Ground work got underway at the site of the new Tauranga university campus this week.
Local iwi performed a blessing for safe work on the site on March 10 and work has since begun.
Waikato University senior deputy vice-chancellor professor Alister Jones said the next two or three months would be spent preparing the site for construction.
Trees had to come down and the bank had to be cut into to level the site, he said.
Mr Jones said it was important to get the ground work started in autumn so construction could begin as soon as the contract was let which would happen in the next couple of months.