|NEW ZEALAND'S EDUCATION
The chief executive of Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Jim Mather, is welcoming the findings of a BERL report into the contribution wananga make to the economy.
The economic research firm identified significant benefits to the New Zealand economy from the three Maori tertiary education providers, including generating almost half a billion dollars in combined expenditure and employing almost 3000 employees.
It makes a big difference in Otaki, Whakatane and Te Awamutu where the wananga have their headquarters, and also in the many small towns and cities around the country where they have satellite campuses.
Mr Mather says there is also the immense benefit to students from the skills gained, and the wider benefit to society of turning around lagging Maori participation and outcomes in tertiary education.
The total impact of the financial operations and activities of the wananga sector on the New Zealand economy in 2012 was $482 million in expenditure on goods and services and $321 million in Gross Domestic Product.
That year almost 41,000 students were enrolled across the three wananga, and 52 per cent of them were aged over 40.