Navigating wage rate requirements is a pivotal aspect of the visa application process in New Zealand. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) sets specific wage thresholds, the median or wage rate requirements, essential for qualifying for selected visas. These thresholds indicate the required skill level of a job, ensuring that the compensation reflects the role’s value and complexity.

Understanding Wage Thresholds

Wage thresholds represent the minimum pay rate needed for visa eligibility, measuring job skill level. Adjusted periodically, these rates respond to economic changes and inflation.

Median Wage Rate

Currently, INZ has set the median wage at NZD$29.66 per hour, adjusting annually in February based on Stats NZ’s previous June median wage statistics. In February 2024, a new median wage of NZD$31.61 will be introduced, with no increase for AEWV and Partner of worker visas.

Key Visa Categories and Wage Requirements

Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV): Aimed at skilled international workers, requiring a wage equivalent to or greater than the current median wage.

AEWV Specifics and Sector Agreements

  • Exemptions: Positions paying double the median wage are exempt from the job advertisement requirement.
  • Wage Rate Updates: AEWV median wage rate increases are paused, and no changes are scheduled for February 2024.

Sector Agreements

Certain industries benefit from ‘sector agreements’, which allow below-median wages for AEWV roles contingent on meeting a minimum wage threshold related to the median wage.

AEWV Sector Agreements and Wage Rates:

  • Construction and Infrastructure: Minimum wage set at NZD$26.69 per hour, 90% of the median.
  • Meat and Seafood Processing: Wage rate of NZD$25.51 per hour, 86% of the median.
  • Seasonal Snow and Adventure Tourism: Wages at least NZD$26.69 per hour, 90% of the median..

Table 1: Sector agreement wage rates


Wage rate an hour as of 27 Feb 2023 (in NZD)

Percentage of the median wage

Construction and infra

NZD 26.69


Meat processing

NZD 25.51


Seafood processing

NZD 25.51


Seasonal snow and adventure tourism

NZD 26.69


Special Sector Agreements:

  • Tourism and Hospitality: Permits below-median wages, with a minimum of NZD$28.18 per hour, 95% of the median wage.
  • Transport Sector (Bus Drivers): Requires a minimum wage of NZD$28 per hour.
  • Care Workforce: Specifies a minimum of NZD$26.16 per hour or equivalent salary.

Additional Visa Categories and Wage Specifications

  • Parent Resident Visa  – Sponsors aiming for the Parent Resident Visa must exceed the median wage specific to this category, with an update scheduled before May 2023’s EOI selection.

  • Recognised Seasonal Employer Limited Visa: This visa requires a minimum wage of NZD24.97 per hour, 110% of the minimum wage.

  • Fishing Crew Work Visa: This visa is covered by the seafood sector agreement. The minimum pay rate is tied to the minimum wage, with annual adjustments.

Minimum Payment Standards for Foreign Crew:

  • A minimum statutory hourly wage plus NZD$5.00 per hour for all worked hours, averaging at least 42 hours weekly.
  • From October 2024, the additional rate increases to NZD$6.00, aligning with the median wage by October 2025.

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

This visa operates under wage rate thresholds adjusted from 2018 through 2024, which is essential for evaluating applicant eligibility based on skilled employment remuneration.

Understanding Green List Roles and Compliance

Green List occupations provide residence pathways with wage thresholds based on the median wage. Overseas entertainers and specific ANZSCO occupations require adherence to particular wage requirements.

Table 4: Straight to Residence Visa wage rates



Wage rate an hour as of 27 Feb 2023 (in NZD)

Percentage of the median wage

ICT, electronics and telecommunications



ICT, electronics and telecommunications roles based on contract for services



Multimedia specialist



Multimedia specialist roles based on contract for services



External auditor



Internal auditor




Table 4: Work to Residence Visa wage rates



Wage rate an hour as of 27 Feb 2023 (in NZD)

Percentage of the median wage

Telecommunications technician



Civil machinery operators



Crane operator



Building associate



Verifying Employer Accreditation

For many work visas, including the Partner of a Worker Work Visa, employment with an accredited employer is mandatory, ensuring compliance with employment criteria.

Concluding Insights

Wage rate requirements are fundamental to ensuring fair labor practices and attracting skilled labor in New Zealand. Applicants across various work-related visa categories must understand these wage thresholds. For the most current and detailed information, consulting the INZ website and Stats NZ’s labor market statistics is advised.


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