$67m Tauranga campus given green light

Waikato University has been given the go-ahead for a multimillion-dollar campus in Tauranga.

The project was awaiting the final block of funding needed to get off the ground, with approval announced today.

The $67 million project will result in Waikato University, together with other providers in the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership, building a campus in the middle of Tauranga.

The project hinged on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council donating $15m towards the campus, and the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust donating another $15m.

The regional council agreed to provide funding last year, and the trust followed suit today. The remainder of the funding is to be raised by the members of the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership, which includes Waikato University, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi and Waiariki Institute of Technology.

The Tauranga City Council has approved the donation of land in Durham St for the campus.

The project was first put forward by the university at the start of 2012 in response to rising student numbers from the Bay of Plenty.

A report for the city council by Professor Frank Scrimgeour, of the Waikato Management School, estimated the campus would pump $188m into the local economy over the next 20 years, providing a rate of return on investment of 30 per cent.

It estimated about 6500 students would use the campus between 2015 and 2035, providing the region with more than 4000 graduates.

It would keep undergraduates in the region and attract teachers and postgraduate and international students. 

Waikato Times