Whangārei Mayor opens new NorthTec excellence centre

June 5, 2024
June 5, 2024

Representatives from Te Tai Tokerau’s infrastructure industries were on hand to witness the formal opening of NorthTec’s new Civil Engineering and Architecture Excellence Centre.

The centre was opened by Whangārei District Mayor, Vince Cocurullo – a former civil engineer who has also studied at NorthTec – who cut the ribbon together with NorthTec Pathways Manager, Mike Mullany.

The launch of the building at NorthTec’s Future Trades campus in Dyer Street, Whangārei, brings all construction-related training programmes onto one campus.

Mayor Cocurullo described the building as “amazing” and said that civil engineering and architecture are “highly important” to Whangārei and Northland. He outlined the major projects taking place in the next five years, from roading to wastewater plants, and hotel construction to a possible port expansion and a new airport.

He said: “We need Northlanders to grow Northland; getting people working and studying here in Whangārei will help grow Northland. It is vitally important.”

Toa Faneva, Executive Director for NorthTec and Te Pūkenga Region 1, welcomed the group to the launch and acknowledged the key people who had brought the project together. He thanked the industry representatives at the launch, saying: “You are the key to the success of Northland. If we are supporting you in terms of meeting your needs, then we can grow a better Northland and a better economy.”

Industry representatives from major civil engineering and architecture companies in Te Tai Tokerau welcomed the new facility as a major step forward in training learners to prepare for the workplace.

Derrick Williams, from engineering consultancy WSP, said: “It is priceless for us to have this building – a new facility like this is fantastic. It’s inspiring and uplifting for the students to come to a new building with lots of space and dedicated spaces like the CAD* room and the lecture rooms. What really blew me away is the new technology they are using, like interactive blackboards and whiteboards.”

Mark Modrich, from Whangārei-based consultancy Beca, said of the new building: “It’s critical because we need to be able to attract the right students and keep them until they finish their course. Education is critical – we look very closely at where people have studied, their grades, the course they have studied, and their connection to the region.”

The repurposed former warehouse building is now home to NorthTec ākonga (students) studying for the New Zealand Diploma in Civil Engineering (Level 6) and the New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology (Level 6).

*Computer-Aided Design

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