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Montessori Teaching Positions
in New Zealand
Current Montessori Teaching Vacancies
 Updated 25 April 2001
Dear Internet Visitor,

Perhaps this page will help you...

From time to time I hear of teaching positions available within New Zealand.  I am the husband of a very active and experienced Montessori teacher (see the rest of this web site), who has many national and international connections.  As a service to Pauline's school, adult students, and also to the international Montessori community, I maintain this web site.

If you are an Australian (or NZ) citizen, I may be able to find a placement for you immediately.  Other nationalities will of course have to apply for work permits or permanent residency.  If you need assistance with any step in teaching in our beautiful, friendly country, please send me an email at:     or

Please include your name, geographic location, and teaching background (brief).

At any given time there are teaching positions available, especially at the preschool level. 

Be sure to see the New Zealand Ministry of Education web site:
The New Zealand Education Gazette is the Ministry of Education's official fortnightly circular and includes job vacancies in the education sector, official notices, education news items, conferences, courses and seminars.

As of November 2000, there will be positions needed for the year 2001, for a preschool teacher and a primary teacher at Wairarapa Montessori Centre, Masterton, NZ.   Please send a letter to the above email address. You must be perfectly fluent in English and preferably from an English speaking country. Please state your  Montessori training and experience. Update 2 Jan 2001: the primary position is now filled. A preschool teacher may be needed during the 2001 year.

The best resource page for all international Montessori jobs that I know of is located at the MCI web site (see my links page on this site).  New Zealand teaching positions are indicated here.  I may know of other positions that are available, and can give you personal service.

Steve Lee


How to Get a Montessori Teaching 
Position in New Zealand

...from a private letter to me, via this web site....

2 January 2001

> I am a Nursery Teacher in a -------  school in ---------------,
> (pre-school).  I would love the opportunity to come to New Zealand and
> teach, short or long term.  I am Montessori trained at Nursery level
> too.  I have had two very good -------  reports over the last three
> years and am a creative, responsive and caring teacher.  How do I go
> about everything?  I would love some help.

Dear --------,

Thank you for your letter of inquiry about Montessori teaching in New Zealand.  I am the husband of a very active and experienced Montessori teacher and trainer, Pauline Harter.  I am also her email secretary and web site manager, workshop 'assistant', chairperson of our primary parents committee, and I often answer questions on the telephone from various students and teachers.  This is all done on a volunteer basis, mostly  because I am an ardent supporter of Montessori education.

New Zealand needs Montessori trained teachers!  I can assure you that a job is waiting here for you, somewhere, sometime.  There may be a position available right now, or in six months, or next year.  But how do you go about getting this teaching position?

The first important step is to go to our web site and print this page:
There are useful links for you to explore, and important information that you need to actively follow through.

If you are a New Zealand or Australian resident, then job opportunities are much easier for you.  Otherwise you must endure the long process of obtaining a work permit and residency here in New Zealand.  If you have never lived away from your own country, then let me warn you that this process (for whatever country, for whatever job) can take a long time.  You will need lots of patience and persistence! 

There is a "catch 22" that most government departments have.  You need to be aware of this!  Basically, you cannot get a work permit and residency unless you have a job, and you cannot get a job unless you have a work permit and residency. Confused and surprised?  Well, there is a way around this.

The best thing for you to do is to come over to New Zealand on a tourist visa, for at least two weeks.  Visit as many Montessori schools as possible. You will find various web sites of schools (see the MANZ link on our site): set up appointments prior to your arrival in NZ, and just say that you want to observe Montessori teaching. In other words, you will be 'Networking'. Within a short time you will have some very useful contacts, which will lead to a job placement.

If you are not willing to invest in paying for a NZ trip, then at least use your telephone. After speaking to a minimum of four schools-teachers, you will have a much better idea of job opportunities here. Remember to ask for other people who may be able to help you, and be prepared to fax your CV. When you are on the phone, don't be in a rush.  It is no longer so expensive to phone internationally.  If you are too cheap to do this (it will cost less than a good coat or dress) then you may as well give up now and stay where you are.  Coming to NZ is going to cost a lot of money, but the rewards of living in our corner of paradise will be worth it.       :-)

Be sure to ring at an appropriate time. 
For schools, the best time would be 7.45 - 8.05 AM, or 3.30 - 4.00 PM.
Be prepared to make several phone calls to the same school, in order to 'catch' the principal or head teacher at the right time.

TIME DIFFERENCES:  New Zealand is +or-1200 from GMT.
   10 PM EST USA time = 3 PM NZ time (both standard, not DST)
     2 PM EST USA time = 7 AM NZ time (we are a day ahead also)
To see the current time in NZ (or anywhere in the world), surf over to:

Also be aware of our school holiday periods. 
See the link on our site to the NZ Ministry of Education.

Back to the "Catch 22".  When you find a school that is interested in employing you, they will give you a letter to submit to the NZ Department of Immigration.  Simple.  But I left out one important item.  Your overseas qualifications will need to be approved by NZQA (again, see our site).  This can take from 3 to 6 months.  Note: if you want to teach at primary level (ages 6 and over; not preschool) then you will need to have a university degree -or equivalent- in primary education.

