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Southland education

Southland offers a good choice of schools and education opportunities from early childhood right through to tertiary studies. The region's exceptional outdoor educational opportunities complement the academic, cultural and sporting curriculum.

Tertiary options include Invercargill’s Southern Institute of Technology which offers zero-fees tuition to domestic students for many of its courses.

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

There are about 95 options for early childhood education (ECE) in the Southland region; these are listed on the map 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 Southland region | Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)

Find a school

Visit the Education Counts website for information about schools in the Southland region. You can search this website for single sex or co-educational schools and boarding schools in the region.

Information is provided on student population and attainment for each school, as well as decile rating, website and street address. It also has a link to their 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.

The school system

Check school zones

Not all schools have an enrolment zone, but if they do the TKI map will display the school's information with a Show/ Hide Enrolment zone option, and a blue marker. If you click either option a zone will appear on the map.

This website also shows transport options for the school. TKI is a service of the Ministry of Education.

Tertiary education

Southern Institute of Technology - Southern Institute of Technology is the main provider of tertiary education in the area.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa - One of New Zealand's largest tertiary education providers. They offer a comprehensive range of certificate to degree level qualifications.

careers.govt.n - A list of tertiary education classes offered in the area.

Adult Community Education

Southland Education - Based in Invercargill, Southland Education offers a range of courses community education courses. Check their website for more details.

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