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Media Release of Ara Academic Staff of Canterbury

Public statements made by Te Pūkenga’s CEO to RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme (31-03-2023)

Ara Academic Staff of Canterbury (AASC) represents some of the staff and tutors working at the Ara campus of Te Pūkenga. 

AASC’s members are very concerned about comments made by Te Pūkenga’s CEO (Peter Winder) in an interview with Radio New Zealand on 31 March 2023:

  • a proposed shift to on-the-job learning, the inference being that the workplace is a better learning environment than the “classroom”; and
  • potential loss of jobs and re-organisation.

AASC or its members were not consulted on either of these public announcements which raises issues of good faith and pre-determination in any future decision.  AASC members note:

  • both on-the-job and facilitated learning environments are important. Staff provide current and dynamic education which includes face- to-face, on-line, and on-the-job experiences for students. Connection into industry is vital for academic programmes just as academic programmes are vital for industry.
  • The demand remains high for academic and practical education as a foundation to future careers and lifelong learning. This demand is reflected in significant workloads experienced by staff which is increasing as international students return to New Zealand.

AASC members are equally concerned with the recent closing of the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand, which appears to have occurred with little consultation.

AASC and its members will continue to engage in good faith with Te Pūkenga however any proposal which is not student focussed and fails to promote positive learning outcomes will be strenuously opposed.

The Ara Academic Staff of Canterbury (AASC) is an incorporated society of academic staff solely of Te Pūkenga Ara Campus. It is, in effect, a site union. Members of AASC have their own Collective Employment Agreement (CEA).

Media Contact: Warwick Shillito


+64 (0) 21 0471651

Warwick Shillito
Warwick is a senior lecturer in anatomy, physiology, pathology and image interpretation in the Bachelor of Medical Imaging. He also teaches clinical anatomy and pathophysiology to osteopathy students in the Bachelor of Musculoskeletal Health and Postgraduate Diploma in Osteopathy. His background is in psychology and chiropractic, having practiced for 10 years in Singapore and Australia. He has been involved with the union for over ten years and has been Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President over that time. He has experience with resolving a wide range of industrial disputes as well as being involved in a number of collective employment negations. He has two adult sons, both of whom live overseas. In his spare time he is involved in sport and the performing arts….even a dabbling in musical theatre from time to time.