The new head of the Tertiary Education Commission has expressed regret for overseeing the demise of Maori trade training.
As former head of the Iwi Transition Agency and Te Puni Kokiri, Sir Wira Gardiner had to disestablish the schemes run by the former Department of Maori Affairs that produced thousands of Maori carpenters, electricians, plumbers and other tradespeople.
He says on reflection the schemes should have been stepped up to encourage Maori achievement.
Waatea News reports Sir Wira also promises to make whatever changes are necessary to the way the sector spends $3 billion per year.
His past brushes with the education sector included a long involvement with Ngati Awa's Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, a brief spell as Crown observer on Te Wananga o Aotearoa and being brought in last year as commissioner for Fraser High School in Hamilton.
Sir Wira says the Government needs to know it is getting the best bang for its buck.