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Money Not Tagged for Bridge at All

Money Not Tagged for Bridge at All

Despite claims by the University to the contrary, the money it is planning to spend on an unnecessary bridge is not tagged or 'ring-fenced' to a bridge project.

The decision build a bridge started as part of the University of Otago's 125th celebrations in the early 1990s, which included large-scale fundraising campaign. The wish list included money for books, the Hocken Library, the Central Library atrium, the executive residence, and a 'new entranceway' - not simply or wholly a bridge.

"To justify spending money on an unnecessary bridge The University Council has often used the excuse that the money was donated exclusively for a bridge, but this is simply untrue."

Over $300,000 was raised for the entranceway (now $750,000 with interest). The 'Otago University Development Society', a fundraising trust that was run by the University, granted most of the money. This Society folded recently when the University set up the University of Otago Foundation. The project is currently budgeted to cost $2.5 million.

"The University want this bridge as a prestige symbol, this is unacceptable when debt burdened students will be footing most of the bill and when it is at the expense of other necessary areas of the University."

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