Education (Polytechnics) Amendment Act 2009

New provisions relating to polytechnics

15 New Part 15A inserted
  • The following Part is inserted after Part 15:

    Part 15A
    Special provisions relating to polytechnics

    222A Specialist help
    • (1) If he or she believes on reasonable grounds that a polytechnic, or the education performance of the students at a polytechnic, may be at risk, the chief executive of the Tertiary Education Commission may, by written notice to its polytechnic council, require the council to obtain specialist help.

      (2) The notice must state—

      • (a) the help or kind of help to be obtained; and

      • (b) the person or organisation, or kind of person or organisation, from whom or which it is to be obtained.

      (3) As soon as is reasonably practicable after receiving the notice, the council must comply with it.

      (4) The council must—

      • (a) provide the information and access, and do all other things, reasonably necessary to enable the person or organisation engaged to provide the help; and

      • (b) to the extent that the help provided is advice, take the advice into account in performing its functions and duties; and

      • (c) pay the person or organisation's reasonable fees and expenses.

    222B Performance improvement plans
    • (1) If he or she believes on reasonable grounds that a polytechnic, or the education performance of the students at a polytechnic, may be at risk, the chief executive of the Tertiary Education Commission may, by written notice to its polytechnic council, require the council to prepare and give to him or her a draft performance improvement plan for the polytechnic.

      (2) The notice must state—

      • (a) the matters to be addressed by the draft plan; and

      • (b) the outcomes that implementation of the draft plan is intended to achieve; and

      • (c) the times by which those outcomes should be achieved; and

      • (d) the performance measures that will be used to determine whether those outcomes have been achieved; and

      • (e) the day by which the draft plan must be given to him or her.

      (3) The council must prepare, and give to the chief executive of the Tertiary Education Commission by the stated day, a draft plan complying with subsection (2).

      (4) If the council complies with subsection (3), the chief executive of the Tertiary Education Commission may—

      • (a) approve the draft plan concerned; or

      • (b) after considering the draft plan, approve for the polytechnic some other plan complying with subsection (2) (whether a modified version of the draft plan or a different plan).

      (5) If the council does not comply with subsection (3), the chief executive of the Tertiary Education Commission may approve for the polytechnic any plan complying with subsection (2) the chief executive thinks appropriate.

      (6) The chief executive of the Tertiary Education Commission must not approve any plan other than a draft plan given to him or her by the council before discussing it with the council.

      (7) The council must take all reasonably practicable steps to implement a plan approved under this section.

    222C Crown manager
    • (1) If he or she believes on reasonable grounds that there is a serious risk to the operation or long-term viability of a polytechnic, or that the education performance of the students at a polytechnic is at risk, the Minister may, by written notice to its polytechnic council, appoint a Crown manager for the polytechnic.

      (2) The Minister must not appoint the Crown manager without—

      • (a) giving the polytechnic's council written notice of—

        • (i) his or her intention to do so; and

        • (ii) his or her reasons for intending to do so; and

      • (b) allowing the council a reasonable time to respond to the notice; and

      • (c) considering any written submissions received from the council within that time.

      (3) Whether a time is reasonable in any particular case may depend (among other things) on the urgency of the matters the Crown manager will have to deal with.

      (4) The notice must state—

      • (a) the name of the Crown manager and the day on which his or her appointment takes effect; and

      • (b) the functions of the council to be performed by the Crown manager; and

      • (c) any conditions subject to which the Crown manager may perform those functions; and

      • (d) any matters the Crown manager may advise the council on.

      (5) As soon as is practicable after appointing the Crown manager, the Minister must publish in the Gazette a notice stating that he or she has done so.

      (6) While there is a Crown manager appointed for the polytechnic,—

      • (a) the Crown manager may perform any of the functions stated in the notice appointing him or her; and—

        • (i) for that purpose has all the powers of the council; but

        • (ii) in performing any such function (and exercising any of those powers in order to do so) the Crown manager must comply with all relevant duties of the council; and

      • (b) the council—

        • (i) must not perform any of those functions; and

        • (ii) must provide the information and access, and do all other things, reasonably necessary to enable the Crown manager to perform those functions and exercise those powers.

      (7) The Crown manager must perform any function under subsection (6)(a) (and exercise any power in order to do so) in accordance with this Act; and, in particular, have regard to sections 160 and 161.

      (8) Subsection (7) does not limit the generality of subsection (6)(a)(ii).

      (9) The council must pay the Crown manager's reasonable fees and expenses.

      (10) If the Crown manager's appointment has not earlier been revoked, the Minister must consider whether the reasons for it still apply—

      • (a) no later than 12 months after it was made; and

      • (b) no later than 12 months after he or she last considered whether they still apply.

      (11) For the purpose of subsection (1),—

      • (a) there is a serious risk to the operation or long-term viability of a polytechnic if, according to criteria determined under section 195A(1), there is or is likely to be a serious level of risk to its operation or long-term viability; and

      • (b) the education performance of the students at a polytechnic is at risk if, according to criteria determined under section 195A(1), their education performance is at risk.

      (12) Subsection (11) does not limit or affect the generality of subsection (1).

    222D Protection of Crown managers
    • A Crown manager is not personally liable for any act done or omitted by him or her, or for any loss arising out of any act done or omitted by him or her, if he or she did or omitted the act in good faith, in the course of performing his or her functions.

    222E Powers may be used concurrently
    • (1) Sections 222A to 222C do not limit or affect sections 195B to 195D.

      (2) To the extent that it is possible in practice, powers given by 2 or more of sections 195B, 195C, and 222A to 222C may be exercised concurrently in respect of the same polytechnic or polytechnic council.

    222F Polytechnic council may request intervention
    • If a polytechnic council requests the Minister or chief executive of the Tertiary Education Commission (as the case requires) to act under any of sections 195C and 195D and 222A to 222C, he or she—

      • (a) must consider any argument or evidence supplied by the council; and

      • (b) must consider whether or not to act under that section; but

      • (c) may then (if any necessary conditions are satisfied) act under another of those sections giving him or her power to act.