'What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

No, I'm not going to start spouting Shakespeare, but the ancient wordsmith does raise some valid questions about the importance of what one is called.

In this instance though it's not a person I'm thinking of, but a place. Our local tertiary institute, Waiariki.

Toi Oho Mai Institute of Technology was revealed last week as a proposed name for Rotorua and Tauranga's newly-merged polytechnic but it was met with some resistance with people saying it was a mouthful and is difficult to spell.


When I first read the name, I'll admit I wasn't wowed by it but upon learning the meaning I changed my tune.

Toi Oho Mai, gifted from local iwi across the region, encapsulates the aspirational journey of life, encouraging innovation, achievement, inspiration and transformation.

To me that summarises beautifully what tertiary education is all about - discovering new ways to improve the world around you, pushing yourself to new limits and transforming your life.

It can be difficult to let go of a name that holds significance to you so I understand why some students - past and present - are not thrilled with the impending change, but I would urge them to keep an open mind.

Waiariki Institute of Technology was a great name and has bred some great graduates but without change we can never grow and improve.

I don't think we should be quick to dismiss a new name for the institute. Regardless of what it has been called in the past, it is a fresh institute and deserves a fresh identity.