Overseas Trained

New Zealand has recently seen some significant changes to teacher supply and demand. There is now high demand for teachers in specific subjects and locations such as Auckland. This includes; primary teachers for junior classes and secondary teachers of the Sciences, Technology and Mathematics. Additionally, teachers are in demand for relief (‘supply’) teaching.

The majority of overseas teachers working in New Zealand schools have come from countries with strong language, cultural and educational similarities with New Zealand such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Canada and South Africa. As an overseas-trained teacher, you will need to be extremely competent in written and spoken English. As part of the application process for teacher registration, you may be required to prove your proficiency in the English language.

Overseas Relocation Grant

To support New Zealand-trained teachers and overseas-trained teachers who are thinking of returning or relocating to New Zealand to teach, an Overseas Relocation Grant is now available. New Zealand-trained teachers can be reimbursed of their actual and reasonable costs of relocating to New Zealand for up to $7,000 and over-seas trained teachers can be reimbursed for up to $5,000. To find out more information about the overseas relocation grant and to apply, click here.

We strongly advise overseas teachers to do their research and compile their paperwork before they arrive in New Zealand. For more information and to start your New Zealand teaching journey visit teachinnewzealand.co.nz

Early childhood teachers (ECE)

  • Demand for teachers who are speakers of te reo Māori and Pasifika languages is high.
  • All overseas early childhood education teaching qualifications need to be assessed by New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to core comparability of a NZ ECE qualification
  • Overseas-trained ECE teachers must be qualified to teach 0-5 years to obtain NZ equivalency and teacher registration. Many overseas applicants are qualified to teach in the 4-5 age range only. It is also important to note that vocational programmes in early childhood education (e.g. NNEB and Cache Certificate/Diploma programmes in the UK) are not comparable to the three-year academic degree level programmes that are required to be recognised early childhood educators in New Zealand. 
  • As there are new courses developed from time to time, it is critical that ECE teachers considering coming to New Zealand, have their qualifications assessed by NZQA.

Primary and Secondary teachers

  • Primary teachers for junior classes are sought after as well as secondary teachers of the Sciences, Technology and Mathematics. Additionally, teachers are in demand for relief (‘supply’) teaching. There is also a shortage of highly qualified teachers of te reo Māori along with Māori-medium teachers.
  • Note that, before Immigration New Zealand will issue a work visa, a school has to provide evidence that it could not appoint a suitable New Zealand teacher.
  • Teachers under the age of 30 are advised to consider a working holiday visa which is more flexible. Details are available on the Immigration New Zealand website at www.immigration.govt.nz/workingholiday.

Australian trained teachers

Special conditions apply to teachers who hold current registration with any Australian state (apart from New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory). These teachers are eligible to be considered for registration under the provisions of the Trans-Tasman Recognition Act. Find out more by visiting the Education Council website.


Further information

Find a teaching vacancy in NZ

To view and search the latest teaching vacancies, visit the Education Gazette website. All teaching vacancies in New Zealand are listed here.

Education resources

Ministry of Education: the Ministry of Education's website has a wealth of information on New Zealand's education system.

Te Kete Ipurangi: the online knowledge basket is New Zealand's bilingual education portal. It provides information, resources, and curriculum materials to enhance teaching and learning, raise student achievement, and advance professional development for teaching staff and school managers.

Education Review Office: the ERO reviews all schools and early childhood services in New Zealand within a specified period and is a useful reference for New Zealand schools’ and services' performances.

Immigration resources

Immigration New Zealand: New Zealand's official immigration site (a service of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment).

New Zealand Now: an additional Immigration New Zealand site containing practical, helpful visa and employment information and useful links.


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