Review of University and Wānanga Governance

The Government has reviewed the legislative settings for university and wānanga governance. This page contains information about public consultation, which took place between 2 October and 12 November 2013.

On 11 February 2014, the Government announced that it will proceed with legislative changes to university and wānanga governance. Go to the reforms of university and wānanga governance to proceed page for information about the changes.

Reason for the reviews

New Zealand universities and wānanga have councils based on a representative model of governance that is very prescriptive regarding council membership. This model may not meet the needs of our universities and wānanga in the twenty-first century.

At present our universities are facing a number of critical challenges. These include greater competitive pressures resulting from massive investment in the university sector across the developing world, the emergence of online provision, the need to respond to areas of high occupational demand and the need to enhance their attractiveness to students, including international students. Faster moving, more flexible, more responsive councils, which support our universities to perform at a high level, will enable them to respond quickly and effectively to these challenges and will ensure they remain competitive internationally.

Current legislative settings for wānanga governance were not written with wānanga in mind and may not reflect their unique status under the Education Act 1989. The Government seeks to ensure that wānanga benefit from fast-moving, flexible, responsive councils that enable them to reflect their unique characteristics.

Aims of the reviews

The Government seeks governance settings for universities and wānanga that enable councils to operate effectively and efficiently and equip councils with people with the skills to govern.

Consultation and submissions

The Government proposed a number of changes to university and wānanga governance in public consultation documents (see “Related downloads” below). In response to the consultation document about university governance, the Government received submissions from:

  • 8 universities
  • 20 organisations
  • 159 individuals.

In response to the consultation document about wānanga governance, the Government received submissions from:

  • 3 wānanga
  • 5 organisations
  • 2 individuals.

These submissions are available for download below.

Some information in submissions has been withheld under the following sections of the Official Information Act 1982 as noted in the documents:

  • section 9(2)(a) - to protect the privacy of a natural person
  • section 9(2)(ba)(i) - to protect information which is subject to an obligation of confidence ... where the making available of the information ... will be likely to prejudice the supply of similar information.

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