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LJE

Te Pūkenga works with NZQA to roll out new learner pastoral care Code

On 1 January 2022, New Zealand’s new International and Domestic Pastoral Care Code came into effect across the country.

The new Code, administered and monitored by NZQA, applies to all registered tertiary providers who enrol learners and is designed to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of both domestic and international learners is deeply embedded within the systems and day-to-day practices of tertiary providers, including those who offer work-based learning. Holistic wellbeing and the safety of ākonga is a key priority for Te Pūkenga and its subsidiaries, and a critical area identified by ākonga through ‘Te Rito’ research of Māori, Pacific and disabled learners that was undertaken in 2020.

The Pastoral Code is also informed by the insights from national student group representatives, and Andrew Lessells, President of the NZ Union of Students’ Associations, appeared in a series of explainer videos made by NZQA for learners.

While responsibility for code compliance sits with individual subsidiaries until 2023, the organisation will be facilitating the sharing of knowledge and helping with centralised tools and resources to help ākonga and kaimahi feel confident in their understanding of the Code and where to go to get help.

In January, NZQA created a suite of resources that they shared with the tertiary sector, in time for annual orientation week activities. Te Pūkenga helped connect NZQA with members of our subsidiaries so that information on the code reaches as wide an audience as possible.

In February, team members from across the network completed a review of their organisation’s ability to meet the wellbeing and safety requirements of the new Code. This is an important and foundational piece of work which provides strategic insights that will inform and prioritize what Te Pūkenga will invest time and resources in moving forward.

Kirstin Te Wao-Edmonds, Kaikōkiri - Director Learner Wellbeing and Services, says “This version of the Code will help strengthen many of the outcomes we’re already progressing within the overall transformation journey of Te Pūkenga, and it reflects many of the learner-centred priorities outlined within the Minister’s letter of expectation, our Te Pūkenga CharterTe Pae Tāwhiti and Te Rito Outcomes Framework.”

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