Polytech buildings renamed

Otago Polytechnic staff and rununga members, standing before the former H Block, newly named...
Otago Polytechnic staff and rununga members, standing before the former H Block, newly named Otakou Block, yesterday unveiled new names for four of the polytechnic’s key buildings. Photo: Christine O'Connor.
Four buildings at Otago Polytechnic have been renamed to reflect the importance of their location as a point of intersection for Dunedin’s first people.

Otago Polytechnic and local rununga unveiled the new names at a ceremony on campus yesterday morning.

In consultation with local Maori, the polytechnic decided on new names taken from local waterways for H Block (Otakou), G Block (Kaikarae), O Block (Owheo) and S Block (Tauraka Pipipi).

Otago Polytechnic board member Megan Potiki led the discussions on the new names from the project’s beginning in February last year, a statement from the polytechnic said.

About four years ago, Tahu Potiki, Khyla Russell and Simon Kaan were key figures in establishing the principle of ‘‘He Ara Honohono’’, or intersecting pathways, which now guides the polytechnic’s campus developments, the statement said.

The use of waterways reflected the concept of education as a journey, while also recognising that students passed through the polytechnic, it said.

Otakou referred to Otago Harbour.

Kaikarae was the spelling used for what was now known as Kaikorai, by the paramount chief of the southern iwi of Ngai Tahu, Hori Kerei Taiaroa, in 1880.

Owheo was the name of the stream beside the former O Block that ran into the harbour, it said.

And Tauraka Pipipi, as written by Mr Taiaroa in his 1880 manuscript, was an estuary now known as Logan Park, where S Block was located, the statement said.


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