The Aotearoa New Zealand Context

Changes we’ve seen in the past 15 years

When thinking about CORE’s Ten Trends it’s important to recognise the changes we’ve seen in education and in society over the past 15 years. Also, to consider the changes that are continuing in our social-political contexts, and the impact of the things we’ve identified as drivers of this change, or as responses to it. It is important for us as educators to be fully aware of the picture this builds of our current and future education system, and of the broader society it operates within, as it's these things that shape the future that our young people will grow to be a part of.
  • Structural

    Structural Structural
  • Cultural

    Cultural Cultural
  • Economic

    Economic Economic
    • 2002 - Pay parity for kindergarten teachers with primary school teachers achieved
    • 2004 - Learning Media proved not commercially viable and disestablished
    • 2016 - Business leaders push for introduction of programmes for all students to learn digital skills (including coding) to ensure they are prepared for jobs in those areas - leading to introduction of Digital Technologies curriculum content
    • 2018 - Government introduces a 'wellbeing' budget - introducing accountability measures for organisations (including schools) that go beyond the traditional 'bottom line' measures.
  • Process

    Process Process
    • 2002 - School Certificate, University Entrance, Sixth Form Certificate and University Bursary replaced with National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)
    • 2003 - Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) established to enhance the links between educational research and teaching practices to improve outcomes for learners
    • 2004 - Kei Tua o Te Pae - narrative assessment in early years
    • 2007 - The New Zealand Curriculum is released. Its vision is for "young people who will be confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners."
    • 2007 - Te Marautanga o Aotearoa is launched. It envisages young Māori with a strong sense of identity as Māori participating actively in the Māori world and gaining a rich base of skills that will offer them a range of career choices
    • 2007 - Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success: The Māori Education Strategy 2008–2012 published
    • 2008 - Education (National Standards) Amendment Act
    • 2009 - Kaupapa Māori assessment framework Te Whatu Pōkeka
    • 2010 - Introduction of National Standards by the National Government, disestablished by Labour Government in 2018
    • Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017 published. Builds on Hui Taumata Mātauranga and Ka Hikitia 2008–2012
    • 2017 - Te Whāriki - Early childhood curriculum was updated to reflect changes to context, theory, and practice with two curriculum pathways of equal status. The curriculum for ngā kōhanga reoTe Whāriki a te Kōhanga Reo. The update has a stronger focus on bicultural practice, the importance of language, culture, and identity, and the inclusion of all children.
  • Technology

    Technology Technology

Current and future initiatives that will impact education in Aotearoa New Zealand


Initiative Implications Links
Clusters and Kāhui Ako Incentivising greater collaboration between clusters of education providers with a focus on creating better learning pathways for learners, and improving internal support processes for educators.

About Kāhui Ako/
Communities of Learning from Ministry of Education

Review of Tomorrow’s Schools Designed to put more frontline support closer to schools to give every child the best chance to succeed, and to create a better balance between local and national responsibilities for school property and network provision.

Tomorrow’s Schools Review

Creation of an Education Service Agency (ESA) Part of a redesigned Ministry of Education, to provide more support for principals and school boards, including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles, with management of school property simplified and/or transferred to the Ministry to free up boards’ time.

Beehive Govt: Supporting all schools to succeed

Redesign of learning spaces The government wants to ensure that all New Zealand schools provide quality learning environments by 2030. The industrial classroom is no longer fit for purpose. Designing learning environments

OECD ILE Project: Innovative Learning Environments

OECD: The OECD “7+3” framework for Innovative learning environments

Giving effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi The Education and Training Bill proposes a new clause that sets out the expectations of schools, as well as education agencies, to give practical effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Currently, there is no such clause in the Education Act 1989. If passed into law, this objective is intended to take effect on 1 January 2021.

Education and Training Bill: Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Amending school board’s objectives

The Office for Māori Crown Relations: Te Ara Whiti


Initiative Implications Links
Wellbeing Wellbeing is important for empowering and equipping individuals to engage with and solve local and global challenges. There has been increased investment for wellbeing support, with specific training also needed for teachers.

NZCER Nat-Survey-Report 3. Promoting students’ wellbeing

CORE Education Blog:
Wellbeing? What’s it about?
Nothing about us without us Student and Staff health: Wellbeing for staff

New Zealand Curriculum Online: Te Whāriki Wellbeing Webinar – Mana whenua/Belonging 
Student wellbeing spotlight:
Guidelines for mentally health Schools

Ministry of Education: Wellbeing for home and school

Culturally responsive practices Cultural responsiveness is a way of being and of thinking that requires teachers to confront their own personal beliefs and their relationships with learners and communities. The diversity of learners and educational communities makes this an essential capability for teaching.

