Current issues - New Zealand and Pacific

Image of attendees at EPHEA NZ One day symposium 4 July 2016
Image of Auckland, New Zealand
EPHEA New Zealand One Day Symposium: “Tāpiritia” – to join together

Creating safe, inclusive and equitable work and study environments for tertiary staff and students in Aotearoa – sharing and growing best practice.

He waka rangirangi, he waka tūhono


Monday 4th July 2016

The first New Zealand Chapter EPHEA symposium was held on 4th July 2016, organised by a working group from the University of Auckland and the Auckland University of Technology, held at the city campus of the Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

The working group initially sent out requests for expressions of interest in attending and/or presenting at such an event to all known or identifiable equity practitioners in universities and polytechnics throughout the country. Following a positive response, the very part-time working group undertook organising the symposium.

EPHEA provided a grant of $1000 to assist development of Chapter activities and participants were charged $60 registration fee. AUT Events and Marketing team were contracted to design promotional material and manage registrations, catering and technical support for the day.

The final programme consisted of eleven sessions covering a wide range of topics for both staff and student equity practitioners. Some sessions were held in parallel. Sessions included:

  • Supporting access and success for Māori and Pacific students

  • Promoting participation and success for Māori and Pacific staff

  • Supporting students from low socio-economic background

  • Ensuring equitable academic promotion for staff, particularly women and Māori 

  • Supporting students with disabilities

  • Promoting access and success for staff with disabilities

  • Supporting students and staff from refugee backgrounds

  • Addressing unconscious bias in decision making

  • Introduction to courageous conversations

  • Addressing family and relationship violence for staff and students

  • Supporting LGBTI staff and students.


Eighty-five participants registered from eight New Zealand tertiary institutions. Evaluations of the symposium were overwhelmingly positive. The most common positive comments were appreciation for the opportunity to meet, network and share knowledge on a range of equity topics.


The most common negative comments related to sessions not being long enough to allow for greater discussion. This competes with the positive comments of having a broad range of topics. Future conference organisers will have to be creative in managing both these needs.

Thanks to Cathie Walsh, University of Auckland and Chris Jenkins, Auckland University of Technology for organising this event.

For more information please contact: Cathie Walsh, University of Auckland

New Zealand citizens living in Australia


The rights of New Zealand citizens to education in Australia has been problematic in Australia for a number of years.  Some small concessions were made for minors that have lived in Australia for 10 years under certain conditions.


People interested in accessing Australian Higher Education should inquire with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to consider their eligibility for citizenship and access to Higher Education support.

Access to specific information about study assistance can be found here or by talking to individual universities.

Some of the proposed legislation that impacts New Zealand citizens living in Australia is still under consideration.

Click here for EPHEA's position on this issue