Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Fear over plans for Unitec

A proposed education hub for Unitec.
A proposed education hub for Unitec.

A Unitec lecturer and union representative has complained about development plans for the Mt Albert campus where he works, saying neither staff nor students were consulted.

Sid Aksoy, president of the Tertiary Education Union at Unitec and a furniture-making tutor, said people were upset about the way the announcement of possible changes had been handled last month.

"There has been a complete lack of consultation with the students, staff and wider community and the first time we found out about this was reading it in the Herald," Aksoy said.

"My fear is that if we lose the buildings we have, in the current landscape, that the new buildings will be inferior. This is the corporatisation of the education sector that's being spun to us as the future of education. People are afraid to say a word," he said.

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But Unitec chief executive Rick Ede said the organisation had been outspoken and transparent about plans and the scheme should come as no surprise.

For some years, Unitec had made it clear it had plans for the site and needed to become a 21st century physical teaching environment and so had to address "the high costs of maintaining the current campus layout and many of its buildings and also address the real seismic risk of some buildings", Ede said.

The 53.5ha campus was not suited to modern teaching methods where bigger spaces were needed and development plans meant 43.5ha of land only 20 minutes from the CBD would be opened up for commercial development.

See the Unitec plans, including maps here:


- NZ Herald

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