Rotorua's biggest tertiary institute has officially said goodbye to its old identity with the unveiling of its new brand and name, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

Around 30 invited guests, including mayor Steve Chadwick and Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell, gathered at the Mokoia campus of the former Waiariki Institute of Technology to bless the new institute and get the first look at the new brand.

Toi Ohomai council chairwoman Cathy Cooney said she was delighted to share the special moment with students, staff, iwi and stakeholders.

"This is a very significant day for our new institution and for charting the way for a bright future for those seeking a tertiary qualification in our region.

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"The name Toi Ohomai encourages young people, and learners of all ages, to 'look up and aspire to great heights through learning'."

She said the new brand also signalled the critical importance of continuing to build a network of "purposeful and connected partnerships with iwi, industry, and the wider community".

"We are very pleased to be at this point in the development of our institution."

The name, Toi Ohomai, also serviced as the brand image in a marketing move Ms Cooney labelled "different and radical".

The name, which caused some controversy when it was first announced, was a necessary move for the future of the institute," Ms Cooney said.

"It's a new institute and deserves a new identity, while still acknowledging the importance and whakapapa of the name, Waiariki."

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce was unable to make the ceremony but sent a video showing his support for the new brand.

Toi Ohomai council chairwoman Cathy Cooney at the launch of the institute's new brand and name. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER
Toi Ohomai council chairwoman Cathy Cooney at the launch of the institute's new brand and name. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

Business student Hamish Hahunga was excited to see the new brand and was proud to be one of the founding students of Toi Ohomai.

"Change is a constant in life. The integration of the two institutes is a great thing for students and the region.

"As a student studying business, being able to see first-hand what we're being taught in the classroom come to life in the real world is a fantastic learning opportunity. I am excited for the future of education in the bay and look forward to seeing how Toi Ohomai grows."

Toi Ohomai, the merged entity of the former Waiariki Institute of Technology and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, is home to more than 14,000 students, 1000 staff and is the largest tertiary provider in the region - and the third largest technical institute in the country.

For more information go to the website, toiohomai.ac.nz or the Facebook page www.facebook.com/toiohomai.

The name: Toi Ohomai
• Toi - aspiring to and achieving great heights

• Ohomai - to be awakened and inspired through our learning, to positively transform our world and to remember where we come from.

What's behind the title Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology
• Gifted by iwi from across the region.

• Encapsulated the aspirational journey of life.

• Encouraged innovation, achievement, inspiration and transformation.

• "Institute of technology" appealed to a bigger international audience than "polytechnic".