EcoQuest at all times conducts its dealings with students in a fair and equitable manner and complies with specific requirements of the New Zealand Education Act 1989 and other relevant legislation. 

Rights, Responsibilities & Rules

Right to due process.
Students are guaranteed the right of a fair hearing and appeal in matters of judgment of academic performance and personal conduct.

Right of confidentiality of student academic records
Academic records are maintained at EcoQuest, and right of access to these records is provided to the student & senior management of EcoQuest. You may access or request correction of any information held about you. Your academic records may be shared with external agencies, which may include: 

  • Ministry of Education/Tertiary Education Commission
  • NZQA 
  • Studylink (for loans, allowances etc)
  • Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ)
  • Industry Training Organisations (ITO)
  • New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS) 

EcoQuest students have a right to enquire about: 

  • What information is being collected
  • Why it is being collected 
  • Who will receive and hold the information 
  • If applicable, the law under which the information is being collected, and whether providing the information is voluntary or mandatory under that law 
  • The consequences (if any) for you if all or part of the requested information is not provided

Responsibilities for standards of conduct

Students will adhere to the code of conduct and EcoQuest regulations, policies and rules as specified by EcoQuest management.

Academic responsibilities
Each student will be responsible for meeting the standards established for the EcoQuest program in which he/she is enrolled. 

Responsibilities with regard to safety
Students have the responsibility to observe all of EcoQuest's health & safety, risk management, emergency response policies and associated plans and procedures, rules, and operating procedures. 


EcoQuest has policies, rules and regulations pertaining to student conduct (see How We Operate), and specific rules pertaining to component parts and activities of the EcoQuest programs.  Rules for specific activities will be made explicit to all students prior to commencement of the activity.   

Disciplinary Procedures

Where students are found to be in breach of EcoQuest regulations, policies and/or rules, disciplinary action will be taken.

Verbal warning

Following a case of misconduct which, in the eyes of EcoQuest management does not warrant more serious consideration, the student will receive a verbal warning as soon as possible following the incident.  Such a warning will be delivered by one of the EcoQuest managers, in the presence of another staff member.

Written warning

If student conduct does not improve following a verbal warning, a notice in writing will be delivered by one of the EcoQuest managers to the student, to inform the student that he/she is violating or has violated published EcoQuest regulations, policies and/or rules.  This notice will outline:

  • the nature of the misconduct    
  • expected improvement, mitigation and/or restitution (compensation for loss, damage or injury);
  • the timeframe within which improvement, mitigation / restitution is to take place;
  • consequences and sanctions if no improvement, mitigation / restitution is achieved. Consequences may include loss of privileges, and/or expulsion from the program;
  • such other conditions as EcoQuest deems appropriate.

In cases of severe or repeated misconduct, a student will be expelled from the program. Expulsion will not be considered lightly, and will, in most cases, follow failure to achieve improvements, mitigation and/or restitution following a written warning.

In cases of any act or omission, which in the opinion of EcoQuest management constitutes grave misconduct, a student will be expelled immediately without verbal or written warnings. If the student is in New Zealand on a student visa, management, as required by law, will immediately inform the NZ Immigration Service of the student’s termination of study. This will affect the immigration status of the student.

Legal consequences
For some instances of misconduct, students will face civil or criminal legal consequences or proceedings.  When a student is charged by legal authorities with violation of the law, EcoQuest will not request or agree to special considerations for that individual because of his or her status as a student. 

Rights of all parties during the disciplinary process
Students who are charged with alleged violation of EcoQuest policies, rules or regulations, can expect the following:

  1. Fair notice, in writing, of charges, including time and place of the alleged violation so that he/she understands the charges being made against him/her.
  2. Knowledge of the name(s) of the person(s) bringing the charges.
  3. The EcoQuest management will deal with the charges in a meeting to be held with the student charged.  The student will be entitled to assistance from the Field Leader or other representation or support from whanau at the meeting.
  4. The complainant will have the right to attend the meeting, and the student will be given the opportunity to address the charges.  The complainant will be entitled to assistance from the Field Leader or other representation or support from whanau at the meeting.
  5. The meeting may be adjourned at the request of any party if such adjournment will better allow principles of natural justice to be observed.
  6. The student charged may request an appeal of decision/outcome of conflict resolution meetings.

Grievance Procedures

Complaint procedures are available to any student enrolled in an EcoQuest program who believes that an EcoQuest staff member has not acted according to the published policies, rules and regulations of EcoQuest.

Internal Processes

If you have concerns about something that has directly affected you at EcoQuest, it’s very important that you give us the opportunity to respond to your concerns. You may do this informally in the first instance (for example, discussing an academic issue with one of the faculty), but if you feel an informal approach is too intimidating, unsafe or ineffective, use our formal complaints procedures. These procedures will be in place so that an atmosphere of trust and positive problem solving is maintained at all times.

  1. A student should discuss his/her concerns directly with the staff member and seek a resolution.  However, if the student feels that direct discussion would be counter-productive or if, after consulting with the staff member, a student still has a complaint, he/she should talk with a  Senior Manager. If no satisfactory resolution is achieved, the student (or someone representing the student) should review the situation with the staff member with whom the complaint is concerned, and set up a mediation meeting. 
  2. At a mediation meeting, the student and his/her support people (whanau support, staff member and/or other spokesperson chosen by the student) and the staff member with whom the complaint is concerned (with support people of his/her choice) and one of the senior managers of EcoQuest will discuss the grievances held by the student and endeavour to arrive at a solution.  Within five days of the meeting, the senior manager will provide the student with a summary of the meeting, including any agreements that were arrived at during the meeting. If this process results in a resolution, the student must acknowledge the resolution in a letter to the senior manager and/or may arrange to meet to finalize any agreements, and the matter will rest there.
  3. If no resolution is reached, one of the senior managers will arrange for a formal meeting of the student and staff member involved in the complaint, and two members of the EcoQuest Board of Trustees.  At this meeting, both the student and the staff member may choose to bring support people, spokes people, or advocates.  A written report will be issued within 48 hours of this meeting to both parties stating EcoQuest’s decision. 

External Processes
If the outcome of the internal procedure(s) is unsatisfactory, the student will be advised to contact The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to seek resolution for the complaint.


To make a formal complaint about an organisation, download the complaint form here and send along with any supporting evidence, to:

The Complaints Officer
Quality Assurance Division
PO Box 160
Wellington 6140

phone 0800 697297