Studying to be a teacher

Why become a teacher?

We need you. If you want a career with meaning, become a kaiako (teacher). Teaching offers you not only a challenging, rewarding career but a chance to share your knowledge and help future generations learn and thrive. New Zealand needs well-qualified, dynamic, and enthusiastic teachers who enjoy working with young people.

We need your help in these areas.

From time to time, there are more opportunities in some teaching sectors than others - for instance, there is currently high demand for primary teachers and secondary teachers of the Sciences, Technology and Mathematics. We would like to see more male teachers in early childhood education and primary classrooms, and more people who can speak te reo Māori and Pacific languages at all levels of the education system.

Get advice from the right people.

Talking with experienced teachers, recent student teachers, careers advisors and principals can be a great help in deciding whether teaching is for you. You can also contact your nearest tertiary provider and discuss what it's like to be in the classroom or ECE centre. They may be able to arrange for you to spend some time observing a class or centre in action.

TeachNZ provides a number of scholarships for people wishing to qualify as a teacher in New Zealand. 

Why we need Māori teachers

Kuhu i te rangiora te whare whakaako he mohiotanga tapu katoa o te iwi. E karanga atu tenei ki a koutou katoa, haere mai, haere mai!
Who will teach our children te reo Māori tomorrow if it isn’t those of us who can speak it today? Te reo Māori is the cornerstone of our heritage. If you have Māori language skills then our tamariki need you now. However, if te reo and tikanga Māori are not your strengths, you’re needed just as much as a teacher and role model. As a Māori early childhood, primary or secondary teacher, you’ll have the chance to make a difference to the future of young Māori. It is important we have more Māori teachers as they help to:

  • increase participation of whānau, hapū and iwi groups in education
  • raise expectations leading to higher educational achievement for Māori
  • show young people that educational success is real and achievable
  • develop capacity of Māori and their organisations to develop their own education programmes.

Why we need Pacific teachers

Talofa lava, Kia orana, Mālō e lelei, Fakaalofa atu, Taloha ni, Ni sa Bula, Kam Na Mauri, Halo Olaketa, Ia Orana, Kia ora, Greetings.
Our future generations need more Pacific people to train as teachers in early childhood, primary and secondary teaching. Pacific student numbers are increasing relative to many other ethnicities but Pacific teacher numbers are not keeping up with this growth. Pacific teachers make great role models for Pacific 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 Pacific capacity to improve educational achievement.

Liaison officers

Most teacher education providers employ Māori and Paciific liaison officers who can help with course selection and ongoing support during your study programme. Check your tertiary provider's website to see what support is available.

More information

The TeachNZ team is here to help you with the information and support you need to make your decision. You can email us at or call us during business hours on 0800 165 225.


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