Wintec students weave learning and experience at Te Pūkenga brand launch

Wintec Communications students meet Hon Chris Hipkins at the Te Pukenga naming ceremony
Wintec Communication students meet Minister of Education Hon Chris Hipkins at the Te Pūkenga naming ceremony. From L-R, Maddy Morris, Ngaire Pahl, Chris Hipkins, Josiah Peipi, Paula Jacobsen, Jed Murtagh, Tutor - Abby Dalgety, Cassie Owens. 

Wintec Communication students had a unique learning experience this week when they attended the naming ceremony for Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology held at Wintec, Hamilton, and met the Minister of Education Hon Chris Hipkins.  

The meaning behind Te Pūkenga describes the passing down and mastery of valuable skills from one person to another, teacher to student, tuakana to teina.  

These values and kaupapa were exemplified with the students’ presence at the event. They were not only there to represent their fellow students, but to take advantage of the occasion as a learning opportunity, weaving the experience into their current curriculum.  

Ranging from first through to third year, the students from Wintec School of Media Arts study a range of pathways including journalism, public relations, video production, marketing and branding, and public relations.  

Cassie Owens, 22, hoped the event would give insight into a potential future of leadership.  

“My ultimate goal is to help people. For me, I think the best way to do this is to be on the board of an organisation and help by making decisions from the top. It’s great to witness how things work in a professional and formal context.”  

The experience was highly relevant to the first-year students whose current class project is building a campaign to encourage youth to vote.  

They were blown away when some of the politicians in attendance made their way over to the table they were sitting at to talk to them.  

“We definitely weren’t expecting that to happen. It was so exciting, and the politicians were engaged and really seemed like they wanted to talk to us,” said Owens. 

It was also an opening for the students to network and build connections within the education industry.   

“It was such a great networking opportunity and a chance to introduce yourself to industry people. Making those connections is important in this career and you never know what or who you’re going to meet and what that might lead to,” said 22 year-old Maddy Morris.  

“It’s really encouraged by our tutors. We get experience everywhere. Even through my part-time job at a fast-food restaurant I’ve met fascinating people to interview for projects. In comms we learn how to relate to people from all walks of life.”  

The students had an action-packed day which also included helping out on an official photoshoot for Te Pūkenga’s new website. 

Comms students help out on photoshoot_Stephen Barker
Students Josiah Peipi, Cassie Owens, Finlee Rickit-Browning and Ben Wilson helping out during the Te Pūkenga photoshoot.

During the event, Te Pūkenga presented their new brand with a video detailing why the name Te Pūkenga was chosen.  

Jed Murtagh, 27, says, “They didn’t just present us with the new brand, but we got to find out the ‘why’. They talked about what it all represents, what the whole ethos and symbolism behind what the brand is.”  

Te Pūkenga literally refers to the base of the harakeke plant from where all threads meet and grow. In addition to the passing of intergenerational knowledge, it symbolises the coming together of not only the many different institutes that make up Te Pūkenga, but the students that are at the heart of it.  

This sentiment was reflected in the attitudes of the students, who were thrilled to have the experience as part of their studies.  

“The great thing about studying at Wintec is that it sets you up. You get all this hands-on experience, and you’re not just sitting there, you’re learning by doing.”  

Cassie agrees, stating “Our studies have given us the confidence to do something like this outside of our comfort zones.”  

Their tutor Abby Dalgety emphasises how great the opportunity was for her students.  

“There’s an emphasis on working with clients, and everything we teach is industry-focussed. We have run events, marketing and public relations campaigns.”  

“This is so relevant to their learning and it’s really exciting, immersive learning for them.” 

Wintec is one of 16 subsidiaries of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology.  

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