The purpose of this guide is to provide council members of tertiary education institutions (TEIs) with an introduction to the tertiary education sector and the governance of TEIs. It provides high-level guidance and it is not intended to be a detailed manual.

The guide includes the legislative framework for TEIs and their councils,1 key central agencies, the Tertiary Education Strategy, the investment plan process, and information on accountability and performance monitoring of TEIs.

The tertiary education sector uses specialised terms and acronyms, and a glossary is included as Appendix 1 that covers the more commonly used terms. Some essential online references are included as Appendix 2, and Appendix 3 provides a suggested checklist of governance effectiveness.

The document aims:

We intend the guide to be used by the council members of all TEIs: institutes of technology and polytechnics, universities and wānanga. It is a work in progress, and will be amended as circumstances change, information becomes available, and in response to your feedback. Your comments and suggestions are valuable. Please offer any feedback via

1Although the generic term “council” is used throughout this document, the governance bodies of wānanga are also known as “Te Mana Whakahaere”.