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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

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EIT has years of experience in providing agriculture training.

EIT and UCOL are working together to re-establish delivery of Tertiary education at the former Taratahi Agriculture Training Centre in the Wairarapa.

The re-establishment of Primary sector training at Taratahi supported by EIT and UCOL Wairarapa is part of the national COVID-19 recovery of the agriculture sector.

The training is the result of collaboration between primary sector leaders, UCOL Wairarapa, EIT, Ngāti Kahungunu, and the Wairarapa Economic Development Committee. Working with Ministry of Primary Industries, Dairy NZ and with the liquidators of Taratahi, the collaborative network has secured government funding to provide the free taster courses and other primary sector training. The focus of these programmes is to assist potentially displaced New Zealanders from their previous employment and introduce them to the uniqueness of a career on the land

EIT and UCOL bring the expertise to run the short courses, which may lead onto more in-depth training and qualifications. EIT Head of School for Primary Industries, Nigel Udy and Berni Pothan, Director of UCOL Wairarapa, both highlight the commitment of everyone involved in the project.

“EIT is one of the leading primary industry Tertiary providers in the country. We have years of experience in supporting agriculture education, including residential training facilities such as Pukemiro, Smedley and Waipaoa Stations” says Nigel. “We strongly believe that our expertise and resources will help get the primary sector training up and running again.”

Planning is now underway, with residential taster courses starting in July designed for people to decide if they want to pursue a career in the sector.

Robin Potangaroa, chair of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua Settlement Trust is happy things are moving in the right direction and said this initiative has a bright future.

The Wairarapa Economic Development Group, chaired by Dame Margaret Bazeley, have been instrumental in liaising with government and the liquidators to get these courses moving.