Otago Polytechnic

Archive for 2018


  • Learning and Teaching internationally (Feb 08 2018)

    We are pleased to be hosting a visit from international scholar Professor Vaneeta D'Andrea.


    Professor Vaneeta D'Andrea is Professor Emerita at the University of the Arts London, a Carnegie Scholar with extensive experience in International Higher Education she has led Learning and Teaching development and operations for international sector bodies and universities in the United States and the United Kingdom. She is a co-author of Improving Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, which advocates the Quality Development model for driving improvement in tertiary education. She currently divides her time between the California and London, UK,  facilitating global consultancy  - her current work with government bodies and education providers spans The Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific region. 

    Watch this space for more information about the subject of Professor D'Andrea's public presentation.

  • Information days (Jan 25 2018)

    Whether you have a career in mind, you are not sure which one would best suit your skills and interests or you are looking to gain the foundation skills to take on further study – come along to our information days and find out about the study options at our Dunedin and Central Otago campuses.

    Wednesday 24 January
    The Hub, Ground Floor H Block, Forth Street

    Central Otago
    Tuesday 23 January
    Corner Erris and Ray Streets, Cromwell

  • Foundation Learning information sessions coming to a library near you (Jan 19 2018)

    Keen to do further study or enter the workforce – but need to polish up on some basic skills?

    .... and your fees could be free*!

    Our practical, supportive Foundation Learning programmes can help improve your English, Numeracy, Computer skills, Study skills, and Employment skills.

    We also offer electives that will help you pursue a career in a number of key industries including health, beauty therapy, tourism and engineering.

    Find out more at our information sessions:

    Tuesday 16 January

    • Balclutha Library – 10.00am to 10.30am
    • Milton Library – 11.30am to 12.00pm

    Wednesday 17 January

    • Mosgiel Library – 10.00am to 10.30am
    • South Dunedin Library – 11.30am to 12.00pm

    Thursday 18 January

    • Dunedin Public Library – 10.00am to 10.30am
    • Waikouaiti Library – 2.00pm to 2.30pm

    Find out more about our Foundation Learning programmes

    *Conditions apply


  • Study for free (Dec 20 2018)

    The introduction of the Government’s Fees Free tertiary policy in 2018 is an exciting prospect for students as well as Otago Polytechnic, says Chief Executive Phil Ker.

    “The policy provides an opportunity for those who previously might not have considered tertiary study because of the financial implications.

    Otago Polytechnic already caters to a diverse range of learners. However, the policy could very well widen – or deepen – the pool of potential learners and, especially, older learners. We particularly welcome that,” Phil says.

    The Government’s Fees Free policy covers one year’s full-time study, or part-time study up to $12,000 (or 120 credits) and has no age restrictions. This applies to all Otago Polytechnic programmes at Level 3 or above, including postgraduate qualifications.

    You can study for free* in your first year at Otago Polytechnic if you’re new to tertiary study or have not previously being enrolled in more than 60 credits at Level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).

    *Conditions apply.

    Read our guide for more information >


  • Takahe admitted to Wildlife Hospital (Apr 24 2018)

    A rare female takahē has been admitted to the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital today, highlighting the importance of the facility to the rehabilitation of various precious species that live in the South.

    Based at Otago Polytechnic’s School of Veterinary Nursing, the facility is the only specialist wildlife hospital to treat sick and injured native animals in the South Island.

    A partnership between Otago Polytechnic and The Wildlife Hospital Trust, the hospital will be able to treat up to 500 animals per year when staffed at full capacity.

    “Widget” the takahē was observed to have a leg injury and took a three and a-half hour journey by car from Te Anau to the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital for diagnosis and treatment if required*. 

    Widget will be housed in her own ward, complete with native foliage donated yesterday by the Dunedin Botanic Garden (Dunedin City Council), Blueskin Nurseries and Ribbonwood Nurseries.

    Still, she won’t be entirely alone. Two yellow-eyed penguins, admitted to the hospital on its opening day on Monday, are just down the corridor.

    Takahē have a threat classification of “Nationally Vulnerable” (reclassified from “Nationally Critical” in 2017). As at October 1, 2017, there are 347 takahē in existence.

    Widget was hatched in October 2004 and taken from a nest from the wild takahē population in the Murchison Mountains, Fiordland, and incubated and puppet-raised by rangers at the Burwood Takahē Centre, near Te Anau.

    She currently lives at the Burwood Takahē Centre with her partner Charles and their family of two sub-adults (last-season chicks) and two chicks.

    Widget has made a considerable contribution to the Department of Conservation’s Takahē Recovery Programme, raising just under 20 chicks to date. She is a described by DOC staff as a “very devoted and relaxed parent”. 

    Widget and her family are among 30 founding birds destined to be released into Kahurangi National Park early this year as the Takahē Recovery Programme attempts to establish a second wild takahē population. 

    “The Takahē Recovery Programme is hoping Widget makes a speedy recovery so she can move to her new home in the wild,” Julie Harvey, Takahē Advocacy Ranger, Department of Conservation — Te Papa Atawhai, says.

    “The TRP welcomes the opening of the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital given its skilled and expert staff.”

    Julie also praised the benefits of having such a facility in the South.

