12 Nov 2014

Eight involved in Maori courses left WITT

8:31 am on 12 November 2014

Eight staff involved in Maori courses at a Taranaki tertiary institute have left or resigned in the lead-up to revelations that the performing arts courses were over-funded and poorly run.

An independent report found the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT) had not met delivery or funding standards for the courses between 2009 and 2013.

The combined Tertiary Education Commission and New Zealand Qualifications Authority investigation found poor record-keeping, management and student attendance at the courses.

The enrolment and assessment process had not been followed at the polytech, and there was evidence that students were self-teaching and had little or no contact with tutors.

In early October, acting chief executive Jan Lockett-Kay, who was the former head of the humanities faculty which included Maori Studies, and chief financial officer Peter Rothwell left the institute.

In July, the head of Maori, Tengaruru Wineera, and five Maori Department staff members resigned.

The institute has been forced to repay the commission $3.7 million.

All level six qualifications earned between 2009 and 2013 would be rescinded, affecting about 350 students. Another 56 level four students would also have their qualifications withdrawn.

Students would have to redo the courses to achieve a National Certificate or Diploma in Maori Performing Arts.

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