Tai Poutini Polytechnic exists to serve the people of the West Coast and the local economy, so our teaching and learning needs to be clearly focused in the areas with the greatest payback.

The West Coast economy is driven by dairying, mining and tourism. Oil and gas exploration are areas of growth. It stands to reason that our programmes need to be focused on these areas, where employers have the greatest need for staff, and opportunities are plentiful. Our distinctive role is to provide skills for employment and social development. The key is to ensure that our programmes provide real linkages to employment or future training at higher levels.

We’re proud that more than three quarters of the students that we surveyed in 2017 are clear about what their plans are after finishing the year or their course.

Tai Poutini Polytechnic is more focused than ever on understanding the needs of employers and being very clear about how we can contribute to the local economy.

31 August 2018

TPP recently partnered with Development West Coast (DWC) to carry out the region-wide Business Opinion Survey. West Coast businesses were asked to outline the challenges, successes and issues they regularly encounter. There were more than 250 responses, providing some interesting information to assist the economic development of the region and, more specifically to us, to help target workforce and training requirements. Highlights noted in the report include:

  • 38% expect staffing requirements to be affected
    in some way by technology

  • 46% report availability of skilled staff as a challenge
    – rising to 63% for construction businesses

  • 44% report attracting new customers as a challenge
    – rising to 71% for retailers

  • 34% view marketing/digital marketing training
    as useful for their business

  • 70% report overall quality of life as an advantage
    to having their business on the West Coast.

In terms of regional priorities, businesses put retaining/attracting people to the West Coast, business creation and development, tourism and infrastructure at the top. The information in the report gives us a lot to work on as we continue our engagement with regional employers and industry to see what TPP can do to contribute and meet the needs of our community.

The West Coast has been adding more than $1.5 billion to the economy every year since 2011.

Putting our resources where they are needed most.

Our Hokitika campus, which had very little use for the previous 18 months, was closed last year. A bus service brings students to the Greymouth campus each day, to ensure they can continue with their studies, uninterrupted. 

In the spirit of collaboration that is becoming such an important feature of Tai Poutini Polytechnic, local Hokitika businesses have stepped up to offer us meeting space. 

Last year, Tai Poutini Polytechnic transferred the Music and Audio Institute of NZ to the Southern Institute of Technology: the resources freed up are being focused on programmes that are of greater relevance to key West Coast industries, and where the most jobs are for our graduates. 

For the many young people who are choosing to continue to live and learn on the West Coast, Tai Poutini Polytechnic is a great solution, one that's close to home, and offers qualifications that make sense.


We’re working better together with local high schools to make students aware of the opportunities on offer here, and to encourage our school leavers to take another look at careers on the Coast.


In addition to collaborating with employers in general terms about how to ensure our programmes meet their needs, we are getting down into detail with workforce and training assessments, and alignment of programmes. We’re also providing courses through the West Coast Trades Academy, and are in the process of developing a hub for careers and employment.


​© Tai Poutini Polytechnic