This page contains information about the areas which TESOLANZ lobbies for, such as qualifications and immigration.

Opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds


See Nga Reo o Tamaki Makaurau Action Plan

Migrants and Jury Service

Hilary Smith's article “English language issues for jury service by New Zealanders from migrant and refugee backgrounds” has just been published in Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online:


This was based on the paper Hilary developed for the Ministry of Justice last year, with input from TESOLANZ members and their networks. Please circulate the link to anyone interested – it is a free access journal from the Royal Society.

We have now received the following reply from the Ministry, which Hilary will be following up:

Migrants and Jury service - Ministry reply

Language and Integration in New Zealand

This report was produced by Ethnic Affairs in 2013 and is available at http://ethnicaffairs.govt.nz/story/language-information-and-advice. TESOLANZ has responded

"We welcome analysis of the changing social and linguistic context for English language teaching in Aotearoa New Zealand, and we are pleased to note the emphasis in the report on the importance of English language acquisition as well as the maintenance of heritage languages in migrant communities."

However, we also reaised a number of issue which we believe currently undermine the value of the report in contributing to an understanding of issues of language and integration.

Read the TESOLANZ response to this report

and the reply from Ethnic Affairs.

Development of an ESOL option for the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool: Invitation to be part of a sector reference group

Tënä koe, Kia orana, Malo e lelei, Talofa lava, Faka lofa lahi atu, Greetings

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has asked the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) to scope the development of an English literacy and language assessment for English language learners. These assessments will be part of the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool.

To ensure that the assessments are engaging, relevant and appropriate for beginner and lower level English language learners, we need to hear from those working with these learners. We would like to invite a representative from TESOLANZ to be part of a sector reference group for this project.

It would be great if you could get back to us by Wednesday 7 May with an indication of whether a representative from TESOLANZ is available to attend a reference group meeting in Wellington in May.

What will be involved?

We have invited a small group of people to be a part of this reference group. We will organise transport to attend this meeting and lunch will also be provided. The meeting will be in Wellington.

Input from this meeting will help inform planning for the ESOL option of the Assessment Tool. Prior to this meeting, we will send you the agenda and any necessary material.

The meeting will be held for a half day (approximately 9am – 2pm) during the period 12 – 19 May.

Further information

If you would like any further information please contact Jan Eyre (details below).

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely
Jan Eyre
DD: (04) 802 1397

TEC SAC Level 1-2 contestable funding 2015-16

The link below is to the TertiaryEducation Commission’s guidance for the SAC Level 1-2 competitive allocation process, as referred to at the Reference group meeting on 26 February 2014. TEC are running some information forums in March for providers on the process(dates and times in the link below).

SAC Funding 2015-6

Email from TEC

Jury service Report

In late 2012 the Executive of TESOLANZ became aware that New Zealanders with low levels of English seemed to be increasingly summoned for jury service, but that there is a lack of a clear process for excusal on the grounds of English language ability. The pamphlet which is sent with a jury summons states "If you can understand and take part in a group conversation in English, you probably understand English well enough to be on a jury. If you think you may have trouble understanding the trial, you should speak to a member of staff at the court."

TESOLANZ entered discussions with the Ministry of Justice about improving the system for people with low levels of English and consulted with members and colleagues. This document reports on the work of Hilary Smith on behalf of TESOLANZ to improve this situation.

Jury service in Aotearoa New Zealand for people with low levels of English language ability:

Report for the Ministry of Justice .

TESOLANZ submission to the Constituti?on Conversati?on

TESOLANZ would like to see formal recognition of all three national languages (English, Maori and NZ sign) and access to all three.

Download Submission

Pasifika Education Plan

See TESOLANZ comment on the Pasifika Education Plan by Hilary Smith.

Parliamentary inquiry into Pacific Languages in Early Childhood Education
Education and Science Select Committee
Research on the social and economic value of multilingualism


Submission to the Royal Society for consideration in the development
of a Languages Policy for Aotearoa New Zealand

Submission document

New Zealand Refugee Resettlement Strategy

A meeting was held on 6 April 2011 attended by various agencies including MoE, DoL & TEC, some providers, the New Zealand Association of Private Education Providers and TESOLANZ. The purpose was to move towards the Outcomes Framework goals and specifically Outcome 4:

Refugees' English Language Skills enable them to participate in education and achieve qualifications, and support them to participate in daily life.

As we are well aware, current policies fall far short of achieving any of this for a huge number of refugees. The following is a direct account of the meeting taken by Marty Pilott, and not official minutes.

Refugee Resettlement Strategy Meeting Notes

To see the chart, go to ChangeMakers information on resettlement.


  1. English-Only Communications

  2. National Standards

  3. Academic Dishonesty (May 2013)

Training Opportunities (FFTO) Correspondence

The minimal opportunities for refugees and migrants to learn English are threatened even further by proposed changes to Training Opportunities.

