New Zealand employment relations

Books | Journals | Theses


Key books include:

Use the Catalogue to find additional material held in the Library.

Subject headings

Subject headings can be a good way of locating highly relevant content. You can also combine these subject headings with additional keywords when you search the Catalogue.

Affirmative action programs New Zealand Arbitration industrial New Zealand
Collective bargaining New Zealand Discrimination in employment New Zealand
Industrial relations New Zealand Industrial safety law and legislation New Zealand
Labor contract New Zealand Labor laws and legislation New Zealand
Labor policy New Zealand Labor unions New Zealand
Manpower policy New Zealand Personnel management New Zealand
Sex discrimination in employment New Zealand Women employment New Zealand

Keyword searching
If you do not know the exact structure of subject headings, try a keyword search putting in terms you think may be relevant. Note that legislation in particular can be difficult to locate using a subject search.

Top of page


Top of page


  • University of Auckland theses via the Catalogue
    ​Try a keyword search including the word thesis, e.g.:

thesis mcom employment university auckland
thesis phd labour university auckland

See also Finding theses and dissertations.

Top of page

Legislation | Case law


New Zealand employment legislation is available full text in Westlaw NZ and LexisNexis NZ.

Key acts in Westlaw NZ


Print statutes

Bound print volumes of the Acts of Parliament are held in the Davis Law Library (call number B/NZ). A wall chart listing legislation in force is available near the collection.

Top of page

Case law

The main sources for employment case law in New Zealand are:

For more information about New Zealand legislation and case law consult the New Zealand legal resources and Employment law guides.

Top of page

Parliament | Government sites | Organisations | Research centres


These resources either give access to verbatim discussion in Parliament, or give background to, and reasons for, policy and legislative decisions:

  • Papers presented
    Documents presented to the House by Ministers or the Speaker, including annual reports, statements of intent, Budget documents, Law Commission, Auditor-General, and Commissions of Inquiry reports, international treaties, and regulations.
  • Parliamentary business
    Including Bills, Supplementary Order Papers, Order Papers, debates, oral and written questions, daily progress (summary of business of the House for the most recent week), Journals, papers, petitions presented, Standing Orders, Speakers' Rulings, and sessional orders.
  • New Zealand Parliamentary Debates (Hansard)
    A record of all speeches made in Parliament; 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.
  • Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives
    Published annually, 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", e.g., the annual report of what was the Department of Labour has a shoulder number G1. Indexes are at the end of each bound volume.
  • AtoJs Online
    A collection of digitised volumes of the Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives and the Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives, currently covering 1854-1950.

Top of page

Government sites

  • Accident Compensation Corporation
    Includes injury statistics, legislation and annual report.
  • Employment New Zealand
    Part of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (previously Department of Labour). Covers employment, occupational safety and health, and immigration.
  • Employment Court
    Provides an overview of the Employment Court and its operation.
  • Employment Relations Authority
    An independent body set up under the Employment Relations Act 2000.
  • Human Rights Commission
    Includes a summary of human rights legislation in New Zealand, information on the complaints process, sexual harassment and discrimination.
  • Mediation Service
    Mediation services under the Employment Relations Act 2000 are provided by the Department of Labour (now part of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.)
  • Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety (previously Minister of Labour)
    Lists the legislation covered and areas of responsibility of this porfolio.

Top of page


Top of page

Research centres and institutes

Top of page

Bibliographies | Chronologies | Labour history | Commissions of Inquiry


Contain lists of references to journal and newspaper articles, books, chapters in books, conference papers and theses on a particular topic:

Top of page


Provide an overview of the history of employment relations in New Zealand:

Top of page

Labour history

  • Labour History Project
    Formerly 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.
  • 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’, i.e., unions that merged or ceased.
  • Print copies of NZCTU directories and Federation of Labour directories up to 1993 are in the Library.

Top of page

Commissions of Inquiry

There have been numerous commissions of inquiry in New Zealand looking at labour market and working conditions.

For reports since then consult the indexes in the back of the bound volumes to the Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives. 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 (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:

Top of page

Web resources | Databases | Print

Web resources

Statistics New Zealand
The main source for data on the New Zealand labour market. Sub-site content of interest:

The main surveys carried out are:

  • Household Labour Force Survey
    New Zealand's official statistics on the number of people employed, unemployed, and not in the labour force; actual and usual hours worked; the numbers of people in occupations and industries.
  • Quarterly Employment Survey (QES)
    Estimates the number of filled jobs at established businesses, not the number of people employed.

For very detailed data a valuable resource is:

  • Census of population and dwellings
    Gives demographic information including data on types of industries and occupations people were employed in. The latest Census was on 5 March 2013. Census results will be released progressively from 15 October 2013 to June 2015. Data for the 1996, 2001 and 2006 censuses is also online at Statistics New Zealand's website.

Top of page


  • NZ.Stat
    Statistics New Zealand online tool that allows you to create customised tables from a wide range of large datasets.
  • Infoshare
    Statistics NZ online tool that gives access to a range of time-series data.
  • New Zealand Time Series
    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. (Similar coverage to Infoshare).
  • OECD iLibrary
    Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) publications and data.
    International Labour Office (ILO) database on labour statistics.

Top of page

Print resources

Print statistics are located in a separate section on Level M, General Library. Key statistical publications include:

  • New Zealand official yearbook 1893-2010. After 2010 the Yearbook has only been available online.
    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 worth a special look as it has a number of commentaries on conditions last century. Yearbooks often include special studies on various topics.
    • Special sections/chapters relevant to employment relations include:
      Labour in New Zealand (1894 Yearbook)
      Wages and working hours in New Zealand (1919 Yearbook)
      Industrial relations - the next ten years and beyond (1966 Yearbook)
  • Labour market statistics
    Annual publication from Statistics New Zealand, produced from 1991-2008.
  • Key statistics
    A monthly publication published from 1989-2010 which 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 print publications from the Census go back to 1871. Includes data on types of industries and occupations people were employed in. Data for the 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2013 census is online at Statistics New Zealand.
  • 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.

See also:

Top of page


The Business School uses APA style for referencing.


  • Referencing
    Access a range of tools and support material to assist your referencing work.


  • Quick©ite
    Use this interactive tool to view examples of references.
    Covers a range of styles used at the University of Auckland.

Last updated : 2 February 2022
Creative Commons License CC BY 4.0 Tautohu Matatiki 4.0 ā-Ao