Double celebration for NorthTec graduates

9 June 2022

Double celebration for NorthTec graduates

 NorthTec is inviting the Whangārei community to join the celebrations when the Classes of 2020 and 2021 are finally able to formally graduate this month.

Graduation ceremonies have been postponed repeatedly due to Covid-19 restrictions over the last two years which have seen large indoor gatherings banned, and graduands left disappointed at being unable to celebrate their achievements with their whānau, friends, classmates and tutors.

They will at last be able to walk across the stage of Forum North in four ceremonies held over two days on 16 and 17 June – the first time NorthTec has ever held two graduation events together.

The global pandemic also restricted face-to-face teaching during 2020 and 2021, when Covid-19 Alert Levels caused tertiary education campuses to close.

Now Toa Faneva, NorthTec Te Ahurei Chief Executive, is inviting the community to join the celebrations by supporting the graduates as they take part in their traditional parade through the Whangārei CBD.

He said: “We’re delighted that our graduands from the Class of 2020 and 2021 can finally have their day, and we invite the community to join us by cheering them on as they march through the city centre. It’s been a long, hard road for our ākonga (students) and their whānau, with lockdowns and other restrictions impacting on their studies in ways never experienced before.

“I salute all our graduands who have worked so hard to get through these tough times, persevering with their studies despite the impact of Covid-19 over the last two years.

“It’s also a huge tribute to our kaimahi (staff) who have worked tirelessly to support our ākonga in so many ways. Our kaiako (tutors) stepped up amazingly well to deliver classes remotely when our campuses were forced to close, and our support staff have done everything they could behind the scenes to enable us all to get through these challenging times.

“I’m so proud of our graduands for the way they’ve adapted to all the changes and challenges of the last two years. They have shown amazing resilience and our community is now benefitting by having NorthTec graduates joining the workforce in their respective fields.

“It was so disappointing for everyone to have to keep postponing our graduation ceremonies, as these are what we are all about – seeing our ākonga joining the ranks of NorthTec graduates and celebrating their achievements with their supporters, including our kaimahi. We will all enjoy the two days of graduation this year, they will be really special events and I hope our wider community can enjoy the celebrations too.”

The Valedictorian for all ceremonies is nursing graduate, Janna Melzbender, from the Bay of Islands. Janna will speak on behalf of all graduands and NorthTec Board Chair, Ripeka Evans, will address the audience on behalf of the institution.

The graduate march will take place at 1pm on both days, starting from the Cafler Park Rose Gardens and parading along Water Street, Bank Street, Vine Street, Quality Street, Cameron Street and Rust Avenue before returning to Forum North. The march takes approximately half an hour.

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