Tertiary institute has registration cancelled by NZQA over 'poor quality education'

Linguis International Institute, a private tertiary institute in Auckland in Christchurch, has had its registration cancelled by The New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

This comes after enrolments were put on hold while the institution was being investigated.

"NZQA has identified serious concerns at Linguis in relation to educational performance and compliance with NZQA rules. As a result, NZQA has cancelled the registration of Linguis as a PTE ( private training establishment)," said NZQA's deputy chief executive, quality assurance, Dr Grant Klinkum in a statement

Dr Klinkum said NZQA takes extremely seriously its role in ensuring quality education is delivered to students and that New Zealand qualifications are robust, credible, and internationally recognised.

"NZQA will not tolerate poor quality education provision. Where providers are not meeting the standards we expect of them, we take action to ensure system integrity."

Radio New Zealand reports the authority's most recent audit of Linguis, dated November last year, was based on NZQA visits to the institute in 2015 and described problems with marking, students' poor English-language skills and widespread evidence of high rates of plagiarism.

Linguis offered education and training in English Studies, National Diploma in Business (Level 5 and 6) and Diploma in Business (Level 7), with a total of 81 students across two campuses in Auckland and Christchurch. 

Dr Klinkum said NZQA is working to transfer Linguis students to high quality tertiary education organisations who will provide a full package of learning and support. 




Auckland man, considered dangerous, still at large after escape

A man considered dangerous is still at large after escaping custody last weekend.

Shane Wikaira, 25, fled from Corrections staff in Epsom, Auckland on May 13 at around 10am and shortly after allegedly stole a silver Toyota Starlet from Gardner Road in Greenlane, Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Armstrong says.

The car's registration is BPH283 and Wikaira may still be using it or could have obtained another vehicle.

Wikaira is from the Counties Manukau area but also has links to Thames, Hamilton and Rotorua.

Police have asked anyone with information about his whereabouts to contact them, but warned the public he is considered dangerous and should not be approached.

Police are looking for a 25-year-old man who escaped Corrections custody this morning in Epsom, Auckland.
Shane Wikaira is thought to be in South Auckland. Source: Supplied

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Documents reveal just how Joanne Harrison ripped off Ministry of Transport for $725k

Hundreds of Official Information Act documents released to 1 NEWS show the extent that convicted fraudster Joanne Harrison manipulated and ripped off the Ministry of Transport.

Joanne Harrison is currently serving three years behind bars, convicted of defrauding the Ministry of $725,000.

But it's now emerged how deep her deception went.

The documents show Harrison began using her position to employ companies and people as far back as 2013. The ministry now believes those companies and people did not exist.

One company was called Sharp Design and, at the time of Harrison's suspension from her role in 2016, the Ministry's then-chief executive Martin Matthews said there was no evidence that Sharp Design even existed.

Harrison is also known as Joanne Sharp.

Emails also show suspicion fell on the employment of a person Harrison contracted as a writer.

An email from Mr Matthews to the employee at the time Harrison was suspended states: "You never report to the office and there is no evidence of you doing any work for us.

"Please contact me urgently… with a full explanation as to what work you have done, what you are currently doing, and what you have done with the money you have been paid."

The Ministry paid $300,000 over three years to the employee and Sharp Design.

A phone call detailed in the documents describes how the Australian Federal Police made contact with the Ministry looking for Harrison in 2014. The matter was not taken further.

Emails also show the breakdown in the relationship between the Ministry and Harrison while she was investigated and suspended on full pay.

She engaged a contractor to go into the Ministry's office over Anzac weekend in 2016, to attempt to take files from her office and place a document in the finance office despite being banned from the offices while under investigation.

Not long after that attempt, Harrison told Mr Matthews that she wouldn't be returning to New Zealand, and the next day her email address with the Ministry of Transport was cancelled and the Ministry suspended her pay.

Mr Matthews, who is now the Auditor-General, is currently out of the country and referred our requests for an interview back to the Ministry.

Current chief executive of the Ministry of Transport Peter Mersi says the documents show "the extent to which Joanne manipulated and deceived people in the way in which she went about her business. She was a very deceitful woman".

Mr Mersi says the ministry has learned lessons from Harrison's offending.

"We did undertake a number of independent reviews both into her actions and into our systems and processes to ensure that going forward we're in a position where we're confident about the way in which our money is spent and the way in which public money is spent."
 

Joanne Harrison has been jailed for nearly four years for stealing more than $700k of taxpayers' money.
Source: 1 NEWS