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EIT’s Combined Staff Meet on Taradale Campus

February 9, 2011

Staff from EIT in Hawke’s Bay welcomed colleagues from Tairāwhiti onto the Taradale campus this week in a historic first face-to-face coming together since the two tertiary institutes officially merged at the start of the year.

A powhiri was staged on EIT’s marae, Te Ara o Tawhaki, to greet the Tairāwhiti contingent who had travelled to Hawke’s Bay by bus.

Addressing mingling staff members, kaumatua and kuia associated with both campuses and local iwi, EIT chief executive Chris Collins noted the importance of this occasion welcoming Tairāwhiti staff into the institution. This provided an opportunity for building and cementing relationships.

Future celebrations would encompass those in the wider community who had played a significant part in promoting and supporting the merger of Tairāwhiti Polytechnic and EIT Hawke’s Bay, Mr Collins said.

The focus of the day’s events was ‘staff spending time together’, including those based in EIT’s regional learning centres which now span the East Coast from as far north as Hicks Bay to Central Hawke’s Bay in the south. The programme included a performance by EIT Hawke’s Bay’s kapa haka group, a tour of the Taradale campus facilities, a luncheon for more than 200 people in EIT’s Whare Matoro and a combined staff photo taken on the Oval, in front of the Twist Library.

The visit was an extended experience for new staff from Tairāwhiti, who stayed on for a two-day induction.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce approved the merger of Tairāwhiti Polytechnic and EIT Hawke’s Bay on 1 January. EIT’s roll is expected to top 4200 equivalent full-time students this year.

Despite the compressed timeline for effecting the merger, Mr Collins said the transition had gone ahead smoothly and efficiently.

‘We are pleased enrolments at both campuses are tracking ahead of last year and also that there had been such a positive response to the merger from the Tairāwhiti community.’

This week’s ‘getting to know you’ day was critical, he said, to ensuring the new organisation continued operating at a high level and that it fully harnessed the strengths of EIT in Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay.