Our privacy policy

Te Matatapu

Last updated 23 January 2019
Last updated 23 January 2019

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) (referred to in this privacy policy as "we", "our" or "us") aims to provide you with the best possible service and information.

We acknowledge that personal information about you is given in trust and confidence, and as such, the privacy and protection of your information is of absolute importance to us.

We comply with the Privacy Act 1993 when handing personal information. Our principal address is Level 9, 44 The Terrace, Wellington. 

This privacy policy explains how we collect, hold, use, disclose and protect your personal information. It does not limit or exclude any of your rights under the Privacy Act. Please note that certain teams within the TEC may have additional supplementary privacy policies that are more directly aligned to the specific functions that those teams perform.

What is personal information?

Personal information is information about you that identifies you, or by which your identity can reasonably be ascertained.

How do we collect and hold your personal information?

If you choose to interact with us (e.g. by telephone, text, email, online live chat, or completing forms on our websites), we will collect information directly from you. In particular, the information we collect may include any combination of the following:

  • name
  • contact information (e.g. phone, email, physical address)
  • job title and organisation
  • any interactions you have with us (e.g. time and date of contact, copies of emails or live chat transcripts, notes about the topic of conversations held over the phone or in-person)
  • demographic information for statistical purposes (e.g. gender, ethnicity)
  • other personal information as required to provide you with the service you are requesting (e.g. NSN, residency status).

If you are a student, we may also collect your personal information from the Ministry of Education (MoE) , Ministry of Social Development (Studylink), and tertiary education organisations (TEOs) to enable us to undertake our statutory functions. This is because it is not reasonably practical to collect personal information relating to your study directly from you.  

When you contact us we may create a profile of you in our customer relationship management system. The profile will hold the information we have collected from you, and the information you have provided us. This includes your contact details and details of all of our communications with you. Your customer profile will be automatically deactivated 6 weeks after your last interaction with us.

Why do we collect your information?

We collect your personal information for the purpose of providing you with the services you have authorised and requested, or for the purpose specified at the point of collection.  We also collect your personal information to:

  • respond to any questions or correspondence from you
  • eliminate the need for you to repeatedly provide us with the same information
  • assess your eligibility for our programmes, and advise you of that eligibility
  • send you information about a service you are using
  • provide you advice and information that we think may help you
  • verify your identity, and
  • ensure TEOs with which you are enrolled receive appropriate funding.

How will we use and disclose your information?

To provide you with a service you have requested, we may need to disclose your personal information to others. 

We will disclose some of your personal information to a number of our teams to enable us to provide you with our services. However, the information you provide us in your personal capacity will not be disclosed to teams that correspond with TEOs, or who do not require the information to undertake their day to day functions.

We may disclose your personal information to the Ministry of Social Development, and the Ministry of Education to help them perform their functions relating to student allowances, student loans and the administration of other aspects of the tertiary education sector. 

If you are a student, we may disclose some of your personal information (such as your eligibility for fees-free tertiary education) to TEOs so that, if you are eligible for fees-free tertiary education, you won't be charged fees to the extent that they are covered by the fees-free scheme.   

We may also disclose your personal information if:

  • you authorise the disclosure
  • we believe the disclosure is necessary to protect our rights or property (including, without limitation, our employees or contractors), or enforce any legal rights we may have
  • we believe the disclosure is necessary to protect the rights, property and safety of you, us or others
  • we believe the disclosure is necessary to assist a law enforcement agency or an agency responsible for national security in the performance or their functions
  • the information, which does not identify you, will be used for statistical or research purposes, and will not be published in a way that will identify you, or
  • we are required or permitted by law to disclose the information.

Security of personal information

Security of personal information is important to us, and we take all reasonable precautions to protect personal information from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. 

Some of the ways we protect personal information include:

  • external and internal premises security
  • storing your information in access-controlled systems
  • restricting access to your personal information to staff who need it to perform their day to day functions, and to provide you with the best service
  • ongoing auditing of our use of personal information, and
  • providing training on the Privacy Act to all of our staff.

Statistical information

We collect non-identifying statistical information about all visits to this website. Those statistics allow us to assess the number of visitors to different sections of the website, identify what information is of interest, monitor system performance and help us make the website more useful to visitors.

Cookies

We use a technology commonly referred to as ’cookies’. A cookie is a token that is stored on your computer. When you access tec.govt.nz the token acts as a record-keeping device. The aggregate data is collected and stored on our internal servers only, and only accessed by authorised staff. Cookies help us provide additional functionality to you and help us analyse site usage more accurately.

Most web browsers are set to accept cookies. If you do not wish to receive cookies from tec.govt.nz, you can set your browser to refuse them or to warn you when you are about to receive one. Turning off cookies will not affect your ability to use this site.

Access and correction

You have the right to request access to any personal information we hold about you, and to ask for it to be corrected if you think that it is wrong. If you’d like to exercise that right, or ask us anything else in relation to your privacy, please ask the person you are dealing with, send us an email to:

privacy.act@tec.govt.nz, or

send a letter to:

The Privacy Officer

Tertiary Education Commission

PO Box 27-048

Wellington.