Frequently Asked Questions

Organisational questions: Questions about the new organisation

  1. What is going to be different?
    The establishment of a new organisation is a fantastic opportunity for both CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic to take the best of their experience and expertise and build on this strong foundation.
    The new organisation is looking to be as accessible as possible across the region. Over time you will see changes in what we teach and how to meet what the region needs.
  2. How will it affect me?
    For the vast majority of students you will be able to continue studying and complete your qualification as you planned. Some programmes will have some changes to align them across the region. 
  3. What will the new organisation be called?
    The new organisation will be named in the new year.
  4. Will there be a new student council?
    There will be a student council in the new organisation. All students are encouraged to engage actively with the organisation and can do so through class and department representation, and through the student council. If you want to know more, ask your tutors or email

Qualification questions: Questions about qualifications and graduation

  1. I came to CPIT for the name and so I want a CPIT qualification. What can I do about this?
    If you are completing your programme in 2015 your qualification will be from CPIT. Qualifications completed after 1 January 2016 will be from the new organisation. The new organisation will inherit the CPIT reputation.All transcripts will have printed on them "Ara Institute of Canterbury is the new organisation established through the merger of CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic."
    We will make sure that our industry partners, your potential employers, know that the new organisation will continue to build on CPIT's reputation. The new organisation will still have tutors who are experts in their fields, programmes linked to industry and graduates who are prepared with work ready skills and experience. We think Canterbury will be excited about a new region-wide tertiary training institute and that our industry partners and communities will want to be involved in the future of tertiary vocational training.
  2. Can I graduate from Aoraki Polytechnic?
    There will be an Aoraki Polytechnic graduation on 4 February in Timaru for those Aoraki Polytechnic students who completed their qualification in 2015. Aoraki's Christchurch and Dunedin graduations are in December 2015.
  3. Can I graduate from CPIT?
    There will be CPIT graduation on 24 March for those CPIT students who completed their qualification in 2015.
  4. Will the creation of this new organisation impact on the reputation of CPIT's qualifications with potential employers? How is industry being informed / involved?
    At CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic we know that industry alignment is essential to our graduates' success and the new organisation will continue to build on our relationships with industry, business and community partners.  
    We are continuing to work with our industry and community partners to inform them that the new organisation will continue to build on the excellent reputation earned by CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic.
    We know Canterbury will be excited about a new region-wide tertiary training institute and that our industry partners and communities will want to be involved in the future of innovative tertiary vocational training. 
  5. Will qualifications with the new name be recognised by employers?
    When you complete your qualification with the new organisation it will be recognised and held in high regard here in New Zealand and overseas, and will be recognised by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. We are making sure our local, national and international communities are familiar with the values and vision of the new organisation.
  6. I am enrolled at CPIT or Aoraki and will complete mid 2016 - which institute will my qualification be issued from?
    Students finishing at the end of 2015 will graduate from the institute they studied at (either CPIT or Aoraki Polytechnic). However, all students completing their qualification after 1 January 2016 will have the new organisation's name on their qualification.

Enrolment questions: Questions about enrolment

  1. I am a CPIT student – how do I enrol for next year?
    We will be in touch with you with details of your 2016 enrolment after your 2015 results have been finalised.
  2. I am an Aoraki student – how do I enrol for next year?
    You can enrol online or come in and see us at the Timaru, Oamaru or Ashburton campuses.  

Financial Questions: Questions about finance

  1. How will StudyLink know what institution I am at when you don't know its' name yet? Will this delay my application being processed?
    We are working with StudyLink to automatically transition students to the new organisation. That means that you can identify CPIT or Aoraki Polytechnic as the institute you are enrolled in and there will be no delay to your StudyLink. 
  2.  What will the student services levy be? Currently CPIT is charging $190 and Aoraki $90?
    For 2016 students in Christchurch will pay $190 while students elsewhere in Canterbury will pay $90. The levy payable is associated with where your study is located.
  3. What are the fees for my programme?
    All fees for the new organisation are on the programme information pages on the CPIT and Aoraki websites.
  4. How can I apply for StudyLink prior to starting a programme?
    We are working with StudyLink to automatically transition students to the new organisation. That means that you can identify CPIT or Aoraki Polytechnic as the institute you are enrolled in and there will no delay to your StudyLink.

