How to make a complaint

Tuku amuamu mai

Last updated 22 December 2023
Last updated 22 December 2023

One of the main functions of the Tertiary Education Commission (the TEC) is to monitor to ensure they are delivering programmes in line with their funding agreements with us.

We want to hear from you if:

  • you think a TEO is not delivering the appropriate amount of teaching hours through your course or study
  • you have concerns about a TEO’s performance against its commitments, performance standards, or compliance against the TEC’s funding conditions.

Making a complaint

There are two ways to make a complaint: 

  • call us on our complaints helpline on 0800 601 301, or
  • email us using the contact form.

While the TEC encourages complainants to provide contact details so that we can verify the particulars of your complaint, we can receive anonymous complaints. If you would like to register a complaint with the TEC, but do not want the TEC to store your personal details, please indicate this when lodging your complaint.

Information we need from you

For us to look into your complaint, we’ll need the following information:

  • what your complaint is about. Please provide specific complaint details, for example:
    • the name of the TEO
    • who is involved, and
    • what you are specifically concerned about, and
  • whether you have raised this complaint directly with the TEO.


We recognise that some complainants need to remain anonymous, and have a policy of not recording people’s identity when requested. If you feel that informing the TEC about possible wrongdoing might put your position at risk (for example, you may be a student or an employee of the person or organisation you want to report) please note the following:

  • Personal information relating to complaints will be treated as confidential. We will consult with you if any person seeks access to identifying personal information about your complaint, and
  • If you are an employee (including former employee) of an organisation that the TEC funds, your complaint may be a protected disclosure under the Protected Disclosures Act. The purpose of this Act is to encourage people to report serious wrongdoing in their workplace by providing protection for employees who consider they need to “blow the whistle”. This applies to public and private sector workplaces.

We may not be the correct agency to deal with your complaint

If your complaint relates to one of these issues

You should contact the following agency

A complaint or an issue with a teacher/lecturer, facilities at your TEO or student policies and practices

Your TEO to discuss your concerns

Your student loan, student allowance, or student loan repayments


The delivery or quality of your course or study

New Zealand Qualifications Authority 


Human Rights Commission

Someone’s safety being at risk

WorkSafe New Zealand

New Zealand Police

How information about you has been stored or used

Privacy Commission

If you’re an international student and have a concern

New Zealand Qualifications Authority

The delivery or quality of your course or study at a University

Universities New Zealand

If you’re unsure, call our complaints helpline to talk through your concerns: 0800 601 301.

Where we receive information that appears to raise concerns under a law another government agency enforces, we may advise that agency of our concern. If we do pass your complaint to another agency, we will notify you of this transfer.  

What happens next?

A member of our customer contact group will consider the nature of your complaint, the information you have provided, and advise you on the next steps.

We may contact you for clarification or to obtain additional information relating to your complaint.

Depending on the nature of the complaint, we may not be able to advise you of the results of our inquiry. In cases where the initial complaint results in a TEC investigation, we generally publish final reports on our website.