Massey University

Massey University (Māori: Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa) is a university based in Palmerston North, New Zealand, with significant campuses in Albany and Wellington. Massey University has approximately 30,883 students, 13,796 of whom are extramural or distance-learning students, making it New Zealand's second largest university when not counting international students. Research is undertaken on all three campuses, and more than 3,000 international students from over 100 countries study at the university.[4]

Massey University
Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa
MottoFloreat scientia
Motto in English
Let knowledge flourish
ChancellorMichael Ahie[1]
Vice-ChancellorJan Thomas
Academic staff
3,311 (2017)[2]
Students30,883 (2017)[3]
New Zealand
ColoursMassey triple colours

Massey University is the only university in New Zealand offering degrees in aviation, dispute resolution, veterinary medicine, and nanoscience. Massey's veterinary school is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association and is recognised in the United States, Australia, Canada, and Britain. Its agriculture programme is the highest-ranked in New Zealand, and 19th in Quacquarelli Symonds' (QS) world university subject rankings.[5] Massey's Bachelor of Aviation (Air Transport Pilot) is an internationally recognised and accredited qualification, is the first non-engineering degree to be recognised by the Royal Aeronautical Society (1998), and has ISO9001-2000 accreditation.


The New Zealand Agricultural College Act of 1926 established the sixth college of the University of New Zealand (UNZ) at Turitea, across the Manawatu River from Palmerston North City. It drew from the agriculture departments of Victoria University College in Wellington and Auckland University College.

In 1927 the college was renamed Massey Agricultural College after former New Zealand Prime Minister William Fergusson Massey, who died in 1925 and had been vigorous in land reform efforts. The Massey Agricultural College Committee first met on 1 February 1927, and the Batchelar property, near the present Turitea site, was purchased that June. The college was officially opened for tuition on 20 March 1928 by O. J. Hawkin. Women were admitted from 1932, with Enid Hills being the first.[6]

With the demise of the UNZ in 1961, it became Massey College, part of Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). In 1960 a branch of VUW was established in Palmerston North to teach students by distance education, known as extramural study. In 1963 this branch amalgamated with Massey College to form Massey University College of Manawatu, and on 25 September, the Massey University Act 1963 made it an independent university as Massey University of Manawatu, with its present name being adopted in 1966.

Inaugurated in 1993, classes began at Massey's Albany campus in 1994.[7]

In December 2010 Massey announced that the Wellington campus would close its School of Engineering and Advanced Technology the next month. Students were offered places at either the Albany or Manawatu campuses with compensation, but those who could not make the move and chose to undertake their degree elsewhere were given no compensation, and only a few papers were able to be cross-credited.[8]

The College of Health was launched in February 2013 [9] with three broad goals: promoting health and wellbeing, disease and injury prevention and protecting people and communities from environmental risks to health.

In December 2016, the Chancellor of the University, Chris Kelly, caused outrage by making several comments in a rural newspaper regarding the gender of those in the veterinarian profession. While outlining changes that were being made to the structure of the University's veterinarian and agricultural degrees, Kelly said that more women passed the first year of the veterinarian degree "because women mature earlier than men, work hard and pass. Whereas men find out about booze and all sorts of crazy things during their first year... That’s fine, but the problem is one woman graduate is equivalent to two-fifths of a full-time equivalent vet throughout her life because she gets married and has a family, which is normal." [10] These remarks caused widespread outrage,[11] with Kelly's apology via Twitter and Facebook doing little to calm the situation.[12] Kelly resigned as Chancellor on 14 December 2016, and was replaced promptly by then Pro Chancellor Michael Ahie.[13]

In August 2018 Don Brash, a former Leader of the Opposition, was due to speak at the university following an invitation of the Massey University Politics Society. Citing security concerns, Jan Thomas the then Vice Chancellor of Massey University, canceled the booking the student society had made to use university facilities.[14] Thomas was widely criticised[15][16] and calls made for her resignation.[17] The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern described canceling the event as an overreaction.[18]


Massey University has campuses in the Manawatu at Palmerston North, at Wellington (in the suburb of Mt Cook) and on Auckland's North Shore at Albany. In addition, Massey offers most of its degrees extramurally within New Zealand and internationally. It has the nation's largest business college. Research is undertaken on all three campuses.

New Zealand's first satellite, KiwiSAT is currently being designed and built by New Zealand Radio Amateurs with the support of Massey, especially in space environment testing.

