Students undertaking initial teacher education and starting out in teaching can get involved with New Educators Network, a support network for students and beginning teachers, which organises a variety of professional development and networking activities.

For more information please email

Improve your pay and status

NZEI Te Riu Roa has the collective strength to negotiate improved pay and conditions. We have a proud history of successful campaigning for better status and pay for our members:

  • 1998 - Our members won pay parity for primary teachers with their secondary colleagues
  • 2001 - NZEI negotiated the first collective agreement for Group Special Education support workers employed by the Ministry of Education
  • 2002 - Kindergarten teachers were awarded pay parity with other teachers
  • 2003-4 - NZEI field staff recovered thousands of dollars in back pay for support staff who have not been receiving their correct pay and conditions.
  • 2004 - Primary teachers won a significant step forward with paid "classroom release time" as a key feature of their new collective agreement.
  • 2004 - Pay parity for early childhood teachers negotiated by NZEI Paid classroom release time won for primary teachers
  • 2007 - NZEI wins largest ever package of pay settlements for primary teachers, principals and school support staff.

By joining NZEI you can be sure that:
  • your pay and conditions are negotiated and enforced effectively (through your collective agreement)
  • you get support at your workplace when you need it
  • you can access training seminars, workshops and conferences
  • advocacy and counselling support is available for employment and personal issues
  • you get advice on training and qualifications
  • you get regular opportunities to meet and share experiences with your colleagues through local networks, conferences and seminars, and at NZEI’s local branch, aronui tomua and komiti pasifika meetings. 

Your protection at work

Being a member of NZEI Te Riu Roa means being part of a team that acts collectively to support each other. NZEI Te Riu Roa has paid field staff and voluntary Members' Support Teams working throughout New Zealand to support you. Our industrial advocates are skilled and experienced negotiators. As a member, you are involved and kept informed during the negotiation of your collective employment agreement. Remember, you can only be covered by the NZEI Te Riu Roa-negotiated agreement at your workplace if you are a member of the union.

At NZEI we believe in the vital contribution all education staff make in providing a quality learning environment for children at every level of their education. We represent teachers and principals, school support staff, kindergarten and early childhood centre teachers, Kaiarahi i te reo, assistants to teachers of students with severe disabilities and special education assistants, Group Special Education managers, field staff and support workers, advisers and specialists. Support is just a phone call away

NZEI has skilled field officers and takawaenga who visit workplaces and keep in touch with members, providing advice, information and advocacy and ensuring your interests are protected.

Member benefits

Reflecting Your Interests

NZEI Te Riu Roa is a democratic organisation in which people working in education support each other on professional and employment matters. Members elect their representatives. Involvement begins in the workplace and continues through local branches, aronui tomoa or komiti pasifika and district councils to the union's National Executive and Maori Council, Te Reo Areare.

Sector networks ensure the needs of all members are understood and reflected throughout NZEI Te Riu Roa. Advisory groups provide policy advice to the National Executive, monitor professional concerns and play a key role in the negotiation of employment agreements, recruitment and networking.

NZEI Te Riu Roa is committed to honouring and giving effect to the Treaty of Waitangi within education and inside the union. The union's Maori structures are supported in their work to improve the quality of Maori education.

Influencing Education Policies

NZEI plays an active part in developing national education policies, promoting high professional standards and the best education for children.

NZEI representatives:
  • meet regularly with Ministers, Members of Parliament and government officials participate in government working parties and groups that are developing education policies
  • lobby Government about issues that members feel strongly about
  • make submissions on key policy and legislation.

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