Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Cullen: Address to Eastern Institute of Technology

Friday 10 March 2006

Hon Michael Cullen: Address to Eastern Institute of Technology 2006 Graduation Ceremony

Hawkes Bay Opera House, Hastings

Chris Collins, Eastern Institute of Technology Chief Executive, David Pearson, Council Chairman, Kaumatua Joe Northover, Kuia Pauline Tangiora, Council members and staff, proud families and students.

It is great pleasure for me to be here today, to celebrate the success of EIT’s graduates in Business & Computing and Science & Technology. Today is the culmination of years of intellectual effort equipping yourselves with knowledge and skills for your chosen area of expertise. From now on you will be turning that expertise into what I trust will be stimulating and productive careers.

In particular, I want to mention Tracey Taylor, who is the first person to graduate with a Bachelor of Viticulture and a Bachelor of Wine Science at the same time. I understand that Tracey left behind a 20-year career in banking to follow her dream in one of New Zealand’s most vibrant industries. As someone who spends a lot of time with bankers and also enjoys savouring New Zealand wines I can assure you that you have made a very wise choice.

A crucial role of institutes of technology and polytechnics is to provide accessible and flexible learning opportunities which meet the needs of regional communities and regional employers. Those needs are constantly changing, as the economy grows and develops and as our culture evolves. EIT has worked hard to address those needs and to respond to those changes.

EIT has established an important niche for itself by offering people from all walks of life the opportunity to study specialist subjects that meet the needs of Hawkes Bay’s key industry groups, such as wine, tourism and recreation. Courses offered range from certificate and diploma level, through to degree and post-graduate. This commitment to providing a mix of distinctive learning opportunities based on local need and drawing on key national qualifications is commendable.

It is encouraging to note that almost two-thirds of EIT students are women, that 80 percent study part-time, and that nearly 75 percent are aged over 25. Providing flexible and tailored approaches to learning for a diverse group of students at various ages and stages can be quite a challenge to an institution. EIT has risen to that challenge, and is succeeding admirably.

Making tertiary education more learner-focused is an important step towards increasing the quality and relevance of our tertiary system. But there is often a tension between being learner-focused and the incentives provided by aspects of the current funding system.

That is why I have signalled that the government will be making changes to the funding system to get a better focus on achieving the outcomes that learners want and meeting the skills needs of the economy. The funding system needs to take into account not just how many students enrol in a course, but how many complete it. We need also to reduce the number of students who begin tertiary student but lose their way, with through lack of planning or because of barriers such as a lack of flexible study options.

We want a funding system that will give institutions like EIT the confidence to plan ahead, and to continue to innovate so as to serve the Hawkes Bay community.

Results, of course, are what we are here to celebrate today.

I want to wish all of today’s graduates all the best for their personal and professional futures, whether that involves going straight into a job or onto further study. I would like also to acknowledge the families who have provided years of support to these graduates.

You should all be proud of your achievements, and we look forward to more achievements to come.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news