A "nationwide conversation" on how to make New Zealand's education system the best in the world will be led by Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft.
The first of two summits on education was held today and the government was surveying opinion on a vision for education.
Education minister Chris Hipkins said the panel's role would be to make sure the public's response was properly considered in the policy process.
"Bringing you here together to help co-design a common vision for the future of education and learning in New Zealand is a once in a lifetime opportunity," he told the summit.
"We believe in an education system that brings out the very best in everyone and that means our educational offerings need to be as diverse as the learners we cater for.
"We need an education system that can adapt to the needs of the modern world."
It had been done in 1937 when New Zealanders gathered under the New Education Forum (NEF) to discuss the future, Mr Hipkins said.
"I want you to be as bold and brave when it comes to your vision and your ideas for the future as your predecessors were then."
Others on the eight-person panel include the former National education minister Sir Lockwood Smith and the former Labour minister Marian Hobbs. Victoria University professor Rawinia Higgins, Pacific health consultant Debbie Ryan, Auckland University of Technology professor Welby Ings, playwright Etta Bollinger and the chief executive of the Centre for Gifted Education, Deborah Walker.