Graduates march in final parade for Aoraki Polytechnic after CPIT merger
The final graduation parade for Aoraki Polytechnic signals the end of an era for the Timaru institution.
The polytechnic merged with the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) officially on January 1 to become CPIT-Aoraki.
Students and staff marched from the top end of Stafford St to the Theatre Royal on Thursday afternoon for Aoraki's final graduation ceremony.
Merger project director John West didn't know what direction next year's graduation ceremony would take, but was please with the overall reception of the changes.
"People have been generous and coming together," West said.
He acknowledged there might be job losses, but they "haven't progressed any changes to the organisational structure or the profile of the staff".
"The organisation at some time will need to look at its staffing profiles," West said.
"But without question, as an organisation, we'll need to ensure that we respond appropriately with staff in the appropriate places."
Timaru graduate Louise Quayle, who studied a diploma in social services at the Aoraki Polytechnic, took part in Thursday's march.
"I feel really proud to be in the last parade," Quayle said.
"I came to the parade last year, but there's more people here today. I don't know if that's to mark the change."
She was grateful to the Polytechnic: "It helped me get a job in community care."
CPIT Aoraki deputy chair Janie Annear who spoke at the ceremony, was excited about bringing the two Canterbury facilities under the one banner.
She was looking forward to embracing new technology and reaching further into the region, Annear said.
"We also hope to bring more degree courses to our community.
"There's always a feeling of sadness, but Aoraki Polytech has gone through huge changes in the last 100 years. It's just another part of Aoraki's evolution," she said.
It certainly wasn't the first name change the Polytechnic has undergone, starting off in 1901 as the Timaru technical school, Annear said.
Annear wanted to celebrate the milestone for the students: "You are now a part of the history of Aoraki Polytech."
Before giving the karakia, local upoko Tawera King also spoke about Aoraki's transformation.
"We have now come under the umbrella of the Christchurch polytechnic," King said.
It was a very new ocean and it was going to take a while to get used to the steering, he said.