Unitec has made a submission to the Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan Process outlining a long-term vision for our existing Mt. Albert campus.
Unitec believes Auckland can be the world’s most liveable city, and we are committed to meeting the needs of our businesses and employers with work-ready graduates. We are also committed to making a positive contribution in our local communities.
To meet the changing needs of our learners and our city, we want to develop a new education hub for the 21st century. Concentrated in the southern end of our existing 53.5 hectare block, the hub will offer a highly flexible and technology-enabled teaching and learning environment, further connect our students to their future workplaces, and enable future generations of young people to move into high quality work and develop new business ventures.
A dedicated commercial and enterprise exchange will bring businesses and employers into the education hub, allowing more of our students to collaborate with future employers on real-world projects. The Concentrix and IBM Delivery Centre on our existing Mt. Albert campus is a great example of this, and as well as benefiting from paid employment, many of our students have had the opportunity to integrate their learning with IBM’s business activities. Increasing the presence of businesses and employers in our education hub will ensure that more of our students move into rewarding jobs when they graduate. It will also generate more jobs and income for Aucklanders.
The education hub will be part of the proposed Wairaka Precinct, a vibrant community space with highly accessible public parks and recreation facilities, enhanced green spaces, improved access to Oakley Creek, and a network of walk ways and cycle paths. The Precinct would vastly improve connectivity between Mt. Albert and Pt. Chevalier with Carrington Road transformed into an urban boulevard with improved public transport links. Land would also become available to tackle the housing shortage, one of Auckland’s most pressing issues.
As well as benefiting the local community, these changes will ensure that more of our investment goes into high quality education rather than building and grounds maintenance. Currently we are operating from 177 buildings spread over 53.5 hectares, making it extremely difficult to effectively use modern teaching methods and technology. Many of these buildings are not fit for purpose and in some cases are very expensive to maintain. It will also allow us to address the seismic risks associated with some of our older buildings.
We are excited about the future of our Mt. Albert campus and are already working closely with key people and groups from our local community - including local boards, MPs, schools, environmental and heritage groups, and business and residents associations – to ensure we create a vibrant and lively place that benefits everyone. We will be providing further opportunities for community engagement as we move through the planning process and as part of that we are currently establishing a Community Liaison Group.