Karori campus

The information below and the accompanying documents provide an overview of decision-making related to Victoria University’s Karori campus.

Update from Victoria University on divestment of Karori campus

Victoria University’s process for divestment of its Karori campus is progressing steadily, with the University following the requirements of the Public Works Act.

As part of those requirements, the Ministry of Education (MoE) and Wellington City Council (WCC) have been asked to advise Victoria if they require any of the land for any alternate public use. Both agencies have stated they will advise Victoria of any such requirement by 16 March, 2017.

On Tuesday 7 February, Victoria received one such notification from the MoE in relation to the land at 25 and 29 Campbell Street (being the land on which Campbell Kindergarten and Karori Kids respectively are located).

We have acknowledged  and thanked the Ministry for its notification and confirmed that we will now work with MoE staff to transfer these two properties to the MoE under section 50 of the Public Works Act.

We very much welcome the decision by MoE to notify us that they would like the land occupied by the two child care centres to be transferred to the Ministry. We believe this is an excellent outcome for the Karori Community.

Grant Guilford, Vice-Chancellor

Message from the Vice-Chancellor

Hear about why and how Victoria University is disposing of the Karori campus from Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford.

Vice-Chancellor Grant Guilford debunks the myth around Karori campus having been acquired for $10.

Timeline for decisions on the Karori campus

Childcare centres located at Karori campus

Public Meeting—Date change to Monday 6 March

Victoria University will hold its next public meeting at our Karori campus at 5.30pm on Monday 6 March 2017.

Please note that this meeting date has changed from Tuesday 14 February.

The meeting will provide an opportunity for the University to let the community know about progress with divestment of the campus.

We have also invited other agencies with an interest in the campus to attend, including the Wellington City Council and the Ministry of Education.

We will continue to post information on this page about the next steps in the process.

    Karori campus update: December 2016

    On 29 August 2016, the Council of Victoria University declared the Karori campus surplus to the University’s requirements.

      Education Act Consent for Disposal

      On 30 August, the University requested consent from the Secretary for Education to dispose of the Karori campus. On 2 December, the Ministry of Education (MoE) advised Victoria University that it had granted this consent. MOE advised Victoria on 7 December that this approval could be announced publicly.

      Alternative public use

      In September 2016, MOE and Wellington City Council (WCC) were requested to advise the University by 16 December if they required any of the land (including the sites of Karori Kids and the Campbell Kindergarten) for any alternative public use.

      MoE has indicated it does not intend to acquire the land on which the early childhood centres are sited. However, MoE has not ruled out lodging an interest in some of the campus land for additional educational capacity in Karori.

      The WCC has advised Victoria University that it may have a requirement for some parts of the site (although not the land on which the two child care centres are located).

      We have advised MoE and WCC that we will offer an extension of the decision-making timeframe for the specific areas of the site that are of most interest to the community as both entities have indicated that they might have a requirement for the site and need further time to confirm this.

      This extension covers the tennis courts and the area of the site immediately surrounding Karori Normal School. The extension is designed to provide more time for public agencies to clarify their alternative public work requirements.

      We have also advised Karori Kids and Campbell Kindergarten that we will not begin the process of offering back the land they occupy to original owners until mid-February, giving them time to have discussions with MoE and the Minister of Education about their future. This offer-back process is legally required under the Public Works Act.

      Early childhood centres

      Victoria University understands the concern and uncertainty felt by staff and parents of children at Karori Kids and Campbell Kindergarten.

      Since August, Victoria has been working closely with MoE and WCC about the future of the campus, including the two early childhood centres.

      The University has also had regular and ongoing dialogue with both early childhood centres this year.

      Community engagement

      The University has had regular community meetings and engagement with groups and individuals in Karori who have facilities on the campus or who use the facilities on the campus.

      To the extent possible given our obligations under the Public Works Act, the University is committed to working with Karori Kids and Campbell Kindergarten to enable their continuity in a manner that is fair to them and to the other early child care service providers in Karori. As the outcome of the offer back process under the Public Works Act is not yet known, it is premature to speculate on what the resolution may be.

      The University has maintained regular contact with representatives of both early childhood centres. And is hosting a meeting with the Wellington Kindergarten Association, which represents Campbell Kindergarten, on Friday 9 December and with Karori Kids on 13 December.

      We very much appreciate the community’s continued watch over the campus to reduce the risk of vandalism and to alert us to health and safety issues. You can report these via phone (0800 VIC 8888) or email (FM-admin@vuw.ac.nz).

      Next public meeting

      The University held a community meeting in Karori in September and will hold its next community meeting in February 2017.

      Earthquake update

      You may also be interested to know that we have offered use of the Karori buildings to businesses and organisations looking for temporary office space after the November earthquake. At the time of sending this message no specific arrangements have been made.

      Next steps

      Victoria University now needs to follow a comprehensive process, which is expected to take between 12 and 24 months. This programme includes obtaining formal Government approval to dispose of the campus, discharging our responsibilities under the Public Works Act, completing all legal requirements and taking into account the needs of stakeholders and the Karori community.

      Victoria will now begin discussions with the Wellington City Council and the Ministry of Education about community needs. We are also communicating directly with the two child care facilities who are located on the Karori campus and with other groups in the community.

      Recreational facilities

      Recreational facilities at the campus will continue to be available for community use until at least October 2017. There may be costs for using some of the facilities. Booking enquiries should be made by emailing victoriaclubs@vuw.ac.nz.

      Find out more

      The information below and the accompanying documents provide an overview of decision-making related to Victoria University’s Karori campus.

      Read the report that informed Victoria’s decision on Karori campus

      The decision to declare the Karori campus surplus to requirements followed an independent strategic review of the campus by PwC completed in August 2016 and able to be viewed below.

      Council members were advised in the report that if a decision was made to declare the property surplus, a number of matters would need further consideration.

      A covering memo to Council members from the University’s senior leadership staff also noted that the University is very conscious of the wider community interest in the campus and that there were potential future public use options that need to be explored.

      Some material in the PwC report has been removed because of its commercially sensitive nature.


      Community meetings

      Tuesday 26 April

      Victoria University and the Karori Association jointly hosted a community meeting In Karori to discuss the future of Victoria’s Karori campus.

      Thursday 15 September

      Victoria University held a public meeting for people and organisations in Karori community to ask questions about the decision.

      Download the notes from these community meetings.

      Treaty settlements and the Karori campus

      There are no outstanding Treaty settlements that could require the Karori campus land to be retained for Treaty settlement purposes, and the land is not subject to Right of First Refusal (RFR) under existing Treaty settlement legislation.

      However, whilst there is no statutory RFR on the land, Victoria University has been in discussions with the iwi of Wellington—Taranaki Whanui—through their Chief Executive Jason Fox, keeping them informed of developments. The University has also held many wider discussions regarding the sale with other Māori interests.

      The Kaupapa and Mauri of Ako Pai Marae were acknowledged and brought to Victoria’s Kelburn campus at a ceremony held on 12 August 2016.