What You Need to Know About Relocate to NewZealand

Education standards are high in New Zealand and there are many schools to choose from whether public, private, or international. Public schools follow a national curriculum while private schools have more freedom with its own. Although majority of private schools are Catholic, the religious component is often toned down. International schools are abundant and offer quality education on all levels. The only caveat is that English is the only language of instruction.


New Zealand schools are known for exceptional education quality, but of all the levels, it’s the country’s higher education system that is considered as part of the world’s best.  In fact, all of New Zealand’s public Universities are part of the top 500 in the world.  Despite being the best, there are certain nuances that you may not be used to. One of them is that the school years may overlap with each other, so do ensure to ask before zeroing in on your preferred school.

Here are the recommended age-ranges for New Zealand schools:

Early Learning



Playcenters and care services

0 to 6


3 to 6

Primary School



Year 1 to 8

5/6 to 12

Secondary School



Year 9 to 13

13 to 19

Further Education



Vocational training




Just like in the US, State schools are organized according to proximity. This ensures that every child is placed at a school near their home. Once you know where in New Zealand you will be relocating, do visit the New Zealand website for schools and find which schools apply to your district. A typical New Zealand school is open from 9:00 and 15:00 or 15:30. These are the four school terms in New Zealand:

School Term



Term 1

Late January

Early April

Term 2


Early July

Term 3

Late July

Late September

Term 4



Below is a table of New Zealand’s Grading System:



Grade Description









Standard Achieved (the lowest passing grade)



Standard Not Achieved

These are the three types of schools in New Zealand State schools (the equivalent of “public schools”) State integrated schools Private schools Here are the documents your child will need: Proof of the child’s age and citizenship (birth certificate, passport, ID or residency document) Certificate of immunizations Information about medical conditions, allergies, medication, etc. Emergency contacts The name of the child’s doctor and contact information. The New Zealand equivalent of daycare, preschool or kindergarten is the ECE or the Early Childhood Education. ECE is further classified to being parent-led or teacher-led. Teacher-led services include: Kindergartens Education and care services Home-based services Te Kura (The Correspondence School) Parent-Led Services include: Playcenters Playgrounds Other culture-specific groups which encourages Māori culture, Tikanga, or foreign cultures. If your child is in secondary school, as a resident of New Zealand, you don’t have to pay anything, but state-integrated schools cost around 1,500 NZD (970 USD) a year, and private school fees are 25,000 NZD (16,660 USD). Some of the best primary and secondary schools are exclusive girl schools. You can read up on the ranking of the best schools here. Included are: Samuel Marsden Collegiate School in Wellington St Cuthbert’s College (Epsom) in Auckland Diocesan School for Girls in Auckland Rangi Ruru Girls’ School in Canterbury Queen Margaret College in Wellington Another helpful resource is the full directory of schools in New Zealand, so be sure to check it out. There may be little to no need to put your child in an international school, this is because both private and public schools can offer International Baccalaureate Diplomas. If you do opt to put your child into an International school, here’s a list of New Zealand’s best:\

International School


City Impact Church School


ACG Parnell College


St Peter’s School


Shirley Boys’ High School


Diocesan School for Girls


If you are looking at Higher Education Options, these are the kinds of institutions that New Zealand offers: Private Training Establishments (PTEs) Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) Wananga, which use Māori ways of teaching and learning Universities Workplace training These are the top eight universities in New Zealand which are also part of the top 500 QS World University Ranking: University of Auckland (Auckland) Auckland University of Technology (Auckland) University of Canterbury (Christchurch) Victoria University of Wellington (Wellington) Lincoln University (Christchurch) A Bachelor’s degree will cost between 22,000 to 32,000 NZD (14,660–21,330 USD) for international students with premiums placed on those who want to study medicine and veterinary.

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