Meeting with Minister Tinetti.

Tumu Whakarae | National President Julie Douglas and Te Pou Ahurei | National Secretary Sandra Grey had a productive first meeting with new Education Minister Jan Tinetti a fortnight ago.

Topics of discussion included the challenges, controversies, and direction of Te Pūkenga; reporting and auditing in the tertiary education sector; and the morale and wellbeing issues caused by persistent change and underfunding by successive governments.

Amongst our key asks were for the Minister to visit a number of Te Pūkenga campuses as soon as possible in order to gain a strong grasp on the issues staff are facing; hold a roundtable forum involving Te Pūkenga ELT, WDCs, RSLGs, TEC, MoE, and TEU on the direction of the vocational education reforms; and the need to ensure there is money available to fund pay parity for Te Pūkenga and deliver pay equity in the university sector.

Afterwards, Dr Julie Douglas described the meeting as “useful” and added “the Minister was open to a lot of what we had to say, and we are hopeful of progress on most of the matters we raised. We have asked for more regular meetings to follow-up and we will keep members informed as and when meetings occur.”

“Regardless of the fact we don’t always agree with decisions that come out of the Beehive, at least with the current government there is always a constructive dialogue with us. We do greatly appreciate that and hope it will continue.”

“Given the threats of job cuts, we also need the Minister to join members at the TEU’s conference in May to discuss how the current government will respond to the ongoing funding issues facing the sector and impacting on education and training opportunities for all New Zealanders.”