Who we are


Rangatiratanga - Leadership
Whakamana - Empowerment
Whanaungatanga - Relationships
Te Hiranga - Excellence
Te Whakaohooho - Aspirational
Ngākau - Intergrity

Adult and Community Education (ACE) Aotearoa is the lead body for adult and community educators and a voice for adult learners.

ACE Aotearoa is a dynamic network of adult and community educators committed to a society based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, a guiding framework that enables ACE Aotearoa to give due recognition to the status of Māori as Tāngata whenua, and Tāngata Tiriti as citizens of our shared country. It actively promotes and supports the diversity of lifelong learning in Aotearoa New Zealand and fosters collaboration and cooperation to the advantage of adult learners, educators, and providers.

ACE Aotearoa is a membership organisation that represents both its members and the wider ACE sector. It has three key focus areas: strategic sector leadership, sector capability building, and sector coordination.


Thriving Communities
Transforming Aotearoa


To promote, support, resource, partner and strengthen the ACE Community

What is ACE?

Adult and Community Education (ACE) is a process whereby adults choose to engage in a range of educational activities within the community. The practice fosters individual and group learning which promotes empowerment, equity, active citizenship, critical and social awareness and sustainable development. ACE occurs alongside the formal education system and is therefore accessible to all. It promotes a culture of lifelong learning. It happens in a wide range of contexts in both structured and spontaneous forms, all of which have their own value. 

It may be initiated by individual and group needs which encourage adults to learn to understand their world and to seek change within it.

The nature of ACE makes it well suited to deliver effective programmes in:

  • Adult literacy and numeracy provision
  • English language and social support programmes for speakers of other languages
  • Personal development education
  • Learning for whānau/hapū/iwi development
  • Cultural retention
  • Revitalisation of Māori language and culture
  • Education to facilitate group and community development
  • Education for social and environmental justice

Currently ACE is funded by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), through provision in schools, Tertiary Education Institutions (TEI), and Private Training Establishments (PTE) or on a user pays basis. Many community providers of ACE are not funded by the TEC. They may be accessing some government funding through other government agencies, or relying on grants and/or voluntary input.