Operating Model

Kaimahi FAQs

These frequently asked questions were shared during the Operating Model engagement activity in October 2021.

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What happened with the previous feedback leading up to this Operating Model?

All feedback we have received to-date has been considered and has informed and influenced the development of this proposed Operating Model.

When will staff know what will happen to their roles?

Consultation will occur on what functions, structure and capabilities will best support the vision of Te Pūkenga from February 2022 and you will be involved in that process. We’ll keep you updated as soon as exact timeframes are confirmed.

I don’t see my role in the function names. What does that mean?

The proposed Operating Model presents the proposed functions of Te Pūkenga – groups of activity that will form our way of working, so the focus is on functions and not roles.


If you think that the functions you perform in your role are not captured in the functional groupings we’ve proposed, please provide that feedback as part of this process and make a suggestion about where your function best fits.

Some functions are listed as being within a single hub network while others are distributed. What does this mean for positions?

The proposed model distinguishes between functions that are proposed to be brought together under a ‘single hub network’, and those that will have ‘distributed delivery’ across the regions. These terms aim to identify where responsibility and direction come from as opposed to impacting on structure or where we do our mahi.


Single-hub network function is intended to be a single point of strategic decision making, oversight and co-ordination. This does not mean one single location. Distributed function supports responsiveness to regional, equity and diversity needs. 


Once the delivery of functions is further developed, the structural design will need to take this into account and any potential changes will be fully consulted on next year.

What are the benefits for staff with what Te Pūkenga is trying to achieve?

The future experience we are creating is one where staff genuinely feel Te Pūkenga is a great place to work, they are meaningfully involved in improving the lives of learners and their whānau, have access to the resources and information they need, feel supported by and connected to their ako networks, and have influence to continually improve the network. 


We’re committed to working towards equity for staff of different genders, ethnicities, cultures, and abilities as set out in our Charter and making sure staff are empowered and have a strong voice. We value diversity in our workplace and will grow a workforce representative of the diversity of our learners and their communities.

What does this mean for Transitioning Industry Training Organisations (TITOs) who have not made a decision if they will transfer to Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning

The proposed Operating Model has been designed with the understanding that other TITOs may join in the future. Feedback is welcome from TITOs who have not yet decided on how they will operate in the future.

I am on leave during the feedback period. How can I provide feedback?

Given the number of people who are invited to provide feedback, we do need to keep to the feedback timeframes. You can still access CitizenLab or the feedback template remotely while away from work to provide your feedback, and you can also be part of a group submission.

Will feedback be shared with my Polytechnic/TITO/WBL Business Division? I’m worried about what I say

You have the option to submit your feedback confidentially via the online platform. If you choose to do this, then no – your feedback will not be shared with your Polytechnic/TITO/WBL Business Division.


If you do provide feedback anonymously, the team managing the feedback at Te Pūkenga will see who has provided the feedback. This is important to ensure all feedback is considered within the right context and ensures any follow up questions on feedback can be made. Your details will not be shared further than the team managing the feedback.

I work for a business division of WBL, does this affect me?

Given that around 60% of all Te Pūkenga learners are learning in the workplace (and we want to increase this), your knowledge and views are important. This is your chance to provide feedback on the Operating Model which will inform the more detailed discussion in 2022 about organisational design and the structure of Te Pūkenga.

Won’t the union just sort it out?

We continue to actively engage and work with both the Tertiary Education Union (TEU) and the Tertiary Institutes Allied Staff Association (TIASA) on the proposed Operating Model. Both unions will also have an opportunity to provide feedback, just like anyone else in the network.

What are the single hubs and where will they be located?

A single hub network function is intended to support a single point of strategic decision making, oversight and co-ordination. This does not mean they will be in one single location.  These activities drive quality at scale and can deliver a common approach for supporting the learner journey.

What are Ako networks?

Ako Networks are formalised networks of teams that deliver teaching and learning, and support the application of work-based skills across the country, for a specific group of qualifications and/or credentials. They reflect the collective capability of our diverse network.

How will the Ako networks be distinguished from the programme unification groups?

The Reference Groups currently being established for programme development/unification mahi (e.g. Social Work, Nursing) will not become the Ako network for that discipline. The reference groups were established to gain input from learners, communities and employers on how the unified programmes are developed. Ako Networks will include everyone, with people coming together in various groups for different purposes/activities.

How will the Ako networks be brought together?

The Ako networks will be established as part of the Operating Model mahi. We will facilitate a co-design process to support this. You will have an opportunity to be part of shaping these networks to ensure they will work in practice. Therefore, we will be relying on subject matter experts to play a leading role in establishing these networks.


Through this round of engagement and later consultation, we hope to hear from you on how best these qualifications should be grouped.

How will the discipline-based and cross-disciplinary Ako networks work together?

The Ako networks reflect the collective capability of our diverse network, both within and across subject disciplines. The cross-disciplinary teams of experts in particular fields will work together with the discipline based Ako networks. They’ll work together to deliver on certain outcomes for teaching and learning and to support the application of work-based skills across the country, for all qualifications and/or credentials.

What will happen to existing formal and informal networks and groups that are working well?

There will be many examples of existing groups that are working well and producing some great mahi. We want to leverage and potentially scale this for the benefit of the wider network, and ultimately learners and employers.

How do I determine which Ako network I’m in?

For the majority of teaching staff, it will be obvious which Ako network/s you will naturally be part of based on your areas of discipline. If it’s not obvious or you don’t see yourself in any network, please provide your feedback as part of this engagement process.

Will I be expected to join an Ako network?

Yes, you will be part of an Ako network/s by default, based on your role to support the application of work-based skills, and the delivery of teaching and learning. Your specific contribution and level of involvement may vary depending on your role.

Audience-specific frequently asked questions