Topic Guide : Employment Relations in New Zealand

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Chronologies

Bibliographies Finding books Journals
Government Publications Case law Statistics Theses
Biographies Archives Internet links  
Chronologies

The chronologies in the following may help to give a good overview of the history of employment relations in New Zealand:

New Zealand book of events. (1986)
Within this book there is a section on ‘the work force’ chronicled up to 1985.Topics covered are wages and conditions, the unions, and strikes and lockouts.

Across the counter: The lives of the working poor in New Zealand. (1990) Appendix E in this report is a chronology titled ‘A short history of shop trading hours in New Zealand’.

Bateman New Zealand historical atlas. (1997)
Not a chronology as such. It includes comments, illustrative maps, graphs and charts on a variety of topics.

Davies, L.(1993). Women’s labour force participation in New Zealand : the past 100 years.
Fig.3.2 on p.27 shows the evolution of women’s labour force participation from 1893 to 1993. Topics chronicled include key social and economic events, key legislation, non-Maori and Maori participation, and participation patterns by age.

Haynes P., Oldfield, Y. & Fryer, G. (2006) New Zealand employment relations.3rd edition.
There is an historical time line from 1842 to 1992 chronicling industrial and legislative events, the state of the economy, and the years of Labour and non-Labour governments.

Jackson, K.& McRobie A. (2008).Historical & political dictionary of New Zealand 3rd edition
There is a general New Zealand chronology from c.800

Kasper, W.(1996) Free to work : the liberalisation of New Zealand's labour markets.
Table 2 on pp.8-10 has major reforms and events, 1982-1995. Figure 1 on pp.14-15 graphs New Zealand reforms and economic performance, 1980-1995 (there are graphs for growth, inflation, the jobs market, and external balance).

Labour History Project . The Trade Union History Project was founded in 1987 by a number of concerned historians and trade unionists to both encourage and promote trade union history and to attempt to save trade union archives.. Links to Union directories, union histories and biographies. 

Hall, E.M. (1999) Managing New Zealand organisations : principles, practices & issues. 2nd edition
There is a brief overview and history of industrial relations and legislation from 1894 to 1993? on pp.278-291.

New Zealand journal of employment relations. (previously New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations)
Each issue has a section called ‘Chronology’ which outlines and comments on industrial disputes that have occurred during the previous few months. This journal is available electronically full text on Business Source Premier from 2004 and full text on ABI/Inform from 1997-2006. Earlier issues from 1976 are in print in NZ+P (331.10995 N53T)

Boston, J. (1996) Public management : the New Zealand model.
Appendix 1 is ‘A summary of New Zealand’s public sector reforms 1984-95’. Topics chronicled include ‘Commercialization, corporatisation and privatisation’, ‘Machinery of government’, ‘Human resource management’, ‘Financial management’, ‘Expenditure control’, and ‘Local government reforms’.

Sutch. W.B.(1968) Poverty and progress in New Zealand.
There is a chronology from 700 to 1967. Topics comparatively chronicled are external events, political, economic trends and events, the wage earner, and welfare, education, civil liberties.

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Bibliographies

Bibliographies contain lists of references to journal and newspaper articles, books, chapters in books, conference papers and theses. 

Brosnan, P. (1991). New Zealand labour and employment research, 1859-1990: A bibliography of research and research materials.
Arrangement is by type of publication: Statistics; Official; papers (Reports of royal commissions, commissions of inquiry); Government publications; Books; Chapters in books; Journal articles; Theses and published conference papers. The section listing theses could be very useful. Indexes are by keyword, author, and date.

Corliss, P. (2006) Words at work: An annotated bibliography of New Zealand trade union literature

Geare, A. J. (1990) New Zealand industrial relations research, 1973-1988: A bibliography.
It lists all the research published between 1973 and 1988. Included are journal articles, theses, working papers, books and reports. Arrangement is by topic.

Roth, B. (1964). Labour legislation in New Zealand: A bibliography.
Dated now but useful for historical research.

Roth, B. (1977). New Zealand trade unions: A bibliography

Sayers, J. (1991). Employment equity in New Zealand: Definitions and a bibliography.
As well as a bibliography this book also has discussion of employment equity and gives an historical backgrounding to the issue.

