'It came from the hopes and dreams of our people' - upset over funding loss for IT programme aimed at Maori and Pasifika youth

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A South Auckland technology programme which has helped more than 10,00 Pasifika and Maori students has shut its doors after the Government decided to cut its funding.

Studio 274 provided IT opportunities for a community that needed it, but has lost its government funding.
Source: 1 NEWS

Otara’s Studio 274 had received $5 million in Government funding for its IT program over the last eight years, but last year that funding ended.

Studio 274 is now up for sale after the Ministry of Education turned down the program organiser' offer to donate the building to Kia Aroha College where it is based.

A statement from the Ministry of Education said an in-house evaluation demonstrated it wasn’t clear the programme delivered long term benefits to students.

But High Tech Youth member Sam Chapman said five independent evaluations over the years shows it was an effective program, and also has industry support.

"It came from the hopes and dreams of our people," Mr Chapman said.

"I mean it's just bricks and mortar but it’s still a reflection of those hopes and dreams."

NZTech’s Graeme Muller said the whole programme of High Tech Youth and Studio 274 was very beneficial.

"They have the industry backing from a number of large organisations," Mr Muller said

"It seems strange, it seems there is a missed opportunity here."

And while the Ministry of Education has issues with the High Tech Youth programme in general, Foreign Affairs is funding it across the pacific.

Closer to home the charity says it will continue to work to encourage students into IT.

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