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Uncertainty continues for Telford with the Government’s reform of vocational education raising more questions for the agricultural training provider, Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker says.

Last week, information released to National showed the Government’s reforms will be wider than first thought and will strip power from regional New Zealand.

“The Education Minister has failed to report back to the Southern Institute of Technology on the education provider continuing into 2020 since taking over the running of Telford this year,” Mr Walker says.

“This has caused uncertainty for SIT, for Telford staff and students, and as a result has halted the proposed international student recruitment.”

“This uncertainty is already costing Telford in the loss of these students.”

“The proposed reform, which will see control and power taken away from a place like Clutha, and given to people in Wellington who have no idea about the needs of agriculture training, is just ridiculous.”

“Agriculture in New Zealand requires a completely different workforce and to remove the decision making processes away from the people who train this workforce is another blow for the primary sector and regional New Zealand.”

“The reform would also see the head office decide how the regions’ cash is spent and all other assets including buildings and land will simply be taken away and consolidated.”

“This raises the question about what it means for Telford’s legacy assets. Will the Government just up and take them?”

“We are incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful training organisation on our doorstep and to see it stripped of its resources and powers would destroy it.”

“National knows how important polytechs are to regional New Zealand and will return polytechnic assets and decision making taken by Labour and give them back to communities.”

“We will fight these reforms and we will fight for regional New Zealand.”

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