Frequently asked questions

We have collated responses to our most commonly asked questions. If you don't find the answer to your questions, we'd love to hear from you.

About Te Pūkenga

What's happening?

I’ve recently seen Te Pūkenga in the news. What’s going on?

In December 2023, the new Government announced that it intends to disestablish the national organisation Te Pūkenga | New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. It wishes to return vocational education to regional decision-making institutions.

What does this involve?

To disestablish Te Pūkenga, the Government must introduce new or amended legislation. It is too early to put a timeframe on the process ahead, but it may take 12-18 months from the start of 2024.


Next steps:  the Tertiary Education Commission and Ministry of Education will work with Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Hon. Penny Simmonds on the best option to replace Te Pūkenga. Te Pūkenga Council and management are supporting this work. The legislative process involves Cabinet consideration and, by law, public consultation.


Te Pūkenga remains a legal entity until there is legislative change and the future shape and structure of the vocational education and training system is confirmed.  Learners will still enrol at and receive their qualifications from Te Pūkenga.  When the new entities are established all these enrolments will be transferred without any impact to learners.

What does the Government’s disestablishment of Te Pūkenga mean for my learning?

It will be business as usual. As a learner, you will still be able to complete your programme of study through your chosen provider. Support services will stay the same, fees will stay the same and your relationships with organisations such as StudyLink will stay the same.


You will also be able to enrol in another course if you wish, including courses that last for more than one year.

So, my studies at Te Pūkenga won’t be impacted at all?

No. We are committed to ensuring that any organisational changes do not impact the high-quality delivery of our programmes and training for our learners and employers. Your programme of study or training will continue as planned as we work through developing a future structure for the sector.

Who we are

What is Te Pūkenga?

Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, includes 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics and nine Industry Training Organisations.

The 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics are Ara Institute of Canterbury, Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), Northland Polytechnic (NorthTec), Open Polytechnic, Otago Polytechnic, Southern Institute of Technology (SIT), Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Tai Poutini Polytechnic (TPP), Universal College of Learning (UCOL), Unitec, Whitireia Community Polytechnic, Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec), Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec), and Western Institute of Technology (WITT).

The nine Industry Training Organisations are Competenz), Connexis, BCITO, MITO, Service IQ, Careerforce, HITO, PrimaryITO and certain programmes and sectors from Skills.

How does Te Pūkenga get funded?

Under VOTE Education, we are funded by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) based on the number of learners in the system. 

Our ākonga

Learning with us

Where do I learn? Can I start learning at one location and change to another easily?

Yes. Te Pūkenga aims to create more learning options in more locations for more learners and enabling learners to move between locations and modes of learning – that is, on-campus, online or on the job.

Does Te Pūkenga offer online programmes?

Yes. You can use our Find your path to look at our online options. We offer options from construction and applied science to certificates in floristry and health and wellbeing.

How will the changes affect international learners?

For domestic and international students who enrol with a Te Pūkenga business division in 2024, the future entity that replaces Te Pūkenga will honour this education arrangement, and you can enrol with confidence.

Is there a learner representation body for Te Pūkenga?

Te Pūkenga Interim Learner Advisory Committee was established in 2021. The Advisory Committee provides advice to Te Pūkenga Council and a member of this committee also sits on the Council.


Te Pūkenga also works alongside local student councils, national student associations, unions, and independent student voices to develop and implement a stronger learner voice ecosystem to ensure learner voice informs all levels of the organisation and that learners are supported by and connected to a wide network of learner groups.


What will I graduate with? What will it say on my certificate, diploma or degree?

In 2024, your qualification will be co-branded with Te Pūkenga and the institution with which you began your learning journey. Your qualification will be valid and recognised by employers.


How do I enrol or re-enrol?

In 2024, contact your local provider to enrol for a course. You can find our learning providers here: Our network

Support for learners

Who can I contact for support?

Learner support services are available to all learners. If you have any queries or concerns, please contact your local provider.  

How will Te Pūkenga support Māori and Pacific ākonga (learners) better?

Te Pūkenga adopted an Equity and ākonga Success Strategy, providing a 10-year roadmap for implementation. You can read more about the initiative underway across Aotearoa here.


Can we better support women with learning and training?

We continue to support women working in all industries, especially the trades where their representation in the workforce has traditionally been small.

Te Pūkenga works alongside employers to ensure they have the tools and knowledge to create appropriate work-based learning environments for women.

How do you support disabled ākonga (learners) or those with extra learning needs?

National Disability Action Plan was implemented in 2023. The plan set out priorities for ensuring equitable outcomes for disabled ākonga no matter where they are.

A long-term Equity and Ākonga Success Strategy has been developed to promote success for all Te Pūkenga ākonga and increase focus on holistic wellbeing for ākonga (inclusive of whānau), no matter where you are.

Will Te Pūkenga ākonga (learners) be covered by the Pastoral Care Code for tertiary learners, even if they’re learning on the job?

From the start of 2022, all registered tertiary providers who enrol ākonga are required to comply with NZQA’s Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021, including those hosting work-based ākonga.


The Code supports the wellbeing of all tertiary and international ākonga and residents enrolled with New Zealand education providers by setting out everything that education providers must do to ensure the wellbeing and safety of ākonga. NZQA has produced videos for ākonga to help them know the Code.

Our Partners


How will employers’ needs be met?

Te Pūkenga works closely with employers to deliver programmes, courses and training to ensure learners gain the right skills for the job. More learners are encouraged and assisted into apprenticeships and on-the-job learning, supported by campus-based block courses, evening classes and online modules.


Employers can be confident that vocational education graduates are ready for work, and that the future skills needs of their industry will be addressed by the vocational education system.

How does Te Pūkenga manage needs for learners to attend block courses and be on-the-job?

We support employers to provide on-the-job training in their workplace and to help coach and mentor learners, apprentices and trainees. We also ensure learners have access to learning that cannot occur on-the-job to enhance learners’ understanding and knowledge gained on-job.

Secondary School system

How does Te Pūkenga connect with kura, schools and future learners?

Our connection with kura and schools is critical to creating a clear vocational pathway from secondary school through to tertiary education. Good programmes operate within schools to support industry, including great training grounds like STAR, Gateway, Trades Academy and the Pathways Advisory Group.

Giving industry a stronger voice to match future skills needs

How does Te Pūkenga give industry a stronger voice?

Workforce Development Councils (WDCs)

There are six Workforce Development Councils structured by industry groups in line with the six vocational pathways that are used in secondary schools:

  1. Waihanga Ara Rau - Construction and Infrastructure
  2. Toi Mai - Creative, Cultural Recreation & Technology
  3. Muka Tangata – People, Food & Fibre
  4. Ringa Hora - Services
  5. Toitū te Wairoa – Community, Health, Education & Social Services
  6. Hanga-Aro-Rau – Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics
How will qualifications and skill needs be identified for each industry?

Te Pūkenga, Industry and employers work with Workforce Development Councils (WDC) to identify the qualifications and skills their industry sectors need. WDCs are responsible for developing qualifications in collaboration with others and are registered on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

How will the changes affect employers in the future?

We continue to work toward customising solutions that meet individual business needs. This includes products, support options and learning tools will be available to support you to train your people.


Apprenticeships and on-the-job training continue to be a priority. Multi-modal/flexible learning will allow us to address real-life industry problems in our academic curriculum. Employers and industry are partners in delivering a quality learning experience valued by all.


More than half of Te Pūkenga ākonga (learners) are in work-based learning. Industry is critical to our vocational education system, so collaboration with industry is important to us.