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Education Provider in Interim Liquidation

Education Provider in Interim Liquidation

Taratahi was yesterday placed in Interim Liquidation, at the request of its Board of Trustees, by the High Court.

Taratahi is a Private Training Establishment (PTE) and agricultural education provider in New Zealand. Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country.

David Ruscoe and Russell Moore of Grant Thornton have been appointed interim liquidators.

Taratahi is facing financial and operational pressures caused by declining student numbers resulting in a reduction in the funding it receives for its educational business. It invested heavily in student support and learning, while it actively reduced its other operating expenses. However, despite both government subsidies and cash flows from its farming operations, the costs of educating each student still exceeded the funding based on its operating model.

The Board considered the Interim Liquidation as the most responsible decision to protect the current and future position of its staff, students, creditors and other key stakeholders.

Chair Mavis Mullins says it is very distressing for the staff and Board of Taratahi which would have celebrated 100 years in 2019.

“Our main concerns are for our students, staff, animal welfare and our creditors and partners”.

Interim Liquidator David Ruscoe says ongoing assistance of the Taratahi Board and staff will help ease the process.

“We are working with the Board, management, TEC, NZQA, MSD, MPI and other agencies to provide the appropriate support for staff and students. Students will be contacted by Taratahi, the TEC and other providers and will be provided information about the options available to them for continuing their education.

“We understand that wages and salaries are up to date and funds are being received from livestock sales and Fonterra payments to keep the organisation running as per normal over the Christmas break”.

Key Facts
• 190 permanent staff, plus casual and contractors means 250 people work for the organisation.
• 3 Residential Campuses based in Wairarapa, Telford and Reporoa.
• Own 2 farms, leases 5 and manages 1.
• 10 non-residential campuses
• 2850 students in 2018
• 62,000 stock units

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