Pasifika and Education

Talofa lava, Kia orana, Mālō e lelei, Fakaalofa atu, Taloha ni, Ni sa Bula, Kam Na Mauri, Halo Olaketa, Ia Orana, Kia ora, Greetings.

New Zealand has a significant and growing Pasifika population with unique educational needs. Auckland is the largest Polynesian city in the world and the demand for Pasifika teachers has grown with the increase in Pasifika students.

Our future generations need more Pasifika people to train as teachers in early childhood, primary and secondary teaching. Pasifika student numbers are increasing relative to many other ethnicities but Pasifika teacher numbers are not keeping up with this growth.

Māori teachers are now in real demand. Whether or not you're a speaker of te reo Māori, young Māori need Māori role models to teach and guide them. No matter what subject or level you choose, there are great opportunities for you in teaching. Many of these positions exist in rural areas throughout the country.
As a Māori or secondary teacher, you'll have the chance to make a difference to the future of young Māori.  You'll also be able to extend your own skills. Teaching is one of the few careers that sets you up for life - whatever you decide to do in the future.
There are a wide variety of teacher education options available for you, with many teacher education providers across the country, offering a huge range of study options to suit your lifestyle and interests.
Some of these programmes of study focus on teacher education for Māori teachers and have set up whanau and study groups to help support Māori students

Pasifika Teachers

If you are Pasifika, and are thinking of becoming a teacher, what are you waiting for? We need many more Pasifika people becoming teachers at all levels – early childhood, primary and secondary. Why?

Pasifika teachers make great role models for Pasifika students and enhance their education in many ways by:

  • raising their expectations to succeed at a higher level,
  • improving their participation rates, particularly in sectors such as early childhood
  • increasing Pasifika capacity to improve educational achievement.

It is critical for our country's future that the educational achievement of Pasifika people is widely encouraged and supported. The Government has acknowledged that the key to raising education standards for Pasifika people is to have quality Pasifika teachers.

Early childhood education

Fewer Pasifika children attend early childhood education services than other New Zealand children and they will comprise an increasing proportion of birth-to-five-year-olds over the next 10 years.

In the government's 10 year strategic plan to increase participation, Pasifika communities are playing an important role in determining the strategies to encourage more Pasifika parents to involve their children in early childhood education services.

There are many Pasifika focussed early childhood services throughout New Zealand and many of them need qualified registered teachers. TeachNZ ECE scholarships recognise this fact by supporting people with Pasifika language skills and cultural knowledge.

Help to consider teaching 

Most tertiary institutions, including teacher education providers, employ Pasifika liaison officers to help with course selection and ongoing support during a programme of study. When enrolling, check out the Pasifika support available at your provider.

Pasifika focused teaching qualifications

For Pasifika school leavers interested in teaching in early childhood, primary or secondary education, there are some teacher education options available that focus on Pasifika language and cultures.

Pasifika considering becoming early childhood teachers now have options to study an ECE teaching qualification that is focused on Pasifika language, culture and identity. You can find out more information on ECE, primary and secondary teaching qualifications here.

What do Pasifika teachers say?

Pasifika teachers are in great demand now in all teaching sectors. More men are also needed as teachers, particularly in primary schools and early childhood services. Teaching is a challenging job, the pay and conditions are competitive and the rewards are enormous. It’s the perfect opportunity to share the subjects you enjoy as well as your sporting and cultural interests.
You'll also develop professional people and management skills that will be useful in your working, family, church and community life.
New Zealand Teachers Council New Zealand Education Gazette New Zealand Qualifications Authority Immigration New Zealand