Tuesday, 15 January 2019 10:35

Taratahi ag training left in limbo

Written by  Peter Burke
Taratahi's future remains in limbo. Taratahi's future remains in limbo.

The future of the major agricultural training institute Taratahi remains in limbo after it went into interim liquidation just before Christmas at the request of its board of trustees.

David Ruscoe, of the liquidator Grant Thornton International, told Rural News that they are still working through the issues facing the institute, which has residential campuses in Wairarapa, Reporoa and Telford.

Taratahi employs up to 250 people, owns two farms, leases another five and manages another property. It trains about 3000 people each year.

“We are working with the board, management, Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), NZQA, MSD, MPI and other agencies to provide the appropriate support for staff and students,” Ruscoe says. 

“Students will be contacted by Taratahi, the TEC and other providers and will hear about the options available to them for continuing their education.” 

According to the liquidator, Taratahi is facing financial and operational pressures caused by declining student numbers, resulting in funding cuts. It has spent a lot on student support and learning, and has reduced its operating expenses. 

However, Grant Thornton International says despite government subsidies and cashflows from its farming operations, the costs of educating each student still exceeded the funding based on its operating model.

Taratahi chair Mavis Mullins says the decision is distressing for the staff and board, which would have celebrated 100 years in 2019. She says the board considered the interim liquidation as the most responsible decision to protect its staff, students, creditors and other key stakeholders. 

“Our main concerns are for our students, staff, animal welfare and our creditors and partners,” she says.

More like this

The model is broken – Govt

Minister of Education Chris Hipkins concedes the timing of the Taratahi interim liquidation is tough, especially for students and staff, and he says supporting them is a top priority.

Taratahi set for growth

Agricultural training provider Taratahi says its efforts to attract new students have paid off with solid enrolments for 2018.

Telford enters new era

Lincoln University's transfer of its Telford agricultural training operation at Balclutha to Wairarapa-based Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre has been completed, on the payment of a token $1 for the campus and other assets.


Meat quota rates remain vital

A jump in the value and volume of New Zealand’s sheepmeat exports to Europe and the UK shows why preserving WTO tariff-rate quotas is so important, claims the Meat Industry Association (MIA).


Lamb price down, but not weak

While lamb prices are starting the new season at around 16% below last year’s levels, they are not outright weak, according to the BNZ.


It’s all kosher – Taggart

Farmer-owned cooperative Alliance Group says it has already returned $17 million of the $34.3 million it claimed from the Covid-19…

Machinery & Products

JCB releases new loader range

Originally scheduled for a June Fieldays release, which was stymied by the Covid crisis, JCB has recently unveiled its third…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

He's back!

OPINION: This old mutt understands that former Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings has landed himself a new gig back in his…


OPINION: Your canine crusader understands that the farmer’s favourite politician – Environment Minister David Parker – not content with implementing…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter