University of Otago receives NZ$10 million to aid construction of new dental clinic
DUNEDIN, New Zealand: As reported by Dental Tribune in September, the University of Otago announced that it would be building a dental teaching facility and patient treatment clinic in South Auckland. In a positive new development, internationally renowned businessman and philanthropist Graeme Hart and his wife Robyn have announced that they will be donating NZ$10 million towards the clinic's construction.
The University of Otago Foundation Trust Chair John Ward said, “this funding will make a significant contribution to the development of a new dental teaching facility, which will not only provide students with diverse practical learning opportunities, but will also provide dental care for the local diverse communities at a highly accessible cost.”
The NZ$28.2 million, two-storey, 32-chair building will be built at the Counties Manukau District Health Board’s Super Clinic’s site. With 48 final-year dentistry students assigned to the South Auckland clinic at any one time, the clinic will follow the long-standing social contract model that operates successfully in Dunedin, whereby patients receive treatment provided by students under supervision at a very accessible cost.
Hart, who lives in Auckland, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree by the university last December in recognition of his contribution to the business sector and for his philanthropy in supporting education and children’s health. “We are delighted to be able to assist our university in providing a dental school that will meet the needs of lower socio-economic groups. We are very pleased that the youth and young children of this region will benefit from this facility,” Hart commented.
“The University of Otago remains highly committed to providing outstanding education and to contributing to the communities where our campuses are located. The Hart family’s donation will allow us to proceed with certainty on the development of our dental teaching facility in the Counties Manukau region and it will assist us in making a substantial positive difference to the health care and wider wellbeing of residents of New Zealand’s largest city,” said University of Otago Vice-Chancellor Harlene Hayne.
The donation is the most significant single donation in the university’s near 150-year existence.