Reply from Stephen Joyce 23 November 2011

Letter to Stephen Joyce 30 August 2011

Reply from Stephen Joyce (JPG) 9 April 2011 Page 1 / Page 2 (JPG)

Letter to to Stephen Joyce and Paula Bennett 29 November 2010

"The MoE is currently working on providing me with advice on how to better support ESOL learners (particularly refugees) to learn English in New Zealand. I have noted your suggestion to establish a specific ESOL policy for adults that is separate from other funding. The points you have raised have been forwarded to the MoE for consideration as part of this work."

Reply from Paula Bennett (JPG) 15 Feb 2011 Page 1 / Page 2 (JPG)

Media articles about ESOL funding

The Wellingtonian

TESOLANZ press release.

Newswire Articles

  1. http://www.newswire.co.nz/2010/11/funding-rules-hit-english-language-schools/
  2. http://www.newswire.co.nz/2011/02/refugee-language/
  3. http://www.newswire.co.nz/2011/02/refugee-esol/

The Human Rights Commission adds its voice:

Funding changes threaten ESOL provision

Funding cuts are being felt by those who provide programmes of English as a second or other language to newcomers to New Zealand, and their would-be students.

Continue reading online (Te Waka Reo) ...

See also the following from TEC:

Training Opportunities External Reference Group Meeting Notes Friday 10 September

Training Opportunities External Reference Group Meeting Notes Friday 24 September

Tupu Pasifika Language Series

The following remits were passed at the 2010 TESOLANZ AGM:

  1. That TESOLANZ support continuation of the TUPU Pasifika languages series.
  2. That TESOLANZ write to the Minister of Education, expressing opposition to the decision to ‘pause’ the publication of the Tupu Series of readers, and request representation on Ministry discussions on the future of the series.

Following from this, the Executive has issued a press release and written the Minister of Education, Anne Tolley.

Tupu Pasifika Press Release

letter to Anne Tolley re Tupu Pasifika

Response from Anne Tolley

(JPG) Response from Ministry of Education

Press release: Scoop http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED1010/S00065/tupu-and-folauga-pause-will-undermine-learning.htm

NZQA Developments in ESOL

Read important announcements here about

  • New English for Academic Purposes standards (ESOL)

  • Proposal for English for Academic Purposes standards to meet University Entrance (UE) requirements

  • Assessment Support Material

  • New Zealand qualifications in ESOL

  • Merit and Excellence grades for ESOL unit standards

There will be a link on the NZQA website for people to register register their approval or disapproval of the proposal to use the two EAP unit standards as a way to fulfil the UE literacy requirements. TESOLANZ has long lobbied for this development so it is very important that members respond and make sure that there are positive responses recorded!

Letters and documents

TESOLANZ submission on draft Level One literacy standards 150210

Letter to NZQA from TESOLANZ et al re refugee study grants_100110

Letter to NZQA re National Certificate in ESOL_ 020210

Letter to TESOLANZ from NZQA re UE for ESOL students_110110

Letter to the Listener _16March10

Letter to Herald - Languages Policy

The Families Commission research identifying language as one of the main barriers for non-Western families coming to New Zealand is no surprise to the members of our organisation.

We encourage new migrants to explore the many options available to them for English language courses provided by qualified teachers. Good courses address cultural issues, while supporting students in maintaining their own language and traditions. Participating in a language course also helps lessen the feelings of alienation by providing a peer group which can share the settling in process.

However, the lack of a consistent language policy may mean that migrants find it difficult to access suitable courses. The credits or qualifications institutions are required to provide may make it unworkable for polytechnics or private schools to offer English language courses, particularly at lower levels. Also, these qualifications may have no relevance for learners. For instance, the pre-payment scheme “English for Migrants”, which is compulsory for some new settlers, requires a qualification at the end of the course even though the qualification may not be of direct value to the learner.

We support the report's finding that there is a role for local government to help facilitate the settlement process. There are also many ways that other New Zealanders can help. A starting point is to look beyond the English language ability of new migrants, and engage with them as neighbours, colleagues, or staff.

Yours faithfully

Hilary Smith

University Entrance for ESOL Students

Submission to NZQA on university entrance for ESOL students

Proposed National Certificate in ESOL

Letter to NZQA from TESOLANZ February 2010

Course Approvals for International Students

Letter to NZQA March 2009

New Immigration Rules - 5-Year Stand-Down

TESOLANZ sent a submission on the Immigration Bill and wrote to the Ministers of Ethnic Affairs and Immigration. We have received a reply from Chris Carter (Ethnic Affairs) and now from Clayton Cosgrove, stating that benefit entitlements will not be affected. This means that elderly immigrants will still be able to access training Opportunities programmes.

TESOLANZ Query on Immigration Bill(192 Kb)

Response from Chris Carter(878 Kb)

Response from Clayton Cosgrove, Minister of Immigration. (930Kb)

Wrongly Awarded Unit Standards

TESOLANZ wrote to NZQA expressing concern about ESOL unit standards which had been awarded to students who were clearly not competent. Our letter was written in March and it has taken some following up, but NZQA has now replied.

TESOLANZ letter to NZQA: Wrongly Awarded Unit Standards(26.5 Kb)

NZQA reply to TESOLANZ.(1.3 Mb)

If you wish to discuss these issues further, you can

MoST Content Management V3.0.7013