The massive contribution University of Otago makes to Dunedin
has been highlighted in a report showing it boosted the
city's economy by $820 million last year.
The report's release comes after the university last week
unveiled a $650 million building programme, which has been
tipped to create hundreds of jobs in Dunedin.
The university's annual economic impact report, tabled at
yesterday's council meeting, said the university had a
''far-reaching'' impact across many sectors of the economy.
''This impact is most pronounced in Dunedin, where the
institution plays a fundamental role in the ongoing vitality
of the city's economy,'' the report said.
The report calculated the impact of organisational
expenditure, spending from its 21,113 students and 3752 staff
and then using economic multipliers calculated the flow-on
effects on other business activity.
It showed total expenditure - both direct and flow-on
spending by other businesses - generated by its campuses in
Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland and Invercargill
was $1.59 billion.
Of that, $1.4 billion was generated by the university's
activities in Dunedin, with $819.9 million calculated to have
remained in the city's economy, generating 12,504 jobs in the
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said
the report underlined how important the university was to
However, he did not believe Dunedin was overly reliant on the
''There's enough evidence that the university is a
significant player economically, but I also think we have got
quite a strong primary sector. You look at what sort of trade
volumes are going across [Port Otago].''
The university also tabled a comparison of its financial
performance compared with other universities which showed,
when it comes to assets, income and expenditure, Otago was
only behind the University of Auckland.
The information, based on the 2013 annual reports of all New
Zealand's universities except Lincoln, showed the Otago had
less debt and more assets tucked aside for spending than
With $1.66 billion in assets, Otago University was only
behind Auckland University, which had assets worth $1.92
The $120.2 million Otago University held in ''cash and cash
equivalents'' was considerably more than any other New