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Maharey announces package for Wanganui Polytechnic

8 December 2000 Media Statement

Maharey announces package for Wanganui Polytechnic

A package of measures to support Wanganui Regional Community Polytechnic over 2000 and 2001 was announced today by Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey.

Wanganui Polytechnic reported an operating loss in 1999 of just under $2m, and another loss is expected for the 2000 year. Mr Maharey said that the financial position of the polytechnic has been worrying and the Crown has had to move to ensure ongoing provision in Wanganui.

The package of measures include:
 the provision of a Crown loan to meet the polytechnic’s cashflow requirements (including the anticipated costs of redundancies);
 the appointment of a Crown Manager to address the Polytechnic’s financial performance; and,
 the commissioning of longer-term work to ensure the ongoing viable provision of tertiary education in the region.

"At my direction, the Ministry of Education has been working with the Polytechnic over the last year, but the governance and senior management of the organisation have been unable to give the Government assurance that they are able to manage the institution or develop a credible recovery strategy.

"Accordingly I have decided to appoint a Crown Manager to ensure that the financial performance of the Polytechnic is addressed and that options can be developed to ensure viable and ongoing tertiary provision in the region. This option is supported by the Polytechnic council.

"I want to assure the students and staff of Wanganui Regional Community Polytechnic that the Government will address the Polytechnic’s financial situation and that the institution will be able to continue to provide quality tertiary education this year and next year.

"Wanganui Regional Community Polytechnic provides many innovative and internationally renowned courses. It also provides important courses nationally through its Te Rangakura (Maori teacher training) programme and it is important that these programmes are protected.

. . / 2
"The Ministry of Education has commissioned work for me to look at the long term future options for the Polytechnic. I want to ensure that there is continuing long term provision of tertiary education in the Wanganui region. Options around how this can be delivered, and on collaborative options with other tertiary institutions, are currently being considered.

"In addition, Ministers have asked the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Economic Development to work together to ensure that solutions developed for Wanganui Regional Community Polytechnic will benefit the Wanganui region and assist with the Government's regional development strategy," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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