Taratahi comments from Ministers
In light of Grant Thornton’s PR about Taratahi being placed in Interim Liquidation at the request of its Board, below are the Govt’s comments.
Minister of Education Chris Hipkins
“The timing of this is tough, especially for students and staff. Supporting them is our top priority. TEC will work alongside Taratahi, NZQA and StudyLink to ensure students are supported in alternative options. Staff will also be supported through the process.
Taratahi is a Private Training Establishment. Financial problems surfaced at Taratahi in 2014: it was not providing the teaching it was funded to deliver and between 2009 and 2014. As a result, Taratahi was left with debts of $7.5m due to under delivery. This is in addition to the significant private sector debt they hold. Taratahi has repaid $3.5 of that mostly by selling assets. This is not a sustainable model.
We are taking steps to secure the home farm and we are talking to providers to fill the gap in provision for students. But what’s clear is that the current model of vocational training for primary industry is broken.
The Government is committed to finding a solution that will see continuity of training for students. We are looking at new models of primary industry training provision as part of the Vocational Education Training Review.”
Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor
“I’m incredibly saddened and disappointed that Taratahi, a proud agricultural training organisation, has reached a point where its operation is unsustainable. I am fully committed to primary sector training. We will continue working with industry on a plan to deliver a new approach to agrisector training that meets the needs of the industry now and into the future.”