Shortage of primary school teachers
Demand for primary school teachers is expected to remain high. This is because:
- high birth rates in the early 2010s mean more children at primary schools until 2025
- a large number of teachers are expected to retire by 2023.
As a result the following roles appear on Immigration New Zealand's Green list:
Principal, Kaiako Kura Kaupapa Māori (Māori-medium Primary School Teacher), Pouako (Kura Kaupapa Māori – Māori-medium Primary School Senior Teacher), primary, intermediate, middle school, special needs, teacher of hearing impaired, teacher of sight impaired, special education teacher and teacher of English to speakers of other languages (if working in primary, intermediate or secondary schools).
This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled teachers in these roles from overseas to work in New Zealand.
According to the Census, 33,519 primary school teachers worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Demand highest in Auckland
Demand for primary school teachers is highest in urban North Island areas.
Primary school teachers are leaving Auckland due to the high cost of housing, and commuting times making it difficult to balance work and life.
Teachers who speak Māori in high demand
Qualified primary school teachers who also speak te reo Māori are in high demand to teach in kura kaupapa Māori (Māori language immersion schools) and in general primary schools.
The Government offers scholarships and additional salary payments to encourage people to train in this area.
Most teachers employed by the Government
State schools are the biggest employers of primary school teachers, but teachers may also work for private and state-integrated schools such as Catholic schools.