Te Arapiki Ako
"Towards better teaching & learning"

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Last updated 13 December 2017 17:17 by NZTecAdmin

The National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults was a key part of the national infrastructure to strengthen the literacy and numeracy skills of adult learners in New Zealand.

Internationally recognised the National Centre is the first, and only, New Zealand member of ALADIN: the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning's (UIL) Adult Learning Documentation and Information Network. 

The National Centre was also selected as a 2016 Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program Best Practice Honouree.


The Centre, established in 2009 through a contract with the Tertiary Education Commission and hosted by the University of Waikato, focuses on literacy and numeracy for adults as a large-scale issue of national strategic importance. We facilitate collaborations with key stakeholders nationally and internationally bringing together literacy and numeracy expertise in a range of tertiary settings and the workforce.

We have an enduring commitment to our vision of enhancing the lives of New Zealanders through improved literacy and numeracy outcomes for adults.

Our strategic goals are to provide and support:

  • High-quality professional learning opportunities to develop the capacity of organisations, educators and managers
  • Internationally referenced and locally relevant qualifications
  • A relevant research programme
  • Policy advice to agencies nationally and internationally
  • High-quality learning resources
  • Strong partnerships

We promote an embedded approach to literacy and numeracy which equips educators to identify literacy and numeracy needs and demands and support adult learning in a range of contexts.

We provide professional learning opportunities in the form of workshops, modules, symposia and a tailored advisory service for organisations, educators and managers.

We support existing and developing activity across New Zealand, especially with the Tertiary Education priority groups of Māori, Pasifika and youth.

Adult literacy and numeracy have never been more important. The Tertiary Education Commission’s Getting Results report noted that:


The scale of the literacy and numeracy challenge is significant and will take many years to address. Changing technology, international competition and globalisation mean the demands for a highly literate and numerate population are constantly increasing. Demographic trends and continuing migration mean a continuing flow of people into the cohort of those needing higher levels of literacy and numeracy if they are to reach their full potential.
(Getting Results in Literacy and Numeracy, 2010 – 2013. Tertiary Education Commission. September 2010, p.21.)


The challenge now is to sustain and build on our work in partnership with the sector to create a lasting benefit to all the people of New Zealand.




If you have any comments please contact us.