Tuesday, March 5, 2024

‘Big, bloated’ skills institute has to go, says Minister

The Government has begun the process of disestablishing Te Pūkenga as part of its 100-day plan, with Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills, Penny Simmonds, describing New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology as “bloated” in an online post.

Te Pukenga’s big, bloated head office has slowed decision-making, innovation and community input – it has to go,” the Minister (pictured) said.

“I have started putting that plan into action and have met with the chair and chief Executive of Te Pūkenga to advise them of my approach. I have also issued a new letter of expectation to the council this week.”

She said the council of Te Pūkenga has been asked to cease any activities that are inconsistent with disestablishment.

“This includes recruitment and staff restructuring activity, and other actions that will make it difficult to re-establish former ITPs as institutions.”

“The management of Te Pūkenga will be expected to focus on ensuring students, employers and staff are well supported through this next phase. Students will be able to continue their courses as normal.

“I have asked my officials for advice on the programme of work required to support the Government’s new agenda, including the legislative timeline.”

The Minister said key parts of that advice will include ensuring financial stability now, and in the future, and restoring regional decision making for local institutions to ensure they can better respond to the education needs of their communities.

“I will also be asking for advice on what other changes to the vocational sector might be needed to support and complement the disestablishment of Te Pūkenga,” said Ms Simmonds.

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