    “The Wildlife Hospital’s close proximity to the Burwood Takahē Centre, the hub of the takahē breeding programme, reduces the travel times for birds who are likely to be stressed due to injury or illness.”

    Steve Walker, the Co-Chair of the Wildlife Hospital Trust, agrees:

    “Although we didn’t expect to receive a takahē on our second day, it does vindicate our point that establishing a hospital in Dunedin would reduce travel time – and therefore trauma.

    “For example, had we not been open, Widget the takahē would have likely faced a long flight to Palmerston North to be treated,” Steve says.

    “In an ideal world, we wouldn’t see any takahē through our doors, but we are delighted to be able to help this bird.”

    Visit the Wildlife Hospital's website and Facebook page.

    Find out more about studying Veterinary Nursing at Otago Polytechnic




  • A new dawn for wildlife care (Jun 19 2018)

    The opening of the Wildlife Hospital in Dunedin on Monday 15 January heralds an exciting new chapter in both animal care and veterinarian education.

    Based at Otago Polytechnic’s School of Veterinary Nursing, the facility will be the only specialist wildlife hospital to treat sick and injured native animals in the South Island.

    A partnership between Otago Polytechnic and The Wildlife Hospital Trust, the hospital will be able to treat up to 500 animals per year when staffed at full capacity.

    “Not only will the hospital save precious wildlife, it will also provide great learning opportunities for our students, reinforcing our leadership in veterinarian nursing education,” Phil Ker, Otago Polytechnic Chief Executive, says.

    Jo Brady, Otago Polytechnic Deputy Chief Executive, People, Performance and Development, believes the Wildlife Hospital’s intrinsic connection to veterinary nursing teaching will attract plenty of international interest

    “We hope students might come from around the globe to study here.”

    “There are a lot of other benefits for Otago and the South Island, too,” Jo says.

    “It means we can treat species that otherwise might not receive medical care.It is about preserving future generations of wildlife – for our future generations.”

    Dr Lisa Argilla, one of New Zealand’s best-known wildlife veterinary surgeons, will run the hospital alongside accomplished wildlife veterinary nurse Angelina Martelli.

    Both have recently moved to Dunedin to be involved in the initiative.

    “I first had the idea for a Wildlife Hospital in the South Island in 2013,” Lisa says.

    “Now we are just a few days away from realising this vision.

    “Angelina, our senior wildlife vet nurse, and I are really excited to be starting on Monday, setting up the equipment and admitting the first patients."

    Andy Cunningham, the Co-Chair of the Wildlife Hospital Trust, acknowledges Otago Polytechnic’s “vision for the partnership”. He also thanks the Department of Conservation and several other organisations for their contributions.

    “We’ve had the most amazing support from charitable funders, who have helped us purchase much of the specialist equipment we need to keep our operating costs down, as well as make the hospital operate as smoothly as possible.

    “We’re intrigued to see what our first patient will be. I would only offer short odds on it being either a Yellow-eyed Penguin or a Kereru!”

    Visit the Wildlife Hospital's website and Facebook page.

    Find out more about studying Veterinary Nursing at Otago Polytechnic








  • Doctor of Professional Practice launched (Jun 18 2018)

    Otago Polytechnic has launched a Doctor of Professional Practice – a programme for people looking to achieve a high-level qualification while also making a significant contribution to their organisation, hapū, iwi, community or profession.

    The inaugural doctorate programme, which began on January 4, features five highly skilled learners, all of whom gained entry after a rigorous, competitive selection process.

    “The learners are interviewed,” Jo Kirkwood, programme coordinator, explains. “We need to be sure the people who are accepted are a good fit.

    The Doctor of Professional Practice (DPP) is an innovative initiative run by Capable NZ. It allows learners to design new professional and personal learning goals, and then complete a substantial piece of research (including a 50,000-word thesis) over at least three years.

    A key difference between the DPP and a traditional doctorate is that learners do not have to give up work in order to study. Instead, the programme is integrated with leaners’ work, enabling them to focus on a topic that enhances their work practices if they wish. 

    Significantly, those enrolled in the DPP are looking to help others.

    For example, Bay of Plenty businesswoman and teacher Mawera Karetai’s studies will include an investigation into the dynamics of social welfare support systems.

    “Someone on a benefit might have to go through a process such as a benefit review panel. If that person has a low level of literacy they might not understand what’s happening,” Mawera says.

    Suzie Bartlett, meanwhile, will research the resilience of undergraduate nursing students working in a mental health clinical environment.

    A senior lecturer and course coordinator in nursing at Otago Polytechnic, Suzie has a close-up view of student pressures.

    “Around 20% of the population suffers from a form of mental illness – and that includes our student cohort.

    “When students are immersed in an acute mental health environment, they may start suffering from issues themselves.”

    Another Otago Polytechnic academic, Adrian Woodhouse, is examining educational practices – specifically within the Bachelor of Culinary Arts (BCA) programme.

    The academic leader of the BCA, Adrian advocates a more “humanist” approach to teaching, focusing on students’ motivations and goals.

    “There are these widely held views that a good chef wears a white jacket and works in a stressful environment. That is a social construct. It’s not reality.”

