Māori and Pasifika Trades Training

Māori and Pasifika Trades Training

Last updated 17 April 2023
Last updated 17 April 2023

Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) funding provides fees-free tertiary places for Māori and Pasifika learners aged between 16 and 40 to achieve in pre-trades training and progress to sustainable trades or trades-related employment (including New Zealand Apprenticeships), other successful industry training programmes at Level 3 and above on the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF), and managed apprenticeships. 

The purpose of MPTT funding is to increase access for Māori and Pasifika learners to vocational and pre-employment training. This enables these learners to develop skills for sustainable employment and achieve better employment outcomes.

MPTT funding is paid to organisations that are part of an approved consortium.

Partnership model

MPTT uses a partnership model, comprising iwi, hapū, Māori and Pasifika community groups, employers, and tertiary education organisations (TEOs), including industry training organisations (ITOs).  

The partnership model:

  • recognises the vital role that communities play in supporting Māori and Pasifika learners on their journey to achieve their educational and economic aspirations
  • ensures employers are involved from the beginning, from selecting learners through to selecting suitable training programmes to match learners’ needs, and
  • supports learners to transition into skilled, sustainable employment that meets both learner, community and industry needs.

Consortium partners work together to align training to the needs of employers and Māori and Pasifika communities. This ensures that employment is sustainable and makes a greater contribution to local and national economic development goals.


Māori and Pasifika learners aged between 16 to 40 years old can access the fees-free programmes of study and training in trades.

The training leads to qualifications at levels 1 to 4 on the NZQF, which meet pre-employment trade training requirements of industry.

The Government contribution towards the costs of teaching and learning services is funded through the Student Achievement Component (SAC). A TEO delivering trades training to MPTT learners must meet teaching and learning costs through:

  • its own SAC allocation (approved by us through the Investment Plan process), or
  • an agreement with a TEO that has a SAC allocation approved by us.

Pastoral care and brokerage services are provided by each consortium of partner organisations to support learners to progress to the MPTT successful outcomes. These are:

  • a New Zealand Apprenticeship (NZA)
  • an apprentice-equivalent arrangement (i.e. a managed apprenticeship)
  • industry training at level 3 or above
  • further provider-based training at level 4 or above, and/or
  • sustainable employment.

Learner numbers

MPTT began in 2014. Since then learner numbers have increased from 1,189 to over 2,400 new learners in 2017.


2024 MPTT Application Templates and Application Guidance


See also the resources on our Consortia page.

Interactions with TTAF and Fees Free

MPTT interaction with Fees Free

If a learner enrols in MPTT on or after 1 July 2020, their MPTT training will no longer count towards the use of a learner’s fees-free entitlement, or count as prior study. This means learners will not be disadvantaged by being enrolled in MPTT initiatives.

If a learner has completed an MPTT course, and goes on to further study, are they eligible for Fees Free?

  • This will depend on when the learner started and completed their MPTT course.

MPTT course start/end date


Starts on, or after, 1 January 2018, and ends prior to 30 June 2020 This study will count towards the use of a learner's fees-free entitlement.
Starts on, or after, 1 January 2020 and continues after July 2020 See table below.
Starts on, or after, 1 July 2020 The study will not count towards the use of a learner's fees-free entitlement.
  • This table shows the proportion of a course that does count towards a learner's fees-free entitlement use.

Course start date 

Percentage of course post 1 July 

Proportion of course that counts towards entitlement use

 1 January - 30 April 2020  Less than 50%  100%
 1 January - 30 April 2020  50% to less than 75%  50%
 1 January - 30 April 2020  75% or more  0%
 1 May - 30 June 2020  33% or more  0%
 1 May - 30 June 2020  Less than 33%  100%
  • MPTT courses that started on or after 1 July 2020 will not be counted towards a learner’s fees-free entitlement.
  • Therefore, if a learner enrols in an MPTT course that started on or after 1 July 2020, this study will not impact their eligibility for Fees Free tertiary education, under current policy settings. If the learner has previously accessed Fees Free, and has remaining entitlement, they will be able to use this at a later date (should they meet the criteria applicable at the time of enrolment in further study).

Prior study rules for MPTT from 1 July 2020

Will MPTT study be included in a learner's prior study when determining eligibility for Fees Free?

  • To be eligible for Fees Free, a learner must not have undertaken more than half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education (0.5 equivalent full-time student (EFTS) or 60 credits) at level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), including tertiary education at an equivalent level undertaken in any country; known as the prior study criteria.  
  • Credits obtained from MPTT courses that start on, or after 1 July 2020 will no longer be included as part of the 60 credits of prior study criteria. 
  • Refer to the above table for interactions between YG and Fees Free.

Any MPTT study that started before 1 July 2020 will continue to be included in prior study calculations for fees-free eligibility.

Learners will not need to apply to the TEC for the changes to be reflected in their fees-free entitlements. However, it will take time for the TEC to process the changes for them to be reflected in an individual’s fees-free entitlement information.

MPTT interaction with TTAF

This section provides guidance on how to enrol and report on learners at Level 3 and above in the MPTT fund with the introduction of Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) on 1 July 2020:

What does the introduction of TTAF, and the change to Fees Free, mean for MPTT?

  • We expect a learner that would have been enrolled as a MPTT learner in the past, will continue to be enrolled through MPTT whilst there are places available, rather than TTAF. This is because the MPTT Fund offers additional resources and pastoral care to learners that require it.
  • MPTT places should continue to be used as agreed with your consortia and TEC.
  • TTAF study does not use up fees-free entitlements, and will not count as prior study in relation to any future fees-free entitlement.
  • Changes to the Fees Free rules mean that MPTT enrolments after 1 July 2020 will no longer a learner’s fees-free entitlement, or count as prior study. This means learners will not be disadvantaged by being enrolled in MPTT with respect to their fees-free eligibility.
  • The TEC will include reviewing enrolment source of funding (SOF) codes in its monitoring activity.

If we enrol a learner in TTAF instead of MPTT, what is the TEC’s position on this?

If you choose to:

  • enrol a learner under SAC Level 3 and above, in a TTAF eligible programme; and
  • prior to TTAF being available you would have ordinarily enrolled that learner under MPTT (SOF 28,29);you are required to support this learner in the same way that you would have supported them via MPTT.
  • you will be required to self-fund the same level of support that would have been provided had those learners been enrolled in MPTT. No additional funding will be provided for the support. The requirement can be found in your funding agreement at clause 40(c).

The Ministry of Education are considering the impact of TTAF on MPTT settings for learners and Tertiary Education Organisations. Any changes will be communicated following the Minister’s agreement to any changes to the MPTT funding parameters.