Regulations and guidelines

The regulations came into force on 1 March 2006. This site provides a brief summary of the matters covered by the regulations and downloads of the regulations and the guidelines.

The regulations came into force on 1 March 2006. The regulations provide a one-year transition period for hostels operating before that date. Hostel owners will need to have lodged a licence application by 1 March 2007, unless required to do so earlier by written notice from the licensing authority (i.e., the Ministry of Education).

The following is a brief summary of the matters covered by the regulations.

Part 1 - Preliminary provisions

Purpose statement, interpretation of certain terms used in the regulations, confirmation of the hostels to which the regulations apply, and how notices are to be served.

Part 2 - Licensing for hostels

  • prohibitions related to unlicensed hostels;
  • licence applications, required supporting information (including information about the suitability of the applicant) and declarations;
  • the granting and renewal of licences (including with conditions);
  • formal directions to eliminate non-compliance and the suspension and cancellation of licences; and
  • licence fees and fee refunds.

Part 3 - Minimum Standards for Hostel Premises and Facilities

  • provision of necessary spaces, facilities and equipment (recognising that the physical environment can also contribute to ensuring a safe emotional environment - one that supports positive developmental and social activities, quiet reflection, privacy, security and a free flow of communication with people outside the hostel); and
  • emergency arrangements.

Part 4 - Code of practice relating to management of hostels

  • requirements for written policies and operating procedures, including giving boarders:
    • Respect and dignity;
    • Positive guidance and control;
    • Protection from discrimination, degradation, ill-treatment, solitary confinement or deprivation; and
    • Protection while on leave from the hostel or on hostel excursions:
  • record keeping;
  • staffing, security and supervision of boarders and visitors to hostels;
  • health protection;
  • food safety and nutrition;
  • general safety; and
  • parents' contact with or access to boarders.

Part 5 - Complaints about hostels

  • Procedure for making and handling complaints about non-compliance.

Part 6 - Miscellaneous Provisions

  • Provisions relating to appeals, a transition period, relationship with other enactments and offences.

Consultation and recent Education Review Office findings indicate that most hostels should already be meeting the requirements for premises, facilities and management practices.

Obtaining a copy of the Education (Hostels) Regulations 2005

Please download a copy of the regulations and the guidelines from the link below.

Free access to an online version of the regulations is available via Otherwise, the regulations are published in full in the Statutory Regulations (SR) series, serial number SR 2005/332. Copies of the regulations can be bought ($8.79 each) from Legislation Direct, PO Box 12-418, Wellington. Please quote the title and serial number when ordering.

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback