A lack of official communications regarding the situation at Telford has been slammed by a prospective student's father.

Coromandel farmer Rob Craw contacted the Otago Daily Times on Wednesday to vent his ''anger and frustration'' at an apparent communications void from official sources, regarding the status of enrollees to the troubled agricultural institute near Balclutha.

Telford operator Taratahi was placed in voluntary liquidation in December due to debt issues.

However, fresh hope was given to staff and students last week when Invercargill tertiary provider SIT submitted a bid to Education Minister Chris Hipkins, to take over Telford operations.


In the meantime, though, Craw said his son Cody, 16, had been operating ''in limbo'' with regard to his education, the family having received ''zero'' communications since he was accepted for a level 4 Certificate in Agriculture in December.

''The only reason we know anything at all is thanks to the media. I had a call from a Telford lady this morning, but she couldn't give me anything really useful. And to be honest, that's not her fault; we're all being hamstrung by bureaucratic bulls... .''

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is overseeing the transition to alternative courses for 500 current and 250 prospective Taratahi students, including 80 enrolled at Telford.

TEC chief executive Tim Fowler apologised for the omission of some students from official communications, attributing it to incomplete records of new enrollees provided by Taratahi.

However, full advice and alternative options for students were available on the TEC website.

''Where there has been a direct way to contact students, we've used it. We're sorry there are still some students who haven't been directly contacted.''

Fowler also acknowledged the ''hurt'' caused by the situation.

''We know this situation has hurt students nationwide and has been felt particularly hard in the South Otago and Wairarapa regions ... Our top priority at present is making sure all affected students get the information they need to be able to continue with their studies or training.''


Craw, who is also a Hauraki-Coromandel Federated Farmers representative, said aside from the effects on his family and others, he was concerned about the wider consequences for farming.

''The primary industries are our biggest exporters. Without new graduates coming through, how do we continue to compete in a highly skilled, technical modern environment? The apparent lack of urgency from Government is just crazy.''