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Govt Should Axe Managers Not Workers

Govt Should Axe Managers Not Workers

“The Government warning that it is about to swing a very big axe into Christchurch Polytechnic and other tertiary institutions shows they are targeting the wrong group,” said Paul Piesse, Co-leader of the Alliance party today.

“Reports have surfaced that Christchurch Polytechnic is already bracing for a deficit and is considering cutting courses and staff. The problem at Christchurch Polytechnic is at the top - not among the staff. It is managers, not staff, who should be targeted by the Government,” said Paul Piesse

“Helen Clark is being crudely political when she says Trevor Mallard is wielding the knife and is excising areas not considered to be top priority. She predicted screams for help will be heard from the polytechnics ‘as they rip some of the nonsense out of the system’,” said Paul Piesse.

Paul Piesse said it was Polytech managers who came up with the 2003 plan which wasted $15m of taxpayer money on Cool IT. “The Polytech enrolled thousands of students of whom only a few hundred completed the course.”

The Auditor-General found there was no conflict of interest involved in the dodgy computer course COOL IT at the Polytechnic. It also showed up the Polytech's lack of policy on the issue.

This suggests that Labour regards as “nonsense” courses that go beyond mere job training, Paul Piesse said. “In fact, any courses that augment the knowledge and skills of participants, even courses that have no occupational focus, are socially useful. By deepening understanding they enhance our level of civilisation. Occupational courses improve our competence, which is useful, but other courses advance our culture” Mr Piesse said.

“Helen Clark’s “value for money” can’t always be measured by money,” he added.

“The repercussions of top-level mismanagement, plus the Government’s right-wing confusion of education with job training will now lead to cancelled courses, disappointed students and sacked staff.”

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