On March 20, the new Health education facility at the Porirua campus was officially opened by the Minister of Health, the Hon Tony Ryall. The new building was named Wikitoria Katene, the name gifted to the previous health building by Ngāti Toa in 2008. The opening event was attended by over 200 staff and invited guests, with speeches from Hon Tony Ryall, Whitireia council chair Hon Roger Sowry, chief executive Don Campbell, and Ngāti Toa kaumātua Taku Parai. Guests were treated to performances by Whitireia Performing Arts students.
On 20 June, Matiu Rei, executive director of Ngāti Toa Rangatira, addressed more than 100 people at an early morning ceremony at the Porirua campus to commemorate the Ngāti Toa signing of te Tiriti o Waitangi. "Ngāti Toa’s post-settlement - a vision for the future" was the theme of his address. Whitireia Council Chair Hon Roger Sowry OMZM commended Ngāti Toa on this vision, their business and people. "Your goals, vision and strategies will help significantly change New Zealand and make it a better country," he said.
Performing arts graduates Nikki King, 32, and Te Hau Winitana, 23, are the brains and bodies behind Pacifit Fitness Hula Active. Samoan, Cook Islands and Māori cultures, with a touch of Tahitian and Hawaiian, have contributed to their aerobic fitness routines.
King and Winitana, both from Petone, have drawn on their Bachelor of Applied Arts from Whitireia Polytechnic. As students they travelled to France, Belgium, Holland and Malaysia showcasing the cultural differences through dance and performance. They drew inspiration from their studies, marrying aspects of Cook Island, Samoan and Maori cultures with contemporary dance. "Each culture has its own movements, using the same concepts with different execution," King says.
The women were involved in youth work last year and decided to develop a way of getting people fit and active. "We really want to share what we do, because it is so cool. And we really want our communities to get active, from young to old," King says. The hour-long classes start with a low-impact routine, then build to a higher tempo using the intense movements from each culture to get the heart rate up.
Whitireia New Zealand turned the Kāpiti campus atrium into a high fashion runway on Thursday, September 12. The fashion show was held to raise money to assist the beauty and hairdressing students to pay for their City and Guilds International exam fees. Thirteen beauty and hairdressing students created amazing hairstyles and makeup for the runway models, who were showcasing local fashion houses' new season clothing by Paperdoll, Helen Ryan, Undercover Secrets, Hipster and shots by Super Minx.
"We worked really hard this year to achieve the high standards that were produced on the catwalk," says student Tiana Thompson-Reed.