Gifted individuals are those with innate high abilities, along with particular personal qualities, that can be seen in one or more domains - intellectual, creative, cultural, social, spiritual or physical. Giftedness can be nurtured which may result in outstanding achievements, in and out of school. 

The New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education recognises that: 

  • Giftedness is not bound by gender, ethnicity or socio-economic position

  • Gifted children may develop their different skills and qualities at different times 

  • Giftedness can co-exist with areas of difficulty

  • Giftedness impacts upon a child’s whole experience of the world, to greater or lesser degrees, depending on the level of giftedness


Hear from our MindPlus students

Hear from our MindPlus gifted kids about what giftedness means to them, the challenges they face and how you can support them to reach their potential and thrive -- wherever they live and whatever their background.

Watch the TVNZ Brainboxes series

Looking at the sheer determination and inner drive of a concert pianist, a pilot and a young mathematician graduating university before his peers even finish high school, Brainboxes examines the challenge of being gifted in New Zealand.


Made with the support of NZ On Air.


Common Myths About Gifted Kids



Gifted kids achieve exceptionally highly in everything.

Gifted kids can develop different skills at different times - some areas can be underdeveloped.

Gifted kids don’t need extra support - they will achieve anyway.

Gifted kids who are not recognised and supported at school are at real risk of underachieving, misbehaving through boredom and frustration, and disengaging. If they are not helped to understand themselves and their needs, they may mask their abilities and qualities to avoid feeling different. Not being able to be their true selves can undermine their mauri and their mental health.

All children are gifted.

All children have skills and qualities that can be appreciated and nurtured. Being “gifted” is a special term used by educational psychologists for children with specific neurological differences.

We don’t have any gifted kids at our school.

Researchers estimate that between 5 and 10% of the population are gifted, with a spectrum between mild and profound giftedness. There are gifted children in every class in every school in NZ.

Gifted kids are socially awkward.

Gifted children can have difficulty relating to children their own ages because of their different interests and capacities, but, as they learn to understand themselves better, they can learn skills to help manage this. 

Gifted kids have pushy parents.

Pushy parents don’t create gifted kids: gifted kids are born with neurological differences. Sometimes parents are seen as pushy because they are having to advocate strongly for their children to help them get the support they need.