OUSA Reacts to Uni Name Change Proposal

OUSA Reacts to Uni Name Change Proposal

New Māori name, new logo just dropped

On Wednesday, 15 March 2023, the Uni announced that they’re opening feedback for their new visual identity proposal. Essentially, they’ve come up with a new name and logo for the Uni, which is one piece of a “long-term plan [with] the desire to become a Te Tiriti-led organisation”.


The name change would be from Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo to “Ōtākou Whakaihu Waka – a metaphor meaning A Place of Many Firsts.” The new logo is pictured above. The entire costs of consultation, design and everything else related to this proposal was over $670,000.


Students have until mid-April to give feedback on this, but here’s what a few key student leaders had to say:


Haki Hamilton, Acting Tumuaki of Te Rōpū Māori:


He kōrero tēnei hei akiaki i a koutou ki te tuku mai i ō koutou whakaaro ki te Kaupapa e pā ana ki te panonitanga e hiahiatia ana mō te whare wānanga. Ko te ingoa o tēnei Kaupapa ko te ‘tuakiritaka project. E tautoko ana au i ngā kōrero a Quintin. He āheinga nui tēnei mō tatou katoa, mō ngāi tauira whare wānanga ki te tuku whakaaro e pā ana ki ngā piki me ngā heke o tēnei hiahia. E pōhiritia ana ō koutou whakaaro mō tēnei.


E arotekahia ana te tuakiritanga o te whare wānanga nei. E mea ana te whare wānanga ki te panoni i tētahi wāhanga o tōna ingoa i Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo ki a Ōtākou whakaihu Waka. Kāore te ingoa tūturu o te whare wānanga e tīni, ka noho ko te University of Otago.


He Kaupapa tēnei e tino taukotia ana e ngā mana nui o tēnei whare wānanga, engari, ehara i te mea he whaipānga noa iho ki a rātou. He whaipānga nui tēnei ki a tātou katoa ki a ngāi tauira whare wānanga me ngā tauira Māori.


E kimi whakahokinga kōrero ana ēnei kaiwhakarite. He whaipānga nui tēnei ki a tātou katoa, tauira mai, kaimahi mai, mokopuna mai. E hiahia ana ngā kaiwhakarite o tēnei Kaupapa kia hāngai tēnei ki te hiahia o te whare wānanga, kia noho hei whare wānanga whakamana tiriti hei te tau 2040.


Me he pātai āu, me he whakaaro ōu, haria mai ki a mātou, kaua e whakamā. He āheinga nui tēnei mō tātou katoa. Kia kaha mai tātou.



Quintin Jane
President, OUSA:


Kia ora koutou,

The University of Otago is engaging in a review of its visual identity. Called the Tuakiritaka project, this project seeks to update the university's branding in line with the Vision 2040 Strategic Objectives, released earlier this year.


Alongside this, the University is looking to change its Māori name from Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo, to Ōtākou Whakaihu Waka. The official name of the University is not changing, and will remain the University of Otago.


This is a lucky time to be a student. You have the opportunity to help shape the future of the visual identity of the University. There are two main things they want to know: “Does this proposal align with where the university is heading” and “is this the right time for the change?” But more broad feedback is encouraged too!


Perhaps you think they should only use one version of the logo, or which logo is given priority should change. Maybe you think we should formally change the name. Even if you think nothing about the proposed identities should change, let the University know. They will take your feedback on board, I’ve sat in enough meetings to know how much they listen.


I’ll also be chairing a town-hall style Q & A for students, with senior members of University staff, to answer any questions about these proposed changes, and give them a chance to hear your feedback. This will be in the main common room in the University Union Building, from 4 – 5pm on Tuesday 21st of March, I hope to see you there!


In the meantime, fill out the survey in your emails, and let the university know what you think. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have (president@ousa.org.nz), or any feedback you would like raised to the University on your behalf.


Ngā mihi,

Quintin Jane



Elisepa Taukolo
President, OUPISA


Ni sa bula Vinaka and warm Pacific greetings!


We welcome the opportunity to share your thoughts on the Tuakiritaka project. The

University of Otago seeks to explore its university identity through this project.


This is a great opportunity for Pacific students to learn more about the important concepts

and kaupapa it entails and also ask questions, such as “How is Pacific representation being

represented in this visual identity?” and “can we as Pacific people add our own Pacific flavour to

this visual identity?” But more feedback is highly encouraged too!


We anticipate this project will have a wide impact, both in and outside of the University

community, and is being developed in line with our new strategic direction vision 2040.

Therefore it is crucial that our Pacific whānau have an opportunity to feedback on this

project. We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


Feel free to come and have a Talanoa with my team and I if you have any questions or

thoughts on this.


Vinaka vaka levu,

Elisepa Taukolo.

This article first appeared in Issue 4, 2023.
Posted 2:59pm Sunday 19th March 2023 by Fox Meyer.