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Minimum Wage and Median Wage in New Zealand

Minimum Wage and Median Wage in New Zealand

In order to get some New Zealand visas, you must meet the wage rate requirement aka the wage threshold. 

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) uses a comprehensive visa system that factors in multiple criteria, including wage thresholds, to determine eligibility for certain visas. The wage threshold is essentially a benchmark income level that must be met by visa applicants unless their roles come under an exemption category.

These wage thresholds serve as an integral tool in evaluating the job requirements and assessing the skill level required for a particular occupation. They are frequently adjusted to keep pace with evolving economic conditions and rising inflation, ensuring that they remain effective and relevant.

What is the minimum wage

The minimum wage in New Zealand is the lowest hourly rate that an employer is legally required to pay an employee. It is set by the government and is reviewed every year. As of 1 April 2023, minimum wage nz 2023 is $22.70 per hour.

When does the minimum Wage increase / next minimum wage increase nz

New Zealand’s minimum wage increases every year in April. It is expected to be in line with inflation.

What is the median wage / immigration nz median wage

The median wage is the minimum pay threshold for most jobs under the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). As of 27 February 2023, the median wage is NZD 29.66 per hour.

To know about the impact of the median wage on migrant workers and employers, click here

When does the Median Wage Increase

The median wage is announced every year in February.

Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) and the Median Wage

AEWV jobs must pay the worker at least the median wage unless there is an exemption or the job is part of a sector agreement.

Within certain sectors, there exists an agreement commonly referred to as a ‘sector agreement’ which permits companies to offer remuneration packages below the median wage for new employees who are being hired under an Alternate Employment Work Visa (AEWV). Nevertheless, this agreement is accompanied by a critical caveat; these companies are obligated to comply with a minimum wage threshold that is directly linked to the prevailing national median wage rate. 

Some roles in sectors like tourism & hospitality, care workforce, meat processing, transport etc. are exempt from being paid the median wage.

Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa and the Median Wage

Under the new 6-points system effective 9 October 2023, points can be claimed for income as well.

If you are paid 1.5 times the median wage, you can claim 3 points. If you are paid double the median wage, then you can claim 4 points. And if you are paid 3 times the median wage, you can claim 5 points.

Parent Resident Visa and the Median Wage

Anyone wanting to sponsor parents for a Parent Resident Visa must earn over the median wage. The sponsor must earn 1.5 times the median wage for 1 parent and an increase by half the median wage for each additional parent. 

The visa wage thresholds are intrinsically linked to the median wage. In other words, any hike in median wage would result in an equivalent increase in the wage threshold for the visa. This mechanism ensures that visa holders have sufficient financial resources to support themselves and their dependents while residing in New Zealand. This practice also aligns with the country’s efforts to maintain a fair and equitable immigration system, where all visa applicants must meet certain economic standards before being granted entry. Therefore, the interdependence between visa wage thresholds and the median wage serves as a crucial component of the country’s immigration policy.

The minimum wage and median wage in New Zealand are an important issue that affects many people. The government is committed to ensuring that the minimum wage is fair and that it keeps pace with inflation. In the coming years, the minimum wage is expected to continue to increase. This will help to ensure that everyone who is working full-time can afford to meet their basic needs.

Get in touch with Immigration Advisors New Zealand Ltd, which provides up-to-date immigration information so you can consider opportunities and prepare yourself for the future. To know all the required procedures, contact us at [email protected] or call on +64 09 3790219.


The minimum wage in New Zealand increases every 1 April. The new minimum wage rate will be announced by the Government closer to the date.

Author Details

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Vandana Rai

(LIA 201400900)

Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.

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