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Wintec | Te Pūkenga brings the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and the arranging training activities of certain Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) together to create a national network. This gives our students more choices and flexibility in what, where, and how they learn.

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How these teachers are exploring culture and raising equity through te ao Māori

Dhammika Silva says cultural awareness is the most important thing in her classroom

Wintec academic, Dhammika Silva says cultural awareness is the most important thing in the classroom.

Dhammika Silva and Ninitha Koya journeyed to Aotearoa New Zealand at different times and from different places, and now they are teaching in Hamilton at the Centre for Business and Enterprise at Wintec.

At Wintec, they are two of many kaiako/teachers, who are on a journey through Wintec’s Tōia Mai framework, to learn and incorporate mātauranga Māori – or Māori knowledge – and understand Te Tiriti principles in their teaching practice.

Through Tōia Mai, they aim to raise equity and enable all learners in an inclusive way.

It’s a journey, they say of “aha moments”, of synergy and discovery, when they are surrounded by many cultural influences - their own - and the diverse cultural makeup of the ākonga/learners they teach.

Their smiles are infectious, and their hearts are as big and warm as the countries they come from.

Silva is from Sri Lanka and Koya is from India. 

“I like to start each class session with a waiata to embrace cultural inclusiveness,” says Silva.

 “I have introduced Tūtira mai Ngā Iwi, as it is about people coming together and I believe it strengthens diversity within the classroom. It also has a good beat, and our international students really like to sing along to it.”

Her personal favourite is Wintec’s waiata E Kore Koe e Ngaro.

“I believe the most important thing in this mātauranga Māori journey is cultural awareness. Most of my classes are culturally diverse and respect, understanding and appreciation of cultural differences helps us to relate better to each other. Our classes help lay the foundation for ākonga so when they go into the workforce, they can adjust and appreciate the cultural connections they will encounter.”

With borders closed, Silva says the cultural mix in her classes has changed with fewer international students, but a number have stayed on at Wintec.

“The last two years or so have seen a drastic change to the cultural makeup of our student cohorts. This means I am adapting to the style of learning our current cohorts have and responding to their needs.

“I encourage them to challenge me, ask me questions, and this is how we learn."

Koya’s life journey has taken her and her family from South India, to London, to St. Lucia in the Caribbean and now Aotearoa, New Zealand. She agrees the most important thing is cultural awareness.

“Equity is the central thing that runs my class.

“Different lived experiences, different starting points and ways of living all come in to inhabit the same space together,” says Koya.

“I am very mindful, I make it clear that I am not the source of knowledge, but we are generating knowledge together. It’s your lived experience you will be educating me on. So at the beginning it is established that we will co-create knowledge. As the lecturer, I am assimilating the information.”

At Wintec, all new kaiako take part in a te ao Māori wānanga /learning experience. They learn about tikanga, whakawhanaungatanga and manaakitanga, values that are part of the cultural framework at Wintec.

“The training I did at Wintec really exposed me to the Māori and Pacific world view.

“All faculty do this, kanohi ke te kanohi - face to face. Our class had a lovely mix of engineering, nursing midwifery and IT people so it was a great space to share ideas.

“Now my classes always start with a karakia, but I am mindful my pronunciation is nowhere close.”

In 2021, she did not have any ākonga Māori in her classes, her students were all international.

“I did not have anyone in class to correct me or tell me I was mispronouncing or misappropriating at the beginning. When we have Māori students in class, they are so welcoming, they are excited and they want to share.

“It’s a relaxed space. We share whakatauki, [Māori proverbs] as I am more confident where I am at right now with one or two lines and I connect that to class concepts.

“We talk about how we are one whānau and we all work together, and we talk about the meaning and how it connects, and I say how does this apply to your situation? How does this apply in your country?”

Often, she says these whakatauki relate to students’ family culture and others discuss individual goals versus common goals.

Equity is central to Ninitha Koya's teaching practice at Wintec

Equity is central to Ninitha Koya's teaching practice at Wintec.

“I am incredibly lucky my module has culture woven into it so when I teach business communication, we are looking at intercultural communication, and mātauranga Māori sits in this space very comfortably.

“I say, “this is rooted in Māori culture but what does it tell you about how you connect?”

“I use a lot of play dough, Lego serious play in my classes to help my students talk and open up.”

Koya says, “Give them playdough and ask what is one cultural thing that guides you?”

