New Zealand Catholic Education Office (NZCEO)

The New Zealand Catholic Education Office (NZCEO) is a catalyst engaging Catholic schools to become leaders in New Zealand education, delivering outcomes in the spirit of the Gospel.

The New Zealand Catholic Education Office is the office of the New Zealand Council of Proprietors of Catholic Integrated Schools. The office also serves the educational requirements of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference. It assists the Conference and the Proprietors of Catholic Integrated schools in their mission of providing Catholic education.

The staff of the office are responsible on a day-to-day basis to the Board of Directors of NZCEO Ltd. Members of the New Zealand Council of Proprietors of Catholic Integrated Schools are the shareholders of the Company.

The Office works with schools and diocesan educational bodies to promote a full understanding of Catholic education.

It liaises with the Government, Departments of State and a wide range of other organisations on matters relating to Catholic Integrated schools and New Zealand education generally.

It also acts as the office for the Association of Proprietors of Integrated Schools (APIS) which represents proprietors of all New Zealand’s Integrated Schools. The Government recognises the Association as the official negotiating body for matters affecting Integrated Schools in general. Integrated schools are schools within the State system of education which have a special character. This is normally of a religious nature or one which reflects a particular educational philosophy.

  • Quality, effective leadership of schools.
  • Equity, quality and excellence in educational outcomes for each student.
  • A Catholic population which is knowledgeable about its Faith and supportive of its schools.
  • Well qualified teachers in Catholic schools, especially in the areas of religious education and the Special Character dimension of the school.
  • Strong partnership between parish(es) and school(s) to support the revitalisation of the Church’s mission in the world.
  • Practical commitment to achieving positive bi-cultural relationships with Maori, and practical commitment to developing a resilient multi-cultural society.
  • Dynamic graduates from our schools who are committed to promoting the Good News in its various dimensions, with emphasis on: evangelisation, service, community and social justice.
  • A national system of schools which is proactive, and which positively interacts with Government, its agencies and with wider national networks.
  • Commitment to the long-term progress and development of the economically and socially disadvantaged.
  • Commitment to our ecological vocation to care for the earth for the good of all.

Adopted 1998
Revised 2006

  • Diocesan Catholic education offices work with schools in their diocese to support the teaching of Religious Education, to support Catholic Character, and deal with individual schools in relation to buildings and attendance dues. NZCEO works on national issues, on national policies and acts in a liaison role between many different educational agencies.
  • NZCEO works on issues the Proprietors put forward, mainly in relation to national and operational policy for schools. The national Catholic schools’ scheme to pool attendance dues income and capital indebtedness, and the national Catholic Education Investment Fund are examples of this sort of work. The Bishops and proprietors instigated the development of the recent major document on Catholic Special Character Review, and the office was responsible for drawing together a team to work this through. The Bishops worked on the revision of the definition of those students who are accepted as having preference of enrolment in Catholic schools, and the office assisted them in this project.
  • The office interacts with the Ministry of Education, particularly in relation to aspects of policy where there are differences between Integrated schools, and other state schools, for instance property policy. Negotiations to ensure that Integrated schools get the money they are entitled to, such as the Furniture and Equipment Grant, come into the NZCEO brief, and also work in relation to the opening, closing and merging of Catholic schools, and applications for changes in maximum roll numbers. These tasks are often carried out in partnership with diocesan offices.
  • NZCEO works to support good management and educational practice in Catholic schools and Early Childhood services through the advice and guidance that it provides on request, and through its publications. NZCEO circulates educational information, for instance information about religious education training courses available to teachers. It alerts Proprietors, Boards of Trustees, schools, diocesan education offices and parishes to information about educational initiatives.
  • NZCEO organises the triennial national Catholic Education Convention.
  • Because the office’s mission is to act as a catalyst engaging Catholic schools to become leaders in New Zealand education, delivering outcomes in the spirit of the Gospel, and fostering excellence, NZCEO takes part in many educational arenas, including Ministry of Education Consultative Groups, frequent contacts with Members of Parliament on educational issues, and regular contact with senior national and regional Ministry of Education officials, and organisations such as NCRS (the National Centre for Religious Studies), the NZ Catholic Primary Principals’ Association, the National Association of Principals of Catholic Secondary Schools, the Education Review Office, the Teachers Council, NZEI and PPTA.
  • Catholicism has a worldwide vision, not just a local or national vision, so the office also fosters various international contacts, answers frequent queries from overseas, provides information to Catholic Education Offices in the Pacific, particularly Fiji and the Cook Islands, and strongly supports the work of UNESCO.
  • The office administers the NZCEO website (

NZCEO is always happy to answer questions about what it does.