The circus is over for disappointed performing arts students after the only place to gain a circus qualification in New Zealand announced cuts.
Almost a year after Whitireia Polytechnic’s $25 million Te Auaha NZ Institute of Creativity opened, a drop in students and financial strife have led to cuts.
And circus students – some of whom starred in this year’s World of Wearable Arts show – have been told they have 12 months to complete their studies.
Whitireia chief executive Chris Gosling said there weren’t enough enrolments last term although ‘‘dance and other performing arts are going strong’’.
First-year circus student Kieran McDermott said his plans to become a teacher had now been dashed and the axing highlighted a pattern in New Zealand to ‘‘undercut and undervalue the performing arts’’.
WOW show director Malia Johnston said the school’s closure would ‘‘of course be a blow to the circus community’’.
Kieran McDermott said corporate life had not been a natural fit for him and instead he found purpose in the polytechnic’s course.