New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 3)

New Zealand trained chefs are in high demand here and overseas – in fact they're on our nationwide skills shortage list.

This programme focuses on practical skills and real-life experience working on marae.

There are limited Youth Guarantee spaces available for New Zealand citizens & permanent residents aged 16-19 years of age at the start of the programme, which means there are no tuition fees. Normal fees apply for those over 19 years of age.

Content Details

You'll learn to prepare, cook and present a range of dishes using equipment, products and produce commonly used in the New Zealand hospitality industry.

You'll learn to follow standard operating procedures, deal with common problems in a commercial kitchen, and effectively communicate with colleagues, managers and customers. 

Topics include health and safety regulations, food safety requirements and security practices to help ensure personal safety and minimise potential hazards for customers. 

Institutes of technology have a long standing tradition of producing work ready, top quality chefs – this is the place employers come to fill their kitchen vacancies.


Planned intakes*: February, July
Delivery modes: Full-time
Locations*: Opotiki, Tauranga (Huria Marae), Tauranga (Windermere Campus)
Duration: 1 semester

* subject to change. Intakes may vary between locations.

To see full details of the next available intake please visit the application form.

Indicative Fees

2018 fees-free for New Zealand citizens & permanent residents aged 16-19 years of age at the start of the programme (Youth Guarantee programme)

2018 domestic students over 19 years of age $3,171.00

The fee shown for domestic students is applicable to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. If an international fee is not listed above please refer to the international fees page. All fees are indicative only and subject to change.

You MAY be eligible for a StudyLink Student Loan for your tuition fees.

Find out if your programme qualifies by visiting the Studylink website.

If you also need to pay course related costs, i.e. if outlined in programme costs above, you need to apply separately to StudyLink (up to $1,000/academic year for eligible students). Note course related costs are paid directly into your bank account by StudyLink and you will be required to pay this to Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

Qualifications Gained

Upon successful completion of the programme you will receive:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 3)

Career Opportunities

There are a wide range of job opportunities, depending on the size of each commercial kitchen and the type of food being offered. 

Graduates can work as a junior chef producing basic dishes in a professional kitchen.

Study Pathways

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Pathways

New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4)
New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service with Restaurant Services Strand (Level 4)
New Zealand Diploma in Cookery (Advanced) (Cookery Strand) (Level 5)

Entry Criteria

  • Entry is open
  • Youth Guarantee students must be aged 16-19 years of age at the start of the programme
  • Trades Academy applicants must meet the entry requirements identified in the Bay of Plenty Trades Academy Secondary-Tertiary Programme Guide


International applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to show evidence of language competency, issued within the last two years, before being eligible to enrol in any non-English programme. The level of competency required is outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013. And below under the title English Competency.

English Competency

Level 3 certificate IELTS General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5 or completed NZ Certificate in English Language L3 with an endorsement of either General, Workplace or Academic, or meets a relevant English Proficiency Outcome as outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013.

For domestic applicants for whom English is not their first language, evidence of language competency may be required.