Auckland New Zealand
Educational System

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The education in New Zealand is excellent, providing qualifications that are equal to the best in the world.

All schools, whether funded by the New Zealand Education Ministry or privately owned, follow the education curriculum according to the Education Act of 1989.

This provides full time education of New Zealand children from six years of age until they are sixteen.

Government-funded schools (state schools) don't charge tuition fees, however parents are expected to meet some of the costs such as uniforms, stationery and other activities such as school trips and camps.

Auckland new zealand education teacher picture There are around 450 primary / intermediate schools and 85 secondary schools in the greater Auckland area and admission is by residential zoning.

To enrol your children at a school it is best to contact the school directly. You will be required to supply documents such as birth certificates, school reports and proof of your address.

We had to provide a household bill such as telephone or electric bill and have it certified by a solicitor to verify we lived in the school's zone.

If you live outside of the school's zone, you are normally not able to send your children to that school. If you want to send your child to a school in another zone, you should apply directly to the school which will normally allocate spare places by ballot.

An exception to the zoning rule would be for your children to attend a special school, such as a religious school.

For more in depth information about school zones, house prices and all of Auckland's suburbs we recommend you check out the latest edition of "Where to Live in Auckland." We've found this book absolutely invaluable when looking for schools for our children.

New Zealand Education is generally split into three levels:-

Pre-school Education


Young children from two to five years old usually attend pre-school.

Pre-school isn't compulsory however it's quite common for parents to enrol their children.

Auckland new zealand education schoolboy picture

Auckland has a wide range of both state-funded and private pre-schools, many run by private operators, community church groups and voluntary agencies.


Kindergartens provide early education for children from three to five years old.

The sessions are informal and focus on developing social skills and learning through play.

Children attend either in the morning or in the afternoon.

There are usually two or three trained teachers but parents are expected to assist in the class and with committee work. Some kindergartens are free but donations are normally expected.

Primary Education

Primary school / Intermediate school

Full time New Zealand education starts in primary school by the time your child reaches six years old however the majority of children start before that. Primary school covers years 1 to 6.

Some New Zealand primary schools also include intermediate school, years 7 and 8.

However not all of them include intermediate school so your child would have to change schools to complete years 7 and 8.

Secondary Education

High school
Auckland new zealand education schoolbooks picture Secondary school education is compulsory for children from 13 years old up to the age of 16 and covers years 9 to 13.

Most Children stay at school until 18 years old but they can remain until the end of the year they become 19.

The School Year

The school year is from February to December and has four terms each around ten weeks.

Summer holidays are from December to February and last between five and six weeks.

Autumn, winter and spring holidays last two weeks each.

The school day usually starts at 9am and finishes at 3pm in primary schools and 3:30pm in the secondary schools.

University Education The New Zealand student looking for further education will be spoilt for choice in Auckland.

Auckland has some of the largest universities in the country, including the University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology, Massey University, Unitec New Zealand, and the Manukau Institute of Technology.

Auckland University Sign Picture

University of Auckland

All Auckland Universities have internationally recognised academic and research standards and offer bachelor, master and doctoral degrees.

Tuition fees are partially paid by the New Zealand Ministry of Education department but students are expected to pay the rest.

Fees can vary considerably from one university to the next so it pays to do your research and shop around for your course provider.

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