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Stakeholder News | November 2021

It has been an interesting few weeks for tertiary education in New Zealand, with the lead-up to and release of Te Pūkenga’s proposed operating model for vocational training. We’re working through the detail here and what it means for the West Coast so we can provide feedback. At this point, the model goes as far as setting out what Te Pūkenga does, who for, how and where. Details about organisational structure and exactly where we all fit in will come after this engagement process. We’re always interested to hear your thoughts on what’s important for our region and we welcome you’re feedback – you’ll see more detail in the newsletter. Meanwhile, work and study continues as we push toward Christmas; it was great to see our team supporting the recent Covid-19 Super Saturday events and a good result for the West Coast. The announcement of two cases of Covid-19 in Christchurch last week was a very timely reminder for everyone to get vaccinated and stick to our Alert Level 2 rules.

Stay safe everyone.

Alex Cabrera
Chief Executive

Feedback sought on model for learning


Te Pūkenga is reimagining the way tertiary vocational training is delivered across New Zealand.

As a subsidiary of the national organisation, Tai Poutini Polytechnic is taking a proactive approach to being part of the change, with the key goal of influencing the process and getting the best outcomes for our learners and the wider West Coast region.

Right now, Te Pūkenga is asking for feedback on a proposed, high-level operating model for the new tertiary training system. It’s a complex model and it takes a bit of time to get your head around the concepts so we’re taking time to talk through the detail with our people and we’re interested in what our community thinks.

Essentially, what was released last week is the first phase of designing the new system. The proposed operating model sets out all the future functions of the training network and groups them together in a way that’s new, innovative and allows changes to the way tertiary vocational training has been done in the past.

Te Pūkenga has grouped the functions into:

  • Teaching, learning, support and navigation functions that put learners at the heart of the process and provide support for employers – these are groupings of learning areas.
  • Strategic functions that go right across the network and enable innovations, big picture thinking and measure performance.
  • Enabling functions that support all the activities of the network.

Ako (learning/teaching) networks are also proposed which would see teams created to support learners and the network. Our job now is to consider how the proposed operating model will work in reality, and in particular what it means for the West Coast.

We are unique here on the Coast and we have some specific needs that are different to other regions. We want to make sure these needs are captured so we get the right outcome.

We have an opportunity to be part of the process so if you’d like to share your thoughts on the proposed model and ideas on what the West Coast needs from its tertiary training providers, contact Leader – Engagement Mequa Hourston, mequah@tpp.ac.nz.

What can you study in 2022?


The end of the academic year is fast-approaching, which means enrolments are open for all our 2022 study options. Whether you want to take the first step on your career journey, or you’re looking to switch jobs and change-up your options – there are learning pathways and flexible study options to suit you.

Check out what programmes are on offer in 2022 here. You can call us anytime or email to find out more: study@tpp.ac.nz or call 0800 800 411. Or drop into one of our campus reception or the Greymouth Coast Connect Employment and Careers Hub on Tainui Street.

Community connections kick-start careers

Strong connections between Tai Poutini Polytechnic and the community are creating opportunities for students – as recent graduate Lydia Benner has found at the start of a one-year internship with the West Coast District Health Board (DHB) at Te Nikau Hospital.

After graduating with the New Zealand Certificate in Business (Administration and Technology) Level 3, Lydia began her internship in July, and is training as a Personal Assistant. Working in the Corporate Offices for Allied Health, Lydia’s role varies from organising checklists to writing minutes.

“It has been very eye-opening seeing how much the DHB does for the community and what goes on behind the scenes,” Lydia says.

In recent years, the DHB has previously employed more than 10 graduates, and Tai Poutini Polytechnic Business Administration tutor Paula Williams said that the DHB contacted the Polytechnic directly looking for graduates to fill vacant roles.

“It’s great to have this relationship with the DHB, and for graduates to be directly connected. It shows the trust the DHB has in the standard of our graduates.”

Being visually impaired, Lydia faces a few extra barriers than the average person, but doesn’t find it to be a disadvantage.

“It hinders me from travelling independently, but apart from that, my disability doesn’t affect my work. My bosses are great, and the Greymouth Taxi Service always gets me to work in plenty of time. If you do have a disability, don’t let it sway you from going for a job.”

“I think the internship will shape my career as a role that will be the first step in working my way up the ladder. I’m excited to see where it takes me!”

Super Saturday vaccine supporters



You might have spotted the Tai Poutini Polytechnic vans on the road during Super Saturday – taking people to and from the Greymouth Covid-19 vaccination drive-through.

We partnered with members of the Greymouth Volunteer Fire Brigade to help get people the jab. It was a big day for the West Coast, with the Grey District coming out in the top five territories around the country for people getting their first or second dose of the vaccine.

The team enjoyed the day out, with everyone involved taking pride in contributing to our nationwide vaccination goals.

Promoting breast cancer awareness


October is Breast Cancer awareness month in Aotearoa.

Tai Poutini Polytechnic took a practical approach to helping promote the health and wellbeing of our staff and students by running a breast health session with a Breast Nurse Educator from The Breast Cancer Foundation about signs and symptoms, reducing risk and supporting colleagues impacted by breast cancer.

Sixty per cent of breast cancers occur in women of working age (18 – 65) and we all need to take the time to look after ourselves, our colleagues and our loved ones.

The team enjoyed the day out, with everyone involved taking pride in contributing to our nationwide vaccination goals.

West Coast Short Courses

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