Statement from the University of Auckland Council

Tuesday 8 December 2020: A statement to the members of the University of Auckland community regarding the purchase of a residential property in 2019.

A report was released last week by the Office of the Auditor-General which highlighted that the University did not follow its own policies and processes in the purchase of a residential property in 2019. It was also critical of subsequent rental arrangements.

The decision to purchase the house was made prior to the arrival of the current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dawn Freshwater. We are concerned that criticism, in response to the Auditor-General’s findings, is being directed towards Professor Freshwater herself. This criticism is unjustified, for the reason stated above.

Before the Auditor-General’s report was released, the Vice-Chancellor had recommended that the University sell the property, and the Council has agreed. In addition, the Vice-Chancellor and Council have commissioned independent reviews of the University’s policies and processes in response to the Auditor-General’s report.

It is expected that these reviews will be completed in the first quarter of 2021. The University community will be informed of actions, and in particular changes to our policies and processes, arising in response to the findings of these reviews.

University of Auckland Council