2023 Highlights

As another year comes to a close, we can reflect with much pride on all the mahi we have achieved in 2023. The following is a summary of just a few of the many highlights at Otago Polytechnic . . .

He Toki 1200 X 600


Ākonga-built house headed to Catlins

An Otago Polytechnic ākonga-built house went to a good home early in the year – the Catlins site of the Otago Youth Adventure Trust.


Master of Architecture launched

We launched our Master of Architecture (Professional) programme in February and was a significant step for those wanting to become a Registered Architect. The Master’s is the only one of its kind in the South Island and elevates Dunedin as a centre for architecture in the South.


iD offered exciting opportunities for graduates

Five School of Design graduates presented designs from their 2022 graduate collections as part of iD Dunedin Fashion Week. The graduates were excited to see the designs on the stage next to industry "heavyweights”.


Automotive ākonga help Otago Rally make smooth start

With around 130 cars entered in the 2023 Otago Rally, our learners helped race officials scrutinise each vehicle to ensure they were safe before their drivers (and co-drivers) strapped in and stepped on the accelerator. This is the third year Otago Polytechnic automotive ākonga have helped rally organisers.

Launched new ākonga intranet, Kāpehu

Co-designed with ākonga, we launched our new-look intranet in April. Named through an ākonga competition, Kāpehu means ‘compass’ in te reo.


Brewing expertise rises to top again

Our beer brewing expertise spilled over once again, with Otago Brew School gaining a place in the prestigious 2023 New World Beer and Cider Awards Top 30!

Dyslexia-Friendly Quality Mark

We were awarded the Dyslexia-Friendly Quality Mark for our Student Success, Business School, Foundation Learning, and Design Communication and Culture areas, helping ākonga with dyslexia and other neurodiverse conditions.


Pasifika Beat Showcase

This new event was initiated by our Pasifika event management ākonga. The evening featured food and performances from the Niuean, Kiribati, Samoan, and Cook Island students’ associations, Aumaga, and our very own Pasifika group.


Football fanatics geared up for top-shelf action

Bachelor of Applied Science ākonga and self-confessed football fanatics, Reece Burtenshaw and Jack Gee couldn’t wait to volunteer at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™.


Fashion grads head to New Zealand Fashion Week

Eight Bachelor of Design (Fashion) graduates attended New Zealand Fashion Week (NZFW) and featured at the Graduate Show in Auckland. In addition, two graduates took part in Go Media Miromoda 2023, part of NZFW.


He Toki Kai Te Rika opened

Former Prime Minister Chris Hipkins opened our new multimillion-dollar trades training centre in Dunedin. He Toki Kai Te Rika, which translates as ‘a tool for the hand’, will be fully operational from the beginning of Semester 1, 2024.


Strong showing at Best Design Awards

A total of 12 Otago Polytechnic design projects were named finalists at the Best Design Awards, resulting in one gold, one silver, and four bronze medals.


Student Showcase 2023

Every year, we display the amazing mahi our ākonga have produced with a series of events and exhibitions open to the public. From fashion to food, carpentry to architecture, art, horticulture, design, engineering, IT and beyond, our ākonga bring extraordinary skill and passion to everything they do. Below are a couple of other key highlights:

Small step for canine, giant leap for Vet Nursing

Our Dunedin Veterinary Nursing facility hosted our first cohort of ākonga engaged in a block course of the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Management (Level 4) (Pet Grooming), which recognises the role of the groomer in the routine healthcare of our companion pets.


Sustainability projects announced

We announced four innovative projects as the inaugural recipients of a new sustainability initiative. The four projects are: biodiversity planting around He Toki Ka Te Rika; the purchase of an E-bike to add to our fleet of vehicles; recycling 3-D printer waste (from our organisation as well as other businesses); and an educational project focusing on responsible waste separation and organic recycling. 


Published on 20 Dec 2023