Otago Polytechnic

Next graduation:

Wednesday 29 November 2017


Registrations open:
October - November 2017


Auckland Graduation

The next graduation ceremony for eligible students in Auckland will be at the Great Room of the Langham Hotel on Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Whether you're travelling to Graduation to attend the ceremony yourself or visiting to support your loved one, you may need to book accommodation quite early to ensure that you find something. To find accommodation near the Auckland International Campus, visit HotelsCombined

 Graduation dates Otago Polytechnic Auckland campus has two graduation ceremonies every year, one in April and one in November. Students eligible to graduate in April are contacted by email in March and students eligible to graduate in November are contacted by email in October each year. If students or their friends and family are unable to attend, they may defer to a later graduation in Auckland or Dunedin, or graduate in absentia. 
 Registering for graduation

Students must graduate within 18 months of attaining their qualification. If you are eligible to graduate in November, you will receive an email  in late October inviting you to register your graduation intentions. In this email (sent to both your OP and personal email address), there will be a link to a survey which you must complete by the specified date. It is important that all of your contact information is up-to-date so you do not miss out on this email. If you think that you are eligible to graduate at the above ceremony, but you have not received any information please email studentservices@op.ac.nz.

In the survey, you will be asked the following questions:

  • if you will graduate in person, in absentia, or if you would like to defer your graduation to the next ceremony in Auckland or to the next ceremony in Dunedin
  • whether you will attend the after-function
  • your dress size and head circumference for your academic dress
  • the number of guests you will bring (if any) and any special seating requirements
 Programme of Main Events


Meet at Aotea Square for photographs and parade 


Student Registration 


Pōwhiri and ceremony begin at the Great Hall


Ceremony concludes & after function begins at the Langham Hotel


After function concludes

 The Ceremony


All graduands who would like to walk in the parade are to meet in Aotea Square under the arch at 11:00am. There will be a photographer there taking photos of all graduands and guests. The parade will depart from Aotea Square at 11:15am and will be led by a piper and drummer. For students walking in the parade, your guests are more than welcome to follow you along the parade and cheer you on!  

Please note, while our campus is growing, our parade is still small. You do not have to walk in the parade if you don’t want to. If this is the case, please ensure you meet at Q Theatre at 12:00pm sharp. There will be student volunteers wearing OP branded t-shirts waiting outside, who will show you where to go.

Graduation Parade Map

Graduation Parade Map



A professional photographer will be present to take photos of graduands and their guests in Aotea Square and during the parade. Registration will begin promptly at 12:00pm at the Great Hall. This is where you will get in your correct order for crossing the stage. All graduands must arrive on time and wearing their academic dress. If you arrive late, or without academic dress, you may not be able to take part in the ceremony. Guests may take their seats inside the Great Hall from 12:00pm. 

Pōwhiri and Opening Ceremony

The Pōwhiri will begin at 1:00pm. A Pōwhiri is a formal Māori welcome ceremony conducted by the Kaumātua (elders) of the iwi kainga, literally the “home people” (hosts). It is a highly ritualised encounter between hosts and manuhiri (visitors). While some practices may differ amongst various tribes and Māori services, the intention of the encounter is always the same: to clear the tapu (restrictions) off the manuhiri, to create a spiritually safe environment and to establish the purpose of meeting together.

The Pōwhiri is unique to the Māori culture and is conducted in te reo Māori (the Māori language).  It starts with a karanga (call of welcome). The matriarchs (senior women) from both the host and the visitors’ group* perform this ritual. It acknowledges the spirituality of the encounter and clears the pathway for a safe entrance to the marae ātea (courtyard/ hall), and then into te waahi hui (the meeting place), te kākano, here it is the stage of the Auckland Town Hall.  *Otago Polytechnic has instituted the use of bagpipes as our part of the karanga, i.e. the lament of the bagpipes replaces the traditional karanga. 

The next ritual is the hongi (traditional greeting), where the host extends their right hand to the visitor who extends their right hand, they shake hands and then briefly press their noses together, both the forehead and the nose should touch at the same time. This action is gentle to avoid the accidental “head butt!” The manuhiri will advance in single file and “hongi” the hosts before going to their seats. Guests should remain standing during this process.

Next, one of the Kaumātua will say a karakia (prayer). This ritual acknowledges the encounter between host and visitor and the purpose of the gathering. It calls for a semblance of peace and unity within. A hīmene (hymn, song of praise) typically accompanies the karakia. Both hosts and visitors may now be seated.

Next, the whaikōrero (formal speeches) commence. The Kaumātua (elders) of both the hau kāinga (home people) and the manuhiri (visitors) lead these, which are accompanied by waiata performed by the iwi kāinga. The manuhiri kaikōrero (visitors’ spokesperson) have the right of reply, and a suitable waiata should accompany this.

With the formalities completed, the host Kaumātua will complete the ceremony with a karakia or so designate that the visitors’ Kaumātua can close.

Presentation of Qualifications 

All Capable NZ awards = will be presented first (certificates, then degrees, then diplomas), followed by all Auckland International Campus awards. All awards will be presented by their relevant Schools. Graduands’ names will be read alphabetically.

Conferring of Degrees

For those receiving Masters and Bachelor degrees, you should hold your trencher in your left hand as you cross the stage. The Chairperson will confer your degree by holding her own trencher over your head. As soon as this happens, you should put your trencher on your head, collect your award from the Chief Executive, and continue crossing the stage (wear your trencher for the remainder of the ceremony). For those receiving Graduate Diplomas, you should already be wearing your trencher as you cross the stage.

