Topic: Arts

Growing concern in Northland over plans to cut art degree

By Dean Nathan
  • Northland

There is growing concern over the tertiary education provider Northtecs' proposal to end art studies.  Students are worried they'll have to move to other regions to complete their studies for an art degree. 

We caught up with current and former Northland student’s printmaking a new banner to protest their stance on the issue. 

Jasmine Horton is the manager of Te Kowhai Prints Trust in Whangarei and a former student, "The Northtec students have come down and created their own with the message "Saving Northtec Arts" on it.  It’s a great way of getting their word out there and using art as a protest medium."  

It was artist academic and lecturer Kura Te Waru Rewiri who lead students in the recent renovations and upgrade of the wharehui "Te Puna o te Matauranga" on Northtec's Whangarei campus.  

Student Regan Anderson said, "I've got one more year, so I think we're getting taught out, if it does come to the course getting cut.  But it still sucks for the teachers and then for future generations if they want to kind of move into the course and do this sort of thing because both my sisters, they both are kinda looking at me and they both want to get into art later on down the track."

Last month NorthTec told staff it proposed to cut a number of its courses including visual arts.  The move could mean a possible closure of its Kerikeri and Rawene campuses.  And while we await confirmation from Northtec on the number of students currently studying for an art degree at its campuses in Northland, it told Te Kaea that the current consultation process on the proposal is about securing exactly this kind of public feedback and input. Northtec says it's encouraging students to submit data based evidence in their consultation feedback.

Jasmine Horton says, "Northland has one of the highest rates of artists per capita in New Zealand and the creative industry is growing here so fast it just seems like a real shame to get rid of the arts degree when it's growing so quickly here, and the amount of income it generates for the region it just seems silly to scrap it."