The NZIC online programming contest series, run by the New Zealand Olympiad in Informatics, is continuing in 2019! There will be 3 rounds. In each round, students choose a time during the week of that round to solve a selection of programming problems. The difficulty ranges from entry-level problems to more challenging problems. Past problems can be found on our training website.

The contest is open to all students currently enrolled in a secondary school (or intermediate) in New Zealand (students from year 7-13). There will be a scoreboard for individuals, and one for schools. View past year’s scoreboards here.


If you competed in Round 1 then you are automatically registered for Round 2.

Otherwise, Register for Round 2 here.

What is Informatics?

In the context of this competition, informatics involves problem-solving with computer programs. Problems of a mathematical nature are posed, and students will write a computer program to solve the problem. The competition tests the efficiency and correctness of the algorithms the students come up with. The use of a programming language is not the goal itself, but rather a method by which a solution is expressed. A big part of informatics is breaking down and understanding the problem itself.


Traditionally, each round has been held towards the end of term time. However, we are taking a different approach this year in an attempt to avoid mock exams, as highlighted in our 2018 survey. This means the first round will be very early in the year and the last two rounds will be held during term breaks. The dates for the three rounds will be as follows:

  • Round One: **Monday 18th Feb - Sunday 24th Feb**
  • Round Two: Monday 15th April - Sunday 21st April (First week of Term 1 break)
  • Round Three: Monday 8th July - Sunday 14th July (First week of Term 2 break)


Log in to our training site and start the competition at any point between the above dates. Once a student has begun the competition they typically have 3 hours to view the problems and submit solutions. During their 3 hours, students are not permitted to access any websites (other than or collaborate with any others. This is an individual contest. You are, however, permitted to consult the documentation for your chosen programming language during the contest - remembering syntax can be hard. For details, please view the offical rules.

If you’re at a school with multiple students wanting to participate you might want to arrange to all sit it at the same time, either after school or during class time (with a teacher’s support).

See these pages for more info:

What now?

To practice, sign up at and look at past NZIC rounds. The contest is held on this training site, and problems will be of a similar format.

questions about the contest, read the FAQ.

If you have any further questions, want to be added to the list for reminder emails, or just want to say hi, email us at