14 Mar 2023

Te Pukenga still faces delays, staffing issues and budget cuts

From Nine To Noon, 9:20 am on 14 March 2023
Te Pukenga

Photo: Te Pukenga

Polytech courses up and down the country are underway for the academic year, but the mega-merger entity Te Pukenga still faces delays, staffing issues and budget cuts.

Te Pūkenga came into existence on January the first, bringing more than 16 individual polytechnics under the one umbrella, with 260-thousand students , and 13-thousand staff around  across the country. 

There have been several high profile resignations from the merged entity, which so far has cost $200 million.

The most recent was Richard Forgan, deputy chief executive for strategy and transformation, who finished early this month after just weeks in the job.

Te Pukenga's Chief Executive Peter Winder has told staff that savings of $35 million will have to be made this year.

And an as-yet unpublished business case for Te Pūkenga suggests is seeking a further financial injection of $422.6 million over the next four years, from this year's budget.

Penny Simmonds was Chief Executive of the Southern Institute of Technology for 23 years from 1997 to 2020 - before becoming the National MP for Invercargill.

She says Te Pukenga is becoming a financial black hole, achieving very little for students and learners.