25 Aug 2015

Fears for future of Pasifika Education Centre

7:51 pm on 25 August 2015

[sFunding cuts to ] New Zealand's oldest Pacific Education provider have led to fears that it may be forced to close.

New Zealand's oldest Pacific Education provider says it is disappointed by funding cuts, which have led to fears in the Pasifika community that it may be forced to close.

The opposition Labour Party is calling on the government to save the Pasifika Education Centre, which was established in 1978 as an educational resource for Pasifika people

The Labour party says the Tertiary Education Commission has slashed its funding contribution for the next financial year from 80 percent to less than five percent.

The centre was told in May about the cuts eight months after the government signed off its 2014-2018 strategy.

The chairperson of the centre's board, Sai Lealea, says they've tabled their concerns with the Minister for Pacific People's, Sam Lotu-Iiga.

The Minister's office says he is aware of the issues and is working together with the centre and the Tertiary Education Commission to find a way forward.

The Labour MP Sua William Sio says the centre is a vital asset for New Zealand's Pasifika community and is calling on the minister 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?"

Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

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