Attending a graduation ceremony

If you are graduating with a New Zealand Diploma, Open Polytechnic Graduate Diploma, Diploma or Degree, you can get your award at a graduation ceremony.

On this page:

Dates and venue details

City Date Venue Ceremony Start Time Closing date to apply to graduate
Christchurch Thursday 9 May Air Force Museum, 45 Harvard Avenue, Wigram 3:30pm 28 February 2024
Auckland Friday 17 May Due Drop Events Centre, 770 Great South Road, Wiri Manukau 11.30am 28 February 2024
Wellington - Lower Hutt Wednesday 12 June Lower Hutt Events Centre, Laings Road, Lower Hutt 3.00pm 28 February 2024

After you apply to graduate and your eligibility has been confirmed, we will send you an email with a link to the Graduation Ceremony Requirements Form. Complete and submit with your regalia measurements and the fee payment details.  


The graduation ceremony

Before the ceremony

The gowning room will be open before the ceremony. You need to arrive at the venue promptly to be dressed in your regalia. Details and instructions will be emailed to those attending.

  • The gowning area will be well sign posted and staff will assist you with your regalia.
  • You are welcome to wear cultural dress or other cultural decoration, for example a korowai or lei. These are worn over your black gown and under your hood.
  • Please be aware that the temperature in the venue could be warm, especially when wearing regalia.

All graduands must be ready to line up in qualification groups at least 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony. A final check of names will be completed before you are led into the venue.

You need to have your hands free to receive your award, so leave handbags, cellphones etc. with your guests.

During the ceremony

The ceremony begins with a pōwhiri and karakia (blessing), and welcome speeches.

When it is your turn to receive your award:

  • staff will ask your row to stand and you will be led to the stairs to the left of the stage
  • a final name check will be done to make sure you are in order before walking across the stage to receive your award and have your photo taken.
  • all graduates return to their seats and must remain seated with their group until the conclusion of the ceremony.
  • all guests remain seated until the end of the ceremony as a sign of respect to all graduates.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, graduates are led out of the venue as part of the academic procession, while guests remain seated.

After the Ceremony - Returning regalia

Return to the gowning room, sign in and return your regalia. You must not leave the venue grounds in your regalia.

If the regalia is not returned at the end of the graduation ceremony you will be held liable for the cost of full replacement.


Official photographer

An official photographer will be present to photograph you on stage as you receive your award. Studio style photograph set-ups will also be available for you and your family before and after the ceremony.

Details of how to order prints will be posted on our website after each event.

Graduation 2024

Christchurch Graduation 2024

 Auckland Graduation 2024

  • Photos will be available after the event

Wellington Graduation 2024

  • Photos will be available after the event


Live stream video

We have live streamed the graduation ceremonies so that any family and friends from wherever they are across New Zealand or the world can tune in online or watch later.

By attending our graduation ceremony you are agreeing that we have your permission to take photos and film and include you in any broadcast by the Open Polytechnic |Te Pūkenga for live web streaming purposes. 

Graduation live stream page


Graduation regalia

We will send you an email with the Graduation Ceremony Requirements Form to complete and submit with your measurements and payment details. You must submit the form and pay the fee before the closing date as stated on the form.

Graduands must wear academic regalia at the graduation ceremony, that is hired and provided by Open Polytechnic on the day. The 2024 fees for graduation regalia are:

  • $45.00 for diploma graduands*
  • $55.00 for graduate diploma graduands
  • $70.00 for degree graduands

*If you have achieved a degree or higher qualification and would like this recognised you can choose to wear graduate diploma regalia.

Regalia colours


  • Black gown with a blue and teal sash.

Graduate Diplomas

  • Black gown with a blue, teal and gold sash and trencher.


Black gown, white fur trimmed hood lined with relevant degree colour and trencher.

Hood colours:

  • Bachelor of Applied Management – Marigold
  • Bachelor of Applied Science – Adonis Blue
  • Bachelor of Arts - Orchid Pink
  • Bachelor of Business – Old Gold
  • Bachelor of Engineering Technology - Claret
  • Bachelor of Information Technology - Pansy
  • Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) – Post Office Red
  • Bachelor of Social Work – Emerald
  • Bachelor of Social Health and Wellbeing - Fuchsia
  • Bachelor of Library and Information Studies - Royal Purple



If you are no longer able to attend the ceremony

If you find you can not attend the graduation ceremony, contact Academic Registry:

If you notify us that you can not attend 10 working days before the ceremony you will get a full refund for hiring regalia.

If on the ceremony day you find you are unable to attend you must let us know as soon as possible by contacting our customer services team:

  • Freephone 0508 650 200.


Guests and number of guest passes

The number of guest passes which can be issued to each graduate will be based on the size of each venue. If you would like to request additional guest passes above the number allocated to you, you can request these on the Graduation Ceremony Requirements Form. We will notify you after the closing date if your request can be met.

Guests need to bring along their tickets to gain entry to the venue. They must be seated 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony and there are no allocated or reserved seating for guests at our venues.


Special assistance at a graduation ceremony

Please advise us as early as possible if you or your guests have any special requirements. For example, using a wheelchair; are sight or hearing impaired or have any other medical condition that requires special arrangements.


Outstanding fees

To have your qualification awarded and be issued official documentation, there must be no outstanding debt on your account with Open Polytechnic.

If you have any questions, contact us.


Need help?

If you have any questions about applying to graduate or attending a graduation ceremony contact our Academic Registry:

Related information

Graduation live stream

Applying to graduate