May 7, 2008

UCOL IN Deep DooDoos

Page A4 of today's DominionPost reports that Minister Hodgson is uncomfortable with UCOL's legal position in its decision to pull the plug on the proposed cooking school in Martinborough.

This is but one on many problems now facing UCOL. Expect a raft of PQs, particularly about cost overruns in Wanganui.

The Hive has a number of questions:

  • Who is managing the politics of this? 5 of the 9 Councils in the Wellington Region are now talking about withdrawing from the Wellington Regional Strategy.
  • Why did an officer from Grow Wellington phone up MP John Hayes and tell him to stop asking questions?
  • How can a school that had a supposedly unique curriculum that could only be delivered in Martinborogh now have this curriculum delivered in central Wellington?
  • Is anyone going to pay back the hundreds of thousands put up by the three Wairarapa Councils?
  • Has NZTE asked UCOL for its money back?
  • How much did NZTE know? How much did Grow Wellington know? Have Grow Wellington staff been upfront with the Grow Wellington Board on this issue?
  • Is the proposal by UCOL to set up a school in Wellington consistent with the Tertiary education strategy?