Ministry of Education

Gifted Learners

Tukuna kia rere

Events and opportunities for gifted learners

We welcome information about events or opportunities that are of interest to gifted learners, their teachers and families. If you would like to contribute an item, please contact the moderator with details, for consideration.

Global Talent Mentoring Hub

An interesting opportunity for secondary schools, kura, secondary school clusters or Kāhui Ako is the Global Online Mentoring Platform Connecting Young STEM Talents and STEM Experts. Development of the Global Talent Mentoring Hub is spearheaded by online mentoring expert Prof. Dr. Heidrun Stoeger and her full-time GTMH team at the University of Regensburg, Germany. The Global Talent Mentoring Hub is one of several projects that are part of the World Giftedness Center (WGC), a larger research undertaking that will launch in late 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The Global Talent Mentoring Hub team are seeking partner institutions to assist in finding the best mentees and mentors around the world. Partner institutions will nominate potential mentees and/or mentors in their home countries.

The attached document has more information and contact details.

Extra support package for gifted learners

As part of the package of extra support for gifted learners, there are a number of events and opportunities for gifted learners that you may be able to take part in across the country. This is a chance to work alongside your like-minded peers.

Some of these events and opportunities are already existing programmes that gifted learners are currently attending. In 2019, numbers may be limited for this reason. More spaces will become available in 2020 as the programmes expand.

If you’re interested in attending one of these events or opportunities, or if you have any questions, please contact or the organiser directly at the email addresses listed below.

There is no cost involved in participating for most of these events and opportunities (unless otherwise specified) but you may need to pay for transport to get there. Please contact the organiser for more information. If they are in school time, you will need to have the support of your parents and your school to attend.

Aurora Pae Tawhiti

Available for gifted learners in: Gisborne district

The Aurora Pae Tawhiti Programme is a specialised programme for gifted learners. It has been tailored for learners from 18 schools across Tūranganui-a-Kiwa/Poverty Bay area. The programme is about developing leadership skills, growing future farmers, through to developing chess, kitchen science and general science skills.

The focus of this programme is on rural primary schools – especially small, isolated schools who are located a long distance from Gisborne.

Some of the opportunities are already underway as part of Aurora Pae Tawhiti Programme. These include: Aurora Family Treasure Hunt Phone App – developing a phone app that will research the iconic sites in Gisborne, create a set of cryptic clues and map out a route on the phone app as a treasure hunt for whānau and families to be able to solve together.

  • Leadership Service – opportunity for gifted learners to give back to your local community and make it a better place.

  • Māori Marine Science Star Navigation – focus on Māori voyaging skills and building on strong mathematical abilities.

  • Chess Coaching/Roadshow – developing strategic thinking for those who show a natural ability in chess

  • Tairāwhiti Chess Tournament

Gifted learners are being identified by their schools within the area.


Aurora Family Treasure Hunt App: July – September and Term 3 holidays.

Leadership Service: Term 3 July – August.

Chess Coaching: Term 4 October– November

Māori Marine Science Star Navigation: Term 4 October – November

Chess Tournament: 11 September

To find out more: Contact:

Faith City – Project Wy

Available for gifted learners in: Auckland

This opportunity is for Māori and Pacific learners in Auckland to join a number of different ‘boot camps’ and programmes run by Faith City. It’s part of an existing programme which includes the following opportunities:

  • 5 week training for students and parents (23 July-24 Aug)

  • Rotorua Tough Guy and Tough Gal event (24 Aug)

What you’ll be doing: Setting targets and working towards achieving goals, as well as improving communication and relationships through overcoming physical challenges and effort. You’ll learn strategies through times of stress and develop resilience. There are also opportunities to engage in STEM activities and learning and exposure to different learning environments.

You will need: Students are selected by schools and invited to a family presentation. You’re selected on the basis of your leadership capacity, your high capacity learning ability and one or both of your parents being able to participate alongside you.

