What the Minister expects of TEI council members

What the Minister expects of TEI council members

Last updated 20 October 2022
Last updated 20 October 2022

This page sets out the Minister responsible for tertiary education’s expectations of council members.

Why good governance is important

A TEI council provides the leadership for the institution to be successful. Council members are responsible for the strategic direction of their institutions and ensuring they are effectively managed. While the protects the autonomy and academic freedom of institutions, councils are entrusted with public funds and therefore expected to fulfil the highest standards of corporate governance. They must successfully balance autonomy with public accountability.

The following list of expectations is intended as a guide. It clarifies how the Minister responsible for tertiary education expects individual members to tailor their personal contribution to each council. 

What the Minister expects of council members

It is expected that all members of a TEI council will, to the best of their ability:

  1. Understand and comply with their statutory responsibilities as council members and fulfil their individual duties and the functions and duties of TEI councils as set out in the Education and Training Act 2020 (the Act).
  2. Work collectively with other council members to contribute to an education system that reflects the aims set out in section 4 of the Act and, in particular, honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi and supports Māori-Crown relationships.
  3. Act with honesty and integrity, in good faith, always in the interests of the institution as a whole and in a way that promotes high standards of tertiary education in New Zealand.
  4. Respect the confidentiality of information and use information gained as a council member only to support the work of the council and always in the best interests of the institution as a whole.
  5. Ensure the institution undertakes sound strategic and business planning that aligns with the Government’s Tertiary Education Strategy.
  6. Ensure the council appropriately directs its Chief Executive and holds them accountable for their performance using clear and measurable performance criteria.
  7. Ensure the institution provides the Minister and officials with the information necessary to monitor the performance of the institution.
  8. Ensure the institution adopts sound organisational and financial management practices to protect and enhance New Zealand’s investment in the institution and optimise the institution’s expenditure in line with its investment and business plans.
  9. Encourage the institution to actively explore ways to better cooperate and collaborate across the tertiary education sector to the mutual benefit of all.
  10. Ensure the institution encourages and supports all learners to succeed and works with Māori and Pasifika communities to achieve patterns of participation and achievement in tertiary education that are the same as for other learners and deliver comparable post-study outcomes.
  11. Ensure the institution adopts a sound risk management strategy for all its activities.
  12. Ensure the institution undertakes an internal audit that includes unrestricted reporting of results to the council.
  13. Ensure the institution and council implement appropriate ways for communicating and working with key stakeholder groups and encouraging their participation; stakeholders include the student body, staff, the wider community, iwi, the central education agencies, and other tertiary institutions and schools.
  14. Keep their governance knowledge and skills up-to-date, and keep up with changes and developments in the operating environment and how their institution is responding.
  15. Participate in an annual performance appraisal of the council and its members led by the council Chair.
  16. Advise the council Chair immediately of any circumstances, conflicts of interest, or perceived conflicts of interest, which may prevent them from performing their role in a fair and impartial way or in the best interests of the institution.

What council members are not responsible or liable for

It is not the role of council members to ‘run’ the TEI. The Chief Executive is responsible for the TEI’s executive management and its day-to-day direction. However, as an employee and appointee of the council, the Chief Executive must implement the council’s decisions, and is answerable to the council for their own performance.

As set out in Schedule 11, clause 19 of the Education and Training Act 2020, council members’ liability is limited and they are not liable for “any act done or omitted by the council member or by the council (a) in good faith; and (b) in performance or intended performance of the functions of the institution or of the council.”

What else you need to know as a council member

As a council member you need to be aware of the Act’s provisions, especially sections 280, 281 and Schedule 11, clause 18 on the functions and duties of councils.

Section 280 of the Education and Training Act

Section 281 of the Education and Training Act

Schedule 11, clause 18 of the Education and Training Act