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Tai Poutini will merge with Northtec and Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT) ahead of the Government’s amalgamation of 16 polytechnics into one, National List MP Maureen Pugh says.

“The radical vocational reforms assume a merge between Tai Poutini, Northtec and WITT into a ‘semi-autonomous regional operating model’. This has everyone asking why these polytechnics at opposite ends of the country are being thrown together.

“All 16 polytechnics will become one entity called the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology as part of the radical tertiary education reforms. But in the lead up to this there will be a merger between seven entities. The seven polytechnics will undergo what’s known as a ‘structural merge’, in an attempt to hoover up some administrative savings.

“The Minister has questions to answer about how this is feasible when Whangarei, Greymouth and New Plymouth are so far apart.

“The Tertiary Education Commission identified the risk of the reforms not achieving the desired outcomes as ‘likely’ and Treasury and the Ministry of Education assessed the Regulatory Impact Assessment as ‘not fully convincing’.

“National’s approach is clear, rather than undermining the expertise of the regions, we should be building confidence and trust in them to deliver within their communities. If we are elected in 2020 we will return community assets back to communities.”

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