To apply: Contact:

Gamelab – Te Hiko Tākaro

Available for gifted learners in: Kapiti/Porirua, Lower Hutt/Wainuiomata, Wairarapa, Wellington City.

This opportunity is for 13 – 18 year old boys and girls who are tomorrow’s game-makers. If you’ve got an interest in computer programming or making video games, and want to “level up” your skills, get involved at one of Gamefroot’s boot-camps or after school programmes. Think creatively, critically and make sense of code and the game development processes. You’ll be pushed to solve problems, ask questions and reflect. It’ll also open up the possibility of making connections with industry experts in the field.

What you’ll be doing: You’ll be working collaboratively in teams to discuss local stories and brainstorm ideas for your game. Then you get to collaborate with professionals to develop your Aotearoa themed video game. This is an opportunity to tell and share your stories in a way that mixes culture and writing code.

By the end of your Gamefroot boot-camp or after school programme, you’ll have learnt how to design and develop a game. Skills include writing an instruction manual, in game text, in-story instructions as well as coding your own characters.

How long it lasts: Gamefroot will run a tailored workshop during the school holidays between 3-5 days long in each of the 4 regions or a ‘game dev club’ after school programme.

Upcoming workshops are:


Where: St Theresas School, James Street

When:10am - 2pm Term 3 August 10th, August 24th, September 7th, September 21st


Where: St Theresas School, James Street

When: Term 3 School Holidays

More information to come about workshops in Wairarapa and Wellington in 2020.

To apply: Contact: or to find out more information about Gamefroot visit


‘Kia hīanga te ako’

Available for gifted learners in: 2019 – Te Tairāwhiti, Te Matau a Māui. Also available online.

2020 – Tāmaki Makaurau, Waikato. Also available online.

HīAko is a fast paced, high energy and fun learning and enquiry programme. In a team of 4-6 of your friends, you’ll need to find solutions to real-life localised problems which matter to you as a Māori speaking ākonga. As a team, you must pitch this problem and potential solution in a competitive environment.

If you earn a place at one of the small or online events, you’ll be given 4-6 weeks to work on your project as well as collaborate with your pouako, whānau, community, hapū and iwi. You and your team are also invited to the large event in Tairawhiti to present the solution to the problem you wanted to solve.

If you place in the top 3 of the final event, you’ll be given the opportunity to further develop your solution into a marketable product, alongside Māori entrepreneurs and facilitators.

What you’ll be doing: You’ll work with other gifted learners to collaborate and think critically about how to solve the problem together.

How long it lasts: 4-6 weeks.

What’s available: 2019 – Tairawhiti. 2020 – 2 small (marae or kura based) events, 1 online event and 1 large event in Tāmaki Makaurau.


13 August: Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Waiū o Ngāti Porou, Ruatōrea.

19 November: HīAko ki te Ao, Te Wānanga ō Aotearoa, Te Hapara, Gisborne.

To apply: Contact:, or


Available for gifted learners in:

Tai Tokerau



Designed for students, this special iNVENTIONATOR is for gifted learners who want to PLAY. THINK. DESIGN. innovative solutions to real-life problems that matter.

Run over two days, iNVENTIONATOR provides a platform to unleash young minds so they can DREAM BIG. Supported by schools and whānau, students work together, building design thinking and innovation processes, and developing creative and critical thinking skills.

You’ll also have the opportunity to develop partnerships within your community – connecting with peers, mentors, tutors, teachers and kaiako.

Who’s it for?

Y6-9 gifted learners

What will you do?

Bring an idea to pitch. Then you’ll form teams with other gifted learners to collaborate and think critically to solve an everyday problem.

How long does it last?

Six weeks of online resources lead up to an awesome two-day iNVENTIONATOR. Following the event, you’ll continue to have online support.

Where and when?

Nelson 28-29 August

Tai Tokerau 25-26 September

Taranaki 30-31 October

What next?

