Auckland University on the move

Auckland University are relocating. Well, to an extent. They’re not setting up shop in Dunedin just yet, but they have decided to sell their Tāmaki Innovation Campus, their campus farthest from the city centre, to a local property investment firm. 

The role of the Tāmaki Campus is a bit like Otago’s Centre for Innovation – that monster of structural modernity you’ve probably seen on your recent trip to St Dave’s or the Proctor. Our Innovation Centre is the university’s crossroads between research and business. It’s a similar deal up in Auckland – the Tāmaki campus focus on Health, Biodiversity Biosecurity Innovation and have many close links with external organisations.

After much deliberation, the university finally decided that the remoteness of the campus was a bit of an issue. It takes a decent amount of time of travel from the three main campuses in the centre of the city to the Tāmaki campus – about 20 minutes by car with good traffic; that’s more time than it takes to get to South D’s Pak n’ Save from our campus! Imagine having to trek out there for the occasional class. According to Vice Chancellor Stuart McCutchecon, “having faculties remote from the main university campus [meant that] students really struggled to be engaged.”

The university are likely to shift the Tāmaki campus staff and students to their new campus in Newmarket which used to be a brewery site owned by Lion. So be prepared to hear some exciting news stories develop in the next few years. Imagine this headline: ‘Biosecurity students discover long lost beer recipe’ – now that could be innovation!  

Auckland may be taking a leaf out of Otago’s book – we here in Dunedin pride ourselves on a central campus where nothing is too far away. It’s a one-minute walk from the Central Library to the Law building, three minutes from Central to St David’s and five minutes to what we might consider to be a remote campus – the Medical School. You would have to admit that all of this adds to the vibe and culture of Otago – maybe Auckland’s just become a bit jealous?

This article first appeared in Issue 8, 2016.
Posted 10:41am Sunday 24th April 2016 by Tom Kitchin.