Stakeholder News

Stakeholder News | May 2022 

Kia ora koutou,
We’re nearly half-way through the year already, with plenty of events and activities to look forward to in the second half of 2022. I encourage you to take a look through the programme of events for the upcoming Techweek – there’s a good range of options and I’m pleased that Tai Poutini Polytechnic is able to support bringing the national event to the West Coast. Here on campus we’re preparing for our mid-year programmes to start and to welcome new students – there’s still time to enrol so if you or someone you know is thinking about upskilling read on for the options starting soon. As one of our community partners, I want to talk to you in more detail soon about the changes that are happening across vocational education and training in New Zealand. The operating model for Te Pūkenga is under development, setting out how the new system will operate and where we all fit in the puzzle. Tai Poutini Polytechnic has taken an active role in developing the new model for learning, always keeping one eye on the need to retain regional leadership and ensure the West Coast voice is heard. There will be developments later in the year and I’ll keep you updated on what this means for all of us.

Ngā mihi,
Alex Cabrera
Chief Executive


Driving simulators to robot building - Techweek 2022 hits the West Coast 

Tech Week 2022

 More than a dozen free, tech-focused events are coming to the West Coast as part of this year’s Techweek 2022 programme, kicking off on 16 May.

From robot-building and a virtual driving simulator, through to events on digital wellbeing and gaming support for parents, this year’s local event schedule has something for everyone.

Tai Poutini Polytechnic is once again supporting the annual nationwide tech event, which showcases and celebrates New Zealand technology. Techweek is a nationwide series of events, providing a platform for everyone to meet, share ideas and create connections for a better tomorrow. Tai Poutini Polytechnic supports the national tech event by promoting and coordinating locally focused events here on the West Coast.

Events runs from Monday 16 May through to 22 May. This year’s themes include: skills and knowledge, digital transformation, climate and sustainability, global impact, leaders and innovation, and Māori tech participation.

Tai Poutini Polytechnic Techweek Coordinator Paige Smith says there is a fantastic range of local events lined-up this year.

“I encourage everyone to take a look at the online events schedule as there’s sure to be something of interest. We’re really excited to host at our Greymouth campus a free driving simulator event to help Year 11,12 and 13 students to test their road safety and driving skills and knowledge on the latest driving simulator. There’s also a great event targeted at schools, where local businesses are showcasing how the latest in technology is being used around the West Coast.

“There are also some excellent events that offer support and guidance in key areas of technology. I’m sure parents will be interested in the free session offering a guide to the positives and negatives of gaming for young people. Along with other events such as those that support businesses develop and expand their online presence, sessions focusing on digital wellbeing and a focus on VR and the Metaverse, we’ve got a great programme this year.

“At Tai Poutini Polytechnic, we’re proud to support this fantastic programme and make sure our community can participate in a range of new and interesting events.”

Event schedule
Some events are targeted at different age groups, most are free to attend and many require registration.

For a full list of events and to secure your attendance, visit TW22 Programme - Techweek

A learning hub to benefit the whole West Coast 

Learning Hub

 Photo from left to right: David Mason - Tai Poutini Polytechnic Te Kaiwhakahaere o Mātauranga Māori, Hudson Dodd - The Nature Conservancy, Rebecca Keoghan – Tai Poutini Polytechnic Board Chair, Jamie Cleine - Buller District Mayor, Ned Tauwhare - Buller District Councillor, Alex Cabrera – Tai Poutini Polytechnic Chief Executive, Sharon Mason - Buller District Council Chief Executive and Di Rossiter - Buller District Council Sustainability Project Manager. 

The Westport-based Conservation Training and Employment Hub was officially opened at the end of March, bringing together West Coast employers, learners, mana whenua, local government and the vocational training sector to address local environmental needs and support the regional economy.

The Hub is a fantastic example of what can be achieved under New Zealand’s new direction for vocational education – the Te Pūkenga model which brings together tertiary providers across the country and puts the emphasis on the learner, cross-sector collaboration and partnerships.

The Conservation Training and Employment Hub is a collaborative response to a West Coast employment need which aims to benefit the entire region. Tai Poutini Polytechnic Board Chair Rebecca Keoghan explains how the concept came about and why it’s great for the West Coast.

To read the full article click here.

Polytechnic student-build house benefits local cause

Student build house

 Photo from left to right: Alex Cabrera – Tai Poutini Polytechnic Chief Executive, Trish Roney - Greymouth Rotary Treasurer, Karen Kennedy - Tai Poutini Polytechnic's Rotary Liaison

Proceeds from Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s 2021 Carpentry Project House have been presented to Greymouth Rotary and will benefit the Trees for Māwhera project.
Over the past four years, the Polytechnic has partnered with Rotary to support various projects benefitting the local community. Supported by local sponsors, tutors guide Carpentry students to build a three‐bedroom relocatable house which is sold for auction on completion and the proceeds gifted to a local Rotary cause.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic Trades Programme Manager Peter O'Sullivan says It's part of the Polytechnic’s culture to provide students with hands‐on training opportunities while benefitting our community.
“The Carpentry students get to appreciate the entire build process with the majority of them going on to gain apprenticeships in the construction industry. The 2021 construction process was slightly challenging with delays in supplies and the disruptions caused by Covid‐19, however the build was completed and sold at auction at the end of the year.”
The three‐bedroom house features a master bedroom with ensuite, open‐plan kitchen, dining and lounge area. The 2021 house was relocated to its permanent site just prior to Easter.
At a recent Greymouth Rotary meeting, Tai Poutini Polytechnic Chief Executive Alex Cabrera presented Rotary with the auction proceeds, thanks to the sale of the 2021 Carpentry students’ relocatable house.
"It's fantastic that we can assist Greymouth Rotary. The 2021 project was an excellent initiative and the Polytechnic was very pleased to be involved with the "Trees for Māwhera" project. When different parts of a community work together, great things can happen," Mr Cabrera says.
Rotary Treasurer Trish Roney says it is inspiring that this project will see a new programme at Greymouth High School linking all levels of education in the district.
“Trees for Mawhera project sees the funds going towards producing a planting kit for every student in the Grey district. Schools will decide on a planting project where the students can plant their tree and watch it grow. The Rotary Club of Greymouth really appreciates the opportunities created for the Greymouth district from these funds."

Still time to enrol for programmes starting mid-year 

Mid year programmes

 Thinking about upskilling, learning a trade or trying something new? Check out Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s mid-year programmes – there’s still time to enrol and start on your own learning pathway.

Many of the training options a free under the Government’s Covid-19 recovery programme and you’re sure to find something to suit you. Find out more at 2022 Programmes starting soon » Tai Poutini Polytechnic (
Mid-year programme options include:

For further study options including short courses visit