A Nelson student leader says Government cuts to polytech funding are a knife to the heart of the country's smaller regions.
The Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology is proposing to axe 20 staff and two courses as the Government reduces funding to the polytech sector by about $20 million from next year.
The institute already made 13 staff cuts last year.
Chief executive Tony Gray says it is a difficult time for staff and students.
Students' Association president Rachel Boyak says the cuts will have a huge impact on small regions like Nelson and Marlborough, which have only one tertiary provider.