No organisation can survive without a sustainable business plan that keeps it in the black.
For Tai Poutini Polytechnic, the last few years have, from a financial perspective, been difficult.
We are grateful to the government for significant cash injections in 2017 and 2018, which have enabled us to provide our students with continuity of study, and to prepare for a new future. The Minister of Education’s early 2019 proposals to change the way vocational education is run in New Zealand are also likely to have a significant impact on our future and finances. We are taking part in the process with a focus on maximising the potential benefits for the West Coast.
We take our obligations and responsibilities around finances very seriously: things at Tai Poutini Polytechnic have not always been very clear, and the systems and processes to provide checks and balances have not always been in place or well monitored in the past.
We are committed to establishing rigour, transparency and accountability in the all-important area of finances, and to finding a sustainable solution for the future of tertiary education on the West Coast. Over the past year, we have introduced robust, clear policies and procedures across our accounting and financial practices to ensure our operations are transparent and meet the rigorous requirements of public funding.
31 August 2018
Last month, we talked about our new Project Management Office, set up to oversee 21 new projects and initiatives that contribute to our goals for the future. As of this month, the Transition Project is officially in full swing – all 21 projects are underway and on track. Some of these, like targeted
cost efficiencies and asset rationalisation are ongoing, however for the majority we have major milestones to reach by the end of this year.
Each project includes representation from academic staff, non-academic staff and management with approximately 60 staff from across the organisation involved. Many also draw on the input and involvement of our community partners, from industry and employers through to government agencies. Each project is designed to achieve the strategic imperatives as set by the Minister, which mean everything we do must be:
• effective, sustainable and of high quality
• appropriate to the needs of students and employers
• contributing to the economic development of the West Coast.
There are some interesting new developments and initiatives among
these projects and we’ll keep you posted through our regular update
and on our website as we progress.
The amount slashed from 2017 expenditure.
- our target for ongoing operational savings
All of our internal processes, policies and expenditure approvals have undergone an in-depth review and changes made where needed. We have been putting in place initiatives to make sure we are compliant with government regulations, and to improve quality and financial sustainability.
A Project Management office has been established that brings initiatives and ideas together in a structured way, that again, will create efficiencies and allow us to more easily monitor activity, expenditure and effectiveness.
Our Asset and Resource Coordination Group has been working hard to take a closer look at everything we own, to make sure it’s really needed. From now on, we will ensure that any new resource or budget item will only be allocated based on a sound financial basis that is well documented and well analysed, in terms of business need.
We have targets to reduce administration costs across the board, reducing depreciation costs and making ongoing cost reductions, and are looking at new and innovative ways of teaching and learning that make for a great education and experience, while helping us to achieve sustainability.