Today Independent Tertiary Education New Zealand (ITENZ) and Waihanga Ara Rau Construction and Infrastructure Workforce Development Council sign a historic agreement to partner and collaborate to drive further success in the tertiary education sector. Both organisations are committed to working together to draw on their respective strengths to bring to life the transformative changes set out by the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE).

 Six Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) were set up under RoVE to give industries greater leadership and influence across vocational education. Waihanga Ara Rau is one of these new WDCs and holds a strategic view of the skills the construction and infrastructure industries require now and, in the future, with a key focus on giving a stronger voice to Māori enterprise and iwi businesses. Waihanga Ara Rau has a national mandate to set standards, develop qualifications and endorse programmes that are ultimately approved by NZQA.

 ITENZ is a well-networked organisation and represents the full scope of Private Tertiary Education (PTE) across the country. Its members are predominantly involved in vocational education and ITENZ is recognised by Government as the main representative of the PTE sector. ITENZ brings a wealth of experience in strategic leadership, knowledge and specialist expertise.

The new working agreement sets up a framework for Waihanga Ara Rau, and the PTEs represented by ITENZ, to work collaboratively on qualification, credential and standard development and identifying regional needs.

Commenting on this new partnership, Wayne Dyer, Chief Executive of ITENZ says: “This new agreement recognises the importance of working in partnership with Waihanga Ara Rau. We share the same objectives and so it is natural that we collaborate to identify regional skills needs, develop  qualifications, credentials and standards, and  continually improve the way Te Tiriti is embedded in educational practices”.

Further endorsement and acknowledgement of this new relationship comes from Waihanga Ara Rau Chief Executive Philip Aldridge who says:“Change in the VET sector cannot be made by one organisation alone. A founding part of our DNA is to listen, collaborate and learn from those around us. I see this new relationship with ITENZ as a way for us, as key parts of the new system, to complement each other, not compete. This relationship brings us closer to having a cohesive, sustainable vocational education system that improves outcomes for New Zealanders and supports a thriving economy that works for everyone. I believe this will work will ensure learners and communities can fulfil their potential and employers have the right people, with the right skills, at the right time.”

This new partnership is effective immediately, with an initial focus on creating an annual plan that outlines the shared projects and activities the two organisations will work together on.


Note to Editors
Press contact: Kate Pierson,, P. 0274 280110

Press contact: Wayne Dyer,, P. 021 307 087

About Waihanga Ara Rau
Waihanga Ara Rau Construction & Infrastructure Workforce Development Council represents nine industries including Construction, Concrete, Plumbing, Infrastructure, Water, Gas, Electricity, Telecommunication, and Roading.

Waihanga Ara Rau, like all WDCs, leads the development of industry qualifications, sets industry standards and assesses training provision against these industry standards. Where appropriate, WDCs will set and help with capstone assessments at the end of a qualification. Industry standards will be consistently applied across the country, and across all modes of learning, whether on the job (such as apprenticeships), on campus or online. WDCs will also endorse vocational education programmes prior to them being approved by NZQA.