Waikato University says a new report showing it pumps $8 million and 40 jobs into the Bay economy highlights the massive benefits that will arise from a downtown campus in Tauranga.

Deputy vice-chancellor Professor Alister Jones said the economic impact report for 2013 highlighted the potential benefits of a University of Waikato-led campus in the central city.

However, while millions of dollars in funding was available for the campus, a suitable proposal was yet to be put forward.

In August last year, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council announced it had allocated $15m of the $30m needed to build the campus.


The other $15m was expected to come from the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT).

But TECT chairman Michael Cooney said the ball was in the university's court.

He said no decision had been made about funding for the downtown campus.

"We are still engaged in conversation with the regional council and Waikato University about the type of campus we would invest in."

He said for the money invested, the trustees wanted to make sure Tauranga and Bay of Plenty students received the best options available.

TECT trustees and the regional council had a number of expectations, which were presented to the university in a meeting in December.

"We are still waiting for a response from them."

Mr Cooney said the trustees were still enthusiastic about the project.


"Once we have a proposal that meets our expectations, then we can progress."

Professor Jones said that, since the August funding decision, the university had continued to work positively with other organisations in the region.

"The University of Waikato has had a presence in Tauranga for more than a decade and we consider it an important part of our organisation," he said.

"The economic impact report shows Bay of Plenty region benefits by more than $8m from current university operations and it is clear a dedicated campus would provide a much larger boost than this."

The campus was planned to be built in Durham St, on the carparks opposite the old Bay of Plenty Times buildings. Grants from the regional council and TECT were an essential step in getting a fully fledged campus for Tauranga. The campus was a joint initiative of the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership, which included the university and the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

The first two stages, costing about $30m, were for two buildings at least five storeys high to house 1000 equivalent fulltime students.