Why is the name change important?

The proposed name, University of Wellington* / Te Herenga Waka, builds on our heritage and equips us for the future.

Explicit alignment with Wellington demonstrates the University’s commitment to our city and region, and provides a distinctive identity that cannot be confused with other tertiary institutions worldwide also known as Victoria.

Council decision

The University Council recommended a change to University of Wellington and the adoption of a new Māori name of Te Herenga Waka in September 2018.

Pride in our city

Emphasising Wellington:

  • enhances our differentiation as New Zealand’s globally ranked capital city university
  • allows the achievements of the University to build the global reputation of the city and vice versa
  • creates a common destiny and enduring sense of partnership with Wellington.

A world-class university in Wellington is vital for the city and region to flourish. At the same time, a vibrant and successful Wellington that offers an outstanding student experience and is a great place for staff to live is critical to the University’s future.

Everyone can be proud of the quality of teaching and research that takes place at Wellington’s university. The University’s reputation must reflect that excellence. A distinctive name that sets it apart is a fundamental first step towards that goal.

Standing out from the crowd

The proposed name University of Wellington* offers the simplicity, authenticity, and distinctiveness the University needs to stand out in the global networks of scholars, students, and research in which we operate.

  • The name encapsulates what we are (a university) and where we are (Wellington).
  • The name needs no further explanation in the over 100 countries in which our students and graduates live and work.
  • A distinctive name that does not confuse us with other universities and can be recalled without difficulty is fundamental to increasing our global reputation.

The unique name will build our global reputation, to the benefit of our students, graduates, and staff. It will increase our ability to build high-quality international partnerships, attract world-leading staff, increase numbers of international students, and compete more effectively for international research funding.

*The University is currently awaiting ministerial approval for a name change.


A new identity?

The University’s recommended new name would be embodied in a logo reflecting our place in Wellington, our Māori identity and our values and history as a place of learning.

The story of the new identity
Dark green shield with 1897, niho taniwha and water components to the left of 'Te Herenga Waka University of Wellington New Zealand'.
A selection of other university logos with the name 'Victoria'.

Removing confusion—a unique name

‘University of Wellington’ is a distinctive name that won’t be confused with other tertiary institutions around the globe that use the name Victoria.

Find out more

Building a sustainable future

Changing our university’s name will prepare us for the future, distinguishing our university and enabling us to compete effectively with elite global universities worldwide.

To thrive in an increasingly connected world, we must continue to build a strong global reputation founded on excellent teaching, research and engagement, and by providing a fantastic student experience on and off campus. Becoming the University of Wellington will help us to do just that.

Our future focus