Equal Pay In NZ

A DigitalNZ Story by Zokoroa

How far has NZ come with equal pay and pay equity since women were granted the vote in the 1893? This story shows how the gender pay gap, pay parity within and between occupations, and minimum wages were represented by cartoonists and news media. .

pay equity, gender pay gap, equal pay for equal work, minimum wage, pay, salaries, women, women workers, female workers, discrimination, equality, gender, workers, jobs, occupation, stereotypes, bias

Gender pay gap

How far has NZ come with equal pay and pay equity since women were granted the vote in 1893?  Equal pay is when men and women get paid the same for doing the same work - equal pay for equal work. Pay equity is when women and men receive the same pay for doing jobs that are different, but of equal value (that is, jobs that require similar degrees of skills, responsibility and effort). Let's explore NZ's gender pay gap for women through the eyes of cartoonists and the news media. We'll look at attitudes to women workers; the legislative journey for equal pay; and female-dominated professions and pay parity. We'll also celebrate successes along the way leading up to the Equal Pay Amendment Act 2020 which introduced a process for hearing claims.  

1893: Women gain vote

How Far We've Come

Alexander Turnbull Library

1913: Suffragist and wages

"The time will come when women will get a man's wages." Voice from audience: "Yes; next Saturday night"

Untitled Illustration

National Library of New Zealand

2015: $10 note is worth $8.50 for women

From 29 Nov 2015 until end of year, most women were effectively 'working for free'.

Murdoch, Sharon Gay, 1960- :Pay equity. 28 December 2014

Alexander Turnbull Library

THE EVIDENCE: INCOME SURVEYS

Results from Statistics New Zealand and  State Services Commission surveys on income have shown the extent of the gender pay gap, based on median hourly earnings. (Median pay is the middle amount of pay earned - half of employees earn less and half earn more.) 

Statistics NZ: median hourly earnings of entire NZ workforce

Income gap is 9.9% (2014) and rose to 11.8% (2015), which Minister for Women Louise Upston called "disappointing"

Hubbard, James, 1949- :NZ income gap equal highest in the world - News... 16 December 2014

Alexander Turnbull Library

Statistics NZ: median hourly earnings of entire NZ workforce

2016 showed gender pay gap increased to 12%, 2017 (10.5%), 2018 (9.2%), 2019 (9.3%) & 2020 (9.5%)

Gender pay gap continues to widen

Radio New Zealand

State Services Commission: median pay of public servants

In 2019 the gap was 6.2%, which was a fall from 10.7% in 2018

What is being done to fix the gender pay gap?

Radio New Zealand

Comparison between industries: average hourly rate (2019)

Statistics NZ survey of average hourly earnings for women in different fields of work

Average hourly earnings for female employees in New Zealand - By industry, ordinary time plus overtime, 2020 Q4, NZD per hour

Figure.NZ

Comparison between industries: average weekly rate (2019)

Statistics NZ survey of average weekly earnings of women in different fields of work

Average weekly earnings for female employees in New Zealand - By industry, ordinary time plus overtime, 2020 Q4, NZD per week

Figure.NZ

Based on Oxfam's 2017 report, "An economy for the 99%", women would take 170 years to be paid the same as men due to women often taking on low-paying jobs and facing high levels of discrimination in the workplace.    

2017: Oxfam's Wealth inequality report

Stephen Joyce discounts findings women would take 170 years to be paid same as men

Inequality gap in NZ amongst world's highest

Alexander Turnbull Library

ATTITUDES TO WOMEN WORKERS

History shows employment opportunities and pay being set according to gender.  Recently, the Ministry for Women released two reports, Empirical evidence of the gender pay gap in New Zealand (March 2017) and Parenthood and labour market outcomes (May 2018). The results found that factors such as differences in education, occupations that men and women are employed in, and women being more likely to work part-time accounted for around 20 per cent of the current gender pay gap. The other 80 per cent was owing to "unexplained" factors such as conscious and unconscious bias.  Societal attitudes and beliefs about the types of work appropriate for women have been satirised in the following cartoons. 

Gender discrimination in employment, 1977

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

2016: Man standing on top of a pillar labelled, 'gender bias': "It's a level playing field as far as the eye can see"

The View from Here

Alexander Turnbull Library

Attitudes to Māori, Pasifika and Asian women workers

At the national Gender Equality Conference held in Wellington (2016), the Tertiary Education Union and Statistics NZ shared survey findings. Whereas Pākehā women on average earned 84% of the average weekly wage of Pākehā men, Asian women earned 77%, Māori women earned 72%, and Pasifika women earned 57%. 

2016: Tertiary Education Union & Stats NZ - women earned less on average although had higher number with a degree

Pākehā women earnings = 84%, Asian women = 77%, Māori women = 72%, and Pasifika women = 57% of Pakeha men

Equal pay? Not for women of colour

Radio New Zealand

Contributing factor - Educational qualifications?

During the Gender Equality Conference, Statistics NZ explored whether education qualifications were a contributing factor for the pay inequities. However, the findings showed that Māori, Pasifika and Filipino New Zealander women outnumbered men with a Bachelor's degree: 200 Māori women for every 100 Māori men; 190 Pasifika women aged under their 30s for every 100 males; and 140 Filipino New Zealanders for every 100 men. There were similar numbers of Indian and Chinese male and female graduates with a Bachelor's degree. With regards to a post-graduate qualification, there were twice as many Pasifika, Filipino New Zealander and Korean women compared with men.  

Contributing factor: Discrimination against women as employees?

Conference quest speaker Shamubeel Eaqub commented that the disparities in wages were because sexism is institutionalised across NZ, from the top down in politics, public policy and the business community: "The system is stacked, and the system is discriminatory. There are more men in positions of power and they discriminate. There is this uneven playing field. We need to have a public policy solution that evens this out by force. [So positive discrimination?] Absolutely."  (Source: Radio New Zealand: Equal pay? Not for women of colour, 24 Oct 2016

Massey University's chancellor Chris Kelly on women vets getting married and having children (Dec 2016)

"...the problem is one woman graduate is equivalent to two-fifths of a full-time equivalent vet throughout her life...."

