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Govt. and Wairarapa Polytechnic working together

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Social Services and Employment
Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education)
Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
MP for Palmerston North

09 March 2000

Government and Wairarapa Community Polytechnic working together to secure local tertiary provision

The Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education), Steve Maharey, and the Chair of the Wairarapa Community Polytechnic Council, Allen Hair, jointly announced plans today to secure the future of tertiary education in the region.

The Government is to provide a $1m Crown loan to the polytechnic to cover an existing financial shortfall. Mr Maharey also announced that he was appointing an experienced independent Crown observer, Tony Hartevelt, to work with the institution's Council. Mr Hartevelt will lead the development of a plan to secure the future of tertiary provision in the Wairarapa.

"The Government and the Wairarapa Community Polytechnic Council are concerned about the polytechnic's ability to remain financially viable. The tertiary policy environment presided over by the previous government has left it very exposed. I have agreed to make a Crown loan available so that the polytechnic can manage a way through its immediate financial difficulties while we work together on the surrounding issues facing tertiary provision in the Wairarapa," Steve Maharey said.

"I am pleased that the polytechnic council has been able to reach a constructive agreement with the new Government. We also tried to secure some breathing space from the previous government because we need to think through how we meet the education and skills training needs of the Wairarapa in the long term", Allen Hair said.

Wairarapa's local MP, Georgina Beyer, said she was happy that a plan was being developed to ensure that local people will have continued access to tertiary education.

"Soon after I was elected, polytechnic leaders and I made direct representations to Mr Maharey about Wairarapa Community Polytechnic's financial position. It's good news that an agreement has been reached on the way forward," Ms Beyer said.

Mr Maharey said that Mr Hartevelt will lead the writing of a plan to secure the long term viability of tertiary provision in the Wairarapa.

"I have asked for this plan to be completed by the end of May, following which time I will take it to Cabinet for further consideration. Current students and their families need to be assured that their present studies and future tertiary opportunities will not be put at risk," Steve Maharey said.

"The Council and the management of the polytechnic are committed to working very hard with the Government to recover from the effects of nine years of market driven policies and to get ourselves back on to a secure footing," Allen Hair said.

ENDS

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