Wellington Institute of Technology

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Coordinates: 41°13′26″S 174°53′03″E / 41.2240°S 174.8842°E / -41.2240; 174.8842

Wellington Institute of Technology
Māori: Te Whare Wānanga o te Awakairangi
View of the WelTec student hub from the rear entrance.
Other name
Established1904 (as Hutt Valley Polytechnic)[1]
Chief Executive OfficerChris Gosling[2]
Academic staff
229 (as of 2017)[3]
Administrative staff
35 (as of 2017)[3]
Students3746 full-time students (as of 2017)[3]
Undergraduates2000 (as of 2017)[3]
Postgraduates325 (as of 2017)[3]
Location, ,
AffiliationsPublic NZ TEI

The Wellington Institute of Technology, also known as WelTec, is a public New Zealand polytechnic based in Petone, Lower Hutt. WelTec was formed in 2001 by an amalgamation between the Central Institute of Technology (established in 1960)[4] and the Hutt Valley Polytechnic (established in 1904)[1]

WelTec delivers vocational education to about 8000 students every year.[5]

WelTec offers over 130 courses in disciplines ranging from hospitality, business, information technology, visual arts, counselling, engineering, construction and creativity.[3][6]


Formation of Petone Technical School and name changes[edit]

WelTec was formed in 1904 as the Petone Technical School at a different site in rented buildings.[7] In 1908 the polytechnic moved to its current site in Petone on Kensington Avenue.[7]

The polytechnic went through multiple name changes; including Petone Technical College, Hutt Valley Memorial Technical College, Petone Technical Institute and Hutt Valley Polytechnic.[7]

Central Institute of Technology[edit]


The Central Institute of Technology (or CIT) was a polytechnic formed in 1960, originally as the Central Technical College before its name change in 1963.[4] The polytechnic was originally based in the Petone Technical College. Construction of the Heretaunga site began in 1970, with the site moving in stages to the new campus.[4]

The first stage of pharmacy, science and engineering departments, consisting of three lecture theatres and a block of classrooms, was opened by the Prime Minister at the time, Norman Kirk, on April 27, 1973. The second stage, a halls of residence, consisted of a seven-storey tower block providing accommodation for up to 500 students, along with training facilities for the polytechnics hotel administration courses. The halls of residence opened in February 1978. The third stage added a library, a television production studio, computer-training facilities, areas for training in heating, ventilation, and aeronautics, along with buildings for the management school. The fourth and final stage implemented health science facilities. Courses were transferred from Petone as Heretaunga facilities were completed.[4]

Transfer of health sciences and protests[edit]

In mid-1989, the Minister of Health Helen Clark announced that the polytechnics pharmacy training classes would be moved to the University of Otago, and that occupational-therapy training would move to Auckland. She was met with protesters while attending a polytechnic teachers' conference in Trentham in May.[4]

On October 31, 1989, as a result of the Department of Education's Wellington Regional Polytechnic review, the school of health sciences would be relocated to Wellington Polytechnic, closer to the hospital and the School of Nursing.[4]

Premise upgrades[edit]

After a failed proposal to start a casino school in 1992, the podiatry school was opened in 1992 by Associate Minister of Health at the time, Katherine O'Regan. An aerobics facility was opened to the public the same year, following the entrance of YMCA into receivership and the closure of five of their gynmasiums.[4]

An upgrade to the podiatry school was announced in 1993, including top of the line resources; a surgical unit with two suites, examination rooms, X-ray facilities, recovery rooms and sterilisation facilities. The facility was built on top of the former orthotics and prosthetics site. The same year a lecture theatre was built containing full media facilities. This was located between the northern and western wings of the main group of buildings.[4]

In 1994 the site was hosting courses for the Victoria University of Wellington, including the first stage of a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration.[4]

Rise of students[edit]

CEO Mike Cooper announced in an interview with Upper Hutt newspaper "The Upper Hutt Leader" in 1995 the increase in students at the polytechnic. Since 1990, the average student age had risen from 19 to 31; females were now a majority, and Māori students had increased from 5 per cent to 14. The polytechnics roll had increased 26 per cent, while funding per student was down 23 per cent.[4]

Introduction of a Wellington campus[edit]

