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Public consultation opens for Waiariki-BoPP merger

25 August 2015

Public consultation opens for Waiariki-BoPP merger

Waiariki Institute of Technology

Today the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce, has started public consultation on the proposed merger of Bay of Plenty Polytechnic (BoPP) and Waiariki Institute of Technology (Waiariki). The consultation can be found at www.tec.govt.nz/consultation.

“This is an exciting time for the future of tertiary education in the wider Bay of Plenty region,” says Ian Turner, Chair of the BoPP Council. “We’ve already undertaken staff and stakeholder engagement around our plans for greater collaboration. It’s encouraging to know it’s been mostly positive. Now it’s time for members of the community to have their say.”

The two institutions have been working collaboratively for a number of years. They announced earlier this year their intention to explore further ways of closer collaboration in order to provide greater education opportunities for the wider Bay of Plenty region.

Ian Turner acknowledged the feedback gained during the staff and stakeholder consultation period.

“We are grateful to our stakeholders for their views and delighted that so many see the benefits for learners, employers and communities throughout the region. Both Councils are confident that in taking this next step, the interests of all our communities will be better served and none disadvantaged.”

Earlier this month, the institutions submitted a formal business case supporting amalgamation to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Hon Steven Joyce, for approval.

The business case, presented by the institutions’ joint Councils, recommends that their respective organisations be disestablished and a new combined institution be created. Dr Neil Barns, Acting Chair of Waiariki Council, notes that many of issues raised during the consultation to date need to be addressed during the implementation of the proposed merger, should it be approved.

“It is our wish to work closely with all of the communities that the two institutions serve to design and implement a combined tertiary institution that better serves their needs. To do that we need and welcome input and involvement of Iwi, community, industry and local government representatives. We will be talking with a number of community leaders over the next few weeks to understand how best to engage with them going forward and what level of involvement they would like to have.”

An executive summary, the business case and an on-line consultation survey can now be accessed online at www.tec.govt.nz/consultation. Consultation will close on 22 September 2015. At the conclusion of the public consultation Minister Steven Joyce will consider all submissions before making a recommendation on the merger proposal. This could take a month or more to complete.

Ends.


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