Wānanga joins University of Waikato, BOP Polytechnic partnership

25 August 2010


Now we are three: From left, University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi CEO Distinguished Professor Graham Smith and BOP Polytechnic CEO Dr Alan Hampton at the signing of the partnership.

Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi has joined a partnership which delivers education solutions for the wider Bay of Plenty region.

The heads of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, the University of Waikato and the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic signed the agreement on August 24 in Whakatane.

In 2008, the polytechnic and university formalised their unique relationship by signing a partnership agreement to meet the growing needs of the region. The agreement allows students to staircase seamlessly between the institutions, and it delivers research and education solutions that will ultimately help address skill shortages in the region.

The agreement has now been widened to include Whakatane-based tertiary provider Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and is the result of the region’s Tertiary Action Plan which suggested widening the partnership to better meet the needs of Māori and the Eastern Bay of Plenty region.

Awanuiārangi CEO Distinguished Professor Graham Smith says the wānanga is excited about joining the partnership, as it means the organisation can contribute even more to the region by working with the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and the University of Waikato.

“The potential for providing programmes for all of our communities including non-Māori will be facilitated through this memorandum. It is important that collective resources will be used for the benefit of the total community notwithstanding the special challenges faced by the Eastern Bay of Plenty. We are particularly concerned to engage the debilitating effects of Māori social, economic and educational underdevelopment.”

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the partnership is already on its way to making a difference through the likes of the new Bachelor of Social Work, taught at the shared polytechnic-university campus in Tauranga.

“We look forward to consolidating our relationship further with the polytechnic and the wānanga and working with the region’s leaders to deliver excellence in education for the Bay of Plenty.”

BOP Polytechnic Chief Executive Dr Alan Hampton says the partnership is unique in New Zealand and the inclusion of Awanuiārangi in the partnership is important because it will enable students and communities of Bay of Plenty to benefit from the complementary expertise and strengths of the three institutions.

“We must ensure the potential represented in this agreement is realised in practice and that we do make a real difference for our shared communities.”

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