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It will now be known as He Toki Kai Te Rika, "A Tool For Your Hand," a name given by local Maori.
"We are honoured to have been given this name by runanga, with whom we have strong, ongoing relationships," Otago Polytechnic chief executive Dr Megan Gibbons said.
Otago Polytechnic mana whenua board representative Kare Tipa said a toki, or adze, was significant in precolonial New Zealand.
"A toki gave great precedence to its owner, and different kinds of toki affected status," Mr Tipa said.
"From the rangatira (chief) to the ware (commoner), toki were for formal and informal purposes, from weapons to gardening tools."
The use of "toki" in the building’s name was to suggest students would have the tools and skills needed to embrace the trade of their choice, Mr Tipa said.
He Toki Kai Te Rika, located at Otago Polytechnic’s main Dunedin campus, is expected to cost $31.7million and be open by September next year.
"The building will provide an outstanding learning environment that will meet industry and sophisticated learner demands," Dr Gibbons said.