Manukau Institute of Technology Manukau Campus Hero

Manukau Institute of Technology Tertiary and Transport Exchange: stepping in to create a state-of-the-art, vocational learning facility and transport hub

Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) wished to invest in tomorrow today with its new Manukau Tertiary Centre. The campus was to be a state-of-the-art, vocational learning facility set in the heart of Manukau, which, alongside the University’s other campuses, would make education more accessible to the South Auckland community.

MIT partnered with Auckland Transport and Auckland Council to develop an integrated transport hub on the ground floor of the Manukau Tertiary Centre. The station would feature high-quality facilities, including a ticket office, with easy connections between trains and buses.

The construction of the building was originally awarded to Mainzeal Property and Construction (Mainzeal). Following the company’s collapse on Waitangi Day 2013, MIT looked to restart the contract and embarked on a new procurement process.

An agreed shortlist of contractors was compiled and the partially constructed building was tendered on a P&G and margin basis. A two-stage approach was requested: stage one was the definition of the scope of management services plus commencement of critical weather-tightness activities; stage two was the balance of contract works to completion to deliver.

Hawkins was announced as the successful construction partner to restart the project.

Manukau Institute of Technology and Auckland Transport’s aims: 

  • To finish the project Mainzeal had started in order to create a state-of-the-art, vocational learning facility in the centre of Manukau, which could be easily accessed by public transport. 

What we did:

This project was highly unusual, in that we stepped into it as main contractor due to Mainzeal’s collapse. Close working relationships and interaction with the wider project team comprising Warren and Mahoney, Holmes Consulting Group, Aurecon, WT Partnership and the client was crucial to its successful delivery.

MIT wanted to keep as many existing subcontractors on the project, so we formed a committee to support them. The vast majority were retained and continued with us.

When we inherited the project the building structure was incomplete and the roof was only partially constructed. Our first priority was to secure the façade and glazing in order to allow weather-proofing to advance.

MIT really needed to get the project completed by Semester 2, 2014 and so this required fast track progress.

Unique challenges:

The new building is situated above the Manukau railway station, which had to remain operational throughout the construction. This required careful planning and execution to minimise disruption.

Working above the station also posed engineering challenges which included:

  • large roof trusses spanning over the station
  • structure bridges hanging from the trusses on tension rods
  • cantilevered lobbies with tension rod supports.

The project team successfully worked through each of these, resulting in a successful outcome.

The outcome:

The new MIT campus combines its local knowledge with the latest in high-tech education. The world-class, environmentally-friendly building is fitted out with fast wireless technology and a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) system – the first in New Zealand – bringing the classroom to students’ laptops, tablets or smartphones.

A mix of closed, open and social study spaces throughout the building supports individual and group work. There are also specialist spaces including computer labs, media, hardware and network labs, project spaces and a business administration office.

With Manukau Station fully integrated within the campus, students benefit from rail and bus transport to the door, as well as access to a range of community facilities.


"The purpose of MIT is to get people into great jobs. We’re an educational institution that focuses on getting people into the job they want and that’s what this new building is going to be about," he says. "This hasn't been the easiest job but we have continued to work past those obstacles and are very pleased with the outcomes achieved as a result of the hard work and perseverance put into this project."

Dr. Peter Brothers

MIT Chief Executive