The Government will pay an additional $8.5 million to troubled Tai Poutini Polytechnic (TPP) so it can continue to operate over the coming year.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the funding boost was needed to keep the polytechnic on the South Island’s West Coast running and to improve quality, pending wider sector changes. A business case of options for TPP has been deferred for the same reason.
The financial lifeline comes as the Tertiary Education Commission prepares to write-off $24.878 M (GST inclusive) of debt owed by TPP to the Crown resulting from under-delivery between 2010 and 2016, “as it simply cannot afford to repay this amount.”
The TEC is releasing a report detailing the findings of its investigation into TPP.
Hipkins said it has been clear to all for some time that TPP is in serious trouble, and that substantial change was needed. However, challenges faced by TPP were not unique and sector change was critical to a sustainable future.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic was one of 16 institutions providing vocational education and training delivery across NZ that for a number of reasons have seen student numbers drop alarmingly over the last eight years, Hipkins said.
“This situation has left us with a group of ITPs some of which, like TPP, are facing immediate and pressing challenges to their financial viability and sustainability, and are unable to modernise teaching and learning to better meet the needs of learners and employers. For others the challenges are less imminent, but getting closer.
While work continues on the process, the Minister decided has deferred a decision on TPP’s business case.