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Northland education

For its relatively small size, Northland offers an excellent range of educational opportunities.

Facilities cover every level, from early childhood education to tertiary opportunities and ongoing education for adults.

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 this is not the case, you should check to see if they need visas.

Early childhood education

Parents of children aged under five are well served for Kindergartens, Playcentres, Playgroups and other forms of early childhood education in Northland. There are over 200 options to choose from. 

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.

Early childhood education providers are listed on the Education Counts website. For more information about kindergartens in this region, visit the Northland and Kaitaia Kindergarten Associations from the New Zealand Kindergartens Association website.

ECE providers in the region | Ministry of Education

Kindergartens in the region | NZ Kindergartens

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 Northland region | CAB

Find a school

For information about schools in Northland visit the Education Counts website. You can search for single sex or co-educational schools and also boarding schools in the region. You can also find information on rolls and student attainment, as well as decile rating, website and street address and a link to each school’s Education Review office report.

More information on the types of schooling available in New Zealand and what qualifications are offered there can be found on the School System page.

Find a school | Education counts

The school system

Check school zones

Many New Zealand schools have an enrolment zone and give priority to pupils living within it. This site will let you see if the school you’re considering has a zone, and where it is - look for the Show / Hide Enrolment Zone option.

You can also research the options for transport to and from each school. The site is maintained by TKI, a service of the Ministry of Education. 

Check school zones in the Far North| TKI Mapfinder

Check school zones in Whangarei | TKI Mapfinder

Check school zones in Kaipara | TKI MapFinder

Tertiary education

In Northland, tertiary education in a wide range of subjects is available from NorthTec. It delivers programmes ranging from foundation, certificate, diploma and degree levels at a number of locations throughout the region.

Northland also has a University of Auckland campus in Whangarei, which offers education and social work courses. 

There are also two Wānanga providers in Northland.

NorthTec study options | NorthTec

The University of Auckland in Whangarei

Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi

Te Wananga o Aotearoa

Tertiary Courses in Northland |

Adult Community Education

NorthTec also offers a range of introductory Adult Community Education (ACE) courses from sites around the region. These give you a taste of the subject you’re interested in and can provide the foundations for a short course, certificate, diploma or even degree. For information, check the NorthTec website.

Another ACE option is Community Education in Whangarei (CEW). Based at Kamo High School CEW offers courses in the evening and some weekends.

Adult Community Education | Northtec

Community Education in Whangarei | CEW

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