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FREE practical courses for 16-19 year olds. Gain qualifications in a range of exciting industries!

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We have six tertiary campuses across the South Island of New Zealand.

Our Community Colleges...

Youth Service - helping young people get into education, training or work-based learning.

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We nurture and promote values such as respect, honesty and integrity.

Our Values...

Small class sizes mean we see you as an individual not just a number.

It's about your needs...

The outdoors & adventure is incorporated into all of our training programmes.

Your key to success....
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You'll get qualifications, practical skills and confidence to pursue your chosen career.

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Our tutors are passionate about their subject, love to teach and really know their stuff.

Our teaching is rated as excellent...


We have continually adapted and grown since our humble beginnings in 1983.

The 1970s - high unemployment was on the horizon
In the late 1970s, Tony Hall, Director and co-founder of Community Colleges New Zealand, was concerned about future unemployment growth, particularly among school leavers.  Tony met Richard Higham who informed him of an enterprise trust concept in the north of England where local communities got together to look at new initiatives to help provide jobs for people in their region.  

The early 1980s - an idea was born
A survey around North Canterbury schools in the early 80s projected 2228 future graduates at a time when local businesses showed that just 83 new jobs would be created.  In 1982,  a chance meeting between Tony and Alex Murray led to the creation of The Rangiora Enterprise Trust. The main aim of the Trust was to attract emerging businesses to North Canterbury and during this time they became aware of the growing mismatch between people who wanted jobs and the small number of jobs available for those with experience. To help combat the issue the Trust founded The Rangiora Training Institute in 1983 and the first tutor, Dick Zant, ran his horticultural course out of an old bike shed in the grounds of a former hostel at Rangiora High School in North Canterbury. Eventually the Institute (later known as The Rangiora Academy) moved into some of the hostel's dilapidated buildings and expanded their programmes.

"We ran practical programmes so people could say 'this is what I did', rather than 'this is what I learned", says Tony.

The mid 1980s &1990s
In the mid 80s the Rangiora Academy took off when the government appointed it as a pilot to run what would become the "Access" educational programme.    At the time no other training institute was offering practical, vocational training and so the network of Colleges grew South Island wide to include Marlborough, South Canterbury, Dunedin and Southland in addition to North Canterbury. Many new programmes were introduced and by the 1990s formal national qualifications were offered to students under the NZQA framework.

2000 to the present
In 2002 the organisation became known as Community Colleges New Zealand and in 2005 it formally adopted a wholly charitable status.  The non-profit status of the organisation provided many opportunities including the improvement of its governance structure, the ability to source grants and sponsorship and to apply surpluses to priority areas.  In late 2013, Nelson became the newest location to be added to the College network. Thousands of students have now passed through Community College NZ's six Colleges.