LivingSpace building on Castle Street.
The University of Otago is to begin converting the former
LivingSpace building into a residential college, to open at the
start of next year.
The university in April paid $6.75 million for the former
LivingSpace hotel, in Castle St. The college, which will
house 127 students, will be named Te Rangi Hiroa College,
after Maori leader and Otago graduate Te Rangi Hiroa, also
known as Sir Peter Buck.
Following his time at Otago, Te Rangi Hiroa, who died in 1951
aged 74, went on to be a doctor, military leader, health
administrator, politician, anthropologist and a museum
Director of student accommodation James Lindsay anticipated
strong demand for places at the college, which would mainly
house first-year students.
A ''significant difference'' from other university-owned
colleges would be that all rooms would have en suite
The budget for the project was commercially sensitive because
the tendering process was still under way.
Mr Lindsay also announced Ashley Day, the former warden of
Carrington College, would be the first head of the college.
''He brings his wealth of experience and his focus on student
academic success, to the new college,'' he said.
University director of Maori development Tuari Potiki said
the university was ''honoured'' Te Rangi Hiroa's family gave
it permission to name the college after him.
''He was an extraordinary man who gave so much to many people
and it is fitting that his name will live on here at Otago,''
Mr Potiki said.
It was believed that in 1904 when Te Rangi Hiroa gained his
first medical degree, he became Otago's first Maori graduate.
He went on to make significant contributions to his people
and country in the fields of public health and Maori history.
From 1909 to 1914 he was a member of Parliament, during which
time he also completed his MD.
In 1926, he became a professional anthropologist, first as
research fellow at Hawaii's Bishop Museum, then as visiting
professor at Yale University. He was knighted in 1946.