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A double win for tertiary education in Hamilton and the Waikato

Hamilton has been chosen for the NZIST head office

New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST) announced its head office will be located in Hamilton, hot on the heels of the Budget 2020 news of a healthy boost for vocational training in the Waikato.

It’s been a significant couple of days for the vocational education sector and the Waikato region, says Wintec Chief Executive David Christiansen.  

“With yesterday’s Budget announcement strongly investing in vocational education, skills and training, and the news today that the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST) head office will be based in Hamilton, it’s a great boost for our sector and the region. 

“The head office announcement is a wonderful recognition of the diversity, strength and growing importance of Hamilton, the Waikato and indeed, the wider region. 

“It’s also a reflection of the absolute commitment NZIST has to honouring its obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, its commitment to addressing equity within the sector, to achieving parity of outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, disabled, and disadvantaged learners.  

“Placing the HQ in the heart of the Kīngitanga, and in a region with a vibrant Pasifika community of its own and so close to Auckland – really does underscore those commitments.” 

“It is a head office for Aotearoa, New Zealand and for all involved in the polytechnic and industry training sectors.”  

Wintec Board Chair, Niwa Nuri says the head office news reflects the tremendous efforts of “Team Waikato” thanks to the great bid from the consortium of Te Waka, Hamilton City Council, Waikato-Tainui, and Waikato Chamber of Commerce, supported and endorsed by Wintec. 

This is great news for all learners across Aotearoa, with a head office in this region it gives NZIST easy access to the bulk of the population, and to thousands of learners and apprentices currently accessing vocational and skills training and education from institutes of technologies and polytechnics, and industry training organisations.  

“This includes the thousands of learners that Wintec delivers education and training to, and has done so, for over 90 years in this region,” says Nuri.  

On the Budget announcement Christiansen says: “it is a very broad, extensive and considered package – with investment in the vicinity of 1.6 billion into training and employment generally. 

It is strongly supportive of, and invests heavily in trades, youth, Māori and Pasifika training and development and employment.  With a focus on a range of critical sectors - building and construction, primary industries, but also the health and social services sector too.” 

“The Budget will support the vocational education sector as it rises up to meet the needs and demands of the economy, and of people being laid off or needing retraining in the short term over the next two to three years.

“We are already working through as a sector identifying what skills and training are going to be needed and working with government agencies and the Tertiary Education Commission on innovative and flexible solutions and training packages.”

Nuri also welcomes the Budget news. 

“It addresses some core funding issues, such as CPI for institutions, invests in apprenticeships and institute of technology and polytechnic delivery, as well as student welfare, in terms of hardship.

“It’s good news for our sector and the communities we deliver education and training to. The significant funding for additional tertiary enrolments, fees free trades training, apprenticeships, and Māori apprenticeships too, a range of Pasifika training and employment initiatives, some increased general funding, and support for specific sectors, is a welcome investment.” 

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