumoana Community Polytechnic examinations. 

Two-thirds of the course will be divided between Typing, Word Processing, Dicta Typing, Communication English and General Business Procedures. One-third of the class time will be allocated to Māori language and cultural skills. The Tertiary Assistance Grant is available to those accepted on this course.

Course provides bridge to challenging careers
Evening Post 29.02.1988, by Gita Parsot, Wellington East Girls' College

Teachers, exercise books, homework - who wants them?

Julie Paterson and Pauline Paese do. They both completed the Bridging course at Parumoana Community Polytechnic last year and as a result, are now moving on to have interesting careers. Pauline has begun the three-year Occupational Therapy course at the Central Institute of Technology. Julie hopes to do nursing, and in the meantime she is building up her savings, working as a Receptionist at the Container Services Division. She moved from Gisborne for the Bridging course after hearing about it from her aunt. "I'd been trying to get into nursing for a year. My aunt here in Wellington rang me and told me about the course, so I came down straight away and got enrolled."

Parumoana's health clinic service growing
Kapi Mana 03.05.1988

In March last year, Parumoana nursing tutor, Elaine Needham and the Polytechnic council saw the need to set up a health clinic on campus for the students. A few students had no regular doctor either because they lived beyond Porirua or had not registered. Others had a family doctor but were away from home all day attending classes and could not get appointments to suit.

With the support of three local doctors, Elaine now sees students regularly and refers them on, if necessary. When not in the clinic, she visits classes, teaching and holding discussions on various subjects including mental and physical stress, sexually transmitted diseases, cancer prevention, family planning, alcohol and drug abuse, and dietary health. The service is being extended to include cervical smears, hepatitis B injections for all nursing students. and lunchtime classes to promote healthy diet and exercise.

Media tutor award finalist
Kapi Mana 19.04.1988

A Parumoana media studies tutor, Adriann Smith, was one of three finalists for the 1988 Mobil Radio Awards. Her radio programme 'Nga Aureretanga O Parihaka' (The Groans of Parihaka) earned her second place in the Media Peace Awards and was a contender for Best Documentary or Spoken Feature.

Before joining the staff at Parumoana Polytech, Adriann spent 12 years as a journalist with Radio New Zealand. She was largely involved with current affairs and was also a producer of the Continuing Education Unit of Radio New Zealand.

Extra $4000 for scholarship fund
Kapi Mana 26.04.1988

The Porirua Licensing Trust gave a further $4000 to Parumoana Community Polytechnic on top of the $30,000 it gave previously to establish a scholarship fund. Chairman, Jim Gray, said over 30 applications had been received and nine scholarships awarded, averaging $450 but granted according to need.

The trust gave $40,000 in donations in 1987 including $450 to the Little Sisters of the Assumption for conducting the Polynesian Centre for pre-schoolers in the mornings and senior citizens in the afternoons. It received over 30 applications for Ross Kelly Outward Bound scholarships to Anikawa. It selected two young people, Jacqueline Long, who attended Parumoana and Sarah de Lacey of Titahi Bay, to attend Outward Bound courses in 1988.

Parumoana childcare up and away
Te Awa-iti 06.05.1988

It has taken five months to establish The Parumoana Community Polytechnic Childcare Centre, from the purchase of an old but homely house in Mungavin Avenue to relocating, refurbishing and staffing the crèche next to the Polytech. Thirty-two children can now be left happy and in good care while their parents attend courses. Much of the work both inside and outside was done and is still being completed by the students themselves and the whole setting has the makings of a true home away from home.

This week a meeting was held to set up a new committee to oversee the running of the crèche and ensure that parents take an active role in its development and administration. The committee will be made up of five elected centre parents, one student representative, one nominee from Parumoana Polytechnic Council, one polytechnic staff representative, co-opted membership as decided. As is required by the constitution. Members of the internal committee were: Julia Hennessy, Bill Beven, Tony Tomlin, Majorie Truong, Sally Ansley, Ed Smith, Margaret Collinge, Diana Goss, Barbara Marshall, Margaret Faulkner and Toby Faulkner. 