“Once you have a model in front of you then suddenly you have something to talk about. I hear “Hey, your model is like mine, I grew up in China and you grew up in Whakatane!” And bonds are formed that connect the interpersonal side of learning.”

“I have had amazing luck, says Koya. “They think they don’t have the right words to explain.

“One boy said ‘I don’t have a culture’ but I say everyone has a culture. Most people think culture is a dance or a food or a costume. But some people don’t connect back to these. So we talk about their personal culture. For example, “Is it in your culture to run up the Hakarimatas every Saturday morning?”

“That’s where equity comes through because then everyone has a space and I ensure everyone is given the opportunities and support they need to share their thoughts as equals."

Silva is Sri Lankan by birth and grew up in Papua New Guinea and Australia.

“I resonate with so many cultures from Sri Lankan to Papua New Guinean to Australian and Māori. When I was in Sri Lanka my sister was here in New Zealand and she said, “did you know there are so many Māori words that resemble ours?” Even the names of some streets!

“We also have similar cultural practices. We respect the elderly and take care of our parents. Kai is always the centre of any cultural activity and Sri Lanka has such a diverse palate. The respect also comes into the classroom. I see a lot of that in ākonga Māori. They say “thank you for the session today” every time. They like to know about my culture. I can really resonate to te ao Māori, it’s similar to Sri Lankan, whether it is special ceremonies, tangi or social gatherings, and then there’s the fun element.”

“Two thousand percent I agree with that!” laughs Koya.

“So many times I have said, “hang on a minute, this is exactly what we do”. That’s where those connections happen, those ‘aha’ moments. And a Chinese student will say, “we do that too”.

“A unifying factor is food. A lot of our cultures are centred around food. The kai is central, but when people eat, they relax and suddenly the formality is gone.

“Even the pronunciation! We roll our R’s the same way. When I first came here, I said the word Kirikiriroa marae and a colleague said, “you got that, you said it without anglicising it.”

“I come from Kerala, the southernmost tip of India. Our geography, culture, weather and food is very similar to Pacific nations’. This means, I connect very easily with my Pacific students, their ways and even their food, as a lot of our food is coconut-based.”

Silva says, she sees "a huge change to teaching and learning practice from when I was a student at Wintec, to what is now part of my practice. It’s really focussed now the Tōia Mai excellence framework has come into play.

"Now when we welcome ākonga Māori onto this campus, it’s going to be a great transformation to their learning and to our practice as well".

Koya admits to adding in a bit of her culture too.

“I unashamedly play Bollywood music at the start of class, and we dance. The girls especially love it.

“We sit on the threshold of cultural competency, and we need to tap into that. Our ongoing conversation is how we adopt a better cultural approach when disruption is happening and learn about what can we do together.”
This story is part of a series demonstrating how cultural change is making a major difference to learners, staff, employers and the wider community.

Wintec is working to improve equitable outcomes for tauira/learners and demonstrate Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnerships through a major change programme, Tōia Mai. Tōia Mai is grounded in te ao Māori and mātauranga Māori to create sustained and meaningful change across Wintec for tauira and kaimahi (staff).

Ensuring education responds to the needs of Māori, Pacific and all learners is a focus for Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. As a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga, Wintec’s Tōia Mai framework aligns closely with this. 

Find out more about studying Business at Wintec.

Read more:
How a traditional Māori kite is giving flight to an early childhood degree
When we roll as a whānau we move as one
Wayfinding project puts Te Tiriti and te reo Māori first


  • Rā Whakamarama – Orientation

    Join us for Semester 1 2024 Rā Whakamarama, Orientation – this is an exciting experience not to be missed! This student event is a great way to get out, meet new friends, and have fun while experiencing different parts of Wintec.

International Prospectus

The International Prospectus contains programmes we recommended for International Students. The Prospectus was current at the date of print. For current programme information, please refer to the programme web pages.

Programme brochures


Homestay is where you stay with New Zealand families, in their homes. Our Homestay hosts are carefully selected for their kind and caring nature.

You will get to improve your English by talking to them; you will also be able to enjoy family activities, celebrations, religious practices, and sporting events.

When living in a homestay, the host will provide you with:

  • A clean, comfortable home with a happy and relaxed atmosphere
  • A private, furnished bedroom with a bed, study space, and storage
  • Pillows, sheets, blankets, and towels
  • A heater (if required in winter)
  • Access to Wi-Fi internet
  • Access to shared spaces; kitchen, lounge, dining, laundry, backyard
  • Fully catered; meals, lunches, and snacks

Are you moving out of your homestay?

