Ministry of Education Position Paper: Assessment refresh

The Position Paper: Assessment is an important part of the Curriculum space, setting the direction for how ākonga are to be assessed.

Why this paper is being refreshed

The current Position Paper: Assessment was released in 2011. It outlined the Ministry’s vision for assessment at the time.

Ministry of Education Position Paper: Assessment (Schooling Sector) 2011(external link)

Current research and the local curriculum have changed the pedagogy and assessment landscape. We can see these changes in the mahi of the New Zealand Curriculum Refresh (Te Mātaiaho) and the development of a Common Practice Model alongside the Literacy, Communications and Maths Strategy.

It is time to refresh the position paper because assessment needs to remain aligned with the curriculum changes and suitable for our students today.

Connecting with other work

The Position Paper: Assessment is part of a much wider programme of work by the Ministry to enable and support learning by all ākonga.

The position paper will connect the work being done to develop a recommended suite of tools, which align with the phases of learning, progressions, the Common Practice Model and the New Zealand Curriculum Refresh (Te Mātaiaho).

Current timeline

Timeline for Position Paper: Assessment refresh

May to August 2023

Hui with contributors' group to draft position paper.

August to October 2023

Feedback from internal and external groups. Drafting continues with contributors' group.

October 2023

Assessment paper draft complete


Paper published 


We will be providing draft content to internal Ministry of Education groups throughout the writing process. Their feedback will ensure the position paper is coherent and aligned with the curriculum change work programme.

We will also be seeking feedback from groups external to the Ministry of Education. This will include the following:

  • Curriculum Advisory Group (CAG)
  • Common Practice Model (CPM) Focus Groups
  • New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Position Paper: Assessment Contributors Group

Process to establish the Position Paper: Assessment Contributors Group

We followed a formal procurement process inviting nominations to be considered for selection to the Contributors Groups. The process followed was:

  • Registration of Interest (ROI) sent to organisations in the Curriculum Support Service Panel and peak bodies inviting their nominations for consideration for the Position Paper: Assessment Contributing Writers Group.
  • Those that responded to the Registration of Interest by the 25 January 2023 were then invited to submit a Request for Proposal.
  • The Request for Proposal (RFP) closed on 7th Feb 2023.
  • On receiving the proposals, the Ministry reviewed them against pre-determined selection criteria to select 7 members. The established group is now working together to develop the updated Position Paper.

Position Paper: Assessment Contributors Group Members

Members of the Position Paper: Assessment Contributors Group are listed below, including the organisation that nominated them. The nominating organisation may not be the member’s employer.

Please note that the contributors and their nominating organisations are unable to talk to you directly about their work on the Position Paper: Assessment refresh while it is in development. 

Maraea Hunia


Maraia Hunia

He uri nō ngā waka o Mātaatua, o Te Arawa, o Tainui.

Maraea leads the kaupapa Māori team at Tātai Aho Rau Core Education. She is a passionate educationalist whose career has included teaching in kōhanga reo and kura kaupapa Māori, educational research and publishing, and strategic advisory roles. She has contributed to academic publications, learning resources for children, and support resources for teachers as an educational publisher, author, and resource developer.

Kaye Brunton

Evaluation Associates

Kaye Brunton

Kaye is a specialist in facilitating assessment for learning and assessment processes. She is working as an education consultant at Evaluation Associates │Te Huinga Kākākura Mātauranga throughout the Central South region and is based in Wellington. She supports schools and Kāhui Ako around the country to build their assessment capability and practice.

Kaye Brunton has a wealth of experience in both theoretical and practical contexts. This is drawn from being a classroom teacher, academic, university lecturer, education consultant and primary school principal. Kaye’s Master of Education degree specialised in assessment and as a university lecturer, she had a keen interest in how teachers’ beliefs impacted on their uptake of assessment for learning philosophy.

Kaye has held leadership and facilitator roles in the Ministry of Education for contracts focussing on assessment.  She was a principal at Ngati Toa School. She is also a founding member of the New Zealand Assessment Institute (NZAI) executive committee and was the keynote speaker for the NZAI conference (2021).

