ELI Privacy Information

Information regarding privacy in the ELI System

Privacy and ELI

This page outlines the obligations and legal requirements for organisations to manage and protect the information collected, accessed and, submitted through ELI. Links to the relevant legislation described in these paragraphs can be found at the bottom of each paragraph. 

Privacy Act

The Privacy Act 2020 aims to promote and protect individual privacy and requires careful treatment of all personal information. This law applies to the Early Learning Information (ELI) system. 

Privacy Act 2020 — Parliamentary Council Office(external link)

Under sections 548(5)(a) and 619 of the Education and Training Act 2020 the Ministry has the authority to collect information for the purposes of obtaining complete, accurate and timely information about enrolment, attendance, and teaching at early learning services.

Education and Training Act 2020 Section 548 — Parliamentary Council Office(external link)
Education and Training Act 2020 Section 619 — Parliamentary Council Office(external link)

Using information from the ELI system

In accordance with Schedule 24 of the Education and Training Act 2020 the Ministry will use the information collected in ELI for the purposes of:

  • monitoring and ensuring student enrolment and attendance;

  • encouraging attendance at early childhood services;

  • ensuring education providers and students receive appropriate resourcing;

  • statistical purposes;

  • research purposes;

  • ensuring student’s educational records are accurately maintained.

The Privacy Act 2020 prevents the National Student Number (NSN), or other numbers such as the National Health Index number, or tax number, becoming a single national number.

Education and Training Act 2020, Schedule 24 — Parliamentary Council Office(external link)

Protecting the privacy of individuals

The Ministry of Education, together with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, conducted a full Privacy Impact Assessment for the ELI system.

Extensive security testing on the ELI system has been undertaken by the Ministry.  All ELI data is encrypted as it is sent to the Ministry.  ELI stores all data securely with the In Confidence security classification to New Zealand Government standards.

All activity on the National Student Index is monitored and recorded by the Ministry.  Authorised staff members must not search for children who are not enrolled in the service they are employed by.  The Ministry’s Code of Conduct states that misuse or disclosure of official information, which includes all personal information, could result in disciplinary action, including dismissal. 

The Ministry strongly advises that early learning services put in place appropriate processes to ensure that the privacy of information for enrolled children is maintained.

Access to ELI data

Early learning services should limit ELI access to authorised users to submit accurate information to the Ministry, and to meet obligations for the careful treatment of personal information under the Privacy Act 2020.

Authorised users refer to:

  • The Service Provider Contact or delegated representative(s) for the purpose of submitting data to the Ministry

  • Ministry data analysts or delegated representatives for the purpose of educational research, statistics, monitoring, reporting to Government and the public, and resourcing.

Authorised users at early learning services are required to use a logon and password to access ELI.  Authorised users can only access data related to their own service.

Early learning services are responsible for ensuring that information collected about individuals is kept private in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020. This includes information like names, date of birth and addresses. Early learning services should make sure that any copies of a child’s official identification documentation are kept in a secure location.

Under the Privacy Act 2020 each parent can request any information held about their child including the child’s NSN.

Privacy Act 2020 — Parliamentary Council Office(external link)

Overarching Principles of Use for ELI

The Ministry worked with the ECE Sector Advisory Group to develop seven principles of use for ELI.  These describe shared responsibilities, access to data, timeliness, ability to correct errors, and obligations of the Privacy Act 2020. You can view and download the Overarching Principles of Use document.

ELI Overarching Principles of Use [PDF, 93 KB]

To find out more information about the Privacy Act and how to comply, you can view the act at legistlation.govt.nz

Privacy Act 2020 — Parliamentary Council Office(external link)

Check out the Privacy Commissioner website for a quick tour of the 13 privacy principles that govern how you should collect, handle and use personal information.

A Quick Tour of The Privacy Principles — Privacy Commissioner website(external link)

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