In this paper, I draw upon research in progress to address some of these areas designated as of high priority. The main purpose of the paper is twofold. Firstly, it is intended to provide a summary of initial analyses of data readily available which indicates trends and changes in Vote Education funding to the field as a whole, by whom that funding was used (1985Ñ1992) and a brief critique of funding distribution in relation to government and providers' stated principles for funding distribution. Secondly, the issues and research problems which arise when attempting to undertake more detailed analysis and tracking of Vote Education funding in the field of adult education are summarised and raised for discussion. Before proceeding, however, it is important to note that the term 'adult education' is itself problematic, and its problematic nature creates both difficulties when preparing a short paper such as this, and exacerbates the difficulties of researching the field. The latter difficulty will be discussed later, but it is also important to note definition problems at the outset of this paper. As many have noted before, we are confronted by a plethora of terminology used for the adult learners (eg see Tobias, 1990, pp. 1Ñ4; Lenniston, 1991, pp. 1Ñ4; HarrŽ Hindmarsh, 1991). For the purposes of this paper's title, I have used the term 'adult education' as that is the title of this symposium. In general terms, I use 'adult education' as defined by the NZ National Commission for UNESCO, 1972, p. 5): '... the education of those whose main occupational role is no longer that of a student'. However, as the paper proceeds the focus narrows to particular subgroupings of provision Ñ especially provision of short courses through tertiary institutions (universities, polytechnics, colleges of education) and schools and via community organisations and groups. This excludes some of the activities referred to by law (1987, pp. 64Ñ64) as labour market (adult) education Ñ education provided directly to meet specific vocational and professional development needs and provided through unemployment schemes (eg ACCESS, MACCESS, PIACCESS), work based training, and tertiary institution based courses. Although it is difficult to calculate, Tobias (1990, p. 4) calculates that the labour market programmes attract by far the highest levels of funding (from both the state and private sector), for example, in 1987Ñ88 approximately 39% of Vote Education's post-compulsory education budget . In effect, the focus of this paper (and much of the policy debates) is an analysis of the allocation and use of a minute percentage of that post- compulsory education (approx 2% in 1987Ñ88) by institutions and community organisations to meet a range of education development needs Ñ and some of which are labour market related.