Despite the significant impact of COVID-19 on the tertiary sector in the past three years, the University of Waikato’s Tauranga CBD Campus has continued to operate as a major tertiary destination for students while the surrounding campus and Knowledge Precinct have also continued to grow.
In the University's 2022 Tauranga Campus Annual Report, recently presented to the Tauranga Tertiary Campus Charitable Trust (who funded the initial build) showed the campus was progressing well on the key measures required as part of the funding conditions.
As well as new programme delivery, 2022 also saw the opening of other developments, such as new accommodation facilities, and a new research lab in the School of Science.
The development of facilities on land around the existing campus building is a critical component of the Knowledge Precinct and the funding agreement. The Knowledge Precinct is defined as the vicinity of Spring Street, Durham Street and Elizabeth Street east of Cameron Road, including the Bongard Centre.
The Bongard Centre, formerly the site of (then) Bay of Plenty Polytechnic’s business school, has been empty since  but was identified in 2015 as critical to achieving the shared vision for Tauranga and the Trust thru to Knowledge Precinct.
TECT CEO Wayne Werder says the Trust’s vision for the Knowledge Precinct remains as strong today as it was when it was first established in 2015.
“The University of Waikato’s Tauranga Campus was a much-needed asset for our city and the wider region to deliver current and future career pathways for local people and support the ongoing development of world-leading research, businesses and industries,” says Mr Werder.
“TECT has added to the growing Knowledge Precinct in the past 12 months, thru strategic investments in purchasing buildings in Durham St to future proof the supporting area – a core foundation of the original funding agreements for the CBD Campus.
“In just a few short years since the campus has been open, we have already seen the benefit of this physical presence, with Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty now firmly established as a critical research, learning and development centre.
“The ongoing growth and development of our inner-city Knowledge Precinct is critical to this – and key to that is securing the ownership of the Bongard Centre for further development so that we have a central and easily accessible learning hub, a concentration of education facilities and the ‘feeling’ of a campus in Tauranga – an important part of a modern, liveable city.
“As a founding funder, we’re pleased with the progress the University’s Tauranga Campus is making – despite the COVID challenges of recent years – and will continue to work alongside the University, our other Trust partners, Government and others to continue future-proofing and developing our inner-city Knowledge Precinct – essential if we are to continue to deliver appropriate outcomes for current and future generations,” says Mr Werder.
Tauranga Tertiary Campus Charitable Trust is made up of original funding partners Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT), as well as the University of Waikato and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic (now Toi Ohomai | Te Pūkenga).
The University of Waikato Tauranga CBD Campus Annual Report annual report is a requirement under the Trust’s funding agreement which helped establish the campus.