FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here are the most common questions we receive from overseas teachers. After reading this information, and exploring the details in the links provided, you'll be more informed about teaching in New Zealand. We invite you to register here for one of our weekly webinars, which will provide you with additional information about teaching and living in New Zealand.
Here at Education Personnel we place teachers in casual day to day relief teaching (supply / substitute) roles, as well as fixed term contracts which vary in duration from several weeks to a year, and permanent roles also.
If you’re planning a fun filled working holiday adventure and want the flexibility of when you work, and you meet the requirements for a Working Holiday Visa with you may decide that casual daily relief work is the best option for you. We offer day to day relief teaching in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch (only Early Childhood Education in Christchurch).
We also work with schools to help them find the best teacher for their school for longer fixed term and permanent roles. Our primary client schools are predominantly located in Wellington and Auckland with others sprinkled throughout the country. Our secondary client schools are located throughout our large cities, provincial towns and rural locations.
You must hold at least a recognised (by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority) degree level teaching qualification, of no less than one year of full time study, with specialism in teaching Early Childhood, Primary and/or Secondary level. Content comparable to what is required in New Zealand initial teaching qualifications is what is needed (pedagogy, education, teaching practicum, curriculum content etc…). This may or may not need to be assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
Here is the 4 agency process, outlined on one website. This is a great place to gain a broad overview of what you’ll need to do.
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) now have a list of 'Pre-Approved Overseas Teaching Qualifications.' If your initial teacher education qualification is on this list, and you fulfil the other exempt requirements, you don't need to have your qualifications assessed. If your qualifications are not exempt from assessment, you’ll need to submit an online application form for an International Qualifications Assessment, and upload the required documentation (all of which needs to be colour photocopied and scanned)
Watch our video guide' below:
If your qualifications don’t need to be assessed, you can apply directly to the Teaching Council.
Download and complete the correct application form (for overseas trained teachers applying to teach in New Zealand for the first time, complete the EC15 form found here). The application form contains a completion guide, a checklist, and list of required documentation. They require hard copies of certified copies of most documents. If you follow this step by step guide and send all the required documents, you can’t go wrong!
You can find the type of Police Check you require for the Teaching Council at Overseas Police clearance.
For the UK it is an International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC), ACRO ask for the ‘Name of School or Organisation’ requesting the police check. The answer is the New Zealand Education Council. Add your name and DOB to this letter to send with your application for an ICPC.
To watch our webinar please click the link, New Zealand Teachers registration.
Teachers employed in state and state integrated schools are paid on the base salary scale included in their respective collective agreement. Teachers are paid the same salary regardless of where in New Zealand they work. Where a teacher is placed on the salary is dependent on 2 things:
the level of qualifications you hold (on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework)
years of recognised teaching experience
Relief teachers are paid the same salary as if they were in a fixed term or permanent role (with holiday pay built into the daily rate). A teacher with a recognised bachelor degree and bachelor level recognised teaching qualification doing relief teaching could expect to earn approximately NZ$250 - $350 per day, depending on what step they are on the salary scale.
The current starting salary for a primary school teacher with a bachelor’s teaching degree is $50,470 and can progress up to $75,200 after seven years service. The current starting salary for a primary school teacher with a bachelor’s degree (not a teaching degree) and a recognised teaching qualification is $52,736 and can progress up to $80,500 after seven years service.
Secondary school teachers are paid according to the level (on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework - NZQF) of their subject specialist qualification. The current starting salary for a trained secondary school teacher with a Level 7 subject or specialist qualification on the NZQF is $52,736. For trained teachers with a Level 8 specialist/subject qualification the starting salary is $54,796, while for trained teachers with a Level 9 specialist/subject qualification the starting salary is $58,247. Most trained teachers can progress up to $80,500 after seven years’ service. Trained teachers with Masters or PhD qualifications may take less time to reach this maximum.
