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

 

Taratahi liquidation shows time for change is now


Confirmation today that the Taratahi Institute of Agriculture [1] is to be liquidated proves that the tertiary education sector needs urgent reform - and that the tens of thousands of people that dedicate their working lives to teaching others need to be better supported when government policy fails so demonstrably.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins, Finance Minister Grant Robertson, and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor must commit this week to providing government support to the 1,200 students who are already enrolled at the institution and are expecting to study next year [2], and the around 250 staff who will be affected by the liquidation, the Tertiary Education Union (TEU) said. This must include assurances that every member of staff receives the redundancy and other allowances they are entitled to. In no way should they and their families be negatively affected by the failures of others, not least the last National Government that put in place policies that have hindered the community provision of tertiary education right across the sector.

Early next year Chris Hipkins is expected to announce provisional plans for the future of the vocational education sector. This follows the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnic Roadmap project carried out by the Tertiary Education Commission and a less than satisfactory Ministry review of vocational education and training. To date the Minister has given no signal of his long term plans to ensure the viability of vocational provision in New Zealand’s communities. In a letter to the three Ministers, the TEU has urged the government to act swiftly to ensure no further tertiary education provision is affected by ill-fitting policy and funding settings.

Sandra Grey, national president of the TEU, said: “When it was agreed last year that Taratahi would take over the Telford division of Lincoln University we said that Ministers needed to back up the decision with a properly funded plan that guaranteed locally-focused, quality training opportunities for current and future generations of students. To now be talking about Taratahi’s liquidation is unspeakably disappointing. This is just the latest in a growing number of institutions that have been failed by government policy and poorly designed funding systems. But let’s be clear about this: we all as New Zealanders have been failed too. Because without community providers who will train future generations to work in a sector that is so vital to our economy?

“I’ve spent time with the team at Taratahi in Telford and I know how passionate they and their colleagues in other parts of the country are about their jobs and serving the local community. I cannot imagine what they must be feeling right now, and what they will be saying to their families when they return home tonight. Through years of policy and management failures, these people have stayed committed to their jobs and done everything they can to support students on their learning journey. It would be wrong if the government left these people out to dry. The Minister for Education must make a clear commitment to supporting every member of staff and ensuring they get what they are entitled to.”

Taratahi is the nation’s only campus-based provider specialising in vocational land-based training and providing cruical courses for those wanting careers in agriculture and horticulture. They provide a work-ready learning model, and are the largest tertiarty education provider in the vocational sector
Taratahi provided vocational education to 2,850 students this year, including SAC funded students, and ITOs.

ends

Notes to editors

1. Taratahi is the nation’s only campus-based provider specialising in vocational land-based training and providing cruical courses for those wanting careers in agriculture and horticulture. They provide a work-ready learning model, and are the largest tertiarty education provider in the vocational sector

2. Taratahi provided vocational education to 2,850 students this year, including SAC funded students, and ITOs.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Facebook Announces New Changes: Combating Hate And Extremism

Some of these changes predate the tragic terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, but that attack, and the global response to it in the form of the Christchurch Call to Action, has strongly influenced the recent updates to our policies and their enforcement. More>>

Amazon Confirms: Lord Of The Rings Series To Shoot In NZ

Amazon Studios announced today that its series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic fantasy novels The Lord of the Rings will shoot in New Zealand. Pre-production has started, and production on the series will begin in Auckland in the coming months. More>>

ALSO:

Birds: Dunedin's Bells Ring As City Celebrates Its Albatross

The city's churches, schools and public buildings bells would chime in unison from 1pm, in what has been a long-standing tradition marking the return of the birds - and a farewell to this season's albatross chicks. More>>

Oscar Buzz: Waititi's Jojo Rabbit Wins People's Choice Award At Toronto

Taika Waititi's new film Jojo Rabbit has nabbed the coveted Grolsch People's Choice Award at the close of Toronto International Film Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Broken Estate: An Expat Expert Surveys Our Media

Melanie Bunce cut her teeth in journalism at the Otago Daily Times. Now she teaches and researches it at one of the UK’s most prestigious journalism schools and tracks the trends that shape the uncertain future of news... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland