Our commitment to you

We try to resolve learner concerns and complaints fairly, promptly, and through easy-to-follow processes.

Getting started

Before pursuing a formal complaint or appeal, you are encouraged to resolve any concerns informally. You can do this by discussing your concern with your Lecturer, Programme Coordinator, Academic Programme Manager, or Head of School or accessing one of Unitec’s Student Support Services. Unitec also offers Te Hohourongo (PDF, 44.2KB), an ancestral conflict resolution process.

If informal resolution does not lead to a suitable outcome, one of the processes below may help. Please take a few moments to read through all the relevant information and timeframes aligned with each process.

If you have any questions or need help understanding which process to choose, please reach out to one of Unitec’s Student Support Services.

Process Timeframes and Restrictions
Feedback Unlimited
Formal Complaint Within 21 days of the incident or issue    
Reconsideration of Assessment Decision or Course Final Grade Within 10 working days of the grade publication date
Appeals Within 7 working days of receiving the decision to be appealed
External Complaint Options Varies


If you wish to remain anonymous or do not want to go through formal investigation required as part of the Formal complaint process, you can submit feedback through the Student Feedback Page. Your feedback will be passed to the relevant area or manager, and a record will be kept for internal reporting purposes.

Formal complaint

A formal complaint is an opportunity for a formal process of resolution to occur when a learner is dissatisfied and wants to seek a form of redress or change in situation. Ākonga submitting complaints should have been directly and significantly adversely impacted. Formal complaints are investigated and information, including what the complaint is about and the outcome of the investigation, is shared with all parties involved. Formal complaints cannot be made anonymously. 

For raising a reconsideration of an assessment decision or course final grade, please complete the form available on the Assessment Decision and Final Grade Reconsideration webpage.

Please take a few moments to read through our Ākonga Concerns and Complaints Policy (PDF, 181KB) and Ākonga (Student) Complaints Procedure.

How to make a formal complaint

  1. Before making a formal complaint, please seek advice from the range of Student Support Services, including the Student Advocate. The team can often assist in resolving issues and concerns informally, which can be quicker. 
  2. If informal resolution fails (or is not suitable), then within 21 days of the incident, you may choose to make a formal complaint.
  3. Please complete the Notice of Formal Complaint Form (PDF, 111KB) and send it to the email address provided within the form.

How the formal complaint process works

The process below outlines what happens when your submit a formal complaint. From the submission of your formal complaint:

  1. The Complaints Administrator will send you an email confirming your complaint has been received, and request any further information required to process it.
  2. Your complaint will be passed on to the relevant Manager or Director and an Investigator will be assigned to your complaint. 
  3. The Investigator will introduce themselves to you and where possible, arrange a time to meet with you. You are encouraged to bring a support person with you to this meeting.
  4. The Investigator will look into your complaint and update you on their progress.
  5. You will receive the decision about your complaint. We endeavour to provide this within 30 days, but will inform you if it will be longer.
  6. At this stage, you can either accept the decision or appeal.

For timings and further details about the process, please read the Ākonga (student) complaint procedure and view this Formal Complaint Guidance (PDF, 108KB).

Reconsideration of Assessment Decision or Course Final Grade

Go to the Reconsideration of Assessment Decision or Course Final Grade page.


Not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint?

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint or another decision, you might be able to appeal. An appeal must be submitted within 7 working days of receiving the outcome from your complaint or other decision. You will need to be able to prove that you can meet grounds for appeal.

How to make an appeal

  1. Read the Ākonga Appeals Policy (PDF, 225KB).
  2. Decide what your appeal is about.
  3. Decide what the grounds for appeal are. You will need to prove that you have grounds to appeal, so this is a very important step.
  4. Seek support from the Student Advocate or an independent advocate.
  5. Complete the Notice of Appeal form (PDF, 88KB).
  6. Email the form to appeals@unitec.ac.nz along with any evidence.
What is the appeal about? What are the grounds for appeal? (choose one)
  • The outcome of the Reconsideration of an Assessment or a Final Grade 
  • The outcome of a Formal Complaint 
  • A Postgraduate Research and Scholarships decision
  • There is new information which was previously unavailable
  • There was a flaw in the process
An outcome of a formal Student Disciplinary Statute investigation 
  • The investigation was unfair or biased
  • That the decision could not reasonably be made on the evidence
  • New evidence has become available which could affect the decision
  • The disciplinary action/s taken were out of proportion to the full circumstances of the case

What happens next?

  1. You will receive an email to let you know the appeal application has been received.
  2. If any more information is required, you will be asked to provide it.
  3. Your application to appeal will be reviewed to see if the grounds are met or not.
  4. If the grounds are met, you will be asked to attend a panel hearing.
  • Upheld: In this case, your appeal will be considered and you will receive an email explaining what will happen next. You will be asked to attend a Panel Hearing
  • Not Upheld: If the grounds for an appeal have not been met, you will receive an email explaining why this decision was made.

Not satisfied with the outcome of your appeal?

You may be able to appeal at a higher level to the Te Pūkenga Academic Board (Te Ohu Whakahaere) if you are able to prove one of two grounds for appeal are met. Follow these steps:

  1. Read the Ākonga Appeals Policy (PDF, 225KB).
  2. Seek support from the Student Advocate or an independent advocate
  3. Submit the appeal within 7 working days of receiving the Appeal Panel's decision. Attach a copy of the Appeal Panel's decision along with any evidence.

To view all our Policies, visit our Unitec Policies page.

External Complaint Options

a) Tertiary and International Learners Code of Practice

The Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 confirms the government’s expectations of tertiary and international education providers to support the well-being and safety of their ākonga.

b) Ākonga complaints about Unitec’s compliance with the Code of Practice

If ākonga nō Aotearoa | domestic ākonga or ākonga nō tāwāhi | international ākonga have a complaint about Unitec’s compliance with the Code of Practice, they should try and resolve it by using the above process in the first instance. If their complaint is not resolved, they can take their complaint to one of the following agencies:

NZQA (domestic and international) NZQA handles all complaints about alleged non-compliance with the Code of Practice, other than financial and contractual disputes.

Dispute Resolution Service
Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira is the appointed operator of Education (Domestic Tertiary Student and International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme) Rules 2023 set up to resolve financial and contractual matters and claims for redress linked to breaches of the code.

Other Options also include the Disputes Tribunal, the Human Rights Commission or the Ombudsman.

Annual reporting of complaints

Need advice, support, or guidance?

The following Unitec Support Services are available to you and can help support you navigate any of the above processes or support informal resolution:

The Student Advocate provides advice and guidance if you are experiencing issues that are impacting your studies. 

Student Support Advisors are available to provide guidance and support around informal and formal complaints.

International Students can seek the support and guidance from International Student Advisors