Our history began in 1870, when the Dunedin School of Art opened. It’s the oldest teaching department in the polytechnic sector. The Dunedin School of Art produced some of New Zealand’s finest artists including Frances Hodgkins and Colin McCahon.
In 1889, the Dunedin Technical School was opened and provided English, Latin, Chemistry, shorthand and woodwork evening classes. The classes were established to improve the intelligence of young men, and keep them off the streets. In 1909, we commenced technical classes for secondary school pupils. In 1914, King Edward Technical College was opened in Stuart Street.
Otago Polytechnic begins in 1966
Technical education grew so much that it was necessary to split into two divisions – a Polytechnic and King Edward Technical School. They shared the same location on Tennyson Street, but were run separately.
In 1974, the Polytechnic and King Edward Technical School separated. King Edward became Logan Park High School on its site today.
Otago Polytechnic Forth Street formally opened on 22 May, 1989
Forth Street was a purpose-built campus. The first building was A Block, which housed trades such as Engineering and Carpentry, then F Block for the Nursing, Science and Physiotherapy Schools, and G Block in 1991.
The first degree programme provided by Otago Polytechnic, was the Physiotherapy degree offered conjointly with Otago University from 1991 – 1996.
In 2004, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the four local Ngai Tahu rununga. As a result, the Otago Polytechnic Council developed a Kaitohutohu and two rununga representatives positions. The Institution embraced the joint name of Te Kura Matatini ki Otago. Read more about our Kaitohutohu Office here.
Otago Polytechnic Cromwell inaugurated in 1987
Otago Polytechnic started running courses in Central Otago in 1979 as a response to high demand for education in relation to the Clyde Dam being built. Cromwell (known as Central), runs programmes including Cookery, Horticulture and Business, as well as Outdoor Adventure programmes such as Ski/Snowboard Instruction and Avalanche Safety.
Auckland International Campus
In partnership with Future Skills Academy, Auckland International Campus, located on Queen Street, delivers Information Technology, Design, Construction and Business programmes to international students.
Other satellite campuses
Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Southland, Waiarapa, South Canterbury.