The new $3.4 million student accommodation built by the
Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) is a platform for
further expansion and making Queenstown an alternative to
Auckland for students.
Institute chief executive Penny Simmonds made the comments to
more than 30 guests at the official opening of the
villa-style facility in Remarkables Park Town Centre on
The ribbon was cut by Deputy Prime Minister Bill English,
beside Invercargill MP Eric Roy.
Mr English, who is also Clutha-Southland MP and Finance
Minister, said he and Mr Roy would miss their associations
with SIT when they retire as house members of Parliament this
The Invercargill-based institute achieved a national profile
through its ''zero fees'' concept and was a growing entity,
along with Queenstown, he said.
Mr English said tertiary education helps ''keep young people
on track'' by producing graduates with the skills employers
want, which will encourage investment in New Zealand,
increase gross domestic product and enable higher incomes,
while reducing the number of people claiming welfare
Institute council deputy chairman Peter Heenan said the block
for up to 54 SIT Queenstown students met their need for
affordable accommodation and signalled the growing popularity
of the resort as a ''full education solution''.