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A teacher and a student having a conversation in a classroom
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A teacher and a student having a conversation in a classroom
Principals and schools
Ngā Kaupapa Herenga Tūao

Voluntary bonding initiatives

Eligibility and payment information for the Voluntary Bonding Schemes
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A teacher and a student having a conversation in a classroom

Have you or are you thinking of employing a new or recent graduate teacher? Is your school or kura eligible for one of the voluntary bonding schemes? If you are an eligible school or kura, graduate teachers you employ may qualify for additional payments under one of our Voluntary Bonding Schemes.

If you are a principal or tumuaki at an eligible school or kura, you can use voluntary bonding as a recruitment and retention incentive. Teachers will receive lump-sum payments to pay off their student loan faster, or receive a cash payment if they do not 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. Teachers can apply for one scheme only.

Ongoing scheme

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

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

Expansion scheme

To be eligible for the expansion scheme, applicants must:

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

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

Other eligibility criteria

In addition, to be eligible for either scheme, applicants 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.
Is your school or kura eligible?
Check the list of eligible schools and kura. [PDF, 437 KB]
Eligible schools and kura launch

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
NZD$17,500
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
NZD$10,500

Supporting graduate teachers to apply

Schools and kura do not apply on behalf of eligible teachers, but you can support your graduate teachers by becoming familiar with the eligibility criteria and knowing when teachers are eligible to apply.

Graduate teachers can apply once they have completed at least 3 years of employment at an eligible school or kura and have met the other eligibility criteria.

Applications for the Ongoing Scheme need to be submitted within 12 months of becoming eligible.

Applications for the Expansion Scheme need to be submitted within 6 months of becoming eligible.

Contact us

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

Email: voluntary.bonding@education.govt.nz

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