New NorthTec campus for mid-North students taking shape at Ngāwhā

The new NorthTec / Te Pūkenga campus being built at Ngāwhā Innovation and Enterprise Park, near Kaikohe. Photo / Supplied.

Tertiary students in mid-Northland will have a brand new, purpose-built base for their studies in 2023 with a NorthTec / Te Pūkenga campus being built at Ngāwhā Innovation and Enterprise Park, near Kaikohe.

NorthTec / Te Pūkenga – Northland’s tertiary education institute – is preparing to move into a new campus at the Ngāwhā Innovation and Enterprise Park, which will replace its former campus in Memorial Ave, Kaikohe, and is designed to best meet the needs of ākonga (students) and industry into the future.

The new campus building is being developed by Far North Holdings, which owns the park, and will form part of a hub of education, research and development and industry-related buildings aimed at rejuvenating the local economy.

Toa Faneva, Te Ahurei Executive Director for NorthTec/ Te Pūkenga, said learners will be able to choose from a range of study programmes, including automotive engineering, mechanical engineering, construction, apiculture (beekeeping), Te Reo Māori, pest operations and commercial transport.

Faneva said all programmes will take place in state-of-the-art workshops, classrooms and outdoor learning sites. Transport options for ākonga from Kaikohe and Kerikeri are currently being explored.

Construction started on the new building in late 2021 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022. It will be open to ākonga in time for Semester One, starting in February 2023, following a formal opening ceremony. The pou from the current Kaikohe campus will be relocated and blessed at the new Ngāwhā campus during this ceremony.

“The new Ngāwhā campus offers fantastic opportunities for ākonga across the mid-North to upskill and train for employment locally. The facilities are purpose-built for training and education to prepare people for work in a variety of industries and reflect the local employment market,” Faneva said.

“Being based at Ngāwhā Innovation and Enterprise Park also gives ākonga the chance to learn alongside a range of different industry organisations. With other education providers also being based on site, there are now further options to staircase through different levels of study, moving from one provider to another offering study options which complement each other.”

Ngāwhā Innovation and Enterprise Park is a 240-hectare, mixed-use training, horticultural and commercial business park development around five kilometres east of Kaikohe, on SH12. Far North Holdings is creating the development in conjunction with Ngāti Rangi and Northland Inc.

Early discussions have been held with Ngāti Rangi, who hold mana whenua over the Ngāwhā area, about forming a partnership similar to that at NorthTec / Te Pūkenga’s Te Pou o Manako – Kerikeri campus, where Ngāti Rēhia is the mana whenua partner.

“We’re working with local iwi, schools and the wider community to let potential ākonga know about our fantastic new campus and all the opportunities it opens up for people in the mid-North. It’s really exciting to see this wonderful new building coming to completion, in a great environment and as part of a major development for the Kaikohe area,” Faneva said.

The new campus consists of:

■ Six classroom spaces, one to be used as a computer lab

■ Workshops for carpentry, automotive engineering and mechanical engineering

■ Storerooms for carpentry and automotive engineering

■ A student lunchroom

■ A toilet and shower room (including facilities for disabled visitors)

■ A canopy-covered outdoor work area

■ An open-plan office for staff with a nearby kitchenette

■ A reception area and car park.

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