Mt Albert, Auckland

There are approximately 300 employees, including 180 research staff that work at the Mt Albert Research Centre (MARC) as well as some casual staff. We also have 5 staff based primarily at our Pukekohe site, on the southern edge of Auckland, approximately a 30 minute drive from MARC.

Our site and facilities

MARC also operates as Plant & Food Research’s head office. Situated on the slopes of Mt Albert, the original building (called the Cunningham Building) dates back to the early years of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and was opened in 1939. The research facilities have rapidly expanded and extensive glasshouse, postharvest, insect rearing rooms, quarantine facilities, food laboratories, sensory and consumer science facilities and molecular biology laboratories have been added over the years. The main building is called the Hamilton Building and houses some of the laboratories and head office functions and is an iconic Mt Albert landmark.

There is a large staff cafeteria located on Level 2 of the Hamilton Building that has a pool table and table tennis table and most buildings also have their own tea and coffee areas. The cafeteria is open all day and during the hours of 7.00am to 3.00pm sells meals, snacks and beverages. Free tea, coffee and hot chocolate are available as well as microwaves and fridges for staff use. There are also several vending machines located in the cafeteria which sell snacks and drinks. The cafeteria is popular for staff and social club get togethers, which are often held after work on Friday. The catering company that runs the cafeteria will also cater for in-house functions if you pre-order.

There are various sports teams organised by staff on an ad hoc basis. A volleyball court available for staff use is situated on the south side of the Hamilton Building, and a library is located on the first floor of the Hamilton Building along from the executive offices.

The site includes a childcare centre (MiniMARC) that caters for children of Plant & Food staff. There is normally a waiting list, however if you want to use the services of MiniMARC please phone 09 815 1690 or email to discuss waiting times. We are currently building an additional centre to cope with the demand.

There are several buildings situated at MARC as well as glasshouses, fish processing and workshops. Some of the buildings have a lovely northerly aspect with views over the city. ESR is also located on the site. There is an on-site Toastmasters meeting that runs fortnightly on Thursday from 12.00am to 1.00pm. Meetings are normally held in the Greenstone Room in the Padfield Building.

There are occasional opportunities for staff to voluntarily participate in research, including tasting sessions for the Human Responses science group.


Both the south-western motorway and northern motorways are within a ten minute drive of the site, and there is a bus stop nearby. Some staff use public transport to get to the site, or drive private cars and free on-site car parking is available for all staff. Some staff cycle in to the site, depending on whether they live close enough to do so. There is a train station which is about a 15 minute walk from the Research Centre and runs services into the main city and out to the west of Auckland. The Auckland International Airport is approximately a 20-25 minute drive away.

The area

MARC is in close proximity to Westfield St Lukes shopping mall which is a five minute drive, or 15 minute walk and has a large supermarket. The Mt Albert shops are also a 15 minute walk away. Both shopping areas are home to banks, optometrists, cafes and various specialty shops. Mt Albert itself is one of the many volcanoes in Auckland and is close enough to MARC so that you can walk up it and have a look at the scenic views overlooking Auckland during your lunch hour.

The region

Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and has a population of approximately 1.5 million people. It is situated on two beautiful harbours, the Waitemata Harbour to the east and the Manukau Harbour to the west. Beaches and the water in general play a big part in the recreational activities of many of the residents of Auckland. Fishing is popular as is boating, and there are many islands in the Waitemata Harbur which can be visited on a day trip, either by private boat or ferry. The landscape in Auckland is dotted with extinct or dormant volcanoes, with Rangitoto being the most recently formed. Rangitoto sits in the middle of the Waitemata Harbour and is an iconic landmark, shaped as an almost perfect volcanic cone island.

Auckland has a wealth of activities available, ranging from art galleries, yacht races, musical events, live theatre to a myriad of sporting events. There are many city and regional parks that provide access to both passive and active recreational areas. The Waitakere ranges, to the west of Auckland, have extensive protected native bush areas and provide many walking tracks that are accessible all year round. The beaches on the west coast are generally black sand beaches, a contrast from the golden sands of the east coast, and are windswept and rugged. There are several surf beaches on the west coast, which are normally patrolled during peak season. The climate in Auckland is generally mild, and in the heat of summer Auckland can get quite humid.

Further Information

For further information about the lifestyle and living in Auckland visit

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