New Zealand

Aotearoa, “The Land of the Long White Cloud”, New Zealand is justly famous for its stunning scenery and dramatic landscape, featured so prominently in the Lord of the Rings films. Friendly, welcoming and laid back, it is just the place for anyone looking for adventure and the adrenalin rush of outdoor sports on a overseas work placement. We have placements throughout the country in some wonderful schools and outdoor activity facilities for a memorable gap year. Volunteering in New Zealand offers something for everyone!

Placement Roles

School Assistant

School Assistant placements involve working in boarding schools supervising the pupils with their homework, assisting them in the boarding house, helping teachers in the classroom and organising extra-curricular activities. Life in a New Zealand boarding school is not a 9-5 existence as you may be asked to supervise in the early mornings, ensuring the dorms are tidy and the students are ready for breakfast. In the evenings you might be asked to assist with prep and supervise extra-curricular activities. The same is true of weekend duty when you may take pupils on outings.

extra curricular and outdoor activities are big parts of volunteer placements in new zealand

In these placements volunteers will generally be relied upon to help with many extra-curricular activities, this may include various sports, drama, music and art clubs. For the willing volunteer there will always be lots of activities to get involved with!

Outdoor Activities Instructor

There are a small number of outdoor activity placements available in New Zealand. If you are enthusiastic and love the outdoors then these placements may be for you. New Zealand is famous for its outdoor sports and volunteers are involved in many activities, usually as an assistant to full-time outdoor activity instructors in leading groups. Volunteers will also be involved in the running of the camp.

Highropes and outdoor activity work placements

What To Expect

Our teaching assistant roles in New Zealand are mostly in boarding schools. You could be working in a large boarding school for girls in the Hawkes Bay region of North Island, helping students in small learning groups and assisting teachers with lunchtime or after school duties. At this placement you would work Monday to Friday 8.40am-3.20pm as well as working extra hours outside of the classroom, bringing your weekly total to 40 hours. You would also have the opportunity to tailor your duties around your interests. If you are particularly sporty, for example, you could be asked to contribute these skills to running an after school sports club. In the evenings and at weekends when you have free time, volunteers are encouraged to make the most of nearby amenities such as theatres, wineries, skiing facilities, restaurants and fishing.



If you decide to opt for an outdoor activity instructor role, you could find yourself volunteering in a camp which hosts schools and community groups in the Wellington region. In this placement you would also work 40 hours per week, usually between 8am-5pm, and would be involved in instructing activities (full training provided), helping with maintenance, working in the kitchen and contributing to cleaning duties. This kind of placement would suit a volunteer who enjoys communal living, meeting lots of people and being around children.

Accommodation, food and allowance

Those in a school can have their own room in the boarding house or a flat provided by the school which is usually shared with another volunteer and/or staff. Those in day schools will live with a host family. At outdoor camps, accommodation and food is provided by the camp or centre. Accommodation varies from place to place but it is comfortable. If a volunteer goes on expeditions you will be camping.

Each placement will provide a weekly allowance and food or an allowance that includes food costs.

Is it for me?

New Zealand rewards those with a “can do” attitude. You will be expected to throw yourself into all aspects of school life and be positive, friendly and helpful to the staff and students you are working with. The schools will want to make the most of whatever skills you can bring them, be that in sports, music, art, drama or academically.

Need to know

  • Pre departure briefing: all volunteers are invited to a group briefing prior to departure.
  • On arrival: volunteers attend a 2-3 day orientation before placements commence.

Free Time & Travel


Volunteers in New Zealand, Aotearoa as the Maori call it, are spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do. Sheep may outnumber people, but do not be fooled by New Zealand’s sparse population density into thinking that you will have nothing to do during your free time. Kiwis are renowned for their warm and outgoing disposition, and the chances are your social calendar will be full in no time.



If you do find time outside of your social commitments, the country offers a wide range of opportunities to sample outdoor activities under breath-taking scenery. New Zealand is the birthplace of bungee jumping and adrenaline seekers will also find abundant opportunities to try out black-water rafting, zorbing and skydiving.




During weekends and holidays past volunteers have also found time to venture west to climb the unforgettable Fox Glacier. Aside from these attractions, New Zealand boasts beaches, mountains, fiords, native forests and thermal regions.



There are also 10 major wine growing regions, where you can sample (arguably) the world’s best sauvignon blanc. And of course, no placement in New Zealand is complete until you have witnessed first-hand the country’s passion for rugby. Join a local club, or just watch from the stands and let yourself get carried away by the atmosphere.



What's Included?

As part of the placement the following is provided:

What’s included?

  • In depth matching process to align your skills and interests with a placement that really suits you
  • Assigned Volunteer Coordinator to help with all your pre-departure advice and guidance
  • Links with returned volunteers
  • Relevant DBS/police check fees
  • Advice on obtaining a Visa
  • Pre-departure briefing
  • Airport pickup on arrival
  • Accommodation for the duration of stay in New Zealand
  • Food provided by host (may not be included during school holidays)
  • Weekly allowance (provided by your placement)
  • In-country orientation as part of country programme network of international Lattitude volunteers
  • Day to day support from your placement host and a member of staff as your mentor
  • 24/7 support from Lattitude, including in-country support from local reps and the Lattitude Country Manager
  • Focus on your personal volunteer learning and development
  • Returned Volunteer follow up and Debrief Event
  • Opportunity to join the Lattitude Alumni Association
  • Certificate of completion and references (on request)

Other costs

  • £25 application fee
  • International Flights
  • Onward travel to placement (if applicable)
  • Travel insurance
  • Inoculations (if applicable)
  • Visa
  • Pocket Money for weekends/holidays/post-placement travel


As a charity we always recommend our volunteers fundraise to help meet the costs involved in volunteering overseas. In many ways it is part of the whole experience. For more information and fundraising ideas please click here.

Planning your trip

We always recommend applying as early as possible in order to secure your place. 

Please note that the application deadline is the last possible time allowed to get an application form in that allows us enough time to match volunteers and begin sorting out visas.

Swipe left/right for more information

PlacementLengthDepartureApplication DeadlineStatus
School Assistant11 MonthsJuly 20181st March 20182 Spaces Left
Outdoor Activity Instructor7 MonthsSeptember 20181st March 20182 Spaces Left
School Assistant6 MonthsJanuary 20191st June 2018Spaces Available
volunteer in new zealand for the time of your life!

“I can honestly say, I’d go back to New Zealand like a shot. Becoming a part of a new place is indescribable, all I can say is – I had the time of my life, when can I go back?”

Elenor, Schools Assistant