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Government must continue to support regional polytechnics

Grant Robertson

Spokesperson for Tertiary Education

Moana Mackey

List MP

3 December 2010 Media Release

Government must continue to support regional polytechnics

Although the final sign off of approval has been given to the merger of the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) and Gisborne's Tairawhiti Polytechnic, Labour MP’s Grant Robertson and Moana Mackey are calling on the government to support strong regional Polytechnics to lift regional economic development.

“The two organisations will merge from January 1 next year and although they will form one of New Zealand’s largest institutions, it will be important that the distinctive labour market, social and cultural needs, of the Tairawhiti region are supported in the merged institution,” Moana Mackey said.

Labour’s spokesperson for Tertiary Education, Grant Robertson expressed his concern about the National government’s commitment to regional Polytechnics.

“The cuts in funding to regional Polytechnics- $60 million over next three years- is putting pressure on a number of institutions.

“This funding was capability funding that acknowledged that in some areas student enrolments alone would not be enough to allow the institutions to operate properly. This is a reality that we need Polytechnics in regional areas for the health of those regions and government needs to provide additional support to make that happen.

“Quality, relevant technical and vocational training and education is essential to our on-going productivity as a country and to regional development. National has already cut funding here. It should be restored and adequate support provided in years to come,” said Grant Robertson and Moana Mackey.


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