New academic opportunities for locals have been signalled by a partnership between the University of Waikato and Napier City Council.

Yesterday University of Waikato vice-chancellor Professor Neil Quigley and assistant vice-chancellor Communications, Marketing and Engagement David Craig signed a memorandum of understanding with council chief executive Wayne Jack and Napier mayor Bill Dalton.

This will promote tertiary courses in specialist areas such as marine science, which would also benefit council with students involved in projects including the Ahuriri Estuary, Marine Parade, and the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

The areas both organisations share interests in and have agreed to work together on are economic development, the environment, high performance sport, water management and marine science.

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Mr Dalton said he was looking forward to seeing what came out of this collaboration.
"It's a great move for Napier and Hawke's Bay. Too many of our young people leave for further education or job opportunities and it's tough to coax them back, let alone given them reasons to stay in the first place," he said.

Mr Quigley said the MOU was the beginning of what they hoped would be a long-term relationship with the people of Hawke's Bay.

"The University of Waikato is excited about this opportunity and we look forward to working together with the Council and EIT to deliver education services, and collaborating with Council on a series of research projects that will benefit the whole community."

Yesterday Mr Dalton said there was a good relationship between EIT and the University.
The University has been given a space in the library building for up to three years. There is also the intention to establish a research centre, and an education, innovation, and entrepreneurship precinct for Napier.

The two organisations will be working to set up the new office in Napier and anticipates opening by the middle of this year.

Council Economic Development Manager James Rowe, who has worked on developing this relationship since early last year, said he expected the University to complement what was already offered at EIT Hawke's Bay, rather than compete.