Central Institute of Technology (CIT); people and events.
The Central Technical College was set up in 1960,initially based in Petone Technical College; the name changed to Central Institute of Technology three years later.
Building on the Heretaunga site began in 1970, and the Governor-General, Sir Arthur Porritt, laid the foundation stone around the beginning of 1971.
The first stage, housing the pharmacy, science and engineering departments, plus three large lecture theatres and a block of classrooms, was opened by the Prime Minister,the right honourable Norman Kirk, on April 27, 1973.
The second stage was planned as a seven-storey tower block and associated buildings, providing accommodation for 500 students, and training facilities for hotel administration. The halls of residence opened in February 1978.
The third stage would add the library, with TV studio and computer-training facilities, additional areas for training in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, and aeronautics, and a management school.
A fourth stage would add health-sciences facilities. Courses were transferred from Petone as Heretaunga facilities materialised.
CITEC Training Solutions was formed in 1986, to provide short-course training and consultancy services for the domestic market.
Princess Anne visited the occupational-therapy and student centre in March 1989, and unveiled a tukutuku panel. A second tukutuku panel was made by occupational-therapy students guided by their Maori arts and crafts tutor Mrs Mere Williams; it was mounted under a plaque with the Institute's new Maori name, Te Whare Runanga O Whirinaki and unveiled by the chairman of the CIT council, Tom Croft, in May 1990.
In mid-1989 the Minister of Health announced that pharmacy training would be moved to Otago University, and that occupational-therapy training would move to Auckland. He was met by CIT protesters when he came to a polytechnic teachers' conference in Trentham in May.
On October 31, 1989, the 'Leader' reported that as a result of the Department of education's Wellington Area Polytechnic review, the school of health sciences might be relocated to Wellington Polytechnic, to be closer to the hospital and School of Nursing; accommodation for the 70% of students who came from out of town could prove difficult.
The first foreign fee-paying students arrived in February 1990.
CITEC became a limited liability company in 1991, and concentrated its energies on recruitment of overseas students for both CIT and its own English-language centre; it also managed training for overseas students sponsored by the government or the World Health Organisation.
A new shield-based crest was announced and pictured in the May 21, 1991 'Leader, and was incorporated in an advertisement heading the week before; the older italic monogram and ruled background were last used as a heading for an advertisement on April 16.
In October 1991 the hospitality and tourism school was proposing to start a casino school in 1992.
The podiatry school surgery was opened in May 1992 by Katherine O'Regan, Associate Minister of Health.
In June the aerobics facility was opened to the public (YMCA Wellington had gone into receivership at Easter, and five gymnasiums had closed).
CIT's last occupational-therapy student graduated in 1992.
In July 1993 an upgrade to the podiatry school was announced; a surgical unit with two suites, examination rooms, X-ray facilities, recovery rooms and sterilisation facilities would be built in spaces formerly used for a discontinued orthotics and prosthetics course.
In 1993 a lecture theatre with full media facilities was built between the northern and western wings of the main group of buildings.
There was a 1994 proposal for the site to become a campus of Victoria University of Wellington, possibly housing its education faculty; it was already housing the first stage of a commerce degree.
Michael Cooper was appointed principal and CEO in November 1994.
In a guest editorial in the August 16, 1995 'Leader' principal and CEO Mike Cooper listed its unique specialties; podiatry, energy management, software engineering, funeral services, dental technology and medical radiation therapy. In the last 5 years, average student age had risen from 19 to 31; females were a majority, and Maori had increased from 5 per cent to 14. The roll had increased 26 per cent, while funding per student was down 23 per cent. In 1996 degrees in business information, tertiary teaching, and tourism and services management would be introduced.
August 30, 1995; CIT had leased 158 The Terrace, to establish a Wellington campus; it opened as CIT House on October 26. The same October 11 'Leader' also said first-year courses for Waikato University science degrees would be offered in Upper Hutt; students would benefit from smaller classes than mainstream universities'.
The November 15, 1995 'Leader' reported that CIT's computer courses were being used over the Internet for staff training and personal development, by NASA's Jet Propulsion laboratory and Portsmouth Naval Base in Virginia.
In April 1996 the Recreation and Fitness Centre was opened to the public; Monday-Thursday lunchtime and evenings, Friday noon-to two, Saturday mornings, Sunday evenings.
The first degree graduates were 28 Bachelors of Health Sciences (Podiatry); the degrees were conferred on April 27, 1996.
A joint working party with Auckland Institute of Technology was set up in July 1996; a merger and subsequent change from polytechnic to university were proposed. There was no financial pressure; CIT had a surplus of $1.6 million the previous year, and Auckland was also in a strong financial position.
CIT would offer three-year degrees in hospitality management in 1997; diploma students from Christchurch and Auckland could enter the degree course at appropriate points.
Victoria University moved its Bachelor of Commerce and Administration courses back to Wellington in 1997.
In November 1996 Wellington was considering staging the 1998 Commonwealth Games, and the site was examined as a possible village for the athletes; CIT and Trentham Army Camp had been suggested in October 1995.
November 27; the proposed merger would be three-way; CIT, Auckland Institute of Technology, and Auckland College of Education. The merger was abandoned late in 1998.
December 11; Bachelor of Applied Technology and Bachelor of Design degree courses would be offered in 1997.
July 23; 1997; Technology was downgraded from a faculty to a department of science; nine redundancies, four voluntary.