Sibbald, A.(1998). Twenty-one years of personnel/human resource management and industrial relations research in New Zealand: A bibliography, 1976-1997.
[NZP 016.331 S56]. In the Introduction the author states ' This bibliography builds upon and extends the previous work by Geare (1988) and Thompson and Sibbald (1990)' [Geare, A. J. New Zealand industrial relations research, 1973-1988 : a bibliography., Thompson, V. Personnel management in New Zealand : a bibliography, 1941-1989.] Arrangement is by topic with 'entries included only those of an academic nature'. Topics include collective bargaining, remuneration, disputes resolution, equal employment opportunities, women and work, pay equity, disabilities, ethnic and racial issues, training and development, health and welfare.

Walsh, P. (1994) Trade unions, work and society : the centenary of the arbitration system

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Finding Books

Some key current texts on NZ employment relations

Deeks, J. & Rasmussen, E. (2009), Employment relations in New Zealand.

Geare, A.& Edgar, F.J.(2007) Employment relations. 5th ed

Haynes, P., Oldfield, Y. & Fryer, G. (2006) New Zealand employment relations.3rd edition.

Rasmussen, E. (ed.),(2004) Employment relationships: New Zealand's Employment Relations Act

Rasmussen, E. (ed) (2010) Employment relationships: Workers, unions and employers in New Zealand

Use Voyager or the new interface to the catalogue to find books held in the University of Auckland Library. Most subject searches work well by adding a geographic location after the topic as the list of following examples indicates. However some topics can be further subdivided before adding the geographic qualifier eg collective bargaining teachers new zealand. There may also be a subject qualifier such as history or bibliography - eg industrial relations new zealand history, labor laws and legislation new zealand bibliography  Note the American spelling of labor and organization in subject headings. 

 Some helpful subject headings are: 

Guided Keyword searching  is very useful particularly if you do not know the exact structure of subject headings. Note that legislation eg employment contracts act is difficult to search using a subject search. It is advisable when searching for information about legislation to do a guided keyword search.

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Journals

Individual articles in journals and newspapers are not listed separately on the catalogue. Search various special indexes or look at bibliographies in other published works on the subject. The databases and indexes listed below are the most useful for finding references to articles in this field. Please note: it is advisable to search on all three databases - Index New Zealand (INNZ); Newztext Plus; Australia New Zealand Reference Centre. Some journals/magazines are indexed on one database and not on the others. Searching all three databases will give more comprehensive results. 

Major New Zealand databases and indexes

Australia New Zealand Reference Centre
A full-text collection from EBSCO Publishing, combining content from Australian, New Zealand and overseas magazines, academic journals, newspapers, newswires and reference books..

Index New Zealand :INNZ  1987- 
Indexes articles in  New Zealand journals (including 'academic' journals) and some newspapers. It is the key New Zealand database for social sciences, arts, humanities and general interest material.

Index to New Zealand periodicals 1941-1986
The precursor of INNZ, the Index to New Zealand periodicals indexes only journals. It covers the years 1941-1986 and is kept on the NZP Quick Reference shelves Ground Floor General Library.

Newztext Plus
This is a database of New Zealand sourced information. It has the full text of articles from major NZ daily newspapers, in some cases back to 1993, and the full text of some NZ magazines. It does not cover ‘academic’ journals. Be aware that the newspaper articles are those to which the newspaper publisher has the copyright. This means syndicated articles, for example from the NZPA and Reuters, are excluded.  It also includes Newzindex which is an index to a range of New Zealand publications (but not academic journals).

Other databases you could search include ABI/Inform, AGIS Plus Text, Factiva, Proquest Social Sciences Journals, APAIS, Academic research library , Ebscohost, PsycINFO and Expanded academic  They are international databases but are useful to search because they index articles about New Zealand published in international journals. When searching international databases, searches often need to be qualified by typing the word zealand as part of the search strategy. 

The key NZ journal to look at for industrial relations is: 

The New Zealand journal of employment relations. (Full text on Business Source Premier back to 2004, earlier issues back to 1997are on ABI/Inform). This journal is also indexed by Index New Zealand: INNZ.

