Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Where Is The Business Plan Minister?

Where Is The Business Plan?

media release
17 November 2001

A report on Associate Education Minister Steve Maharey’s delayed decision in the Evening Standard (15/11/01) has outraged the Friends of the Wanganui Polytechnic. Mr.Maharey stated ‘until I get a business plan I can’t make a decision. And I don’t have a business plan.” In the same report a spokesman for Ucol said a business plan had been submitted to Mr.Maharey some time ago.

Mr Ross Mitchell-Anyon from Friends of the Wanganui Polytechnic asks “Who do we believe, Mr Maharey who promised us a look at the document as soon as it was available or Ucol’s spokesman? We have acted in good faith. We have gone cap in hand to Maharey’s electorate office and we have been assured that there was to be a further round of consultation after the release of Ucol’s business plan and before it goes to cabinet.”

Friends of the Wanganui Polytechnic were to meet with Jim Anderton early next week but an email from his office stated “… there is little point in proceeding because the policy decisions have already been through the cabinet process and an announcement is imminent.” We can only conclude that the Ucol plan has been buried until such time as the major stakeholders, the students, have all dispersed. To ensure a good number of enrolments for 2002 the Friends of the Wanganui Polytechnic demand a full fee subsidy for all Year One Fine Arts, Design and Fashion students in 2002. It will cost the government no more than it has already spent on spindoctors and change managers.

Investigation has revealed that the Ministry of Education has booked a venue in Wanganui this coming week (21 November), presumably for Mr Maharey’s impending announcement and that attendance will be by invitation only. “All this has happened while we are patiently waiting for the promised Ucol business plan”, Friends of the Wanganui Polytechnic spokesman, Ross Mitchell-Anyon said; “To add to the intrigue, questions of insider trading are evident in Wanganui’s real estate market with Palmerston North domiciled valuers seeking to close quick deals in Wanganui’s old town district – the home of the Fine Arts School. Our fear is that we are caught in the pincers between Steve Maharey’s Palmerston North electorate and a deeply biased official within the Ministry of Education. We have been told that even government officials don’t understand the stupidity of what now seems to be the inevitable decision.”

Friends of the Polytechnic also stated that their local MP was hamstrungby her Labour colleagues, “She was reminded of the fate of Damien O’Connor in the presence of a member of Friends of the Wanganui Polytechnic at a delegation to Mr.Maharey’s office’, Mr Mitchell-Anyon said, “ We are now convinced that Wanganui is not being treated with care and respect by this Labour government. Decisions and announcements are being cynically timed. Mr Maharey’s first bombshell announcement came while students were on holiday and we suspect he is delaying his coup de grace until the students have all gone home.”

Friends of the Wanganui Polytechnic have reiterated that they refuse to accept the disestablishment of the Wanganui Polytechnic. Wanganui has strong community spirit. We are not parochial – just proud of what our Polytechnic has achieved while it has been underfunded, undermined and despised by Ministry officials. Mr. Mitchell-Anyon called on the government to disclose the sums spent in Wanganui on spindoctors and change managers: “If we had the spindoctor’s fees to subsidise student fees we would be well on our way to recovery.” Given the performance of Jim Barr, the Ministry of Education’s spindoctor, in his carelessly crafted Polytechnic Update #4 where he asks the question, Why can’t Wanganui be turned around like Taranaki Polytechnic was?, then goes on to at great length to tell us lots about Taranaki’s problems and salvation but completely forgets to answer his own question. Mr Barr may be a good art collector but he is clearly quite bad at spin. While he earns $1500 + a day, Wanganui people dip into their pockets for a gold coin to pay for the Friends of the Wanganui Polytechnic’s advertising bill for public meetings. “ We believe we have been treated badly. There has been bias at every step from the highest levels of the Ministry, to the Minister to our own MP.”

From Friends of the Wanganui Polytechnic

For further information you can contact:
Ross Mitchell-Anyon at 06 348 0542
Cathy Taylor at 06 345 6461
Marie McKay 06 347 8987

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Reuben Moss' Property is Theft! & Kaitani at The Physics Room

Property is Theft! continues Moss’ interest in the contemporary urban environment as a space controlled by pulsing and unequal flows of capital and labour. Kaitani features work by the University of Canterbury Fijian Students Association and Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka. More>>

Handcrafted Form: Rare Treasures From Japan

This unique exhibition at Expressions Whirinaki represents 90 everyday objects made by contemporary Japanese artisans who employ various traditional craft techniques made in regional workshops. The works used in daily life are crafted from raw materials with techniques appropriate to bringing out the best of its medium, balancing ease of use with aesthetic appeal. More>>

Howard Davis Article: A Musical Axis - Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius

Brahms' warm and exquisitely subtle Symphony No. 3 in F major, Wagner's irrepressibly sentimental symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll, and Sibelius' chilling and immensely challenging Violin Concerto in D minor exemplify distinct stages of development in a tangled and convoluted series of skirmishes that came to define subsequent disputes about the nature of post-Romantic orchestral writing well into the following century. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: A Pale Ghost Writer

Reviewed by Ruth Brassington, Richard Flanagan's new novel is about a novelist hastily ghost-writing the biography of a crook about to go to trial. The reader is kept on a cliff-edge, as the narrator tries to get blood out of his stone man. More>>

New Zealand Wars Commemoration: Witi Ihimaera's Sleeps Standing Moetū

The second of several articles to mark Rā Maumahara, remembering the New Zealand Land Wars. The first was a Q&A with Vincent O’Malley, author of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland