Our statutory functions and legal framework

Tā mātou anga ā-ture

Last updated 27 October 2017
Last updated 27 October 2017

The Tertiary Education Commission (the TEC) is a Crown entity established under section 159C of the Education Act 1989. On 1 July 2017, the Education (Update) Amendment Bill disestablished Careers NZ and transferred its staff and functions to the TEC.

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

Tertiary Education Strategy 2014–2019
Tertiary Education Strategy and other government commitments 
Minister of Education

Our statutory functions

1.  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).

From 1 July 2017, we will have the following statutory careers functions:

  • to establish and maintain a database of information about occupations and about post-compulsory education and training:
  • to make that information available to the public and to institutions, private training establishments, students, and other interested bodies and persons:
  • to provide—

(i)    training and assistance to persons who advise about occupations; and

(ii)   career advice and associated counselling relating to post-compulsory education and training:

  • to liaise with, and monitor the needs of, institutions, private training establishments, students and other bodies and persons with respect to—

(i)    information, training, and advice relating to occupations; and

(ii)   career advice and associated counselling relating to post-compulsory education and training:

  • to provide support services for the purpose of promoting transition education that prepares students for employment, or further education and training, or both:

From 1 January 2018, the above statutory careers functions will be refocused and replace with:

  • to provide a publicly available careers information service that includes a database of information about occupations and tertiary education and training.
  • to facilitate and strengthen the connections between schools, employers, and tertiary education organisations to ensure students are better prepared for employment and further education and training, or both.


Legislation relevant to the Tertiary Education Commission include the following

Education Act 1989

The Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017

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.