Michael Fowler Centre ceremonies

Graduation ceremonies follow a formal structure. Find information on guests, parking, access and announcements.


The Graduation Office will email all graduands in early March with a personal link to order tickets.

You must order tickets by 31 March for any guests you would like to bring. You do not need a ticket for yourself.

Ticket collection

Tickets can be collected from the Hugh Mackenzie building foyer at the following dates and times:

  • 1 pm – 6 pm, Friday 12 May
  • 10 am – 2 pm, Saturday 13 May
  • 9am – 7 pm, Monday 15 May
  • 9 am – 7 pm, Tuesday 16 May
  • 9 am – 7 pm, Wednesday 17 May
  • 9 am – 5 pm, Thursday 18 May

Friends and family

Information for friends and family

Guests of graduating students can find more information about watching the ceremonies and parades, travel, and the venue on our page for friends and family.

Inviting guests

For each ceremony, graduates will be guaranteed up to three guest tickets, as long as we receive your order by the deadline date of 31 March.

Additional tickets will be issued later depending on venue capacity, and graduands will receive an email with information on how to request additional tickets.


Children are welcome as guests at the graduation ceremonies, but need to be with an adult who isn't graduating. We don't allow any children in the graduates’ marshalling area or on stage.

Any child over the age of two requires a ticket. If your child is under two, they will need to sit on an adult’s knee for the full ceremony.

Guests requiring easy access

There is lift access to all floors and step-free access to seating on the lower level of the auditorium. Guests who require easy access to seating at the Michael Fowler Centre should arrive early to seat themselves (auditorium doors open 45 minutes before the ceremony).

Any graduate requiring specific assistance for themselves or a guest should email the Graduation Office as soon as possible or phone +64 463 6390.

Live streaming

Friends and family who can’t attend your graduation can watch a live video stream of the ceremony. Details will be available on the homepage.

Day of the ceremony

Arrive at the Michael Fowler Centre 45 minutes before the start of your graduation ceremony. Your guests must be seated in the auditorium 15 minutes before your ceremony begins.

Order of ceremony

  • The official procession of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington staff will enter the main auditorium and move to sit on the stage.
  • You will be called into the main auditorium by Te tangi puoro and haka whakatau, followed by a haka pōwhiri to welcome you. Please remain standing.
  • Sing God Defend New Zealand, the national anthem.
  • Address by the Chancellor.
  • Doctorate graduates will be called up onto the stage to be congratulated and presented with their commemorative certificate before moving to sit with staff on stage.
  • All other graduates will be called up onto the stage to be congratulated and presented with their commemorative certificate.
  • When your name is called:
    • walk across the stage and shake the Chancellor’s hand
    • walk on to receive your certificate
    • turn left down the steps and have your photograph taken
    • return to your seat.
  • Address by the graduate speaker.
  • Chancellor’s closing remarks.
  • The official staff procession leaves the stage and you follow.

If you are unwell

In line with current health guidance we ask if you are unwell that you not attend the event. Graduates should contact graduation@vuw.ac.nz if they are unable to attend.


You will be announced by your first and last name as they appear on official university documents.

Change of name and pronunciation

If you wish to change the name that is read out when you graduate or you have a name that is likely to be mispronounced, you need to let us know. You’ll be emailed with details of how to submit your details.

It’s important that you help us with the pronunciation of your name as we want to ensure it is correct and that you have a positive graduation experience.

Venue and parking

The Michael Fowler Centre is located in Wakefield Street and is adjacent to Te Ngākau Civic Square. There is a taxi stand directly outside the venue on Wakefield Street and buses stop on nearby Manners Street. Street parking near the Michael Fowler Centre is very limited. Please leave yourself plenty of time to get to the venue.


A range of memorabilia is available to commemorate your graduation, developed in conjunction with VicBooks.


The official photographer for the Victoria University of Wellington graduation ceremonies is Woolf Photography. No other professional photographers are permitted within the Michael Fowler Centre.

Graduates will be photographed as they are congratulated on stage and again after leaving the stage. Roving photographers will take photographs of graduates, family and friends before and after the ceremony. These images will be available online from Woolf Photography within 24 hours.

You can also have a professional studio-style portrait taken before or after your ceremony. The price for these portraits is from $65, payable when the photograph is taken—credit cards, eftpos and cash are accepted. Print and digital packages are available. No bookings are necessary.

Woolf Photography will be set up in the foyer an hour and a half before each ceremony, but photography will finish 30 minutes before the ceremony starts.

Sharing on social media

For the latest information, including photos and videos from our graduation ceremonies and street parade, connect with us on social media.

Use our hashtags—#VicUniWgtn or #WellingtonGrad—as we’d love to see how you celebrate.