Hiring academic regalia

When you register

One of the best parts about your graduation is the chance to wear academic regalia with your friends and classmates. You can hire your academic regalia through the Graduation Registration Form (when the form is open).

Regalia is the name given to your gown and trencher (and your trencher is your headwear).  

Trencher "try-on"

We know it's tricky choosing the right size for your trencher so we offer trencher "try-on" at our Customer Services desk (The Hub, Dunedin Campus). 

The Customer Service desk hours are 8.30am-5.00pm, Monday - Friday.

Drop by whenever it suits and ask to try on the trenchers to make sure you're getting one you feel comfortable with!

This is available all year, not just in the lead-up to graduation.

Regalia fees

Below is a list of our current fees for each type of regalia. You need to pay this fee before you turn up to collect your gown and trencher as we don't have any payment facilities at the Gown Room.

Type of programme / gown Cost
Certificate, New Zealand Certificate $30
Diploma, New Zealand Diploma $50
Bachelor $70
Graduate Certificate, Diploma $70
Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma $70
Master, Doctor $70

Payment for regalia

You must pay for your academic regalia before you can collect it from the Gown Room.

We don't have any payment facilities in the Gown Room and you won't be able to take your regalia if you haven't pre-paid for it. 

You can pay by any of the following methods:

  • Pay online via Eventbrite (select the Graduation date you are attending)
  • Pay with cash or EFTPOS at Customer Services (The Hub, Dunedin Campus, Mon-Fri, 8.30am-5.00pm)
  • Pay with credit or debit card over the phone by ringing 0800 762 786 (8.30am - 5.00pm, Mon-Fri)

If your regalia is not returned after the ceremony by the time we advise, you will be invoiced up to $1000 for the cost to replace the regalia.


Please try to let us know as soon as possible if you’re not coming and need to cancel your gown order (email graduation@op.ac.nz). The processing of refunds into your bank account takes up to 10 working days. If you have to cancel your order quite close to graduation day/on graduation day, please be aware that your refund may take a little longer to process due to workload.  

The Gown Room

Gown Room information

Gown room location

The Gown Room is located in B Block at our Dunedin Campus. This is accessible from Harbour Terrace (and is opposite the Hockey Turf). There's plenty of parking alongside Harbour Terrace.

View Gown Room location on Google maps

Gown pick up and drop off   

Gown pick up and drop off times will be updated here closer to our September 2024 Graduation. 

General info 

Please make sure you pay for your regalia before you come to pick it up (see payment methods above). We don't have payment facilities in the Gown Room and you won't be able to take it if you haven't paid for it. 

Gown pick up on your behalf

Academic regalia can be collected on your behalf by friends or family members. However, it is your responsibility for the safe return of your own academic regalia. If you've organised for someone else to collect your gown, please send the person's name and contact details to graduation@op.ac.nz

Remember, you also need to make sure you have paid for your regalia before anyone collects it.

Gown drop off 

When returning gowns, please either hand them to someone or place them in the collection bin. Please don't leave gowns on the floor.

Gowns can be returned at the Town Hall directly after the ceremony. There will be a gown drop off point at the main entrance/exit to the Town Hall in the foyer area. 

Gown drop off on your behalf

Academic regalia can be returned on your behalf by friends or family members. However, it is your responsibility for the safe return of your own academic regalia. 


If your regalia is not returned by the time we advise, you will be invoiced the cost of a replacement. This can be up to $1,000 so please make sure you return it on time.

Please email graduation@op.ac.nz for any help or enquiries.

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Academic regalia guide 

Regalia per qualification type

Below is a table showing what academic regalia you need to hire/wear depending on which qualification type you will be graduating with. 

You are required to wear the academic regalia for the qualification you are graduating with or that of a previously awarded higher qualification.

Qualification Blue Gown Facing Hood Trencher
Certificate X      
Diploma X X    
Degree X X X X
Honours Degree X X X
Edged with dark blue
Graduate Certificate or Diploma X X X X
Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma X X X X
Masters X   X
Single colour hood
Gold tassel
Doctorate X
Mid-blue gown
Gold embroidered Kotahitaka motif 
Doctor of Professional Practice (Silk)
Scottish velvet bonnet

Graduation colours 

These are the colours that represent all of our study areas.

Architecture Arts Business, Tourism
Construction Design Engineering
Enrolled Nursing Hospitality Information technology
Professional Practice Midwifery Natural Resources
Nursing Occupational Therapy Social Services, Beauty, Hairdressing
Sport, Massage Therapy Tertiary Education Animal Healthcare and Veterinary Nursing

How to wear your regalia 

We make your gowns up in the Gown Room before you collect them. So, if you have a gown with a facing and/or hood, this will already be attached to your gown. Below is a quick guide to show you how this works and how you need to wear your trencher.


Buttoned onto the gown by shoulder buttons and lies flat down either side of opening of gown.


Buttoned onto the gown by shoulder buttons over the top of a facing.

Trencher (name for your headwear)

Certificate and Diploma students do not wear a trencher. 

For all other graduates - 

  • your trencher is worn with the shorter peak to the front and the longer peak to the back
  • this means the front is higher compared to the back 
  • you also need to wear your tassel hanging to the left (this is gold for Masters' students).  

Wearing/looking after your regalia

What to wear with your gown

There is no prescribed dress code, but your graduation ceremony is a formal celebration of your achievement, and we encourage you to dress appropriately.

Please also wear comfortable shoes as you'll be on your feet a lot during the day. You have to walk up some wooden steps to access the stage and then walk down more wooden steps to exit. So think about wearing some shoes that you can easily manage that in. 

How to look after your academic regalia

You are responsible for each piece of academic regalia you hire. We recommend you hang your regalia up as soon as possible to ensure it remains crease free. Please do not pin anything to your regalia.

If you need to press any pieces, please use a dry iron on low heat (i.e. no steam), with a cloth to protect the fabric.

Please note that the following can cause severe damage to regalia:

  • throwing trenchers into the air, and careless use of trenchers. Please ensure that the mortar board of your trencher is flat when stored.
  • makeup, tanning products, food and drink mark the regalia easily. Please be aware of this and be careful when using any products.
  • cigarette burns, car door marks and foot prints are often found on returned regalia. Please be careful to avoid these.

If any damage occurs to the regalia while in your hire you are likely to incur repair, cleaning and/or replacement costs.

Contact us

If you need some guidance, we’re here to help. Feel free to chat to us directly about any questions you may have.