    Read more about our Doctor of Professional Practice

    Read more about Capable NZ



  • Thinking outside the box (Nov 01 2018)

    “Inspirational” is the first word that comes to mind for three Otago Polytechnic students who have recently returned from the Sino-New Zealand Model Programme symposium in Tianjin, China.

    April Henderson, Jane Armour-Raudon and Evelyn Araujo arrived back in Dunedin earlier this month buoyed by an international experience that included collaborating with three Chinese students in a “start-up business model workshop”.

    Marc Doesburg, Otago Polytechnic’s Director Internationalisation, says the workshop provides an “extraordinary” opportunity for second-year Bachelor of Applied Management students.

    “It challenges the students’ assumptions, and provides a unique and rigorous environment in which entrepreneurial ideas can be tested and developed.

    “As well as being stimulated, the students experience a certain level of discomfort, too. In having their ideas objectively evaluated and challenged, they grow in confidence.

    “We see both a personal and professional transformation in our students,” says Marc, who accompanied the trio to China.

    “That’s a key reason behind the forum – in fact, all of our international partnerships. The aim is to provide experiences not available in the current domestic programme.”

    Evelyn says the Tianjin experience has been “amazing”, providing her with plenty of ideas for her business project.

    “The forum really opened my eyes. I learnt so much about business solutions, creation, sustainability and innovation.”

    Jane says she has gained much from the cross-cultural aspects of the forum.

    “The workshop gave me valuable insights. It also helped me realise that New Zealand’s relatively small size doesn’t preclude it thinking big in terms of innovation entrepreneurship.

    “I came back to New Zealand having validated, through research, my concepts. I will now continue with my business, Eideann Chocolates, a souvenir gift chocolate which uses storytelling to convey a sense of place and people.”

    April says the experience has been “100 times better” than expected.

    “Just witnessing the differences in thinking that occurs between cultures was mind-blowing.

    “Here in New Zealand we only have 4 million people, whereas China has more than a billion, so the Chinese students’ concepts were much more global.”

    The Sino-New Zealand Modern Vocational Education Development Forum is a result of the Strategic Education Partnership between China and New Zealand, signed by then Prime Minister John Key in April 2013.

    Under the theme of “Innovation and Entrepreneurship”, the forum aims to stimulate discussion on research and policy between New Zealand and Chinese officials and institutions involved in vocational education and training.

    Read more about Otago Polytechnic’s international partnerships.






  • Malaysia, here he comes (Mar 02 2018)

    Otago Polytechnic student Oliver Johnston has won a Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia.

    The scholarship, worth almost $8000, will enable Oliver to travel to Malaysia in March. He will spend 18 weeks studying International Business at Taylor’s University, near Kuala Lumpur.

    Oliver, who has just completed the second year of a Bachelor of Applied Management at Otago Polytechnic, will study four papers at Taylor’s University. The credits he gains will go towards his final qualification.

    “Studying in Malaysia will give me a better understanding of the ethical issues and dilemmas affecting managers in international organisations.

    “It will help me gain a better understanding of management challenge's associated with developing strategies, designing organisations and managing operations of companies whose activities stretch across national boundaries.”

    Oliver sees long-term benefits, too.

    “It makes me more employable to larger businesses.

    “When I finish my Bachelor of Applied Management I hope to work in a global business.

    “The knowledge I gain while in Malaysia will give me a better understanding of international business. This includes analysing international business on a more strategic level, which I can apply to a New Zealand business setting.”

    Oliver also wants to use the opportunity to strengthen the ties between Otago Polytechnic and Taylor’s University.

    “I will encourage others in my degree to study abroad and expand their cultural knowledge while sharing mine.

    “I will also take advantage of all extra-curricular activities offered by Taylor’s University to expand my network and knowledge and help the students there learn more about New Zealand and its culture.”

    Oliver is one of 139 recipients in the latest round of Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (totalling $1.3 million).

    Established in 2013, the scholarships have enabled more than 1200 New Zealand students to build new connections and networks, developing a deeper understanding of language and culture, and gaining an international perspective in their area of expertise.

    Read more about our Business programmes.


  • A special day (Feb 16 2018)

    Kerry Rushton has extra cause to celebrate graduation today.

    The 51-year-old Otago Polytechnic student will graduate with a Bachelor of Social Services and receive the Otago Daily Times Award for personal achievement in her studies.

    Kerry will mark the occasion at the Dunedin Town Hall with her mum, Beverley, who has a terminal illness.

    "I gave up work halfway through this year because Mum got a lot sicker and so I was trying to spend as much time with her as possible.

    "She has a heart and lung condition as well as type 1 diabetes. She went into full-time care last week because she needs 24-hour nursing now."

    Kerry was a full-time chef in Dunedin until four years ago, when she decided it was time to make a change.

    She completed a Certificate in Human Services, a stepping-stone to her studying for a Bachelor of Social Services, specialising in career counselling.

    She now plans to return to Otago Polytechnic and complete a Graduate Diploma in Social Services (Disability) then find work as a careers counsellor for people with disabilities or mental health issues.

    "A lot of people tend to forget that people with disabilities need jobs because otherwise they’re going to end up in a lot of poverty,” says Kerry, who was New Zealand First’s Dunedin South candidate in the recent election.

    Read more about our Social Services programmes.

