Pacific region

NZQA recognises the place that New Zealand has in the Pacific region, and understands the importance of collaboration with, and support for, the independent island nations who are our neighbours.

New Zealand’s relationship with our Pacific neighbours

New Zealand has close relationships with Pacific countries. We have a Treaty of Friendship with Samoa. Constitutional arrangements with Niue and the Cook Islands mean that Niueans and Cook Islanders are New Zealand citizens.

Samoa and Tonga

NZQA is funded until 2017 to provide development support to the Samoa Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the Tonga National Qualifications and Accreditation Board (TNQAB).

The development programme aims to support both Samoa and Tonga to implement qualifications frameworks, qualifications and standards, and quality assurance systems that are based on international good practice and appropriate for their context.

This consists of training and development visits by NZQA staff to both agencies, so that our experience and expertise can be used for both staff and operational capability improvement.

Assisting Samoa and Tonga increase capability

Both Samoa and Tonga are developing their own qualifications frameworks. 

Our capability work with Samoa and Tonga gives SQA and TNQAB the opportunity to develop their organisations and their staff. This helps ensure their systems and frameworks are world class, yet contextualised to the needs of their countries.

Ultimately this helps ensure that Samoa’s and Tonga’s qualifications and education providers are of a high standard, and deliver benefits educationally, and economically.

The Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP)

Samoa and Tonga are also members of the Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP). EQAP have developed a regional Pacific Register of Qualifications and Standards (PRQS).

NZQA attends the EQAP AGM as an invited member, and provides advice and comment on matters such as the PRQS and assessment.

The Cook Islands and Niue

NZQA also has long-standing relationships with the Cook Islands and with Niue. Both of these island states administer NCEA at secondary school level. 

MNA visits – Monitoring National Assessment

Once every two years, NZQA sends a School Relationship Manager to both countries to provide advice and support, and to conduct MNA visits of secondary schools.

MNA stands for ‘Monitoring National Assessment’. NZQA reviews schools’ NCEA assessment practices to ensure that assessment is fair, consistent, accurate and to the national standard, and produces an MNA report for each school.

You can find MNA reports and contact details for schools in the Pacific Islands.

Other information about NZQF, SQA, TNQAB, PRQS and the Pacific

For more information about the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

See also the Samoa Qualifications Authority,
Tonga National Qualifications and Accreditation Board,
the Pacific Register of Qualifications and Standards – SPBEA website, and
Pacific – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Contact us

For more information, or to give us feedback, please email

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