Unitec Institute of Technology

Unitec Institute of Technology (Māori: Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka) is the largest institute of technology in Auckland, New Zealand. 16,844 students[1] study programmes from certificate to postgraduate degree level (levels 1 to 9) across a range of subjects.

Unitec Institute of Technology
Unitec Institute of Technology logo.svg
Chief ExecutiveMerran Davis
Students15,420 EFTS (2015) [1]

The main campus is situated in Mt Albert while a secondary Waitākere campus is situated in Henderson and there are various pop-ups throughout the North Shore. It also offers programs overseas.


Unitec Mt Albert campus, Carrington Road
Unitec Waitākere campus in Henderson

Unitec was founded as Carrington Technical Institute in 1976 on the Mt Albert site on Carrington road, which has 55 hectares of grounds. The area on which Unitec's main campus is located was formerly home to the Whau Lunatic Asylum, later known as Carrington Hospital. The hospital building (Building 1) is an imposing brick Italianate-Romanesque structure, located at the northern end of the Unitec Campus. The hospital building was the largest in New Zealand when it was built in the 1860s. The hospital was decommissioned during the early 1990s, and the building is now part of Unitec.

The name changed to Carrington Polytechnic in 1987 and then to "Unitec Institute of Technology" in 1994. Unitec applied for University status in 1999, but the Government ruled, somewhat controversially, in 2005 that Unitec did not meet the academic criteria of a university and would remain an Institute of Technology.[2]

In 2006, Unitec opened its Waitakere Campus in the centre of Henderson, West Auckland. The campus is a joint development with the former Waitakere City Council and includes the new Waitākere Central Library. Unitec's Waitakere campus offers introductory computing, community development, and nursing courses.[3]

In August 2011, Unitec opened a campus in Albany, on Auckland's North Shore, but it was closed in December 2016.[4] On 1 April 2020, Unitec Institute of Technology was subsumed into New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology alongside the 15 other Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs).[5]

In July 2018 Unitec made the news after revealing deficits totaling nearly $100 million over four years and prompting the Education Minister Chris Hipkins to consider interventions.[6] It was not alone by September 2018 there were four of the country's polytechnics at a high financial risk with 10 making deficits and none were expected to make the surplus that the government required.[7] In 2019 a major restructure across the polytechnic sector was announced.[8]

Campus librariesEdit

There are three libraries across the two campuses:[9]

  • Mt Albert, Te Puna Library
  • Mt Albert, Building 1 Library
  • Waitakere Campus Library


Unitec Forum of the Future 2011
Voice class – Unitec 2015

Study areasEdit

  • Animal Health, Management and Welfare
  • Architecture: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design and Landscaping and Garden Design
  • Arts: Art and Design (Graphic Design and Animation, Photography, Product and Furniture Design, Visual Arts), Performing Arts and Screen Arts (Acting, Contemporary Dance, Costume Design, Lighting and Sound, Props and Art Department)
  • Bridging Education: Study and Career Preparation
  • Business: Accounting and Finance, Digital Marketing, Management (Operations and Human Resources), Marketing, and Real Estate
  • Computing and Information Technology: Business Intelligence, Computer Networks, Cloud Computing, Cyber security, Game Development, Internet of Things, Software Engineering
  • Conservation and Biodiversity Management
  • Construction: Construction Management, Quantity Surveying, Property Development, Construction Supervision
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Education Studies
  • Engineering: Automotive, Civil, Electrical and Electronics, and Land Surveying
  • Healthcare: Nursing and Medical Imaging
  • Language Studies – Teaching English, Interpreting, English (as an additional language), IELTS, and Māori
  • Policing
  • Social Work and Community Development
  • Sport, Exercise and Recreation: Exercise, Sport Coaching, and Community Sport and Recreation
  • Supported Learning
  • Trades: Automotive Engineering, Building and Carpentry, Electrical, Fabrication, Welding, Mechanical, Plumbing, Gasfitting, and Drainlaying
  • Veterinary Nursing


Unitec teaches over 128 courses ranging from Short Courses to master's degrees.

The emphasis in all learning areas is for a lot of practical (hands-on) learning as well as theoretical learning. This differs from the traditional model of university-level tuition, which is predominantly theory. For example, the Introduction to Policing course is delivered in partnership with the New Zealand Police.[10] Also, the School of Computing Science has an industry internship program with IBM, which includes the IBM Center at the Mt Albert (Carrington) Campus.[11]


  1. ^ "Participation/Participation Rates". Education Counts. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  2. ^ Dye, Stuart (11 August 2005). "Unitec set to fight Government denial of varsity status". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Waitākere campus | Unitec". Unitec. Retrieved 23 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "Unitec to close Albany campus, remain on the Shore". Unitec. 30 August 2016.
  5. ^ Kenny, Lee (29 October 2019). "Wanted: 'Sophisticated' leader to head NZ's mega polytech". Stuff. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Unitec in 'extreme financial difficulty'". Stuff. 4 July 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  7. ^ "Majority of polytechnics and tech institutes in financial trouble". RNZ. 30 September 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Government confirms major overhaul of polytechnics, apprenticeships". RNZ. 1 August 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Campus maps | About Us | Unitec".
  10. ^ Junn, Jihee (12 October 2018). "The course that's building a more diverse police service, and why it's so important". The Spinoff. Retrieved 23 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ Pullar-Strecker, Tom (19 August 2014). "Unitec-IBM centre beats target". Stuff. Retrieved 23 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

Coordinates: 36°52′40″S 174°42′28″E / 36.87778°S 174.70778°E / -36.87778; 174.70778