Voluntary Bonding Scheme

The New Zealand education system needs an adequate supply of teachers across all schools and subjects. The Voluntary Bonding Scheme was introduced in 2009 to make sure there's a good supply of teachers for certain schools and subject areas. If eligible, teachers will receive an annual taxable payment of $3,500 for up to five years. 

If you’re a New Zealand-trained new teaching graduate and will start teaching in the classroom for the first time in 2018, you may be eligible for the Voluntary Bonding Scheme, which has been expanded for 2018.

The table below shows the eligibility criteria for teachers and payments, and other information for each of the two schemes - the ongoing Voluntary Bonding Scheme, and the Voluntary Bonding Scheme expansion for 2018.

  Voluntary Bonding Scheme (ongoing)

Voluntary Bonding Scheme expansion
(2018 only)

Eligible schools or settings

Decile 1 (nationwide)

Severely isolated schools (nationwide)

Decile 2 (Auckland region)

Decile 3 (Auckland region)

Maori Medium settings (nationwide)

Defined subjects (nationwide):

  • The sciences (Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, Geology) 
  • Technology (Textiles, Materials Technology, Digital Technology, Computer Science)
  • Mathematics (Mathematics, Statistics, Calculus)
  • Te Reo Māori

NOTE – the 2018 expansion of VBS only applies to graduate teachers who commence teaching in the 2018 school year if they meet one of the defined criteria above. For defined subjects (nationwide): the graduate teacher must be teaching at least one of the subjects for at least FTTE 0.5.

Payments

$10,500 after the third year of consecutive employment at 0.5 FTTE or more

$3,500 after the fourth year of consecutive employment at 0.5 FTTE or more

$3,500 after the fifth year of consecutive employment at 0.5 FTTE or more 

 

$10,500 after the third year of consecutive employment at 0.5 FTTE or more
Applications Applications are due within 12 months of completing three years consecutive employment  Applications are due within six months of completing three years consecutive employment

 
Will I be eligible for the Voluntary Bonding Scheme?

To be eligible for the Voluntary Bonding Scheme, you must:

  • have completed your initial teaching qualification in New Zealand after 01 January 2009 (as per the guide) and be registered with the Education Council New Zealand
  • be employed in your first teaching position (at least 0.5FTTE) in an eligible school, setting and subject for at least three years.

Which schools are eligible? 

A list of schools covered by the Voluntary Bonding Scheme for the Auckland region can be downloaded from the right hand side of the page.  For more information see the Voluntary Bonding Scheme guide.

Can I apply for the VBS under the expanded criteria if I already taught for three years in a school eligible under the new criteria, before the expansion was announced?

No retrospective payments will be made. To be eligible for the payment, new teachers must start teaching in an eligible school in 2018 to be eligible for the first payment in 2021.    

I have missed the 12 month deadline for applying for the VBS payment, can I still apply and get a retrospective payment? 

No retrospective payments will be made. 

If I’m eligible for the Voluntary Bonding Scheme, when can I apply for payment?

For the ongoing Voluntary Bonding Scheme, applications for each the three payments are due within 12 months of completing your third, fourth and fifth years of consecutive employment in an eligible school. 

For the expansion of VBS, applications are due within six months of completing three years consecutive employment in an eligible school, setting or subject.

How can I apply for the Voluntary Bonding Scheme?

Download the application form, guide and schools list if you are teaching in the Auckland region from the right hand side of the page.

For more information please call the Voluntary Bonding helpline on 0800 550 790 or email voluntary.bonding@education.govt.nz.

 

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