The Government’s decision to continue financial support for Tai Poutini Polytechnic (TPP) is great news for the future
of tertiary education on the West Coast.
Funding support for the coming year was confirmed today by Education Minister Chris Hipkins www.beehive.govt.nz
. It coincides with the release by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) of its investigation into TPP delivery
between 2010 and 2015 www.tec.govt.nz
Funding support allows the institute to keep operating while plans to develop a new model for the delivery of quality,
sustainable tertiary education at both a national and regional level are progressed. Chief Executive Alex Cabrera says
TPP, as part of a range of improvements made over the past 18 months, is considering new ways of working that take an
innovative approach to tertiary education in one of New Zealand’s most isolated regions.
“We know we have to do things differently to secure the future of vocational training on the Coast so we’ve worked
closely with the local community, partner organisations and Government to come up with a proposal for the future.
Today’s indication of the Minister’s strong focus on how the regions can be better supported by tertiary education is a
positive step toward change.”
Crown Manager Murray Strong says TPP’s new management and governance teams are very aware of the financial and strategic
challenges they face, along with the serious issues identified in the TEC report, commissioned two years ago and
released earlier today.
“While the findings are not a surprise, they remain disappointing. However, we have already taken steps to address many
of the issues raised in the report. The appointments of myself and Mr Cabrera in 2016 marked a period of positive change
for TPP. Our focus has remained sharp on the need to deliver quality education that gets local people into local jobs.
“We’ve been continually improving our processes, quality and financial performance as we come up with new ways of
working. We have already created more robust systems and processes, introduced coordination and moderation improvements
and improved stakeholder engagement. We remain conscious that the Polytechnic’s situation is serious and we have a lot
of hard work ahead.”
TPP Chair of Council Andrew Robb says TPP remains committed to shaping a better future for tertiary education on the
West Coast. Quality is a key priority, he says, along with providing education that makes a contribution to the local
economy and is relevant to local industry.
“Times of change are never easy and we’ll only succeed if we remain focused on why we’re here: to meet the needs of
Coast students and Coast businesses in way that is financially sustainable. We’ll have to make tough decisions but our
focus must remain on meeting these three core values and ensuring we’re ready to deliver for the West Coast,” Mr Robb