The ILO in New Zealand

As well as being a founding member of the ILO, joining in 1919, New Zealand has a unique record on issues of labour and social justice. In 1893 New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the vote. It was also the first to legislate for an eight hour working day, so paving the way for the ILO’s Hours of Work (Industry) Convention in 1919.

The ILO and the government of New Zealand have collaborated on a number of initiatives, including the elimination of child labour in Fiji, employment creation in Indonesia, the improvement of labour laws in Cambodia, rural development assistance in Timor-Leste, and the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme for seasonal workers from the Pacific region.

New Zealand has consistently maintained an active and visible presence in the ILO, and its representatives have attended the annual International Labour Conferences since 1935. The New Zealand Government served as a deputy member of the ILO Governing Body (GB) between 1990-96 and 1999-2005, and the Government and employers’ organization representatives were elected as regular members of the GB for the 2014-17 term.