Otago Polytechnic

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Archive for 2020



  • Ako Aotearoa National Project Fund grant (March 13 2019)

    We are very pleased to announce that our Learner Capability research project has been awarded funding from Ako Aotearoa for 2019/20.

    This grant will enable us to build on the work already undertaken in 2018, when 50 staff members  interviewed more than 160 employers and stakeholders in a range of professions and industries. We have summarised the interviews to pinpoint employers’ prioritisation of the learner capabilities that graduates need to enhance their employability. The interviews are also currently being transcribed and analysed for further, rich information about how we can improve our curriculae.

    Phase 2 this year will involve gathering information from our alumni about their experiences as graduates in the workplace and Phase 3 this year will focus on workplace observations to determine how capabilties play out in real world scenarios. This phase will tell us more about which capabilities will enhance the employability of graduates. Further phases are planned for 2020.

    The object is to deliver and implement a learner capability framework that enables learners to develop and evidence transferable capabilities that will set them up for success in employment.

  • Congratulations to our graduates (December 14 2018)

    A record 740 people are graduating in person from Otago Polytechnic today.

    More than 320 graduands took the stage for the first of two graduation ceremonies at the Dunedin Town Hall at 12.30pm, the qualifications including Information Technology, Nursing, Physical Activity, Health, Wellness and Sport, as well as business degrees earned through Capable New Zealand.

    Another 413 people graduated in person in the second ceremony at 3.30pm, qualifications including those gained through Otago Polytechnic’s Auckland campus, the Dunedin School of Art, as well as Design, Tourism, Early Childhood, and Social Services.

    Guest speakers at the ceremonies were former international netballer Jodie Brown and Tahu Potiki.

    A total of 840 people graduated in absentia, bringing the total to 1580, eclipsing Otago Polytechnic’s 2017 December graduate record of 1463.

    Watch the Otago Daily Times graduation parade video

    Check out our pre-parade photos

    Read graduate Kathy Howard’s inspiring story

  • Otago Polytechnic receives excellence award (November 1 2018)

    Otago Polytechnic has been presented with a prestigious organisational excellence award — the Baldrige-affiliated Performance Excellence Study Award (PESA).

    Errol Slyfield, Chief Executive of Business Excellence NZ, formally presented the award to Otago Polytechnic CEO Phil Ker at a ceremony at the Hub on Wednesday October 31.

    Also present was PESA evaluator Steven Garlick, who congratulated Otago Polytechnic on being the first organisation in New Zealand to undergo an assessment process comparable to that for the United States Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award – and to reach the required standard.

    Administered by Business Excellence NZ (endorsed by the American Society of Quality), the PESA involves rigorous examination by United States-based examiners against seven core Baldrige Performance Excellence Criteria to determine organisational excellence by world-class standards.

    The journey towards PESA recognition was initiated more than a decade ago by Phil Ker, who had a vision to develop and embed a culture committed to continuous improvement. 

    “I’m exceptionally proud to receive this award on behalf of Otago Polytechnic today,” Phil said at the ceremony.

    “The award recognises the robust and lengthy process we went through to develop a world-class institution, always seeking to do better.

    “Quality is never about instant gratification – it is about digging in for the long term, and our staff have done this.”

    The US Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is one of the most internationally recognised frameworks for business excellence. Globally, many countries operate national quality awards aligned with Baldrige or have similar core criteria.

    Key performance indicators and/or highlights noted by the examiners, include:

    • Otago Polytechnic’s strong organisational vision and culture of excellence
    • High levels of student satisfaction and employer satisfaction with Otago Polytechnic graduates
    • Excellent educational performance indicators (course completions, student progression, qualifications and course retention)
    • Sound financial performance and growth in overall EFTs/enrolments
    • High number of Ako Aotearoa Awards for Teaching Excellence
    • High levels of workforce engagement and staff satisfaction
    • Organisational agility and leading-edge innovation through a diverse provision of educational experiences. For example: EduBits, Otago Polytechnic’s suite of micro-credentials

    The award-winning application was Otago Polytechnic’s fourth attempt, the institution having made its first PESA submission in 2012. 

