Welcome to Te Rito

Te Rito is a national information-sharing platform that enables ākonga and learner information to follow them throughout their education.

Join Te Rito. Click here to join Te Rito and connect your SMS

Tumuaki and principals are invited to connect their SMS to Te Rito to ensure learner information travels with them when they change schools.

It will be several years before all kura and schools are onboarded and can use Te Rito but this critical step will secure learner information before end-of-year transitions.

Sign up to Te Rito now

Our tamariki and children are our taonga - our treasure. The information held about them is also taonga and requires care and respect. It’s precious to our tamariki and children, to their whānau and families, and to the iwi and communities in which they live and learn. 

Te Rito will make a positive difference to the wellbeing and achievement of ākonga and learners by securely storing and sharing information in a transparent and trusted way. 

What we're planning for 2023-24

Since Te Rito was paused in 2021, we have addressed the technical barriers to the secure transfer of data from SMS into Te Rito, enabling the programme to be restarted safely. We are working closely with the Te Rito sector working groups, Te Rau Whakatupu Māori and Te Rau Whakatupu Auraki, to plan and implement the restart.

We will focus on enabling data to follow ākonga and learners by connecting kura and schools to Te Rito. Our current plan is to upgrade existing users, then extend deployment on a targeted basis, starting with kura and schools in Te Tai Tokerau, Northland, in 2024. 

In line with our kaupapa, sector engagement and co-design is at the forefront of all decision-making. We are working with Ngā Rau Whakatupu to co-design the restart, with the intention that implementing Te Rito in kura and schools will be led by the sector.

The groups are strongly committed to achieving the aims of Te Rito:

  • to enable ākonga and learner data to follow them throughout their education journeys
  • to protect ākonga and learner data from cyber-attack and privacy breaches.

Feedback is welcome and questions are encouraged. Please email them to terito@education.govt.nz.

Scope & Objectives

  • Establish an independent Te Rito Data Kaitiakitanga Group to oversee the access and use of information held in Te Rito, and determine who can use learner data, for what purpose and under what conditions. This will include making recommendations on requests for aggregated data in Te Rito, such as from researchers, the Ministry of Education, or other education agencies.
  • Connect early learning providers, kura and schools that were part of the early-stage roll-out to the upgraded Te Rito platform from term 4. (Note that apart from the participants in the early-stage rollouts, early learning providers are out of scope for the Te Rito restart.) 
  • Extend deployment to kura and schools beginning with members of Ngā Rau Whakatupu who wish to opt-in, followed by deploying Te Rito into Whangārei and then Te Tai Tokerau kura and schools from term 1, 2024
  • Connect Ko Taku Reo – Deaf Education NZ to trial learner access for specialist, provision and outreach schools
  • Continue to upgrade security, connect SMS and build data resilience.

young children playing at a preschool


The name Te Rito represents the baby flax at the heart of the harakeke. 

Te Rito has the tamaiti and child, and their whānau and family, at its heart. They are at the centre of everything we do.

We are guided in the design and implementation of Te Rito by a whakatauākī we have been gifted permission to use:

Me tiaki te mana o te tamaiti me tōna whānau

Protect and uphold the mana of the child and their whānau

Harakeke plant

How Te Rito got its name

Te Rito is the inner leaf, the baby flax, at the heart of the harakeke. The name Te Rito was gifted to the programme by Te Aupouri, Aotearoa’s second most northern iwi.

Te Rito represents the tamaiti or child, surrounded by protective outer leaves, which represent whānau, family, hāpori, community, kaiako, teachers, educators, kura and schools.

The name Te Rito reflects our guiding principle: Me tiaki te mana o te tamaiti me tōna whānau | Protect and uphold the mana of the child and their whānau. This principle was established early in the development of Te Rito through the mahi of Te Rau Whakatupu Māori

Te Rau Whakatupu Māori and all those involved in developing and implementing Te Rito acknowledge that data held about ākonga and learners is taonga and must be protected accordingly. This is expressed in the whakatauākī below which was gifted along with the name Te Rito by Te Aupouri, whose ancestor, Meri Ngaroto, is credited with the whakatauākī:


Hutia te rito o te harakeke

If the heart of the harakeke (flax) was removed

Kei whea te kōmako e kōGreen and white illustration of Te Rito harakeke or flax

Where then would the bellbird sing?

Kī mai ki ahau:

If I was asked:

'He aha e mea nui o te ao?'

What is the most important thing in the world?

Māku e kī atu:

I would say:

'He tangata, he tangata, he tangata'.

'It is people, it is people, it is people'.

- Meri Ngaroto

We thank Te Aupouri and Te Rau Whakatupu - Māori and recognise their knowledge and contribution as a taonga for the benefit of all New Zealanders.


Te ("Tent" short sound)

Ri ("Reed" rolled "r")

to ("Tort" short sound)


Te Ao Māori approach

We are committed to working with Māori and iwi in a way that reflects our Treaty partnership and honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

We continue to work closely with Te Rau Whakatupu Māori to co-design Te Rito and lead its implementation. As part of the restart of Te Rito we are extending our engagement to seek input from iwi and whānau.

At a national level, we are seeking advice and input from the Mātauranga Iwi Leaders’ Group. For iwi that sit outside this forum, we will work with our Te Mahau regional offices to determine an appropriate engagement approach, recognising that each iwi has its own aspirations and interests.

At the heart of our engagement with Māori and iwi is our recognition that Māori wish to exercise sovereignty over the data held on ākonga by educators and education agencies.

Māori teacher discussing work with Māori parent