Expected Waiariki job losses scaled back

By gary.hamilton-irvine@dailypost.co.nz, Gary Hamilton-Irvine

Fewer people will lose their jobs at Waiariki Institute of Technology than first estimated, following a review.

Waiariki chief executive Margaret Noble said up to 15 jobs - 14.7 positions - were being reviewed during the past three weeks at the institute as part of a restructure.

After the review ended this week, Professor Noble said she hoped the number of jobs lost would be in single figures.

She said this meant fewer job cuts than first estimated.

"Staff feedback received through the consultation process has resulted in significant changes to the review outcomes which saw 3.5 new roles created based on the views expressed," Professor Noble said.

She said, where possible, employees affected by the review would be placed into the new jobs established in the "realignment".

Some vacancies were being held for redeployment and voluntary redundancy was available.

Affected staff include those in management roles, administration roles and support staff but not teaching staff.

The new structure is expected to come into effect during the first week of April, and the institute is not ruling out more job losses down the track.

Professor Noble said the institute was finalising its strategic plan and would consider a second phase of a review after that process.

She said the realignment would produce a range of changes at the institute.

She said, for example, the institute had two project offices which would now be combined into one.

"These changes will equip Waiariki well to better meet the needs of its students along with the expectations of the Government and our regional stakeholders."

Financial pressures have played their part in the restructure, including the Government reducing funding for low level programmes like bridging programmes and other foundation courses.

The polytechnic was expecting 200 fewer international students after a Waiariki pathway course in which hundreds of international nursing students were trained in Rotorua was this year scrapped.

The decision to scrap the Bachelor in Nursing for Registered Nurses course was made last year after international students on the course had to fight to stay on track to receive their nursing registrations.

The polytech also received funding last year to train 100 students as part of a scheme for the Canterbury rebuild.

This year they had hoped to train a further 169, but only received funding for 100.

Professor Margaret said the last major restructure held at Waiariki was in 2006.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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