A new signature building for the University of Waikato isn’t a sure bet yet – although there are already three suggested concepts.
Estimates are that a marae and multicultural complex could add up to around $60 million but it wouldn’t happen fast.
Three concepts for a complex on the site of the old law school prefabs have been shown to the university and Maori communities. …
University chancellor Jim Bolger asked if there were financial parameters in place “or are we still in starry-eyed optimism?”
Quigley explained that a project of this scale could cost around $60m.
“Last time I saw [chief financial officer] Andrew [McKinnon]’s balance sheets he didn’t have $60m,” Bolger said.
“He may have a bottom drawer that he hasn’t told me about.”
The university could have the necessary funds in a few years’ time, with some borrowing, McKinnon said.
A marae complex idea won support from council member Richard Jeffries and he said the Kingitanga was also keen to see an upgrade.
“For the university that has by far and away the largest proportion of Maori students and Pasifika … I think it’s a really important kaupapa for us.”
It is important universities have come space and buildings set aside where students can gather. But $60 million for such a facility seems obscenely large.