Historically  significant journals include:  

The Maoriland worker : a journal of industrial unionism, socialism & politics. Launched by the Shearers’ Union in 1910. The editor was Ettie Rout. Contributors included the New Zealand Federation of Labour (1910-1913), the United Federation of Labor, the Social Democratic Party (New Zealand) and the New Zealand Labour Party.   In association with this journal see : Tolerton, Jane. ‘’The recording angel’ or a ‘Maoriland worker’? Ettie Rout and the Labour Movement, 1907-15’ in Culture and the Labour Movement : essays in New Zealand labour history

The Maoriland worker was continued by : 
The New Zealand worker (not held at the University of Auckland) which was continued by:
The Standard
Began with Oct. 9, 1935 issue; ceased with Dec. 23, 1959 issue. "Official organ of the N.Z. labour movement." Good for obituaries as well as historical information.

Journal of the Department of Labour / Dept. of Labour and Employment.
Began 1893; ceased 1917. Full of interesting information including a roundup of conditions of employment and trade in the regions, court cases, industrial accidents, lists of registered barmaids, and persons assisted by the Department of Labour.

For selected listings of employment-related and trade union journals held in the Library do a Subject search on the catalogue.
  • industrial relations new zealand periodicals
  • management new zealand periodicals
  • trade unions new zealand periodicals
  • For a general listing of trade union journals see: Roth, Bert. New Zealand trade unions : a bibliography 2nd ed., rev. 1977.[NZP 016. 331880995 R84 1977]. There is an Index to journals at the back of the book. 

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    Government Publications

    See also databases and internet resources on the New Zealand legal resources for business students page.

    Government publications are well worth investigating as they can provide a wealth of information. Depending on the type of publication, they can give verbatim discussion on an issue as debated in Parliament allowing you to understand the various opinions on a topic, and they can inform as to reasons behind policy and legislative decisions. The following are some of the main Government publications helpful for employment relations. 

    Papers presented
    Papers presented are documents presented to the House by Ministers or the Speaker. They include annual reports, statements of intent, Budget documents, Law Commission, Auditor-General, and Commissions of Inquiry reports, international treaties, and regulations.

    Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives. 1858- [NZP 328.95 N56a].
    The AJHRs are published annually and are a record of papers tabled in Parliament including annual reports of government departments and select committees, and the reports of royal commissions and committees of inquiry. Papers in the AJHRs are classified under a system of “shoulder numbers” for example the annual report of the Department of Labour has a shoulder number G1. Indexes are at the end of each bound volume.

    A handy publication to use in conjunction with the AJHRs is:
    A checklist: New Zealand royal commissions, commissions and committees of inquiry, 1864-1981
    This publication lists commissions in chronological order. There is also a Chairman index and a subject index. The shoulder number is given for reports that are in the AJHR. This publication lists reports up to and including 1981. See also:

    Understanding Aotearoa / New Zealand: historical statistics / David Thorns & Charles Sedgwick. 
    Appendix B on page 186 lists in chronological order Royal Commissions from 1864 to 1995. Appendix C on page 188 lists in chronological order Commissions and Committees of Inquiry from 1869 to 1988.

    For reports since then consult the indexes in the back of the bound volumes to the AJHR (or look at the Index shelved after the last box of current AJHRs). Suggested point of entry is “Royal commissions, committees and special reports”. Reports and proceedings of Select Committees are usually in the I section of the AJHR. 
    A selection of commission reports in the AJHR includes:

    • Royal commission to enquire into the working of the Employment of Females Act. AJHR 1878 H2
    • Royal commission into certain relations between employers of certain kinds of labour and persons employed therein. ‘Sweating commission.’. AJHR 1890 H5
    • Workers compensation commission report. AJHR 1930. H 11A
    • Equal pay. AJHR 1971 H54 (and progress report AJHR 1976 G1A)
    • Royal commission on Social policy. AJHR 1987-90 H2 (NB The April Report is also shelved at NZP 309.195 N536). See especially vol. 3 pt. 1 ‘Work’.
    • Effects of the Employment Contracts Act 1991 on the New Zealand labour market. AJHR 1991-93 I4B
    • Report on the inquiry into the effects of the Employment Contracts Act 1991 on the New Zealand labour market. AJHR 1991-93. I9D
    • Labour Committee. Report on the Employment Contracts Bill. AJHR 1991-93. I9A


    Additional publications of reports not found in the AJHRs include:
    Compensation for personal injury in New Zealand: Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry. 1967.

