Becoming a teacher in New Zealand
Ngā Kaupapa Herenga Tūao

Voluntary Bonding Schemes

Work in school or kura where you're most needed

About the schemes

Are you a graduate teacher looking for your first teaching role? Or perhaps you have already started at a school or kura that is part of the voluntary bonding schemes? If eligible, you can receive lump-sum payments to pay off your student loans faster or receive a cash payment if you don’t have a student loan.

There are 2 types of voluntary bonding schemes: the ongoing scheme and the expansion scheme. They have different eligibility criteria and payments for teachers. You can apply for one scheme only.

Ongoing scheme

To be eligible for the ongoing scheme, you must be teaching in a decile 1 or an isolated school or kura.

You can apply for payments within the 12 months after completing your third, fourth or fifth consecutive year of teaching.

Expansion scheme

To be eligible for the expansion scheme, you must:

  • be a teacher in an Auckland decile 2 or 3 school or kura; or
  • be a teacher in a kaupapa Māori/Māori-medium setting; or
  • be teaching science, maths, teach or te reo Māori.

You can apply for a one-off payment within the 6 months after completing your third consecutive year of teaching.

Additional eligibility criteria

In addition, to be eligible for either scheme, you must be:

  • a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • a New Zealand-trained teacher
  • provisionally certified
  • teaching at least 0.5 full-time teaching equivalent (FTTE)
  • teaching at an eligible school or kura.

Check your eligibility

Use our eligibility tool to see if you are eligible for the schemes
Use the tool launch
Check if your school or kura is eligible by searching the list below. [PDF, 437 KB]
Eligible schools and kura launch

Other key information

  • All VBS payments are taxable lump sums.
  • VBS payments will be paid onto your student loan balance if you have one. If the VBS payment exceeds your remaining loan balance, IRD will refund the difference at the end of the tax year.
  • If you have received any other sort of TeachNZ scholarship, your eligibility for VBS or the payment values may be impacted.
  • Periods of extended leave without pay (for example, parental leave) can impact your eligibility and when you should apply.
  • During our peak busy period December to March, VBS processing times can be slower than usual. Applicants will receive an automated message which gives an indication of current processing times.
  • Scheme payments are subject to income tax, an ACC earners levy, and may have an impact on your income tax obligations, Working for Families payments, and child support payments, etc.
  • We suggest that you seek independent tax advice on how scheme payments will affect your tax position. For further tax information, contact Inland Revenue on 0800 775 247 or visit the IRD website.

Voluntary Bonding Scheme payments

Ongoing scheme payments
Apply after year 1
N/A
Apply after year 2
N/A
Apply after year 3
NZD$10,500
Apply after year 4
NZD$3,500
Apply after year 5
NZD$3,500
Total
Up to NZD$17,500 maximum (before tax)
Expansion scheme payments
Apply after year 1
N/A
Apply after year 2
N/A
Apply after year 3
NZD$10,500
Apply after year 4
N/A
Apply after year 5
N/A
Total
Up to NZD$10,500 maximum (before tax)

Apply

If you are eligible and have completed your third, fourth or fifth year of teaching, complete the application form.

Voluntary Bonding Scheme application form [PDF, 366 KB]

We recommend looking at the application guide to help complete your application. 

Voluntary Bonding Scheme guidance [PDF, 298 KB]

Contact us

If you have any questions, we’re here to help. 

Email: voluntary.bonding@education.govt.nz 

Quote your MoE or applicant reference number if available.

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