Women graduates worth less - uni chancellor

TV3

employment inequities against Māori women & TREATY OF WAITANGI CLAIM: 

A group of prominent women led by the Māori Women's Welfare League filed a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal in 1993. They were seeking to address inequities experienced in employment for Māori women resulting from the Crown's actions and policies since 1840 systemically discriminating against Māori women. The impetus for the claim had been the removal of Dame Mira Szaszy, a past President of the League, from the shortlist of appointees to the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission. The Tribunal announced in January 2018 that it would hear the Mana Wāhine claim and formally initiated the inquiry on 20 December 2018 (Wai 2700, #2.5.8).  

2018: Waitangi Tribunal announce will hear Mana Wāhine claim lodged in 1993

The claim had been lodged by group of women led by the Māori Women's Welfare League

Govt funding for Treaty inquiry welcome by wāhine Māori

Radio New Zealand

The Public Service Association's Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina also lodged a claim on the pay disparity experienced by Māori women in the government sector, which was officially registered in January 2019 by the Tribunal as part of its Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry. A judicial conference was convened on 27 May 2020 to discuss the scope and structure of the Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry and to draft terms of reference. For progress reports, see Waitangi Tribunal: Mana Wāhine Inquiry.      

2019: Waitangi Tribunal agreed to hear PSA claim for Māori women

Claim outlined that contributing factors for pay disparity included government actions & policies being discriminatory

Claim of discrimination against wāhine Māori to go ahead

Radio New Zealand

Challenges facing Pasifika women:

In May 2019, a Pasifika Women in the Workforce event was organised in Porirua by the Komiti Pasifika which is the NZ of Council of Trade Union's representative structure for Pacific Island workers. Accounts of institutional racisim, discrimination and pay inequality were shared with the Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Commissioner, Saunoamaali'i Dr Karanina Sumeo.     

2019: Pasifika Women in the Workforce event organised by Komiti Pasifika

Pasifika women shared with EEO Commissioner Saunoamaali'i Dr Karanina Sumeo the challenges they face

Pasifika women face institutional racism, discrimination and pay inequality

Radio New Zealand

Effect of motherhood on pay

Statistics New Zealand report Effect of motherhood on pay (2017) found there was a 17 percent pay gap between what mothers and fathers earn in the workforce relative to women and men without children. Research commissioned by the Ministry for Women (2018) found women face a 4.4 percent drop in hourly wages after having a child. 

2017: 'Effect of motherhood on pay' report found 17% gap

Statistics NZ found 17% pay gap between mothers & fathers compared with women & men without children

'Motherhood penalty' study finds mums paid 17% less than dads

Radio New Zealand

2018: After becoming a mother, women's hourly rate dropped by 4.4%

Ministry for Women report found women face 4.4% drop in hourly wages after having child

'Motherhood penalty' in gender pay gap - report

Radio New Zealand

2018: Paid-partner leave recommended to close gender pay gap

Paid-partner leave would help close gender pay gap - expert

Radio New Zealand

LEGISLATIVE JOURNEY FOR EQUAL PAY

Factory employment: 1873 -

The first legislation in NZ to regulate factory employment was the Employment of Females Act of 1873 which dealt with hours of work, holidays, sanitation, and ventilation, but was inadequately enforced. In 1881 the Employment of Females and Others Act placed further restriction on hours of work and provided for overtime to be paid at penal rates, but also lacked adequate enforcement.  A Royal Commission (1890) set up to inquire into allegations of sweated labour found a considerable number of cases of exploitation of workers, such as girls working 18 hours a day for 7 shillings to 8 shillings a week. The Factories Act 1891 was passed and in the first months of operation, inspectors required improvements and alterations in 913 factories. It was replaced by the Factories Act 1894; then the Factories Act 1946 which provided for a maximum of a 40 hour week in any factory and an 8 hour day (excluding a meal break). (See An encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966)

1892: Factory workers sweating – long and poorly paid hours of work in substandard conditions, or as outworkers

Slaying the sweating monster

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Shops and OfficeS: 1892 -

The first legislation governing working conditions in shops in NZ was the Shops and Shop Assistants Act of 1892, which lacked effective enforcement measures. It was replaced by the Shops and Shop Assistants Act 1894 which was enforced by factory inspectors. The weekly hours of women of all ages and of boys under 18 years was limited to 52 hours and their daily hours limited to 9.5 hours, with the exception that on one working day in each week 11.5 hours might be worked.  In 1904 it was re-enacted as the Shops and Offices Act 1904, which was later re-enacted again in 1908, in 1921–22, and in 1955.  Both shops and offices were subjected to a 40-hour week but restrictions on overtime for shops did not apply to offices, nor the opening and closing hours of shops apply to offices. (See An encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966)

Shop and Shop Assistants Act (first enacted 1892) became Shops and Offices Act in 1904

Daily hours limited to 9.5 hours except one day in each week where 11.5 hours might be worked

Will He Buck?

Auckland Libraries

LABOUR DAY ACT (1899): CAMPAIGN FOR 8-HOUR DAY 

The Labour Day Act commemorated the struggle of the workers' movement for men and women to work a maximum of an eight-hour day and gave workers one paid day as a holiday annually in October. 

Labour Day Act (1899) commemorates the workers' movement for an eight-hour day

Labour Day - then and now

DigitalNZ

FIRST UNION TO WIN EQUAL PAY: 1942

A notable event occurred during World War II when the New Zealand National Tramways Union, which was formed in 1939, became the first Union in New Zealand to win equal pay for women members.  Due to the wartime shortage of manpower, from 1942 women were employed as tram conductors. Whereas the employers wanted to pay lower wages, the Union Executive insisted on equal pay for equal work and won.   

1942: N.Z. National Tramways Union won equal pay for women members

Union executive had insisted on equal pay for women employed as tram conductors during wartime shortage of manpower

Women tram conductors, taking tickets

Alexander Turnbull Library

EQUAL PAY GAINS MOMENTUM in Public Service: 1956 - 1960

During the period of the Liberal government (1890–1912) ministers often appointment allies and friends at all levels of public employment.  In 1913, the position of  Public Service Commissioner was established to oversee appointments of public servants, excluding the Post and Telegraph Office and the Railways Department. The Commissioner classified all public-service jobs and graded the position-holders, which formed the basis of the pay rates applied across the public service. Appointments were to be made on merit and a public-service appeal board was set up which could review any appointment. During 1956, the Public Service Association (PSA) became involved in employment disputes with the Public Service Commission and the government over the pay and promotion of its women members. 

1956: Public Service Association involved with employment disputes with Public Service Commission

Inland Revenue clerk Jean Parker successfully appealed the appointment of a male cadet to a higher paid position

Equal Pay and the Parker Case

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

COUNCIL FOR EQUAL PAY AND OPPORTUNITY (CEPO) FORMED 1957

In November 1956, the PSA equal pay committee called a meeting of representatives of women’s organisations and trade unions to discuss forming a national body to work toward equal pay for equal work in both the public and private sectors. The outcome was the establishment of the Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity (CEPO) on 10 April 1957. Membership included major unions, including the North Island Electrical Workers' Union, the National Council of Women, the Māori Women's Welfare League, the New Zealand Federation of University Women, the New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), and other groups. CEPO began a lobbying campaign for equal pay within the government and private sectors from 1957 to 1960, and from 1966 to 1972.   

1957: Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity (CEPO) formed

Public Service Association called for a meeting of women's organisations & trade unions in Nov 1956 to form the Council

CHAPTER 5. Success - No Easy Victory: Towards Equal Pay for Women in the Government Service 1890-1960

Victoria University of Wellington

EQUAL PAY ACT FOR PUBLIC SERVICE (1960) 

Following the lobbying campaign by the Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity (CEPO), the Government Service Equal Pay Act 1960 introduced equal pay legislation into the public service. The Government then set up a commission of inquiry in 1971 to report on 'how best to give effect in New Zealand to the principle of equal pay for male and female employees. 

Equal pay, 1960

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW), 1967

Equal pay activists were instrumental in the setting up of the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW), which was a government organisation supported by the Department of Labour (the umbrella group for private-sector unions). The women members included a school headmistress, a Department of Education representative, and members drawn from the Joint Committee of Women and Employment (JCWE) which had been formed in 1964 by the Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Federation of University Women, National Council of Women and the YWCA. The Council  recommended that an independent commission of inquiry be set up by the government and that the terms of reference should focus on be how best to give effect to equal pay, rather than whether or not to introduce it. (Source: Te Ara)

The National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW) held its first meeting in 1967

National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women, 1967

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Equal Pay Act for private sector (1972)

The Government's commission of inquiry on equal pay led to the Equal Pay Act 1972 for the private sector.  The outcome was that women workers in both the public and private sectors were entitled to the same rate as men doing the same job. This resulted in the gap between men and women’s hourly rate shrinking to 22% by 1985. (See Te Ara)    

WOMEN'S LIBERATION GROUPS, 1970S -

During the 1970s, women’s liberation movement groups were formed throughout NZ, including the Wellington and Auckland Women’s Liberation Fronts, Women for Equality, the Women’s Movement for Freedom, and the Working Women's Alliance. They campaigned for unions to pay their own women workers equally. Actions included lobbying politicians, holding public meetings, issuing press releases, and holding protest vigils at delays in delivering equal pay. Broadsheet, New Zealand's feminist magazine; was produced in Auckland from 1972 to 1997 by the Broadsheet Collective.  

Women's Liberation Groups formed in 1970s

Groups formed in Wellington and Auckland, spreading to Dunedin, Christchurch and provincial centres

Women's liberation singlet

New Zealand Fashion Museum

Slogans used

The slogan on this badge was coined by the women's liberation movement in the US in the 1970s,

'If you begin to sink into his arms' badge

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Broadsheet published 1972 - 1997

Articles advanced social and political ideas, and are useful source for the social history of the period

Broadsheet

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In 1972 Connie Purdue and Sue Kedgley formed the National Organisation for Women - NOW based on NOW USA which was established in 1966 by Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique.  NOW sought equality for women before the law, in the workplace, education and family life. One of its early aims was to end the practice of listing ‘situations vacant’ advertisements by gender. (See: NZHistory)   

The National Organisation for Women (NOW) was formed in 1972

National Organisation for Women : newsletter

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

The first National Women’s Liberation Conference was held in Auckland in 1972. The subsequent United Women’s Conventions provided a national forum to channel the activities of the Women's Liberation groups around New Zealand.  A non-partisan group, the Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL), was formed in 1975 to encourage women’s participation in public life and help elect to public office people who would work for women’s equality. (See NZHistory).  Women's groups successfully lobbied en bloc for the Human Rights Commission Act 1977, which outlawed discrimination on the basis of sex.  

Human Rights Commission Act 1977

Women's groups lobbied for the Act which outlawed discrimination on the basis of sex

Human Rights Commission 1977 No.49 [electronic resource].

National Library of New Zealand

Women's Electoral Lobby (1975-2003)

Formed to encourage women's participation in public life to support women's equality

Women's Electoral Lobby

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

United Women's Conventions held, 1973-1979

Locations: Auckland in 1973, Wellington in 1975, Christchurch in 1977, and University of Waikato in 1979

United Women's Convention

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

WORKING WOMEN'S CHARTER: 1977 -

Other women's groups worked within the Parliamentary system to bring about change. The Women’s Advisory Committee (1970–75) and the Working Women’s Council, which was set up by Sonja Davies in 1975, operated within the New Zealand Labour Party.  In 1977, the Working Women's Council issued the Working Women’s Charter, a bill of rights for working women. The Charter's provision were adopted by the Federation of Labour and the Labour Party as policy in 1980.  Provision 3 dealt with equal pay for work of equal value. (See Te Ara)  In 1984, the Working Women’s Resource Centre was set up in Auckland to promote and encourage the implementation of the Working Women's Charter. 

Working Women's Charter (1977) adopted as policy by Labour Party (1980)

Provisions adopted by Federation of Labour & Labour Party. Provision 3 dealt with equal pay for work of equal value.

Working Women's Charter seminar poster, 1980

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

International Conventions ratified: 1985 -

On 10 January 1985, New Zealand ratified the International Labour Organization Conventions No. 100 (Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951) and No. 111 (Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958), and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discriminations Against Women (CEDAW), 1979).  Reports have been conducted by the Ministry for Women on the implementation of the CEDAW in NZ.

