By: Imran Ali

NorthTec is willing to help Taratahi students facing an uncertain future continue their courses after the agricultural training school was put into interim liquidation.

The interim liquidation last month, following a reduction in funding due to financial and operational pressures caused by declining student numbers, has left 250 staff and thousands of students in a limbo.

It has two non-resident campuses in Whangārei and Mangonui but interim liquidators were not in a position to say how many staff Taratahi employs in Northland or the number of students currently enrolled.

Education providers in New Zealand offering agricultural training such as NorthTec have been made aware of the situation at Taratahi.

NorthTec spokesman Phil Alexander-Crawford said potential students in Northland who had planned to study with Taratahi could contact NorthTec on 0800 162 100 to discuss training options.

“At this stage we are unsure how many people are affected in this region, but aim to assist students to continue their training wherever possible.”

NorthTec offers level 3 courses in certificate in agriculture and fencing, and level 5 in diploma in agribusiness management.

Another Northland tertiary education provider, People Potential, used to offer introductory courses in farming in the past.

The Tertiary Education Commission would work alongside Taratahi, New Zealand Qualifications Authority and StudyLink to ensure affected students were supported through alternative study options

Taratahi’s assets, and those it manages on behalf of others are worth more than $100 million, it has 42,000 stock units of sheep, beef and deer and milks 2000 cows in New Zealand.

It is feared the closure of Taratahi could lead to a shortage of farm workers who may demand higher pay to work on Northland farms.

Source: NZ Herald


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