Kaye participated in the writing of Assessment to Improve Learning: Principles, Practice and Proof (NZAI, 2021). She has also attended and presented at various local and international conferences such as the Assessment for Learning Enquiry and Curriculum Conference, Palmerston North, 2008; ISATT Conference, St Catherines, Ontario, 2007.; Practical Experiences in Professional Education 6th International Conference, Brisbane, 2003 and 2001; New Zealand Association for Research in Education, Christchurch, 2001.

Jenny Poskitt

Massey University

Jenny Poskitt

Associate Professor (Dr) Jenny Poskitt has extensive experience nationally and internationally in educational assessment – from primary school through to tertiary level. This experience includes university assessment of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level students, and as the Massey University Institute of Education Chief Examiner. She has contributed to and led assessment workshops in NZ schools and national research conferences, as well as internationally (e.g., South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) Board; University of the South Pacific) and represented NZ in an OECD study on assessment. She is President of the New Zealand Assessment Institute, Chair of NZQA’s Technical Overview Group Assessment and NZ researcher on the International Educational Assessment Network.

Lesley Rameka

Waikato University

Lesley Rameka

Lesley has over 35 years’ experience in Early Childhood Education. Her research interests include Māori education, early childhood education, assessment and curriculum development. She was the director Director/Writer of the MoE funded: Te Whatu Pōkeka: Kaupapa Māori Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars (2009), a professional support resource for ECE, based on Māori exemplars of assessment. She was also a co-ordinator on the MoE funded: Kei Tua o te Pae: Early Childhood Exemplars (2004), an ECE best-practice resource that aimed to support teachers continue to improve the quality of their teaching and assessment practices. Lesley’s doctoral thesis, Te Whatu Kakahu: Assessment in Kaupapa Māori Early Childhood (2012) was also focused on assessment in ECE.

Esther Smaill


Esther Smaill

Esther is a Kairangahau Matua (Senior Researcher) at NZCER with almost two decades experience in assessment-focused research, resource, and tool development. She has authored numerous articles and reports and contributed to both the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSSA) and its predecessor, the National Education Monitoring Project (NEMP). Esther is a registered primary school teacher and a member of the New Zealand Assessment Institute’s (NZAI) Executive. As a Tangata Tiriti, Esther is dedicated to upholding and honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi. She is a lifelong learner of te reo Māori, and her recent research includes work on the revitalisation of te reo in English-medium schools.

Garry Taylor

Evaluation Associates

Garry Taylor

Garry has had nearly twenty years’ experience of working and leading within assessment related projects. He has held national leadership roles for e-asTTle training and support, Overall teacher judgment workshops and Curriculum Progress Tools (CPTs) implementation support. As national manager for assessment and evaluation at Evaluation Associates, he has also recently overseen the evaluations of the pilots for NCEA Level One and the Literacy and Numeracy │Te reo Matatini me te Pāngarau co-requisite standards. Garry is also an executive member of the New Zealand Assessment Institute and feels that the curriculum refresh is a real opportunity to review the advice and practices of assessment.  

Charles Darr



Ross McMillan


Ross Mcmillan

Qualified in Human Resources Management and with a background in HR/people capability and organisational development, Ross has held senior people leadership roles in Financial Services, NFP and professional services. Ross set up STILL in 2020 and provides a range of people/employee, wellbeing, leadership development, coaching, facilitation and organisational development services and support.

Stefan Wolf

Technical Writer

Stephan Wolff

A trained journalist, Stefan worked extensively across New Zealand’s media, public relations and government landscape before setting up his own consultancy in 2008. Stefan specialises in writing and strategic communications. His clients have included Treasury, MBIE, Waka Kotahi (NZTA), Internal Affairs and many more government agencies and private sector clients. Stefan’s most recent engagements have been with the Reform of Vocational Education programme (Tertiary Education Commission) and the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine team. 


Upcoming involvement opportunities in the Ministry’s wider work that might interest you and your school can be found on the following pages:

Te Poutāhū Curriculum Centre Early Learning and School Bulletins(external link)

Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy

New Zealand Curriculum Refresh(external link)

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback