Hospitality Culinary Koha Project

Have your say by 10 May 2024

Ringa Hora Services Workforce Development Council has been working on a project to reform the way the competence of culinary practitioners in Aotearoa New Zealand is recognised and assessed. We collaborated with Industry and Te Pūkenga on this project and are now inviting your feedback on the updated draft credentials. 

Seeking Further Feedback

We have considered the feedback on the suite of draft new proposed qualifications and skill standards, and this has resulted in changes. The modified versions are shown below for your consideration, and we are seeking further feedback by 10 May 2024.

There are only minor changes to the proposed new qualifications as previously promulgated:

  • There are still qualifications from Levels 3-7 proposed but note there are no skill standards being developed at level 7.
  • A strand has been added to the level 3 qualification in “proficiency.” This is intended to enable the entrant to the industry to obtain a basic 40 credits qualification showing competence in the kitchen. Those enthusiastic in beginning and pursuing a career will be able to complete a 20-credit strand, before committing themselves to level 4.
  • The level 4 qualification is rated at 80 credits allowing the ākonga to begin mastering the techniques.
  • These qualifications are intended to replace existing cookery qualifications. However, to allow time for adjustment there will be a 3-year expiry date for the replaced qualifications.

If you are in support of these qualifications, please send your endorsement using this form and returning to, or by sending a message, [email protected].

Draft Qualifications

There are more significant changes to the range and content of draft Level 3 and 4 skill standards.

The language and content of previous drafts have been changed, and new drafts added to broaden the opportunities for achieving the qualification outcomes. Further changes are:

  • Learning outcomes simplified and clarified.
  • Assessment criteria simplified and clarified.
  • Language simplified.
  • Suggested method of assessment removed.
  • Suggested scenarios removed.
  • Additional definitions added.
  • Indicative content clarified.

We are still working on the adjustments to the proposed Level 5 and Level 6 skill standards and will share these when available.

Draft Standards

Code Title Credits
Level 3 – Baking Create baked food products in a culinary context 5
Level 3 – Cold Larder Cold larder food preparation 5
Level 3 – Technical Essential Skills Apply essential culinary skills 20
Level 3 – Cultural Occasion Create a contemporary food product for a cultural occasion 5
Level 3 – Food Safety Apply food safety practices in a food-related workplace 5
Level 3 – Foraged Foraging for Food for service in a culinary context 5
Level 3 – Knife Skills Developing culinary knife competence and care 5
Level 3 -Local Ingredients Create a contemporary food product featuring local ingredients 5
Level 3 – Meat Substitute Prepare and cook food products using meat substitutes in a culinary context 5
Level 3 – Seasonal Ingredients Create a contemporary food product featuring seasonal ingredients 5
Level 3 – Special Diet Apply knowledge of dietary requirements in a culinary context 5
Level 3 – Street Food Prepare and cook street food products 5
Level 4 – Knife Skills Knife skill proficiency in a culinary context 15
Level 4 – Technical-Dry Mastering the techniques of dry cookery 10
Level 4 – Technical-Fat Mastering the techniques of fat-based cookery 15
Level 4 – Technical-Moist Mastering the techniques of moist cookery 15


Please fill out this feedback form or send your feedback to us at [email protected].

We will also be happy to organise online meetings to discuss and potentially to further refine drafts in April and May 2024. If you would like to set up a meeting, please contact us at [email protected].

Next steps

Once we have received and considered your feedback, we propose making any further adjustments prior to submitting the credentials to NZQA for quality assurance. The intent is to replace the existing cookery qualifications and unit standards, allowing three years for providers to transition to the new credentials.

We are also exploring cookery pathway options for schools as a separate project.

Background on the Culinary Koha Project

After consultation through twenty-four on-line and several in person interviews predominantly with industry and in the presence of providers, we found industry wanted and needed the following skills developed in staff: 

  • Technical culinary knowledge and skill 
  • Organisational/Time Management/Workflow 
  • Agility in dealing with problems 
  • Manaakitanga 
  • Kotahitanga/Whanaungatanga – teamwork, interpersonal skills 
  • Leadership, developing wellbeing within the workplace 
  • Financial literacy 
  • Sustainability (social, environmental, business) 

We have built: 

  • drafts for a range of qualifications with broadly stated outcomes
  • corresponding draft skill standards covering food preparation and cooking techniques rather than the execution of specific dishes. This makes the learning available in the widest number of contexts.

Motivating Plan/Kaupapa 

It is the intention of the development team at Ringa Hora to widen the opportunities to demonstrate the skills of culinary arts in different workplaces with minimal requirements for off-site provider-based training for work-based learning.

Draft standards have also been developed for non-technical areas and they will be finalised later by working with Ohu Ahumahi and NZQA, so that programmes of training can be compiled and completed.




The focus is on technical knowledge and skills of culinary processes for food preparation, rather than specific dishes, in the draft skill standards. 

Consultation feedback on previous drafts of qualifications and skill standards

Feedback on the draft qualifications and standards was received November – December 2023. A summary of the feedback received and response to feedback is shown below:

Major Issues from Feedback

Response to Feedback Issues

Call for consultation with industry (4 responses). The first issue is regarded as based on failure to realise that the whole project expressed the wishes of industry. However, further opportunity for consultation is being given now.
How will current qualifications be affected? 11 current qualifications will be replaced. However, owing to the significance of the change a three-year period of transition before their expiry will be built in.
Clarity of skill standards (2 responses). Additional material has been added to the skill standard drafts.
Te reo Māori an obstacle to understanding. The use of te reo and the quality of evidence for assessment and content for learning and its arrangement have been redone.
Level 3 basic as is level 4 (3 responses). The contents of the level 3 and 4 qualifications are reformed with higher levels of learning required.
Confusion over terminology cookery techniques. The terminology is standard for industry usage, but where there is potential doubt additional content has been added.
Recommendation for organisation. And use sub-headings in content. Headings have been applied to indicative content.
Admiration way students present knowledge and skill rather than cook a dish. It is intended that ākonga acquire technical and theoretical knowledge of cooking and develop these skills rather than merely follow a recipe.
Requirement for skill Standards on Māori and Pasifika cuisine. It is considered that the skill standards are written in such a way that any Māori, or Pasifika cookery method could be used to meet the criteria