Following 1985 ratification of CEDAW, reports conducted on women in NZ by the Ministry for Women

Women in New Zealand : United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women : eighth periodic report by the Go...

National Library of New Zealand

Coalition for Equal Value Equal Pay (CEVEP), 1986

Following the passing of the Equal Pay Act 1972, feminists campaigned for pay equity – equal pay for women doing work with similar levels of responsibility, skill, effort or difficulty as higher-paid, male-dominated jobs. They also advocated the opening up of traditionally male-dominated industries such as construction, engineering and meat processing to women workers and apprentices. The Coalition for Equal Value, Equal Pay was set up by women’s groups and unions in 1986.  

The Coalition for Equal Value Equal Pay set up in 1986

Coalition for Equal Value Equal Pay (CEVEP) [electronic resource] : The campaign for pay equity in New Zealand.

National Library of New Zealand

STATE SECTOR ACT 1988

In 1988 the State Sector Act removed the special employment status of public servants who now came under the same employment law as for other New Zealanders. The classification system of all public sector jobs was replaced with public servants being employed by the head of the relevant department according to the terms and conditions agreed between the employer and the employee. Appointments continued to be made on merit, but the separate appeals system was abolished and each department to have an internal procedure to review appointments. (See Te Ara)  Under Section 56 9@0 Chief Executives are required to be good employers and operate personnel policies for the fair and proper treatment of all employees, including an equal employment opportunities programme and  recognition of the employment requirements of women.  

State Sector Act 1988

Provisions included equal employment opportunities programme and recognition of the employment requirements of women

Working with the State Sector Act 1988

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Employment Equity Act short-lived: 1990

The Employment Equity Act was passed in 1990. However, it was repealed by the incoming National Government later the same year.    

Employment Equity Act 1990 repealed

The Act was passed by Labour Government; then repealed by the incoming National Government

Brockie, Bob, 1932- :Equal Pay Opportuniti. National Business Review, 14 December 1990.

Alexander Turnbull Library

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES (EEO): 1992 - 

In 1992, the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust (EEO) was set up by government to address some of the issues raised by the pay-equity campaign through the promotion to employers of the business benefits of equal-employment opportunities (EEO). However, as stated on the Ministry of Social Development website, "Pay equity was largely absent from the political agenda during the remainder of the 1990s... In July 2002, the government put out a Ministry of Women’s Affairs discussion document Next Steps Towards Employment Equity and established a Taskforce on Pay and Employment Equity in the Public Service, Health and Education, chaired by Diana Crossan." The EEO Trust broadened its focus in 2011 and changed its name in 2016 to Diversity Works New Zealand.

PAY AND EMPLOYMENT EQUITY (PAEE) UNIT: 2003 - 2009 

The PaEE unit was set up by the Labour Government in 2003 to provide support on establishing pay equity rates. Under its Plans of Action, all government departments, the public health sector, and the public education sector were to undertake pay and employment equity reviews (audits) and develop response plans. 

In March 2009, two pay investigations were underway for the female-dominated occupation groups of social workers and special education support workers. However, the new National government discontinued these due to "current economic and fiscal pressures". lt then disestablished the Pay and Employment Equity Office in June 2009.   

June 2009: Pay equity protest at Parliament

Photographs of Pay Equity protest, Parliament, June 2009

Alexander Turnbull Library

The Pay Equity Challenge Coalition was set up by unions, women’s organisations, academic and community groups to “challenge” the National government as to its plans for closing the gender pay gap.  

Pay Equality Bill 2011:

 In 2011, the Human Rights Commission released the Pay Equality Bill to allow employees to ask employers if they are receiving equal pay.  At first, Prime Minister John Key appeared open to the Bill in an interview on TVNZ's Breakfast programme, but later the same day he not only said he did not support it, but existing laws already outlawed discrimination: "We also would have real concerns if it was divisive in the workplace or had unintended consequences".  (See NZHerald article

2011: Govt shies away from Pay Equity Bill

Hubbard, James, 1949- :"I support gender pay equity..." 11 July 2011

Alexander Turnbull Library

2013: Annual Income survey

Young women earning almost a third less than young men

Fletcher, David 1952- :"Treasury officials are extremely worried about pay inequality." The Politician. 10 August 2013

Alexander Turnbull Library

FIXING THE EQUITY PAY GAP: Joint Working group (JWG) estAblished 2015  

In 2015, the Court of Appeal ruled in a case brought by care and service workers against their employer TerraNova, that the Equal Pay Act 1972 required equal pay for work of equal value (pay equity), not simply the same pay for the same work. This led to the Government establishing the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles (the JWG) which included employer, union and government representatives. It's task was to recommend universally applicable pay equity principles for consideration by Government and its recommendations were accepted in November 2016.  A new pay equity claims process was created, which was aligned with the bargaining framework in the Employment Relations Act 2000, for employees and employers to assess a pay equity claim and agree on a settlement if a pay equity issue was identified.  

2015: TerraNova pay equity court case ruling

Court of Appeal ruled Equal Pay Act 1972 required equal pay for work of equal value (pay equity)

NZ's first pay equity mediation under way

Radio New Zealand

2015: Joint Working Group on Pay Equity formed

JWG's recommendations accepted in Nov 2016

Equal pay for equal work

95bFM

2016: Action by Unions

Unions are considering pay equity claims for women librarians, hospital administration staff and call centre workers

Union looks to make more pay equity claims

Radio New Zealand

Election year impacting on Parliamentary Bills for pay equity, 2017

During May 2017, Green MP Jan Logie's Equal Pay Amendment bill, which would require all workplaces to measure and disclose the pay gap between men and women employees, was defeated 60 votes to 59 (National, Act and United Future were opposed, and Labour, the Greens, NZ First and the Māori Party were in favour). Following proposals from the Joint Working Group (JWG), the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill was introduced to Parliament on 31 July 2017, but was withdrawn in November 2017 following the formation of a new coalition government. 

