The NZi3 National ICT Innovation Institute has opened at University of Canterbury. The new purpose-built facility has also been recognised as the most environmentally-friendly educational building in the country. Prime Minister the Hon John Key was the official guest at yesterday's opening. He was joined by three other Cabinet members, senior representatives of the Institute's founding partners Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Jade Software Corporation and Tait Electronics, and other stakeholders. The New Zealand Government awarded the University of Canterbury NZ$ 9.7 million for the development of NZi3 through its Partnerships for Excellence programme, on the proviso that it secured matching funding from the private sector. NZi3 Director, Darin Graham, said that the Institute with its location on the edge of the University of Canterbury campus and its external focus, would allow greater interaction between researchers and industry.
Tait Electronics Managing Director, Michael Chick, spoke on behalf of the Institute's founding partners. He paid tribute to his company's founder the late Sir Angus Tait who, he said, was a 'powerful mover in the establishment of the Institute.' The opening coincided with the announcement that the New Zealand Green Building Council had given the new purpose-built facility a five-star green rating. The NZi3 building is the first educational building in New Zealand to be awarded a 5-star rating.