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Latest polytech merger result of budget cuts

Bay of Plenty and Waiariki polytechs are the latest victims of National’s chronic underfunding of regional polytechs, after they announced today they are being forced to merge, says Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe.

“Since 2010, the Government has made $60 million of real cuts to the budget for regional polytechs. As a result, there are more mergers like this one as polytechs in the regions struggle to do more with less.

“The key issue for the Bay of Plenty and Waiariki will be ensuring this merger does not stop people studying.

“Strong and vibrant regional polytechs mean every Kiwi has access to high quality education no matter where they live. We can’t have people’s postcodes determining the quality of their education.

“Mergers and cuts at regional polytechs are just one more example of the damage being done by National’s neglect of the regions.

“We will be working with the regions to ensure that these polytechs continue to meet the needs of local people.

“National gutting the polytech sector of funds is another potential nail in the coffin for our regions. Labour will ensure our skills training and tertiary education opportunities are expanded not diminished,” says David Cunliffe.