Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic is now officially Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

The new name was officially launched yesterday and comes after the merger of the Rotorua-based Waiariki Institute of Technology and the Tauranga-based Bay of Plenty Polytechnic at the beginning of this year.

Interim chief executive Dr Neil Barns spoke at the official blessing and reveal ceremony yesterday morning at the Windermere campus.

"The whole purpose of this is to do something better for our region," he said.


He said the name was gifted from iwi and was connected to the ancestry of place and the aspirations of the people in the area.

"I'm really supportive of the change."

Student ambassador and business student Hamish Hahunga said the new name was of "huge significance" to him.

"It sounds really nice and rolls off the tongue, and because of the meaning - moving on into excellence and new heights. It's just a really cool name."

He said the event yesterday morning went well, with a lot of discussion of moving forward with the new brand.

"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."

Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said she thought Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology was a "wonderful" name and brand for the newly merged tertiary institutions.

"It is iconic and a very special and a well thought out gift to us by iwi from across the Bay of Plenty region. It is much more than just a name as there is significant meaning to the words.

"The focus on innovation and transforming our world, while also remembering where we come from will be particularly inspiring for those that study there and also for the wider community."

Toi Ohomai council chairwoman Cathy Cooney said the name encouraged younger people and students of all ages to "look up and aspire to great heights through learning".

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

Re-elected Tauranga councillor Kelvin Clout said that after his initial reservations about the name, he now embraced it.

Like anything, it would take a while for people to get used to it and he likened it to the initial cautious reaction to Zespri which over time got its own identity, he said.

Mr Clout said the name and design that utilised the Matariki constellation celebrated connections with the different cities and towns in the Bay of Plenty. It also had an aspirational and inspirational meaning.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec said while many would be sad the geographical reference disappeared, the new name was appropriate.

"The Chamber has been strongly supportive from the start of the merged Polytechs, and is pleased to see the progress made to carve out a new identity that speaks to its various audiences."

Hollie Smith performed to students at the Windermere campus as part of the new brand launch.

Toi Ohomai meaning
- To aim high and achieve great heights