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Tai Poutini opens its seventh campus in NZ

Media Release – June 16, 2005

Tai Poutini going for gold as it opens its seventh campus in NZ

West Coast’s Tai Poutini Polytechnic is to open its seventh campus later this month – including a site for gold digging.

Tai Poutini (TPP) based in Greymouth will officially open their Reefton campus on June 28.

They plan to develop the site into become the national centre of excellence for digging and mining.

``This Reefton campus is a significant move for both us and the New Zealand industry,’’ TPP chief executive Don Campbell said today.

``We have bought $1.5 million of equipment such as diggers, bulldozers, graders and trucks for our national truck and digger school. We want to teach skills for jobs in the vital infrastructure development that is about to occur in New Zealand over the next five years.

``It is our intention that, over the next few years, this site will become the national centre of excellence for these heavy plant industries,’’ he said.

``Some of our students are also digging and mining for gold. We have gold on our land and they are learning how to mine it.

``Any gold recovered will not only make the training real but will also contribute to the viability of the operation.

``We’re investing heavily in our future and spending a lot of money mainly on the West Coast, using Coast suppliers as much as possible.

``We are not fully funded at Reefton but we are using some of our own resources. This is meeting key industry demand, skill gaps and staff shortages,’’ he said.

The expanding Tai Poutini operation is having a flow-on economic effect for the community and it increases their capacity to offer better quality programmes and better and more realistic experiences for students.

The polytech’s 2004 results included equivalent full-time student numbers of 3200 and an operating surplus of a $4.2 million operating surplus.

Their surplus represented 18.7 percent on income of $22.2 million from 14,763 equivalent fulltime students (EFTS) enrolled.

Tai Poutini was recognised in the Deloitte / Unlimited national Fast 50 awards last year.

Ends

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