Based on New Zealand’s spectacular West Coast with campuses in Wanaka, Christchurch and Auckland, offering learners exciting opportunities to get a head start in their career or take the next step on their learning journey.
Who we are
Tai Poutini Polytechnic, based on New Zealand’s spectacular West Coast and with campuses in Wanaka, Christchurch and Auckland, offers learners exciting opportunities to get a head start in their career or take the next step on their learning journey.
We are part of Te Pūkenga, the national vocational tertiary education provider, offering popular study options that meet the needs of our local region. Tai Poutini Polytechnic works collaboratively with industry, community partners and training providers to deliver programmes that help people get into real jobs in the community or get ahead in their chosen career.
More than a polytechnic, Tai Poutini Polytechnic also supports the West Coast’s economic and social development by getting behind great local initiatives. Our size is often our strength. Because we’re small we can get to know you: our staff and students are a family and we can flex to meet local needs.
Quality education that makes a difference
Tai Poutini Polytechnic offers a wide range of programmes that support local businesses and aim to get learners ready for work on the West Coast – you’ll find a full list of programmes and short courses here.
The institute’s popular Outdoor Education programmes teach technical, leadership and teamwork skills on West Coast rivers and mountains along with a Ski Patrol programme based in Wanaka that makes the most of the South Island’s world-famous ski fields. A base on the West Coast also allows Jade and Hard Stone Carving students to get right to the cultural and historic source of their material. Likewise, Civil Plant students prepare for jobs in the roading, forestry and mining industries on purpose-built work sites in Greymouth and Auckland, while agriculture students have the use of the Reefton farm.
These are just some of our many popular full-time, part-time or short programmes, which include business, trainee chef, tourism and hospitality, carpentry, automotive and engineering. All programmes are focused on industry expectations and tutors enjoy strong relationships with local businesses so learning is relevant and useful to the market. The institute’s aim is to get students into real jobs in the community and help create better futures for everyone.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic is part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (Te Pūkenga).
From 1 October 2022, all references to TPP or Tai Poutini Polytechnic on this website (and any documentation linked through this website) need to be read as references to Te Pūkenga and its Tai Poutini Polytechnic business division.
Te Pūkenga brings the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and the arranging training activities of certain Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) together to create a national network. This will give learners more choices and flexibility in what, where, and how they learn.
Existing Tai Poutini Polytechnic ākonga (learners) will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga automatically in the same qualification and will continue to learn in the same way, in the same place, with the same people.
Learners should note that all programmes offered across Te Pūkenga are under review to ensure they are portable, consistent and aligned with the needs of industry and may be changed. Where there are changes to programmes that you have applied to enrol in, you will be notified of these changes.
If you have any questions or want more information about this change, please get in touch.
Legend of Te Tai o Poutini
To Māori, the West Coast is known as Te Tai o Poutini, ‘the tides of Poutini’, named after the kaitiaki – the guardian of pounamu and the main source of Aotearoa’s greenstone or jade.
Poutini is the name of the taniwha (water spirit) swimming up and down the West Coast of the South Island protecting both the people and the spiritual essence, or mauri, of the pounamu (greenstone). Poutini guards the mauri (life spirit) within the treasured stone. The mana or spiritual force of pounamu comes from Kahue (or Ngahue) an atua. Poutini as protector of the stone is the servant of Kahue.
Poutini once abducted a woman named Waitaiki, from the North island and fled south pursued by her husband, Tamaahua. He hid with his captive in the bed of the Arahura River but Waitaiki’s husband pursued them. Poutini transformed Waitaiki into his own spiritual essence - pounamu - and fled down the river to the sea. Waitaiki became the ‘motherlode’ of all pounamu. The husband went home grieving. The Poutini Ngāi Tahu is the calling given to Kati Waewae the section of Ngāi Tahu connected to the West Coast.
Legend: Poutini - A Guardian Taniwha
Learn all about what makes us special
If you’re not sure what to study and would like some guidance, we’re here to help. Feel free to chat to us directly about any questions you may have.