Overseas Trained

New Zealand has recently seen some significant changes to teacher supply and demand. In New Zealand, there is now high demand for teachers in specific subjects and location, 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.

We recommend you do your research before you decide to relocate. Click here for the steps to take to help you find a teaching job in New Zealand.

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 the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to be equivalent to a Diploma of Teaching (ECE) or Bachelor of Teaching (ECE). 
  • 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 show 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.

    Other information

    Please also refer to our information on Qualifications and RegistrationAllowances and Benefits and your Next Steps.

    NZ Education Gazette vacancies

    To view the latest vacancies, and search vacancies, visit the Education Gazette website.

    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 Department of Labour).

    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