Independent Tertiary Education NZ (ITENZ) was founded in Christchurch in 1991 as the New Zealand Association of Private Education Providers (NZAPEP). At that time very few private training establishments were receiving any funding for their students.
The aims of the Association included providing members with a united voice for PTEs in discussion with the Ministry of Education, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, politicians and the Government.
Throughout the nineties steady lobbying was a major focus of ITENZ and results were evident when in 1992 the then National Government introduced limited funding for PTE students in certain categories of study.
New Government initiatives meant that 1999 was the "transitional" funding year with 2000 being the first year that private tertiary students were able to access funding for their courses equal to that of the public institutions' students.
This meant that PTE students were at last able to play on a “level funding field” and were no longer discriminated against.
Since then the private sector has grown considerably and as an industry has become very diverse and widely dispersed.
ITENZ has also developed, and continues to do so, into a strong and credible association representing almost 57% of PTEs.