     “After each submission, we receive immensely valuable feedback, which guides our improvement action plans,” Joanne Greatbanks, Director: Performance Improvement explains.

     “Otago Polytechnic is passionate about providing our learners with a ‘wow!’ experience. In order to continue to put our learners at the centre of everything we do, we need to continuously evolve, drive and innovate.”  

     Jo Brady, Deputy Chief Executive: People, Performance and Development states:

     “It is true that our people make a better world. We now have a globally recognised award to prove it and we remain committed to continuous improvement as the journey doesn’t have an end point. Our work matters — it has impact and transforms lives, communities and economies.”



  • Ngā Kete unveiled (October 14 2018)

    The blessing and unveiling of our new sculpture, Ngā Kete, was held on Monday 15 October.

    View the photo gallery on Facebook. 

    Watch a video from the event.

    Created by award-winning artist and Dunedin School of Art distinguished alumnus Michel Tuffery (MNZM), the 2.5m sandcast bronze was selected after an extensive process involving more than eight proposals.

    Ngā Kete, which is positioned near the entrance to The Hub at our Dunedin Campus, serves as a reminder that those who enter Otago Polytechnic fill their kete with knowledge.

    Following a conch-horn welcome from Pesamino Tili, and a mihi and karakia led by Matapura Ellison, Phil Ker, Michel Tuffery, and Dunedin City Councillor Marie Laufiso all spoke.

    The event also included St Hilda's and John McGlashan Kapa Haka, John McGlashan pipers, and Le Apatonga and Koko Tuffery (Michel's daughter), who danced the ura pa'u. The music, song, dance and performance was a cross cultural ‘tour de force’, and an inspiration to all those who were present.

    Tuffery likened Ngā Kete to a midden, “a natural layering of metaphors weaving the kaupapa of the traditional, environmental and cultural with community and history”.

    The sculpture has been designed to function as a sundial within the courtyard. At night, up-lighting will enhance Ngā Kete’s woven textures.

    There is a stone from Rarotonga buried under the sculpture and the stone on the top is from Rakiura/Stewart Island – placed there by the artist.

    Ngā Kete is the first in a range of art works destined to create dialogue, intrigue and learning at our Dunedin campus. Our Art on Campus plan aims to enhance our cultural presence in Dunedin and continue to build the strong reputation of the Dunedin School of Art.

  • OP midwives in the news (September 12 2018)

    As part of our 'Make it Yours' enrolment campaign, we're getting great media coverage about our great programmes. The below article is currently featured on the NewsHub website. 

    With the gender pay gap in the headlines, midwives are working hard for change. And that’s fitting, given midwifery is a career that supports women, babies and whānau, enabling change in so many lives.

    “There is nothing quite like midwifery. It is so enormously rewarding and challenging and it is such an honour being there for women and their whānau,” says Norma Campbell, after nearly four decades in the profession.

    “And every year you gain more understanding of humankind, of pregnancy, of babies. The job satisfaction is amazing.”

    Norma, Director of Midwifery at Canterbury/West Coast DHB, graduated with a Master of Midwifery from Otago Polytechnic, one of New Zealand’s pioneering schools of midwifery.


    Partnership is a key concept of the New Zealand midwifery model, with midwives caring for women and their whānau from early pregnancy to six weeks after a birth. Few other countries enable midwives to practice autonomously, providing continuous care throughout the childbearing experience.

    “Our model of midwifery is recognised internationally as delivering better outcomes and more satisfied women,” says Alison Eddy, Deputy Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives.

    “The word midwife means ‘with woman’ and is reflective of the midwife’s role in accompanying the woman on her journey through pregnancy and childbirth into motherhood.”

    “There is a strong and growing body of evidence that New Zealand’s midwifery-led model is the optimal way for women to receive maternity care,” she says. “Many countries look to New Zealand as a model to aspire to.”

