Disrespectful consultation must stop.

Staff at Te Pūkenga, Aotearoa’s unified vocational education provider, have had enough of disrespectful consultation and they are speaking out. Well over a thousand people have signed a petition asking for a delay to the rollout of new Nursing and Social Work Curricula that’s being rushed through without content considered vitally important for both professions.

For Tumu Whakarae | National President, Tina Smith, the consultation process for curriculum unification has been particularly concerning in light of the impending rollout of the organisation’s new operating model starting July 19.

“If this is the way Te Pūkenga is going to proceed with consultation in all change management situations, we are going to have a real problem.”

“We all know, having worked for the former polytechnics and other tertiary providers, how consultation often goes. It tends to be a tick-box exercise that presents members with impossible timeframes to comment on decisions that have already been made. This leads to cynicism and a lack of trust in these processes.”

“If Te Pūkenga truly wants to be different, to meet its Charter commitments of empowering staff and operate with high levels of trust and engagement, then the sham consultation we’ve seen in nursing and social work has got to stop.”

“Unfortunately, decades of badly done consultation has led to apathy, but we can’t afford to let that continue. For us as union members, the best way to respond is by all standing together, taking action, and sending a unified message that can’t be ignored.”

Consultation on the new Te Pūkenga operating structure opens on July 19. TEU will be attending briefing sessions held for staff by Te Pūkenga, and we will also be organising member-only meetings in order to discuss the proposed operating structure and inform our response. Member engagement is crucial. Members are urged to attend these meetings whenever possible.