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A History of Innovation and Growth

1924 Hamilton Technical College is founded to provide technical and trades training in the Waikato region. The demand for skilled tradespeople after the Second World War leads to a surge in growth in the 1950s.

1924 First building is erected on the corner of Anglesea and Nisbet Streets (this now historic building, well-known as the face of Wintec, is currently being renovated).

1968 Becomes known as the Waikato Technical Institute - a provider of vocational training for farming, industry and commerce. The institute offers a wide range of programmes in engineering, science, accountancy, business management, secretarial, carpentry and building trades, including Māori pre-trade apprentices.

1983 Student residence is opened to provide students with accommodation close to the campus.

1985 Horticulture teaching begins at Hamilton Gardens.

1986 Tainui Trust Board representation on Waikato Technical Institute Council.

1987 Name changes to The Waikato Polytechnic to reflect the widening in the scope of its educational activities.

1990s Following Government tertiary reforms, the institute becomes a body corporate with a Chief Executive and Council. A range of degrees in nursing, midwifery, business, sport and exercise science, information technology and media arts are developed in response to changing employment needs. The strong practical aspect of these degrees supports the successful, long-standing trades and technology reputation of the institute.

1990 Satellite campuses opened in Te Kuiti and Thames.

1991 Whare built and named Te Kākano ā te Kāahu - the seed embraced/nurtured by the indigenous hawk or cloak (or korowai). The seed represents students and the hawk refers to the Late Māori Queen or a korowai which is provides the nurturing and development of the seed.

1991 Childcare centre opens to provide students with affordable convenient childcare on campus.

1992 First degree (Bachelor of Business) is offered.

1994 Innovative Artechmobile is built and hits the road to provide mobile computer education to regional communities.

1995 Land is purchased on Avalon Drive to establish a campus with ample space for trades, sports and hospitality training.

2000 First post graduate qualification is offered (Post Graduate Diploma Nursing).

2001 Name changes to the Waikato Institute of Technology and two years later, the modern Wintec brand is adopted.

2003 Wintec opens office in Beijing.

2007 Award-winning Gallagher Hub is opened and is immediately successful as a space where studying and recreation meet for students.

2009 Wintec wins three national tertiary education awards for its global role (particularly its partnership in China), innovation support services (for its creative industries business incubator Soda Inc.) and relevant learning (for its Employer Partnership Groups). Wintec receives government funding to develop an agritechnology educational centre in the Waikato.

2010 Wintec opens a hub at its Avalon campus, a central studying and social space for students, staff and visitors. Wintec House, the historical corner brick building on the city campus is re-opened after a $17m refurbishment.

2011 Wintec Alumni Circle formed. Our Avalon campus in the north of Hamilton is renamed the Rotokauri campus. The name change reflects the changing configuration and growth of the campus.

2012 Wintec opens Te Köpü Mänia o Kirikiriroa marae on its city campus. Wintec receives the New Zealand Business Achievement Award from the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation.

2013 Wintec and the Waikato Regional Diabetes Service gain recognition from the International Diabetes Federation for excellence in providing diabetes training to nurses. The first Wintec student ball is held at Wintec House. Wintec wins the Supreme Award at the 2013 Microsoft Tertiary ICT Innovation Awards. Wintec wins the Fletcher Construction Judges’ Choice Award from the Property Council for its campus modernisation programme. Our Media Arts complex is refurbished, and a new multi-storey office building, the PWC Centre, is constructed on the corner of our city campus, adjacent to Wintec House.

2014 Wintec celebrates 90 years since the first classes were taught at our heritage building Wintec House. Our state-of-the-art $25m Engineering and Trades building opens at the Rotokauri campus. Wintec opens three colleges in Saudi Arabia in a joint venture with Spanish partner Mondragon Educación Internacional.

2015 Jinhua Polytechnic Wintec International College in China opens. The first student accommodation complex on our city campus, Wintec Apartments.

2016 International student numbers reach an all-time high. Nearly 1800 students enrolled in 2016, equating to 1009 equivalent full-time students. Rotokauri student hub and campus is redesigned and refurbished. A new programme is developed in collaboration with Waikato-Tainui to increase fluency in te reo Mäori.