  • Dinner raises extra $30,000 (Jan 15 2018)

    Otago Polytechnic’s Million Dollar Dinner has raised an additional $30,000 for local charities.

    Three hundred guests celebrated the milestone $1 million raised by the annual Charity House initiative. The event, held at The Hub on Saturday night, included a three-course meal, live entertainment and a charity auction.

    The proceeds from the night will go to the following organisations: 

    • United Way, which distributes donations to Otago community charities on Otago Polytechnic’s behalf
    • the Wildlife Hospital, which is due to open in Dunedin in January
    • scholarships for Otago Polytechnic students

    Each year for the past 11 years, Otago Polytechnic carpentry students have built a four-bedroom home with guidance from lecturers and the generous support of more than 20 local businesses. The finished Charity House is auctioned and all proceeds go to United Way, which distributes the funds to charities and worthy causes within Otago.  

    The 11th Otago Polytechnic Charity House sold on Saturday 18 November on campus for $270,000, a record price, outstripping last year’s previous record-beating price of $209,000.

  • City’s Arts and Culture Strategy - Creative Cities Southern Hui (Feb 28 2018)

    The Creative Cities Southern Hui ended on Saturday with a community meeting on the Dunedin City Council’s Ara Toi Otepoti, the city’s arts and culture strategy, at the Dunedin School of Art.

    The event featured a line-up of three-minute presentations on a host of arts projects the city has featured recently.

    Cr Hawkins said he thought the city was doing a better job in the arts area but if the public wanted more support for the arts, it needed to make that clear during the 10-year plan process in the next few months.

    Read more in the Otago Daily Times....

  • Unbound: Liberating Women (Sep 24 2018)

    Otago Polytechnic will host the 2018 symposium of the Costume and Textile Association of New Zealand.


    This year's conference title is "Unbound: Liberating women". Recognising 125 years of women’s suffrage in New Zealand, the 2018 CTANZ symposium offers an opportunity to explore the past, present or future roles of dress and textiles in women’s suffrage and other liberating moments. How do cloth, clothes, fashion and art reveal, reflect or challenge social limits for women?

    In the spirit of the early suffragists, how might they empower futures and/or relate to feminist projects? How are they used to give or constrain political voice? When is cloth revolutionary?

    By focusing on liberating women, Unbound celebrates the power of cloth and clothes in the visual, material world and explores how women make, use, transform and transcend boundaries.

    Themes include

    • Liberating women
    • Diversity, equity, participation
    • Women’s work
    • Dressing for revolution
    • Political cloth
    • Gender and diversity
    • Cloth and agency, bound and unbound

    Closing date for abstracts will be 1 June 2018

    Visit the CTANZ website for more information on submissions for the symposium and for the juried exhibition that will run alongside the symposium, opening on 21 September 2018.


  • Art and Oceans (Aug 01 2018)

    The theme for this year's Art and Science project is Art and Oceans.



  • Tech Week 2018 (May 20 2018)

    The theme for Techweek 2018 is innovation that's good for the world. 

    19 - 27 MAY 2018

    Click here to find out more about how you can be involved in Techweek 2018, for example by running, hosting or assisting with any events.

    Watch this space for more details of events we'll host at Otago Polytechnic or otherwise be involved with to share our technologival innovations. 


  • Opening date announced for Wildlife Hospital (Jan 14 2018)

    Otago Polytechnic and The Wildlife Hospital Trust are delighted to announce that the Wildlife Hospital in Dunedin has now received its permit from the Department of Conservation and will officially open its doors on Monday 15 January 2018.

    The Wildlife Hospital is a partnership between the Polytechnic and the Trust, and will be the only specialist wildlife hospital treating sick and injured native animals in the South Island. It will be based at the Polytechnic’s School of Veterinary Nursing and be capable of treating up to 500 animals per year when staffed at full capacity.

    “Work is already well underway to integrate the Hospital into the School of Veterinary Nursing, to maximise the exceptional learning and teaching opportunities it presents,” says the Polytechnic’s Director External Relations, Marketing and Communications, Mike Waddell. “As the only specialist wildlife hospital in the South Island, we are thrilled by the considerable benefits and advantages it offers our veterinary nursing students.”

    Andy Cunningham, the Co-Chair of the Wildlife Hospital Trust, is urging the community to get behind the initiative.

    “We are seeking sponsors and donors to ensure the ongoing success of this important facility,” he says. “It’s vital the Hospital is adequately funded so it can get on with treating our native wildlife, much of which is under serious threat.”

    People can contribute in several ways, including by purchasing fundraising T-shirts or donating directly. Details are available on the Hospital’s website. Corporate sponsors are also encouraged to contact the Trust through the website.

    The Hospital will be run by Dr Lisa Argilla, one of New Zealand’s best known wildlife veterinary surgeons, and accomplished wildlife veterinary nurse, Angelina Martelli. The pair will arrive in Dunedin early in the new year, ready for the Hospital’s opening.


    Check out the Wildlife Hospital's website and Facebook page.

    Read more about the Hospital in the Otago Daily Times.

    Find out more about studying Veterinary Nursing at Otago Polytechnic


  • Charity House sells for record price (Jan 31 2018)

    The 11th Otago Polytechnic Charity House was a four-bedroom house built by carpentry students with guidance from their lecturers, and fitted out with generous support from more than 20 local businesses.

