Left to right: MP Support, Susan Cullen; Trades and Technology Head of Faculty, Russell Finlay; Māori Development General Manager, Keri Milne-Ihimaera; MP Tama Potaka, MP Penny Simmonds; SIT Executive Director Daryl Haggerty.
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Penny Simmonds, MP for Invercargill, and Tama Potaka, MP for Hamilton West, visited SIT | Te Pūkenga last week to view the recently developed Ngā Puna Wai programme. Ms Simmonds made the invitation to Mr Potaka, who came in his capacity as National’s Spokesperson for Māori Development and Associate Spokesperson for Housing (Social Housing).
The group viewed a student-constructed building, similar to plans for the new Awarua Rūnaka Waituna Lagoon Education Centre, on which construction is about to begin. It will be built mainly by Māori and Pasifika students on the Ngā Puna Wai programme, and when completed, the new building will be transported to site at the lagoon in early 2024.
Ms Simmonds said she invited Mr Potaka to SIT because of his passion for education, and because she wanted to showcase to him what a wonderful Tertiary Institution SIT is. Mr Potaka said he was impressed by the project and the benefits it offered Māori and Pasifika students, as well as the wider community.