The University of Otago bought this property at 59 Duke St, North Dunedin, so it can expand Abbey College. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
The University of Otago has expanded its Dunedin property
holdings with the purchase of a $550,000 house to increase
capacity at Abbey College.
The university bought 59 Duke St, which backs on to the
college, as part of a plan to add rooms to the 75-room
postgraduate college opened in 2008.
The house would be used as accommodation for head of college
Dr Charles Tustin.
The expansion is the latest addition to the number of
residential college rooms in the city, the university and
other providers having added more than 200 places in the past
This included the opening of Te Rangi Hiroa College, which
houses 127 students, and the expansion of Toroa, Salmond,
Knox and Selwyn colleges.
As with other university property purchases, full rates will
not be paid on the building and it joins the university's
stable of non-rateable assets in Dunedin, which as of last
year, were worth $632.27 million.
Chief operating officer John Patrick said in a statement the
accommodation previously occupied by Dr Tustin would be
converted into student bedrooms.
The cost of the alterations was was not known yet because
design and planning work was still in progress, Mr Patrick
The new head of college residence ''should be ready to move
into by the end of May'', he said.
The conversion of Dr Tustin's current residence could start
after he moved and it was hoped an extra eight rooms could be
added once alterations were finished.
The addition of new rooms was ''exciting'' and a vote of
confidence in the idea of a post-graduate college, which was
unique in New Zealand.
He was confident the extra places would be filled, as demand
was so strong some people had to be turned away.
The college, which was open year round, largely catered to
international students and 70% of present students were from
''On last count, we had 27 different countries represented.''
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand spokeswoman Liz Nidd
recently told the Otago Daily Times increases in
residential college capacity were hitting private owners of