“NMIT, and the wider Nelson Marlborough community were strong contributors to the RoVE consultation process, and NMIT Council feels that the views of the Institute, the wider sector and our community have mostly been taken on board. The changes, which essentially take effect on 1 April 2020, enable retention of our local identity through the Regional Skills Leadership Groups and provide for a certain amount of self determination at a local level,” said Daryl Wehner, Chair of NMIT Council.
NMIT was concerned that the original proposals consulted on would remove the organisation's flexibility and autonomy and reduce capacity to react quickly to local requirements and priorities. There was also a concern that cash reserves could be consumed within a larger structure. These issues have been mainly addressed.
“The changes align with the strategic direction we have been pursuing . This positions us strongly to play a core role during the establishment phase and to continue to operate in a way that reflects regional employer requirements. NMIT has a history of working closely with sectors within our region that offer unique employment opportunities. This includes aviation engineering, conservation, maritime and viticulture. Last month we announced a new partnership with the Bragato Research Institute and Marlborough Research Centre, which demonstrates our existing commitment to the principles encapsulated in the concept of Centres of Vocational Excellence (COVE). The changes will endorse the ability of NMIT to continue to develop and enhance partnership opportunities with industry that deliver on the COVE concept.
“NMIT has a good relationship with the eight iwi in our region, and we have focussed on maturing our partnership with this group to deliver on vocational education for Māori and Pacific peoples as well as to ensure they have appropriate representation at a governance level. We will work constructively with Te Taumata Aronui to ensure that this aspect of delivery is further enhanced,” said Wehner.
One of the more significant changes announced is the establishment of a New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology (Institute). The Minister announced that an Establishment Unit and Board would be in place by 1 September with responsibility for determining operations of the new Institute.
“The NMIT Council is supportive of the skills of our team being used to help with work undertaken by the establishment group. We have some great people and significant strengths in our team members, and we know that they would make a valuable contribution during the establishment phase. We note that the Institute will not be based in Auckland or Wellington and we believe Nelson would be an ideal home. Whatever the outcome of that decision, NMIT could well be the base for a regional hub providing expertise nationally in a particular area. For example, we have led the way in terms of business analytics and could take the lead role in the development of this area. We hope the establishment group considers this concept.
“Finally, I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the NMIT team. Business will be on going and we will continue to deliver a high standard of vocational learning to our learners throughout this period of change,” concluded Wehner.