Community Scoop

New campus for Kāpiti

Press Release – Whitireia Polytech

New campus for Kāpiti The new Whitireia New Zealand Kāpiti Campus was officially opened today by MP for Ōtaki, Nathan Guy.
For immediate release

New campus for Kāpiti

The new Whitireia New Zealand Kāpiti Campus was officially opened today by MP for Ōtaki, Nathan Guy.

The campus in the old Mitre 10 building on the corner of Milne Drive and Kapiti Road has undergone a $3.5m facelift. The once single level, open plan building with a footprint of 1085m2, has been transformed into a state-of-the-art, 21st century learning environment with purpose built facilities for outdoor adventure, a commercial kitchen,training restaurant, beauty salon, hairdressing salon, training cafe and bar and great student hub areas. A 434m2 mezzanine floor has been added, this houses the library, classrooms and computer suites. Videoconferencing, event and function facilities have also been added
and the campus is completely wireless.

Around 180 students will study at the new campus this year. This will be across a range of programmes at diploma and certificate level, including Professional Cookery, Office Administration and Computing, Outdoor Adventure, Beauty and Hairdressing, Foundation Education with Youth Guarantee programmes also on offer.

Two other programmes are offered by Whitireia in Kāpiti. Photography, offered in partnership with The Photo School is run from a purpose built photographic facility at Raumati Beach and, Carpentry has made a return to Kāpiti his year, with a Whitireia programme being run from Kāpiti College. Students from both the photography and carpentry programmes have full access to the new campus – the new central student hub for Whitireia in Kāpiti!

The Outdoor Adventure programme, previously offered in Porirua has been moved
to Kāpiti said Helen Gardiner, Dean, Faculty of Service Industries, Whitireia New Zealand.

“Relocating this programme up here made sense; it’s now closer to some of New Zealand’s best outdoor recreational areas” she said. Now with a dedicated area, this programme
is set to be an attractive addition to the Kāpiti line up.

The idea of a new campus for Kāpiti came about in 2009 said Don Campbell, Chief Executive Whitireia New Zealand, when it was identified that Lindale no longer met the requirements of a tertiary education campus. Whitireia set to and commissioned a report which identified what the community wanted and what the actual and potential vocational learning needs of the Kāpiti Coast region are. “The report informed us of the direction we needed to take to provide targeted, relevant, vocational training needs that meet the actual and potential demand for the different needs of the Kāpiti Coast region” he said. A new centrally located campus was strongly recommended.

The Milne Drive site was selected on its accessibility to public transport, architectural interest, visibility and closeness to business and industry said Roger Sowry, Combined Council Chair. “We want to be educating more of our younger people up here so they don’t have to travel into town, so all of these things were important in selecting a site that would appeal to them and others, and we feel we have achieved this very well – this campus has the “WOW” factor” he said. “It has been great that we have been able to use and develop an existing site and building”.

The new campus is as much about the Kāpiti community as it is about Whitireia and its students said Campbell. “We have developed the campus with the students and the community in mind. We currently have a number of outside courses running at the new campus and significant interest from other parties to run courses here too” he said. The interest in using the facility by outsiders has so far, been very positive.

Whitireia remains committed to providing quality vocational tertiary education to the Kāpiti region, a region it has been part of since 1996. The new Whitireia in Kāpiti Campus cements this commitment.

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