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50 years of successful collaboration

Auckland City Hospital has operated in various forms on its Grafton location since 1847 when it was one of the first hospitals built in New Zealand under the direction of Governor George Grey.

The relationship between Auckland DHB and The University of Auckland was established in 1968 when teaching commenced at the new Medical School.

Over the decades, strong connections between individual clinicians, clinician/researchers and academic researchers have developed. These resulted in the establishment and successful operation of centres of fundamental and applied research.

The Auckland Academic Health Alliance (AAHA) formalised this relationship in 2012 through a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions signed by Auckland DHB Board Chairman Lester Levy and University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon.  The MoU was updated in 2015. 

The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences is located directly opposite the Auckland DHB facilities on Grafton Road. This proximity has helped our relationship evolve into one even better suited to providing a 21st century model of patient care and research.


Milestones in the relationship between ADHB and the University of Auckland include:

  • 1945 Auckland University College establishes a Medical Education Committee
  • 1946 Auckland Hospital Board opens ‘O&G Unit’, Cornwall Park site
  • 1953 Senate of University of NZ receives report and resolves that a second medical school ‘when it is required’ be sited in Auckland
  • 1956 Auckland Medical Research Foundation is established through efforts of D Robb (University Council) and J Grierson (Auckland Hospital Board)
  • 1959 Government (W Nash) advises that second School of Medicine will be in Auckland
  • 1960 University Department of Clinical Physiology established at Greenlane Hospital. Head: J D Sinclair
  • 1964 Dr W E Henley is seconded from Auckland Hospital Board (Superintendent-in-Chief) to University Grants Committee, to advise on administrative arrangements and relationships of Hospital Board, School of Medicine, Government Departments of Health and Education, and Treasury
  • 1968 First intake, 60 students (from 264 applicants), to BSc (in Human Biology) at the then Auckland Medical School
  • 1970 Establishment of Philson Library, serving the Auckland medical community, at the University’s Grafton Campus
  • 1999 Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences is formed, incorporating five schools
  • 2012 $240m Grafton Campus redevelopment completed
  • 2012 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between ADHB and the University of Auckland to establish the Auckland Academic Health Alliance
  • 2015 MOU updated to reflect the developing and strengthening relationship of the parties in the Auckland Academic Health Alliance

Grafton road
Grafton now