17 January 2020
Laidlaw announces new campus purchase
The Laidlaw College Foundation (the Foundation) has finalised an agreement with Panuku Development Auckland (Panuku) to purchase part of Auckland Council’s campus in Henderson, marking the start of a collaborative relationship between two local organisations committed to the growth and rejuvenation of Henderson.
The agreement will advance Panuku’s Unlock Henderson urban regeneration programme, boosting numbers and business in the town centre significantly, while enabling development around the train station and sparking further regeneration in Henderson.
The sale includes two buildings and some land. It excludes the Council Chamber, which will remain as a community hub for shared use to enable the continuation of local democracy.
Laidlaw College Chair Graham Burt says the sale is part of a long-term vision and that the Foundation is committed to remaining and investing in the Henderson area.
“Laidlaw College looks forward to working with Panuku to begin planning for our move to this important central community site in two to three years. Laidlaw College was established nearly 100 years ago, and we have a history steeped in the community. As an existing and valued member of Henderson, we are committed to remaining and contributing to the renewal of the area,” says Burt.
Both entities agree this will create significant value, including increasing investment and improvements to the site and the surrounding area, as well as lifting the vibrancy and safety of the area while positively impacting the local economy. The sale will also generate additional funding for Auckland Council.
Waitakere Ward Councillor Linda Cooper says the sale is expected to contribute to local economic growth while ensuring access to council is retained at a local, community level.
“There is vast potential in Henderson to increase the number of people living and working near the town centre - with this we project a natural increase in economic activity in the area, boosting local businesses, communities and the area as a whole.
“I’m pleased and relieved the Civic Building is being kept in public ownership. This building serves the community, providing a place where the local board and community connect, meet and celebrate special occasions. We think of it as our Town Hall.”
Burt says that Laidlaw College has a strong, positive relationship with Maori through its Rūnanga (Maori Council) and is committed to continuing and growing this connection. Its Rūnanga will make use of the community space in the Civic Building for its hui and community marae.
Rūnanga Chair, Brad Haami says: “Te Rūnanga o te Wānanga Amorangi - Māori Council of Laidlaw College - supports the decision by the National Governing Council to transition the Foundation to new premises. TeRūnanga looks forward to moving into this next phase of the Foundation’s life with the outlook of maintaining the legacy of those many Māori elders who launched their ministries from here. With this shift, Te Rūnanga welcomes a much deeper bi-cultural journey for the College with iwi Māori me ngā hunga whakapono Māori.”
The sale marks the start of a journey which will eventually see Laidlaw College move its Henderson campus at 80 Central Park Drive to 2-6 Henderson Valley Road sometime after 2022. Laidlaw College and the Council will communicate with its various stakeholders, including employees and students, at key stages of the planning process but stress it will be some time before any changes occur.
“The earliest we anticipate we will move our Henderson college is the start of 2022, or even 2023. Laidlaw College and Panuku look forward to working together to begin planning for the development of this important central community site,” says Burt.
Panuku has worked closely with Auckland Council on the sale to ensure it aligns with council’s Corporate Property office strategy.
The sale includes the Administration building and Central One plus the adjacent land surrounding these two buildings, consisting of approximately 12,000m2 of offices on 2.37 hectares.
As well as the Civic Building, the sale excludes the Japanese garden, City Rail Link land and internal road and greenway (currently under construction).
There will be no changes to current occupancy situation for either organisation in the short to mid-term. The Council has put in motion plans to relocate staff to the new workspace located in Albany, with a leaseback arrangement in place until the new building is ready. The service centre and Henderson-Massey Local Board will remain in Henderson, moving into the Civic Building in due course.