As part of the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries, the New Zealand (NZ) and Chinese Education Ministries agreed that Mandarin Language Assistants (MLAs) were to be placed in NZ schools for an academic year. The MLA's role is to help promote the learning of Mandarin and to raise the quality of Mandarin language provision in NZ schools. Since 2009, over 200 MLAs came to work in New Zealand schools through the network of CI Auckland.