    Salary and wage fixing procedures in the New Zealand State Services 1972: Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry

    Across the counter: The lives of the working poor in New Zealand 1990 : report of the Second New Zealand Sweating Commission. 1990.
    Includes sections on trends in shop trading hours, legislation affecting shop workers, low pay, health and safety, management practices, and employer hostility to the Unions.

    HANSARD
    New Zealand parliamentary debates. (online from 1987 onwards.) 
    These are often referred to as ‘Hansard’. They are a record of all speeches made in Parliament, and are an invaluable source for discussion on legislation. Particularly informative are the debates associated with the second reading of a Bill where the viewpoints of all parties are aired and the debate can be substantial. There are sessional indexes to Hansard. To find the debate associated with a piece of legislation search in the ‘Sessional index’ in the last volume of each Session (usually coincides with a calendar year). Within the BILLS section of the Index look under the title of the bill to find the page where the debates appear. For example, to follow debate on Employment Contracts through Parliament before it was passed as an Act look up the amalgamated index at the back of vol.521. Look under BILLS, then under the subheading Employment contracts. Page references are given for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd readings. For debate other than that associated with a Bill, suggested points of entry within the Index are under the name of a politician or under a broad topic heading.

    STATUTES
    Statutes of New Zealand
    Online from 1992. The New Zealand and Pacific Collection contains a print copy of every Act of Parliament ever passed in New Zealand. They are bound together in volumes each year. A wall chart listing legislation in force is on the end of the stack beginning NZP 345.209969-349.925. This chart will either give you an RS and a number or just a number. For RS look in the Reprinted Statutes shelved at NZP 346.3 N56re.

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    Case Law

    There are a selection of titles in the New Zealand and Pacific Collection. However, more complete and up-to-date information sources are in the Davis Law Library (all currently enrolled University of Auckland students can use this library). 

    Awards, recommendations, agreements, orders, made under the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, the Apprentices Act, and the Labour Disputes Investigation Act, and other relevant acts.
    [NZP Storage 331.155 N532 vol.3 (1901/02)-v.81, 1981. Vol.82, 1982 to v.91, 1991 on the open shelves at NZP 331.155 N532]. Ceased publication after the passing of the Employment Contracts Act. There have been slight variations of title over the years but it is commonly called the Book of awards. Content varies. To 1975 it also included Arbitration Court decisions, and selected decisions of industrial tribunals and industrial matters judged in the Court of Appeal. Awards and agreements only were listed from 1975 to 1987. From 1987 to 1991 only awards and apprenticeship orders were listed.

    New Zealand. Arbitration Court. Decisions of the Court of Arbitration under the Workers' Compensation for Accident Act, 1900. [NZP 331.825 N532 1901/02; 1903] [DAVIS LAW LIBRARY C/NZ Vol. 1 (1900/02)-v. 13 (1914)].

    See also: 
    Salmon, John H. Consolidated digest of Worker's Compensation cases, being a digest of the cases under the Workers' Compensation Act reported in volumes I to XIII . 1915. [ NZ Glass Case 331.825 S17].

    The New Zealand law reports : cases determined by the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, and Court of Arbitration (Workers' Compensation Cases). [NZP 346.4 N53 1968-].

    New Zealand industrial law reports. [NZP 331.1995 J92]. 1976 to 1990. Title varies. Gives judgments of the Labour Court and the Court of Appeal. Continued as:
    Employment reports of New Zealand. [DAVIS LAW C/NZ Recent unbound issues are desk copies].

    New Zealand employment law cases Vol. 1 (1986/87)- 

    Search Brookers Online for New Zealand case law , Particularly useful are the resources Employment Cases and Briefcase which indexes New Zealand reported and unreported cases from 1986 onwards.

