Media Advisory:

New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA)

Te Hautū Kahurangi | New Zealand Tertiary Education Union (TEU)  

Voices of the Sector Forum – Tuesday, 17 November 2002

Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau | Auckland University of Technology

The Voices of the Sector Forum 2020 brings together leaders in the tertiary education sector to discuss the issues and opportunities for international education in Aotearoa.

Tertiary education students, staff, senior leaders, government officials, and business leaders will meet to focus on a sector in disarray.

The forum participants will talk about the cascading complications of COVID-19 and the cracks it has revealed in the operation of the international education sector. The closure of borders due to COVID-19 has led to a funding crisis and has called into question the stability of the sector.  

In the lead up to the forum TEU President Michael Gilchrist states “Our sector has experienced genuine hardship due to failed market policies of previous governments. Now, urgent action is required from the government to make up the funding shortfall and avoid a deterioration in the quality of tertiary education provision for domestic and international students and in the overall development of our institutions.”

NZUSA National President Isabella Lenihan-Ikin goes further stating, “Students are prepared to stand up for all in the sector to ensure that the quality of tertiary education and the student experience is not diminished. The high cost of student education is hurting both students and staff. We will not keep paying the price for poor decision making, we need a new vision for the future that does not include higher fees, cuts to courses or institutions scrambling to protect future revenue.”

“The future cost to education and livelihoods is too great. We need new ideas and new solutions. Revenue from students must not be the only lever to fix a broken system. We must change the idea of what success looks like and students must be involved in any change process as we are literally paying for it.”

Students and staff are united in the demand that we build back better. COVID-19 has made crystal clear the value of tertiary education to the future of Aotearoa and staff and students are now on the frontline of building back better. Collectively, we will not accept the same solutions to old problems within the sector – Voices of the Sector Forum provides an opportunity for timely solutions.

Voices of the Sector Forum 2020 is closed to all media.

An all-of-sector statement will be given to media at the conclusion of the forum on 17th November. Any media commentary will be available after 4pm at AUT South Campus.

Media Contact: Michael Gilchrist -  027 899 4256

Voices of Sector Forum 2020 Participants:


Jill Milburn - Ara Institute of Canterbury

Beth Knowles - Ara Institute of Canterbury

Derek McCormack - Auckland University of Technology

Dr Nimbus Staniland - Auckland University of Technology

Rachel Simpson – Business NZ

Vicki Fox - Eastern Institute of Technology

Pii-Tuulia Nikula - Eastern Institute of Technology

John Goulter - Education New Zealand 

Paul Irwin – Education New Zealand

Laura Simpson – Education New Zealand

Chlöe Swarbrick – Green Party of Aotearoa, New Zealand

Gus Gilmore - Manukau Institute of Technology/Unitec

Tere McGonagle-Daly – Massey University

Michael Quinn - Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Belinda Himiona – Ministry of Education

Andy Jackson - Ministry of Education

Shingai Muchecheterwa - Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology

Sabrina Alhady – New Zealand International Students’ Association

Afiqah Ramizi – New Zealand International Students’ Association

Isabella Lenihan-Ilkin - New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations

Nigel Rawhiti – NorthTec

Mary-Liz Broadley – Open Polytechnic New Zealand

Doug Standring – Open Polytechnic New Zealand

Oonagh McGirr – Otago Polytechnic

Patricia Quensell – Otago Polytechnic

Nohorua Parata - Te Mana Ākonga

Murry Strong – Te Pūkenga

Stephen Town - Te Pūkenga

Tim Fowler – Tertiary Education Commission

Jared Commerer – Tertiary Education Union

Lee Cooper - Tertiary Education Union

Dr Michael Gilchrist - Tertiary Education Union 

Sandra Grey – Tertiary Education Union

Amanda Hickman – Tertiary Education Union

Fiona McDonagh – Tertiary Education Union

Samantha Stephen – Tertiary Education Union

Sarah Proctor-Thomson - Tertiary Education Union

Leigh Paterson – Tertiary Education Union

Hūhana Wātene – Tertiary Education Union

Peter Richardson – Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology

Ruth Thomas – Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology

Sarah Hardman – Unitec

Tina Smith – Universal College of Learning

Chris Whelan – Universities New Zealand

Ainslie Moore – University of Auckland 

Dr Svetlana Kostrykina – University of Auckland

Libby Passau – University of Auckland 

Sean Sturm – University of Auckland

Ravi Sharma – University of Canterbury

Craig Marshall – University of Otago

Professor Helen Nicholson – University of Otago

Dr Tawhanga Nopera – University of Waikato 

John Macalister – Victoria University of Wellington

John Snook - Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki

Jane Taylor - Whitireia Campus

Jo Douglas – Wintec