15% households with school aged children without internet access       39% of Aucklanders born overseas       82% of 18 year olds have NCEA Level 2       22% unemployment for 15-24 year olds       94.6% attend pre-school       1 in 4 children in poverty       79% pass NCEA Literacy in Yr 11       76% at or above national reading standards starting high school

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Latest News


August 2018 - We had the pleasure of attending the premiere of Le Malelega a le To'elau's video about the power of the Talanoa Ato or basket, developed as part of our Talking Matters campaign.


Our August Newsletter is Out Now

Call to review IELTS for migrant teachers, 10 new SouthSci projects, SouthSci showcase of the first three years, Talking Matters in home languages for Māngere, Meet our new Kaumātua, Our latest submissions, Notices and much more ... Read all our great stories in one place 


 Learners in Auckland are missing out on great teachers because of unreasonable English language requirements for migrant teachers - requirements that most New Zealand-born professionals would struggle to meet. 

These unnecessarily high, academic IELTS requirements are contributing to our worsening teacher shortage and harming the early childhood sector in particular. 

That's why at COMET we are backing a call for Parliament to review the application of IELTS requirements, especially for Pasifika ECEs. You can help by circulating a petition from the Early Childhood Council.


August 2018 - Out now! Our SouthSci Showcase 2015-17 has stories and photos from all 24 of our participatory science projects funded during the first three years.  


August 2018 - Making fabric books for younger brothers and sisters is a big hit, judging by Talking Matters' stall at Saturday's Winter Wonderland in Glen Innes.



August 2018 - Ten new SouthSci projects are underway in 2018 in south Auckland with topics ranging from edible insects and bioplastics, to raising queen bees and ‘smart’ recycling bins that signal when they’re full. 



August 2018 - We are honoured to welcome our new kaumātua - Tame Te Rangi (Ngāti Whātua) and Rereata ‘Ral’ Makiha (Te Mahurehure, Te Arawa). 


July 2018 - Invitation for Māngere parents and teachers to join Talking Matters working group


Farewell to Trustees

July 2018 - COMET has farewelled two long-serving trustees, Brian Putt and Julie Dent. They have stepped down after reaching the end of their second terms on the board in June. We thank them for their significant contribution to COMET over the past six years.  


Youth Employability in the news

July 2018 - Our YEP: Licence to Work partners YOUthInspire down in Wainuiomata scored an excellent Radio New Zealand interview about their success getting young people in the Hutt ready for work and into jobs - 400 jobs secured so far, 200 businesses involved. Doing a great job on air were chair Matt Reid and one of their success stories, Jazmine Kupenga - seen here with Nine to Noon host Lynn Freeman, and Youth Inspire manager Ali Black. Have a listen here. 


June 2018 - COMET Auckland board member Caroline Ligi Harris is breaking new ground in trades training. 




June 2018 - Thanks to everyone who took part in our annual stakeholder survey. A fantastic 90.6% (that’s the dark blue and green in the pie chart) rated COMET’s work in supporting education and skills throughout Auckland as valuable or very valuable.



June 2018 - The deadline for submissions on the Government's Education Conversation - Kōrero Mātauranga has been extended to 15th June. If you haven't had your say yet, why not get some ideas from the feedback at our annual COMET stakeholders' consultation?


Submission on EdConvo18

June 2018 - Key messages from our own experience about what's important for education in future. Download our submission (pdf).


June 2018 - Change is all around. We're moving office. Plus, COMET's four messages from our experience about what's important for the future of education.


May 2018 - NEXT Foundation has announced it is extending its investment in Talking Matters, a COMET campaign that promotes the importance of rich language and interaction with babies and young children. 


May 2018 - The first Tāmaki Makaurau Education Forum for 2018 highlighted the kaupapa of taiohi with a report back from April's Youth Wānanga by students from kura kaupapa and mainstream schools, and a presentation from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.


May 2018 - Our STEM and SouthSci manager, Dr Sarah Morgan, was the opening keynote speaker at the inaugural STEAM Education Summit in Auckland. 


 April 2018 - We’re pleased to announce funding for our first participatory science project for 2018 – algae for biofuel at Manurewa High School.


 April 2018 - More than 60 rangatahi from high schools and wharekura around Auckland took part in our inaugural Youth Education Wānanga.


