This year is a special year for technical and vocational education in New Zealand.
On 1 April 2020 all the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics merge to become one institution – Pukenga Aotearoa – 16 institutions into one.
But there is another special event in Manukau, the celebration of the of Manukau Institute of Technology Golden Jubilee, fifty years of excellence in serving the education and vocational needs of tens of thousands of students of all ages.
MIT is not the oldest polytechnic; some others grew into polytechnic status out of the origins as secondary technical schools. But MIT has a special feature shared by no-one else – it was New Zealand’s first purpose built polytechnic.
The original campus in central Otara has blossomed to be spread over three major campuses, Otara, known for twenty years as north campus, MIT Manukau, famous for its rail station under the building, and the newest campus to be opened in this Golden Jubilee year, TechPark. This latest campus will bring state-of-the-art facilities for learning in ways that reflect modern industry and engineering practice.
MIT Manukau is the home of business education, digital technology and a range of major programmes in the health sciences such as nursing and counselling. Otara campus focuses on education and social sciences, is the centre of Māori activity at the Ngā Kete Wananga Marae and for Pasifika in the Pasifika Community Centre.
MIT has always also delivered programmes away from the south: the New Zealand Maritime School centred in Auckland’s CBD is nationally and internationally renowned for the breadth and reach of its programmes.
Plumbers have been trained in a facility in Mangere. For a time there were centres in Papakura, Highbrook, and Pukekohe to name just a sample.
So MIT has not stood still. Serving the wide and diverse communities of the south is has reacted and adapted to the needs of the general population and business, industry and commerce.