How we work

Tukanga mahi

Last updated 9 February 2021
Last updated 9 February 2021

We invest government funding in tertiary education organisations (TEOs) , monitor their performance, and provide information and advice. We invest over $3 billion into tertiary education and the careers system each year. 

Our investment supports more than 700 tertiary education organisations across New Zealand to provide all forms of post-secondary-school education, including foundation education, vocational education and higher education (including research). 

Our investment helps to ensure a network of provision which meets the needs of different learners and communities.

The scope and breadth of our careers work has expanded to better support the changing nature of work and the future career needs of all New Zealanders between the ages of 7 and 70+. The focus is to help prepare New Zealanders for the future of work and the post-COVID challenges that lie ahead.

Over the coming years we will focus on equipping New Zealanders with the skills and capabilities to make them career confident and resilient. For our customers this means providing information, tools and support to inform and enable good educational and employment decisions.

The TEC recognises and affirms our responsibility to give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi:

  • We will give practical effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi in our work across the tertiary education and careers system.
  • We will ensure that our work is consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi-related goals of the Education Work Programme, the Tertiary Education Strategy and Ka Hikitia.
  • We acknowledge our responsibility to Te Tiriti o Waitangi in its entirety including taking into account the interests of whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori.
  • In particular, through our Ōritetanga Learner Success work programme, we will give effect to the Crown’s Third Article Treaty obligations to ensure equitable outcomes for Māori as learners. We will work to ensure that all Māori learners receive what they need to be successful, through the intentional design and stewardship of the tertiary education system.
  • We will support the Crown to meet its duties to actively protect the taonga of te reo Māori, mātauranga Māori and a strong wānanga system of tertiary educational delivery.

We are required to give effect to the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES). The TES sets out the Government’s current and medium-term priorities and long-term strategic direction for tertiary education. It is intended to address economic, social and environmental goals, and the development aspirations of Māori and other population groups.

In addition to our performance monitoring of the tertiary education sector as a whole, our Chief Executive is required to report to the Minister of Education on performance of universities, wānanga and Te Pūkenga – formally the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST), the tertiary education institutes (TEIs) reflecting your ownership interest (on behalf of the Crown) in all 12 TEIs.

Through our work we support learners to understand and take hold of the lifelong opportunities they have to upskill, reskill and adapt to new challenges.
Delivering for learners also means delivering for communities and employers. We do this by working with these groups to make sure learners are equipped with the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to contribute to thriving and resilient communities and an innovative and sustainable economy.

For more information, please refer to our corporate publications: Annual Report, Statement of Performance Expectations, and the Briefing to the Incoming Minister 2020.