Median Wage NZ 2024 – Latest Updates

The New Zealand Immigration Authority has announced a significant update regarding the median wage adjustments, effective 28 February 2024. The new median wage rate is set at $31.61 per hour, which will be integrated into several components of the immigration system.

Detailed Changes:

  • Wage Threshold Adjustments: Starting from 28 February 2024, wage thresholds for various visa categories, including the Skilled Migrant Category, the Green List Straight to Residence, Work to Residence visas, and the Parent Category residence class visa, will see an increment to align with the updated median wage of NZD 31.61 per hour.
  • Transport Sector Visa Adjustments: The wage threshold for the Transport Sector Work to Residence Visa will also match the new median wage rate, except for bus drivers.
  • Exceptions: The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) will not be subject to this increase. In December, The government indicated that the AEWV’s wage rate would remain at NZD $29.66 per hour. This pause also extends to AEWV-linked work visas, including:
    • Partner of a Worker Work Visa,
    • Variations of conditions for AEWVs,
    • Legacy Essential Skills work visas,
    • Interim visas granted under the Skilled Migrant Category,
    • Partner of a Worker work visas,
    • Subsequent Migrant Exploitation Protection Visas.

This decision gives the government the necessary time to explore alternative threshold options that better serve New Zealand’s needs in attracting suitable workers and addressing genuine skill shortages.

Implications for Migrants:

  • Current AEWV Holders: Migrants with an AEWV at the paused wage rate (NZD $29.66 an hour) can continue accumulating work experience for Skilled Residence. However, they must secure a job or job offer meeting the skilled residence pathway rate, according to the median wage at their application time.
  • Prospective AEWV Applicants: Individuals looking to apply for Skilled Residence pathways in the future must meet the updated higher wage threshold of NZD 31.61 an hour instead of the lower rate required for an AEWV.

Sector Agreement Expiry Dates:

  • Status: All sector agreements and exemptions remain with current wage rates pending further decisions on the median wage’s application under the AEWV, with notable extensions for the tourism, hospitality, and transport sector agreements.

Median Wage Data Source:

  • Source: Stats NZ
  • Period: June 2022 quarter to June 2023 quarter
  • Change: From NZD $29.66 an hour to NZD $31.61 an hour, highlighting the country’s economic adjustments.

Wage and Salary Trends in New Zealand (June 2023 Update):


Category Increase Percentage Increase Updated Earnings (as of June 2023)
Median Weekly Earnings
Overall +$84 7.1% $1,273
Men +$80 6.1% $1,400
Women +$85 8.1% $1,140
Median Hourly Earnings
Overall +$1.95 6.6% $31.61
Men +$2.15 7.0% $33.00
Women +$2.15 7.7% $30.15


Revising New Zealand’s median wage to $31.61 per hour signifies a critical move towards aligning the immigration system with the evolving economic landscape. By adjusting wage thresholds across key visa categories, the government demonstrates its commitment to maintaining a competitive and fair labour market that meets the needs of both local businesses and migrant workers.

This strategic update and the selective pause on increases for specific visa types underscores a thoughtful approach to immigration policy. It balances the immediate needs of the economy with the long-term goal of attracting skilled labour, ensuring New Zealand remains an attractive destination for talent from around the globe.

About ICL Immigration

ICL Immigration, based in Auckland, is an established licensed immigration adviser with over 20 years of experience and a remarkable 97% approval rate. We’ve helped over 1,000 immigrants realise their New Zealand settlement dreams.

We specialise in a broad spectrum of visa services, including work, residency, student visas, and business-related services like employer accreditation, ensuring personalised solutions for individuals and businesses aiming to navigate New Zealand’s immigration landscape successfully.

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