SIT to submit proposal to minister over Telford

The Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) will be submitting a proposal to Education Minister Chris Hipkins in connection with the troubled Telford agricultural training campus in Balclutha.

A statement issued by the Clutha Distrcit Council today announced that a meeting had been held quoting SIT Chairperson Peter Heenan as saying that he was encouraged by the support from all those at the meeting for a proposal that SIT would submit to Mr Hipkins.

Mr Heenan expected the proposal to be submitted to the minister and cabinet by the end of January. The statement did not reveal any details about the SIT proposal.

According to the announcement Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan, MPs Mark Patterson and Hamish Walker, members of the Telford Farm Board as well as representatives from SIT, the Tertiary Education Commission, the NZQA and the Tertiary Education Union attended the meeting.

Mr Cadogan said his thoughts were with Telford staff at this "difficult time" saying he appreciated their "commitment and loyalty to Telford and its students."

"There is a local determination for Telford to continue its long history of servicing agricultural students and the industry," he said.

The training institute running the Telford campus in South Otago was last year placed in interim liquidation at the request of its board.

Taratahi, a private training establishment and agricultural education provider, was running residential campuses in Wairarapa and Reporoa in the North Island, as well as Telford. Across all campuses it employed about 250 people.

 - by Giordano Stolley

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