Launching Māori tourism association
Te Awa-iti 07.06.1988

The Māori Tourism Association held its inaugural general meeting in Rotorua on Friday and Saturday. Early in 1988, a steering committee was brought together at a hui in Te Awamutu. The association's constitution was signed and an interim board formed. In partnership with the interim board, the Department of Māori Affairs and the New Zealand Tourist and Publicity Department organised the general meeting to be held this weekend.

Office assistant trainees learn about travel
Kapi Mana 07.06.1988

An Office Assistant Class at Parumoana Community Polytechnic studied a travel module under role skills tutor, Mrs Dale Hartle. The module enabled students to learn how to use the variety of travel facilities available from airlines in New Zealand. Topics discussed ranged from making reservations including accommodation and hiring rental cars to baggage, travel insurance, medical requirements and Customs.

Business facilities such as travel cards and couriers, preparation of executives' "trip folders", itineraries and appointment schedules were also discussed. This enabled students to arrange business trips for executives.

Course to help the hard of hearing
Kapi Mana 28.06.1988

A confident Communication Skills Class for people with hearing difficulties starts in Porirua on July 12, 1988, and runs for six weeks. Hearing Association tutor, Jeanette Anderson and Parumoana Polytechnic instructor Claire Woodman will hold two-hour classes.

$2.5 admin block for Parumoana
Kapi Mana 05.07.1988

Work has started on a new administration and library block at Parumoana Community Polytechnic. Porirua MP, Graham Kelly, said the new block, planned by registered architects, T G Dykes and Associates of Wellington, is the first permanent facility for the polytechnic. It will house all administration and management functions and include staff areas, common space, library and associated reference library areas, five classrooms and an audiovisual room.

"This is a most welcome addition to Parumoana and will be the first substantial building in the complex," said Mr Kelly. "It will be a visible sign of the permanence of the Polytechnic and is a continuation of the commitment by the Government to the educational facilities in Porirua," he said.

Rapid student growth
Te Awa-iti 08.07.1988

The growth in student numbers in polytechnics, expressed in full-time equivalent students, was 1768 students in 1985, 4101 students in 1986, and 3530 students in 1987. This is a total of 9399 additional full-time equivalent students over the past three years. A significant part of the increase came from people who would not have traditionally entered the tertiary sector. They include Access, Link, the Foundation, and the Employment Rich schemes.

Te Awa-iti understands that Parumoana Community Polytechnic full-time students have grown rapidly to 300 in a three year period. Some students are being turned away in the more popular courses such as business studies and nursing.

Full-time ESL course starts at Parumoana
Kapi Mana 26.07.1988

Parumoana Polytechnic's English as a Second Language unit started a full-time course to give people the confidence to do more training and get jobs by improving their English. Called A Foundation in English, the course teaches both English and computer and life skills. ESL class co-ordinator Margaret Collinge aimed to raise people's confidence by raising their level of English.

Polytech crèche opened
Evening Post 16.08.1988

The availability of good childcare was essential because children shaped the future, Kāpiti MP Margaret Shields said at the official opening of the Parumoana Community Polytechnic crèche at the weekend. Mrs Shields, who is also Minister of Women's Affairs, applauded the facility saying it would provide for mothers in a twofold way - enabling parents to attend the polytechnic knowing their children were well looked after, and allow other mothers time off from the demands of their children.

The crèche has been running since February. It has a roll of 39 children, with capacity for 24 at any one time. Porirua MP Graham Kelly, Mayor John Burke, Cr Geoff Walpole and Ngāti Toa elder Patariia Rei were also present. 

Radio station for festival
Kapi Mana 04.10.1988, story by Judi Ashley

Porirua Basin residents from Tawa to Paremata were able to tune into their own community radio-waves. An application for a short-term broadcasting warrant was lodged with the Broadcasting Tribunal by Parumoana Polytech's Council, for eight days of air time from November 19-26, from 6-10 am and 4-8 pm daily.

