8 May 2019

University name change process to be amended

7:30 pm on 8 May 2019

The education minister is amending the process for universities wanting to change their name.

No caption

The Victoria University of Wellington's Hunter building. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Chris Hipkins is introducing a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) that would require Parliament to approve or decline a proposed name change.

This week, Victoria University gave up its fight to legally change its name to University of Wellington, announcing it would not appeal Mr Hipkins' rejection of their bid.

Mr Hipkins said the saga highlighted an anomaly in the Education Act that needed fixing.

"Four of our universities were actually established by acts of Parliament and therefore me making a decision around changing their name when it was actually an act of Parliament that created it in the first place was quite contentious. So this basically tidies it up and it treats all of the universities the same."

He said it made sense that Parliament should have to approve any name change.

The SOP will be added to legislation that is being debated in Parliament this week.