This page contains links regarding education and the right to education.

New Zealand Education Act 1989

Two pieces of legislation govern rights to education in New Zealand – the Human Rights Act and the Education Act.  Perhaps most importantly, the Education Act gives the right to free primary and secondary education for any NZ citizen between the ages of 5 and 19. It is available here.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The right to education is reflected in international law in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. You can read it here.

The Four As of the Right to Education

The 4 A s were developed by the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, Katarina Tomaševski, and adopted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in its General Comment 13 on the right to education (paragraph 6). To be a meaningful right, education in all its forms and at all levels shall exhibit these interrelated and essential features: available, accessible, acceptable, and adaptable. You can read further detail here.

Victoria University of Wellington: Failing the System? Enforcing the Right to Education in New Zealand

In this 34 page research paper E J Ryan assesses the competing understandings of the education right in NZ, and concludes, particularly in light of the House of Lords’ decision in Phelps v Hillingdon London Borough Council, that the High Court’s approach is to be preferred. You can read it here. Is there a universal right to higher education?

In this 17 page journal article Tristan McCowan puts forward the argument that there should be universal ability to access higher education. You can read it here.


Ministry of Education

New Zealand Teachers Council

Tertiary Education Commission

National Library of New Zealand

New Zealand Educational Institute

Right to Education Project

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 

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