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Joint venture for new tertiary campus in Manukau

30 November 2007

Council proposes joint venture for new tertiary campus in Manukau

Manukau City Council is proposing a joint venture, council controlled organisation (CCO), to help establish a new tertiary campus in the city centre.

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) wants to set up the new campus, which would be complementary to the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), to fill a gap in university education opportunities in the city.

It would also be complementary to the joint university campus proposed for AUT and MIT.

Mayor Len Brown says the council sees this as a unique opportunity to focus on the priority goal of closing the education skills gap in Manukau and to empower the city's youth.

"We have 450,000 people in the southern Auckland region, and we need direct access to a designated university," Mr Brown says.

The proposal is that the council will provide the equity to buy a property in the city, and AUT will meet the financial servicing and operational costs.

"This must be cost neutral for the council. If not, we would not go ahead with the proposal," he says.

"Over the next two months, we will be working through the issues to ensure that the proposed joint venture can be carried out on a cost neutral basis for ratepayers."

The council's focus is the future development of Manukau, and proposals such as this offer an opportunity to address the skills shortage, and help the further development of industry, business and economic growth in the city.

"Manukau is experiencing huge economic growth - last year 6.6 per cent. Our city is the hub of the Auckland region's manufacturing and distribution, and a critical part of its economic development. By 2012, there will be a need for 40,000 new jobs, 21,000 with tertiary education.

"This proposal aims to help enlarge the skills base of local people, especially young people, to provide new opportunities from next year, to fill the new, often highly technical, jobs that are being created by our burgeoning industries."

The council now wants to hear the community's views about the proposal.

"We are open to our community's responses, and will accept their judgement of the merits of this proposal."

The full Statement of Proposal and submission form will be available from council libraries, the Civic Centre and Kotuku House in Manukau Square, and on the council's website www.manukau.govt.nz , from Friday 7 December 2007. A summary of the proposal and submission form will be published in the council's newsletter Manukau Matters on 16 December.

Submissions close on 25 January 2008, and hearings will be held for those who wish to speak to their submissions, on 31 January 2008. The council will make its decision whether to go ahead with the proposed CCO on 7 February, 2008.


ENDS

The Proposal in Brief

* The council would buy the campus site
* The council to establish a joint venture company with AUT
* The ownership of the site would be transferred to the company
* The company would be a council-controlled organisation

o This structure would provide AUT with the opportunity to acquire an equity stake in the site

* The company would lease the site to AUT to operate a tertiary campus
* AUT would pay a commercial lease rental plus an equity contribution annually

* There would be no direct impact on rates
ENDS

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