Pay rates in New Zealand

As of April 2018, the minimum wage in New Zealand is $16.50 an hour which is $132.00 for an 8-hour day or $660.00 for a 40-hour week. This figure is before tax. The common tax rate for someone earning the minimum wage is approximately 17% so this means your $660 before tax will reduce to $547, (to work this out more accurately head to the PAYE calculator site)

If you are fruit picking you may be paid on what is called a piece rate system. This means you are paid depending on the amount of fruit that you pick. When working under this system you should still be paid at least the minimum wage, it is not ok to be earning the equivalent of $10 an hour. If this is happening, it is up to your employer to train you to a standard where you can produce the output that equates to minimum wage. If this does not work and you are working under a casual contract then you may be asked to leave your job.

Here are some guidelines for what you might earn (per hour):

  • Fruitpicking, packhouse work – $16.50
  • Labouring work – $16.50 to $20
  • Farm work – $16.50 to $18
  • Hospitality – $16.50 to $20
  • Admin & office work – $16.50 to $30
  • Sales & promo work – $16.50 to $25 (usually commission based pay)
  • Retail work -$16.50 to $17

In Summary:

Expect to be paid minimum wage and anything else is a bonus. Keep in mind you are here to have a working holiday, your work is to supplement your holiday experience. Do not beat yourself up if you go home with $100 in the bank.