Kupe Scholarships for Māori and Pacific High Achievers. Applications are now open and will be closing on Tuesday 13 February 2024.

To be a Kupe scholar is to embody the great discoverer.

You must have a desire to strike out for far horizons and chart new territory on your journey to learn and grow.

You must embrace diversity and bring energy, intellect and enthusiasm to studying and teaching.

You must represent your whānau with pride and passion.

Although the bar is set high, if you're among the prestigious 30 chosen, you'll enjoy increased status and leadership potential with future employers. 

If you're of Māori or Pacific descent and you can see yourself becoming an outstanding role model in early childhood, primary or secondary education, consider applying to become a Kupe Scholar. Only 30 can be chosen. Will you be among them?


As a Kupe Scholar you gain access to:

  • Course fees to study an approved teaching qualification
  • An allowance of $15,000 over the period of your study (limited to three years)
  • A prestigious Kupe Keepsake – a reminder of your commitment to charting new territory and of our commitment to helping you succeed

To be eligible, you are required to:

  • be of New Zealand Māori or Pacific descent.
  • have Māori or Pacific cultural knowledge
  • have integrity, leadership and vision
  • have support from your iwi/Pacific community and Māori or Pacific leaders in your community
  • be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • have successfully completed at least one full year of your approved teaching qualification, OR have academic excellence and be enrolled in an approved Graduate Diploma/Master of Teaching
  • have a B+ grade average or above (applies to undergraduate only)
  • Have not previously received a TeachNZ scholarship

Please note: If you have already completed Initial Teacher Education Training or are already a registered teacher you are not eligible to apply for the TeachNZ Scholarships. Instead, we have Study Awards on offer - please look here.

Approved teaching qualifications are determined by the Teaching Council. They may be updated throughout the duration of the year.

Fees and allowance payments are only paid upon meeting the requirements of a scholarship. To receive allowance payments you are required to be a full-time student (or have ‘limited full-time statuses from StudyLink) and pass all of your academic year.

Further terms and conditions apply.


To apply for a scholarship you must complete an online application form. The application form will be made available when the 2024 scholarship programme opens.

You must submit your application on or before the application round closing date. 

You can apply for multiple scholarships, but can only be granted one. Part-time options are available.

Video Requirement

As part of the application process, you are required to produce a short three minute video and provide the link in your application form. Please refer to the information here about preparing your video.

The programme is inclusive and rewards outstanding applicants. Outstanding to TeachNZ goes beyond academic achievement. The programme recognises passion, leadership, good communication, lived experiences and also places value on Māori and Pacific cultural competencies and language skills.

Notification and Accepting a Scholarship

If your application is successful, we will email you a scholarship offer email with an agreement setting out the terms and conditions of the scholarship. Example terms and conditions for the Te Huarau are available to download on this page. 

We will also contact you if your application was unsuccessful and to let you know if the assessment panel have rewarded you with a reserve or alternative scholarship offer.

Need more help?

Remember, we're here to help. If you have any questions, you can email us on teachnz.admin@education.govt.nz or call us during business hours on 0800 165 225.

You can also learn more about our scholarships by watching the videos and exploring the links on the left of this page.

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