There will be no facility at the Langham for leaving valuables, so please ensure you leave any personal items (e.g. cameras, handbags, cell phones) with your guests. Out of respect, cell phones must be switched off during the ceremony.

Special Student Awards

These will be presented by the Executive Director following the academic award presentations. Those students receiving Special Student Awards will be notified in writing prior to the Graduation Ceremony.

Conclusion of Ceremony

Ngāti Whātua will offically close the ceremony. The Official Party will then leave the Great Room in procession. Staff, graduates, then guests will follow.


After the ceremony, you and your guests are welcome to attend a celebratory after-function from 3:00pm-4:00pm at the Langham Hotel. A professional photographer will be available during the after-function to take portrait-style photos for purchase.

 Tickets for guests

Graduating students do not need tickets for themselves. Each student will be allocated one ticket for their friends and family. Applications for additional tickets can be made by emailing studentservices@op.ac.nz. You may collect your tickets along with your academic dress from the Auckland International Campus. The exact date and time will be confirmed closer to the date. Please go to Student Success in Room 101 on Level 1 for ticket collection:

Otago Polytechnic
1/350 Queen Street
Auckland 1010

*No tickets or gowns to be collected on the day of graduation. If this poses difficulties for you, please email studentservices@op.ac.nz.

 Hiring academic dress

All graduating students must wear appropriate academic dress. Otago Polytechnic operates a hire service for academic dress, the proceeds of which go toward cleaning and maintaining the academic dress stock. Students will be given details of the hireage and return costs and processes in late October 2016 You must register for graduation, otherwise, you risk your academic dress not being sent up in time and as a result you may not be able to attend your graduation ceremony.  

Payment of Academic Dress

Via bank deposit: Account Name: Otago Polytechnic
Bank Name: Westpac Banking Corporation
Account No: 03-0883-0134810-00
Reference: Your Student ID No and “Graduation” E.g. Reference: 1000012345 Graduation

Via credit card:
Call us on: 09 309 0301 ext. 811 or 304 to make a credit card payment over the phone

In person, when you collect your academic dress:
Otago Polytechnic
7/350 Queen Street
Auckland 1010

Collection and Return of Academic Dress

You may collect your tickets along with your academic dress from the Auckland International Campus from Monday, 24 April – Thursday, 27 April (including ANZAC Day). Please go to Student Success in Room 101 on Level 1 for gown and ticket collection.

Note: No tickets or gowns to be collected on the day of graduation. If you have any issues around this please email studentservices@op.ac.nz


Photographer: Chris Dillon

Website: www.dillon.co.nz

Dillon photography will be photgraphing during the ceremony and, if you wish, will be available to photograph you and/or your family in their on-site studio after the ceremony. Please note: Due to lighting and time restrictions we will not be able to guarantee 'on stage' photos. An on-site studio will be running during the refreshments after the graduation ceremony.

There is no charge for on-site studio photography. Purchase of print or file pricing can be viewed below. You will be able to view and order photos online within seven days of your event.

Viewing/ Purchase Instructions

To order your photos:
1. Visit www.dillon.co.nz
2. Click on Graduation in the navigation menu.
3. Click on 'Graduation Online Store' button.
4. Click on your event.

You will be redirected to our online shop. Here you can choose images, select sizes or packages, calculate shipping costs and purchase. The prints will be shipped to the address you supply.

Pricing (Note sizes are in inches)

6 x 4" print                         $12                  Packages
5 x 7" print                         $20                  10x 6 x 4" prints                      $100   
8 x 12" print                       $45                   1x 8 x 12" & 3x 5 x 7"             $85
12 x 16" print                     $60
High Resolution file            $60

 Federation of Graduate Women

New Zealand is one of 61 countries with a national branch of the Federation of Graduate Women (FGW) affiliated to the International FGW whose headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. All women degree graduates may join the NZFGW.

The aims of the Federation are:

  • To promote understanding and cooperation among degree graduate women resident in New Zealand.
  • To represent and act for degree graduate women in matters in which they are interested.
  • To promote, through affiliation with the IFGW, understanding and friendship among degree graduate women of the world, irrespective of race, religion or political opinion.
  • To encourage research work by degree graduate women.
  • To encourage the full application of the knowledge and skills of degree graduate women to the problems which arise at all levels of public life, whether regional, national or worldwide, and to encourage their participation in the solving of these problems.

Membership of the IFGW entitles degree graduates to apply for many postgraduate awards.  Members receive regular newsletters, and may obtain letters of introduction to other branches of the IFGW when travelling overseas. Members retain contact with other degree graduate women, and by corporate action contribute to community, educational and controversial issues.  Members of all branches contribute to the preparation of submissions.

Local branch programmes include talks on topical subjects, panel discussions, study groups and social activities.

List of local branch secretaries:

  • CANTERBURY - PO Box 3088, Christchurch Mail Centre, Christchurch 8140
  • GISBORNE - 51 Island Road, Gisborne 4010
  • HAWKES BAY - 4/31 Shakespeare Road, Napier 4110
  • MANAWATU - PO Box 1713, Palmerston North Central, Palmerston North 4440
  • NORTH SHORE - PO Box 33-1050, Takapuna, North Shore City 0740
  • OTAGO - PO Box 6334, Dunedin North, Dunedin 9059
  • SOUTHLAND - PO Box 98, Invercargill 9840
  • WAIKATO - PO Box 7065, Hamilton East, Hamilton 3247
  • WELLINGTON - PO Box 2006, Wellington 6140