    It sold on Saturday 18 November on campus for $270,000, which is a record price for the Charity House, outstripping last year’s previous record-beating price of $209,000.

    As a result, the Polytechnic has donated $100,000 to charity, via the local fundraising distributor United Way. Over the project’s life, we have donated more than $1 million in total to Otago charities and community groups.

     To celebrate the million-dollar milestone, we are hosting a Million Dollar Dinner on Saturday 2 December in The Hub on Forth Street. All proceeds from the evening will go to the Education Foundation for the purpose of supporting: 

    • Scholarships for students and staff
    • Development of learning facilities
    • Community projects: Dunedin Wildlife Hospital and via United Way.

    You can read more about the auction in the Otago Daily Times.

    Find out more about studying Construction at Otago Polytechnic. 



  • Current and ex-students feature in Portage Ceramic Awards 2017 (Feb 28 2018)

    Congratulations to the Portage Ceramic Awards winners for 2017. The annual awards and exhibition provide a vital platform to showcase the diversity of ceramic artists nationwide. The Premier Portage Ceramic Award carries a prize of $15,000. Up to three Merit Awards totaling $3000 are also on offer. This year’s prize selection also included a residency at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Centre in Denmark.

    A number of entrants with a current or past affiliation with the Dunedin School of Arts Ceramics Studio were selected as finalists including: Blue Black, Madeleine Child,Kate Fitzharris, Richard Stratton, Amanda Shanley, Bridgit Day, Michael Potter, Chris Weaver, Richard Stratton and Cheryl Lucas.

    The Premier Prize for was awarded to Richard Stratton for his work Forced Turned Teapot. The Premier Award was presented by this year’s judge Emma Budgen at a ceremony in West Auckland’s Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery.

    Amanda Shanley and Cheryl Lucas also received  Merit Awards for their works. Read more ...

    (image credit: Bridgit Day)




  • New Perspectives on Landscape (Jan 31 2018)

    The group exhibition New Perspectives on Landscape at the Ashburton Art Gallery encompasses a similar spirit and intention.  It presents the work of five recent MFA graduates from the Dunedin School of Art: Robyn Bardas, Miranda Joseph, Hannah Joynt, Sue Pearce and Fiona Van Oyen.  All are conscious of the politics and history of their subject and its increasing potential to contribute to debate about environmental, personal and political relationships with nature within the context of contemporary arts practice.

    "All the artists in this exhibition are answering the same question: 'when the landscape compels a response, how can we acknowledge the history of painting and art theory to provide critical integrity and validity to our response'," says Mandy Joseph.

    Read more.... Warren Feeney  looks into the legacy of traditional landscape paintings in this Press article. 

    New Perspectives is curated by Clive Humphreys.  It is a touring exhibition from the Dunedin School of Art featuring the work of Robyn Bardas, Miranda Joseph, Hannah Joynt, Sue Pearce and Fiona Van Oyen.

    New Perspectives on Landscape, Ashburton Art Gallery, 327 West Street, until January 14.

    (image Fiona van Oyen)

  • Students win chance to attend workshop in China (Jan 31 2018)

    Three Otago Polytechnic students have won the chance to participate in a start-up business model workshop in China.

    April Henderson, Jane Armour-Raudon and Evelyn Barbosa De Araaujo Tenorio will depart Dunedin on 25 November to attend the Sino-New Zealand Model Programme symposium in Tianjin, China. They will be accompanied by Otago Polytechnic's Director Internationalisation, Marc Doesburg.

    The three students will join a trio of Chinese students participating in the workshop, which is being held alongside the wider China-NZ Modern Vocational Education Development Forum, now in its fifth year. 

    As part of the application process, the students were required to propose a start-up business concept. One of these will be selected for further development during the workshop.

    April Henderson says she feels "incredibly lucky" to have been chosen to attend the workshop. "This is an excellent opportunity to gain business culture knowledge," she says. "I feel I have had little experience working with people from different countries so having the chance to immerse myself completely in a new culture is amazing".

    "The world is expanding rapidly and understanding other cultures is essential if you wish to succeed in today's world. I would love to report back my learning and experiences to my fellow students to help them on their way in the world."





  • Graduating Students Exhibition: SITE 2017 (Feb 28 2018)

    Students show their creativity at Dunedin School of Art's annual SITE exhibition.
    Read more in the Otago Daily Times....

  • High-ranking visit (Jan 17 2018)

    A high-ranking Chinese delegation, led by the Vice-Mayor of Shanghai, Mr Xu Kunlin, is visiting Otago Polytechnic.

    The visit reflects the deep, important and ongoing connections between Otago Polytechnic and Shanghai, and is part of the wider 23-year Sister City relationship between Dunedin and the Chinese metropolis, which is home to more than 24 million people.

    In addition to the civic delegation from Shanghai, students from the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics have also met Otago Polytechnic staff and students, as have students from the Shanghai University of Engineering Science's Fashion School, who will showcase garments as part of Otago Polytechnic’s School of Design (Fashion) Collections 17 event tonight.

    Read more about the Shanghai delegation's vist to Dunedin in the Otago Daily Times.

    Read more about Otago Polytechnic’s international partnerships.