The polytechnic announced on August 30, 1995 that they had leased 158 The Terrace to serve as their Wellington campus. The "CIT House" was on October 26, 1995 and ran the polytechnics computer science and business courses. It was later reported that these computer courses were being used over the Internet for staff training and personal development by NASA's Jet Propulsion laboratory and Portsmouth Naval Base in Virginia.[4]

In 1996, bachelor's degrees in business information, tertiary teaching, tourism and services management were introduced.[4]

Proposed mergers with other polytechnics[edit]

A merger between the Auckland Institute of Technology and Auckland College of Education was proposed on November 27, 1996. The merger would unify the courses and structure across the three polytechnics. CEO Mike Cooper however unexpectedly announced his resignation, leaving Trevor Boyle as acting CEO until the outcome of the merger was known. The merger was later abandoned in late 1998.[4]

Another proposed merger was in talks with Waikato Polytechnic and was scheduled to be complete by May 1, 1998. A 'measure of agreement' was reached and on July 1, 1998 an article appeared stating the benefits of the merger. The polytechnic offered 11 degree courses at this time, and had campuses across the country, including Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington along with the main campus in Heretaunga, Upper Hutt. CIT later withdrew from this merger as the could not meet a conclusion.[4]

Merge of Hutt Valley Polytechnic and the Central Institute of Technology[edit]

In 2000, a merger between Hutt Valley Polytechnic and the Central Institute of Technology was announced. The merger would see courses from both occurring at the Petone campus as most students lived closer to this campus. The agreed name of the merged polytechnic was the Wellington Institute of Technology.[4][7] The Hutt Valley Polytechnic announced the closer of the Heretaunga campus on April 18, 2001. The reasoning for this was due to the decline in students at the Heretaunga campus. Courses ceased at the end of the first trimester in June, 2001. Other tertiary providers did take up some of the CIT's courses; including the Auckland Institute of Technology taking up podiatry, and the University of Otago taking up dentistry. The Heretaunga campus was considered by a range of tenants, however was eventually sold to an investment group, who leased the building out to Aurora44, developers of video game Ashen.[4]


WelTec's main campus is situated in Petone, Lower Hutt; it also has other campuses in the Wellington CBD and Auckland.[8]


The Auckland campus is located on Queen Street in the Auckland CBD. It focuses on social services including addictions and youth development,[9]


Petone is the main campus located on Kensington Ave. in Lower Hutt and includes the main administration departments, a learning commons with library, the Student Hub, and several blocks which serve different functions.[10]


The Wellington CBD campus is located on Dixon Street in the Wellington CBD.[11] It is shared with Whitireia as part of their strategic partnership[12][13] and the Wellington ICT Graduate School.[14] The campus focuses on their business offerings.[11]

Wellington School of Construction[edit]

The Wellington School of Construction campus is located on State Highway 2 next to the Petone railway station. The campus was opened in 2015 and focuses on carpentry, painting and applied decorating.[15] The campus cost is 9,614m2 and therefore gives space for students to work on up to six houses.[15][16]

Wellington School of Hospitality[edit]

The Wellington School of Hospitality campus is located on Cuba Street in the Wellington CBD. It was opened in 2015 and cost $11 million to build. The campus focusses of WelTec's hospitality offerings and has its own learning commons area, along with training restaurant Bistro 52 and training cafe Latte Lab, which are both open to the public.[17]


  1. ^ a b "WelTec". The Dominion Post. 2004-06-23. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  2. ^ "WelTec". Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "2017 Whitireia / WelTec Annual Report" (PDF). 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Central Institute of Technology (CIT); people and events". Upper Hutt City Library. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  5. ^ Counts, Education. "Ministry of Education - Education Counts". www.educationcounts.govt.nz. Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  6. ^ "Courses - WelTec". WelTec. 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d "History » WelTec". www.weltec.ac.nz. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  8. ^ "Campuses - WelTec". WelTec. 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  9. ^ "Auckland - WelTec". WelTec. 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  10. ^ "Petone Campus - WelTec". 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Wellington CBD Campus - WelTec". 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  12. ^ "Strategic Partnership » Whitireia". www.whitireia.ac.nz. Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  13. ^ "Strategic partnership » WelTec". www.weltec.ac.nz. Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  14. ^ "Wellington ICT Graduate School - WelTec". WelTec. 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Wellington School of Construction - WelTec". WelTec. 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  16. ^ "Building site - WelTec". WelTec. 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  17. ^ "Wellington School of Hospitality - WelTec". WelTec. 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2018.