The Government plans to put a commissioner in charge at Auckland's financially troubled Unitec institute of technology.

Unitec, the country's largest industry training provider, is facing a shortfall of around $19 million this year and $27 million next year if no changes are made.

"I have notified the existing Unitec council of my plans to dissolve it and appoint a commissioner to address Unitec's financial difficulties," Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

The council has up to 21 days to respond before the decision is finalised.


"Our message for students is that the Government is committed to ensure top quality vocational education and training is available at Unitec and they should have every confidence that its financial issues will be addressed," Hipkins said in a statement.

The decision came after consultation on the proposal to dissolve the council and appoint a commissioner. Hipkins said there had been 23 submissions on the proposal.

Unitec interim chief executive Merran Davis previously said the institute had been affected by declining student numbers and spending on modernising Unitec's buildings, teaching and learning, and systems.

Spending was now largely complete and the organisation had no debt following the sale of surplus land earlier this year.