Pasifika Education Plan 2013 - 2017 consultation

The consultation process for the Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017 took place between 30 April and 23 May 2012. The consultation has now closed.

Government goals for Pasifika learners 2013 - 2017

High level goals

The Government has indicated that the following are their high level goals for Pasifika education:

  • increased participation in quality ECE
  • continued improvement in literacy and numeracy achievement across all levels of education
  • learners achieving NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification by 2016, increased to 100% by 2023
  • improved attendance as a foundation for engagement in learning
  • emphasis on the importance of Pasifika identities, languages and cultures
  • full implementation of Youth Guarantee for Pasifika learners and creating pathways for success
  • Pasifika learners acquiring skills essential to the future New Zealand workforce.

Long term outcomes

What we want to achieve by 2016:

  • increased participation in quality ECE to 98%
  • improved National Standards performance
  • more learners achieving NCEA level 2 or an equivalent qualification
  • school Leavers entering tertiary education at level 4 or above
  • parents, families and communities are knowledgeable, demanding and actively understand their child’s progress and achievement
  • families are knowledgeable and are able to support their child in making good choices about education pathways and career options.

Short term outcomes

What we need to do to achieve our long term outcomes:

  • provide access to quality ECE services
  • high quality, highly effective and culturally responsive teaching is necessary to accelerate Pasifika success
  • inform and empower families to actively take part and understand their child’s progress and achievement
  • inform and empower families to support their young person in making good choices about education pathways and career options
  • empower and encourage Pasifika learners to participate and attain higher levels of tertiary education.

How we're progressing

Early childhood education

  • Participation in early childhood education (ECE) has continued to improve. In 2011 there were 11,061 Pasifika children aged 2 to 4 years enrolled in licensed early childhood services. The 2012 target is 11,103 enrolments. 
  • In 2010, the number of Pasifika children in early intervention services was 751. The target for 2012 is 813. The average age of a first referral to early intervention services in 2010 for a Pasifika child was 3 years 7 months. The target for 2012 is that the average age of intervention should reduce to 3 years and 1 month. 
  • In 2011 65.3 percent of Pasifika early childhood teachers were registered teachers. It is forecast that by 2012, the proportion of Pasifika teachers who are registered will be the same as non-Pasifika ECE teachers. 
  • The number of registered Pasifika ECE teachers in 2011 was 1,120. The target for registered Pasifika teachers in 2012 is 1,208.

Compulsory education

  • 87 percent of all 2010 Pasifika school leavers achieved the NCEA level 1 literacy and numeracy requirements. The forecast position for 2012 is that the target of 93 percent will be met. 
  • 68 percent of all 2010 Pasifika school leavers achieved NCEA level 2 or above; the forecast position for 2012 is that the target of 75 percent will be met. This remains below that of non-Pasifika students.
  • The target of 30 percent of all Pasifika school leavers achieving a university entrance standard has been met. It is expected that the proportion of students leaving school with university entrance will continue to increase to 35 percent by the end of 2012. 
  • There has been a marked improvement in age standardised suspension rates for Pasifika students with 17.5 percent decrease from 8.0 to 6.6 per 1,000 between 2009 and 2010. It is expected that in 2012 a reduction to 5.7 per 1,000 will be achieved. 
  • The age-standardised expulsion rate for Pasifika students in 2010 was 3.9 per 1000 students, a decrease of 20 percent since 2008. The target however, was 1 per 1,000 Pasifika student expulsions. 
  • Pasifika students make up 10 percent of state school rolls, yet only 2.7 percent of all state teachers identify as Pasifika. While Pasifika teachers continue to be under-represented in the school sector, this is improving. It is forecasted that the target of 1,520 Pasifika teachers, a 20 percent increase from 1,267 teachers in 2008, will be met in 2012. 
  • In 2011, only 32.9 percent of schools in which Pasifika representation on the schools board of trustees would be expected had such representation. The target was that 100 percent of these schools would have such representation.

