The History of CATE

Background to the establishment of CATE


1985: Initial meeting at the old CIT to discuss forming an association….linked to the Scott Report (Noel Scott) re concerns that young Maori (especially males) were leaving school very early without any career plan.


Mid 1980’s: Transition Education division of the Education Department formed.

      • Skill NZ (TEC) developed pre-employment programme for 15-16 year olds. A Transition Education division of the Education Department was formed. Transition officers received a set time allowance of a half day a week for every 250 students or part of.  Funding was available for schools ‘in the know’
      • In Dec 1987 Phil Goff made more money available.  It was targeted and accountable; some was used for travel and administration as students had to be tracked for three years from leaving school.
      • Careers and Transition departments were often quite separate


1986: Transition Education Association of Aotearoa set up at Lincoln Conference


1987: Probable formal registration and ratification at Auckland Conference

  • People involved around this time included Alan Hair, Whari Timoana, Rachael Selby Moore, John Tapiata, Alan Hair and Keith Thompson. Ruth Moorhouse was very active in developing resources (Hagley High was a lead school)
  • The Executive was made up of two representatives from each region, of which at least one member had to be Maori
  • The regions were fewer and bigger.
  • Exec meetings were held on Marae and conferences either on Marae or in a similar situation during the August holidays. Some early conferences were at Whangara 1991, Wellington Tapu Te Ranga, Knos College Dunedin, Whanganui Collegiate.  Marae based activities stopped in 1993. The first hotel-based conference was in Rotorua, 1996.


1989: Tomorrow’s Schools – removal of targeted funding for Transition.

      • School counsellors became an option instead of or as well as Careers advisers with schools given non-targeted funding to be shared.
      • The power shifted to the principals and away from the Careers area.


July 1990: Quest Rapuara (Careers Services) & NZQA formed


Early 1990’s: Name changed to Careers & Transition Education Association

      • At the same time, the NAGs were instituted; money started flowing to Careers – the new buzz word.
      • Transition money was untagged but still included in the Bulk Operations Grant))
      • Around this time a lot more students were returning to Year 13 (Seventh Form) who were not suited for University.
      • LINK morphed into STAR, with the money being taken from Tertiary providers and given to Careers Rapuara to manage.


1999: The make up of the Executive membership was changed to remove the ‘two members, one to be Maori’ clause.



  • Founded –to help young Maori Transitions
  • Careers areas recognised and funded
  • Tomorrows Schools shifted power to principals
  • Careers became the buzz word
  • The power follows the money
  • We are now back to a strong focus on Maori and enabling transitions for all students


  • Thanks to Liz Gray, Life Member