Te Huawhiti Career Changer Scholarship

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Applications for the 2024 Te Huawhiti Career Changer scholarships are now closed. Notifications will be sent on Thursday 30 November 2023.


If you want to change careers and become a teacher or kaiako, a Te Huawhiti Scholarship can support your journey.

A Te Huawhiti scholarship provides financial assistance so the loss of income you experience while studying is not a barrier to obtaining a teaching qualification.

The scholarship is designed to assist applicants studying to teach any subject in any sector.

Undergraduate or graduate, if you are enrolled on, or plan to enroll on, any approved teaching programme this could be the scholarship for you.

As a Te Huawhiti Career Changer Scholar you gain access to:

  • Course fees to study an approved teaching qualification
  • An allowance of $30,000 per year, over the period of your study (limited to three years)

Career changer allowances may be counted as an income for benefits and student allowances. 


To be eligible, you are required to:

  • You must be changing your career or profession to teaching
  • You must have at least seven years work experience or equivalent experience (either paid and unpaid) since leaving school 
  • Have not previously received a TeachNZ scholarship


  • Be an unqualified teacher currently working in a centre or school (such as a Teacher Aide) have a Limited Authority to Teach or a kaiārahi I te reo


  • Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • Be enrolled on or intending to enrol in one of the approved initial teacher education qualifications listed on our website

Career Changer definition:

  • You must be changing career or profession to teaching
  • You must have at least seven years work experience or equivalent experience
  • (either paid and unpaid) since leaving school.

Unpaid work experience includes:

  • Any involvement you have had in the community or with community groups
  • Stay at home parents who have community / school involvement
  • Vocational placements
  • Unpaid internships

Scholarship applications must be submitted by 11:59pm on the closing date. Applications received after this time will not be accepted. 

Please note: If you have already completed Initial Teacher Education Training or are already a registered teacher you are not eligible to apply for the TeachNZ Scholarships. Instead, we have Study Awards on offer - please look here.

2024 Priorities

For 2024, positive weightings and scorings will be given to:

  • Applicants planning to teach Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths
  • Applicants planning to teach in ECE or Secondary
  • Applicants who are Māori, Pasifika or planning to teach in bilingual or immersion settings
  • Applicants from diverse ethnic backgrounds

Applicants who are currently working in a school as a:

  • Teacher Aide
  • Limited Authority to Teach (LAT)
  • Kaiāwhina
  • Kaiārahi I te reo


Approved teaching qualifications are determined by the Teaching Council.

Choosing the right course | TeachNZ

Fees and allowance payments are only paid upon meeting the requirements of a scholarship. To receive allowance payments you are required to be a full-time student (or have ‘limited full-time statuses from StudyLink) and pass all of your academic year.

Further terms and conditions apply.


To apply for a scholarship you must complete an online application form. The application form will be made available when the scholarship programme opens.

You will need to create a user account in order to apply for a TeachNZ scholarship. To create a user account go to the application form and click 'log in' in the top right hand corner. 

Creating a user account registers you for personalised access to the TeachNZ system for applying for a scholarship and you will be asked to provide your personal email address. Your user account helps you provide TeachNZ with information that is needed to apply for the scholarship. 

You must submit your complete application on or before the application round closing date. Please contact TeachNZ if you are unsure about the documents required with your application. If your applications is incomplete, it will not be assessed. 

You can apply for multiple scholarships, but can only be granted one. Part-time options are available.

Video Requirement

As part of the application process, you are required to produce a short three minute video and provide the link in your application form. Please refer to the information here about preparing your video.

The programme is inclusive and rewards outstanding applicants. Outstanding to TeachNZ goes beyond academic achievement. The programme recognises passion, leadership, good communication, lived experiences and also places value on Māori and Pacific cultural competencies and language skills.

Notification and Accepting a Scholarship

If your application is successful, we will email you a scholarship offer email with an agreement setting out the terms and conditions of the scholarship. Example terms and conditions for the Te Huawhiti Career Changer are available to download on this page.

We will also contact you if your application was unsuccessful and to let you know if the assessment panel have rewarded you with a reserve or alternative scholarship offer.

Contact us

Remember, we're here to help. If you have any questions, you can email us on teachnz.admin@education.govt.nz or call us during business hours on 0800 165 225.

You can also learn more about our scholarships by watching the videos and exploring the links on the left of this page.

Past recipient story


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