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Wikitoria Katene officially opened

Wikitoria Katene officially opened by Hon Tony Ryall, Minister of Health and Dr Kathryn Holloway, Dean Faculty Health, Whitireia with Don Campbell, Whitireia Chief Executive and Hon Roger Sowry, Council Chair looking on

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Wikitoria Katene officially opened

The new Health education facility at Whitireia was officially opened yesterday by the Hon Tony Ryall, Minister of Health. The new building has been named Wikitoria Katene, the name gifted to the previous health building, by Ngāti Toa in 2008.

The opening event, attended by over 200 staff and invited guests, was addressed by Council Chair Hon Roger Sowry, Hon Tony Ryall, Don Campbell, Whitireia Chief Executive and Taku Parai, Ngāti Toa Kaumātua. Guests were treated to a wonderful performance by Whitireia Performing Arts students who all looked magnificent in their costumes.

Wikitoria Katene replaces a number of pre-fabricated buildings that have been part of the Porirua campus since it opened 27 years ago. “This is a fantastic day for Whitireia said Hon Roger Sowry.” “We have here an amazing complex that is set to lift education quality in the district.”

Hon Tony Ryall paid tribute to the new state-of-the-art facility and the world class simulation health training it will provide. “Whitireia you are leaders in simulation health training, your new simulation suites will enhance this” he said. The minister spoke about the importance of the health workforce in New Zealand and made mention of the responsibility that students have to the quality of health care that they provide on the ground, in the places they work.

Wikitoria Katene which has a building footprint 3817m², has a number of features including; technology for 21st century teaching, open plan administration and tutoring areas, the use of sustainable and environmental construction technology methods including solar hot water, rain harvesting, natural light spaces with the ability to naturally vent most classrooms, double glazed windows, highly insulated warm roof technology, floating floor slabs with in-floor heating; concrete structures to minimise maintenance and store solar energy; inter-room sliding doors allowing for flexible teaching spaces and greater efficiency – rooms can go from groups of 40 students to groups of over 100. The building is fully accessible inside and out with architecture that integrates into the local landscape well - representing the past, present and future of Whitireia.

There is extensive artwork throughout the building on concrete columns, tilt slabs and windows. This has been designed by former Whitireia Whakairo Tutor James Molnar. All the artwork represents important local areas to the Polytechnic.

This has been the largest building project in the history of Whitireia said Don Campbell. “I congratulate our Council on sharing our vision for this outstanding facility which I am pleased to report has come in on time and budget which was set at $17m.”

Whitireia is a national leader in nursing education in New Zealand, this new facility endorses the commitment we have to educating and training health professionals said Dr Kathryn Holloway, Dean, Faculty of Health. “The new facility will accommodate around 1000 of our undergraduate and postgraduate nursing, paramedic, foundation and social work students’ it is very exciting to all be in one building at last and to be setting the standard for health education training facilities in New Zealand.”


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