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Minimum wage
in New Zealand.

SALARY PAYMENT IN New Zealand Dollar (NZD, $)




TIME TO HIRE 24 hours

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New Zealand

    What is the minimum wage in New Zealand per hour?

    There are three different minimum wage rates in New Zealand that encompass training, starting-out, and adult.

    As of April 2024, the current minimum wage rates per hour in New Zealand were:

    • Training – NZ$18.52
    • Starting-out – NZ$18.52
    • Adult – NZ$23.15

    The minimum wage rates apply to individuals over 16 years of age but the classification depends on the employee’s circumstances.

    Training minimum wage applies to:

    • Those aged between 16 and 17 who have not completed six months of continuous employment service with their current employer.
    • Those aged between 18 and 19 who have received one or more social security benefits for six months or more and haven’t completed 6 months of continuous employment with an employer.

    Starting-out minimum wage applies to:

    • Those employees aged 20 or over who have signed an employment agreement that states that they have to do at least 60 credits a year of an approved industry training programme to become qualified in their line of work.

    Are there regional variations in New Zealand minimum wage?

    No. New Zealand’s central government sets the minimum wage rates and rates apply to the whole country. 

    How has minimum wage in New Zealand changed in the last 5 years and beyond?

    In the period between April 2017 and April 2022 New Zealand’s minimum wage has increased by 35%. 

    The increase in New Zealand’s minimum wage between April 2017 and April 2022 represents a considerable increase in real wages. 

    Date Min. wage, hourly  rate (NZD)
    2022 21.20
    2021 20.00
    2020 18.90
    2019 17.70
    2018 16.50
    2017 15.75
    2016 15.25

    How does the minimum wage in New Zealand compare to surrounding countries?

    From an employer’s perspective, the minimum wage in New Zealand compares favorably to the minimum wage in its nearest neighbor, Australia.

    In USD terms, New Zealand’s minimum wage is roughly $1.50 per hour less than in Australia. This equates to savings of USD$240 over a month or USD$2,880.

    • New Zealand – NZD$21.20 | USD$11.92
    • Australia – AUD$21.38 | USD£13.45

    Is there a different minimum wage for expats in New Zealand?

    No. Provided they are eligible to work in New Zealand, migrant workers have the same minimum employment rights as native workers. These minimum employment rights include being paid the minimum wage.    

    Hiring in New Zealand, Made Easy

    Your business can easily hire employees in New Zealand without opening a local entity. We handle local employment law, complex tax regulations, and international payroll in 180+ countries worldwide. All you need to do is focus on your business.


    Median salaries vary across industry sectors and job roles. In 2022, median income from wages and salaries was NZD$29.66 per hour. When compared to New Zealand’s adult minimum wage of NZD$21.20 per hour, this equates to a difference of just under NZD$8.50.

    The minimum wage changes annually in New Zealand. The next increase in New Zealand’s minimum wage is due on March 31st 2023. 

    As the findings above suggests, for most professional jobs, you are unlikely to attract skilled candidates by offering salaries close to the minimum wage. Furthermore, data from the OECD indicates that unemployment in New Zealand is at its lowest level since 2007 and that employers continue to report positive hiring intentions. The continued tightening of New Zealand’s labor market is driving wage increases.

    New Zealand does have a living wage. For 2022/23 the living wage on NZD is $23.65 per hour. 

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