Our History: 2007

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The Whitireia campus redevelopment plan resumed in 2007, with several projects getting underway, ensuring that the following year would be a veritable year-long season of openings 

In August, the ground was broken on the site for what was then referred to as the HEdSS (Health, Education and Social Sciences) building and work swiftly began.

Breaking ground for Wikitoria Katene 2007Don Campbell and staff at the groundbreaking for Wikitoria Katene on 28 August 2007, with the original lecture theatre behind them 

Construction would continue on the building into the new year and ten months later it was officially opened by Prime Minister Helen Clark on Wednesday 18 June 2008.

WikitoriKateneRenderArtist impression of the new health building

A royal visit  

Tongan Princess Salote Mafile’o Pilolevu Tuita visited to open a new student hostel for Tongan students at Whitireia. Tongan students and some of the city’s 2500 Tongan residents were among 200 people who turned out for a pōwhiri at Ngāti Toa’s Takapūwāhia Marae, the formal opening of the new hostel, and a hākari (feast) which served traditional hangi and Tongan raw fish.

Tongan Princess 2007 TakapuwahiaPrincess Salote Mafile’o Pilolevu Tuita welcomed to Takapūwāhia Marae

In the news

Top photographer
Kapiti Observer, 18.01.2007

A week at one of America's most prestigious schools of photography has fired up a Whitireia graduate photographer towards her goal of working in the fashion industry. Kate McPherson was in the first intake of students to enrol in the Whitireia Practical Certificate of Photography in 2000 and go through the second course, the Certificate in Advanced Photography, in 2001. Both courses were offered in association with the Photo School in Paraparaumu. On graduating she worked as an assistant to a photographer, before starting her own business in 2002.

Last year she won a scholarship from the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers to study for a week at the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. McPherson said she had a pressure cooker week with Jason Madara, based in San Francisco. "As a person, he was inspiring," she said.   

Polytech expands to meet the growing demand for trades
Kapi-Mana News, 01.05.2007, by Kate Bleasdale

The first physical step towards Whitireia Community Polytechnic’s new automotive training building was made last week when chief executive Don Campbell turned the first sod. As part of extending the Industry Training Centre on Mohuia Crescent, the automotive building will be moved from its current position on Prosser Street to a purpose-built facility.

Faculty of Service Industries and Trades dean Stephen Wickens said by having all of the trades on offer at the one place, the polytechnic could provide students with more services.

Trades have been a growth area for the polytechnic over the last few years. We provide people with the necessary skills that will make them attractive for apprenticeships. Mr Wickens said in 2001 they had 15 students signed up for the automotive course. This year they have over 70.

The new building will be paid for by the sale of the Prosser Street property.

Takirirangi Smith02Takirirangi Smith
Whakairo tutor brings taonga to Native America
Kapi-Mana News, 24.04.2007

Whitireia master Māori carver Takirirangi Smith will spend the next three months working with Native American artists at a Washington university. 

Chosen for excellence in whakairo (Māori carving) by Te Waka Toi, the Māori Arts Board of Creative New Zealand, Mr Smith will be in Washington until June.

Mr Smith is the whakairo tutor at Whitireia Community Polytechnic in Porirua. In September last year, he led a team of carvers who made five metre-high gateways for the Montana World of Wearable Art Awards Shows. The design was a fusion of Māori motifs and contemporary materials.

Over recent years the Whitireia course has gone from strength to strength. Mr Smith sees the difference between whakairo and other art forms as being about whakapapa.

Top Journalist to head Journalism school at Whitireia 
E-News, August 2007

Jim Tucker, one of New Zealand’s best-known journalism educators and media commentators, is to head the Whitireia journalism school in Porirua. He brings outstanding skills and reputation both as a journalist and educator and will bring a leading edge to our journalism programmes. Several new developments in our journalism offerings will be announced over the next period of time under Jim’s leadership.

Jim says he welcomes the chance to move back to teaching. Teaching the next generation is my first love and I’m looking forward to the possibilities Whitireia offers.” Jim has 42 years’ experience as a journalist, editor, journalism lecturer and education administrator and is editor/author of the two basic journalism training textbooks used throughout New Zealand.

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