A brief history of Tāmaki Campus

Cricket at Colin Maiden Park overlooking the Tamaki estuary.


Since its establishment in 1883, debate about the permanent location of Auckland University College had raged. With this in mind, 120 acres of farmland overlooking the Tāmaki estuary and shadowed by Mt Wellington is purchased for 14,200 pounds in 1944.


University Park, a 40 acre sports complex, is opened in 1978. It consists of five rugby fields, two soccer fields, three cricket pitches, two hockey fields, a softball diamond, an athletic track and a clubhouse. Over 10,000 native trees and shrubs are planted. Following the registration of Vice-Chancellor Sir Colin Maiden in 1994, the facility is renamed Colin Maiden Park.

Pohutukawa trees at Colin Maiden Park.
The 1990 Commonwealth Games Athletes Village.


Tāmaki is used as the site for the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village for the 1990 Commonwealth Games held in Auckland.


Teaching commences at Tāmaki at the beginning of 1991. It is originally expected that the starting date would be 1992, however pressure for places on the “Princes Street campus” is so great that it is brought forward. Buildings purchased from the Commonwealth Games Company are used to accommodate the first influx of 200 commerce students.

The first graduates of the Tamaki Campus.
The plaque commenorating the opening of the Tamaki Campus by the Hon Lockwood Smith, Ministry of Education.


The University of Auckland Tāmaki Campus is officially opened by the Hon Lockwood Smith, Minister of Education on 2 April 1993. In attendance are Auckland Mayor Les Mills and Manukau Mayor Barry Curtis, with the opening preceded by a dawn ceremony at which representatives of Ngati Whatua, Ngati Paoa, Tainui and other tribes bless the buildings. Also making themselves known are 50 students protesting against user-pays policies and chanting for the minister to resign during his 10-minute speech.


Between 1991 and 1994, five brand new academic buildings (commonly referred to as the “I” buildings) and two standalone large lecture theatres are constructed at Tāmaki. In 1993, Arts and Science courses are added to the already taught Commerce subjects. By 1997, the total number of enrolled students is 5,316 including a strong postgraduate contingent.

The Tamaki Campus duing the construction of the "I" buildings.
Gym member and training at the Unisports Training Centre.


During 1999 the UniSports Training Centre, located in Colin Maiden Park, is completed. It provides an indoor teaching and training venue for the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, and also houses the new Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre.


The 724, 735 (gravel carparks) and 740 platforms are prepared and the ring road completed. Building 740 (Ray Meyer Research Centre) is built, and houses the Centre for Composite Materials, the Plastics Centre of Excellence and Wine Science.

Building 740, the Ray Meyer Research Centre.
Building 730 during its construction.


Construction of Building 730 is completed in 2004 and the School of Population Health moves in. Previously housed in various locations, the School enjoys the advantages that co-location brings. Also in Building 730 is the University of Auckland Clinics which is a public facility and provides students with clinical experience as part of their training.


In 2002, the University of Auckland signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Landcare Research. By 2004, Landcare has built an experimental sustainable building on the Tāmaki Campus. Landcare has a close relationship with the University’s Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity and a Joint Graduate School is established.

The Landcare Research building during its construction.
The Prime Ministry Helen Clark visits Tamaki Campus to announce that the goverment pledges $25 million for a national science park.


The government pledges $25 million for a national science park, the proposed New Zealand Innovation Centre. The University of Auckland and Auckland City Council both pledge land and research facilities. The objective is to grow exports of resident high-tech businesses via R&D and business growth programmes. In 2009, the incoming National government takes the funding back as savings and the plans for the Centre falter.


In 2011, a much needed state-of-the-art Library and Information Commons is opened in Building 730, transforming the Atrium area. The Library has previously been housed in a left-over Commonwealth Games Village building which over the years suffered water leaks, burglaries and a fire!

The new state-of-the-art Tamaki Library.
The Data Centre during its construction.


A Data Centre is constructed at Tāmaki in 2012 and commissioned in 2013. It complements the University data centres located at the Owen G Glen building on the City Campus and at the Grafton Campus.


The University of Auckland Council confirms that the acquisition of the 5.2ha former Lion brewery site in Newmarket will proceed, effective 31 May 2013. The University signals that it plans to sell the Tāmaki Campus and that groups at Tāmaki will move to either the City, Grafton and Newmarket campuses. In January 2014, the University enters into an agreement to transfer Colin Maiden Park to Auckland Council. In April 2016, the University announces the sale of the Tāmaki Campus to a property investment company.

The walkway through the middle of the Tamaki Innovation Campus.
The Atrium of Building 730 outside the Tamaki Library.


In 2017, the following groups are represented at the Tāmaki Campus:

Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Anaesthesiology (Simulation Centre for Patient Safety), School of Population Health, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori

Faculty of Science
Biological Sciences (Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour), Exercise Sciences, Psychology (Speech Science)

The University of Auckland Clinics
Health & Performance, Hearing and Tinnitus, Nutrition and Dietetics, Optometry, Psychology and Speech Language Therapy

Conectus and National Institute of Health Innovation

Landcare Research
Landcare’s Auckland location includes the New Zealand Arthropod Collection, the EcoGene laboratory, and the Ministry of Primary Industries’ Investigation and Diagnostic Centre.