"My passion for biology is all thanks to Dr Salmonds."

Matt - BSc student

Tertiary Education Student

"Mr Tuala encouraged me to focus on my mental health."

Raewyn - LLB/BA student

"Matua Rankin got me connected with my Māori culture."

Noah - BA student

Teaching in Aotearoa New Zealand

Teaching at early learning, primary or secondary level offers you a challenging and rewarding career but also a chance to share your knowledge and help young kiwis learn and thrive.

If you are considering becoming a teacher, you’ll find helpful information here.

Ministers share their teacher stories

Teachers have an massive influence on people's lives. Hear from Minister Tinetti, Prime Minister Hipkins, Minister Davis and Minister Sio as they share their stories of teachers who influenced their lives. 

Minister Tinetti's story

Hear Minister Tinetti talk about the teacher that influenced her life. 

Prime Minister Hipkins' story

Hear from Prime Minister Hipkins as he talks about the teacher that influenced his life. 

Minister Sio's story

Hear from Minister Sio as he shares his teacher story. 

Minister Davis's story

Hear Minister Davis share his story. 

How to become a teacher

All teaching qualifications in New Zealand go through a quality approval process and are approved by NZQA and the Teaching Council to ensure that graduates are eligible to apply for registration.

University entrance is the minimum requirement to study at a New Zealand university. Entry requirements to courses vary between tertiary providers. Check out individual providers’ websites for more information.

Many tertiary providers recommend bridging or foundation qualifications for people who don’t meet the entry requirements for teaching programmes. These programmes may be up to one year long and can provide flexibility if you have other commitments. Get in touch with the tertiary provider to discuss options if you want to know more about bridging or foundation qualifications.

The Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand also requires you demonstrate that you are of good character and fit to be a teacher.

The time it takes to gain a teaching qualification will vary depending on your previous study and whether you study full-time or part-time.

To qualify as an early childhood education or primary teacher it usually takes three years’ full-time study. To qualify as a secondary teacher it usually takes four years full-time study. Study is usually expected to be completed within six years.


A Graduate Diploma of Teaching, Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning and a Master of Teaching and Learning are programmes that are between one and two years of study and are for people who already have completed an undergraduate degree.

Check out the tertiary providers’ websites for more information about the qualifications on offer or use our Study Options search tool to check out what options are available.

Getting qualified | TeachNZ

There's a huge range of study options available, so use this search tool to help you choose a programme that suits you. All the programmes listed here will lead to teacher registration and all the providers are fully accredited to offer these qualifications. 

Once you’ve chosen a course, contact the relevant tertiary provider. They'll be able to give you more information about their qualifications, entry criteria, application forms and study dates.

ITE providers and courses

There are lots of options to study for a teaching qualification that focuses on te reo Māori and te ao Māori, including a range of options for teaching in bilingual or full immersion settings. There are also study options focusing on Pacific languages, culture and identity. Use our Study Options search tool to check out what options are available from different providers.

Use our search tool to help you choose a programme that suits you.

Go to the TeachNZ website to use the tool

There are language competency requirements to start studying in an Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme and to register as a teacher in New Zealand.

Language competency requirements look at the language skills you have in te reo Māori and English. You need to show skills in one or other of these languages.

You can show you have these skills in different ways. You can provide different evidence to show your skills. There are now lots of different types of English Language tests you can use. This is a change from what you may have heard before, where there was just one type of test you could use.

If you are thinking of studying an ITE programme or looking to register as a teacher in Aotearoa, you can check the requirements on a one-page fact sheet in 9 Pacific languages and English below:

One page factsheet - English

One page factsheet - Gagana Sāmoa

One page leaflet - Gagana Tokelau

One page factsheet - Lea Faka-Tonga

One page factsheet - Fäeag Rotuḁm

One page factsheet - Gana Tuvalu

One page factsheet - Te reo Māori Kūki ‘Aīrani

One page factsheet - Vosa vaka-Viti

One page factsheet - vagahau Niue

One page factsheet - te Taetae ni Kiribati 


You can find more information on the requirements in a three-page booklet in nine Pacific languages and English below:

English Language Requirements - vagahau Niue

English Language requirements - gagana Sāmoa

English language requirements - te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani

English language requirements - Te Taetae ni kiribati

English language requirements - Vosa vaka-Viti

English language requirements - Fäeag Rotuḁm

English language requirements - lea faka-Tonga

English language requirements - te gana Tuvalu

English language requirements - gagana Tokelau

English language requirements - English

Employment-based initial teacher education (ITE) aims to attract high calibre students into teaching and give them the skills and knowledge they need to meet the needs of diverse learners.  Under employment-based ITE, teacher trainees are employed by schools as teachers while studying for their teaching qualification, instead of being based in universities.

It allows you to earn while you learn, build confidence with more in-classroom experience, while being supported by a strong mentoring programme. The Ministry of Education provides funding for a mentor teacher to work with you.

The role of mentoring a trainee teacher is a partnership between the ITE provider, the Board and the fully registered associate teacher(s). The ITE provider will be able to supply information setting out the roles and responsibilities of each partner.

Find out more on the TeachNZ website

If you decide to train as a teacher, TeachNZ has a number of scholarships available. To be eligible for one of these scholarships you must be studying an approved teaching qualification.


The following are approved qualifications and available for download in PDF or spreadsheet format.

Approved-Qualifications-and-Codes-Jan-2022 [PDF, 182 KB]

Approved-Qualifications-and-Codes-Jan-2022 [XLSX, 23 KB]

Thanks kaiako teachers

Still unsure? Hear from students across the motu talking about their teachers and the influence they have had on their lives. 

Thanks Teachers

Teachers have a huge influence on their students' lives. Could you remember the names of teachers who have influenced your life? 

Maya's story

Hear from Maya and the influence her teacher had on her.