Hamilton City Council and Waikato regional stakeholders are celebrating the announcement today that Hamilton will be the headquarters of the New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology (NZIST).
The NZIST is merging the country’s 16 institutes of technology and polytechnics along with all industry training organisations into one national organisation.
Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate says the announcement was hugely welcome and that Hamilton had put in an “absolutely compelling” bid.
“The decision makes very good sense in so many ways. Hamilton and the Waikato region is already home to a network of very strong education providers, we are ideally located in terms of New Zealand’s population and local industry swung in very strongly to support the city’s efforts to bring it here,” she says.
“NZIST will be able to serve the whole of New Zealand from our city at a time when the country needs skills and technology more than ever. Everyone wins so I am very pleased and very proud.”
Hamilton City Council, Waikato-Tainui, Te Waka and Waikato Chamber of Commerce led an extensive, competitive bid earlier this year to convince NZIST to choose Hamilton as its new headquarters location.
One of the strongest arguments for locating the NZIST headquarters in Hamilton is that operating from the city will facilitate the institute’s goal of holding inclusivity as a core principle. Fifty percent of New Zealand’s Maaori population and 72% of its Pacific population are concentrated within the tri-region area between Hamilton, Auckland, and Bay of Plenty.
Waikato-Tainui CEO Donna Flavell says, “We are excited for the opportunities that this will provide to our people and the wider community. Waikato-Tainui is absolutely committed to shaping our new tomorrow and this represents a tangible mechanism to allow that to happen.”
Over 40 business and community leaders lent significant support to the bid process, helping to put up an outstanding argument for why Hamilton is the best location for the NZIST headquarters.
Te Waka CEO Michael Bassett-Foss says the news is a huge boost for the city and the region at just the right time.
“Winning this competitive bid for NZIST headquarters is a testament to how the Mighty Waikato rallies together when it counts, and we want to thank everyone who helped make it happen, especially our industry leaders who supported the bid.
“The outcome plays to the strong natural attributes that support growth in Waikato with its deep connectivity with Māori and Pasifika population bases and importantly, builds off the strong centres of educational excellence already existing in the region.
“This is another big win that proves our city and region offers significant benefits that continue to attract new business, investment and talent even during the current economic climate,” says Bassett-Foss.
Waikato Chamber of Commerce executive director Don Good says he is proud of the cohesive way that the bid was put together.
“It was refreshing and inspiring to see so many key organisations and talented individuals come together to secure Hamilton as the NZIST headquarters. Working together on projects such as this demonstrates our collective strength.”