Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology’s Windermere Campus celebrated the opening of a new $14 million student-centred learning space.
According to Dr Leon Fourie, Toi Ohomai chief executive, the new Te Ara o Mauao is a multi-purpose, technologically enhanced learning space, which offers greater informality and flexibility for learning.
The building also houses the institute’s creative arts students; the latest sound recording studios sit alongside purpose-built art, graphics, photography and creative spaces.
“Te Ara o Mauao is a truly magnificent building,” says Fourie.
“This building covers more than 3,500m2 and has capacity for over 700 students and staff in its classrooms, workrooms and laneways. It is the first of other such modern flexible learning environments for Toi Ohomai,” he says.
Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor, John Cronin MNZM, officially opened Te Ara o Mauao. Councillor Cronin, a long-time supporter of tertiary education in the Bay was delighted to help celebrate the opening.
“You, the educators of today, help to start in motion the plans and dreams that will change and our city and our region forever,” says Cronin. “The benefits are great and will benefit the whole community.”
The name Te Ara o Mauao was given by Huikakahu Kawe (Nga Te Ahi). It represents Toi Ohomai’s relationship with the Waimapu River, which runs alongside the western boundary of the Windermere Campus.
The name is based on the journey of Mauao and how Mauao earned his mana. Likewise, students come to Toi Ohomai and their lives are changed when they are ‘caught in the light of knowledge and understanding’; their mana, like Mauao’s, is enhanced and valued as they continue their journey applying their learnings not just for their own benefit, but for the benefit of others.