Our key legislation

New Zealand's education system is governed by the Education Act.

Education Act 1989

The Education Act 1989 establishes the legal framework for our education system, from early childhood education to compulsory schooling to international education and tertiary education.

Education Act 1989 — NZ Legislation website(external link)

Education Act 1964

A few key provisions relating to the education system remain in the Education Act 1964, including the legal framework for:

  • secular education
  • religious instruction, and
  • establishment and disestablishment of special schools.

Education Act 1964 — NZ Legislation website(external link)

Amendment Bills and Acts

There are a number of recent:

  • amendment Acts which affect the Education Act 1989, and
  • bills in progress which are proposed to affect the Education Act 1989.


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