31 October 2001
The cloud was lifted off the Southland Institute of Technology funding today when the Government was forced to support SIT competing in Christchurch, Clutha-Southland MP Bill English said.
Answering questions in Parliament today from National Social Services Minister Steve Maharey conceded he was 'not opposed' to SIT bringing down polytech fees in Christchurch.
"It was ridiculous for the Government to threaten SIT funding. SIT is very well run and students all over the South Island should be allowed to get the benefit of lower fees.
"Mr Maharey's earlier threat to withdraw funding from SIT if it continued to expand its business into Christchurch was an about face on his pre-election campaigning of lowering students' fees.
"Today Mr Maharey did a u-turn coming out in support of SIT calling it 'wonderful' and 'innovative'. It is good he has seen the light, especially given his own electorate is home to Massey University which has expanded well beyond Palmerston North to Wellington and Auckland," Mr English said.