Learn to teach,
Learn to lead.


About Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu


We believe it is possible for all of our rangatahi (young people) in New Zealand to reach their full potential. If we achieve this, we will be a happier, healthier and richer country.

But we have a problem.

Currently, New Zealand has one of the highest levels of educational inequality in the developed world and this results in thousands of students falling through the cracks of our education system.

One of the ways that we aim to address educational inequality is through our two-year teaching and education leadership programme that supports great people to become highly effective teachers and inspirational leaders.


10,000 students are predicted to leave school in 2018 without achieving NCEA Level 2


90% of students achieve NCEA Level 1 while only 54% will leave school achieving NCEA Level 3


New Zealand has one of the strongest links between low educational achievement and socio-economic background in the OECD


The Teach First NZ Programme

The Teach First NZ Programme provides carefully selected participants with the opportunity to make a meaningful impact in a school community, inspiring future generations of New Zealanders to fulfil their potential.

Teach First NZ's teaching and education leadership programme has been identified as offering one of the top Graduate Development experiences in New Zealand. Delivered in partnership with The Mind Lab by Unitec and with support from leading New Zealand organisations, we support participants to develop their abilities as communicators and influencers in a way that no other programme can.

Upon graduating from the Teach First NZ Programme you will be awarded with a Masters in Teaching and Education Leadership from The Mind Lab by Unitec.


Acceptance into the Teach First NZ Programme means that you can:

  • Make a real difference in the community and in the lives of our rangitahi
  • Develop your leadership skills and potential
  • Become a qualified teacher as a Master of Teaching and Education Leadership
  • Build lifelong friendships with fellow participants
  • Be a part of a national movement towards change
  • Access a network of participants, alumni, education leaders and businesses
  • Be paid as you learn
  • Receive a competitive salary, as well as 10 weeks of annual holiday, and
  • Receive a fully funded Masters in Teaching and Education Leadership



Criteria for Candidates

At Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu we are looking for outstanding individuals.

Our participants do not start out as qualified teachers - in fact, they come from a range of academic disciplines and backgrounds.

To meet our eligibility criteria you must:

  • Hold New Zealand Citizenship or a Permanent Residency Visa; 
  • Not hold a secondary teaching qualification;
  • Not have received a TeachNZ scholarship in the past;
  • Be eligible to teach one of our nine subject areas;
    • Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, General Science)
    • Mathematics
    • Technology
    • Digital Technology
    • Te Reo Māori
    • English

For more information read our eligibility requirements here or take a short survey to find out how well aligned with the programme you are.


Current Key Dates

Applications close:
Monday 25th June

Interview dates:
Wednesday 27th June – Monday 2nd July

Assessment centre dates:
Thursday 5th July– Thursday 12th July

Offers communicated by:
Mid July 2018

Summer initial intensive start date:
Mid November 2018


We will be conducting 3 rounds of recruitment in 2018, the first closing in April, the second in July and the third in September.



Recruitment Process
Recruitment Process

To apply for the Teach First NZ Programme you will first need to register your interest and complete our online application form.

If your online application is successful, you will be invited for a interview where you will have another opportunity to discuss your background and demonstrate key competencies.

Success here will lead you to a Teach First NZ Assessment Centre, incorporating interviews, a group exercise, a sample teaching lesson and self-reflection exercises.

If you are successful at our Assessment Centre – congratulations! You will be made an offer to start your leadership journey with Teach First NZ.


Find out if you’re ready to learn to lead