Domestic Relocation Grant

What is the Domestic Relocation Grant?

The Domestic Relocation Grant (DRG) is a new initiative designed to support early learning centres and schools/kura to get qualified teachers/kaiako to those places and in those subjects most needed. The DRG recognises that sourcing new teachers/kaiako from overseas is currently challenging due to measures necessary to control the transmission of COVID-19.

If you are a teacher/kaiako returning to or beginning teaching and if you move within New Zealand to fill a teaching vacancy, you may be eligible for reimbursement of up to $5,000 (GST inclusive) for actual incurred relocation costs (the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department defines the types of expenses that can be claimed).

Am I eligible?

You 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 IndexOR
  • The school/kura you commence employment with is a Decile 1, Decile 2, or Decile 3 New Zealand state or state-integrated school/kura or is classified as a “hard to staff” state or state-integrated school/kura; OR
  • The position you fill is a STEM, te reo Māori or Māori Medium position.

Additionally, you:

  • Must be a former or beginning teacher/kaiako who is registered and certificated by the Teaching Council, and have not been teaching in any New Zealand ECE or school/kura within the last 3 months before commencing employment in an ECE or school/kura;
  • Must be a teacher/kaiako who has been residing in New Zealand but who moves at least 50 kms to take up a teaching role;
  • Must have accepted an offer of employment from the ECE or school/kura as a teacher/kaiako (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 and for new employment starting after the 13th of October 2020.

Finally, you:

  • Must apply after you commence employment in the ECE or school/kura, and within 3 months of commencing employment in the ECE or school/kura.

What expenses can I claim?

Expenses for relocation up to $5,000 (GST inclusive) can be claimed. The IRD defines the types of relocation expenses that are eligible. Please refer to the IRD list of eligible expenses before starting your application. Expenses that are not on the list will not be reimbursed.

For each expense you claim, please upload a matching PDF copy of each receipt or invoice that shows clear evidence of the expense description and amount. Bank statements cannot be accepted as evidence of expenditure.

How to apply? 

You must have all your expenditure documents, as well as details about yourself and the position on your computer before starting your application.

Use the application form at the top right corner of this page to apply (only online forms and uploaded documents are accepted).

In the application you will enter a list of the eligible expenses you wish to claim, including a description and amount.

Upload the following documents:

  1. A copy of your Employment Agreement;
  2. Evidence of expenditure for all expenses being claimed (bank statements cannot be accepted as evidence);
  3. Evidence that shows your old residential address;
  4. Evidence that shows your new residential address;
  5. Verified evidence of your bank account and new postal address (to enable payment).

You will be asked to indicate your acceptance of a set of declarations.

Once submitted, you will be notified of the application outcome within 4 weeks of receipt of your application. If your application is approved, you will receive payment in a single lump sum.

What information is shared?

Please note, the Ministry of Education will use the information collected on your application together with the information held in Education Service Payroll to:

  • Consider your application for a Domestic Relocation Grant payment;
  • Administer your payment(s).

For these purposes, the Ministry of Education may share your information with your employing ECE or school/kura and the Inland Revenue Department. The Ministry may contact the Teaching Council to request details of your registration status. The Ministry may also use this information for statistical and research purposes.

Under the Privacy Act 1993 you have the right to request access to all information held about yourself and to request corrections to that information.

Where can I get more information?

Send an email to or phone us on 0800 165 225.

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