Green Party member's Bill for companies to reveal pay fails, 2017

Green MP Jan Logie's bill aimed to make publicly available rates of pay for men & women

MPs reject bill aimed at revealing gender pay gap

Radio New Zealand

Joint Working Group (JWG), 2017

Proposals led to new Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill being introduced in July, then withdrawn in Nov

Equal pay: 'The tide is turning'

Radio New Zealand

Two PUBLIC SECTOR WORKING GROUPS FORMED 2O17

A new working group of State sector agency and union representatives was formed by the SSC, PSA and NZCTU. The Gender Pay Principles Working Group began meeting in 2017 with the purpose of establishing a set of principles to be used by State sector agencies to end workplace inequalities and address issues that contribute to gender pay gaps in the State sector.  The Working Group reported back on 20 April 2018 and recommended the adoption of the five core Gender Pay Principles to the State Services Commissioner.  To address diversity and inclusion practices across the Public Service, the steering group Papa Pounamu was also established in 2017  by eleven Chief Executives.  A sub-group of Papa Pounamu - Pou Mātāwaka - focused on the drivers of ethnic pay gaps.   

New 'Gender Pay Principles Working Group' began in 2017

SSC, PSA and NCCTU established set of principles for State sector agencies

Eliminating the public service gender pay gap : 2018-2020 action plan.

National Library of New Zealand

Steering group, Papa Pounamu, formed 2017 to address diversity

Sub-group Pou Mātāwaka to focus on drivers of ethnic pay rates

Not as diverse as you think...

95bFM

Joint Working Group (JWG) reconvened, 2018

The Joint Working Group (JWG) of  employer, union and government representatives was reconvened in 2018 to provide further recommendations to Ministers. The Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill  was reintroduced to Parliament on 22 February 2018 but was rejected on its first reading (4 April 2018).  The JWG's recommendations were used to develop a new Equal Pay Amendment Bill which was introduced into Parliament on 19 September 2018, and was passed on its third reading on 22 July 2020.  

2018: Joint Working Group reconvened

Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles reconvened in January, and reported its recommendations.

Govt pay equity considerations 'encouraging'

Radio New Zealand

18 Sept 2018: New Equal Pay Amendment Bill introduced in Parliament

The Bill, which will describe what a pay equity claim is & introduce a new process, had mixed reaction

Govt's new pay equity bill slammed by campaigners

Radio New Zealand

July 2020: Equal Pay Amendment Bill passed its third reading

Employers, workers & unions to negotiate in good faith, with access to mediation & dispute resolution services if needed

What the Equal Pay Amendment Bill means for women

The Spinoff

Equal Pay Amendment Act 2020

The Equal Pay Amendment Act 2020 introduced a process for hearing claims. As described by the Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (MBIE), "It  allows workers to make a pay equity claim using a process aligned with New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. By making court action a last resort, the approach lowers the bar for workers initiating a pay equity claim, and uses a collaborative process more familiar to unions and businesses. Under the Act, employers, workers and unions negotiate in good faith, with access to mediation and dispute resolution services available if they are unable to agree."  See Factsheet; A just and practical pay equity framework.

Equal Pay Amendment Act 2020 came into force on 6 November

Politicians, businesses back equal pay law change

TV3

FEMALE-DOMINATED PROFESSIONS AND PAY PARITY 

The introduction of equal pay and anti-discrimination legislation has improved women’s pay rates and access to jobs. However, female-dominated occupations tend to be lower paid than male-dominated occupations. History shows that women are more likely to be in a narrower range of occupations (occupational segregation) and at the bottom or middle of an organisation (vertical segregation). When women take career breaks or work part-time it can affect their careers in terms of accumulating work experience and accessing professional development opportunities. Also, fewer higher-level positions are available on a part-time basis. As more women joined the workforce, women’s groups and unions focused on pay parity, childcare, flexible work hours and part-time work, and training for mothers re-entering the workforce.  

Four-part series (1993) 'Standing in the Sunshine' charted Kiwi women from 1893. Episode 3 includes work and equal pay.

Standing in the Sunshine - Work

NZ On Screen

Beginning in the 19th Century, the main occupations for women included domestic servants, seamstresses, factory workers (food and clothing), shop assistants, teachers, nurses or clerical office work. With the introduction of apprenticeship schemes, women apprentices remained very rare, except in traditionally female trades such as women’s hairdressing. The historic undervaluing of work typically done by women is tracked by the following cartoons. 

DOMESTIC WORKERS:

19th Century: Assisted immigrants

During the 19th Century, subsidised or free passages were offered to single women settlers prepared to work as domestic servants. About 12,000 female assisted immigrants arrived in the 1850s and 1860s when provincial governments organised immigration. Around 20,000 arrived under the central government’s scheme in the 1870s. Working conditions were often harsh: a 16-hour day, 6½ days a week, for low wages. Servants earned 10–12 shillings a week on average, plus full board. At the top of the scale, a female cook could earn 20 shillings a week – about the same as a farm labourer, but less than many shop assistants.  (See Te Ara)

1868: A mistress in her parlour interviews a prospective female servant

Cartoonist unknown :Colonial servant-galism. Punch, or the Wellington Charivari, 1868.

Alexander Turnbull Library

1894: Tailoress. Some woollen mills paid by the ‘piece’ rather than by the hour

Piece-work problems

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

About half of the female workforce was in domestic service in 1880, but only about one-third was in 1900.  Many left service to marry and others left for shop, hotel, office or factory jobs with better pay and free evenings and weekends. The Dunedin Tailoresses’ Union was the first women’s union, formed in 1889, which fought for shorter working hours, increased wages and the appointment of female factory inspectors by the Department of Labour. 

1895: Seamstress agrees to 6/- for making a dozen items which would take 14 hours a day for a week, so as to feed child

Where sweating exists

Auckland Libraries

1900s: Domestic Workers' Union

In 1906, at a meeting in Wellington, Marianne Tasker and supporters established a domestic workers’ union to improve pay and conditions under the Liberal government’s Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act (1894). Their call to introduce a 68-hour working week led to much debate and a counter-move by employers to form a 'Committee of Employers of Domestic Employees', as reported by Te Ara.  It was not until the First Labour Government's 1936 amendment the 40-hour week and compulsory unionism were introduced.  

1906: Marianne Tasker and supporters established a domestic workers’ union to improve pay and conditions

MARY'S INDEPENDENCE. Mary (after having rules of Domestic Servants' Union read out to her): Look here, Missus, none of those larks on me. I don't ...

