One-week extension to vocational reforms consultation labelled "paltry"

March 20, 2019

The Chair of Skills Active Aotearoa, the ITO for sport, exercise, recreation and the performing arts, has described the one-week extension for submissions on the vocational training reforms as “paltry”.

“Minister Hipkins has been receiving feedback for weeks that the consultation period he has outlined for this proposed wide-ranging reform is totally inadequate. The hundreds of organisations affected need at least until the end of June to do a decent job of analysing the impact on the Vocational Education sector – because none of that work has yet been done by the government, which Treasury has already pointed out in the consultation documents,” says Sam Napia, Skills Active chair.

Mr Napia’s comments follow the announcement by the Ministry that submissions on the Reform of Vocational Education have been given a one-week extension, due to the recent tragic events in Christchurch.

Mr Napia has been backed up by Kahungunu leader and Skills Active board member Des Ratima, ONZM JP, who at last week’s hui taumata in Waikato, called on the Minister to extend the consultation date to enable genuine co-design of the sector. Mr Ratima has been working closely with Māori leaders nationally to ensure that the excellent results being achieved in the on-the-job training space are not put at risk by the proposed reform.

“This is a just another example of this government’s tokenism to Māori,” Mr Ratima says. 

“We won’t stand by and be treated this way. The Minister’s lack of action is forcing us to look for recourse elsewhere, including to the Waitangi Tribunal, which specialises in hearing grievances arising out of contemporary Treaty breaches.  

“As a Māori leader within an organisation which outperforms every other tertiary provider in terms of Māori completion and achievement results, I am determined that this rushed and inadequate process does not put at risk the future job and life prospects of our rangatahi,” Mr Ratima says.


Media contact for Skills Active

Esther McLaren

021 195 5127

About Skills Active

Skills Active Aotearoa is the industry training organisation for recreation, exercise, sport and performing arts. We are a non-profit organisation, funded by government to promote careers and workforce development in our industries, work with those industries to create world-class qualifications, and support workplaces to train staff.