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Wellington education

Wellington has an international reputation for quality education.

From early childhood, primary and secondary schools, through to world-ranked universities and technical institutes, Wellington provides a full range of education facilities.

Both Victoria University of Wellington and Massey University are ranked in the QS World University rankings top 500, and both have programmes ranked in the top 100 in the world.

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 just over 460 options for early childhood education in the Wellington region.

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 Whanau Manaaki Kindergarten website.

ECE providers in the region | Education Counts

Whanau Manaaki 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 Wellington region | CAB

Find a school

Visit the Education Counts website for information about schools in Wellington. 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.

Find a school | Education Counts

ERO reports | Education Review Office

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.

Find schools in your zone | Education Counts

Choosing a school

Tertiary education

There are a number of tertiary education providers in the Wellington region.

Wellington City has several options for tertiary education, including Massey University, Victoria University, University of Otago Medical School and Weltec Institute of Technology. Whitirea Community Polytechnic is based in Porirua and also has branches in Wellington and Kapiti. Te Wananga o Aotearoa also has branches in Porirua, Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt.

Massey University in Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington

University of Otago Wellington School of Medicine and Health Science

Weltec Wellington Institute of Technology

Whitireia Polytechnic

Te Wananga o Aotearoa in Lower Hutt

Te Wananga o Aotearoa in Upper Hutt

Te Wananga o Aotearoa in Porirua

Te Wananga o Raukawa in Otaki

New Zealand School of Dance

Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School

Tertiary courses in the Wellington region |

Adult Community Education

There are several options for community education in Wellington, including those run at Wellington High School and Tawa College.

Tawa College Adult and Community Education

Wellington High School Community Education

Victoria University Lifelong Learning

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