Schools finder's fee for recruiting teachers from within New Zealand

What is the Domestic Finder’s Fee?

The Domestic Finder’s Fee (DFF) is a new initiative designed to support those early learning centres and schools that have difficulty attracting and retaining qualified staff. The DFF supplements the Overseas Finder’s Fee and recognises that sourcing new teachers from overseas is currently challenging due to measures necessary to control the transmission of COVID-19.

ECEs or schools recruiting teachers already living in New Zealand and returning to or beginning teaching may be eligible for reimbursement of up to $3,000 (GST exclusive) for actual incurred recruitment costs.

Is our ECE or school eligible?

An ECE or school may be eligible if:

  • The ECE you commence employment with is in a NZDep2018 decile D8, D9, or D10 location as per the Ministry of Health Deprivation Index;  OR
  • The school is a Decile 1, Decile 2, or Decile 3 New Zealand state or state-integrated school or is classified as a “hard to staff” state or state-integrated school; OR
  • The position being filled is a STEM, te reo Māori or Māori Medium position.

Additionally, the teacher appointed by the ECE or school:

  • Must be a former or beginning teacher who is registered and certificated by the Teaching Council, who has not been teaching in any New Zealand ECE or school within the last 3 months before commencing employment in the ECE or school;
  • Must have accepted an offer of employment from the ECE or school as a teacher (not a reliever, teacher aide or Limited Authority to Teach) on a full-time or part-time basis (either permanent or fixed term) for at least 12 months.

Finally, the ECE or school:

  • Must apply after the teacher commences employment in the ECE or school, and within 3 months of the teacher commencing employment in the ECE or school or before the 30th of April 2021 (whichever comes first);
  • May apply for either the Domestic Finder’s Fee OR a subsidised service from either of the Ministry’s contracted recruitment agencies.

How to apply?

We’ll be adding more information and an application form to this page shortly - watch this space for updates.



New Zealand Teachers Council New Zealand Education Gazette New Zealand Qualifications Authority Immigration New Zealand