University Information



Hillcrest, Hamilton 3216,
New Zealand
The University of Waikato (Maori: Te Whare Wananga o Waikato), informally Waikato University, is a comprehensive university in Hamilton, New Zealand, with a satellite campus located in Tauranga. Established in 1964, it was the first university in New Zealand to be designed from a blank canvas[

The University of Waikato owes its existence to a determined group of Hamilton locals, who in 1956 launched a petition for a university to serve the needs of the South Auckland region. The group was led by Douglas Seymour, a barrister, and subsequently Anthony "Rufus" Rogers, a Hamilton GP and brother to long-time Mayor of Hamilton, Denis Rogers.[2]

Their campaign coincided with a shortage of teachers in the 1950s that prompted the New Zealand government to consider plans for a teachers’ college in the region. Where there was a teachers’ college, there needed to be a university to give students access to undergraduate courses.[3]

In 1960, the newly established Hamilton Teachers’ College opened its doors, and combined forces with the fledgling university (then a branch of Auckland University) to plan a new joint campus on farmland at Hillcrest, on the citys outskirts.[2]

In 1964, the two institutions moved to their new home, and the following year the University of Waikato was officially opened by then Governor-General Sir Bernard Fergusson.[2]

The first Vice-Chancellor, Dr Don Llewellyn, was keen to develop the shared campus as one and build a single academic programme, an approach welcomed by the Teachers College Principal, John Allan. But even the idea of co-location flew in the face of established practice, and the formal merger of the two institutions did not take place until 1990.[3]

At this time the University comprised a School of Humanities and a School of Social Sciences.[2] In 1969, Dr Llewellyn succeeded in persuading the authorities to fund the establishment of a School of Science (now the Faculty of Science and Engineering).[4]

This was followed by the creation of Waikato Management School in 1972,[2] Computer Science and Computing Services (which ultimately became the Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences) in 1973,[2] and the establishment of the School, now Faculty, of Law in 1990.[5]

From the beginning, it was envisaged that Maori studies should be a key feature of the new University,[2] and the Centre for Maori Studies and Research was finally set up in the School of Social Sciences in 1972, after many delays.[2] A separate School of Maori and Pacific Development was formally established in 1996.[6]

In 1999, the original Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences were merged to form the School (later Faculty) of Arts and Social Sciences.[7]

In 1998, the University formed an alliance with the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic to facilitate teaching in the Western Bay of Plenty. The first students from the University of Waikato at Tauranga graduated at a ceremony held in Tauranga in 2001.

In 2010, the tertiary partnership was widened to include Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi in the Eastern Bay of Plenty,[8] and funding is currently being sought for a dedicated university-led campus in Tauranga.[9]

In 2014, the University became smoke-free, disallowing smoking on campus and in University-owned vehicles.[10]
Faculty of Law

The Faculty of Law was founded in 1990 and is one of seven faculties that make up the University. The Faculty is located in the on the south east side of the Hillcrest Campus in Hamilton, which is accessible from Hillcrest Road. The Law Faculty is also located in Tauranga at the Tauranga University of Waikato campus.

The Law Faculty adopted the principles of professionalism, biculturalism and the study of law in context. One of the key founders of the Waikato Faculty of Law was the 27th Speaker of the House Margaret Wilson who returned[11] to this faculty as a professor in January 2009. Margaret helped create the Law Faculty from just a dream to reality.

The Faculty of Law annually takes in up to 400 full and part-time students into its LLB course, however in 2010 this number was deliberately decreased.

The Faculty of Law focuses on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as opposed to a more adversarial approach. As well as offering graduates their Bachelor of Laws (LLB), if students elect to take Commercial Transactions as well as Mediation: Laws, Principles and Practice, they may also apply for Associate status with the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ). This gives them professional status when conducting these activities and is globally recognised.
Faculty of Law Main Entrance in its Hamilton Campus

In September 2009, Professor Bradford W. Morse was welcomed to the University of Waikato, commencing the position as the new Dean of Law[12] at the Law Faculty. Morse has stated he has big plans for the Law Faculty[13] including making it the best in New Zealand within 6 years time. Morse came from the University of Ottawa and has a passion for indigenous law.

In early 2010 several changes were being implemented, these included various cosmetic renovations to the law faculty itself and the changing of its name from the Waikato Law School to the Waikato Law Faculty.
General information
Structure and governance
The village green is the social hub of the University of Waikatos Hamilton campus.
One of three lakes on the University of Waikatos Hamilton campus.

The chief executive of the University of Waikato is the vice-chancellor, currently Professor Neil Quigley. The University is governed by a council, headed by the University’s Chancellor, who is currently former New Zealand prime minister Rt Hon James B Bolger ONZ.

The University Council works with Te Ropu Manukura, made up of representatives of the 16 iwi (Maori tribal) authorities in the University’s catchment area. Te Ropu Manukura is the Kaitiaki (guardian) of the Treaty of Waitangi for the University of Waikato, and acts to ensure that the University works in partnership with iwi to meet tertiary needs and aspirations of Maori communities.

The following list shows the universitys chancellors:[14]

Denis Rogers (1964–1969)
J. Bruce McKenzie (1970–1972)
Henry R. Bennett (1973–1978)
C. Douglas Arcus (1979–1980)
The Hon Sir David Lance Tompkins QC (1981–1985)
Henry R. Bennett (1986–1987)
Dame Joy Drayton (1988–1991)
Gerald D.G. Bailey (1992–1997)
Caroline Bennett (1998–2002)
John A. Gallagher (2003–2005)
John B. Jackman (2006–2007)[15]
Rt Hon James Bolger ONZ (2007 – present)[15]


The University of Waikato operates from two campuses – in Hamilton and Tauranga. The main Hamilton campus is spread over 64 hectares of landscaped gardens and lakes, and includes extensive sporting and recreational areas. In Tauranga, the University shares campuses with the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic at Windermere Campus and the Bongard Centre in Taurangas CBD.

The Hamilton campus was originally farmland. Designed by architect John Blake-Kelly in 1964, the open space landscaping contains extensive native plantings, including a fernery, centred around three artificial lakes, created by draining marshy paddocks.[2]

The lakes play a vital role in the University’s stormwater system, but they are shallow, making them susceptible to eutrophication. Each spring harvesting takes place to remove excess water weed and remove pest fish.