  • Find someone to nominate you

  • Sign up via the online form

  • We’ll let you know if you’ve been selected

  • We’ll send you some online resources

  • Prepare for the event with your school and whānau

  • Attend event to PLAY. THINK. DESIGN

Nominate a participant

Got a question? Contact

Media Tech Internships

Available for gifted learners in: Auckland, Waikato, Wellington

This opportunity is for Year 9 and 10 students to see what it’s like to work in the media tech industry. You’ll work as an intern both online and in a workshop environment. You’ll learn how to bring messages to life using digital tech.

Media tech is an exciting and relevant place to play. This is your chance to experience a real world working environment, alongside the team at tech innovator Kiwa Digital.

What you’ll be doing: You’ll be working in teams to create your own story and develop a digital resource.

How long it lasts: 10 week programme – a 3 day workshop during the school holidays, three 1 day workshops approximately every two weeks, 1 tech day and a half day for students to present resources. Workshop sessions will run during the school day.

You will need: You may not always be the loudest or most confident but you might find your natural ability and skills let you shine in this environment, where everyone is able to contribute to the ‘sprint’ way of working. Digital tech doesn’t just need coders – they also need illustrators, story writers, editors and change-makers.

To apply: Contact:

Nga Potiki – Reach

Ki tea o Marama ’ - Opening to the Light

Available for gifted learners in: Tauranga, Te Puke

This opportunity is available for Māori gifted learners between 10 – 14 years old in the Tauranga/Te Puke area. You’ll have the opportunity to develop your future potential as a Māori leader in the area of your expertise. This opportunity is grounded in Te Ao Māori.

What you’ll be doing: Taking part in a mentored workshop alongside local iwi and a specialist gifted organisation to support and develop your future leadership potential. You’ll design and develop a project that is related to your interests and abilities. It’ll involve a high level of challenge and require independent and original thinking or creativity.

How long it lasts: Initial hui, followed by 5 full day workshops, then a presentation hui.

You will need: Liaison teachers will need to identify gifted learners to be involved. Teachers are being asked to look for ākonga demonstrating strength in manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, kaitiakitanga, rangatiratanga, mātauranga, te mahi rēhia, and tikanga.

To apply: Contact: or

New Zealand Marine Studies Centre (NZMSC)

Available for gifted learners in: South Island

The NZMSC is offering a series of opportunities for gifted learners from southern NZ secondary schools to take part in a science research programme based at the Portobello Marine Laboratory (University of Otago). You’ll experience an authentic research context, a unique learning environment (laboratory and research vessel) alongside other gifted students to extend your skills, enrich your understanding and foster a knowledge building community. The programmes cater to a range of ages, levels and support.

What you’ll be doing: You’ll get a chance to focus on an in-depth research project that blends marine science and the nature of science.

How long it lasts: Programmes range from 4 – 8 days in duration. Please see programme schedule below for more information.

You will need: to be self-directed and highly motivated. Each application needs to be accompanied by a student profile and an endorsement completed by a teacher (or parent in some circumstances). A small cost will be charged to attend ($10 per student per day) to ensure your commitment. The fee will be waived if this is a barrier to you participating. There is no cost for accommodation but the cost of transport to and from the NZMSC will be the responsibility of your school/parents and some contribution to meals (lunches and dinners) is expected. Participants are notified of details on acceptance to the programme.

To apply: Contact:

For more info about NZMSC visit:

Programme Schedule for NZMSC 2019

PDF, 102.95 KB

Middle School Ethics Olympiad

Year 7 - 9 students can participate in the Middle School Ethics Olympiad in:

Auckland New Zealand- Tuesday 12th November

Christchurch New Zealand- Wednesday 13th November

For more information go to: 2019 Ethics Olympiad

Gifted Wellbeing

Gifted Wellbeing: NZAGC National Conference

March 21-22 2020

Rangi Ruru School


For more information go to:

The New Zealand Association for Gifted Children