Otago Polytech making 'very compelling case'

Education Minister Chris Hipkins. Photo: NZ Herald
Education Minister Chris Hipkins. Photo: NZ Herald
The Protect Our Polytech campaign seems to be gaining traction, with Education Minister Chris Hipkins yesterday calling Otago Polytechnic's argument "compelling".

The vocational training sector has reacted angrily to proposals to reform the sector released a fortnight ago by Mr Hipkins.

Both Invercargill's Southern Institute of Technology and Dunedin's Otago Polytechnic have been in the vanguard of a campaign opposing centralisation of New Zealand's 18 vocational training institutes.

Mr Hipkins has this week attended public meetings at both establishments.

At question time in Parliament yesterday, National MP Simeon Brown asked Mr Hipkins if he had listened to concerns from Otago Polytechnic, and whether he would commit to local polytechnics such as Otago retaining their local brand and brand name.

Mr Hipkins said he had listened to Otago's concerns.

"In answer to the second part of the question, that's something we're getting a lot of feedback on, and I think they're making a very compelling case."

Otago Polytechnic chief executive Phil Ker said he was pleased with the minister's comments.

"That is great to hear that we are able to have a rational discussion on this issue and that people are listening."

The campaign was not finished yet, and he was still working on ways to make Otago Polytechnic's case more compelling, Mr Ker said.

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