Queenstown Resort College students

New Zealand’s Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Louise Upston have welcomed the announcement of a new tourism and hospitality college that will open in Northland early next year.

The QRC Tai Tokerau Resort College, will open in Paihia with four student intakes per year. Established by the Queenstown Resort College (QRC), the new college has been developed with support from NZ Māori Tourism.

“This is a special education and tourism partnership which constitutes a great early win from the Northland Regional Growth Programme,” Joyce said.

“This is a great collaboration that comes from the private sector, the region and central government, working together to grow Northland.”

The Northland Regional Growth Study, which was launched in February of this year, highlighted that tourism will be a significant contributor to lifting the region’s economy.

“Tourism contributes around $128 million to the region each year, and employs around 3000 people. However the hospitality sectors tell us there is more opportunity to capitalise on the priceless natural resource we have in Northland, which is our local young people,” Joyce said.

“Quality Māori tourism experiences are a global draw card. Students from the Resort College will be predominantly made up of local Māori youth / rangatahi who have grown up with local stories, and many of whom have a natural ability to welcome and host.

“They’re also going to come away from their training with the top class hospitality and tourism skills that an international market expects, and that’s a combination that could set them up for life.”

The College’s partnership with Chinese Company Shanghai CRED will ensure a consistent supply of Chinese students, and means Northland’s youth will benefit from reduced tuition fees.

Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has approved the new college, which will be eligible for tuition funding, and student loan and allowances funding.

“This model of training college is special. The course is live-in, which is seen as critical to students successfully completing their courses. Students live on-site, under the responsibility of a hall of residence manager, which builds a sense of community as students study and work together,” Upston said.

“Students will spend six months at the college, and are then placed into paid work with on-site training for nine months, before returning to the College for a further six months of study. This approach has proven highly successful at QRC’s Queenstown campus, which has high pass rates and successful outcomes, closely matched by very high employment rates on graduation.”

The College will offer a Diploma in Hospitality Management and / or a Diploma in Adventure Tourism Management.

“Developing the right skills for young people and the right skills for business are key initiatives of the Business Growth Agenda and the Northland Regional Growth Plan,” Joyce said.

“I look forward to this and other projects combining to achieve a step-change in the fortunes of the Northland economy in the years ahead.”

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management