Minimum Wage

New Zealand Minimum Wage

What is the Minimum Wage?

The Minimum Wage is the minimum hourly rate that must be paid to employees by law. In NZ there are three types of minimum wage: adult, starting-out and training. The current adult minimum wage is $17.70 an hour before tax.

Adult Minimum Wage

The adult minimum wage is:
$17.70 per hour (as of 1 April 2019)

The adult minimum wage must be paid to all employees aged 16 and over who are not classified as starting-out or trainees.

Minimum Wage Calculations


Starting-out Minimum Wage

The starting-out minimum wage is:
$14.16 per hour (as of 1 April 2019)

The starting-out minimum wage is for:

  • 16 and 17 year old employees who haven’t done six months of continuous employment service with their current employer.
  • 18 and 19 year old employees who have been paid one or more social security benefits for six months or more, and who haven’t completed six months continuous employment with an employer since they started being paid a benefit.
  • 16- to 19-year-old employees whose employment agreement states they have to undertake industry training for at least 40 credits a year in order to become qualified in the area they are working in.
  • Where those employees are supervising or training other workers they are required to be paid the adult minimum wage instead.

Training Minimum Wage

The training minimum wage is:
$14.16 per hour (as of 1 April 2019)

The training minimum wage is for employees employees aged 20 years or over whose employment agreement states that they have to do at least 60 credits a year of an industry training programme to become qualified in the area they are working in (with some exclusions).

Historical Minimum Wage Rates

Historical Minimum Wage Rates
As ofAdultStarting outTraining
1 April 2018$16.50$13.20$13.20
1 April 2017$15.75$12.60$12.60
1 April 2016$15.25$12.20$12.20
1 April 2015$14.75$11.80$11.80
1 April 2014$14.25$11.40$11.40
1 April 2013 (*)$13.75$11.00$11.00
1 April 2012$13.50$10.80$10.80
1 April 2011$13.00$10.40$10.40
1 April 2010$12.75$10.20$10.20
1 April 2009$12.50$10.00$10.00
1 April 2008 (*)$12.00$9.60$9.60
1 April 2007$11.25$9.00$9.00
27 March 2006$10.25$8.20$8.20
21 March 2005$9.50$7.60$7.60
1 April 2004$9.00$7.20$7.20
24 March 2003$8.50$6.80$6.80
(*) Definitions for starting-out / new entrant / youth were different prior to May 2013


Minimum Wage Articles

How equal has wage growth been over the last 10 years?

How does growth in the minimum wage and living wage stack up against growth in the median wage and average wage in New Zealand over the last 10 years?

Minimum Wage Boosted 7.3% in 2019

The Adult Minimum Wage was increased $1.20 to $17.70 as of 1 April 2019. This represents an increase of 7.3% over the previous level - the largest yearly percentage increase within the last 12 years

Minimum wage rises to $13.50/hour on 1 April 2012

New Zealand's minimum wage increases 3.85% to $13.50 per hour from the 1st of April 2012. That's an extra $17.93 per week cash-in-hand for someone working a standard 40 hour week.

Minimum wage to increase $0.25c

After much speculation and debate the Government has announced a small increase in the minimum wage, to come into effect as of 1 April 2010.