Is The End Nigh For SIT As We Know It?

Jun 22, 2019
2701 Views

It’s looking likely that the Government is about to shank Southern Institute of Technology and merge it into a new bureaucratic entity called New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST).

Labour’s tertiary education reforms will be wider than first thought and will strip the Southern Institute of Technology of power and assets, MP for Invercargill Sarah Dowie says.

“National has obtained a Cabinet paper which outlines this information, the Government will take this paper to Cabinet on Monday.

Dowie says if the planned changes go ahead the following will happen:

  • The Government is intending on renaming regional polytechnics as subsidiaries of a newly formed statutory entity called New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST). A National Government will undo some of the most damaging ideological changes proposed.
  • The Government’s ‘we know best’ attitude will see Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) and polytechs dissolved over two years. The organising of apprentices will be taken from industry, who know the needs of our region best, and instead given to one polytech.
  • They will have their cash assets and community legacy assets ring-fenced at head office, all other assets will be taken away and consolidated. Current boards will be sacked on day one, including local members and will be replaced by a subsidiary board, and regional leadership groups will be advisory only.

“This is disastrous for Southland and for our well performing Southern Institute of Technology (SIT). SIT is in touch with local business needs in the community and are training the skilled and semi-skilled as apprentices, helping them grow, succeed and gain meaningful employment.

“Southland institutions and businesses are best placed to assess and deliver for the needs of Southlanders. They don’t need to be told what to do by a Government that thinks it knows best, intent on removing this knowledge from our region.

“The Labour-led Government has said it is committed to the regions. But they are destroying a polytechnic which is integral to our community. These reforms are punishing our regions and are punishing well-performing institutions like SIT. Wellington shouldn’t be telling Southland what to do.

“National will return polytechnic assets taken by Labour and give them back to the community. We will return polytechnic decision making to communities and the regions. We will return apprentices to industry. Education Minister Chris Hipkins should be addressing the problems where they are and leaving successful institutions like SIT alone.

“We will fight these reforms every step of the way, we know how important SIT is to Southland and Southlanders, and we know our region knows what is best for our community’s needs. National will overturn some of the Government’s most damaging ideological polytech reforms.”

You may be interested

Museum Saga Takes A New Twist With Ownership Revelation
Invercargill City Council, News
3063 views
Invercargill City Council, News
3063 views

Museum Saga Takes A New Twist With Ownership Revelation

Mike Sanford - Feb 28, 2020

Just when the Southland Museum saga couldn't get any crazier, it's been revealed that SMAG (Southland Museum Art Gallery) who…

Mitre 10 Cup Draw Home Games
News, Sports
260 views
News, Sports
260 views

Mitre 10 Cup Draw Home Games

Southland Sports News - Feb 28, 2020

Rugby Southland has announced the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup draw of home games the SIT Zero Fees Southland Stags will…

Riders Prepare to Fight for Yellow
News, Sports
43 views
News, Sports
43 views

Riders Prepare to Fight for Yellow

Southland Sports News - Feb 28, 2020

In cycling, no colour is as iconic as yellow. It is the colour of the leader’s jersey in the greatest…