Manawatu Campus

The Manawatu campus in Palmerston North is based at the Turitea site. The campus has around 9,000 students.[19]

The Turitea site houses the main administrative units of Massey University as well as the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Sciences, and the Business School. The Turitea site is home to the only Veterinary School in New Zealand. In 2013 the College of Education became the Institute of Education and is part of College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

In 2016, Massey University sold its Palmerston North-based Hokowhitu Campus.[20]

Albany Campus

Since 1993 the Auckland campus in Albany has grown rapidly in a fast developing part of Auckland's North Shore City. Science and Business are the two largest colleges on the campus with the College of Science housing the New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study solely on the campus. Around 7,000 students are enrolled at Albany.[21] This campus has grown since then and an on-campus accommodation facility opened in semester one 2015.[22]

Wellington Campus

In 1999 the Wellington campus was created through the acquisition of the Wellington Polytechnic. Part of Massey Wellington sits inside the New Zealand Dominion Museum building. The Wellington campus primarily specializes in Design (College of Creative Arts), Nursing, and Communication and Journalism. It has over 4,000 students.[21]


Extramural study first began in 1960 and Massey University is New Zealand's largest and pre-eminent provider of distance education.[23] Massey is known for its flexible learning and innovative delivery options and this tradition continues in the use of elearning.

The University is currently embarking on a major project to further digitise its distance delivery and has recently adopted Moodle (branded as Stream) as its new Learning Management System (LMS).[24][25]


Massey Agricultural College, then Massey College, and then Massey University were governed by a board of governors, and now by the University Council.[26]

Chairmen of the Board of Governors


  • John Clark Andrews (1963–1966)
  • The Hon. Blair Tennent, JP (1967–1970)
  • The Hon. Les Gandar, JP (1970–1975)
  • Arthur Ward, KBE (1976–1980)
  • Lindsay Russell Wallace, CBE (1981–1984)
  • Douglas Easton (1985–1990)
  • Hon. Justice Hugh Williams (1991–1998)
  • Morva Olwyn Croxson, CBE (1999–2002)
  • Nigel Gould, ONZM, JP (2003–2008)
  • Russell Ballard, CNZM (2009–2013)[29]
  • Chris Kelly (2013–2016)[30]
  • Michael Ahie (2016–present)

Academic profile

Key facts

From 2008 Annual Report:[31]

  • $374 million operating revenue
  • $57 million external research and contract funding
  • 3127 staff (full-time Equivalent)
  • 33,905 students (19,432 EFTS)
  • 27251 undergraduate students (15,070 EFTS)
  • 7212 postgraduate students (3,428 EFTS)
  • 1046 doctorate students (934 EFTS)
  • 112 doctoral completions
  • 3384 Māori students
  • 895 Pasifika students
  • 2447 students with disabilities
  • 2 National Centres of Research Excellence (and numerous University-based Research Centres)
  • Hosts the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence
  • The University has almost 100 formal academic arrangements with overseas institutions
  • Massey is the 10th largest user of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in New Zealand

Academic rankings

University rankings
ARWU World[32] 501–600
THE World[33] 501–600
QS World[34] 287
World university rankings
Quacquarelli Symonds (QS)[35][36] Academic Ranking of World Universities Times Higher Education
2020 287
2019 332 501–600
2018 316 501–600 401–500
2017 501–600 401–500
2016 340 501–600

Student life

Massey University Students' Association

The Massey University Students' Association Federation (MUSAF) represents the student bodies at Massey University. It includes the Albany Students' Association (ASA), Massey [Manawatu] Students Association (MUSA), Massey at Wellington Students' Association (MAWSA), Manawatahi, Te Waka o Ngā Ākonga Māori, and the Massey Extramural Students' Society (EXMSS). Each individual students' association organises activities and support for its members, sometimes organising student events, publicising student issues, administering student facilities and assisting affiliated student clubs and societies.

The Albany Students' Association, incorporated in 1998, represents students at Albany campus. It is the only student association in Auckland with full membership of the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations.[37] The ASA operates Evolution Bar and runs annual events like the first semester Orientation festival, second semester Winterfest, Woman's fest, Political Awareness Day and Boys Will Be Boys event. It previously published the fortnightly Satellite Magazine, which was awarded second for best small publication in the 2006 ASPA awards. In 2012 the magazine was replaced with a cross campus magazine called Massive.