The Polytech's Media Studies students ran the station, giving them practical experience in operating a radio station and completing their radio production module of the one-year media course. The AM station was called "Festival 1467" - because it was found at 1467 on the dial and coincides with Porirua's Festival Week.

Governor visits Porirua
Te Awa-iti 11.11.1988

The Governor-General, Sir Paul Reeves, and Lady Reeves were invited by the Porirua City Council to tour the city today. After morning tea at the Council Chamber with Porirua Mayor John Burke, Mrs Burke and Town Clerk John Seddon the couple were taken to view Access training courses in Kenepuru Drive.

After lunch, the Whitford Brown Community Workshop and Parumoana Community Polytechnic were visited before heading off to see the eastside of Porirua to see Cannons Creek School, Maraeroa Marae Carving School.

Work by craft graduates on show
Kapi Mana 15.11.1988

The first Craft Design Certificate graduates of Parumoana Polytechnic are exhibiting their work at the Villas Gallery in Kelburn. This week's exhibition shows the final products of two years of intense study in several craft media, drawing, and design. Parumoana is the last of 11 polytechnics in New Zealand to get the certificate course underway. Standards achieved at the small Porirua facilities are reaching the same height which has become the hallmark of similar craft courses.

Students in the graduating class represent a range of ages and ethnic backgrounds. Notable is a Māori carver in his 50s, an Australian ex-kindergarten teacher, and a group of Samoan descent who used the course to start the hard road towards fashion and textile design. The exhibition is an exciting display of a range of good quality craftwork in bone, silver, paua, wood and fabric. Several pieces are for sale.

Ngāti Toa kaumātua, Ken Arthur, joined the students to bless the opening last Sunday. The public is welcome to visit during regular gallery hours. Students are available at most times to discuss their experience. 

Years of bush work pay off as carver finds inspiration in wood
The Dominion 17.11.1988 by Cathie Bell

Working in the bush for 37 years has given Sam Kaio a knowledge of wood and inspiration for his craft. Kaio is one of 18 graduates from the Craft Design Certificate course at Parumoana Community Polytechnic. He was 55, the next oldest student is 23.

Graduates of the two-year full-time course are exhibiting work at the Villas Gallery in Kelburn this week. Sam Kaio has always been a carver, but he says the Parumoana course helped him to discover the Māori aspects of his carving in bone and wood. He was interested in that part of his heritage but had done little Māori carving till the course. He has become known for his work in bone but preferred to work with wood. "I'm a bushman. I love the outdoor life. I lived in the bush all my life. I know the wood, the hardness, the softness, all its colours," he said.

Next year Kaio hopes to hold an exhibition in Auckland of his work in bone and paua. Most of those figures will be Māori representations of birds. Kaio will continue working part-time with the Maraeroa Marae school of carving. 

Starting the polytechnic course at his age was frightening at first, Kaio said. "The youngest was 15, and the next in age to me was 32 years away," he said. "It has been good to mix with other students and craftspeople. My work has been recognised. I grew from a shy old man to a far too outspoken person."

Won prize for communication
Te Awa-iti 09.12.1988

Tina Callwood, a part-time student at Parumoana Polytechnic, has been awarded the Kirk Barclay prize for Business Communication. This is an annual prize of $100 and a certificate which the Wellington firm of chartered accountants give to Polytechnic students engaged in studies leading to accountancy qualifications. Tina studied Business Communication and Accounting at Parumoana this year. She is working towards the National Certificate in Business Studies. 

Ian Lothian, of Kirk Barclays, who presented the award, said his firm was aware of the need for accountants to be able to communicate clearly within their own organisation and with their clients. "We have to stop talking and writing to people in jargon and communicate so everyone can understand us," he said.

Certificates were presented by Deirdre Dale, newly appointed associate director of the polytechnic, and Diana Goss, representing the polytechnic council. Jan Watkins, head of the business studies department, said it was the fastest-growing department at Parumoana. It started three years ago with three tutors; next year there will be 13.