The door is being opened to 300 overseas qualified teachers to come to New Zealand under a new class border exception, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.
Teachers already employed in New Zealand, but who left the country and were unable to return to their job after the pandemic-sparked border closure to almost all non-citizen or resident arrivals may also be eligible, Hipkins said.
"A separate family reunification border exception is being created for the partners and dependent children of teachers who are already in New Zealand on temporary visas.
"A lot of families were separated when border restrictions were put in place to protect New Zealand from Covid-19 and we know this has been hard for them. We're pleased we're at last able to reunite teachers with their families."
Teachers already in New Zealand will be able to request to bring in their partners and dependent children for the duration of their visa.
Criteria are on the ministry's website here.
The Education Ministry would work with schools and early childhood education services to make sure those with the greatest recruitment needs got priority, Hipkins said.
"While the overall outlook for domestic teacher supply remains positive, I know that ECE services and schools continue to find certain locations and subjects difficult to recruit for.
"This will give principals and services additional support, especially for 2022 recruitment, and complement existing teacher supply initiatives."
New Zealand teachers coming home from Covid-torn parts of the world had already dramatically eased the country's teacher shortage as the new school year started in January.
The number of teaching vacancies in primary and secondary schools dropped by a third from 349 in January 2020 - just before the Covid-19 pandemic led to lockdowns and closed borders in New Zealand and around the world - to 233 at the same time a year later, according to the Ministry of Education.
The staffing situation was "better than it's been for many years", because of New Zealand teachers not going overseas, many returning and jobs teaching overseas students disappearing because the border remains closed, Secondary Principals' Association president Deidre Shea told the Herald in January.