Commissioner to be appointed to two Wellington-based polytechnics

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has made a preliminary decision to appoint a Commissioner to Whitireia and WelTec to address the two polytechnics’ financial woes.

“Following consultation and considering the 10 submissions, I have notified the combined Council of Whitireia and WelTec of my plans to dissolve it and appoint a Commissioner,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Whitireia is in extreme financial difficulty. If the Government hadn’t provided financial support of $15 million, it would have to close its doors this month.

“While WelTec’s financial position is stronger than Whitireia’s, it is also operating in deficit, experiencing lower than expected enrolments and needs to borrow to meet its financial commitments to keep running this year.

“The Government is committed to ensuring that top quality vocational training continues to be available at Whitireia and WelTec and that students have confidence they can complete their courses and enrol for future courses.

“The Council has up to 21 days to respond before the decision is finalised,” Chris Hipkins said.