    Linxplus. Hosted by LexisNexis NZ, this database indexes selected New Zealand  case law since 1986, with some access to unreported judgments. LinxPlus also indexes legal journal articles and books received by the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch District Law Society libraries.

    For brief summaries of judgments and decisions from 1992-2005 see also: 
    ERA info : the report on current industrial relations in New Zealand. 1992-2005
    [NZP 331.1160995 C76]. Has brief summaries of Court of Appeal and Employment Court judgments.

    Safeguard: Journal of Occupational Safety and Health, a service unit of the Department of Health.
    For a brief summary of cases relating to accidents and safety in the workplace see the section ‘From the courts’.

    EMA bulletin.   In NZ+P (331.1995 A89b) from 2000 onwards. In storage 1996-1999.

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    Statistics

    Statistics are located in a separate section on Floor M. Check also Statistics New Zealand's website especially for employment and unemployment data. Some key statistical publications are: 

    New Zealand official yearbook. 1893 - [S2/NZ STAy].
    The Yearbook provides an excellent range of summary statistics plus commentary and overview. The chapter ‘Employment’ includes comment and statistics on labour relations. The 1990 Yearbook (celebrating the sesquicentennial) is also worth a special look as it has a number of commentaries on conditions last century. Yearbooks often include special studies on various topics. Topics relevant to employment relations include:

    • Labour in New Zealand (YB) 1894
    • Wages and working hours in New Zealand 1919
    • Industrial relations - the next ten years and beyond 1966

    Labour market statistics.
    Annual publication from Statistics New Zealand which was produced from 1991-2008. This is probably one of the best sources to look at for an overall picture of the labour market and includes a chapter on industrial relations. As well as giving tables of data, there is also some comment and analysis. Print publication shelved at S2/NZ LABm. Some issues available on Statistics New Zealand website website - enter "labour market statistics" in the search box.

    New Zealand Time Series
    This database includes statistical data from the Household Labour Force Survey and additional employment data.  Look under the heading Labour market. Data can be downloaded in a variety of spreadsheet formats.

    Key statistics.
    This is a monthly publication. It has a section on the labour force.

    New Zealand social trends : work. (1993)
    An excellent one off publication based on data from the 1991 Census. It looks at paid and unpaid work and at various characteristics of the workforce eg labour force growth; migration and the labour force; labour force mobility; employment patterns of men and women; ethnic differentials in employment; unemployment.

    All about women in New Zealand (1993)
    Published to commemorate the centenary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. The section titled ‘Work’ has statistics and comment on the past 100 years.

    New Zealand now: Women.
    Chapter 5 on work includes the top ten occupations of men and women according to 1996 census data.

    Women (1999)

    Census of population and dwellings. 1871- [S2/NZ CEN].
    The Census gives demographic information including data on types of industries and occupations people were employed in. Data for the 1996, 2001, 2006 census is online at Statistics New Zealand's website.

    Bloomfield, G. T.(1984) New Zealand : a handbook of historical statistics
    A good collection of long time series of data on topics which include the labour force.

    Finding statistics about New Zealand
    Library produced list of links to web resources and printed sources.

      

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    Theses and current research

    For an overview of labour historians and the different approaches to labour history over time see: 
    Martin, John E. ‘Country report: Labour history in New Zealand’ International labor and working-class history No. 49, Spring 1996, pp.166-179. [General library 331.8805 I61].

    Theses completed at the University of Auckland and submitted to the Library are listed on the catalogue. A guided keyword search including the word ‘thesis’ is useful for locating theses eg

    • thesis employment university auckland
    • thesis management university auckland
    • thesis unions university auckland
    • thesis labour university auckland

    For a list of theses from other New Zealand universities up to 1999 see:
    Union list of higher degree theses in New Zealand libraries.


    The library catalogues of other New Zealand universities can be searched for theses  

    Also check the NZresearch.org database which is a gateway to open-access research documents, such as theses, produced at universities, polytechnics, and other research institutions in New Zealand.

    For more information on locating theses consult the library guide to theses and dissertations.