Te Whakamānawa: developing cultural competencies in learning communities

Tapasā and Tātaiako

Culturally responsive leadership / Leadership

EDtalks: Culturally-responsive-practice

Equity across all areas of the system Government expanding work to replace school deciles, to look more broadly at what’s needed to ensure all children get the support they need to learn.

Beehive govt: Focusing school funding on equity for kids

TKI: The challenge of equity / Māori education success / Leading change

Educational Equity in New Zealand: Successes, Challenges and Opportunities: Prepared by Sarah W. Bolton

Education Review Office, MoE: Equity and excellence in student outcomes

Focus on addressing cultural bias and racism in education As part of the Wellbeing Budget (2019), Te Hurihanganui is a new initiative that builds on the success of the previous Te Kotahitanga programme. There is a government investment of $42 million over three years to boost the capability of the education workforce, and to target bias and racism.

What is Te Hurihanganui?

Post-Budget Announcement

Restarting Te Kotahitanga

EDtalk: Dr Ann Milne

Focus on te reo Māori Investment into new te reo Māori initiatives is intended to increase the use of the language within the education workforce as well as across the public service.

Maihi Karauna
Strategy document in Māori and English

Te Ahu o Te Reo Māori
Support for education workforce (early learning and schools) to learn or progress their level of te reo Māori

Press release - Minister Davis 15 July 2019

Focus on NZ histories Introduction of NZ histories, including NZ Māori history, as a distinct part of the NZ Curriculum to be compulsory by 2022. NZ histories to be taught in all schools

Podcast: NZ History - why is it important?

Focus on inclusion Focus on enabling all learners to experience success in the context of a regular learning environment, regardless of any challenges they may have.

Education.govt: Inclusive education | Education in New Zealand

TKI: Inclusive Education

TKI: Inclusion / Principles


Initiative Implications Links
Meeting the needs of the changing workforce in NZ Examining how Aotearoa New Zealand can maximise opportunities and manage the risks of disruptive technological change on the future of work and the workforce.

Productivity.govt: Technological change and the future of work

PWC Research: How will automation impact jobs

New Zealand among the most prepared countries for the coming waves of automation


Initiative Implications Links
Review of NCEA Strengthening of the national qualification so that it is better valued and respected both in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas; includes a review of achievement standards, and inclusion of mātauranga Māori.

NCEA Review:

Education Workforce Strategy Identification of the mix of professionals, paraprofessionals, and the executive, administrative, and technology support for early learning through to the end of secondary schooling.

Education Workforce Strategy

Localised curriculum

Focusing on supporting local schools, kura and Kāhui Ako to use the framework of the NZC as the basis for the design of their local curriculum or marau ā-kura, and the progress and expectations associated with this learning.

Proposed updates to Te Marautanga o Aotearoa Māori to more strongly reflect te ao Māori approaches used in Māori-medium kura.

Strengthening Local Curriculum

Kāhui Ako Local Curriculum Design Toolkit

Designing rich opportunities and coherent pathways for all learners

A curriculum that meets the needs of all New Zealanders

New Code and professional standards for the teaching profession

Intended to provide a set of shared aspirations and expectations to guide the teaching profession, and to help raise the status and quality of teaching in Aotearoa New Zealand.

New Code, New Standards for the Teaching Profession | Education Council

Changes to professional learning and development (PLD)

Greater agency for learning communities to select PLD providers to meet their individual or cluster needs and goals.

New PLD Priorities

PLD Derek’s Blog

Improving equity in education and success for Māori

New local and national initiatives to increase engagement and success in education by Māori learners, whānau and iwi.

Te Mataaho-ā-Iwi - data tool for iwi

Press release - Hon Kelvin Davis - 2 Sept 2019

Te Kawa Matakura

New future Māori leaders programme announced - April 2019


Initiative Implications Links
Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko

A greater focus on learners building their skills so they can be innovative creators of digital solutions, moving beyond solely being users and consumers of digital technologies. Includes design, programming, and understanding digital responsibility.

Requires public-private collaboration to ensure that learning settings have both the infrastructure to enable digital learning and the job market insight into the technology skills that will be most relevant.

Digital Technologies in the curriculum / Curriculum learning

World Economic Forum: Schools of the Future

Focus on strengthening connectivity and services provision for all schools.

The Government is undertaking a significant IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early in 2020.

TKI: Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost 


Download the Ten Trends 2020 Retrospective report