    Otago Polytechnic’s School of Midwifery, Te Kura Atawhai kā Kaiakopono te Hākuitaka, began educating midwives in the early ‘90’s as soon as midwifery autonomy and direct entry midwifery education was introduced.

    “We’ve now graduated more than 450 midwives, have post-graduate programmes taking midwives through to Masters level, and 100% of our graduates find employment if they want,” says Professor Sally Baddock, Otago Polytechnic’s Co-Head of Midwifery.

    “Recent graduates include Jana Walshe, who received the “2018 Graduate Midwife of the Year” award from the Counties Manukau DHB.”


    Co-Head of Midwifery, Christine Griffiths, says, “Otago Polytechnic’s success relates to its exceptional approach to flexible learning and innovative programme delivery.”

    “Study is partly online and partly face to face, so students can stay in their own communities across the lower North Island and lower South Island while they study, and fit study around other demands. Students are grouped into “satellites”, and local lecturers are spread through areas where students are based.”

    “Currently, we have satellites in three parts of Wellington (Kapiti, Porirua and Lower Hutt), Whanganui, Palmerston North, Dunedin, Southland and Central Otago.

    “Students stay in their community, helping build their communities during study, and often remain in their community to work as midwives.”

    People from particularly diverse backgrounds, from farming to fashion, go into midwifery, helped by Otago Polytechnic’s flexible delivery model, which allows students to fit study around other demands such as family, and also provides strong support for Maori and Pasifika students.

    Malita Fanning chose midwifery after working in Telecommunications Marketing for eight years. She studied for a Bachelor of Midwifery degree through Otago Polytechnic’s Wellington satellite while living at home raising her young family.

    “Otago Polytechnic was the only institute that offered this type of flexibility. The online learning meant I could pick and choose when I did my study,” Malita says.

    “It’s all encompassing – the study, the practice, following the women, following the midwife, and living the life of a midwife as a student. It makes it real. I can’t imagine doing it anywhere else.”

    The most rewarding aspect about her new profession, Malita says, is supporting women to overcome challenges, before, during, or after the birth.

    “Supporting women to overcome challenges is an awesome experience.”


    Visit the OP website for more information

    Visit Newshub to view this article there.

  • Staff forum video: Campus development (September 10 2018)

    If you missed the staff forum about our campus development plans, you can watch the video below. 

    There were a few technical glitches during the forum, but it's worth bearing with the video to learn more about our building plans and how the hospital rebuild will impact OP. 

    Watch the video here.

    Our next staff forum will be held on Friday 19 October. Jo Brady, DCE People, Performance and Development, will go through our Work Environment Survey (WES) results. 
    View the event listing here.

    View the building shading graphics here.

  • Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori (September 5 2018)

    Kia ora whanau, and welcome to Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori - Māori Language Week! 

    To celebrate, we're sharing a rerenga korero mō te rā (phrase of the day) every day of the week, and we've got some great activities happening throughout the week too. At lunchtimes during Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori we will be creating a Manu Aute (kite), and you're welcome to join and play some interactive games that incorporate Te Reo and Māori concepts. 


    Monday 10 September 

    Rerenga korero mō te rā (Phrase of the Day) 

    Kei te pēhea koe? – How are you?

    Not sure how to pronounce it? Check out the video here


    Wairua Puhou performance
    A kapahaka performance by students from Otago Girls High School and Otago Boys High School.
    12noon in The Hub. 

    Tuesday 11 September

    Rerenga korero mō te rā (Phrase of the Day) 

    Kei hea ā Ron? – Where is Ron?

    Not sure how to pronounce it? Check out the video here.


    Māori Language Revitalisation
    With Dr Gianna Leoni
    12noon in G106


    Wednesday 12 September 

    Rerenga korero mō te rā (Phrase of the Day) 

    He aha te wā? – What is the time?


    Thursday 13 September 

    Rerenga korero mō te rā (Phrase of the Day) 

    He aha tõ ikoa/ingoa? – What is your name?


    Friday 14 September 

    Rerenga korero mō te rā (Phrase of the Day) 

    Nō hea koe? – Where are you from?