web analytics

Education mess

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, December 12th, 2015 - 14 comments
Categories: accountability, education, national, schools - Tags: , ,

A good, but depressing piece on tertiary education yesterday by Steve Deane in The Herald:

The $25 million student funding scandal

Taxpayers have already handed over millions of dollars to institutions which failed to deliver the education they promised. Steve Deane asks if we can have any confidence this won’t happen again.

It’s a long, interesting “Big Read” piece. Here’s the summary list from the end.


The Whakatane-based wananga agrees to repay $5.9 million in taxpayer funding after an investigation finds NZ Warriors players and staff gained qualifications after doing one day of an 18-week tourism course, while volunteers at a national kapa haka festival also received certificates. Donna Grant, Awanuiarangi’s director of performing arts, resigns from the wananga and is referred to the Serious Fraud Office.

WITT: November 2014

Six staff members resign as the Western Institute of Technology in Taranaki repays TEC more than $3.5 million following an investigation into its National Certificate in Maori Performing Arts courses. A probe by forensic accounting firm Deloitte found students were not properly enrolled, attendance records were poorly kept and qualifications granted without assessments.

TARATAHI: September 2015

Masterton’s Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre agrees to repay $7,549,000 it received over a six-year period during which it overcharged the taxpayer. A second breach involved the enrolling of 67 staff in an entry-level programme when little or no teaching took place. Taratahi’s former chief executive, Dr Donovan Wearing, died suddenly in January – three months after the TEC confirmed it was undertaking a “targeted review” of the organisation. A second SFO investigation is launched.


Agricultural training provider Agribusiness Training Ltd collapses after being ordered to pay back $6 million in taxpayer funding for under-delivering contracted teaching hours. Deloitte found five Agribusiness programmes delivered fewer teaching hours than its NZQA programme approvals specified.


Rotorua private training establishment Manaakitanga Aotearoa Charitable Trust is stripped of its NZQA registration and ordered to repay $2.6 million in TEC funding. Operated by Donna Grant, the Maori performing arts college is subjected to reviews by Deloitte and NZQA, which find it under-delivered teaching hours, failed to record student attendances and over-reported the number of students successfully completing their studies.

Labour followed up with a press release:

High risk institutions tip of tertiary iceberg

Five high risk tertiary institutions are just the tip of the iceberg that is threatening the sector, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says.

“After a real funding cut in Budget 2015, a massive transfer of resources from the public to private tertiary sector, and weak monitoring and oversight systems, National has no-one to blame but itself.

“Canterbury, Lincoln and UNITEC are major public institutions and their precarious financial state is of huge concern.

“ Te Whare Wanaga Awanuiarangi was deeply implicated in a major rorting scandal and owes millions.

“The proposed $100 million Lincoln Hub is at the centre of the AgResearch debacle and its future must now be in question.

“Unitec is outsourcing 300 staff and privatised core functions amid a controversial restructure.

“Aoraki has been effectively forced into a takeover by CPIT under threat of closure.

“There are nine more tertiary institutions on close watch, and two under investigation for potential fraud.

“Stephen Joyce dumped this news just after Parliament had risen because he did not want to face the tough questions.

“Kiwis – including affected students – deserve to know which the other nine institutions on medium alert are. The Government should tell us now,” says David Cunliffe.

A mess in tertiary education. A mess in charter schools. Seven long years. National aren’t very good at this.

After Labour’s press release, the following exchange on Twitter:


14 comments on “Education mess ”

  1. Sacha 1

    Just like the last time the Nats were in power, eventually their underfunding and ideological privatising causes crucial services to fall apart.

  2. BLiP 2

    We ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  3. Saarbo 3

    Amazingly, Joyce replies “Whatever” to last tweet above. Where are the main stream media on this, Im sniffing another “Serco” here.

  4. Sabine 4

    The one thing we need not in a world that is falling apart physically, in which our resources are running out, in which our overlords are more concerned on stealing hoping that if they steal enough they might have a chance of survival, is an educated populace that actually understands what is happening to them.
    So educate them dumb, give them gods, guns and a loaf of stale bread, keep them barefeet and pregnant in their kitchen without stoves, cause these are the masses that can be controlled, like the sheep and cows that are send of to the slaughter house.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    National aren’t very good at this.

    Wrong. National are very good at stripping funding from public institutions and re-purposing that money into private profit. Even when the private institutions are caught rorting the system we can be sure that a few people get very wealthy from carrying out those rorts and that they’re not being held accountable for them.

    • Tracey 5.1

      Yup when national is in power the people who want govt out of business when labour is in, line up for their back door payouts.

  6. Tracey 6

    Remind me what Joyces degree is in, how long it took and who paid for it?

  7. linda 7

    nactz are a total disaster is there anything that doesn’t turn to custard students are getting into debt for a worthless education its fraud of the highest order

  8. greywarshark 8

    The majority of the educational entities mentioned are Maori. It would suit the RW to have them mess their own nests. Then they can be pointed out as representing Maori lack of …. whatever was the current whine.

    To me they have been set up to fail, and charter schools are going to be helped till they succeed, and then it will be obvious to any RW that Maori are no good at education and running things – everyone will be invited to look at their poor record, dishonest even – and charter schools will look good. Then support for Maori education will dry up and be handed to charter schools, some of which will be run by Maori, and some not.

    The idea is to have a balanced education system. The overseas students come here, pay for their education, and will be allowed to settle here and get jobs. The NZ will get what can be afforded from the takings from the overseas students training, NZ will get the second-best courses like we get the second-best produce that isn’t exported. No more Sir Ernest Rutherford’s for us.

    Who needs education anyway. Nobody in power uses it to base intelligent and forward looking policy on. And the jobs that an education would help have been traded for dairy and meat access to overseas. The 3R’s will be all that are needed and back to early 1900s and leaving school at age 12. The giant orcs will fly over the country and drop their ordure on the hapless people, and we won’t have any friendly shire to return to.

  9. Dave McQuillan 9

    To be clear, only 2 out of the 9 institutions mentioned appear to be Maori-linked (Te Whare Wanaga O Awanuiarangi & Manaakitanga Aoteoroa Charitable Trust). Aoraki is not. I’m not sure about Taratahi, although I can’t find any evidence that it is.

  10. gsays 10

    i couldnt help but notice that the name deloitte is common to a lot of these cases.
    maybe we would be better off without them and thier ilk?
    i am sure they will fully and fairly renumerated./sarc

    seriously this, like the 2008 gfc, is the enivitable result of capitalism.
    putting business people in charge of educational institution must end up in greedy antics and illegalities.
    some things are sacred and should not be profitted from.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago