Tauranga to have CBD uni campus

The first step has been taken this week towards establishing a $55 million university campus in Tauranga’s central business district.

The Tauranga City Council has agreed to provide the land for the campus – the outdoor car parking area in Durham Street.

It is being built by a tertiary education partnership of the University of Waikato, the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi.

The campus will be the first in the country established by such a partnership, though there is a similar partnership idea being floated concerning the Canterbury rebuild.

The city’s agreement to provide the car park as the land for the project is the key to getting other partners involved in the design build side of it.

It’s being undertaken as a Bay of Plenty initiative because neither the government nor the university can do it alone, or without free land.

The 0.4 hectares is being kept in council ownership and vested in the tertiary trust.

It’s essentially a 33-year loan, by which time the campus is expected to be able to pay rent.

The parking lots provide $110,000 in annual income to the council.

The loss of this income, and a request to waive development impact fees, caused much discussion among councillors when deciding on the issue.

There was an amendment voted on to keep the parking issue alive, with a codicil by Councillor Larry Baldock that the council would, if required, revisit the issue if the council’s stance threatened the project.

Councillor David Stewart says the long term benefits of the city campus will far outweigh the parking income.

Waikato University, with 10,500 full time equivalent students, brings $130 million into Hamilton every year.

The initiative is a response to a demonstrated need for further tertiary facilities in the Bay of Plenty and the inability of the tertiary institutions to provide them.

Tertiary institutions do not have the resources to establish new facilities, government capital funding is not available, and the capping of domestic student numbers limits tertiary provision to current levels.

University of Waikato Professor Natalie Jackson says the Bay of Plenty needs increased tertiary education.

Her demographic study shows there will soon be fewer young people in the region than are currently leaving secondary school to enter tertiary training or the workforce.

The problem is magnified because a large proportion of Bay of Plenty students leave the region to go to other university cities – while at the same time, many Bay of Plenty industries are facing a shortage of people to replace their retiring older employees.

The city campus will increase the ability of the city’s tertiary network to retain young people and Maori within the Bay of Plenty and enable first generation students to study at university level without leaving the region.

University of Waikato Vice Chancellor Professor Alister Jones says it will also attract foreign students to study at Tauranga at a postgraduate level, and research funding.

The campus will provide tertiary education from pre-degree to postgraduate and a university experience for the community, industry and schools.

With a focus on innovation, it will be used for teaching and research, business incubation, schools technology and science engagement, management and executive education, and research and development projects.

A viable campus requires a size of 1-1.5ha says Alister, additional land which will eventually be bought.

The entire Cameron-Elizabeth-Durham block is designated for educational purposes.

If construction starts this year, stage one will open in 2015 for 500 full time students, but with capacity for 700.

Construction of stage two would take place in 2019 to create capacity for 1000 full time students, followed by stage three in 2025/26 to create capacity for 1500 students by 2032.

The 0.4ha car park land provided by the council will enable construction of stages one and two.

Mayor Stuart Crosby says just building the campus will provide a boost to the city’s building and construction industry.

There will also be spin offs with private developers stepping up to provide student accommodation.

You may also like....


I agree appoint a LG Commissioner

Posted on 29-01-2012 13:08 | By RORTSCAM

Wrong location with no thought to traffic or parking in middle of City. Providing land is one thing just hope this pack of clowns are not getting into funding education.No room for any future expansion hope TCC are about to build a 6 storey carpark at Hamilton St.very soon. Durham St. site should have at least 3 levels of underground parking as well.

Poor subsidising rich

Posted on 27-01-2012 08:43 | By marama

There are some ratepayers who can’t even repair their leaky homes - why are they being forced to contribute to organisations which have more income than Council. Tertiary education is governments responsibility, stay out of it. This Council is the next for Minister Nick Smith fix I am thinking

Great News for Tauranga

Posted on 26-01-2012 15:55 | By jeans

I’ve been a Tauranga ratepayer for over 30 years and have watched the city grow and develop in many ways. Although Bay of Plenty Polytechnic provides excellent educational facilities it has limits to what it can provide and many young people have had to leave to area to complete their studies. Tauranga has lagged behind other similar-sized cities like Hamilton and Dunedin when it comes to appreciating the economic value that a university brings to a city. Congratulations to TCC and the tertiary partners who are working together to retain the area’s young people and ensure the future growth of this city.

Give up

Posted on 26-01-2012 15:11 | By rastus

I just complimented our council for not giving in to the tourism crowd and they were certainly justified when just this day the news advises that tourist occupancy rates are up on last year despite the Rena episode! Now our councilors pull the mat once agin - this land belongs to the ratepayers of Tauranga so first off they should be consulted before you start giving our property away - Secondly they obviously have not thought this one through - after just about already destroying downtown Tauranga (CBD) they are now encouraging more demand on car parking spaces and for what - if the courses are just an extension of what is now being taught then heaven help us - turning out heaps of students with skills totally useless for them getting a real job (other than continuing to expand the ’invented’ jobs at TCC and other publicly funded organizations - man I have had a guts full of this continued lack of common sense and lack of responsibility towards those they were elected to serve

at last something positive!

