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Page updated 14 Oct 2015

Treasury sees quality of education as an important contributor to raising living standards for New Zealanders. Education is like a factory for opportunity and ideas, giving young people the chance to better themselves. It helps to build a skilled workforce, which is crucial to raising growth and productivity. Better skills also make us more adaptable – a valuable trait in the rapidly changing global economy.

Our Role

Treasury provides advice to the Government on education policy including early childhood, compulsory and tertiary education, and industry training. We monitor and advise on the performance of Crown agencies in the education sector.

Our advice looks at what policies will help maximise achievement by making best use of all the resources devoted to education. The Treasury also provides Ministers with advice on how different policy options may influence the relative improvement in student achievement and tertiary providers' research performance, and the results of investing resources in one area compared with another.

The Treasury works with the Ministry of Education on a daily basis. We also work with other education agencies such as the Tertiary Education Commission, NZQA and the Education Review Office.

Read more: Education Key to Economic Growth and Equity


Education spending is reported in the Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand. The most recent figure for core Crown education spending in New Zealand is $12.9 billion for the 2014/15 financial year. This figure is taken from the Analysis of Expenses by Functional Classification which is a section of the Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the Year Ended 30 June 2015.

The Budget Economic and Fiscal Update 2015 (BEFU) published on 21 May 2015 forecasts that core Crown spending on education for the 2015/16 year will be $13.1 billion. Refer to the Core Crown Expense Tables for forecast spending out to 2019.

Treasury Research and Policies

Treasury's priorities for education are outlined in our Briefing to the Incoming Minister. We also discussed these priorities in a speech to the Trans-Tasman Business Circle in March 2012, and in the accompanying evidence brief on Lifting Student Achievement in New Zealand.

To read more Treasury papers on education see the following subject lists in the Research and Policy Papers section of the Publications index:

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