If you are thinking of leaving your homestay, click the button below for the check out form, what you need to do and a handy guide to help you transition.

Student Village

Only a five minute walk from the Wintec City Campus and downtown Hamilton, the Wintec Student Village offers a relaxed atmosphere, a pastoral care environment and a range of social and cultural activities through the year.

Bedrooms include a bed, study desk, cupboards and a wardrobe, with access to a phone, internet, kitchenette (excluding oven), separate toilet and shower. There is a shared full kitchen, TV lounge, games room and laundry.

Three main meals are provided on weekdays and two main meals on the weekend.

Wintec Apartments

Wintec Apartments offer a modern, self-catered style of accommodation situated in a three-level apartment complex building located on the Wintec City Campus. Wintec Apartments include four apartments per level, each containing 5 or 6 rooms, separate shower and toilet facilities, plus full kitchen and dining facilities.

Each level of the building offers a large common room/ study area, with shared laundry facilities and storage for bicycles and other large items available on the lower ground floor.

Services include access to a telephone for local calls and full access to high-speed wireless internet available free to students staying in the apartments. Security features include - swipe card access into your own apartment and into your individual room, sitewide CCTV, and Wintec security patrols.

Accommodation costs

Click the button below to find our accommodation options and information including current fees and shuttle fees.

Apply for accommodation

International students applying to live in Student Village, Wintec Apartments, or a Homestay, must follow the process below.

Please note: Students under the age of 18 must live in Wintec-approved accommodation, either in Homestay Accommodation, in the Wintec Student Village, or with an approved caregiver.

  1. Complete one of the application forms below:
  1. Answer ALL questions in this form and sign and date the form.
  2. Email the form to:
  3. Wintec will email to confirm we have received the application. Email us if you do not receive this email.
  4. A detailed confirmation email is sent once the accommodation is booked and confirmed.

Airport transfers

If you require an airport pickup to be arranged, please complete the form below and email to the international accommodation address below two weeks before you arrive in New Zealand. If your travel plans change, please immediately notify our accommodation team.

Our international accommodation email address is

All students aged under 18 must be collected by a Wintec assigned shuttle service and taken to their Wintec approved accommodation (unless other arrangements have been approved by Wintec).


Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, the user of the information agrees that the information is subject to change without notice. Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology) will not accept liability for any errors or omissions contained in this brochure nor for any subsequent actions that may arise as a consequence of decisions made based upon its contents.


Refund policy

By accepting a place in a programme or paying fees at Wintec, a student enters a contract with Wintec for the period of the programme.

The student is required to pay the fee for one year or the length of the programme (if less than one year). No refund will be given after the course or programme has commenced.

If there are insufficient numbers or enrolments, the programme may be cancelled and a refund will be given.

Click here for more information about refunds

Application process

1. Submit an application

If you are applying to study through an agent:

Apply to study at Wintec by completing an International Application Form

Please complete ALL sections of this form, attach the required verified documentation and sign and date the declaration at the end. As programmes are very popular, please apply early while spaces are still available.

Your agent will arrange for your completed application to be sent to Wintec.

If you are not applying through an agent please send your completed International Application Form and verified or notarised supporting documents to You can learn more about supporting documents here.

Alternatively, you can post a completed application form with supporting documents to:

Student Enrolment and Information Centre
Private Bag 3036
Waikato Mail Centre
Hamilton 3240
New Zealand


Please note: It is compulsory for all International Students to have appropriate and current Medical and Travel Insurance while studying in New Zealand. It is a Wintec requirement for International Students to be covered from the day the student leaves their home country to the expiry date of their Visa plus one week. Proof of current Medical and Travel Insurance is required before your enrolment can be finalised.


Now that you've applied to study at Wintec, here's what happens next:

Form in envelope

Receive your offer letter

Congratulations, you’ve been given an offer of placement. (If your offer is conditional, once the condition(s) of the Conditional Offer Letter are met, a new Unconditional Offer Letter will be issued to sign).


Sign offer

Sign the Acceptance Page of the Offer Letter, with all applicable boxes ticked and return to our Enrolment Team:



Take your offer letter to Immigration NZ to obtain your student visa approval in principle. Find your nearest Visa Application Centre.


