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Polytech Friends Surprised Maharey Upset

media release
22 November 2001


Mr Mitchell-Anyon said ‘We’re not surprised Mr Maharey was upset, although our intention was simply to gain his attention’ (refer Friends item 19 Nov & Maharey’s reply 20 Nov Wanganui Chronicle).

‘Our lines are always open’ Mr Maharey said. We made numerous efforts to contact him through his office and by passing messages through our own MP but we didn’t hear anything back – not a peep.

So what do we do? We had been promised a look at UCOL’s business plan. We have been given a mandate by our community, evidenced by the 700+ submissions and packed meeting halls to fight for our Polytechnic.

Then we hear from Jim Anderton’s office that there is no point in FOWP coming to Wellington for a scheduled meeting because ‘the decision has already been made by Cabinet’. Further investigation uncovers that the Ministry had booked a hall for a public meeting and the Mayor’s office had been contacted to confirm his availability. What other conclusion could we come to than we are not being listened to? ‘Every undertaking Mr Maharey makes doesn’t eventuate so we wrote a rude press release to focus his attention – worked well I’d say’ comments Ross Mitchell-Anyon from the Friends.

There may not have been anything sinister afoot but communication systems between the Ministry of Education and this community leave a lot to be desired.

Apparently, a financial envelope has been approved by cabinet and now Mr Maharey’s tricky task is to use this funding to benefit a stable and sustainable tertiary sector in Wanganui. Further discussion with ‘stakeholders’ will be required.

We ask what consultation has occurred between the Ministry of Education and ‘transition TEC’ since they are the appointed guardians of tertiary education until TEC is officially formed next year.

Friends of the Wanganui Polytechnic

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


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