  • Sweet plans (Jan 16 2018)

    Life is about to get even busier for Otago Polytechnic graduate Liz Rowe.

    A former Dunedin School of Art student who specialised in sculpture, Liz has turned her creativity to chocolate-making in recent years, establishing the Otago Chocolate Company (Ocho) in Dunedin.

    Based in Vogel Street, the company has just been bought out as part of Dunedin’s "Own the Factory'' PledgeMe campaign, which has raised $2 million -- in 32 hours! -- to expand operations.

    Liz has been appointed general manager of the company, and her first task will be ordering new equipment from Italy to enable an increase in production from 90kg of chocolate a week to a maximum of 200kg a day.

    Read more about Liz and her Otago Chocolate Company here.

  • Internship, China Cup prize to be presented (Jan 18 2018)

    Otago Polytechnic’s end-of-year fashion show, Collections 17, comes with a couple of stylish twists.

    The event, to be held at The Hub this Friday, 17 November,showcases an exciting range of designs by our third-year Bachelor of Design (Fashion) students, as well as stand-out looks created by students in their first two years of study and our Graduate Diploma in Design students.

    In addition, Design students from the Shanghai University of Engineering Science/IFA Paris will showcase their collections on Friday night, as part of the Shanghai Dunedin Sister City Fashion Communication Project.  

    The Shanghai delegation includes notable international fashion event organiser Madame Zhou, who will present Otago Polytechnic fashion design graduate Ariane Bray with her 2nd place prize in the recent China Cup -- a result based around Ariane’ honours fashion collection developed in 2016.

    One hard-working year-3 or year-4 student will also receive a WORLD fashion internship, to be announced at the end of the Collections show by New Zealand fashion leader Denise L’Estrange-Corbet.

    The eight-week WORLD internship includes a stipend of $5000 (before tax) from the Newmarket Business Association and is scheduled to commence in late January 2018 or as negotiated.

    Collections 17 will be held at The Hub, Otago Polytechnic, on Friday 17 November, 7pm  (doors open), seated by 7.45pm for an 8pm start.

    Read more about Otago Polytechnic's Design programmes.


  • Christmas spirit (Jan 10 2018)

    Otag Polytechnic first-year midwifery student Rosie Naylor makes Christmas hampers and gives them to Women's Refuge. And she pays for all this out of her own back pocket.

    Read more in the Otago Daily Times

  • Student Village attracts interest aplenty (Jan 09 2018)

    From the curious to the committed, more than 170 visitors enjoyed a tour of Otago Polytechnic’s Student Village at the weekend.

     “We had a mixture of prospective students and their families, and members of the public who were just curious to take a look around,” Dr Emilie Crossley, Liaison Advisor, Learner Services, says.

    “Visitors commented that the rooms were really spacious, the building had great character with the exposed timber, and about how convenient its location was being so close to campus."

    Max Sims, Community Manager, Otago Polytechnic Student Village, enjoyed the chance to meet residents (and their parents) from near and far, including from Timaru, Alexandra and Manawatu.

    “All of the residents expressed that they were really excited by how it was looking and couldn’t wait to get into it and meet everybody at OPSV.”

    The brand-new, on-campus Student Village will be open to students for the first time in 2018.

    Just a short walk from campus and the city centre, the purpose-built 231-bed furnished residential village offers fully-catered single rooms (dorms), self-catered studios (standard or deluxe) and four-bedroom apartments. 

    Constructed with the environment firmly in mind, the Student Village uses sustainable materials throughout, including the timber within its unique structural frame. 

    Read more about the Student Village here >


  • Form and function (Mar 31 2018)

    Otago Polytechnic Fashion Design graduate Jessie Wong continues to grab the spotlight.

    Jessie has recently returned to her Wellington workshop having spent a couple of weeks in Europe, where she showed her 2018 Yu Mei bag collection at Paris Fashion Week, as well as attending a Milan trade show.

    Jessie (24), who began making bags in her first year of Fashion Design, continued to explore the idea and arrived at the concept for her latest range while in her final year in 2014.

    Aided by an AMP scholarship, she launched Yu Mei (her middle name) in 2015, promptly building on that impetus by showing at New Zealand Fashion Week the same year.

    Fast-forward a couple of years: Jessie now employs 16 staff in her Wellington workroom, where her range of handbags and totes are crafted to fulfil two key philosophies – they need to be both functional and good looking.

    Jessie’s Yu Mei bags are sold in more than 30 Australian stores, as well as a range of New Zealand retailers, including Ballantynes (Christchurch), Harper Inc (Hamilton) and Good as Gold and Ena (Wellington and Auckland).

    For more on Jessie Wong's latest adventures, read Stuff's feature article.

  • On the rise (Apr 02 2018)

    There's a sprinkling of Otago Polytechnic within the pages of a new recipe book.

    Mark Cross trained as a chef at Otago Polytechnic, then spent years overseas before returning to Dunedin where, eventually, he set up his dessert and pastry business, The Tart Tin.

    Mark is a regular at the Otago Farmers' Market where, on Saturday mornings, he sells (and sells out) his sweet delights from a caravan named Minty.

    Such has been his popularity, publisher Potton & Burton commissioned Mark to write a book, The Tart Tin, in which he has devulged many of his secrets.

    Mark's editorial adventures have been augmented by the vibrant images of Dunedin-based Isabella Harrex, a former Otago Polytechnic photographer and Dunedin School of Art graduate whose work is featured in Cuisine, North & South, Dish and Next magazines, among others.

    Read the Otago Daily Times feature.

    Read more about our Hospitality, Cookery and Culinary Arts programmes.

  • Taste of Southern hospitality (Jan 31 2018)

    Thailand teenagers Boonyawee Pakvisal and Parima Na Pompetch have been enjoying a hearty taste of Otago Polytechnic’s top-notch tertiary programmes.

    Our strong international connections extend to Education New Zealand’s partnership with Srinakharinwirot University Prasarnmitr Demonstration (SUPD) School in Bangkok, one outcome of which is the New Zealand Young Genius Chef Culinary Competition.

    The cooking contest, which targets high school students studying Home Economics or Hospitality, aims to raise the profile of New Zealand education as well as provide a platform for direct engagement with school-aged students.

    And this is where Boonyawee (nickname, Lookchan) and Parima (Prim) enter the mix.

    Having won the Bangkok-based competition, the pair received a prize package that included a one-week study visit to Dunedin and Central Otago earlier this month.

    They have enjoyed our famous Southern hospitality: from a tour of Otago Polytechnic’s Food Design facilities, to hospitality classes at our Cromwell Campus, savouring fare at a range of cafes and restaurants through the region, to crossing Lake Wakatipu on the SS Earnslaw.

    Lookchan (16), who has enjoyed cooking since she was a young child, entered Junior MasterChef Thailand when she “I was around 11 to 12 years old” and reached the final six, a result which has fuelled her passion for food.

    “I am interested in a culinary and business degree and for my future career I would like to do something that is involved with food and cooking,” Lookchan explains.

    Prim (17), too, plans to enrol in a culinary programme and become a chef. “But if I can’t go for this programme, I plan to study arts and music and focus on cooking as a hobby instead.”

    For more information on Otago Polytechnic’s range of food and hospitality programmes, visit:


  • Bold strokes for Central Otago (Apr 26 2018)

    Otago Polytechnic’s Dunedin School of Art will offer its year-2 Painting and Digital Photography courses in Central Otago (Cromwell and Wanaka) from 2018.

    Otago Polytechnic also plans to seek approval to offer the Year 3 Painting and Digital Photography courses, from its Bachelor of Visual Arts programme, in Central from 2019.

    Clive Humphreys, Acting Head of Dunedin School of Art, says that as Central Otago’s population grows, it seems sensible to be serving this region.

    “We have seen increased interest particularly in our post-graduate programmes, which have attracted a range of artists from Central Otago.

    “We have started by offering programmes in painting or photography, two disciplines in which a lot of people in Central Otago are working.

    “This isn’t for first-year arts students. We are looking to cater to those people who already have some form of arts practice. They might have a studio of their own, have exhibition experience, and be looking to lift their skills and techniques in specific areas.”

    Those seeking to enter the year-two programme will be required to supply a portfolio that demonstrates their experience.

    Support for students will include visits to the Cromwell Campus by members of the faculty, and some student visits to the Dunedin School of Art. Other support will include phone or Skype arrangements.

    “I see this as the first stage of the establishment of a greater Dunedin School of art presence in Central Otago,” Clive says.

    Art graduates are increasingly finding employment in a variety of sectors, including as a practising artist, curator, art educator or researcher – or in the digital and film industries.

    You can read more about the programme here.


  • New student accommodation for Central Campus (Mar 31 2018)

    The first steps of turning Cromwell's Central Campus into a student village has begun.

    Read more


  • Taking the local road (Sep 01 2018)

    Kayla Green has created a career pathway that has been surprising even to herself! Kayla was a student at Cromwell College, and her interest in Home Economics and desserts led her to take up the opportunity to join the Otago Central Tertiary College for her last two years of school. During this time she not only completed years 12 and 13 she also successfully completed the National Certificate in Cookery, Level 2 and 3.

    After finishing year 13 Kayla enrolled for the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (L4) and is thoroughly enjoying her full time study experience, “The classes are small enough that you get to know the other students well, and you get lots of hands on experience and one on one time with the lecturers.”

    Kayla has not only achieved more than many in the last few years, but she also won Silver at the national Toque D’or competition for her restaurant service.  “Studying at Central has opened so many doors for me and has given me the most amazing experiences. I am also lucky that I can still live at home and stay in this amazing region. I’m definitely going to stay on and do the Level 5 Diploma in cookery next year, who knows where it will take me.”

  • Three Dunedin artists in finals for prestigious national Art Awards. (Feb 12 2018)

    Three Dunedin School of Art graduates, artists Sam Foley, Justin Spiers and Alex Lovel-Smith, have made the finals of the prestigious national Wallace Art Awards.

    The nine Wallace awards, worth more than $275,000, including five international art residencies, monetary prizes and stipends, are given for contemporary New Zealand painting, sculpture, video, drawing and unique photography and print. The Paramount winner is awarded a six month Residency in New York with the International Studio and Curatorial Program; the Wallace Arts Trust Development Award winner receives a residency at Vermont Studio Centre, while the Kaipara Foundation Wallace Award winner receives a residency at the Altes Spital in Solothurn, Switzerland. The winner of the Fulbright Wallace Arts Trust Award receives a three month residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Many of the winners and finalists of the Awards are added to the Collection each year.  Read more  about the Awards.

