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Working Party To Explore Uses For CIT Heretaunga

Maharey And Swain Announce Joint Working Party To Explore Uses For CIT Heretaunga Site

Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) Steve Maharey, and Rimutaka MP Paul Swain announced today that a joint working party is to be established to recommend to Government feasible uses for the Heretaunga site presently occupied by the Central Institute of Technology.

The Government announced today that the Central Institute of Technology will be disestablished and incorporated into the Wellington Institute of Technology (formerly Hutt Valley Polytechnic) from 1 July 2001. A central element of this process will be that the Wellington Institute of Technology will not need the Heretaunga site after February 2002.

¡§As part of the disestablishment process, the Heretaunga CIT campus will be returned to the Crown. The use of the land and buildings at Heretaunga was a key issue identified through the public consultation phase of this process. As such, I have agreed to the establishment of a joint working party to review the options for the Heretaunga CIT campus. The local MP Paul Swain will take an active interest in the outcome of this working party," said Steve Maharey.

Steve Maharey and Paul Swain confirmed their shared commitment to ensuring that the Crown asset is put to good use:

"We are concerned that the Heretaunga site, which is a valuable Crown asset, be put to good use. Obviously, the future use of the Heretaunga site is also an important issue for the Upper Hutt region. For both of these reasons, the working party is being asked to recommend feasible options for the future of the Heretaunga site, and to ensure that these options are informed both by independent analysis and Upper Hutt¡¦s regional development needs."

I have invited the Ministers of Regional Development, Defence and Research, Science and Technology to give consideration to possible uses for the Heretaunga site, via the working party process.

This working party will, in the first instance, be convened by the Ministry of Education. The working party will report back to Ministers by the end of September 2001.

The following organisations are to be invited to join the working party:

„h Upper Hutt City Council
„h Upper Hutt Economic Development Council
„h Te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui ki te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui
„h The Ministry of Economic Development
„h The regional Education Cluster Group (a forum that includes the CEOs of Wellington's Tertiary Institutions).

"As I would like to have a recommendation on the future use of the Heretaunga site before the Wellington Institute of Technology vacates it, I want the working party to hold its first meeting before the end of April", said Steve Maharey.

Steve Maharey and Paul Swain reiterated their commitment to the retention of quality tertiary education provision within the Hutt Valley and the wider region:

"This change should be seen as an opportunity to consolidate and to build linkages with industry and the community. Every effort has been made to avoid disruption and specifically to minimise job losses. Equally we have been concerned to ensure that students will be able to progress through to the completion of courses they are currently enrolled in."

Ends

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