A proposed name for Bay of Plenty's newly merged polytechnic has been revealed, but not everyone is happy with it.

The former Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Waiariki Institute of Technology is likely to be known as Toi Oho Mai Institute of Technology.

The revelation comes after inquiries from the Bay of Plenty Times, which found the polytechnic registering for new domain names online.

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Chairwoman Catherine Cooney said in a written statement the tertiary provider had hoped not to release a name until all of the internal processes had been completed but confirmed Toi Oho Mai would likely be its new brand.

"We understand that the name of the new institution will be a topic of great interest to all of our stakeholders and communities," Ms Cooney said. "The name we are contemplating for the new institution is Toi Oho Mai Institute of Technology.

"This name is yet to be discussed with our key stakeholders and there are still several stages we need to go through before any name can be confirmed and sent to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce."

Ms Cooney said the name Toi Oho Mai was gifted from local iwi from across the region and encapsulated the aspirational journey of life, encouraging innovation, achievement, inspiration and transformation.

[Toi Oho Mai is] an unfortunate choice for a name or brand, difficult to spell, pronounce and remember.

"Once we have completed all of the official processes we will make an official announcement and provide a full explanation of the name chosen."

In a leaked email chain, deputy mayor Kelvin Clout wrote that he agreed with a concerned resident that Toi Oho Mai was an "unfortunate choice for a name or brand, difficult to spell, pronounce and remember".

Mr Clout said yesterday he stood by his statement.

"I do feel quite strongly that the best thing would be something easily said every day."


Mr Clout said he believed people would struggle with the name. He added the loss of location in a name was another reason he did not support it.

"It doesn't give any sense of the geography of the place. When you look around, nearly all tertiary providers have reference to where they are located geographically."

Last week, the new board of the just-merged tertiary education provider was announced. In addition to Ms Cooney's appointment, former polytechnic chairman Ian Turner has been named deputy chairman and Rahera Ohia QSM and Ngaroma Tahana have been made members of the council. Ms Cooney said her immediate concern was establishing a full, constituted new council including the appointment of a chief executive.

Ms Cooney is director of Kowhai Health Associates and joint chairwoman of Healthy Families Rotorua. She is a JP and former president of the Rotorua and Districts JP Association. From 2001 to 2012 she was Lakes District Health Board chief executive.

Street View: We ask Bay of Plenty Polytechnic students: what you think of the intended new name Toi Oho Mai Institute of Technology?

Marie Holden.
Marie Holden.

"I like the meaning behind it. I think it's good it's inclusive of Waiariki." Marie Holden, 31

Ally Edwards.
Ally Edwards.

"New beginnings, new name. If a word is in Maori, it should be in English as well so we can learn it. Make sure everyone knows the meaning behind it so we we're all on the same page." Ally Edwards

Emma Mathison.
Emma Mathison.

"I think it's okay. I think it's good they are picking a new name now the two are merging." Emma Mathison, 24