Innovation hub launches at Ara

News News & events

24 May 2019

Ara Institute of Canterbury and Ministry of Awesome have been working together since 2018 to establish a jointly powered start-up and innovation hub.

Today, this project and co working space, Te Ōhaka, was officially opened at Ara’s Kahukura Building. 

Ara’s Chief Executive, Tony Gray welcomed the new ‘Centre for Growth and Innovation’ to the Madras Street campus and applauded the opportunities that come with it for Ara students and staff.

“On behalf of all my colleagues at Ara we are delighted to be part of this development and we are looking forward to continuing the work with Ministry of Awesome, Christchurch NZ and all of you who are making Te Ōhaka an invaluable part of Christchurch and Canterbury as an innovative eco-system.

“For Ara, one of our key objectives for building our partnership with the Ministry of Awesome and a key reason for investing into the development of Te Ōhaka is the opportunity for our students and my colleagues to access a range of entrepreneurial support, mentorship and resources. The opportunities for learning are huge!”

Hon. Dr. Megan Woods, Minister for Science and Innovation, was a keynote speaker at the opening and she talked highly about the cooperation and the prospects that Te Ōhaka brings to Canterbury.

“This new innovation hub is a good example of what can be achieved through partnership. It is a fantastic addition to Christchurch’s vibrant start up community.”

“[To achieve our goals] we need fresh thinking, new ways of looking at the world and better ways of doing things. Research sites and innovation playing a crucial role creating the ideas and knowledge that is required to help achieve the future we see.”


Megan Woods, Minister for Science and Innovation, talked at the Te Ōhaka at Ara's Madras Street Campus.

The launch event also featured keynote presentations from Rachael Neumann, Head of Startups Australia & NZ - Amazon Web Services, as well as Mark Bregman, Managing Partner and co-founder of Quidnet Ventures - a US based venture capitalist, who is currently raising a $40m fund dedicated to start-ups in New Zealand and Australia.

Te Ōhaka is dedicated to the growth and success of all parties involved in Christchurch and Canterbury’s startup and innovation ecosystem.