18 Mar 2023

Unredacted document reveals mega polytechnic Te Pūkenga requested $330m from government

10:08 am on 18 March 2023
Te Pūkenga

A briefing document says Te Pūkenga's work to combine polytechnic and work-based training would cost nearly $423m. Photo: supplied

An error has revealed that mega polytechnic Te Pūkenga has asked the government for $330 million in this year's budget.

The figure was among several paragraphs marked for deletion in a ministerial briefing from February published recently by the Ministry of Education.

One of the undeleted sections said Te Pūkenga's work to combine polytechnic and work-based training would cost nearly $423m.

It said the institute had asked for $330m, most of it for IT infrastructure crucial to its change programme.

It said the money could be provided in part or in full through a low or no-interest Crown loan.

The document also showed the government was working on major changes to the way wānanga were governed and held accountable for the funding they receive.

It described the work as a high priority.

Te Pūkenga chief executive Peter Winder said in a statement it had provided its programme business case to the education minister.

"It forms part of Budget 2023 discussions and budget confidentiality. Until budget decisions are made and announced, we will not be commenting on its contents," he said.

"However, I will say that Te Pūkenga was provided $121 million in Crown funding for our establishment and transition until end of 2022. The PBC outlines our case for funding the next stage: the transformation of vocational education in New Zealand into a fundamentally different system."

Winder said transformation was the process of selecting the platforms and technologies that enable Te Pūkenga's learners and its success.

"This will involve both investment and change as we move from doing things 24 times to doing things consistently across the country as one single, unified organisation," he said.

"In doing this we will reduce replication and duplication, reduce cost, simplify processes whilst delivering towards a single, unified learner experience that is flexible for learners to gain relevant skills and qualifications that better meet their needs and those of employers."

The Ministry of Education said the unredacted document was published online in error and had since been taken down.

"Policy advice and recommendations under active consideration are usually redacted when proactively released. Obviously, this didn't happen here," it said.

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