National Library of New Zealand

1912: calling the attention of women passers-by that NZ wanted servant girls

Blomfield, William, 1866-1938 :A Reformed Donne. New Zealand Observer, 12 August 1912.

Alexander Turnbull Library

1910s-1920s: NZ Government advertised for domestic servants and potential wives

‘New Zealand wants domestic servants’

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Impact of Great Depression (1929 - 30s) on domestic service 

During the 1930s Great Depression, many women and men were out of work. Although women were required to pay unemployment tax from 1931, they were not entitled to unemployment benefits and received almost no government support. Relief committees were set up, but sometimes they pressured women to take jobs as servants, for little or even no pay. (See Te Ara). 

1929-1930s: Sufferings of women in NZ during the great Depression

Henderson, Andrew Kennaway, 1879-1960 :Women in Depression, 1935. Tomorrow [periodical], 24 July 1935.

Alexander Turnbull Library

Impact of World War II on domestic service

During the  Second World War "women were ‘manpowered’ into essential work during the war – and domestic service was not in that category." (Te Ara).  As a consequence, whereas in 1936 there were 32,000 domestic servants; nine years later, at the end of the War, there were only 9,000.    

1940: Women's War Service Auxiliary roles - first aid, truck driving, canteen service, clerical work and farm work.

Poster for volunteer war service

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

WOMEN APPRENTICES:

During the 19th Century, European settlers brought with them the apprenticeship scheme, whereby young workers, mainly male, worked in trades such as building, printing or saddle-making. Under the Master and Apprentice Act 1865, an employer was expected to provide ‘sufficient and suitable’ food, clothing and bedding, and to ensure that the apprentice attended church. However, there were concerns that children as young as 12 years were being exploited as unskilled labour and not being paid whilst they learnt their trade; then being fired to avoid paying them the wage of a skilled worker.  (See Te Ara article on Apprenticeships and trade training.)

The Apprenticeship Act 1923 was introduced for males followed by women in 1926 when the first female hairdressing apprenticeships were recognised. Voluntary local committees set standards - wages, hours and conditions, and period of apprenticeship which usually lasted three to five years, and included some training at technical schools (polytechnics) such as electrical engineering and the motor industry.   

1938: The verso of the Labour flyer also includes apprenticeships on its list

[New Zealand Labour Party] :Labour is making them the nation's pride. Safeguard their future! Vote Labour. They cannot vote for themselves, but YOU...

Alexander Turnbull Library

Clothing factories were set up in some towns with a supply of female labour ready to work for relatively low wages

Tekau knitwear

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The outbreak of the Second World War and the demand for military equipment, saw women entering the manufacturing workforce in large numbers. As employers and the government assumed that women would leave those jobs at the end of the war,  they were mostly restricted to simple tasks and gained very little trade training.  

The Apprenticeship Act 1948 introduced national apprenticeship committees made up of industry and union representatives, with examinations set by the Trades Certification Board. Apprentices’ wages were set at a fixed proportion of a tradesman’s hourly rate, with each 1,000 hours equalling six months’ training.  Whereas in the 1950s, 30% of all male school leavers were expected to enter a skilled trade by completing an apprenticeship, women apprentices remained very rare, except in traditionally female trades such as women’s hairdressing.    

The Apprenticeship Act 1983 revised the outdated apprenticeship system and extended it to a wider range of people, including more women trainees. However, during the 1980s and 1990s the manufacturing sector shrank and unemployment rose sharply. Large public institutions which had traditionally trained hundreds of young people each year, became profit-oriented state-owned enterprises, such as the Post Office, New Zealand Railways and the Government Printing Office.

1950s: Post Office place of employment

New Zealand Post Office :Do you want a good secure job? 1954.

Alexander Turnbull Library

1980s: Post Office restructured

Post offices – an endangered species

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

1986: Daily strikers report

A woman shows where all the strikes are happening in New Zealand

Lynch, James Robert, 1947- :'Daily strikers report'. 10 February 1986

Alexander Turnbull Library

The Industry Training Act 1992 set up industry training organisations (ITOs) to take over apprenticeship training. The traditional apprenticeship contract was replaced with a training agreement between the trainee, the employer and the ITO.  Traineeships became offered in new areas such as tourism and travel, social services, and sports, fitness and recreation.  Training standards were assessed on the basis of competency instead of time served. Trade and advanced trade certificates were replaced by unit standard-based national certificates, which formed part of the National Qualifications Framework. The strategic leadership role of ITOs was recognised by a change to the Industry Training Act in 2002.  

Industry Training Act 1992 set up industry training organisation (ITOs) to take over apprenticeship training

Apprenticeships and trade training: Apprentices become trainees

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Modern Apprenticeships scheme, which began in 2002, aimed to combine ITO training with traditional workplace-based apprenticeships, such as building and plumbing, as well as the public sector, retail, forestry and road transport. In the 2000s, women were still not well represented in workplace-based training, except for traditionally female occupations such as hairdressing.  

TEACHERS & SUPPORT STAFF: THEIR JOURNEY

From 1877 primary school teachers were paid according to their grading, which was determined by the roll size (per capita) of their school. Wide variations in staffing levels and teachers’ pay and conditions between education board regions prompted a royal commission in 1901. A national system of pay and staffing for primary schools was set up and the Education Department administered this from 1902.   However, capitation continued to be used to fund secondary schools until 1920, when national pay scales were introduced for secondary teachers. 

In 1914 a national system of appointment and grading of teachers was adopted, and the Department took over the inspection of schools.  That same year, the New Zealand Women Teachers’ Association was formed to advocate for equal pay, promotion of women to higher positions and inclusion of women in the team of school inspectors. When the Government Service Equal Pay Act 1960 was introduced, the Women Teachers’ Association was the first to take advantage of it and by 1962  women had the same opportunities and pay as men (See Te Ara).  After the 1989 reforms to decentralise the governance of primary and secondary schools, the Ministry of Education provided school boards of trustees with operational, salary and property funding.    

Salary step cartoon

NZEI Te Riu Roa (New Zealand Educational Institute)

By the 1990s the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) – the representative organisation for primary school teachers set up in 1883 – had a majority of women members. The New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) has represented teachers in secondary, area and intermediate schools for the past 60 years. By 2011 women teachers outnumbered men in both primary (82%) and secondary schools (58%). 

