28 Oct 2015

Students' future uncertain after school's liquidation

7:35 am on 28 October 2015

It is not clear whether about 1600 students at Agribusiness Training will be able to complete their tuition at the school, its liquidator says.

A crop of lettuces in a greenhouse

The school offered courses in agriculture, horticulture, equine safety and apiculture in partnership with about six other businesses. Photo: 123RF

The school's parent company was put into liquidation last week after the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) demanded it repay $6.24 million in tuition subsidies for failing to deliver enough teaching hours.

The parent company contracted about six other businesses to deliver courses in agriculture, horticulture, equine safety and apiculture.

The liquidator, Iain Nellies, said he was working with education authorities to find a way for the businesses to continue teaching.

"Those companies have got to make their own decisions of what their trading is, but of course those companies are going to be in an invidious position if there is no further funding coming to the training company's licensees," he said.

"So we're having to work through a mechanism to see how the training can be conducted in the future.

"I'm still gathering all the information and liaising with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and the TEC to see if there is a way forward for the training to continue. It's trying times for the students."

Agribusiness Training companies contacted by RNZ refused to say if they were still providing tuition.

The NZQA said if classes ceased it would help students find alternate providers.