Tertiary education

  • In 2010, the number of Pasifika people aged 18 to 24 years in level 4 qualifications and above increased to 26.9 percent. It is forecast that this participation rate for Pasifika students will exceed the target of 27 percent in 2012. 
  • Pasifika students aged 18 to 24 years who first enrolled in 2009, in 2010 had a first-year retention rate of 75.6 percent; exceeding the target for 2012 of 75 percent. There is, however, a large and stable gap between Pasifika and non-Pasifika retention rates. 
  • Of the Pasifika students aged 18 to 24 years who began a qualification at level four or above in 2005, 39.9 percent completed this qualification in 2010. It is estimated that the Pasifika five-year completion rate will increase to 40.2 percent in 2012 for those who started study in 2007 which is below the target of 43 percent. 
  • In 2010, the participation rate in postgraduate study by Pasifika students was 0.71 percent. The target participation rate for Pasifika students in postgraduate study is one percent. For 2012 the rate is forecast to be 0.73 percent.

Questions and answers

The Plan

What is the Pasifika Education Plan?

The Pasifika Education Plan (PEP) is the document where the government sets out its goals for the education achievement of Pasifika learners. There have been five Pasifika Education Plans since they were first established. The new one will be the sixth.

What was the focus of the last plan?

The last PEP had goals around

  • Pasifika participation in and quality of early childhood education
  • engaging Pasifika parents in early childhood education
  • improved progress in numeracy and literacy
  • increasing the responsiveness of schools to Pasifika learners and families
  • increasing Pasifika parent and school engagement
  • increasing retention and achievement of Pasifika students in tertiary education at Level 4 and above
  • increasing English literacy, numeracy and language levels for the Pasifika workforce.

Where did the last plan take us? What has gone right and what hasn’t?

Of the 15 targets of the PEP 2009-12 which have been monitored, 10 have been achieved. The five which have not been achieved relate to:

  • increasing the number of Pasifika children accessing early intervention services
  • decreasing the Pasifika school expulsion rate
  • improving the representation of Pasifika parents on school boards
  • increasing the five-year completion rates of Pasifika students at levels 4 and above in tertiary education
  • increasing the numbers of Pasifika students who are continuing their tertiary education to post graduate level.

Why do we need a new plan?

We need a new plan because even though many targets have been achieved, Pasifika learners are still not achieving at the average levels for all New Zealand students. We need to go harder and faster on having Pasifika students, no less successful than other learners.

Why will a new plan make any difference?

The new plan will make a difference because there will be increased accountability in the sector for achieving targets. Also the new plan will make it clearer, through an implementation plan, what it is that people in the sector and parents and communities need to do to achieve the new goals and targets.

How will the education system use the plan?

All of the Ministry of Education, Education Review Office (ERO), New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), Careers New Zealand and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) will be joined up in developing implementation plans that support the Plan itself. The Plan will also make it much clearer for schools, early childhood education (ECE) services and tertiary education providers and what's expected of them.

How will we know the plan is working?

There will be regular monitoring of what is being achieved against the targets. Ultimately, we will know if the parts of the plan are working if the majority of Pasifika children are attending early childhood services, if NCEA level 2 results improve to at least the same levels as the New Zealand population as a whole and if at least the same proportion of Pasifika tertiary students achieve at level 4 and above.

Will the plan be mandated?

The details of the plan will not be separately mandated. The National Education Guidelines already mandate for the achievement of Pasifika learners. Schools will be accountable through the ERO reports and through their Charters and reports on the achievement of their Charter goals.

The consultation

Why are you consulting with us now when you don’t have a new plan to show us?

We are consulting you now because, though we know in broad terms what government wants to achieve, we need your input to help us work out what are the best ways of achieving higher Pasifika educational success.

Do you already have a plan drafted? Do you already know the targets? Will what we say now make a difference?

