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New Zealand – Schools and Zoning

Ensuring that your children attend good schools is very important to many expatriate families. Where you choose to send your children to school will impact on several factors relating to rental properties and timing.

1. Limitations on where one can reside
2. Rental prices (and therefore budget range)
3. When school appointments can be arranged

State Schools and Zones: There are some excellent state schools in New Zealand. However, it is important that you are aware that state schools are affected by the New Zealand school zone restrictions. School zones are areas that a family must reside in order for their children to be able to attend school. “Zoning” is now becoming common throughout New Zealand, with some cities and regions stricter than others. For example in Auckland, school zones can be split within the same street. In other words, children living in even numbered houses may attend one school whilst children living in odd numbered houses may attend another.

These days, most schools will not entertain visits to the schools or meetings with school staff until you are able to provide a signed lease document confirming where you will be living and that the address is within the approved school zone area. This means you will have to think carefully about where you would like the children to go to school in relation to where you would like to live, and how far you will need to travel to get to work.

Whilst school zoning can be a challenge, once your child is in the approved school, the school must accept them for enrolment which means there are no waiting lists for states schools and of course the cost of sending your child to a state school is considerably less than sending them to a private school.

Private Schools: In contrast to state schools, private schools are not affected by school zones and families can live wherever they choose. Many private schools do however have long waiting lists and few placements. School fees also vary considerably throughout the different private schools.

International Schools: In terms of International schools in New Zealand, there are none. We do however provide the IB and Cambridge schools curriculums in some of the Private and State schools throughout New Zealand/.

• For a list of nationwide schools that provide the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum go to:
http://www.ibschoolsnz.org.nz/schools.html

•For a list of nationwide schools that provide the Cambridge Schools curriculum go to:
http://www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=14469