Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) Hawke’s Bay nursing students have been told they will find out on March 3 how and when their studies will resume.
Over 90 per cent of the EIT Hawke’s Bay campus in Napier was damaged by flooding in the cyclone on February 13 and 14, Te Pūkenga deputy chief executive learning (Ako) delivery Gus Gilmore said.
In addition to flooding of classrooms, the cyclone caused problems with power, internet connectivity and water supply on the campus, Gilmore said.
Cyclone Gabrielle is one of the worst storms to hit Aotearoa New Zealand since 1968, and the Hawke’s Bay region suffered the greatest damage, including eight of 13 deaths nationally.
‘This is an incredibly difficult time and they are working tirelessly to support kaimahi and ākonga.’
There are 300 full and part-time nursing students enrolled at the Hawke’s Bay campus.
An update on the EIT Hawke’s Bay Facebook page on Friday evening said: “Unfortunately the Hawke’s Bay campus in Taradale has suffered significant damage and we expect it will take up to three months to be fully operational again”.
“Hopefully we can start to re-open parts of the campus sooner but we are not in a position to confirm this yet.”
Students were advised they would be further updated on March 3 about the future of their studies.
Gilmore acknowledged the “great work our people on the ground are doing”.
“This is an incredibly difficult time and they are working tirelessly to support kaimahi and ākonga.”
‘Staff who haven’t been personally affected by the cyclone are here helping out while we have been inundated with offers from students and the wider community.’
EIT staff were working through each programme, to plan resumption of classes “as quickly as possible”, Gilmore said.
“The full resources of Te Pūkenga network, nationally, are being focussed on supporting our ākonga, and kaimahi as we work through this.”
EIT-Te Pūkenga executive director of strategic projects and partnerships Glen Harkness said “all attempts are being made to return to normal operations as soon as possible”, in response to an enquiry by Kaitiaki on Friday.
Head of school, tourism, hospitality and English language Glenn Fulcher, who is leading the clean-up on campus, said progress was being made in getting the campus back to normal, with the help of staff and students.
“Staff who haven’t been personally affected by the cyclone are here helping out while we have been inundated with offers from students and the wider community,” Fulcher said.
NZNO Te Rūnanga Tauira representative for the region Ariana Thompson-Kihirini said she hoped more information about how and when the course would resume would be provided soon, so students could begin to plan for a return to their studies.
She said students were already dealing with the impact of the cyclone on their whānau, homes, and workplaces and might not have the necessary support to cope with further disruption to their studies.
Moving to an online-only model would be the best option for students, considering the damage to the building and roads, Thompson-Kiririni said.