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Otago Polytechnic today unveiled new Māori names for four of its key buildings.

Having worked closely with rūnaka for several months, Otago Polytechnic is pleased to announce new names for H Block (Ōtākou), G Block (Kaikarae), O Block (Ōwheo) and S Block (Tauraka Pipipi).

In the search for suitable names, the previous Council of Otago Polytechnic sought names for four of its prominent buildings that would connect with the history of the Otago region, as well as ensure a connection with other work occuring more broadly across Dunedin City.

Led by Megan Pōtiki, a small group of rūnaka members met at Ōtākou Marae on 18 February 2020 to discuss this concept further and the idea of using local waterways was decided upon.

Megan Pōtiki conducted further research and consulted on the four preferred names with a broader range of rūnaka members who were also steeped in local history. 

Tahu Pōtiki, Khyla Russell and Simon Kaan were instrumental in coming up with the theme of  “He Ara Honohono”, or intersecting pathways, to guide Otago Polytechnic’s campus developments approximately four years ago.

The concept of “ara honohono”, is central to an overarching theme that binds Otago Polytechnic’s ongoing redevelopment.

The area around what is now Otago Polytechnic’s campus was a point of intersection for previous generations of Māori. 

The idea of ara honohono fits intrinsically with the notion that education is a journey, and also reflects the way in which students pass through Otago Polytechnic.

Names and details:

H Block – Ōtākou

Otago Polytechnic is on the doorstep of the Ōtākou highway (i.e. Te Awa Ōtākou / the Otago Harbour), from which particular awa (streams / rivers) flow into the Taiari and further afield.

G Block – Kaikarae

Kai karae (as written by HK Taiaroa in his 1880 manuscript) – now known as Kaikorai.

O Block – Ōwheo

Ōwheo is the stream beside O Block that runs into the Otago Harbour.

S Block – Tauraka Pipipi

Tauraka Pipipi (as written by HK Taiaroa in his 1880 manuscript) is not actually a waterway, but an estuary – now known as Logan Park, where S Block is located.


Published on 18 Mar 2021

Orderdate: 18 Mar 2021
Expiry: 31 Dec 2021