25 Aug 2015

NZ's oldest Pacific education provider fears shut down

12:17 pm on 25 August 2015

An opposition MP in New Zealand is calling on the government to save the country's oldest Pacific community education provider, amid fears it will shut down due to funding cuts.

The Pasifika Education Centre was established in 1978 to provide education resources for Pasifika people.

The Tertiary Education Commission is providing less than five percent of the centre's funding for the next financial year, rather than the 80 percent it had previously promised.

Labour's Pasifika spokesperson Su'a William Sio says it is a vital community asset for the country's more than 250,000-strong Pacific population.

He says the Minister for Pacific Peoples Sam Lotu-Iiga needs to come clean about his plans for the centre.

"The minister really has a moral obligation to reveal what is he doing. Is he going to save the organisation? Or will he leave a legacy as the only Minister that would have destroyed a vital community asset."

Su'a William Sio, centre, announces the policy at the North Shore Pasifika Festival.

Su'a William Sio speaking at a community event on the North Shore. Photo: RNZ