January 21; Mike Cooper had unexpectedly resigned; deputy Trevor Boyle would be acting principal until the outcome of merger talks was known.
April 29; merger talks with Waikato Polytechnic were scheduled to be complete by May 1 and ‘a measure of agreement' was reached; on July 1 an article appeared on the benefits of the merger. By this time, CIT was offering 11 degree courses, and there was a national organisation with campuses in Auckland, Hamilton, Upper Hutt and Wellington.
1999; August 25; CIT withdrew from the proposed merger; efforts to realise synergies had not materialised.
In 2000, merger discussions with the Hutt Valley Polytechnic ended with the announcement of an agreement on a merged institution, in the December 13 'Leader'. It would be based in Petone, which was nearer to most students.
September 6, 2000; Bachelor of Health Science (Radiation Therapy) would move to the University of Otago's Wellington campus.
The April 18, 2001 'Leader' announced the decision to close the Upper Hutt site and merge with Hutt Valley Polytechnic as Wellington Institute of Technology on the Petone site; there were articles on three pages.
The Upper Hutt location had not attracted the expected number of students, and it was decided to close the whole complex. Activities closed at the end of June, 2001; many of CIT’s functions were taken over by what became WelTec; Wellington Institute of Technology, which also took over Petone Technical College.
Otago University had been expected to take over podiatry; the June 13, 2001 'Leader said that the course had been a 'financial basket case', and Otago need not take it up. By June 27 it had been taken up by Auckland Institute of Technology; dental technology would move to Otago University's school of dentistry.
On February 13, 2002 the 'Leader' announced that Sydney-based Campus Group Holdings had been earmarked to take over the complex, and was expecting to eventually attract up to 4500 students to an 'international student education complex' needing 450 staff.
In March 2002 60 English-language students from Korea's Chosun University arrived for a 12-week course arranged by Australia's Campus Group Holdings, who had a short-term lease to December 2002, and signed a lease for the anchor tenancy in September 2002. Another 100 Chosun students finished a four-month course in December 2002.
Chilton St James had proposed to set up an international school there, but in March 2003 decided on Lower Hutt instead; and Meriden International School's intake of 300 students had been delayed by registration issues.
The Ministry of Education declared the site surplus to requirements in March 2008.
In 2009 Defence looked into spending $110 million on redeveloping the site as a defence-training establishment; but the only outcome was limited use for boot-camp courses for Limited Service Volunteers youths. From 2009 to 2014 the site was held for possible Ngati Toa Waitangi Treaty settlements, but the iwi declined the offer.
The buildings seemed to be little used in 2014, but the YMCA and YWCA were using the gymnasiums.
The March 25, 2015 ‘Leader’ reported that JLL had been awarded the agency to sell the property. A second article appeared on April 22. On May 20 it was revealed that San Francisco's Randy Crockett's Trion Technology's New Zealand-registered company Intrepid had signed a six-year contract with a Dannevirke business park to set up a 'mini-fab' where silicon wafers would be doped, and had leased CIT's block C for pre-assembly of plant and equipment. His Crockett Charitable Foundation Trust was one of the tenderers for the site, and proposed to establish a teaching, training and R & D high-tech institute. On June 16 the 'Dominion Post' announced the sale, and the June 17 'Leader' said an investors' group headed by Malcolm Gillies was successful, and that possession was scheduled for November. The January 30, 2016 issue reported that Malcolm Gillies and Kevin Melville had completed purchase; their first technical tenants were Aurora44, developing the game 'Ashen' for Xbox One and PC, with Microsoft funding. The article pointed out the site's advantages for technology; robust construction and service tunnels. The February 10 'Leader' outlined plans for a hub for high-performance sport, education and technology, small conventions, and reopening the restaurant as a training unit.
The December 9, 2017 'Dominion Post' and December 13 'Leader' reported that co-owner Malcolm Gillies was negotiaing withWellington Rugby, basketballNew Zealand, the Wellington Phoenix (soccer), new Zealand Football, Wellington Cricket and New Zealand Cricket about establishing a development base for professional sports on te site
Central Institute of Technology staff; occupational therapy; Katy Austin, head, right, with Jo Barker, president of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.
Central Institute of Technology staff; occupational therapy; Katy Austin, head; Frances Rutherford lecture award.
Central Institute of Technology staff; computer and electronic engineering; Martin Kaiser, head of school.
Central Institute of Technology staff; Maori liaison tutor; Murdoch Pahi appointed to Te Kaitakawaenga (CIT).
Central Institute of Technology buildings; lecture theatre with full media facilities 7; Hitachi hydraulic backhoe on site.
Central Institute of Technology; visit by Princess Anne; Mrs Mere Williams and Murdoch Pahi explaining tukutuku panel's significance.
Central Institute of Technology; visit by Princess Anne; arriving with Bill Jeffries, M P, and chairman Tom Croft.
Central Institute of Technology; visit by Princess Anne; occupational therapy school head Katy Austin and student Helen Wilkinson.
Pipe bands; practising at Central Institute of Technology, for forthcoming 'Edinburgh Tattoo' in Wellington.
18.3 hectares of land, (9.7 unencumbered) on three separate titles.
28 000 square metres of buildings, including administration block, lecture theatres, classroom blocks, six halls of residence, for 500-600 occupants, child-care centre, library, computer centre, tennis court, and two sports fields. Last edited by: Don McLeod