Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker says he is thrilled Telford will continue in 2019 for 12 months, securing a future for staff and students.
“Working with the Southern Institute of Technology and other stakeholders to develop a solution, I’m glad the gates of this fine institute will remain open,” Mr Walker says.
“Together, we had worked incredibly hard to offer a long-term solution.”
“However, the Government turned down the long-term proposal last week, and asked us to go back with a plan to keep it open for one-year.”
“This one-year agreement to keep Telford open is a starting point and I’m glad Telford has a future.”
The one year deal will mean Southern Institute of Technology will run Telford, the farm training campus near Balclutha in South Otago, for 2019 year.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the Government will pay $1.8 million to SIT for delivery of primary industries training programmes both at Telford and through distance learning.
“The Government needs to work hard throughout 2019, to provide a future for Telford and ensure this is not a Band-Aid solution.
“While I’m elated Telford has a future, the Government needs to ensure long-term security.”
“It’s incredibly disappointing the long-term proposal was turned down and Telford’s staff and students, along with the wider farming community, deserve long-term security and certainty.”
“What is even more disappointing is this Government is willing to spend more than $80 million creating a new skills and employment initiative announced in Northland this week, yet won’t spend money down south retaining long-standing services we already have.”
“This Government does not have a plan for agriculture training which has proved evident in this process as no direction has been given.”
“Agriculture training is clearly not a priority and is now in further limbo, with Telford’s long-term future uncertain.”
“Telford’s proud history will continue, we just have to hope the officials see sense, and this is for longer than 12 months.”
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