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University campus to boost Counties Manukau

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand
Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister for Tertiary Education

3 July 2008 Media Statement
Embargoed to 9.45am
University campus to boost Counties Manukau

A new university campus in Counties Manukau, to be opened in 2009, was announced by the Prime Minister Helen Clark and Tertiary Education Minister Hodgson today.

Situated in the heart of Manukau City near the Rainbow’s End park, the new campus will be developed at the site of the former Carter Holt Harvey headquarters, which has been purchased by Auckland University of Technology (AUT) with a $25 million capital investment from the government.

Speaking at the site, Helen Clark said the campus would increase opportunities to study at tertiary level in the Counties-Manukau area.

“Counties Manukau is home to New Zealand’s largest and fastest growing population of under-25 year olds, a high proportion of whom are Maori and Pacific school leavers.

“Young people in this area deserve every opportunity to realise their career aspirations. A university campus in the heart of this community is an important step towards making that happen,” Helen Clark said.

“AUT will now work with the community, local businesses, industry, and other stakeholders to ensure that the courses offered at the campus meet the region’s growing skills needs and the aspiration of its young people.

“AUT is to be commended for promoting this initiative. It has secured a site and buildings which are well-suited to becoming a university campus and are virtually ready to use. AUT’s strength in advancing undergraduate education among Maori and Pacific students makes it well positioned to deliver university education in Counties Manukau,” Helen Clark said.


AUT at Counties Manukau Factsheet

The site

• The new AUT Campus is situated at 640 Great South Rd. The site was formerly home to Carter Holt Harvey’s Manukau headquarters.

• The 7.8ha site is close to the expanding Manukau CBD and its facilities and services.

• Buildings required very little retro-fitting or refurbishment for immediate use as a general teaching campus and a university research and innovation centre

• Present capacity for teaching is 1,000 to 1,500 EFTS. Additional buildings could expand this to 6,000 -10,000 EFTS

• The Government has contributed a Capital Grant of $25 million to AUT to purchase the site.

The campus

• The campus is expected to deliver limited programmes to approximately 190 EFTS from 2009. It is expected to be fully up and running by 2014. By then it will be delivering programmes to 1,000 EFTS.

• From 2009 the Early Childhood – Pasifika programme will transfer onto the campus from AUT’s leased premises in the Manukau CBD. The midwifery programme with Counties Manukau District Health Board will establish a base on the campus.

• The AUT Tech Park business incubator, technology transfer activities, and some research institutes will move from Penrose as soon as facilities are available.

• The full range of programmes to be delivered will be decided in close consultation with the Counties Manukau community and by existing providers especially the Manukau Institute of Technolgy, Te Wananga O Aotearoa and various private tertiary providers.

• The campus is expected to increase access to university study for Counties Manukau’s large student population in its 21 decile 1-4 schools.


• Local civic and education leaders have been focused on bringing more comprehensive undergraduate and postgraduate education and training to New Zealand’s fastest growing city for some time.

• If current and forecast economic needs are to be met, increased tertiary education and training across a range of levels is needed in Counties Manukau. The biggest gap is in university education.

• Establishing a university campus in Counties Manukau is seen as making an important contribution to achieving two specific goals of the Tertiary Education Strategy:

1. More New Zealanders achieving qualifications at level four and above by age 25
2. Increase the achievement at degree and postgraduate levels of under-represented groups, especially Maori and Pacific students.


• Counties Manukau has one of New Zealand’s largest and fastest growing urban populations.

• The region is home to 10 per cent of New Zealand’s population, and 30 per cent of the Auckland region’s population.

• By 2014, the population of Counties Manukau is expected to exceed half a million people.

• Over 50 per cent of the Counties Manukau population is of Maori, Pacific or Asian ethnicity.

• Two-thirds of New Zealand’s Pacific population live in the Auckland region – and half of these people live in Counties Manukau.

Young population

• Counties Manukau’s 15 to 24 year old population is large and growing. At present 40 per cent of its population is under 25.

• In 2006, Counties Manukau was home to 67,000 young people, this is expected to grow to 74,000 in 2014 i.e. Counties Manukau will have an estimated 12 per cent of the nation’s 15 to 24 year olds.

• Almost half of the Auckland region’s young Pacific population live in Manukau city.

• Counties Manukau is home to 44 per cent of the Auckland region’s young Maori.

• By 2014 – when the university campus will be fully functioning – 42 per cent of Counties Manukau’s population aged 15 to 24 will be Maori or Pacific, compared to 24 per cent for the rest of the country.

Student population

• Research suggests a large gap between implied demand for university level education and supply in Counties Manukau (based on a 2006 Ministry of Education study on participation rates)

• 2.6 per cent of the Counties Manukau population is in tertiary education, compared with the national average of 6.1 per cent.

• Enrolments in bachelor’s degrees are an eighth of the national average.

• The number of Counties Manukau school leavers with university entrance is rising (1,404 in 2003 to 1,581 in 2007).


• AUT is already working with students from low decile school in Counties Manukau to raise their aspirations for tertiary study, and to encourage the students to succeed academically at school through its 19 outreach programmes.

• Since 2004, when AUT started its 19 outreach programmes, the number of students from decile 1 to 4 enrolling in AUT’s undergraduate degrees has increased by 54 per cent, from 244 students to 376 students.

• Enrolment trends in AUT’s Māori and Pacific EFTS:

- Māori students have moved strongly from being predominantly in pre-degree studies to mainly in degree studies i.e. Māori EFTS total increased by 9% between 2003 and 2007.

- Pacific students have also moved strongly from being predominantly in pre-degree studies to being in degree studies i.e. Pacific EFTS total increased by 25 per cent between 2003 and 2007.

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