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Commitment to Regional Polytechnic “Just in Time”

Commitment to Regional Polytechnic “Just in Time”

ASTE Te Hau Takitini o Aotearoa, the professional association and union that covers staff across the tertiary sector including at the Western Institute of Technology in Taranaki (WITT), is relieved at the recent announcement of a funding package that will retrieve WITT’s financial viability.

“We have been very concerned at the prospect of the loss of the institution, not only for the staff and students at WITT, but also for the Taranaki community in general,” Lloyd Woods, National President said today.

“The $2.8 million draw down ensures short term viability without a further need to look at amalgamation or closure. This is obviously a great relief to our members, other staff and students. It also shows this Government’s commitment to ensuring people in the regions can access quality, affordable tertiary education” he added.

Mr Woods went on to say, “There has been considerable dissatisfaction amongst staff because once again they have had to bear the brunt of past mismanagement. However ASTE members at WITT have continued as professionals to work hard while all of these issues played out in the background. The challenge now is in the development of a plan that ensures the institution’s survival. We expect to be fully involved in this planning and can reassure the people of Taranaki that with new management and the staff working together, WITT will recover and will be around for a very long time”.

Mr Woods concluded by saying that ASTE is particularly heartened by the Education Minister’s stated commitment to WITT and to other regional institutions. “I have to say, it is about time - but better late than never”!

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