Pay fees to Wintec

Note: A Fee Receipt cannot be issued until Wintec has receive an Acceptance Form, Payment of all applicable fees, The INZ Officers name, email address and your student’s INZ application number.

Tick box

Place confirmed

You will receive a Paid Offer Letter and programme induction information. You can find pre-departure information in the Wintec Orientation Handbook.

Airplane taking off

Travel plans

You’ll need to notify the Wintec Accommodation Officer of your accommodation requirements and travel plans by emailing:

Arrow pointed up

Accommodation and airport transfers

Our international centre team can arrange accommodation placements and airport pickup. There are three options for accommodation, homestay (living with a family), Student Village or Wintec Appartments. Learn more about accommodation and airport transfers.

Airplane taking off

Arrive in New Zealand

Once you’ve arrived in New Zealand, visit Wintec and complete your enrolment at the Student Enrolment and Information Centre. See campus maps.

Entry requirements

English language requirements

All Wintec mainstream programmes have an English language requirement for students whose first language is not English.

TABLE for Internationally recognised English Proficiency Outcomes​

Concurrent programmes:
IELTS 5.5 with a minimum of 5.0 in all bands, or equivalent

Programmes level 4 and below:
IELTS 5.5  with a minimum of 5.0 in all bands, or equivalent

Programmes levels 5 to 7:
IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands, or equivalent

Programmes level 8 and above:
IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in all bands, or equivalent

Additional requirements:
2 year validity period for all assessments. External bodies may influence some programme specific IELTS levels. You must provide evidence of your proficiency in the English language.

Gaokao Scores for 2021 enrolment

Click here

Academic entry requirements

Wintec has set minimum requirements for academic entry to programmes for International Students. 

The requirements are listed by country.


Visas, permits and immigration

All International students must hold a valid student visa for the duration of their studies.

Full details of visa requirements, advice on rights to employment in New Zealand while studying and reporting requirements are on the New Zealand Immigration Services website,
To apply for your student visa you will need supporting documents (ie Paid Offer, Attendance, and Academic Transcript) these documents can be applied for through the Student Enrolment and Information Centre at either the City or Rotokauri campuses. 
Alternatively please complete the International Document Request Form and email it through to

Medical and travel insurance

All International students enrolling with Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) (including group students) MUST have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while in New Zealand. Your insurance must cover you from the beginning of your studies until at least the expiry date of your student visa. This is a New Zealand Government requirement as outlined in the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and under Immigration New Zealand policy.

You will be automatically enrolled into the Wintec insurance scheme and a policy charge will be added to your tuition fees invoice at your enrolment. Details of the Wintec insurance scheme may be found here​ . Students who have opted to purchase an alternative approved policy will have this charge removed when you have presented your policy to Wintec at the Student Enrolment and Information Centre.​

Meet the team

Senior management team

Girish Nair

Girish Nair

International Director

Karen Kemsley

Karen Kemsley

International Student Services Manager

Tony O'Brien

Tony O'Brien

International Business Development Manager

Student Support team

Unmesha Veetil

Unmesha Veetil

International Student Services Advisor

Susan Ye

Susan Ye

International Student Services Advisor and Student Exchange Manager

Sally McGill

Sally McGill

International Accommodation Advisor

Li Li

Li Li

International Student Services Advisor

Market managers – student recruitment


Balraj Sharma

International Market Manager – South Asia: India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh


Graeme Rennie

International Market Manager – Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia

International Centre

From the moment you arrive in New Zealand, our dedicated International Centre team is here to provide all the help and support you need. At Wintec, you will not be just another student at a tertiary institute, you will be an important part of a lively community learning with and about each other.

We can help you with your accommodation needs, getting you settled into your studies, emergency assistance and pastoral care.

We also organise events and activities throughout the year to make you feel at home and celebrate your cultural diversity.

Girish NairInternational Director
Market Managers - Student Recruitment 
Graeme RennieInternational Market Manager – Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia
Balraj SharmaInternational Market Manager – South Asia: India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh
Other AreasFor China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, please contact Mark Liu
Student Services 
Karen KemsleyInternational Student Services Manager
Unmesha VeetilInternational Student Services Advisor
Susan YeInternational Student Services Advisor and Student Exchange
Li LiInternational Student Services Advisor
Sally McGillSenior International Student Accommodation Advisor 
Business Development 
Tony O'BrienInternational Business Development Manager

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