Te Pūkenga leadership have failed.

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union is ready to fight for every job at Te Pūkenga, as members digest a series of shocking statements from their Chief Executive on RNZ’s Nine To Noon programme today.

Peter Winder stated, amongst other things, that at least 200 and less than 1,000 jobs could be lost as the organisation shifts to more on-the-job training at the expense of in-person classroom delivery.

Winder spoke of “a fundamental shift in the way that people engage in Tertiary Education” and a “move to support people to learn in the workplace as opposed to learn in the classroom. At the core of the shift is a way of learning that will work far better for learners than spending years in a classroom.”

Te Pou Ahurei | National Secretary of the TEU, Sandra Grey, says Winder’s comments bely a disdainful attitude towards the teaching profession and represent a failure of the leadership of Te Pūkenga to recognise the importance of face-to-face teaching and vibrant polytechnic campuses to communities and employers.”

“Te Pūkenga’s enrolments have suffered at least in part due to students voting with their feet in the wake of instability and bad publicity the organisation has been attracting. Perhaps the leadership of Te Pūkenga should take responsibility for that, not the staff.”

“As late as last week, Peter Winder told me there were no surprises coming. What he’s now suggesting is a betrayal of his teaching staff. Not only does he not value the work they do, but instead of telling them this directly he’s done it through the media.”

“An almost exclusive focus on on-the-job training may suit some students, but it does not deliver the inclusivity or equity that Te Pūkenga is legally bound by the Education and Training Act to hold as core principles.”

The Act also requires “a mix of education and training, including on-the-job, face-to-face, and distance delivery that is accessible to the learners of that region and meets the needs of its learners, industries, and communities.”

Grey says “unfortunately this failure also lays at the feet of the government, whose funding model is driving some of this. They must call an urgent meeting with Te Pūkenga TEC, WDCs, Te Taumata Aronui and the TEU to discuss how this advances the charter.”

Media contact
Enzo Giordani
+64 21 221 4910