Kia ora e te whānau
We are nearing the end of a very full year for Te Pūkenga and I wanted to take the opportunity to thank all of our colleagues throughout the network for the fantastic mahi over what we know has been a busy and challenging time.
There have also been plenty of highlights over the past 12 months and I’d like to share some of what we have collectively achieved as we wrap up and say ka kite to 2021.
- We’ve grown our whānau. We welcomed Competenz, Connexis and BCITO into Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning Ltd in the second half of 2021 and will have MITO joining us in January 2022 – a great way to start the year. We’re looking forward to several other TITOs joining us in 2022.
- Our focus on learners remains strong and front of mind. This year, we published our series of Te Rito reports, which detail our Ākonga at the Centre research. These reports focus on our key priority learners, disabled learners, Māori learners and Pacific learners, and provide a series of personas that are central to ongoing work. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our work to put our learners first – from helping to implement the new Pastoral Code to helping to develop and implement quick wins that make a difference.
- Collective work across the network was presented in Te Pae Tawhiti Insights Report, which was released during the year. This is central to our commitment to ensure te whakatinanatanga o Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Te Tiriti in practice) remains a focus with our continued mahi together.
- We’ve made many important connections with employers and industry, putting some key partnerships and agreements in place with organisations such as Te Wananga o Aotearoa, New Zealand Defence Force and Energy Skills Aotearoa. We are also working with some ‘early mover’ employers and industry sectors who want to explore delivering vocational learning in new and innovative ways.
- We’ve focused on how academic activity, like teaching and qualifications, could be delivered consistently across the country. I recognise a number of you have contributed to this mahi, which I very much appreciate, and I look forward to continued work in this critical area next year.
- We’ve expanded our governance structures, establishing three new interim Governance Committees – the Interim Learner Advisory Committee, the Kaimahi Advisory Committee (Staff Advisory Committee), and Kōmiti Māori.Each have representation at Te Pūkenga Council, ensuring Māori, learner and staff voices are represented and part of conversations about our future.
- We’ve had to work differently and manage the challenges COVID-19 has brought again this year. This has meant we’ve been supporting our learners, our whānau, and each other differently. It hasn’t been easy and I recognise the toll it has taken on many of you. I know we will continue to support each other, as COVID-19 will certainly continue to be with us in 2022.
- Finally, we’ve had important conversations with you about our future. We have progressed rapidly with our work plan and before the end of the year we will share the latest update from our recent engagement on our proposed Operating Model. As we head into 2022 it’s important we progress this mahi together so we’re ready for, 1 January 2023.
While these are some of the big things, we know there is work that goes on every day in the network not as easily captured in a highlights list. We recognise that at the same time significant transformation of the system you work within is underway, and while you are negotiating a global pandemic impacting your whānau and communities, you are continuing with the core business of educating our learners and ensuring they are supported to succeed in their chosen field of study, and keeping your organisations running while taking care of your staff. Even if it doesn’t make a highlights list, I wanted to specifically acknowledge the BAU mahi and let you know that it is absolutely recognised and very much appreciated.
We still have work to do, and next year is looking to be another full one as we move into the next phase of our Operating Model mahi and our work plan ramps up, but we’ve come a long way.
On behalf of Te Pūkenga Council, our executive leadership team, and myself, I want to sincerely thank you for the role that you have played this year. We wouldn’t have been able to come so far in such a short space of time without your incredible mahi.
I hope you will have the chance to enjoy some time with your friends and whānau over the holiday break.
Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou,