Originally established as the Hamilton Technical College in 1924 in Hamilton, New Zealand, its main purpose was to offer high-quality vocational courses. In 1968, the institute was later renamed to Waikato Technical Institute and in 1987 was renamed again to The Waikato Polytechnic, and later in 2001, its current name was finalized. The institute has grown over the years to have currently offering courses in about 12 different fields and having different centers for each of them. A unique feature of Wintec is the Design Factory NZ that offers young creatives and highly innovative minds to experiment with their ideas and participate in making innovations for the next generation.
The centers are designated especially for Business and Enterprise, Information Technology, Engineering, and Industrial Design, Health and Social practice, languages, media art, and many others. Currently, Wintec claims to have over 1700 international students studying from over 50 countries around the world.