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    Biographies

    The Dictionary of New Zealand biography. [NZ & P Quick Ref. 920.095 D55]. Also online.

    • Volume 1 1769-1869
    • Volume 2 1870-1900
    • Volume 3 1901-1920
    • Volume 4 1921-1940
    • Volume 5 1941-1960 
    Main access is by person but each volume also has a categories index for accessing people under broad categories. For example labour reformers and trade unionists are listed under the category ‘Reform and protest’.

    The Book of New Zealand women = Ko kui ma te kaupapa. (1991)
    Does not include women who are still living. However the time span is very broad. Main access is by person. There is also a subject index eg ‘Commerce’, ‘Labour’, ‘Service occupations’, ‘Trades’ and ‘Women’s organisations’. Each biography has a list of references.

    Howe, K. R.(1991) Singer in a songless land : a life of Edward Tregear, 1846-1931
    Edward Tregear was the Secretary of the Department of Labour at a time when New Zealand was considered to have the world’s most ‘advanced’ labour legislation.

    Tolerton, J. (1992) Ettie : a life of Ettie Rout.
    Includes a chapter ‘The Queen of the Maoriland Worker’. 

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    Directories

    Harbridge, R. & Thickett, G (2002) A sourcebook of New Zealand trade unions and employee organisations
    Also includes comment on legislative change (1894, 1987, 1991) and unions and union membership. Lists ‘union obituaries’ ie unions who have merged or ceased.

    New Zealand Council of Trade Unions. NZCTU directory. (2010 edition). Find matching union by occupation or industry. Print copies of NZCTU directories up to 1993 are in the Library. [NZP 331.880995 N43].

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    Archives

    Please note that the use of manuscripts and archives is best suited to the graduate level of research.  Special Collections  [Level G] has a number of archival collections, particularly for trade unions. Search the Manuscripts and archives database

    There are also guides to archives and manuscript collections held in other libraries. For exapmle: The Community Archive (includes the National register of archives and manuscripts in New Zealand.) 

    TAPUHI "is the Alexander Turnbull Library's catalogue of unpublished manuscripts and achives, drawings, prints, photographs, oral history and music. Instructions on how to search the catalogue are  contained in the introduction to TAPUHI." 

    The Macmillan Brown Library at the University of Canterbury has an excellent Trade Unions Archive.

    National Archives of New Zealand. A guide to Maori sources at National Archives = He pukaki Maori Te Whare Tohu Tuhituhinga o Aotearoa.
    On page 82 there are listed collections about whakawhiwhi mahi - employment.

    New Zealand Federation of Labour (1988). A guide to the archives of the New Zealand Federation of Labour, 1937-88.

    Victoria University of Wellington Library. A finding list to the papers of Jim Roberts
    Jim Roberts was a major participant in labour relations. He was Secretary of the Waterside Workers Federation and the New Zealand Alliance of Labour.

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    Internet sites

    Government sites

    Accident Compensation Corporation.  Includes injury statistics, legislation and annual report
    Department of Labour Covers employment, occupational safety and health, immigration.
    Many publications and project reports are available in the research papers database which contains research and evaluation work undertaken, published or commissioned by the Department of Labour.
    Employment Court
    Employment Relations Authority
    Employment Relations Service from the Department of Labour.
    Human Rights Commission. This site includes a summary of human rights legislation in New Zealand, information on the complaints process, sexual harassment and discrimination. 
    Mediation Service
    Minister of Labour
    Office of the Privacy Commissioner - includes case notes, media releases, reports and submissions and information on complying with the Act

    Advisory Agencies

    Business New Zealand (Employers Federation)
    Equal Employment Opportunities Trust
    Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern)
    New Zealand Chambers of Commerce
    New Zealand Council of Trade Unions. Includes CTU media releases, research reports, work newsletter, health & safety update, information about the CTU plus a link to other trade union and associated websites. 
    New Zealand Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union
    Public Service Association

    Other

    The Jobs Letter from the Jobs Research Trust, a not-for-profit charitable trust.  Published from 1994-2006

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    Copyright©The University of Auckland Library
    Comments and suggestions to: Margaret Tibbles
     Last updated: 6 July, 2012