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Wintec doubles marae graduation ceremonies to meet growing cultural demand

Around 2,500 students qualified to graduate from Wintec and this Friday, the first two of Wintec’s six graduation ceremonies will be held at Te Kōpū Mania o Kirikiriroa Marae on Wintec’s Hamilton City campus. Four more large-scale events will be held at Claudelands next week.

In recent years there has been one ceremony at the marae but demand for the unique cultural experience has led Wintec to double capacity as Māori, PasifIka, New Zealand and international students are increasingly opting for the marae graduation experience.

Wintec Chief Executive, David Christiansen says the marae ceremony bookends the cultural experience offered at Wintec, as all students are invited start their study journey at a pōwhiri in their first week.

“There is a real cultural buzz happening at Wintec and the response to our marae graduation is indicative of that. Because of the smaller capacity at the venue, we had to double the opportunity because we want to ensure Wintec’s Māori and Pasifika students can graduate at an event that holds great value for them. We’ve also found it is o the preferred option for many others, including our international students.”

The graduation parades are an annual highlight, featuring graduands in their colourful regalia. They leave Garden Place for Claudelands at 1.00pm on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 March.

The 1,300 students attending the ceremonies are out of 2,500 Wintec students eligible to graduate.

Keynote speakers for Wintec’s marae graduation events this year include Chief Executive Officer, K’aute Pasifika Trust, Leaupepe Rachel Karalus, Kaiarahi Te Ahurei o Rangitahi, Eugene Davis and Waikato District Health Board Clinical Nurse specialist and Wintec masters graduate Natalie Lewis.  Claudelands graduation speakers include Clinical Senior Advisor Nursing, Ministry of Health Ramai Lord and Waikato industry leaders, Dallas Fisher, Mike Jenkins and Owen Embling.
Each Wintec school and centre will also hold a Special Awards event during graduation week to recognise the top students of 2019.

For details, visit the Graduation section at

 “This is an exciting week for us, our students and the city and we are looking forward to celebrating their achievements,” adds Christiansen.

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