A salary assessment will determine how much previous teaching experience will be accepted and determine where on the salary scale a teacher will be placed. A salary assessment cannot be submitted until a job offer has been accepted.
A teacher undertaking extra responsibilities may be entitled to other additional allowances on top their base salary. Management units (MU) middle / senior management allowances, special duties allowance for special education teachers and secondary high priority teacher supply allowance are examples of some of the extra allowances that enable a teacher to increase their overall salary.
The TeachNZ website salaries page is a helpful resource. Here are the links to the primary and secondary teachers collective agreements.
Secondary STEM and other subject specialist teachers (nationwide)
Science (chemistry, physics, biology)
Technology (hard materials, resistant materials, DVC + graphics, digital media and electronics)
ICT / Computing
Relief (supply/substitute) teachers throughout the year, specifically during winter months (Wellington and Auckland)
Primary and ECE teachers for long term and permanent roles (Wellington and Auckland)
ECE teachers and Center Managers for relief, long term and permanent roles (Wellington and Auckland)
Special Education and sign language teachers (Wellington and Auckland)
As part of a teacher supply and retention package, some new initiatives have recently been announced to help streamline the process for overseas teachers coming to teach in New Zealand. It could be quicker and cheaper for you to teach in New Zealand than ever before!
You may be eligible for one of the overseas relocation grants, of up to $5,000.00. There are a few conditions to these. Click here to see if you fulfil the requirements, and find out more.
You may be eligible to have your application fee for teacher registration paid by the Ministry of Education once you are employed under the appropriate collective agreement (NZEI or PPTA). The exemption form is completed and signed by the employing school principal.
If you meet the age requirements and are from a qualifying country you may be able to enter and work in NZ on a working holiday visa. This means you can take on shorter term teaching roles (daily relief/supply teaching, long term relief and fixed term).
A work visa is required for a permanent job offer. Most teachers with a job offer apply for this work visa. Education Personnel will work with your school to gather the documents required for this. You cannot apply for a work visa until you have NZ teacher registration. At Education Personnel we not an licensed immigration advisor - only a licensed immigration advisor can give immigration advice we can direct you to information on the immigration website. Several of our overseas teachers have used Migration Associates to assist them with their visa applications for New Zealand. If you'd like to complete a free initial New Zealand visa evaluation, then please click here.
If you meet immigration criteria set by Immigration New Zealand and have a job offer and the required forms for teaching work from a NZ school then you can apply for a work visa. Certain visa applications for New Zealand require you to have a medical and chest x-ray with a Panel physician. Applicants for visas must be of good character. You may have to supply a police certificate (or similar) as evidence of good character, depending on your visa requirements.
Trade Me is our leading buy/sell online website. It is a great place to look for cars, flats, flatmates wanted, clothes, furniture: you name it.
Rental properties will either be rented directly from the landlord or through a residential property management company. A company is likely to charge a 'letting fee'. The Bond is held by Tenancy Services.
A local real estate agent may also have rental properties, usually also advertised on Trade Me. Ask someone in your school (principal, principal's PA or colleagues) if they have any recommendations or referrals. There are also residential property management companies in some areas such as: Quinovic, Fullhouse Property Management, Oxygen (we do not endorse these companies). Again they will likely advertise on Trade Me.
To open a bank account in New Zealand some banks will do so from offshore; you will be requested to provide certain identification. Rules differ between banks on how much identification you need. For your IRD number application you will require a fully functional New Zealand bank account. As an offshore person, you'll need to prove you have a fully functional bank account with a New Zealand bank. This means you have an account that:
you have the ability to use for deposits AND withdrawals, and
you have provided documentation to verify your identity.
The main banks are ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, The Co-operative Bank, TSB Bank and Westpac (listed in alpahbetical order). Kiwbank is NZ owned.
Once you are in NZ and have a fully functioning bank account you can apply for an IRD number.
The main cell phone providers are: Spark, 2 Degrees, Vodaphone and Skinny.