Stakeholder News | February 2022

Kia ora koutou,
A new year has started with yet more Covid-19 changes and requirements, which I’m sure you’re taking time to get used to just as we are here at Tai Poutini Polytechnic. Tertiary education providers are required to follow some specific rules at the Red traffic light setting, which have an impact on our community partners – we’ve set those out in this update. At the beginning of the year, we also adopted our own Covid-19 policy which was prepared in consultation with staff and sets out that any visitors to campus must show proof of vaccination or exemption. This policy is in line with tertiary providers around the country and aims to keep all our people safe. There is a lot going on right now and, in the midst of all these changes, we continue to prepare for another big year of education. I look forward to working with many of you throughout the year.
Ngā mihi


Tai Poutini Polytechnic at Red

Under the Red setting of the Government’s Covid-19 Protection Framework – the “traffic light system” – the following are requirements for tertiary education providers:

  • At Red, staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (unless exempt) to be onsite at tertiary providers.
  • Students and visitors must also be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) and have a valid My Vaccine Pass to be onsite – please show yours when you check-in at reception.
  • There are some exceptions for our Trades Academy students, where secondary students are not required to be vaccinated.
  • Face masks must be used indoors at tertiary education premises that are open to the public, and during formal teaching and learning activities (unless an exemption applies).
  • Capacity limits based on 1m distancing are required
  • Onsite businesses and services should operate subject to COVID-19 Protection Framework guidelines and rules for the relevant sector (e.g., retail, hospitality, gyms, close-proximity businesses). Guidelines for these businesses and services are available on the business.govt.nzwebsite: COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights) - link) 

We appreciate the support of our community partners as we work to follow all the guidelines and keep everyone safe. If you have any questions about the rules please contact us.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic Covid-19 Policy
Tai Poutini Polytechnic has introduced a Covid-19 Policy, based on consultation with staff late last year. The policy is similar to others being introduced by tertiary providers around the country. Even when not at “Red”, the policy requires all kaimahi (staff), ākonga (students), contractors and visitors on-site to show proof of vaccination. There are some exceptions, including high school students participating in our Trades Academy programmes. (please note that the Government’s Covid-19 requirements at the “Red” setting currently supersede our own policy). We are happy to talk through the policy with visitors, contractors and others or answer any questions – please contact us at


The academic year ahead

Most of our 2022 programmes kick-off on 14 February and we’re looking forward to once again welcoming returning and new students across our campuses. Remember we are always happy to hear from local employers or others who have a need or an idea for new or specific training delivery.
We had a big year in 2021 as we supported our ākonga through their learning pathways, while also responding to what is a significant change across the tertiary vocational education sector. Tai Poutini Polytechnic is now a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga, and will eventually become fully part of the network. There are lots of new opportunities and new ways of working for us to get used to – we are taking an active role in the planning phases and we appreciate your support and feedback on the details of the new system. You can expect to hear more from us this year.
Some highlights of 2021 included:

  • NZQA confirmed confidence in our educational performance and self-assessment capability at the beginning of 2021, announcing we would moving up to an EER Category 2 rating.
  • Our carpentry student-built house sold at auction in November with some of the proceeds going to the Trees for Māwhera project
  • We expanded our Westport offerings, with a new Digger School set up in Buller
  • We partnered with YES (Young Enterprise Scheme) for the first year, guiding students through their business planning and holding a fantastic end-of-year award ceremony
  • Our Training for Work programme once again topped the country in its work to support students into jobs through the MSD programme.
  • We supported community events across the region such as TechWeek, getting involved in various community days out and welcoming students, employers and industry to a busy two-day career expo
  • As part of our wider contribution to the community we supported a number of local causes such as the White Ribbon appeal, a Pink Ribbon brunch, a cupcake fundraiser to support those affected by the Buller flooding, a Stroke Foundation bun fundraiser, and face mask fundraiser
  • We enrolled a record number of students in the outdoor education programme in 2021
  • We have modelled and tested new initiatives that breathe life into the vocational education reform including:
    • Seamless learner transitions between on campus, online and in work with the Primary ITO
    • Regional support for online learners to increase access to a broader range of training with OPNZ
    • Simplifying qualifications to provide clear and flexible pathway for lifelong learning with Ngāi Tahu 
    • Mana whenua aspiration-led training
    • Working with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to support trades training