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 from architecture to zookeeping. Unitec is a member of the International Association of Universities.

Unitec Institute of Technology
Chief ExecutiveMerran Davis
Students15,420 EFTS (2015)

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


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 Waitakere Central Library. Unitec's Waitakere campus offers mainly introductory computing, preparing for study, and health and social work courses.

In August 2011, Unitec opened a campus in Albany, on Auckland's North Shore, but it was closed in December 2016.[3]

There are also three libraries across the two existing campuses:

  1. Mt Albert, Te Puna Library
  2. Mt Albert, Building 1 Library
  3. Waitakere Campus Library


Study areas

  • 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, Cybersecurity, 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 70 courses ranging from certificates 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. Also, the School of Computing Science has an industry internship program with IBM, which includes the IBM Center at the Mt Albert (Carrington) Campus.


  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. "Unitec to close Albany campus, remain on the Shore". Unitec. 30 August 2016.

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