Improvements see jump in polytechnic quality rating

A focus on quality and process improvements at Tai Poutini Polytechnic has resulted in an improvement to the institute’s NZQA quality rating.

NZQA has confirmed that it is confident about the polytechnic’s educational performance and is highly confident in its self-assessment capability. Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s External Evaluation and Review (EER) outcome has resulted in an improvement in rating from Category 3 to Category 2.

The report noted that new processes had “led to wide-ranging, well-embedded improvements for learners and stakeholders”. It also found that students get strong support from staff and that “…a clear understanding of, and growing connection with, the communities of the West Coast region are also evident.”

TPP Chief Executive Alex Cabrera welcomed the positive rating as a reflection of the hard work and improvements the institute had made in recent times.

“We introduced a Quality Improvement Plan in 2018. This work has resulted in continual and significant improvements right across the organisation and we’re extremely pleased it has been reflected in NZQA’s findings.

“The Government has continued to support Tai Poutini Polytechnic in recent years, providing financial support to allow us to keep delivering training and vocational education that meets the needs of the West Coast. During that time, we set some tough goals for ourselves and everyone has worked hard to get to where we are today. We’ve also been fortunate to receive the support of education partners including Southern Institute of Technology, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

“It was particularly pleasing to note the review’s findings that our good planning and alignment with Te Pūkenga expectations has been a contributor to what they called ‘progressive and thoughtful’

improvements at the polytechnic.”

TPP Board Chair Rebecca Keoghan says it’s pleasing to note that student achievement is reported as strong and has improved markedly since the previous EER.

“We are now looking to the future, with continued improvements under way and a strong focus on connecting and collaborating with our community in order to meet the needs of the West Coast and support the region’s growth.”

“We are proud to say to our community Tai Poutini Polytechnic offers quality training that meets the needs of the local community. We’re committed to reaching out to the region, continuing to listen and working to support initiatives and activities that encourage growth.”

TPP Board of Directors Member Murray Strong, who was previously appointed Crown Manager at Tai Poutini Polytechnic, says “The turnaround at TPP began when there was acceptance that things needed to change - being honest about the difficulties faced in 2017 was the starting point followed by a commitment from the whole organisation with the support of the Crown and TEC to ensure there was still tertiary education available to West Coasters. It required some hard decisions but the work that followed has ensured a high quality of provision of vocational training on the Coast.”

For more information contact:
Mequa Hourston, Leader - Engagement
DDI: 03 7699 405 | Mobile: 027 237 5844 | email:

Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s EER report is available here