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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

8 mins ago

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst (left), Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Penny Simmonds and Executive Director Region 2 – Te Pūkenga Kieran Hewitson at the EIT Hawke’s Bay Campus in Taradale.

Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Penny Simmonds met with regional government, business and community leaders at the EIT Hawke’s Bay Campus in Taradale on Wednesday (3 July).

The purpose of the meeting was to hear what the region needed from EIT and to better understand the challenges the region faced.

Minister Simmonds has had a long association with EIT, having previously worked as Chief Executive of Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) for 23 years.

She says EIT has been a successful polytechnic all the way through, and has always had close connections with the community, and industries.

“EIT has been a real shining light in the polytechnic sector, particularly for regional polytechnics. There has been stable, sensible governance and management for not twenty years but decades.”

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said: “We told the Minister that we have been very proud of how EIT has served our regions of Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay over the years, providing quality education pathways under a sustainable financial model”.

“Our region has long faced challenges in reducing the number of youth not in employment, education or training, and the progress we have made has been in part due to the broad range of quality programmes on offer through EIT and their campuses.

“The transition to Te Pūkenga has been very difficult for the leadership and governance team, compounded by the cyclone from which the Taradale campus is still recovering.”

As a region, Hazlehurst says our councils will invest $4b over the next 10 years on infrastructure related to recovery and growth.

“More than ever, we will need a skilled workforce to complete this mahi, and many of these workers are yet to be trained.

They also stressed to Minister Simmonds that given the urgency of our recovery, Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay should be a priority to get a locally governed and led training institute working effectively for our communities.

The ministers visit precedes the start of consultation on the future state of vocational education and training following the post-election decision to disestablish Te Pūkenga. Minister Simmonds encouraged those in attendance to provide feedback to the consultation to ensure the regions education and training needs are best served.