4. Education Sector Wide

What We Have Found

Reaching the targets for the PEP requires everybody across the education sector to work together to ensure the education system works for Pasifika peoples so they can be part of a future that provides improved social and economic outcomes.

The latest data available on the number of Pasifika ECE teachers show that in 2013, 1,326 (69.1%) Pasifika ECE teachers were registered with the Teachers Council. This is an increase of 9% in the proportion of registered Pasifika ECE teachers.

There has been an increase of 11 Pasifika teachers between 2013 and 2014. The total number of Pasifika teachers grew from 1,432 in 2013 to 1,443 in 2013.

What we are trying to achieve

The focus is on the Ministry of Education and Education Partner Agencies working together to deliver results for all Pasifika learners more urgently and to monitor and report on the PEP's progress. To achieve this, the following two goals have been set:

  1. The Ministry of Education provides strong leadership to education providers and Education Partner Agencies for Pasifika education success.
  2. Strengthen relationships and develop closer collaboration on Pasifika education by increasing the knowledge, confidence and skills of the education workforce and education providers to deliver effectively for Pasifika learners.


As a means of measuring progress against the aforementioned goals, the following targets have been set:

  • „Build Pasifika competencies across the education workforce.
  • „Deliver specialist education services to Pasifika learners in line with national population data.
  • „Increase by 20% the number of Pasifika registered teachers working in ECE, schools and specialist education services in 2017.

Why this is important

Early childhood education teachers are registered with the New Zealand Teachers Council to help ensure the quality of services. Teacher registration shows new teachers have successfully completed recognised teacher education programmes and then received supervision and support. Gaining full registration and maintaining a practising certificate assure currency of professional knowledge and practice.Initiatives by teachers to get to know their Pasifika students – their goals, priorities and cultures – can contribute to their students' success. Teacher effectiveness also involves building strong relationships with parents, families and communities to raise Pasifika achievement.

How We Are Going

Due to the introduction of a new data collection method, data for 2014 cannot be reported, and the latest available data is from 2013.

In 2013, over two-thirds of Pasifika ECE teachers were registered (69.1%). As can be seen in Figure 4.1, the number of Pasifika ECE teachers who are registered has increased since 2002 and shows no signs of slowing.

In 2004, additional funding for teacher supply initiatives was introduced. This policy change led to increased incentives for ECE teachers to be qualified and registered.

This resulted in an increase in the percentage of registered Pasifika teachers by 95%.

As at 1 July 2013, 1,326 Pasifika ECE teachers were registered, an increase of 9% on the total amount in 2012. The number of registered Pasifika teachers will need to increase by a further 129 teachers to meet the 2017 target of a 20% increase in 2017.

Figure 4.1: Number of Pasifika early childhood education teachers who are registered with the New Zealand Teachers Council (2002 to 2013)

Note: Prioritised ethnicity was used in this measure up until 2010, from 2011 onwards total response ethnicity has been used. For more information see technical notes in appendix 2

Pasifika teachers

Effective teaching includes being familiar with Pasifika students' cultural backgrounds and aspirations. The implication here is that by having a target of increasing Pasifika teachers, there will also be an underlying increase in teachers effective for Pasifika students. However, professional development for all teachers, including Pasifika and non-Pasifika, is important to ensure effectiveness for Pasifika learners.

The number of Pasifika teachers increased by 11 teachers between 2013 and 2014 to 1,443. The target for 2017 is 1,662 Pasifika teachers, a 20% increase from 1,385 teachers in 2012.

As seen in Figure 4.2 the overall trend between 2005 and 2014 is a growth in the number of Pasifika teachers. Despite this growth, however, the rate of increase of Pasifika teachers needs to be lifted to meet the target to increase the number of Pasifika teachers by 20% in 2017. A number of scholarships for Pasifika teachers are offered through TeachNZ to get more Pasifika people into teaching, more information on this is available on page 53.

Figure 4.2: Number of registered Pasifika teachers (as at April 2005 to 2014)


  1. Includes management and principal teachers.
  2. Total response ethnicity is used in this measure, for more information see technical notes in appendix 2.

What Are We Doing?

TeachNZ Scholarships

TeachNZ administers a number of scholarships which aim to attract Pasifika into teaching to complete their teaching studies and become inspiring teachers and role models.

There are three scholarships for Pasifika.  The first is the TeachNZ Early Childhood Graduate and Undergraduate Scholarship. There are 20 available and are for people who have knowledge, understanding and experience of working with Māori or Pasifika communities and who want to teach in the early childhood sector.

The second is the TeachNZ Early Childhood Pasifika Language Scholarship.  There are 100 available for Māori and Pacifica people who are proficient in Māori or a Pasifika language.  They must enrol onto an approved Pasifika focused ECE teaching qualification and also have knowledge, understanding and experience of working with Pasifika communities and want to teach in the early childhood sector.

The third scholarship is the Kupe Scholarship.  There are 30 available and it aims to attract and support young, highly talented Māori and Pasifika to complete their teaching studies successfully and become inspiring teachers and role models. There are 30 available and are for people who would like to teach in early childhood education, primary and secondary, undergraduate or postgraduate teacher training programmes.

The Scholarship reimburses study costs and allowances that vary from $10,000 to $15,000 allowance paid out over the duration of the scholars' study. These payments take effect from the year of the Scholarship and depending on the type of course, satisfactory pass rate and maintenance of an acceptable academic average, the payments will continue for the remainder of their study. All scholarships are selected by a panel of experts.As with other teaching scholarship programmes, scholars are required to participate in a bonding arrangement to teach for a set number of years after graduating. The scholars of the Kupe scholarships are provided with mentoring information and support during their study and Pasifika scholars have access to job-find assistance from a Ministry-approved teacher recruitment agency after they graduate.