Can a student make a claim without going through the provider’s complaint process?
Generally, no. If a student has a complaint, they must contact their education provider first. The Code requires that all education providers have an internal complaint process in place.
If you require assistance to raise your complaint with your education provider or if you are not sure who to contact, you are welcome to connect with our team for assistance.
If a student's concerns are not resolved by the provider's internal complaint process, the student can then make a complaint to NZQA for Code breaches or to Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira for contractual and financial disputes or claims for redress following an NZQA investigation into a Code breach.
Can I see what information you hold about me?
Yes, you can request information and contact our Privacy Officer in the following ways:
By email - email@example.com)
By phone - 0800 00 66 75
By post - The Privacy Officer, FairWay Resolution Limited, PO Box 12790, Penrose, Auckland 1642
Can you accommodate my accessibility and disability needs?
Yes. If you have any special requirements (for example, mobility, vision or hearing needs) let us know as soon as possible so we can make suitable arrangements.
Can you arrange language support?
Yes. We can arrange an interpreter. Please let us know and we will arrange this for you.
Can you support cultural needs?
Yes. Our process is flexible and fits each person. If you have any cultural needs, please let us know. We have a team of skilled practitioners available who are experienced in working with people from a range of backgrounds and cultures, including practitioners trained in tikanga-based mediation.
Do I need a lawyer?
No, but you may choose to have a lawyer or support person to assist you if you wish.
Do Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira and NZQA have the same role of handling complaints from students?
Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira helps resolve contractual and financial disputes between domestic tertiary students and international students and their education providers.
NZQA can investigate complaints about the quality of education and care by education providers. If they find a breach of the Code has occurred, you can make a claim to Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira for redress.
Do you have a newsletter for education providers?
Yes – we have a quarterly newsletter which includes our latest news, tips for resolving complaints and case studies from our service. Click here to subscribe.
Do you take sides?
No. Our role is to be neutral. We focus on early resolution and aim to help you reach a mutual agreement. If you cannot reach an agreement, we will make an independent decision based on the information provided and from a legal standpoint.
How do you manage my privacy?
I’ve moved overseas or study remotely. Can you still help?
Yes - Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira can help whether you are in New Zealand or not. We often help students outside of New Zealand online.
Is adjudication confidential?
If the student and provider are unable to reach agreement at mediation, the complaint will proceed to an adjudication where an adjudicator will make a binding decision based on the information submitted by the student and the provider. All information received from either the student or education provider will be made available to the other party, unless we are asked otherwise. Both the student and education provider will be given time to comment on the information that is exchanged.
Is mediation confidential?
Mediation is a confidential process. Before the mediation takes place, the mediator will meet with the student and the provider separately. The mediator will not share any information or disclosures made at these meetings unless the student or the provider consents to this.
The mediation meeting is confidential to the student and the provider and anyone who attends the mediation, including the mediator, support people and others involved (such as to interpreters). Everyone must keep confidential:
Any agreements reached at mediation
Any statement, admission or document created for the purpose of the mediation
Any information disclosed during the mediation.
Is my complaint confidential?
A complaint remains confidential in the early stages, while we look at whether we can assist further or not.
If it is accepted as a dispute by Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira we will need to inform the education provider. However, we will only do this once we have discussed it with the student and confirmed that we can help.
We must also notify the NZQA of the nature of the dispute if we accept it or if we refer it to the code administrator (NZQA) or other appropriate authority.
After we have accepted a dispute, we may be able to assist the student and the provider to resolve the complaint through a facilitated conversation. These discussions and any agreement reached are confidential.
Is there anything Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira does not cover?
Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira can usually help with financial and contractual disputes. We can also assist with claims for redress after an NZQA investigation finds that there has been a breach of the Code.
Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira may decline to accept a complaint if:
If it is outside the jurisdiction of the dispute resolution scheme (DRS). For example, if it is about your care and the Code and NZQA have not yet investigated your complaint, we may direct your complaint to NZQA.
the provider has not been given an adequate opportunity to resolve the dispute.
the dispute has been dealt with in another forum, unless new evidence or other information has come to light that the DRS operator believes on reasonable grounds should be considered.
the dispute is being dealt with in another forum, unless the student claimant withdraws the dispute from the other forum.
the dispute would be more appropriately dealt with by a court, a tribunal, or another appropriate authority.
the dispute has been previously dealt with under the DRS, unless new evidence or other information has come to light.
the claim is trivial, frivolous, or vexatious.
as a result of a delay in lodging the dispute, it is no longer possible to obtain sufficient evidence or other information for resolution of the dispute under the DRS.
What are some examples of disputes that you can assist with?
Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira can assist financial and contractual disputes, and claims for redress.
Financial disputes involve money, for example:
• Claims for compensation
Contractual disputes involve agreements, for example:
• Contracts to study
• Accommodation arranged through your provider – such as halls or homestay
• Changes to study programmes
• Course closures
Redress claims involve requests for money or actions to set things right after an NZQA investigation finds that there has been a breach of the Code.
The Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira process is confidential and personal details about the complaint will not be made available publicly.
For education and awareness purposes, we are required under the scheme rules to publish case studies and thematic reviews of disputes received. When we create a summary of a dispute, any identifying information is removed to protect privacy. We also ask the student and the provider for their consent in our Terms and Conditions.
We must notify the NZQA of the nature of the dispute if we accept it or if we refer it to the code administrator (NZQA) or other appropriate authority.
We are also required to report general operational and statistical information to the Ministry of Education, and this information will always be anonymised.
If we identify any serious misconduct by a provider, breach of the scheme rules by a provider, or systemic issues, we are required to report these to the Ministry of Education, NZQA and any relevant government agencies.
What remedies or redress options are possible?
Anything is possible through facilitation and mediation. A student and their education provider can explore options and reach any agreement together.
If the matter goes to adjudication, the adjudicator will decide on whether to uphold the dispute or not. Under the scheme rules, the adjudicator may direct the following remedies:
(a) that the provider make a public acknowledgment and apology that it has committed a breach of the student claimant’s rights or that some other harm has been suffered:
(b) that the provider pay the student claimant an amount not exceeding $200,000 for the damage, loss, or inconvenience suffered (for example, the impact on the student claimant’s health, the duration of the dispute, or attempts to resolve the dispute using the provider’s internal processes) resulting from the dispute as judged by the adjudicator:
(c) that the provider take any other action directed by the adjudicator to remedy the dispute:
(d) that the provider provide any reasonable non-monetary redress for any damage, loss, or inconvenience resulting from the dispute:
(e) that the provider—
review any of its rules, bylaws, or policies relating to the conduct that gave rise to the dispute; or
refrain from continuing or repeating the conduct that has given rise to the dispute; or
take any other appropriate action (other than an action described in subclause (2) to resolve the dispute.
The adjudicator may recommend that the provider establish rules, bylaws, or policies that are aimed at preventing the conduct that gave rise to the dispute.
Domestic tertiary students and international students, or people acting on their behalf such as parents and guardians, can use this service. This includes students who are currently enrolled, former students and prospective students in the process of enrolling. You can find more information here.
Will the provider know that I have made a complaint?
Yes, if a dispute is accepted by Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira in order to work together towards a resolution we will need to inform the education provider. However, we will only contact the provider once we have discussed the complaint with the student and confirmed that we can help.