Become a teacher or return to teaching
New Zealand needs well-qualified, dynamic and enthusiastic teachers who enjoy working with young people. Learn about working as a teacher in New Zealand.
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This information supports people to begin teaching in New Zealand schools or early learning services.
- Become a teacher
- Returning to teaching
- Overseas teachers
- Find a teaching job
- Registration, practising certificates and LATs
- Studying while employed as a trainee teacher
Find information on becoming a teacher including studying to become a teacher, choosing the right course, financial support for studying, scholarships and studying while employed as a trainee teacher.
New Zealand-trained teachers
You might be qualified but not currently teaching, or maybe you're living overseas and considering returning to New Zealand. There's currently a high demand for teachers, and now is the perfect time to return to teaching in New Zealand.
You might have taken a break after having children, caring for others, working elsewhere or travelling. The TeachNZ website provides information to help you get back into the classroom.
If you’re a New Zealand-trained teacher living overseas and considering returning to NZ, now is the time to make the move back home. You could receive a relocation grant, and get your overseas experience or additional qualifications recognised.
Teacher Education Refresh
You may need to complete a Teacher Education Refresh (TER) if you're a:
- qualified, non-practising teacher, completed your teacher training more than six years ago and are applying to become registered, or
- provisionally certificated teacher who wants to apply for another provisional practising certificate six years or more after becoming registered.
In New Zealand, there is a demand for early childhood education, primary and secondary teachers in many locations and subjects.
Education providers welcome applications from New Zealand teachers who are currently teaching overseas and would like to teach in NZ again.
The following websites cover some of the things you need to do before you can teach in New Zealand.
Teachers and early learning educators are directly employed by schools and early learning services. There is no central staffing agency and no government department responsible for staff placement. All job applications should be made directly to the employing school or early childhood service.
If you are looking for a job in a school or ECE, see the vacancies available in the Education Gazette.
While schools and ECE providers are responsible for employing teachers, the Ministry has two recruitment agencies providing domestic recruitment support. They are:
- Education Personnel
- Oasis Education
These agencies are contracted to supply information to newly graduated, existing and returning New Zealand teachers looking for vacancies. Their services are free to teachers.
Māori and Pacific teachers
As Māori and Pacific teachers, you’re in demand both for your language skills and as a role model for Māori and Pacific students in New Zealand. The Ministry of Education has contracted Education Personnel to provide a JobFind Assistance Programme for Māori and Pacific teachers.
Voluntary Bonding Scheme
The Voluntary Bonding Scheme (VBS) was introduced in 2009 to encourage newly graduated teachers to teach in certain areas of need. In 2018 the scheme was expanded to include more schools, settings and subjects.
Beginning teacher support
The change from 'student teacher' to teacher can be demanding, which is why new primary and secondary teachers are offered additional support.
Other pathways to teaching
There are many pathways into your first teaching position. For new graduates it may take some time and perseverance to get there. Where possible, stay involved in the education sector. This allows you to continue to gain experience with students and current best practices, and helps demonstrate your commitment to education.
All teachers in New Zealand must be registered teachers with the Teaching Council of New Zealand, Matatū Aotearoa.
You can apply for registration and a provisional practising certificate as soon as you've graduated.
Registration and certification is the way the Teaching Council ensures all teachers in Aotearoa are qualified, capable and ethical professionals.
Registration never expires but your practising certificate must be renewed every three years.
You can apply for registration and a provisional practising certificate at the same time through the Teaching Council’s online portal, Hapori Matatū.
Newly graduated teachers are required to compete a two-year programme of induction and mentoring provided by their employer before applying for a full practising certificate.
You can find out more on the following pages of the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand website:
Limited authority to teach (LAT)
A Limited Authority to Teach (LAT) allows a person without a teaching qualification to be employed in a teaching position in a specified situation, temporarily.
For example, a LAT allows a school to employ someone with skills that are in short supply, often people who have specialist skills, such as industry specialists in technology subjects.
Employment-based initial teacher education (ITE) aims to attract high-calibre students into teaching and give them the skills and knowledge they need to meet the needs of diverse learners. Under employment-based ITE, teacher trainees are employed by schools as teachers while studying for their teaching qualification, instead of being based in universities.
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