Nine ceremonies and two parades to celebrate graduates of Wellington’s University

The capital city will see over 2,800 students from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington mark the successful completion of their studies this week.

More than 1,300 qualifications will be awarded to 1,204 students over nine ceremonies. A further 1,644 graduates who received their degrees in absentia due to COVID-19 related postponements earlier in 2020 are also taking part in the ceremonies. 

The University’s Chancellor Neil Paviour-Smith extends his congratulations to all graduates being recognised.

“This week’s ceremonies are an opportunity for the city to join in celebration of their success, which is even more extraordinary given the unprecedented challenges that 2020 has delivered for our staff and students—and for our graduates. The University was determined to ensure that our graduates this year had an opportunity to attend a ceremony. Graduation week this week is the biggest in the history of the University.

“Our graduates have worked hard to achieve their globally recognised degrees from Victoria University of Wellington, while enriching the city of Wellington in a myriad of ways. Many have been volunteers, some helped their neighbours by supermarket shopping during alert level 4, and all have been an integral part of our city.”

As well as the seven ceremonies held at the Michael Fowler Centre, Te Herenga Waka marae will host two ceremonies for a total of 75 students on Friday. Each of the ceremonies will be live-streamed on the University website.

Three honorary doctorates will be presented at the graduation ceremonies this week to highly respected University alumni. Former Member of Parliament, the Honorable Chris Finlayson QC will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws, acclaimed writer Elizabeth Knox CNZM will receive an honorary Doctor of Literature, and trailblazing public servant Lyn Provost will receive an honorary Doctor of Commerce.

There will be two formal processions of staff and students through the streets of Wellington, held from 12.30 pm on Tuesday 8 December and Thursday 10 December (weather dependant). These colourful parades are a chance for the wider Wellington community to celebrate with the graduates.

“The shared acknowledgement of the graduates’ success is a highlight for students and their families. We encourage the public to join University staff, and the students’ friends and whānau at the parade, to enjoy this celebration of their efforts,” says Mr Paviour-Smith.

The parades of staff and graduates run from the Old Government Building along Lambton Quay to Te Ngākau Civic Square.

About Graduation


From 12.30 pm on Tuesday 8 December, and again on Thursday 10 December, staff and students will parade in full academic dress through Wellington, proceeding from the Law School at the Old Government Building on Lambton Quay through to Te Ngākau Civic Square.


If either graduation parade is cancelled due to wet weather, notification will be given on Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s website and the Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington Facebook page.

Graduation ceremonies


Tuesday 8 December
Ceremony One, 2 pm, Michael Fowler Centre
Wellington School of Business and Government—Accounting and Commercial Law, Economics and Finance, and Information Management.

Ceremony Two, 6.30 pm, Michael Fowler CentreWellington School of Business and Government—Government, Marketing and International Business, and Management.

Wednesday 9 December
Ceremony Three, 9.30 am, Michael Fowler Centre
Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation, Wellington Faculty of Health

Ceremony Four, 2 pm, Michael Fowler CentreFaculty of Law, Wellington Faculty of Engineering including Science qualifications with an engineering major

Ceremony Five, 6.30 pm, Michael Fowler CentreWellington Faculty of Science

Thursday 10 December
Ceremony Six, 2 pm, Michael Fowler Centre
Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences—School of English, Film, Theatre, Media Studies and Art History, New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī, School of Languages and Cultures, School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, and School of Social and Cultural Studies.

Ceremony Seven, 6.30 pm, Michael Fowler CentreWellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Faculty of Education—School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations, Stout Research Centre, International Institute of Modern Letters, Education, and Humanities qualifications with an education or psychology major.

Friday 11 December
Ceremony Eight, 9 am, Te Herenga Waka Marae
For graduates from Architecture and Design Innovation, Business and Government, Education, Engineering, Health, Law, and Science

Ceremony Nine, 1.30 pm, Te Herenga Waka MaraeFor graduates from Humanities and Social Sciences