MAWSA was originally known as WePSA (Wellington Polytechnic Students' Association) and was incorporated in 1975. It became MAWSA and a member of MUSAF when Massey University established it's Wellington Campus. MAWSA publishes Massive Magazine, the national student magazine for all Massey University Campuses.[38]

Radio Control

The Palmerston North arm of the student association operates Radio Control, a student radio station based on the Turitea campus. It broadcasts on 99.4 FM, transmitting from an aerial on campus, and streams online. The station was founded in 1981 as 'Masskeradio' and has also been known as 'Radio Massey'. Radio Control's long-time station mascot Gordon the Dinosaur stood to become the Palmerston North MP, promising to build a moving walkway from the city centre to the university campus.

The station is run by paid staff and volunteers, with general interest shows between 07:00 and 19:00, and specialist local music and genre-based shows at night. Radio Control is funded by NZ on Air and the university and regularly hosts live events and broadcasts from various events both on and off the Massey University campus. It has also provided an early platform for New Zealand artists like Benny Tipene, Avalanche City and Evermore.


Faculty and staff

Notable faculty, past or present, include:

Notable alumni




See also

  • List of Honorary Doctors of Massey University


  1. "New Massey University chancellor elected following comment controversy". 16 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  2. "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). 2017. pp. 14–16. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  3. "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). 2017. pp. 14–16. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  4. "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). 2017. pp. 14–16. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  5. "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2013 – Agriculture & Forestry". 30 April 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  6. "First woman at Massey dies – education – national". 14 June 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  7. "Expanding into three cities (1993–2009) – Massey University". Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  8. Amanda Fisher (20 December 2010). "Students offered up to $30,000". Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  9. "Colourful launch to College of Health – Massey University". 22 February 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  10. "Massey to go more practical". 6 December 2016. Archived from the original on 14 December 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  11. "Outrage over Massey chancellor's comments about female vets". 13 December 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  12. "The Chancellor has apologised and conceded the information he gave in the article was incorrect". 13 December 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  13. "New Massey University chancellor elected following comment controversy". 14 December 2016.
  14. Massey University. "Brash talk to student club cancelled due to security concerns". Massey University.
  15. "Massey University bans Don Brash from speaking". Stuff.
  16. @lucybennett99, Lucy Bennett Political Reporter, NZ Herald lucy bennett@nzherald co nz (7 August 2018). "Massey University decision on Brash speech roundly condemned by MPs" via
  17. "Cowardly Vice-Chancellor should resign – Scoop News".
  18. "Cancelling Don Brash speaking event an 'overreaction' – Jacinda Ardern".
  19. "Study Abroad on ISEP-Direct!". ISE.orgP. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  20. "Massey Sells Hokowhitu Campus!". 8 April 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  21. "Study Abroad on ISEP-Direct!". 15 April 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  22. "Albany – Massey University". 12 February 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  23. (Owens, 1985)
  24. "'Moodle' the first step in learning enrichment strategy – Massey University". 30 October 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  25. "Stream to enhance interactive online learning environment – Massey University". Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  26. "Past Officers and Members of the Council and Honourary Graduates". Massey University. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  27. "Massey College Board". Auckland Star. LXIX (142). 18 June 1938. p. 20. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  28. "Edward Durning Holt Biography". Hawke's Bay Knowledge Bank. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  29. "Top public servant appointed to Council". Massey University. 28 May 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  30. "New Chancellor elected to University Council". Massey University. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  31. "Massey University Annual Report 2008\" (PDF). Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  32. Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018
  33. THE Massey University
  34. Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020
  35. Until 2009, QS and THE had joint rankings, known as the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings
  36. "Massey University". Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  37. Member Associations Archived 15 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine, NZUSA, March 17, 2007
  39. Commonwealth Games gold in the 50m rifle prone
  40. Anzac Day: From teen ratbag to hero (25 April 2012). Hawkes Bay Today. Retrieved 2 May 2012
  41. "Ross McEwan: who is RBS's new chief executive?". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  42. "Professional & Organisational Development Unit". Retrieved 20 December 2017.


OWENS, J.M.R. Campus Beyond the Walls: The First 25 Years of Massey University's Extramural Programme Palmerston North, Dunmore Press Ltd., 1985. (ISBN 0864690479) Available free from Massey at

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