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A recently leaked Cabinet paper outlines the damage the Government’s polytechnic reforms will do to regional decision making, National’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“The mega polytechnic will have a council with 80 per cent of the members appointed by the Minister, all current polytechnic councils, including local members will be sacked on day one of the reforms.

“The document also states that head office will have a ‘stronger degree of control over regional operations’.

“But it’s the regions and local people who are best placed to decide what polytechnic courses to teach, where, and how to teach them. They know the needs of their community and local businesses, and are delivering for them.

“These ideological reforms will pass decision making back to Wellington and the regions will be left with token advisory groups. This is disastrous for regional education, the Government needs to stop pushing ahead with these reforms.

“National will return local polytechnic decision making back to the regions and back to local people. We will fight these reforms and fight for regional New Zealand.”

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