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Further funding secured for Tauranga CBD campus

Joint Media Release

Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust

Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Tauranga City Council

Further funding secured for Tauranga CBD campus

For immediate release: Thursday 24 July 2014

The prospect of a new, purpose-built shared tertiary campus has now moved closer with the announcement of up to $15 million funding from the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust to expand Tertiary Education in Tauranga.

The funding joins that previously announced by Bay of Plenty Regional Council of up to $15 million through its Regional Infrastructure Fund, the donation of land in the Tauranga CBD on Durham Street from Tauranga City Council, and financial support from the University of Waikato.

The campus is proposed by the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership, which is made up of four tertiary institutions - Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, Waiariki Institute of Technology and the University of Waikato. The campus is expected to attract more young people, particularly Māori, into tertiary education.

At its most recent Board meeting the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT) has confirmed that funding of $15 million will be provided to expand Tertiary Education in Tauranga.

The release of funding from all parties will be subject to a number of conditions designed to maximise the project’s benefit to the city and wider region.

TECT Chairperson Michael Cooney said “88 percent of TECT Consumers who took part in TECTs survey supported the expansion of tertiary education in the City. There is plenty of work still to do but this is exciting progress. Trustees are currently negotiating with the University of Waikato to establish courses in Tauranga which build on and develop the strengths of our local economy. We are looking to establish, initially, unique offerings in limited areas which will provide students with good employment prospects.”

Critical to further progress will be Government support through the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) of student numbers.

“Our Community is stumping up with a lot of community funds to support what is supported in other areas by Government funding. It is right that government at least provide a commitment towards the growth in student numbers,” Mr Cooney said.

Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor John Cronin said it was terrific to see further investment being made into the project.

“Attracting and retaining young people to the Bay of Plenty is crucial to develop employment, education, and business opportunities here,” Mr Cronin said. “This campus is one of the most significant developments to happen in the region in the past 25 years and is a huge step towards making that growth happen.”

The Regional Infrastructure Fund is providing up to $15 million towards the construction of stage one, a new purpose-built campus by 2016. Following that, stage two will see a second building on the campus by 2022.

Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said the TECT announcement was a generous and significant contribution to the collaborative project that will provide positive and long lasting benefits to the city centre, the wider city and the region.

“Tauranga City Council made a decision through our annual plan process to provide a site on Durham Street to be used to develop the new university campus. This followed consultation that showed strong community support for the project. The elected members see this as a game changer for the city and our community,” he said.

It’s expected that following the development of the campus, 8000 tertiary students will study in the Bay of Plenty over a 17 year period.

It’s hoped that over its two stages of construction, the tertiary shared campus will provide more than $49 million in direct construction expenditures, $47 million in flow-on effects for suppliers and households, an estimated 427 construction jobs, and 272 tertiary operations jobs.


What is the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership?

Made up of the University of Waikato, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and Waiariki Institute of Technology, the partnership has plans to construct a new, purpose-built shared tertiary campus in the Tauranga CBD on Durham Street.


What is the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT)?

TECT (Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust) was formed in December 1993 and is now one of New Zealand’s largest energy trusts. TECT’s income and capital is used to provide benefits to Consumers during the term of the Trust. TECT’s "Consumers" (approximately 60,000) are TrustPower account holders basically in Tauranga City and the Western Bay of Plenty District.

TECT’s income is mostly derived from its 103,878,838 shares, representing 33% in the capital of TrustPower Limited. This investment is worth approximately $670 million (at 31 March 2014).

In the past 20 years, TECT has returned millions of dollars back to Consumers and the Community, supporting thousands of people and good projects throughout its District.


What is the Regional Infrastructure Fund (RIF)?

A contestable fund to support and promote economic development in the Bay of Plenty. The fund is a commitment made in the Regional Council’s Ten Year Plan 2012-22.

• Provides additional capital funding to assist in the development of major infrastructure projects that support sustainable regional economic development.

• The aim is to help accelerate infrastructure projects, improve outcomes and quality of projects and/or increase the scope of projects.

• A total of up to $40.5 million in funding was awarded for four projects:

- An Innovation Centre at Scion’s Innovation Park in Rotorua (up to $2.5m);

- A shared tertiary campus in Tauranga (up to $15m);

- A Harbour Marine Precinct for Tauranga City (up to $5m);

- The Opotiki Harbour Transformation (up to $18m).

© Scoop Media

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