Going overseas: exemptions and allowance

A home educator who had recently returned from overseas looked into his exemption applications for his children. He questioned whether he should be filling out new exemptions for his children. Candida from the Hamilton local MoE office looked into it for him and found that he did not have to submit new exemptions (Thanks Candida). Wonderful news. Candida contacted the National MoE office and now we have the official word on it from Lucy:

We have sought clarification with our legal team regarding the rules around having to reapply for an exemption when returning to New Zealand after residing overseas for a while.

Home Educators do not need to reapply for their certificate of exemption after leaving NZ and then returning.

We do however, need to be informed when they leave and return to NZ as the funding will cease when they are away.

I will be changing our deskfile to make this clearer, and will also be sending a message out to all of our regional homeschooling staff today.

The deskfile will say:

Homeschool Parents Leaving New Zealand for Holiday or Extended Period

The maximum time a home schooling family can leave New Zealand and remain eligible for full home schooling allowance is 28 days. However the 28 day rule can be slightly flexible.

If a family leaves New Zealand for up to and including 28 days they still remain eligible for the full home schooling allowance for the overseas period.

If a family leaves New Zealand for more than 28 days but less than six months and returns to New Zealand to continue home schooling a ‘less days’ payment will be made. Please inform the Resourcing Division in the National Office of any home schoolers that will be out of New Zealand for more than 28 days, so a note can be made for the payment period.

If a family leaves New Zealand for more than 6 months they will need to re-apply for their homeschooling allowance, upon their return. This does not mean having to re-apply for the exemption but rather inform us they are back so the payments can resume.


This has been mentioned in some of the feedback provided to us that I have seen so far. Can you please let your members know of this?  I will also add it into our communications when we go back to the home educators with the collation of feedback.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Please share/forward this link with other home educators.


From the Smiths:


Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here


Needing help for your home schooling journey:



Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttps://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/


Information on getting an exemptionhttps://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: https://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: https://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/