Job losses coming as Te Pūkenga fights deficit

Massive job losses are on the cards for Te Pūkenga as the Government finally comes clean on how it is planning to balance the books, National’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Penny Simmonds says.

“Te Pūkenga is currently forecasting a $63 million deficit for 2022, and on Friday afternoon its chief executive Peter Winder announced a whopping $25 million in cuts to polytechnics and another $10 million across work-based learning for 2023.

“This signals that significant job losses are coming for the sector, which will have a major impact on the regions – a kick in the guts for the valiant polytechnic staff who’ve held Te Pūkenga together over the past three years.

“This Labour Government has poorly mishandled this mega-merger. I’m devastated for the loyal staff who will now lose their jobs, and by what Education Minister Chris Hipkins has done to trades-training in this country.

“After three years of turmoil, it is becoming clear that Te Pūkenga is all about increased bureaucracy at head office and polytechnic jobs cuts in the regions.

“At a time when New Zealand has critical labour shortages, our major vocational training sector is in dire straits because the Labour Government is intent on pushing through its ideological changes, despite the immense and damaging knock-on effects it will have.

“Instead of having strong leadership and a world class polytechnic sector, we have a Labour Government announcing profound and disturbing cuts on the eve of a long weekend holiday and doing unreversible damage to the sector.”