Student questions: Questions about me the student

  1. My tutor has really helped me work through some problems – will they be able to help me next year too?
    There is no guarantee year on year that particular staff will be teaching a programme. There are a range of support services available to you. See services and support.
  2. Will student policies be the same?
    Academic polices are being reviewed for 2016. Most will be very similar to current policies but will be updated to cater for the change to the new organisation. View the policies.
  3. I am an Aoraki student – what student support and facilities are available to me at the new institution?
    From the beginning of 2016 there will be a continuation of services. These will evolve as we transition to the new entity. Students will be kept informed throughout.

Course questions: Questions about courses

  1. Will courses change? If so which ones?
    The vast majority of students can continue their study as planned. Where there have been similar programmes offered by both institutions a common programme will be offered across the region. You can get course details on the programme page of the website. Any changes for students will be well planned, communicated, and signalled in advance. If you have any specific concerns talk to a tutor or email or
  2. Will there be a reduction in offerings?
    There will be increased opportunities across the region. As has always been the case whether particular programmes run depends on sufficient enrolments. We have a continued focus on ensuring students can and do complete their qualifications.
    There are a number of new learning opportunities planned for students across the Canterbury region including; Business, Computing, Science, Māori & Pasifika Trades Training, Project Management, Horticulture, Seafood Processing, Primary Industry training.
    Developing a portfolio that meets the need of the region is a process considered business as usual. Some of the changes to the new organisation portfolio for 2016 - 2017 are a result of new nationally recognised qualifications being released from the NZQA review of qualifications across the sector.
  3. What programmes will be available in Oamaru/Ashburton/Timaru for Māori and Pasifika whanau? What will the starting dates be?
    We are currently consulting with iwi and local communities to identify what needs there are for programmes in Oamaru, Ashburton and Timaru. Information will be provided on our website as its available.

Location and travel questions: "where" questions

  1. I will be studying in Christchurch but live in Timaru/Kaikoura etc will I be able to get my work experience/placements in Timaru?
    This depends on your programme, check with your programme guide and talk with your tutor.
  2. Are any of the sites going to be closed down? e.g. Oamaru, Ashburton?
    There is no intention to close any campuses.
  3. Can I choose which campus I want to study at once I am selected?
    The campus you study at will depend on the programme you have enrolled in. Some programmes will be offered in a number of campuses and you can choose. Some are only offered in a specific place. Some programmes are delivered through distance learning. The options are on the programme pages on the website. 
  4. Can I lodge my application for enrolment in either Oamaru or Ashburton?
    You can lodge your application for enrolment at any Aoraki Polytechnic or CPIT campuses.
  5. I am Christchurch based, will I have to travel to Timaru for any of my study?
    Not unless you enrol in a programme only offered there. Some programmes have practical experience components that will continue to occur where placements are available.
  6. I am an Aoraki student – will the free student bus to the Timaru campus still run next year?
    Yes buses will still run as usual.
  7. Is the free bus service available for students in Ashburton/Oamaru to travel to Timaru?
    The bus service will continue to operate in 2016.

Māori and Pasifika questions

  1. What support is available for Māori and Pasifika whanau?
    CPIT has a Centre of Maori and Pasifika Achievement (CMPA), which is dedicated to helping Māori and Pasifika achieve in their vocational training. This service will be available to students – contact CMPA at the Rakaia Centre Atrium on the Madras Street Campus, phone 03 940 8359, email
  2. Is there free computer & English short courses in Oamaru /Ashburton/Timaru for Māori and Pasifika?
    At the moment we are engaging with Māori and Pasifika communities to establish their needs, priorities and plan future delivery options.
  3. I did carpentry courses for Aoraki, can I join the apprenticeship program for MTT - He Toki Ki Te Mahi?
    You are eligible for consideration to gain access to this initiative, please contact Hemi Inia for details
  4.  I am interested in Māori and Pasifika trades training who can I talk to?
    For He Toki ki te Rika (Māori Trades Training) and Pasifika Trades Training you can speak to Dayne Ngatuere 03 940 8733 or David Hoani on 03 940 8702.

Visa questions: For international students

  1. I'm an international student – do I have to apply for a new visa?
    No. Current visas remain valid to 26 March 2016. If you are applying to study at CPIT or Aoraki Polytechnic for the first time in 2016, apply for a visa for CPIT or Aoraki Polytechnic When the new organisation takes effect, Immigration NZ will contact current visa holders to apply for a variation of conditions.