The Office of the Auditor-General yesterday released a damaging submission on the Government’s plans to dissolve regional polytechnics and merge them into one central body, National’s spokesperson for Tertiary Education Shane Reti says.

“The Auditor-General submits that ‘there is not enough detail in the proposals to assess whether significant structural change will improve the financial sustainability and governance of the ITP sector’,” Dr Reti says.

“This is a damning statement on reforms that Education Minister Chris Hipkins revealed on Sunday could cause ‘significant job losses’. National predicted in February that 1000 jobs would be lost.

“The Auditor-General also notes the risk that there could be a loss of knowledge if staff leave or lose their jobs.

“The submission also highlights concerns with the proposed January 1 timeframe and notes significant transition risks.

“The consultation period was disrespectfully short, and has seen revolt from employers and successfully embedded polytechnics, such as in Invercargill.

“The Auditor-General is an independent entity with oversight for the wise use of Government funds and Government assets. I strongly encourage the Minister to take heed of their submission.

If this is good for the country then the Government should delay the reforms, put it on the election card in 2020 and see what New Zealanders think.”


A link to the submission on the Reform of Vocational Education proposals by the Office of the Auditor-General can be found here.

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