Change of ownership

Panoni i te Rangatiratanga

Last updated 19 January 2021
Last updated 19 January 2021

This page has information for on change of ownership conditions. 

A PTE that receives funding from the Tertiary Education Commission (the TEC) must advise us of the following (as part of conditions imposed under Sections 426 and 429 of the ):

  • the merger of a PTE
  • transfer or sale to a trust
  • sale of the business (assets) to a new owner
  • partial sale of the business (assets) to a new owner
  • change to the control of a PTE (private company) or
  • change in a director of the PTE (private company).

PTEs need to determine whether the change, or changes, to their ownership or governance will result in a new PTE seeking funding for the provision.

Determining this beforehand will facilitate a faster turn-around by the and us, and avoid possible loss of registration, accreditation, and funding.

Any change of ownership information that must be provided to us, should be provided 28 days in advance of the planned change.

Scope of the change

The types of change, and resulting actions required, can be divided into two broad groups:

  1. changes that would result in us funding the same legal entity for the provision as it funded before the change, or
  2. changes that may result in us funding a different legal entity for the provision than it funded before the change.

In both cases the PTE must advise NZQA, which will follow its own procedures in relation to registration and accreditation.

Change of ownership of PTEs - NZQA requirements

Change of ownership or governance (same legal entity)

Any change of ownership information that must be provided to us should be provided 28 days in advance of the planned change.

You should also ensure that other government agencies that need to know about the change, such as NZQA, or the Companies Office, have been contacted in advance of the planned change.

Change of name only (same legal entity)

NZQA needs to approve any change in name. PTEs must submit proposed name changes to NZQA, which will notify us of the change of name.

If a new PTE (different legal entity) will be seeking funding

If there is a change in the legal entity seeking funding, PTEs are advised to contact NZQA, the TEC and Studylink at the earliest stages of planning to discuss what is required.

If an existing PTE’s assets are being sold to a purchaser who wishes to continue the educational provision, or two PTEs are merging, we will need to consider a significant amendment to the relevant Investment Plan(s), or consider funding the activities of a new Investment Plan. The PTEs (vendor and purchaser) must consult with stakeholders over the proposed change.


Any change of ownership information that must be provided to us should be provided 28 days in advance of the planned change.

We recommend PTEs provide the information to us at the same time they contact NZQA, so both agencies are aware of the up-coming changes.

The vendor PTE

If ceasing to operate as a PTE, approval of funding for the Investment Plan (or the funding letter) will be revoked.

The purchasing PTE

We recommend new and potential owners fully familiarise themselves with PTE legislative requirements and conditions on receiving funding from us, especially if they are not currently receiving funding. The funding section of our website may be helpful. Prospective owners should also refer to the NZQA website as NZQA registration is required to be eligible for funding from us.

         Registration of a new PTE 


New PTEs will be required to have an Investment Plan for (off-Plan funding can be made through a funding letter).

If a purchasing PTE is already funded by us, any funding approval will be through an amendment to the Investment Plan (or an amendment to the funding letter).


We will apply the same, published, decision-making criteria in assessing proposed amendments to an Investment Plan in a change of ownership as it applies in any other situation.

Approval of funding does not automatically transfer to a new PTE as a result of a change of ownership.

We will consider re-allocation of funding to the new PTE once the required documents have been assessed. In some instances we may need to make further enquiries to learn more about the new owner or entity.

Calculating delivery levels

We may not be able to calculate the vendor PTE’s up-to-date levels of provision at the time of the sale and purchase. If we decide to fund the purchasing PTE, there may be additional conditions on funding the activities and programmes (provision) that are the subject of the sale, such as:

  • the purchaser PTE will be responsible for ensuring a final , in relation to the provision, is submitted in relation to the provision that we will fund; and
  • the purchaser PTE must retain responsibility for the vendor PTE’s outstanding debt to us in relation to the provision.