Our statutory functions and legal framework

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Last updated 4 November 2016
Last updated 11/04/2016

The Tertiary Education Commission (the TEC) is a Crown entity established under section 159C of the Education Act 1989.

Our functions include giving effect to the Government’s Tertiary Education Strategy 2014–2019, funding and monitoring the performance of the tertiary education sector, and providing advice to the Minister.

Tertiary Education Strategy 2014–2019
Tertiary Education Strategy and other government commitments 
The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment
The Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

Our statutory functions

1.  The functions of the TEC are:

a) to give effect to the tertiary education strategy by:

i. prescribing and publishing guidance on the content of, and processes associated with seeking funding approval for, proposed plans; and
ii. prescribing and publishing guidance on the criteria the Commission will use to assess proposed plans; and
iii. assessing proposed plans and deciding whether they will receive funding approval by applying the relevant assessment criteria; and
iv. determining the amount of funding payable to organisations by applying the appropriate funding mechanisms; and
v. allocating funding to organisations that have plans; and
vi. allocating funding to organisations that are not required to have plans in order to receive funding; and
vii. prescribing what plan summaries must contain for the purposes of public inspection; and
viii. building the capability of organisations; and

b) to provide advice to the Minister on the activities and performance of tertiary education organisations and the tertiary education sector generally; and

(ba) to develop details of how to implement funding mechanisms and

(bb) to implement funding mechanisms; and

c) to provide advice to the Minister on the implementation of policy and on the operational implications of new policy initiatives; and

d) to monitor the performance of organisations that receive funding from the Commission including by measuring performance against specified outcomes; and

(da) to undertake any functions that the Minister directs the Commission to undertake under section 159J; and

e) to undertake any functions delegated to the Commission, including (without limitation) functions relating to the funding of organisations other than under section 159YA or 159ZC; and

f) to undertake any other function given by this Act, the Industry Training and Apprenticeships Act 1992, the Modern Apprenticeship Training Act 2000, or any other enactment.

2.  In addition, the Commission may provide information and other tertiary-related services to the Crown, provided that these functions are consistent with the Commission’s statement of intent and are consistent with, and do not displace, any of its functions under subsection (1).


Legislation relevant to the Tertiary Education Commission include the following:

 Education Act 1989
 Industry Training and Apprenticeships Act 1992
 Official Information Act 1982
 Privacy Act 1993 
 Crown Entities Act 2004
 State Sector Act 1988 
 Public Finance Act 1989
 Public Records Act 2005 

Other instruments

Other instruments relevant to our activities include New Zealand Gazette notices.