The Tertiary Education Commission is facing at least its fourth round of restructuring and job losses since it was created 10 years ago.
On Thursday, it briefed staff on plans that will cut 51 fulltime positions and create 45 others.
The commission was created in 2003 to administer tertiary education funding and provide policy advice, but its staff and responsibilities have steadily reduced since then in a series of restructures.
Chief executive Tim Fowler started in April this year and says the latest changes are based on clear messages from staff and clients on what works, what doesn't, and what can be done better.
He says most of the job losses are at its Auckland service centre, which it is moving to Wellington next year, and 21 of the roles are already vacant.
Mr Fowler says the commission at present has the equivalent of 203 fulltime staff, and will end up with just over 212.