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The Government’s decision to strip the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) and other polytechnics across the country of their assets, and send all decision-making power to a centralised polytechnic, is devastating for East Auckland, says Simeon Brown, MP for Pakuranga.

“This week’s announcement will cost thousands of jobs across the country and may be the final whistle for polytechnics like MIT. The Government has decided all regional polytechs will be renamed as subsidiaries for two years, and will then be dissolved.”

“This is disastrous for regional education and apprenticeships, many of which are tailored specifically to the areas they operate within.”

“Many employers in East Auckland have told me they will hesitate to employ apprentices next year if they go back to polytechnics. This is a big step backwards, especially when our construction sector is crying out for more workers.”

“Labour’s ‘we know best’ attitude will mean apprenticeship programmes will be taken away from the industry who know the needs of their local communities, and instead give it to one centralised bureaucratic polytech.”

“The Education Minister, Chris Hipkins, has brutally dismissed the concerns of industry and businesses who raised serious issues with polytechnic training. Local institutions and businesses are best placed to assess and deliver for the needs of East Auckland, but the Government is blatantly ignoring them.”

“These reforms will dissolve MIT into a hollow and meaningless ‘legacy’ campus. It is pulling down a successful, high-performing institution and creating a mediocre model.”

“National supports regional education and regional autonomy. We will return polytechnic assets and decision making back to communities and the regions, and we will return apprentices to industry.”

“This is just one more example of a Government more interested in centralised control of everything, than what is best for our communities and for New Zealand.”

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