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SIT Paying The Price For The Govt’s Tertiary Reforms

The SIT subsidiary board’s decision to cancel the Kelvin Street apartments is short-sighted, MP for Invercargill Penny Simmonds says.

“The decision is a perfect example of what happens when a board made up of people predominately from outside the Southland community are appointed to run our well-performing tertiary institution.

“While the demand from international students is down right now due to Covid-19 and our borders being closed, it will take two years to build the apartments and by then it is very likely international students will be back.

“But even with the borders closed the current SIT apartments are full this year.

“Not only would the apartments provide much needed housing in Invercargill, they would’ve also provided a construction boost and created jobs for our community.

“National has always opposed the Government’s tertiary reforms for this very reason. The local community has always been best placed to identify and address the needs of the community.

“Rather than undermining the expertise of the regions, we should be building confidence and trust in them to deliver within their communities.

“But the Government’s reforms have stripped away this autonomy, and now SIT is paying the price.”

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