Pacific Education Support Fund

The Pacific Education Support Fund is part of the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.


The Pacific Education Support Fund is part of the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund and invests $39.7m over four years (2020/2021 to 2023/2024) to broker support for Pacific learners and families to access education. 

From 2020 to 2022, the Pacific Education Support Fund has enabled Pacific community groups, organisations, and Pacific Health and Social Service providers, to meet education-related and wellbeing needs of Pacific learners and their families arising from and/or exacerbated by COVID-19.  

Many community organisations and Pacific providers have been supporting Pacific learners and families to stay engaged or re-engage in education during the COVID-19 response and recovery, and to make sure they have access to the services and support that meets their needs. 

Education-related needs include the resources and supports required to ensure Pacific learners remain engaged in education while also supporting wellbeing and growing meaningful relationships. Examples of initiatives funded include: 

  • Growing relationships between Pacific families and places of learning by making connections and supporting places of learning to reconnect with learners and their families.
  • Joining up Pacific learners and families with the right services that provide support for education-related needs, for example with on-site learning and accessing ongoing education and training pathways.
  • Supporting the return to learning at school or early learning, finding the right education and training pathways.
  • Supporting attendance and engagement for Pacific learners through mentoring services and homework centres.

Budget and Regional allocations  

The following five regions have a large proportion of the Pacific learner population.  

$10.8m will be provided to five regions in 2023/2024: 

  • $7.2m for Auckland
  • $621,818 for Waikato
  • $382,326 for Hawke’s Bay - Tairāwhiti
  • $1.7m for Wellington
  • $874,554 for Canterbury and Chatham Islands.

Round 4 

Round 4 funding will be distributed as follows: 

  1. working with existing providers to continue or expand their service provision in each fund or
  2. looking to support new projects and may request proposals for new projects. 

Our regional offices are currently assessing existing providers and their initiatives implemented through previous funding rounds, to determine which services are likely to be extended for round 4. 

Monitoring and reporting 

All providers must report on the progress of their initiative.  


All funds are expected to be committed in agreements by 1 August 2023.  

Frequently asked questions

What requirements do service providers need to meet? 

  • All organisations that receive funding must have satisfactory processes in place and completed police checks and vetting prior to commencing work particularly if working with children covered under the Childrens Act 2014.
  • All organisations that receive funding must have a written policy in place which meets the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
  • All organisations that receive funding must also have policies and processes in place for collecting, storing and using personal client information and these must meet the requirements of the Privacy Act 1993.
  • All organisations that receive funding must be legal entities and registered with the company's office.
  • All material risks must be identified to the Ministry of Education pending litigation.
  • All organisations must declare any convictions that could compromise their agreements with the Ministry. 

What services and activities will be funded? 

The distribution of funding will focus on the services and activities where: 

  • There is sufficient evidence to confirm the services and/or activities made positive changes to the circumstances of Pacific learners and their families.
  • Pacific learners and their families are actively supported to access other Pacific health and social services to meet their health and wellbeing needs. 
  • Relationships and connections between Pacific learners and their families, and places of learning are grown and strengthened.
  • Pacific learners have access to on-site, in school health and wellbeing programmes that support them to remain engaged in on-site learning.
  • The material needs of Pacific learners are met and they are supported to stay engaged or re-engage in learning, including on-line or distant learning.

Early learning services, schools, tertiary institutes and other education service providers cannot receive funding from the Pacific Education Support Fund. However, they can receive funding from the Pacific Education Innovation Fund(external link).

What is not funded through The Pacific Education Support Fund? 

  • Early learning services, schools and tertiary providers and the activities they are already funded to deliver (direct activities run by early learning services, schools, and tertiary providers).
  • For-profit activities and/or any activity where there are financial benefits for the providers at the cost of providing services to learners and their families.
  • Programmes and activities occurring overseas, including in the NZ realm countries.
  • Overseas travel.
  • Infrastructure.
  • Capital expenses.
  • The Purchase of Capital equipment that is not directly linked to support Pacific learner’s engagement in learning.  Note that the Ministry of Education may allow the purchase of appropriate and essential items (such as digital devices) at its discretion.

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