NZEI: Primary school

NZEI umbrella

NZEI Te Riu Roa (New Zealand Educational Institute)

NZEI: Support staff

Teacher aide cartoon

NZEI Te Riu Roa (New Zealand Educational Institute)

The strive for pay parity between kindergarten / preschool, primary and secondary school teachers; and for school support staff has continued until this day, as illustrated by the following cartoonists. Also see DigitalNZ story: Teachers take strike action.

1996: Early childhood workers

In a class of their own

NZEI Te Riu Roa (New Zealand Educational Institute)

1994: Pay parity for primary school teachers

Pay Parity for Primary Teachers sticker

NZEI Te Riu Roa (New Zealand Educational Institute)

1996: School support staff

In a class of their own

NZEI Te Riu Roa (New Zealand Educational Institute)

2020: Early-childhood teachers

Stop-work meeting held 24 July for pay parity with kindergarten & primary school teachers who earn 24% more on average

Preschool teachers stop work to call for equal pay.

Radio New Zealand

2020: School librarians

Lobby government for all schools to have a library & ring-fence their income for books and librarians

One in five school libraries 'suffering' under slashed funding

Radio New Zealand

2020: Teacher Aides

Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa agreed to settle an historic pay equity claim for teacher aides (May 2020)

'Milestone' pay settlement reached for teacher aides

Radio New Zealand

NURSES ANd MIDWIVES:

The Nurses’ Association started in 1909, but it was not regarded as a union – "it argued that nurses should be dedicated to their work, and opposed strikes and industrial action"  (See Te Ara).  The New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation (NZNO) was formed in 1993, when the Nurses’ Association and the private-sector Nurses’ Union (formed in 1973) amalgamated. From 1996 it included medical radiologists, technologists, scientific officers, pharmacists and dietitians. The NZNO continued to have a majority of women members – 94% in 2009. 

Women's work

Alexander Turnbull Library

March 2020: Nurses working for Māori health provders

Nurses Organisation's call for wages to match DHBs rejected by Government

Government rejects pay parity for Māori nurses - NZNO

Radio New Zealand

2020: Strike action by Primary Health Care nurses

Primary health care nurses, receptionists issue strike notice over pay parity

TV3

Victory for care and support workers:

A court case won a significant victory for care and support workers in the aged and disability residential care and home and community support services.  In 2013, Kristine Bartlett took her employer TerraNova to the Employment Court arguing that her industry paid her poorly as the workers were overwhelmingly women. The Court of Appeal ruled in 2015 that they could use the Equal Pay Act 1972 to argue for equal work for equal value. On 18 April 2017, a $2.048 billion settlement offer was made to 55,000 care and support workers for significant pay increases to be introduced over five years. (See NZ Law Society)

2013: Aged care workers

Parliament ignored calls for fair pay. Meanwhile, executives continue to earn enormous salaries.

Hubbard, James, 1949- :cleaning. up. 16 April 2013

Alexander Turnbull Library

2013: Aged care workers

PM John Key says district health boards will not be given more money to raise the pay of low paid aged care workers

Scott, Thomas, 1947- :Quick Quizz - Who earns more? An aged-care worker who lifts old people on and off toilets... or, this energy company CEO ... ...

Alexander Turnbull Library

2014: Court rules in favour of caregivers

Scott, Thomas, 1947- :Caregivers win equity right. 30 October 2014

Alexander Turnbull Library

CLEANERS:

2014: Cleaners

Tremain, Garrick, 1941- :Jobs. 13 May 2014

Alexander Turnbull Library

2016: Cleaners

Two cleaners discuss the effects of the minimum wage increase

Alexander Turnbull Library

CLERICAL STAFF:

1985: Clerical unions

Based their award campaign around the theme of equal pay for work of equal value

Equal Value Equal Pay badge

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Minimum Wage - ADULTS

New Zealand was the first country to establish a national minimum wage in 1894.  Under the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, registered unions had the exclusive right to represent all their members in industrial disputes with employers. The Court of Arbitration had the power to set wages and its decisions gradually established a nationwide system of ‘awards’, setting minimum wages and working conditions for particular groups of workers. The female minimum wage, for example, was 60% of the male minimum from 1945, increasing to 65% from 1949. 

From 1 April 1946, there were separate minimum wage rates for men and women aged 21 years and over, excluding some general classes such as apprentices. For example, in the mid-1950s, the most a man could earn in the insurance industry was £727 per year; the most a woman could earn was £450. This age was reduced to 20 years in 1970.  One minimum wage for all adults was introduced on 15 March 1977.  Current minimum wage law is described in the Minimum Wage Act 1983.    

MINIMUM WAGE - YOUTH / STARTING OUT AND TRAINING

Currently, there are three types of minimum wages for men and women - Adult, Starting-Out (previously Youth Rates) and Training (see details on the Employment New Zealand website).  Figures from Statistics New Zealand showed record numbers of Kiwis migrating to Australia in 2012, which the NZ Council of Trade Unions attributed to economic difficulties and wages on average 20% higher than in NZ.  At that time the Government was also planning to re-introduce a a youth pay rate which will see 16-to-19-year-olds making a minimum $10.80 per hour, or 80 percent of the adult minimum wage, which cartoonists captured.   

WAGE COMPARISONS WITH cEO & POLITICIAN SALARIES 

Minimum wage comparisons with the salaries received by politicians and CEOs have continued to be the subject of much fodder by cartoonists. 

What low income earners would like to see happening:

BUT What low income earners have been seeing: 

CEO salaries

In the NZ Herald's rankings of chief executive’s pay for all the companies on the NZX50 in August 2017, none of those companies listed any woman. Later that same year, a Westpac - Deloitte survey of 500 businesses found that only 29% of NZ's business leaders were women.

2010: Outrage at Westpac CEO on $5 million salary when average worker has seen no or limited wage growth

"Outrageous! I've withdrawn my deposit to keep under my mattress..." 19 November 2010

Alexander Turnbull Library

2013: NZ Power companies

Hawkey, Allan Charles, 1941- :[Big earners]. 23 April 2013

Alexander Turnbull Library

2013: Auckland Council Library staff

Doyle, Martin, 1956- :Living wages. 8 November 2013

Alexander Turnbull Library

2014: Big business attitude

Hubbard, James, 1949- :Pay equity package. 3 November 2014

Alexander Turnbull Library

Trapped by sexism

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

2015

CEO wages soar, worker pay sinks

Alexander Turnbull Library

June 2015: CEO salaries

NZ CEO salaries soar

Alexander Turnbull Library

2016: CEO salaries

CEO salaries grow three times that of their workers

Alexander Turnbull Library

2017: District Health Board CEO

DHB CEO pay rises

Alexander Turnbull Library

2017: Fonterra CEO pay

Fonterra CEO pay

Alexander Turnbull Library

Politician Salaries

Nov 2016: MPs' salary increase

MPs Pay Rise

Alexander Turnbull Library

Dec 2015: MPs' salary boost

MPs' salary boost

Alexander Turnbull Library

WOMEN BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING

By the 2000s, as stated by Te Ara, "Occupational segregation had broken down to some extent. Significant numbers of women were working as lawyers, doctors and in senior positions in the public service. But many working women continued to work as nurses, teachers, shop assistants, in light manufacturing and as clerical workers."  Since 2017, listed companies on the NZ Stock Exchange (NZX) main board have been required to give a breakdown of gender diversity in their annual reports. Although some women have broken through the glass ceiling, there is a still a way to go.  A Radio New Zealand interview (2017), for example, noted that only around a quarter of partners at the country's 11 biggest law firms are women, despite female graduates outnumbering men since the 1990s.  

1999: Women occupy 3 top public posts

Prime Minister (Helen Clark), Leader of Opposition (Jenny Shipley) and Chief Justice (Sian Elias)

Prime Minister Helen Clark: breaking the glass ceiling

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

2004: Theresa Gattung (Telecom Chief Executive)

"$2M Salary" 20 September, 2004

Alexander Turnbull Library

2005: Susan Wood (TV One current affairs presenter)

Won her appeal against TVNZ to retain her salary of $450,000

"We're having a whip round for Susan Wood. TVNZ are trying to cut her salary by one hundred thousand dollars..." "Let me empty this bedpan and I'll...

Alexander Turnbull Library

2013: Proportion of director roles held by women almost doubled in past 6 years

More women in director roles, survey reveals

Radio New Zealand

2013: Inaugural Women in Governance awards

Norah Barlow (Summerset CE) won Gender Diversity in Leadership and the Excellence in Leadership awards

Summerset CEO wins two Women in Governance Awards

Radio New Zealand

2013: London School of Economics research

NZ women make up 29.2% of top 10% of income groups;, & 18.8% of top 1%

That's rich: Women make up fraction of world's wealthiest

Radio New Zealand

2014: Rest-home caregivers

Employment Court ruling that Kristine Bartlett could use equal pay legislation against TerraNova Homes

Moreu, Michael, 1969-:[Glass ceiling]. 24 December 2014

Alexander Turnbull Library

2015: Young Women's Leadership Programme

Massey University's Programme aims to empower female high school students and teach how to be leaders in sport and work

Sarah Leberman - Smashing the Glass Ceiling

Radio New Zealand

2016: Pacific women increasingly in senior government roles

Scholarships help tip the balance for Pacific women

Radio New Zealand

2016: 79 of 120 companies listed on NZ Stock Exchange (NZX) had at least one female director

17% of all directors were women, averaged across each quarter.. One company had a female CE, & 7 had female Chairs.

Stalled number of female directors 'shocking'

Radio New Zealand

2017: Law firms

Women make up about a quarter of partners at NZ's 11 biggest law firms (yet they outnumbered male graduates since 1990s)

Law's glass ceiling exposed by numbers

Radio New Zealand

2018: Public Service Chief Executives - 52% are women as at 4 Dec

Of 35 public service dpts, 17 have women as CEs, including acting roles (up from 14 or 44% as at 30 June 2018)

Half of public service chief executives are now women

Radio New Zealand

2018: New Zealander of Year - Kristine Bartlett (caregiver worker & pay equity campaigner)

Three months later, also received Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in Queen's Birthday Honours

Kristine Bartlett named 2018 New Zealander of the Year

TV3

2019: Local body elections

Women now make up over 42% of all local government elected members

Women, younger candidates get a boost

Radio New Zealand

2019: Top 50 companies on NZ Stock Exchange (NZX)

Female directors increased to 85 from 77 the year before. Number of CEs were down to 97 from 117 two years ago

More women at board tables, but fewer executives

Radio New Zealand

2019: National Council of Women appoints first Māori president

Lisa Lawrence of Ngāti Kahungunu appointed to the president role.

National Council of Women appoints first Māori president

Radio New Zealand

2020: Sport New Zealand

Raelene Castle to run Sport New Zealand, as its first female chief executive.

New Sport NZ boss Raelene Castle brings her battle scars

Radio New Zealand

2020: NZ parliamentary elections

Total women in NZ Parliament "close to 48 percent which is a historical high". (Women could first stand in 1919.)

Election 2020: 'Historical high' - New Zealand Parliament readies for more diversity

Radio New Zealand

2020: Minister of Foreign Affairs

Nanaia Mahuta first woman to hold the portfolio

Week in Politics: Mahuta makes international headlines

Radio New Zealand

Where to from here

By 2019, women made up almost half the paid workforce (48% of the total), according to Statistics NZ.  In July 2018, the Ministers of the State Services and the Ministry for Women had jointly announced the following action plan: "Eliminating the Public Service gender pay gap 2018-2020 action plan". The published gender pay gaps for agencies in the public service can be viewed on the Ministry for Women's website. Tools to help measure the gender pay gaps and gender bias in recruitment and remuneration are available on the Public Service Commission (PSC) website. These tools were jointly developed by the Ministry for Women, PSC, and Statistics NZ for use in the public sector which the private sector could also use and adapt. As stated by the then Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter, the expectation is that, "The public and private sector can each learn from each other to improve workplaces for women." (Beehive.govt.nz: Release - 29 November 2019)   

Breaking the taboo of talking about salary may be a way forward on pay equity

Canterbury University study (Jan 2020) found women scientists take home $400,000 less than men over their lifetimes

Taboo on salary talk hampering pay equity - female researchers

Radio New Zealand