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Monday 24 June 2019 12:09pm

The University's dental teaching facility and patient treatment clinic in South Auckland takes shape.

The concrete floor slab has been poured for the top floor of the University of Otago's new $28.3 million dental teaching facility and patient treatment clinic beside the Manukau SuperClinic in South Auckland, the University's Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Willis, says.

Now tenting is being erected over the whole building so erecting internal framing and installing services – plumbing, electrical and mechanical – can continue apace.

The two-storey, 32-chair building started being built in mid-December 2018 on land owned by the Counties Manukau District Health Board, beside the SuperClinic in Great South Road.

All the concrete has been poured for the ground floor already and 95 per cent of the structural steel has been erected, he says.

The project is on target for completion before the start of the academic year in 2020 all going to plan, Mr Willis says, while crediting Project Director Jamie Cargill and main contractor Savory Construction for the efficient work.

Tasks completed

The first task was to build a new carpark to replace an existing SuperClinic car park that is currently being used to access the site and this new carpark will eventually become the dental facility's carpark. The new carpark was completed a week ahead of programme and the SuperClinic staff are now using it.

Piling for the clinic was also finished five days ahead of schedule – the work started in mid-December and finished at the end of January, Mr Willis says.


Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Health Sciences Professor Paul Brunton says the new dental clinic aims to help meet high health needs, while providing students with wide-ranging learning opportunities in a diverse community that will increase their understanding of people from a range of backgrounds.

Not only will the Faculty of Dentistry regularly consult the community to find out what it needs from the clinics then work to deliver that, the Faculty will also provide a wide range of outreach activities.

The clinic will follow the long-standing social contract model operated successfully in Dunedin, where patients receive treatment provided by students under supervision at a highly accessible cost, he says.


At any one time, 48 final-year Bachelor of Dental Surgery students will be assigned to the Counties Manukau facility.

Having an Auckland base in an area home to a large number of oral healthcare professionals will also make it easier for them to access continuing education opportunities.

The facility could help meet international demand for upskilling dentists as well, because Auckland is so accessible, Professor Brunton says.

National centre

The University of Otago has been home to New Zealand's national centre of dentistry since 1907.

The Faculty of Dentistry in Dunedin carries out about 76,000 treatments annually in the city for the public from around the lower South Island.

The Faculty also includes the Sir John Walsh Research Institute and undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in dentistry, oral health and dental technology.

The concrete floor slab of the top floor of the building.

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