Victoria University's name change rejected by Government

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 18 December 2018, 5:54p.m.
The university wanted to change their name to the University of Wellington. (Photo / Supplied)

Victoria University says it's business as usual after its name change proposal.has been declined.

It wanted to be called University of Wellington but the Education Minister has put the kibosh on that.

The university is considering the decision before commenting further or discussing next steps.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says the passion alumni feel for the university has been very evident.

He says now more than ever their support is very important to the institution’s future.

Guilford told Larry Williams they have a number of options of where to proceed. 

"We could challenge the decision legally if he acted illegally or he acted unreasonably." 

He says that it is an unusual decision, and that Hipkins is not an expert in what's in the best interests for the University. 

However, Guilford says they could trade under a different name to their legal one.

"It's a pretty common practice around the world. For example, Stanford University's legal name is Leland Stanford Junior University."

He says that the Minister could not interfere in that instance. 

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says he carefully considered an application to change Victoria University's name before declining it.

But Hipkins says he was not persuaded the proposal is consistent with the demands of accountability and the national interest.

"Ultimately, the significant opposition from staff, students and alumni did play a role."

Guilford says that they were very thorough with their consultation process, which generated over 2,000 submissions. 

He says only two per cent of the submissions from alumni were negative. 

"The point of consultation is not to agree, it's to listen." 

National MP Nicola Willis says it's time for the university to move on.

"I don't think a single taxpayer or student would thank the University for spending money on this in court. That is the not the way forward, we need to put this behind us."



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