The Government should see the failure of the polytechnics to compete with the private sector as an opportunity to
privatise them, says ACT Leader David Seymour.
"Chris Hipkins’ suggestion that the polytechnic sector will be saved by a more centralised bureaucracy sounds like the
start of a bad joke, but unfortunately it is very serious folly.
"We already have a mixed sector where private training establishments compete with polytechnics. The difference is that
the government sector lurches from one crisis to another, being periodically bailed out by the taxpayer, while the
private sector stands on its own two feet.
"Let's put it another way. If anyone suggested that the Government, having failed as the owner of polytechnics, should
take over the private sector, you’d think they were nuts. By the same logic, why should the Government continue to own
the polytechnics in any form?
"Students and taxpayers alike would be better off if the Government completely privatised polytechnics and institutes of
technology. Private owners would have a much better incentive to make them effective and profitable than the even larger
and more remote bureaucracy Chris Hipkins is proposing.
"The National Party has warned about job losses in the regions. Well, if polytechnics and institutes of technology are
losing money and having to be bailed out, there should be job losses. It appears the Nats have forgotten the purpose of
an educational institute is not to employ staff but to educate students."