New Zealand is regarded as a good example of a "large-scale introduction of market competition and choice in schooling," so argues Norman LaRocque of Education Forum. School choice legislation has been successful in "[introducing] competition between government schools, [increasing] parental voice, [giving] many parents (particularly the poor) increased choice, and [giving] schools more autonomy."
Since the 1970's, school choice policies have included fewer zoning restrictions allowing students to attend the school of their choice, as well as state-integrated schools which allowed for "independent" or private schools to be "integrated into the state system," but still retain their "special character." The TIE (Targeted Individual Entitlement) program, proposed in 1996 and reaffirmed in 1998 with "indefinite funding," provides children from low-income families the opportunity to attend private schools in order to "lift educational achievement among low-income families." Further diversity in New Zealand's schools have included the development of Kura Kaupapa Maori, schools that provide instruction in the Maori language, available to students age 13 - 15.
According to LaRocque, support for school choice policies peaked in the 1990's but has since been on the decline with the government's "progressive tightening" of zoning, subsidies, and the abolition of the TIE program.