In the Media

15 January 2018. Qualified welcome to Nikki Kaye's proposed languages bill (press release) Scoop

15 January 2018. Monolingual no more: Kiwi kids take up diverse languages NZ Herald

4 March 2018. Bridging the employment gap in Gisborne Gisborne Herald

11 March 2018. Why aren’t Kiwi kids good with their money? NZ Herald

6 April 2018. Building the next generation of engineers. FOCUS on Innovation

12 April 2018. NCEA pass rate improvements may be over. Radio NZ Morning Report  

12 April 2018. Youth Education Wānanga (Item starts @9:40mins) Te Kāea, Maori TV



April 2018 - COMET’s formal submission on the draft Auckland Plan 2050 highlighted ways to promote better and fairer outcomes for education, skills and lifelong learning.

We suggested several places where the goals would be strengthened by:

Adding some specific measures to the monitoring framework

An extra Focus Area 8 for Transport and Access - Move to free public transport for all students.

In response to an invitation from the Ministry of Education, COMET has also made a submission on Education Issues for Legislation in 2018 

You can read both submissions here


Youth Employability

March 2018 - Our Youth Employability Programme - Licence to Work is underway again in 14 regions around the country, from the Far North to Marlborough. 

There are 48 schools and organisations taking part this year, including eight secondary schools and four wharekura in Auckland. 

Outside Auckland, 36 schools and organisations across 13 regions are either running YEP or have plans to do so later in the year. 


Latest Snapshot Auckland is out now - March 2018

COMET Auckland is delighted to release Snapshot Auckland 2017, the latest in our popular series of data updates on education, training and skills in Auckland. 

Snapshot Auckland 2017 brings together useful information on learning pathways in Auckland, from early learning, through school to tertiary education and employment.

It looks at enrolments, staffing ratios, learning of te reo Māori and other languages, achievement and qualifications, and post-study employment and earnings.  

We’ve got some more detailed commentary below, but some of the highlights include:

  • A special feature on how the high and rising cost of housing and living in Auckland is affecting education for students, families and teachers. 

  • Data on school leavers that show we are failing to prepare significant numbers of young Aucklanders to earn a living, with more than 25,000 aged 15-24 not in education, employment or training last year.

  • Challenging statistics on te reo Māori and other languages in schools.

So there is still a great deal to do to make our education system more equitable for all Aucklanders. We need different kinds of collaboration if we are to transform the lives of our children, families and communities.

We hope you find our Snapshot Auckland 2017 useful to start discussions around education, skills and life-long learning in communities.

The snapshot can be downloaded from our website so please feel free to share the link with your networks and on social media. We would welcome your comments by email as well.    

Please contact Shaheeda to order a printed copy. 

We are now working on data snapshots for each of Auckland Council’s 21 local boards.


Snapshot Auckland 2017 looks at how the high and rising cost of housing and living in Auckland is affecting education.



Snapshot Auckland 2017 shows we are failing to prepare a significant number of young Aucklanders for employment.


Snapshot Auckland 2017 raises some challenging statistics on learning of te reo Māori and other languages in schools. 


PS: About National Standards

You will notice Snapshot Auckland 2017 includes data on National Standards. With the Government’s decision to scrap National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori we understand the 2016 figures in our snapshot will be the last to be reported, certainly on a regional or national level. We are looking at other ways to report on primary and intermediate achievement in future.  


December 2017 - Students from East Tāmaki School took centre stage to present their worm tea chemistry project at the annual Science Communicators Association of NZ conference.   



November 2017 - Our first iwi-led SouthSci project trialling a flounder hatchery to restock the Manukau Harbour, now has live fish in the tank. 


 October 2017 - The launch of COMET's special Five Years Report by councillor Penny Hulse was a highlight of our AGM in Glen Innes. The report looks at COMET's move to a regional organisation with Auckland's amalgamation, at our achievements and the challenges ahead. 



October 2017 - We’ve had a birth in the family! The Talking Matters Movement is the result of connecting the inspiring mothers from Granger Grove with Insight Tamaki, a collective of parent social researchers. 


October 2017 - Some of the wonderful work of our budding scientists was on show at the 2017 SouthSci symposium hosted by Fisher & Paykel Healthcare this month.  


October 2017 - Around 60 students from three Auckland secondary schools graduated with their Licence to Work at a special ceremony this month.