    Foley won the award's Kaipara Trust Award, its second-highest honour, in 2013. It included a four-month artist residency at the Altes Spital Cultural Centre in Solothurn, Switzerland. Lovell-Smith has entered the awards for the first time with a work which came from his Master of Fine Art research at the Dunedin School of Art. Justin Spiers. also a graduate of the Dunedin School of Art, has had artist residencies in Beijing, Darwin, Sydney and Brisbane and has been a previous Wallace Award finalist.

    Congralations to all the finalists - for a full list of finalists see here.

    Read more in the Otago Daily Times ...

  • Central Campus Newsletter (Jun 30 2018)

    / Feature of the month - July 2017 /

    Find out what's happening at Central Campus in our newsletter.


    Study Carpentry in 2018 

    Otago Polytechnic is answering the call for qualified builders in Central Otago by offering a new qualification for 2018. The New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Level 3) (Carpentry) gives students the ready skills to enter the construction trades as an apprentice carpenter.


    New outdoor pursuits programme at Central!  

    Central Otago is about to become the outdoor wonderland for a host of tertiary students chasing their education dreams. As of Feb 2018, Otago Polytechnic will offer the Certificate in Outdoor Pursuits (Level 4) at its Central Campus.


  • Top Hospitality Students Line Up for Live Kitchen Battle (Apr 30 2018)

    Otago Polytechnic Central Otago Campus has confirmed some of its top hospitality students will participate in this year’s national culinary competition which determines the country’s emerging culinary and restaurant service superstars.

    Putting it all on the line at the annual Nestlé Toque d’Or competition will be 30 students from the country’s leading training institutes.

    NZChefs National President and organiser of the event, Graham Hawkes, said the students have all signed up for what will be a gruelling training schedule in the run up to the big event.

    “Many of the students will spend months training for the big day, while also juggling work and study commitments.

    Nestlé Toque d’Or, which has been running for over 26 years, is considered by those in the industry to be the premier student culinary and front of house competition in New Zealand.

    “Hotly contended, the goal is to create and deliver an award-winning menu to special guests attending the event on competition day,” Graham said.

    “Last year, a team from the Universal College of Learning in Palmerston North took out the top title. They won’t be returning to defend the title this year so it is destined to be claimed by another region that is determined to make its mark in the culinary stakes.”

     The 10 institutes competing this year are:

    • ARA Institute of Canterbury - Timaru
    • AUT University
    • Eastern Institute of Technology
    • North Shore International Academy
    • New Zealand Defence Force
    • Otago Polytechnic Central Otago Campus
    • Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Tauranga Campus
    • Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Rotorua Campus
    • Wellington Institute of Technology
    • Wintec

    Each of the institutes select a team comprising three of their top students – two culinary and one restaurant service. Competitors converge in Auckland during July to compete against one another in a simulated live kitchen environment.

    “Tensions are high and the pressure is on throughout to get it right and avoid any costly mistakes that could lead to lost points. The menus the students create and deliver to guests on the day must be as close to perfect as possible, if they want to be named the winning team.”

    Further adding to the pressure is the fact that their menus and service must be completed within a set timeframe. All of this done under the constant gaze of onlookers watching the event, as well as a panel of top local and international industry judges who mark their every move against a tough World Chef’s judging criteria.

    “If they want to get it right on the day, it takes nerves of steel and everyone in the team working together as a tight unit.”

    All of the teams are given in advance a list of ingredients that they can use to create menus that they think will impress the judges. Included in this year’s line-up of ingredients are: Nestlé Professional products, fresh and seasonal New Zealand grown vegetables, New Zealand lamb and Akaroa Salmon.

    “Aside from the highly competitive aspect, the event also opens doors to new career opportunities with influential culinary professionals scouting the event for fresh talent.”

    Nestlé Toque d’Or will be held on Thursday 27 July at the Auckland Showgrounds.An awards dinner will be held later in the evening at the Heritage Hotel where the winning team will be announced. Sponsors are: Nestlé Professional, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, vegetables.co.nz, Akaroa Salmon, House of Knives and Moffat.

    Read more about Otago Polytechnic's Central Cookery Programme.

  • Otago Polytechnic welcomes 2017 Otago Secondary Tertiary Students (Feb 28 2018)

    Otago Polytechnic’s Central and Dunedin campuses are welcoming over 120 new students to the Otago Secondary Tertiary College. 

    Previously known as the Trades Academy in Central Otago, the Otago Secondary Tertiary College (OSTC) is a training college which gives secondary school students a head start to achieving career-based qualifications while working towards their NCEA at school.

    This year Central campus is welcoming students from Wakatipu High, Mount Aspiring College, Cromwell College, Dunstan High and Roxburgh Area School.  The students are offered subjects including Level 3 Cookery, Hospitality, Automotive and Carpentry studies.

    For more information on the Otago Secondary Tertiary College visit: https://central.op.ac.nz/trades-academy/otago-secondary-tertiary-college/