It was a particularly long and nerve-racking wait on NCEA results for Whangārei's Zakari Chapman.

The 18-year-old tried to check them before he headed off to his 5am work shift yesterday but he'd forgotten his password and got locked out of his account for three hours.

"I went to work and the whole time I was worrying about my exams. I was confident about my exams but I tend to always expect the worst," he said.

He finished at 10am and was so eager, he didn't even wait to get inside to check them. As soon as he pulled up to his house he logged on using his phone.


"When I opened it up and it said 'NCEA University Entrance level three accepted' I had a very good feeling.

"I knew whatever I read from then it didn't matter - I'd got in to uni."

Next month Chapman will head to Victoria University of Wellington to study for a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Chinese and international relations and minoring in development studies.

He would like to get into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade or work alongside organisations like Unicef and said that goal has been influenced by the seven years he spent in China.

"The amount of kids half my age living in the streets without a home was upsetting and something I want to help."

Zakari Chapman's hard work paid off - he passed his final year of NCEA. Photo/Tania Whyte
Zakari Chapman's hard work paid off - he passed his final year of NCEA. Photo/Tania Whyte

Results for more than 165,000 NCEA students - including more than 4000 in Northland - were posted on the NZ Qualifications Authority website yesterday.

Chapman, who finished his final year at Kamo High School last year, only needed five credits to pass level three and achieve university entrance - the minimum requirement to go to a New Zealand university - but he still worked hard.

He received tutoring in physics, help from his statistics teacher and he attended a study wananga organised by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.


"My aim is never to do the bare minimum," he said "I don't want to sell myself short."

There are three levels of NCEA certificate and to achieve each level students must gain a defined number of credits which they can get through assignments and exams.

To gain NCEA level 1 students need to achieve 80 credits. To gain NCEA levels 2 and 3 students need to achieve 60 credits in each level (plus 20 credits which carry over from the previous year).