Will a school employ you with only a telephone interview? Maybe. Maybe not.  If you cannot be present for a face-to-face interview, my advice is for you to send a video tape of your teaching. There is also Internet video conferencing. If you are from a non-English speaking country (and English is your second language), I personally would doubt that any school would offer you a job based on your CV alone.  Include  *several*  photos with your CV, especially in a classroom setting.

How patient are you?  If you want a job "now" or next month, then this is unrealistic.  Getting a job in another country will take TIME.  If your time frame is 6 months or a year, then this is more realistic.  But there are exceptions.  Sometimes schools desparately need to fill a vacancy; even so, your qualifications will need to be approved (it could be fast-tracked by a persistent principal).

I hope that this information has been of help to you.  If you would like more assistance, you may telephone me.  But first of all you must follow through on the advice given on our web page. Go to the links there. Place an advert in the MANZ newsletter and get your qualifications accepted by NZQA.  If you do this then you will almost certainly get a job here.

A final word of advice. Snail mail does not get good results. I highly recommend that you use the telephone to contact various government departments and schools.  Also use a fax.  Email is also possible, but do NOT rely on this. Always follow up telephone calls with a fax, email or snail mail letter.  This means that you must get the names and addresses of the people you are speaking with.

New Zealand is a wonderful place to live, and there is no better education than Montessori, and Montessori in NZ is very much 'alive and well', with some exceptional teachers and many enthusiastic parents.  I wish you luck with your efforts to come here.

Kind regards,

Steve Lee

...from another letter to me, via this web site....

15 November, 2000
Masterton, New Zealand

<< I would like to hear from you regarding any interest you might have in  recruiting members of this vibrant and enthusiastic group of --------- for 
your school in the coming academic year/term. They are open to any 
suggestions regarding employment either as an intern or as a member of 
your core teaching staff.>>

Dear ------,

You will be interested to know that two hours after I received your (above) 
email, I read parts of your letter to a public meeting that we had to promote 
our new Montessori Primary Class.  We had 40 people attending, mostly 
parents.  The reason that I chose to read your letter was to show parents 
that Montessori was international and professional with high educational 
standards.  Also, I noted that we could always find a teacher for our class 
from  ------------ !

Apologies for this late reply.  There much information that I have to give 
you, with regard to your teachers obtaining jobs here in NZ.  I will do this in 
brief, but feel free to telephone me for further details.

The good news is that any qualified Montessori pre-school or primary 
teacher will have no problems finding a job in New Zealand !   We have a 
shortage of qualified teachers.

Please note that primary teachers must get their qualifications approved by 
the NZQA - the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.  This means that 
they will have to get 'teacher registration', and this costs $200 NZ (approx. $90 USD). 
Once this is obtained, and once a school accepts the application of the 
(--------------) teacher, then they will have to apply for a work visa.  All of this 
information can be found on NZ government web sites.

In order to teach at primary or secondary level, a teacher needs to have 
university qualifications, or the equivalent from a respected and recognized 
tertiary institution.  There are only a few Montessori primary classes in NZ, 
but the number is increasing.  Most positions are found in pre-schools.

The best thing is for your teachers to come here to NZ on a visitor's visa. 
As you can imagine, it is difficult for a school to accept a teacher without 
first interviewing them in person. I know that the cost of an air ticket may 
be prohibitive for some of your teachers, but if their English (accent) is 
acceptable, and if they also have good teacher skills and a good 
personality, it would be guaranteed that they could find a job.  I suspect 
that the same is true in Australia.

An alternative to coming to NZ would be to send a video of the teacher, 
including an interview and teaching methods. This should be done 
professionally. In my opinion it would be difficult for a --------- (or from 
other non-English speaking countries / Eastern / Asian) teacher to be 
appointed without the NZ principal and school board actually seeing and/or 
speaking with the teacher first.

My wife is Pauline Harter, who is on the NZ national executive committee of 
Montessori, MANZ.  She has many years of Montessori teaching and 
tutoring experience here in NZ and overseas. Please refer to her web site 
(below).  I am basing the information that I am giving you from Pauline's 
involvement. Pauline would be happy to answer your questions by 

It would be very advantageous for you to place an advertisement in MANZ 
newsletter - to promote the availability of your teachers.  See Pauline's web 
site for the URL, or use a Search Engine to find their web site.

I also recommend that you get in contact with MCI in London - they have 
(to my knowledge) the best international advertisements for teaching 
positions, plus they may be able to advertise that your teachers are 

Kind regards,

Steve Lee

Current Montessori Teaching Vacancies
Pauline's Music CD

Group photos of  Wairarapa Montessori Centre

Information About Wairarapa Montessori Centre

Photos of WMC Preschoolers

Helpful Information on Teacher Training

Jobs:  Teaching Positions in New Zealand

Maria Montessori Quotations

Job Opportunities Teaching Montessori