Student Welfare


When students from other countries come to study in New Zealand, it is important that those students are well informed, safe, and properly cared for.

New Zealand educational providers have an important responsibility for international students' welfare. This pamphlet provides an overview of the "The Education (Pastoral Care for International Students) Code of Practice 2016" (the Code), and provides a procedure that students can follow if they have concerns about their treatment by a New Zealand educational provider or agent of a provider.

What is the Code?

The Code is a document that provides a framework for service delivery by educational providers and their agents to international students. The Code sets out the minimum standards of advice and care that are expected of educational providers with respect to international students. The Code applies to pastoral care and provision of information only, and not to academic standards.

Who does the Code apply to?

The Code applies to all education providers in New Zealand with international students enrolled. The Code is mandatory to these providers and must be signed by them.

What is an "international student"?

An "international student" is a foreign student studying in New Zealand.

How can I get a copy of the Code?

You can download a copy of Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016. The Code is also available online from

How do I know if an education provider has signed the Code?

The New Zealand Ministry of Education maintains a register of all signatories to the Code. This is available online from If the education provider that you are seeking to enrol with is not a signatory to the Code, you will not be granted a permit from the New Zealand Immigration Service and you will not be able to study at that institution.

What do I do if something goes wrong?

If you have concerns about your treatment by your education provider or by an agent of the provider, the first thing you must do is contact the principal, the international student director, or another person who has been identified to you as someone that you can approach about complaints at your institution. The Code requires all institutions to have fair and equitable internal grievance procedures for students and you need to go through these internal processes before you can take the complaint any further. If your concerns are not resolved by the internal grievance procedures, you can contact the International Education Appeal Authority (IEAA).

What is the International Education Appeal Authority (IEAA)?

The IEAA is an independent body established to deal with complaints from international students about pastoral care aspects of advice and services received from their education provider or the provider's agents. The IEAA enforces the standards in the Code of Practice.

How can I contact the IEAA?

Tribunals Unit
Level 1, 86 Custom House Quay
Private Bag 32001, Panama Street
Wellington, NEW ZEALAND
Phone: + 64 4 462 6660
Fax: + 64 4 462 6686

What will the IEAA do?

The purpose of the IEAA is to adjudicate on complaints from international students. The IEAA will investigate complaints and determine if there has been a breach of the Code. The IEAA has the power to impose sanctions on education providers who have committed a breach of the Code that is not a serious breach. These sanctions include an order for restitution, publication of the breach, and / or requiring that remedial action be undertaken.

The IEAA will refer complaints that are not about pastoral care to another regulatory body if appropriate. The education provider will be given a reasonable time to remedy the breach. If the breach is not remedied within that time, the IEAA may refer the complaint to the Review Panel.

The IEAA can determine if it considers that a breach of the Code is a serious breach. If the breach is a seriousbreach, the IEAA will refer the complaint to the Review Panel.

What can the Review Panel do?

The Review Panel can remove or suspend an education provider as a signatory to the Code, meaning that the provider would be prevented from taking any more international students. Only the IEAA can refer complaints to the Review Panel.

A summary of the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students

The Code sets standards for education providers to ensure that:
• high professional standards are maintained
• the recruitment of international students is undertaken in an ethical and responsible manner
• information supplied to international students is comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date
• students are provided with information prior to entering into any commitments
• contractual dealings with international students are conducted in an ethical and responsible manner
• the particular needs of international students are recognized
• international students are in safe accommodation
• all providers have fair and equitable internal procedures for the resolution of international student grievances
Full details of what is covered can be found in the Code itself.
The Code also establishes the IEAA and the Review Panel to receive and adjudicate on student complaints

What to do in an Earthquake

The danger you face in an earthquake comes from falling debris and collapsing structures such as buildings and bridges. You need to be aware of these hazards to help you get through. There are thousands of earthquakes in New Zealand every year, but most of them are not felt because they are either small, or very deep within the earth. A large, damaging earthquake could occur at any time. The best way to prepare is to get ready now. Follow these simple steps:

Before an earthquake

Getting ready before an earthquake strikes will help reduce damage to your home and business and help you survive.

  • Develop a Household Emergency Plan and prepare an Emergency Survival Kit so that you can cope with being on your own for up to three days or more
  • Identify safe places within your home, school or workplace. A safe place is:
    • under a strong table, remember to hold onto the legs
    • next to an interior wall
    • somewhere close to you, no more than a few steps, or two metres away, to avoid injury from flying debris
  • Check your household insurance policy for cover and amount
  • Seek qualified advice to make sure your house is secured to its foundations. Also check that any renovations comply with the NZ Building Code
  • Secure heavy items of furniture to the floor or wall. Click here to find out how to quake-safe your home

During an earthquake

  • If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, drop, cover and hold

Drop, cover and hold during an earthquake

  • If you are outside, move no more than a few steps, then drop, cover and hold
  • If you are driving, pull over and stop
  • If you are at the beach or near the coast, drop, cover and hold then move to higher ground immediately in case a tsunami follows the quake  

After an earthquake

  • You should expect to feel aftershocks
  • Help those around you if you can
  • If you are in a damaged building, try to get outside and find a safe, open place
  • Do not go sightseeing to look at the damage the earthquake has caused
  • If you smell gas, try and turn off the gas main outside the building if it is safe to do so
  • If you see sparks, broken wires or evidence of electrical system damage, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box if it is safe to do so
  • If your property is damaged, take notes and photographs for insurance purposes
  • Listen to the radio for information and advice