The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA): “Fragile – Handle With Care”

  • Howard Lee
  • Gregory Lee


In April 2000, soon after taking office, the Labour-Alliance coalition government announced the establishment of the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission (TEAC) with a brief to develop a strategic direction for tertiary education. After a decade of neoliberal policies of decentralisation and marketisation, this heralded a new policy direction that has been described as New Zealand’s version of the Third Way. The new direction was to take account of economic globalisation, technological change and the need for New Zealand to become a knowledge-based society. To this end, the TEAC produced four reports before completing its work at the end of 2001. This article reviews and critiques those reports and concludes that the TEAC’s proposals could produce a highly centralised and regulated system with the potential to destroy the independent role of the universities within a democratic society.


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Author Biographies

Howard Lee
Gregory Lee
How to Cite
LEE, Howard; LEE, Gregory. The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA): “Fragile – Handle With Care”. The New Zealand Annual Review of Education, [S.l.], n. 10, july 2000. ISSN 1178-3311. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 28 oct. 2020. doi:


Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability