Mō tātou

About us

The role of Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) is to ensure the vocational education system meets industry needs and gives a stronger voice to Māori business and iwi development. We will give our industries and employers greater leadership and influence across vocational education.

Success for us will mean employers - including Māori business owners - are confident that vocational education graduates are ready for work and that the future skills needs of their industry will be addressed by the vocational education system.

As well as directly benefiting employers, we will improve confidence and outcomes across the sector. Providers can be confident their programmes are relevant to employers and endorsed by industry. Learners can be confident their qualifications will meet employers’ expectations and national industry standards.

Find out more about vocational education and training or watch the following video courtesy of the Tertiary Education Commission.


We want to become an organisation that gives effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi in an equitable and inclusive way, while supporting authentic Māori Crown relationships.

To effectively embed Te Tiriti o Waitangi into our work, we are weaving and laying a whāriki | mat as we go beneath our six Workforce Development Councils, creating space and inviting tāngata whenua, and all manuhiri | visitors to connect with us.

We know the processes of whakawhanaungatanga | relationship building, and hononga | establishing connection, take time. We also know doing things in a way that is tika | genuine and pono | honest will tautoko | support us, as we invite Māori, iwi and hapū to meet and kōrero with us in good faith. Our sole focus is to enter into trusted, meaningful, and empowering work, based on relationships that are mutually beneficial and longstanding.

Find out more about our commitment in honouring te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Ringa Hora plays a central role in the vocational education system in Aotearoa. We connect industry, providers, learners, and workers with the vocational education system and with each other. We identified five main groups who we consider ourselves in service to:

  • Industry (Service sector)
  • Māori, iwi and hapū
  • Pacific peoples
  • Tāngata whaikaha (people with disabilities)
  • Learners & workers

Industry (Service sector)

The Service sector includes a huge variety of people in a wide range of businesses doing everything from working in airports, to selling houses, to cleaning buildings. We have created ten industry groupings based on the types of things businesses focus on and the types of roles people play. While each group is different, they all have people at their heart. They are also all connected to one another. Together they form a rich ecosystem, and things that impact part of the ecosystem have a ripple effect on the whole Service sector.

  • Aviation & Airport services
  • Business & Professional services
  • Cleaning services
  • Contact Centres & Industry Support services
  • Financial & Advisory services
  • Government, Security & Defence services
  • Hospitality & Food services
  • Real Estate & Rental services
  • Retail & Distribution services
  • Tourism & Travel services

Our role as a Workforce Development Council is to channel and amplify the voice of the Service sector within the vocational education system by undertaking our statutory functions:

  • Skills Leadership: To lead and coordinate industry efforts to identify workforce needs and support the vocational education system and employers to meet those needs.

  • Qualification System Products: To develop and maintain industry qualifications, training schemes, training packages, capstone assessments and skill standards that meet the needs of the Service sector.

  • Moderation: To ensure learners have met a required standard when they are awarded a qualification by confirming that assessment materials are fit-for-purpose and that assessment decisions are fair, valid and consistent with the national standard.

  • Programme endorsement: To provide industry with assurance that their needs will be met by programmes, and learners and employers with confidence that there is consistent and coherent programme delivery in the system.

  • Advice to TEC: To guide and influence TEC’s investment decisions in vocational education and ensure that they meet the needs of the Service industries.

  • Brokerage and advisory services: To help employers and industries meet their skill needs, guide employers and industries on the importance of vocational education and training, and improve learner-worker experiences in the Service industries.

In doing this, we partner with industry, highlight their needs and advocate on their behalf to effect system changes. Our aim is to support Service industries to tackle skill shortages, adjust to the future of work, build a strong skills base, and have the right training available at the right time.

As well as engaging with industry and employers, we will work collaboratively across the vocational education sector. We will engage with Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs), Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) and Providers (Te Pūkenga, Wānanga and Private Training Establishments (PTEs)).

We will also engage with a range of parties to help inform and prioritise their service delivery. These include the Ministry of Education (MoE), Advocacy Groups, Learners, Te Taumata Aronui, Government agencies and schools.

Ringa Hora was established as part of the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) with a mandate to help drive transformational change in the vocational education system. The vision of RoVE is to “create a strong, unified, sustainable vocational education system fit for the future”, and as well as the establishment of the six Workforce Development Councils (WDCs), led to the creation of Te Pūkenga, the establishment of the Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs), and the shift of the role of supporting workplace learning from ITOs to providers.

This system enables a stronger focus on employers by delivering the skills they need, providing more employee support and ensuring greater consistency in vocational education across Aotearoa.

Find out more about the Reform of Vocational Education.

Extensive consultation with industry and the vocational education sector took place prior to our WDC being stood up on 4 October 2021.

The establishment of WDCs was led by WDC Interim Establishment Boards (iEBs) that were made up of industry representatives, a number of whom were subsequently appointed to the permanent WDC Council. The main role of iEBs was to oversee the legal establishment of WDCs, which occurred through an Orders in Council (OiC) process.

Our Order in Council 

The iEB was responsible for consulting with industry and developing an OiC that outlined the name of our WDC, industries represented, governance arrangements and other core aspects of their WDC. More than 200 people and organisations provided feedback on the draft OiCs. This engagement helped ensure our WDC was established in ways that will best meet industry needs.

Once approved by the Minister of Education, OiCs were sent to the Governor-General for signature. On Monday 10 May 2021 Her Excellency the Governor-General, Patsy Reddy, gave Royal Assent, passing in to law, OiCs establishing the six WDCs. The legislation came into effect on 11 June 2021.

See the Services OiC – note our WDC had not selected a Māori name by the time our OiC was submitted, hence the OiC does not refer to us as Ringa Hora.

Te Kaunihera

Meet our Council

Ngā Poururuku Rāngai

Meet our Leadership Team