Building begins for landmark University of Waikato development ‘The Pa’


$85m boost to the Waikato region and 500 jobs over the next two years

The University of Waikato is starting to build its landmark development The Pa, a new facility for students, staff and the community in the heart of its Hamilton campus.

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor, Professor Neil Quigley, says The Pa will transform the on-campus experience and enhance the Waikato region’s reputation as an attractive destination for education.

“The concept for The Pa was developed well before Covid-19 and based on the assumption that the on-campus experience for future students would involve greater emphasis on social learning and collaboration, and less emphasis on large format lectures,” Professor Quigley says.

“Moving forward with our vision of a collaborative, interactive and flexible learning environment, the construction of The Pa has been made even more important by the major changes in teaching and learning that are occurring at the University of Waikato and at universities around the world.

“The Pa will provide a high-tech, adaptable space that will enhance student learning outcomes, promote social learning, and grow the sense of community that exists across the University,” Professor Quigley says.

The Pa is situated on 7200 sq m, and will include a social, cultural and learning hub, food outlets, offices, a space for community events and performances, and a new University marae.

The complex will also create a main entrance to the University’s Hamilton campus from Hillcrest Road, and enhance accessibility to the rest of the campus.

Hawkins regional manager Peter McCawe says his team is excited to work on the project.

“Hawkins is proud to continue its relationship with the University of Waikato, having built the University’s award-winning Tauranga CBD campus last year.

“Like the Tauranga campus, The Pa’s design is stunning. It is a pleasure for our team to be part of building something that will be a landmark in Hamilton city.”

The building project will provide a major boost to the Waikato region, creating an estimated 500 jobs across the Hawkins team and other local subcontractors, consultants and suppliers over the two-year construction period.

Designed in consultation with students, staff and community, The Pa is the largest capital works project in the University’s history.

The project is scheduled for completion in around mid-2022.

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