What the Minister expects of TEI council members

What the Minister expects of TEI council members

Last updated 2 November 2016
Last updated 2 November 2016

This page sets out the Minister responsible for tertiary education’s expectations of tertiary education institution (TEI) council members.

Why good governance is important

A TEI council provides the leadership for the institution to be successful. Council members are responsible for the strategic direction of their institutions and ensuring they are effectively managed. While the Education Act 1989 protects the autonomy and academic freedom of institutions, councils are entrusted with public funds and therefore expected to fulfil the highest standards of corporate governance. They must successfully balance autonomy with public accountability.

The following list of expectations is intended as a guide. It clarifies how the Minister responsible for tertiary education expects individual members to tailor their personal contribution to each council. 

What the Minister expects of council members

It is expected that all members of a TEI council will, to the best of their ability:

  1. comply with all relevant statutory requirements
  2. ensure the institution undertakes sound strategic and business planning and the institution’s strategy aligns with the Tertiary Education Strategy
  3. ensure the council appropriately directs its Chief Executive and holds them accountable for their performance using clear and measurable performance criteria
  4. ensure the institution provides the Minister and officials with the information necessary to monitor its performance
  5. ensure the institution adopts sound organisational and financial management practices to protect and enhance New Zealand’s investment in the institution and optimise the institution’s expenditure in line with its annual business plan
  6. encourage the institution to actively explore ways to better cooperate and collaborate with other tertiary institutions to the mutual benefit of all
  7. ensure the institution works with iwi and Māori communities to achieve their educational development goals and provides an environment in which Māori learners are encouraged and supported to succeed
  8. ensure the institution adopts a sound risk management strategy for all its activities
  9. ensure the institution does an internal audit that includes unrestricted reporting of results to the council
  10. ensure the institution and council implement appropriate ways for communicating and working with key stakeholder groups including the student body, staff, the wider community, the Ministry of Education (MoE) , the Tertiary Education Commission (the TEC), other education agencies, other departments, and other tertiary institutions and schools
  11. participate in an annual performance appraisal of members by the council Chair
  12. advise the council Chair immediately of any circumstances, conflicts of interest, or perceived conflicts of interest, that may prevent them from performing their role in a fair and impartial way, in the best interests of the institution.

What council members are not responsible or liable for

It is not the role of council members to ‘run’ the TEI. The Chief Executive is responsible for the TEI’s executive management and its day-to-day direction. However, as an employee and appointee of the council, the Chief Executive must implement the council’s decisions, and is answerable to the council for their own performance.

As set out in section 183 of the Education Act 1989, council members’ liability is limited and they are not liable for “any act done or omitted by the member or the council in good faith, or in pursuance or intended pursuance of the functions of the institutions of the council.”

What else you need to know as a council member

As a council member you need to be aware of the Act’s provisions, especially sections 180–182 on the functions and duties of councils.

Section 180 of the Education Act
Section 181 of the Education Act
Section 182 of the Education Act