We do not have a draft plan. What we do know now is what we have achieved in the past and what we have not, and we know the direction the government wants to take the plan. So we have the shape of the plan in terms of goals but we do not have targets or actions. We are consulting particularly about what you think the actions are that the education sector and families and communities should take to achieve more and faster for Pasifika education.

Why is the consultation period so short?

Government has already signalled what the major goals are for the new Pasifika Plan and is keen to move forward quickly on a new plan.

Can we have more input once the plan has been developed?

There will be further consultation once the plan has been developed but it will be a tightly targeted consultation with groups that represent wider audiences.

Application of the Plan

What will the new plan mean for my school/ECE service?

The new plan is expected to give strong signals to schools and ECE services about what they need to do to contribute to the achievement of the plan. The bottom lines are:

  • attracting and retaining Pasifika children to quality ECE services
  • monitoring, knowing about and working to improve the achievement of Pasifika learners in schools
  • retaining and graduating students in tertiary learning, especially at level 4 and above
  • schools/ECE services engaging Pasifika parents and communities strongly in discussing the needs of children and how parents and communities can contribute to their learning.

How will the plan help my child?

The plan will tell parents and learners what they can expect of ECE services, schools, and tertiary education organisations. It should help parents to discuss with schools/ECE services what they are doing for Pasifika learners.

There will be increased attention on how education providers meet their obligations to Pasifika learners and parents.

As parents, what will we do with this plan?

Parents can use the plan when it is published to think about the best ways they can help their child be successful in education. Parents can also use the plan to help them talk with schools and ECE services when they are discussing what their children are experiencing at school/ECE and what either the schools/ECE services or parents need to do differently to help learners.

How do we or you make schools, ECE services and tertiary education organisations pay attention to the plan?

Pasifika parents and learners have the right to expect ECE services, schools and tertiary education organisations to be responsive to their needs and to discuss their concerns when they are not responsive.

The Ministry of Education, ERO and TEC all have a role in ensuring that education providers meet their obligations.


Should I be trying to get my child to speak English at home?

Your children will make faster progress and probably be more confident and comfortable at school if they have a grasp of English when they go to school. If your child does not speak English when they start school, it is a good idea to talk to the school and ask what additional support your child will be given when they start school so that they can progress as quickly a possible to learn through the medium of the English language.

How do I help my child’s transition into school?

The best thing you can do is make sure your child takes part in early childhood education (ECE). Ask your ECE about getting a B4 school check for your child. Also register your child early into a school and ask if they have a transition programme for children before they officially start school.

What help will I get to send my child to ECE? It costs me too much to do it?

The current policy is that every New Zealand child can get 20 hours of early childhood education per week without charge.


We have hardly any Pasifika students in our school. How is this relevant to us?

The plan is relevant to you whenever you have a learner and parents who are Pasifika no matter what the numbers are. Your responses might be different with different levels of Pasifika learners but the goals are as relevant to you as to any other school.

Identity, language and culture

How will the plan focus on Pasifika identities, cultures and languages?

The plan will be based on potential and is underpinned by an education sector that values identities, languages and cultures, and fosters perseverance and discipline, to ensure that all Pasifika learners achieve.

Are there going to be resources for children whose first language is not English?

The plan will continue to support Pasifika languages and this means that the Pasifika language resources in five Pasifika languages will continue. Schools can access them from the Ministry of Education’s warehouse.

Will the plan make it easier for schools to set up bi-lingual units for Pasifika learners?
The goals and targets of the Pasifika Education Plan (PEP) are set within current government policies. There is no policy that provides additional funding for schools who want to provide bi-lingual units for Pasifika learners. Schools need to make such arrangements within the operational and staffing funding that they currently receive.

Other plans

How do the Pasifika Plans of New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), Careers New Zealand and Tertiary Education Commission relate to the new PEP?

The current plans (or the ones currently being consulted on) from NZQA, Careers New Zealand and the TEC, are very consistent with the goals which the government has given for Pasifika education. So their plans will be like subsets of the new PEP, with more detail as to how the Plan will be achieved.

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