25 August 2022 at 12:00 pm

More than 1,000 delegates attend NZIEC KI TUA 2022

More than 1,000 delegates attended the 29th New Zealand International Education Conference NZIEC KI TUA 2022, held virtually from 15 to 19 August.

NZIEC at a glance   

  • 1,065: Registered delegates, making this the biggest NZIEC ever  
  • 105: Sessions delivered across the week  
  • 101: Speakers   
  • 11: MCs and facilitators  
  • 8: Time zones that ENZ’s international team members joined sessions from   
  • 3: Studios in operation, in Pōneke Wellington, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Ōtautahi Christchurch 
  • 88%: Delegate satisfaction for keynote and plenary sessions (rated good or very good).

“This was the largest NZIEC ever held, which shows the high level of interest in rebuilding the international education sector within Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ) Chief Executive Grant McPherson.

“I’d like to thank our line-up of keynote, plenary and breakout speakers, as well as everyone who took the time to attend. I hope all of our delegates were encouraged and inspired and gained a gem or two for the rebuild journey ahead.” 

Prime Minister and Minister address conference delegates 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recorded a special message for our sector. If you missed it during the conference closing session, take a moment to view it now.



Education Minister Chris Hipkins also addressed conference delegates and answered questions. Conference delegates can view this session on the event portal.

New ingoa Māori  

This year, to celebrate its 29th birthday, NZIEC was gifted a new ingoa Māori (te reo Māori name): NZIEC KI TUA. The name was inspired by the following whakataukī:  

He rā ki tua.  

Look positively toward the future,  Better times are coming.  

Ki Tua is not about returning to the ‘status quo’. It’s about reconnecting to the world, finding a fresh perspective, and taking a new approach.

“The adoption of NZIEC KI TUA reflects our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Maihi Karauna, the Crown’s Strategy for Māori Language Revitalisation,” Mr McPherson says.

“NZIEC’s new name also reflects Aotearoa New Zealand’s distinct cultural identity and the importance of continuing to develop our sector’s annual conference.” 

Sessions are still available  

Registered delegates can watch or re-watch conference sessions from the event portal until Friday 16 September. 

Conference highlights 

Recognising the challenge facing the international education sector, the conference explored the theme of Towards Recovery: Reflect, Reconnect and Renew. 

The programme started by reflecting on the sector’s pandemic experience, including moving reflections from international students and international education practitioners. Delegates explored student experience through the pandemic.

The programme then shifted to reconnecting with the world. Delegates heard from Minister of Education, Hon Chris Hipkins, and New Zealand’s leading trade negotiator, Vangelis Vitalis. 

Mid-week we turned our attention to renewal, and how our industry can seize the big opportunities and overcome the big challenges it faces. We explored the intersection of te ao Māori and international education, how we can develop global citizenship, approaches to innovation and diversification, and tackling the climate challenge.  

Quotes that struck a chord 


  • “I learned a lot about love, I think. Love and care during this pandemic”  
    - Veena TK, Masters student from Malaysia, reflects on an unexpected aspect of her pandemic experience in Aotearoa.  


  • “I love my school canteen. You know especially butter chicken pie, they’re $4 each. Pretty good.”  
    – Year 13 student Chad (Min-Hyeok) Kang’s favourite go-to food spot in New Zealand is close to home.  


  • "I do want to thank everybody for their ongoing feedback and support and for the huge amount of resilience and persistence that we have seen across the international education sector. I do think there are some very, very exciting things ahead for us."  
    Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education, in his remarks to the international education sector.  


  • “Let me start first with the international context… we have war, we have plague, we have the famine and of course we have climate change as well”  
    Vangelis Vitalis discusses contemporary challenges in the international arena. 


  • “Knowledge wasn’t retained for status, it wasn’t a choice. Often it was associated to the wellbeing and betterment of our people” 
    Sharlene Maoate-Davis talks about how education is conceived and valued from a te ao Māori perspective.  


  • “Six months in a leaky boat has a whole new meaning to me”  
    Abbas Nazari on his experience prior to being rescued by the MV Tampa. More seriously, he offered these remarks: “The essence of my talk is very simple… in life there are obstacles and challenges that fall across your path. Despite all these challenges, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.” 


  • “The weight of the past is constantly fighting with the pull of the future and the push of the present to try and kill innovation”  
    Melissa Clarke-Reynolds on organisational immune systems’ reactions to innovation.  


  • “Changing your world is your critical contribution to changing the world”  
    Dr Kennedy Graham on how you can contribute to the climate challenge.

Stay tuned to next month’s E-News for more details on NZIEC KI TUA 2023.

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