Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics

Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

Chair: Murray Bain from May 2014 (Graeme Hall to May 2014)
Chief Executive: Dr Caroline Seelig
Main Campus Key Main Campus
Lower Hutt
Other Campus Key Other Campus Locations
The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand delivers courses by distance learning throughout New Zealand.
Educational Performance: Confident
Self-assessment: Confident
Funding by TEC
99.6% Teaching and Learning
0.0% Capability
0.4% Research
TEC Funding
Delivery by Level
13.9% Level 1–2
33.4% Level 3–4
24.3% Level 5–6
28.5% Level 7–8
0.0%Level 9–10
Delivery By Level
Delivery by Subject
23.4% Management and Commerce
16.9% Society and Culture
14.3% Mixed Field Programmes
13.8% Education
12.3% Health
19.3% Other
Delivery By Subject

The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand’s (Open Polytechnic’s) educational performance improved in 2014 and its financial position remained strong.


In the 2014 annual report, Chair Murray Bain, highlighted several of the Open Polytechnic’s achievements, including the development of a new online learning environment (iQualify), which will be launched in 2015. The Open Polytechnic continued to work alongside other tertiary education providers to support them in meeting their learners’ and region’s up-skilling needs. Also in 2014, the Open Polytechnic worked with Plunket New Zealand to deliver its continuing professional development programme to staff using the Open Polytechnic’s iQualify platform.

The Chief Executive, Caroline Seelig, also highlighted several of the Open Polytechnic’s achievements in 2014, including maintaining strong enrolments, despite several external pressures, due to the flexibility and attractiveness of distance learning options for mainly working adults. The Open Polytechnic worked in collaboration with the Department of Corrections to offer Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications in a blended delivery format. Two new qualifications were developed, the Graduate Diploma in Primary Maths Teaching and the Level 4 New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services. The Hutt Valley Primary Science Education Network was launched, in conjunction with the Hutt City Council and GNS Science. This supports primary teachers to promote engagement in sciences before high-school. Finally, the Open Polytechnic received a Special Recognition of Outstanding Commitment Award from Competenz, the ITO the Open Polytechnic works with to deliver national certificates to apprentices in the areas of mechanical engineering, welding, fabrication and metal casting.

Enrolments at the Open Polytechnic were similar to 2013, with a decrease of 1 percent (66 EFTS) with a shift in delivery towards Levels 2–3. Delivery was spread across Levels 3–4 (33%), Levels 7–8 (29%), Levels 5–6 (24%) and Levels 1–2 (14%). The main fields of study were Management and Commerce (23%), Society and Culture (17%) and Mixed Field Programmes (14%).

The Open Polytechnic was below the ITP sector average for participation across the TES priority groups (Māori, Pasifika and under-25-year-olds) but above the national demographic. Compared with 2013, participation for Māori and under-25-year-olds rose slightly, while Pasifika participation dropped slightly. The Open Polytechnic had 51 full-fee paying international EFTS (261 students), an increase of 12 EFTS (74 students) on 2013.


Educational delivery by the Open Polytechnic was on par with the ITP sector average for course completion and well above the sector average for qualification completion (73%) at 91 percent, a 12 percentage point increase on 2013. Both student retention and student progression were below the ITP sector average.

Performance of the TES priority groups generally improved on the previous year, with the exception of retention for Pasifika, which fell slightly, and student progression, which fell for all groups. The biggest improvement was qualification completion, which increased by 29, 27 and 10 percentage points for Māori, Pasifika and under-25-year-olds respectively, all above the ITP sector average. Under-25-year-olds and Pasifika performed below the average for course completion, retention and progression. Māori performed above the average for all measures with the exception of retention, which was below the average.

Financial performanceTop

In 2014, the Open Polytechnic achieved a net surplus of $2.2 million (3.9%), which is a $0.4 million (–16.1%) decline compared with the 2013 result, driven by revenue reductions.

The Open Polytechnic’s total revenue decreased by $0.6 million (–1.1%) from 2013 to 2014, primarily due to a reduction in government funding of $0.2 million (–.6%) and a reduction in student fees of $0.5 million (–3.0%). Total expenditure decreased by $0.2 million (–0.3%) mainly because of a reduction in depreciation and amortisation of $1.2 million and $0.6 million in personnel expenditure savings.

Total assets have increased by $1.9 million between 2013 and 2014 to $84.3 million. This is significantly lower than most other institutions due to the low space requirements limiting the value of property, plant and equipment to $24 million.

TES Priorities

Participation (SAC)
2014 Performance OPNZ ITP sector 
Students under 25 25% 51%
Māori 18% 24%
Pasifika 9% 10%
Course Completion (SAC)
2014 Performance  OPNZ ITP sector 
All 80% 80%
Students under 25 77% 79%
Māori 76% 74%
Pasifika 69% 74%
Qualification Completion (SAC)
2014 Performance  OPNZ ITP sector 
All 91% 73%
Students under 25 74% 67%
Māori 96% 64%
Pasifika 94% 65%
Of the tertiary-aged population in New Zealand, 13% identified as Māori and 21% as under the age of 25 years. Pasifika population figures were less than 6% (based on Census 2013).
Overview of Educational Performance
Enrolments 2014 % of ITP sector 2012 2013 2014
Student Achievement Component (SAC) EFTS 8% 5,565 5,167 5,101
SAC Students 23% 30,279 28,287 27,592
International full fee paying students EFTS 1% 27 39 51
International full fee paying students 2% 154 187 261
Educational Performance Indicators - SAC ITP sector 2012 2013 2014
Successful Course Completion 80% 80% 80% 80%
Qualification Completion 73% 78% 79% 91%
Student Retention 66% 40% 50% 51%
Student Progression L1-4 35% 25% 32% 29%
Overview of Financial Performance*
Summary Financial Statements (NZ$000) 2012 2013 2014
Total government revenue $41,785 $37,816 $37,602
Domestic student fees $16,260 $15,975 $15,390
International student fees $220 $359 $453
Total revenue $61,917 $57,659 $57,040
Personnel $27,909 $28,622 $27,974
Total expenses $57,579 $55,013 $54,821
Net surplus (after unusual and non-recurring items) $4,338 $2,646 $2,219
Total Assets $79,169 $82,411 $84,344
Equity (net assets) $62,467 $65,513 $67,026
Net cashflow from operations $11,111 $7,264 $7,895
Staffing FTE 397 394 407
Total EFTS to total staff FTE 16.0:1 14.3:1 14.0:1
Total EFTS to teaching staff (academic and tutorial staff FTE) 57.0:1 51.9:1 48.3:1