Otago Polytechnic

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Proposed Polytechnic merger (Vocational Education Reform)

Updated 7 March 2019 

The Education Minister, Chris Hipkins, is proposing that New Zealand’s 16 polytechnics are brought together as one entity to form the New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology (draft name only at this stage). If this proposal is accepted, Minister Hipkins is suggesting that he wants to see the changes come into effect from 2020.  

We know this might raise a lot of questions for you as a current student and we're keen to try and answer as many of these as we can. At this stage, the Government have been a little light on detail but we hope the FAQs below will help. Got more questions? Email them to us and we will try our best to answer them for you as soon as we can.  


What's OP's stance on this?

Change does need to happen.

You need to be better served so that you can learn seamlessly at work or in institutions, and we also need to reform the funding model. The polytechnic sector will also benefit from having industry training and apprenticeships transferred to us.  

However, we are opposing the structural model put forward by the Minister, as it will remove our operational decision making and constrain our ability to be innovative and responsive to our region.  

Find out more about our alternative structural model 

Community consultation 

Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in the Vocational Education Reform community consultation event on 5 March. 

Around 400 members of the public, including local Iwi, Pasifika, elected officials, business stakeholders and community groups, gathered in our Hub to hear from Education Minister Chris Hipkins and TEC Chief Executive Tim Fowler. 

We feel we have been heard by the Minister, but our voices will be even more effective if you send your thoughts to the Minister as well.  

We encourage you all to have your say...

The consultation period lasts until 27 March.