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Boost for Wood Manufacturing

5 April 2006

Multimillion dollar boost for National Centre in Wood Manufacturing

The National Centre of Excellence in Wood Manufacturing (the Radi Centre) will receive a $5 million boost to develop its training and research programmes, Minister for Tertiary Education Michael Cullen announced today.

The Radi Centre, based at Rotorua’s Waiariki Institute of Technology, offers specialised diploma and degree level study programmes in wood processing and manufacturing.

The Tertiary Education Commission allocated the $5m from the 2004 budget subject to a business case being approved by cabinet.

Established in 2002, the centre is a partnership between the Forestry Industries Training and Education Council, Waiariki Institute of Technology and the University of Auckland.

The funding will be spread over four years to develop the centre as a teaching base for its two flagship programmes, the Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Wood Manufacturing,

New teaching facilities will be built to house specialised software used in the design and production of wood products and technology products purchased to support teaching and research.

"We need to add more value to our exports. Improving our knowledge base through the Radi Centre will help the wood processing and manufacturing industry produce more of the high quality export products needed to drive economic transformation,” Dr Cullen said.

The Radi Centre’s training programme was developed to meet a recognised gap in forestry sector skills and knowledge.

“This is the type of quality and relevant tertiary education that ensures the government is getting maximum return for its investment and meets clear industry need. It is also a fine example of collaboration between tertiary education organisations that I want to see throughout the sector,” Dr Cullen said.

ENDS

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