The Government has today confirmed the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST) – the new national institute made up of 16 polytechnics plus the country’s training organisations – will be based in Hamilton.
It was in February 2019, the govt. had announced the decision to merge and form a new vocational education provider, and the merger took place on 1 April this year. NZIST will provide on campus, on-the-job, and online vocational education and training right across the country.
Welcoming today’s announcement, Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate says the city can “take a bow” that the headquarter of the country’s biggest training institution will be located in the city.
The decision was an endorsement of Hamilton’s education sector strength and highlighted the city’s strategic importance to New Zealand, Southgate said.
Apart from Hamilton, there were at least five other centres also pitching their case.
“It was a huge amount of work but we had rock-solid support from different sectors and political parties as well as from the wider education and training sector. Nobody wanted this more than our city. The Government has made the right decision today, both for Hamilton, the wider region and for New Zealand.”
Mayor Southgate acknowledged the role of the city’s bid partners, particularly Waikato-Tainui, Te Waka and the Waikato Chamber of Commerce, and the hard work put in by the Council staff.
There are still details to be worked out, but “the fact that strategic decisions around skills and technology on behalf of New Zealand will be made right here in our city, that’s important. That’s a strong signal we have the support, people and industry in place locally to help NZIST deliver on its purpose to upskill and train our workforce. As we work to rebuild our economy, those decisions will be critical for the national economy,” she said.
NZIST chair, Murray Strong said Hamilton clearly demonstrated it understood the Government’s vision for tertiary education. “They also demonstrated their strong relationships between local government, iwi and central government and a commitment to learners,” he added.
Hamilton is also to slated to house a new Alcohol and Drug Treatment Court, and the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) would also be based in the city.