Posted on 26-01-2012 15:00 | By dstewart

It is great to see our council at last looking towards the future. Having a greater student community downtown will go a long way to revitalise the CBD and there is an acknowledged responsibility for this generation to provide for the next as our grandparents did for us.

Tauranga to have CBD uni campus

Posted on 26-01-2012 14:54 | By algail

Tut Tut TCC again not thinking, not planning not even borrowing a brain from someone else to look at bulling a new tertiary education faculty in Tauranga. In the first place folks why does the damn thing need to built in the city which can be a nightmare driving through as it is without cramming more student and tutorial drivers into the narrow streets of Tauranga and increasing the nightmare of Cameron road at peak time.. There is cheaper land available not all that far from the city. Why not build it out of town. There is no accommodation or parking for students and professorial staff in town, get it out into the nearby suburbs on cheaper land and provide accommodation and parking. I disagree with any land being given away by any council it belongs to me and you not them. I also degree with a waiving of lease fees. Once completed the centre will earn enough money esp for foreign students to be able to pay rent. The TCC should consult the Tauranga Port people and learn how to go about things. The Port will not sell land, they will not lease land unless the lease holder will establish plenty of traffic in and out of the port. About all the tertiary building will bring to Tauranga once competed is a huge increase in the sale of fish and chips buns, cakes and sandwiches along with traffic snarl-up’s. Shares in the Port were first sold for $1 per share which currently are selling for around $10 per share. What would a share in the TCC be worth now were it possible to own one. NOTHING you would probably owe money Alastair Bethlehem

Posted on 26-01-2012 14:25 | By xnekobasux

no student is going to wont to come here , unless they have are 30+. As Tauranga has nothing to do !

Posted on 26-01-2012 14:10 | By traceybjammet

for goodness sake whats the fixation with car-parking catch the bus or walk from a little further away its good for the health and councils and governments never pay for anything the people pay through taxes and rates and levis and thats why we live in a beautiful city with running water and sewerage


Posted on 26-01-2012 13:21 | By PLONKER

There are two aspects, first: tertiary education available in Tauranga, no problem there soon with this project, second: ’Jobs’ once educated, right now the Council based ideas via PriorityOne have not produced any results where significant industrial units have been established that are significiant employers so offering advanced employment. That is the real reason why the educated leave Tauranga, there are not the jobs available to keep people here. In fact it is like car parking in the CBD, no where to park means less people in the CBD/No jobs means people go elsewhere for the duration of the working life.


Posted on 26-01-2012 12:33 | By Donnaw

Take away more car parks to add more buildings....as it is there is NOT sufficent carparking in Tauranga....so just where are all these students going to park? waste of our hard earned money.....we seriously do have clowns running this place. I wonder what would happen if we all refused to pay our rates....oh wouldnt it be great to be able to get everyone on board for that!

PC nonsense

Posted on 26-01-2012 10:31 | By Gee Really

Just read the story again and noticed the bit about retaining "young people and Maori" within the Bay. What’s wrong with retaining people fullstop? Saying that, most young people with any drive want to get away and experience a bit of study life away from their parents in a new environment. The top brains go to the better universities. Not sure how Waikato and BOP Polytech rank on that. But basically I don’t think Council should be propping up education which is the role of government. Also hands off our TECT and regional council money too. I’m sick of hearing how these sort of projects are going to contribute zillions to the economy. Look at the Rugby World Cup, even our own surf reef, to see how they didn’t.

More Council Madness

Posted on 26-01-2012 09:53 | By bigted

Our council is now so wealthy that it can GIVE AWAY prime CBD Land, with a vaporous promise... A ’land grab’ as the Polytech building is clearly in the wrong place, as there is no room for expansion. Expand at Windermere campus by all means NOT in the CBD’s prime real estate. Another crucial city descision has been made by council, with no input from the ratepayer. Democracy at it’s best? I think not!

Posted on 26-01-2012 09:47 | By charob

who is paying for this??????? why dont the council sell the land and pay off some debts......

cultural, gender, basket-weaving studies just what's needed

Posted on 26-01-2012 09:45 | By Gee Really

Just can’t wait for council to use my rates money to provide education. I guess they’ll soon take over paying for all schools and kindergartens. It must be great to be flush with cash and not have debts to worry about.

Posted on 26-01-2012 09:25 | By charob

and who is paying for this. why dont the TCC sell the land and use tht money to pay off some of its debts


Posted on 26-01-2012 09:21 | By Colleen Spiro

The city council is paying for this....NO THE RATEPAYERS ARE.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now