Relief Teaching in New Zealand

Getting started

If you have recently completed your initial teacher training, you will need to apply for provisional registration and a practising certificate.  The best place for information and the forms to help you do this is the Teachers Council website. Once you have these (or Registration Subject to Confirmation) you are entitled to work as a relief teacher in New Zealand, although this will not count towards your full registration unless you are working 0.5 or more for more than 10 consecutive weeks.

Finding work

You can visit schools you would like to work in in person, armed with a tantalising one page version of your CV and a request to be put on their relief teaching list.  This way you get to see the school for yourself - and they get to see you.  Don't sign up to too many schools initially.  The majority of relief teachers only work at from one to four schools, and many of them at only one or two.  If you have contacts, use them!
To register with agencies you will need your provisional registration number, your CV, and a passport or birth certificate, a copy of your practicing certificate and references.

Filling in the forms

The first step is to get a MOE number (and keep it on you, memorise it!).  To do this you will need to complete an ESP1t form on your first day at the first school you relieve at.  You will need a bank deposit slip for this one-off form.  You should note on the form that you are a relief teacher (if this is the case).  You will also need to complete an ESP7t form (salary assessement form).  This then needs to be sent to School Support, the Ministry payroll agent. They are located on Mandeville St,  Riccarton, Christchurch (Ph (03) 348 8967, Fax 0800 105 162).  The final form is the ESP15t.  This is the timesheet you need to fill in after each day of relief teaching.  If you relieve at a private school (most Church schools, etc) they will pay you directly – so make sure you take your IRD number, bank account details and complete an IR330 at the school.
These forms can be downloaded below, but the New Zealand government school payroll website has a full host of forms to download as well as the related information and FAQs. 

Pay rates vary between approximately $NZ180.00 and $NZ260.00 gross per day . There are a number of different pay rates. For further information contact School Support in the South Island, or the New Zealand government school payroll website.  Relievers are entitled to mileage if they travel over 10km in total per day.  Relievers sometimes waive this as a goodwill gesture.  
The MInistry of Education website has information on all aspects of teaching in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Teachers Council is the professional and regulatory body for teachers in New Zealand.  Check here for the new Registered Teacher Criteria, implemented from 2011.

Agencies and employment advice


Education Gazette  NZ Government publication for the Education sector thats lists nation wide vacancies online
Quick Help Services is a Christchurch based service, supply mainly primary and intermediate relief teachers to Canterbury schools
The Staff Room is a booking service for Relief Teachers
CareerJet is a nation wide job search engine
Education Personal North Island based agency
Randstad North Island based agency
Oasis North Island based agency
Cognition  Provides school based services, including payroll
School Support Provides school based services, including the Salary Assessment Unit in Christchurch

This list is not exhaustive.

New Appointment Form for Teaching Staff 
(Excel, 77.31 KB)
Salary Assessment Form for Teaching Staff 
(Excel, 67.58 KB)
Timesheet for Individual Relief Teaching Staff 
(Excel, 33.28 KB)
Relief Teaching Log
(Word, 61 KB)
File Size: 69 kb
File Type: xls
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File Size: 61 kb
File Type: xls
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File Size: 27 kb
File Type: xls
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File Size: 57 kb
File Type: docx
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