Stakeholder News | October 2021

We are all getting used to a “new normal” as we gradually come out of lockdown and get back to work. Like us, you will probably still have some special working conditions in place at Alert Level 2. At this time, our community partners and other external people are still not able to come on campus, but we’re holding video meetings and keeping in touch with everyone in new ways. We are also still limiting the number of staff allowed on campus – balancing between making sure we are providing the right level of support for our learners, while still following all Government guidelines. A big thank you to everyone who has been working with or alongside us over the past couple of months – I’m particularly pleased with some of the Covid response initiatives that have come out of our initial discussions with regional Mayors and iwi representatives – we continue to work closely with this group and should have some good news about work underway in the coming weeks. I’m proud of the way we can all pull together to get great outcomes even in these challenging circumstances.

Alex Cabrera
Chief Executive


Student-built house supports Trees for Māwhera

Tai Poutini Polytechnic has once again teamed-up with Rotary to bring West Coast children closer to our environment through the “Trees for Māwhera” project.
This year, the Polytechnic Pre-Trade Carpentry students will build a three-bedroom house as part of their practical learning, which is to be auctioned at the end of the year. In partnership with Rotary, and with the support of local businesses who generously donate building materials and services, the proceeds of the auction will be donated to Greymouth Rotary for their chosen community project.
This year’s project has been confirmed as the Trees for Māwhera initiative – a collaboration with Rotary and Greymouth High School to plant more than 2000 native trees across the district.
The project is being driven by students of the high school’s new Conservation and Earthcare course, which provides hands-on learning current and future sustainability issues and biodiversity protection. The course also involves the West Coast Trades Academy and Papa Taiao Earthcare.
Funding will help students with the facilities and support needed to nurture more than 2000 native trees and plants from seedlings over the next two-to-three years. Through Trees for Māwhera, the students aim to gift one of these trees or plants to every student in the Grey District.
Chief Executive, Alex Cabrera, says working with Rotary to support the Trees for Māwhera project is a wonderful way to bring West Coast children closer to their environment and support lifelong learning about sustainability and biodiversity.
“Our carpentry programme is extremely fortunate to have the support of some wonderful local tradespeople and businesses each year. Their donations of material and services means we can make a strong contribution to local charities at the end of each year.
“We have a great partnership with Rotary and we’re excited about this year’s community project as it reaches into our local schools and will be of real benefit to the West Coast.”
Greymouth Rotary President Catherine Moffitt says supporting youth, education, conservation and the environment are key Rotary goals.
“Greymouth High School’s new Conservation and Earthcare course incorporates all those factors, making it an easy choice for our membership to support as the club’s major fundraising initiative for the 2021/2022 Rotary year. Together with the conservation course leader we developed “Trees for Māwhera” for which students will grow native trees and plants and gift one to every primary and secondary student in the Grey District.”
Trees for Māwhera background
The Trees for Māwhera Project seeks to gift a plant, of West Coast origin, to every primary and secondary student in the Grey District. This will be done through schools, with each student taking their tree for planting at home or other appropriate public locations. It’s aims include: creating a greener, healthier environment, increased biodiversity, regenerated landscape; meaningful learning for students across a wide range of abilities; Developing industry specific skills – conservation, horticulture etc.; and supporting young people to connect and contribute to their community.
Polytechnic Project House background
Every year, carpentry students build for relocation a three-bedroom house to gain real-world work experience. Once complete, locals can bid on the home at auction knowing the proceeds will be going to a good cause. Auction details and timings will be announced soon.


Polytechnic Training for Work students top national work stats

Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s Training for Work programme has once again topped the country in its work to support students into jobs through the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) programme.
Over the year to June, 83% of the Polytechnic’s Training for Work students remained in jobs for longer than three months. This is the top result for any national provider of the programme and is a significant jump on the national target of 50%.
The Training for Work programme is focused on getting MSD clients into jobs on the West Coast. It runs for 13 weeks, teaching skills that help people go through the interview process, what’s expected in the workplace and gain relevant qualifications to help students to achieve their goals.
Polytechnic Manager Teaching and Learning Annabell Dey says tutors have continued to take a strong learner-focused approach to the training over the past year and it is pleasing to see such good results.
“We spend time with each person to get to know them, what they want to achieve and what makes them tick. By putting our learners at the centre of our training, we really can create great outcomes for them.
“We understand that everyone learns differently and that, for many, training and getting ready for work can be challenging. So we spend time talking to all students before they begin the MSD Training for Work process and we make the learning flexible to suit their learning needs.
“We work closely with MSD throughout the training period to ensure we are delivering the outcomes they are looking for. Ultimately, we want to support our learners to secure jobs on the West Coast so our tutors actively help to identify job opportunities and guide them through the interview process.
“It’s great to see the benefit of this student-focused training in our results. We know we can make a
difference for our students and we’ll keep working with them to help them achieve their goals.”


High school students pitch big ideas

Business-minded high school students from around the West Coast are preparing to pitch their big ideas at a special celebration event in October.
The West Coast is now a separate “region” in the nationwide Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Business Challenge, which sees high school students develop business ideas over a series of annual events.
To celebrate the milestone, Tai Poutini Polytechnic is hosting a special dinner on 29 October in Greymouth. As part of the evening event, the top 4 high school teams from across the region will pitch live on the night. The winning pitch will secure a place for the team in the Wellington national final in December.
Regional awards from Development West Coast, the Polytechnic and the West Coast Trades Academy are also up for grabs.
The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme is a year-long opportunity for senior secondary students to unleash their inner entrepreneur and experience the start-up world first-hand. Five challenges are held throughout the year that contribute to team’s overall results in the business challenge programme – a year-long opportunity for senior secondary students to experience the business world.  
If you would like to attend this evening of entertainment as we watch our young entrepreneurs go head to head for first place, and more importantly celebrate the success of the Young Enterprise on the West Coast, please get in touch with Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s Secondary/Tertiary Education Liaison - Jade Mahuika,


News from Te Pūkenga

The New Zealand vocational training sector is being reimagined. This is massive change and it will take time to put in place. Te Pūkenga is the new national tertiary training organisation, of which Tai Poutini Polytechnic is a subsidiary – we will eventually be known as “Te Pūkenga” when the organisation is fully up and running.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic is playing a big part in the sector reforms, testing new ideas and being proactive with initiatives. Being part of the change means we can help secure the future of training on the West Coast. It’s exciting to take part in a new way of working. Whatever the new model looks like, we know training still needs to be delivered on the West Coast.
Operating model shared in October
Te Pūkenga is planning to share its work on the operating model development in October this year. A collaborative process has been underway to develop the operating model, outlining what Te Pūkenga will be, what Te Pūkenga will do, and how Te Pūkenga will be different. The operating model is a view of how all the elements of Te Pūkenga will be structured, operated, and managed together to help the organisation deliver on its vision.
The Operating Model will give the big picture outline of how exactly what Te Pūkenga does and how – it does not include detail such as organisational design or structure, roles and responsibilities, business planning or job descriptions.
September update from Te Pūkenga
Read Te Pūkenga’s September newsletter at Kōtui Kōrero newsletter - September 2021 | Te Pūkenga.
It has updates and information on:

  • Connexis the second TITO to transition to Te Pūkenga
  • New research highlights what Pacific learners need to succeed
  • Research on the needs of disabled learners
  • Links to news and updates from subsidiaries around the country