Tertiary Education Commission CEO encourages concerned students to come forward

By Te Ao Māori News

The CEO of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), Tim Fowler has encouraged any of the 886 students enrolled in the Bachelor of Māori Arts Degree at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi to come forward if they have any concerns.

Native Affairs last night revealed the Bachelor of Māori Performing Arts or BMPA is now the subject of an internal and external investigation commissioned by Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

This follows the Wānanga agreeing to repay 5.9 million dollars to the TEC for the under delivery of Hei Manaaki Māori Tourism Certificate.  A recent investigation revealed that students and the tax payer had been short changed in the delivery of an 18 week diploma programme in just a few days.  Among those unwittingly caught up in the alleged scam are 94 Vodafone Warriors and staff along with 83 volunteers at last year's Te Matatini National competition held in Rotorua.

Tim Fowler told Native Affairs that the TEC and Deloittes is working with the Wānanga on the investigation into the Bachelor of Māori Performing Arts and urged any students concerned with the delivery of the programme to contact the NZQA or the Wānanga.

In regards to students currently enrolled with the Degree in question, he says,“I can understand that students who, especially given the media coverage around this, are listening to this broadcast and thinking what does that mean for me, my comment would also be (to) let the investigation run its course, and if you have any specific questions or concerns you should contact NZQA or the Wānanga itself in the first instance.”

He says they are currently looking into the terms of reference for the Degree programme and says all organisations involved, including the Wānanga, are committed to rectifying any issues for students.