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Nelson - Tasman education

Given it's small size, Nelson region offers an excellent range of educational opportunities from pre-school to tertiary level.

Nelson has several options for education.

Tertiary level education is available from the Nelson Tasman Institute of Technology (NMIT). Nelson is also a popular destination for international students, especially those developing their skills with the English language.

If your children are New Zealand residents, permanent residents or citizens (this includes Tokelauans, Cook Islanders and Niueans), or they hold a student visa based on your temporary work visa, they can attend primary and secondary schools as domestic students. If they do not have any of these, check to see if they need visas.

Check what visa your child needs | Ministry of Education

The school system in New Zealand

Early childhood education

There are over 80 options for early childhood education in the Nelson / Tasman region. These are listed on the Education Counts website.

There are many different types of early childhood services.  A key difference between these services is how much involvement they expect of the child's parents and family. The main types of early childhood education services are described on the Education Review Office website.

Types of early childhood education services | Education Review Office 


Playgroups are informal sessions where caregivers and children aged 0-5 meet together in a relaxed environment. In a playgroup, parents and caregivers stay to interact with the other adults and to play with the children.

Playgroups are usually set up and run by parents and caregivers, with children choosing from a range of activities. Activities at playgroup are either free or low cost, and may include music and singing, imaginative play, outdoor and free play, or arts and crafts.

Playgroups in the Nelson/Tasman region | Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)

Find a school

Visit the Education Counts website for information about schools in the Nelson/Tasman region. 

You can search this website to find schools of different types in the region.

The Education Review Office (ERO) website has a link to each school’s performance report. 

You can find more information on the types of schooling available in New Zealand and what qualifications are offered on our School System page.

The school system

Check school zones

Schools in New Zealand are grouped into areas known as 'zones'. Children are usually expected to attend a school in the zone where they have their home. However, some school don't have zones.

To find out which schools you are in the zone for, search the Education Counts website.

You can also find more information about school zones on our Choosing a School page.

Tertiary education

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT)  - Information on which courses NMIT offer and what qualifications you can earn there.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa - One of New Zealand's largest tertiary education providers. They offer a comprehensive range of certificate to degree level qualifications. - A list of tertiary courses available in the Nelson/Tasman region.

Adult Community Education

Waimea community education - Waimea College offers Adult community education covering a range of topics.

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