Large ethnic pay gaps exist in New Zealand, with Europeans earning more than any other ethnic group. For women of diverse ethnicities this means gender and ethnicity combine to create larger pay gaps compared with the median hourly earnings of all men. The New Zealand General Social Survey has found that the workplace is also the most commonly reported location for New Zealanders to experience racial discrimination.

The gaps in pay between all men and wāhine Māori, and between all men and Pacific women are substantially higher than the overall gender pay gap (GPG).

The GPG is just one measure of economic wellbeing. Another is unemployment. Unemployment rates for wāhine Māori and Pacific women are double the overall rate for women.

Employers have an important role in reducing inequality and ensuring that the capability of diverse women is recognised. An organisation that rewards the contribution of diverse women can reap the benefits of the broader experience, networks and problem-solving approaches that a diverse workplace can bring. This begins by understanding people as individuals, by building trusting teams, by learning to value each other and by taking care to avoid bias.

The relationship between gender ethnic pay gaps and sectors of work is being investigated by the Ministry for Women in association with Auckland University of Technology. We’re working to identify the size of these gaps by sector, and their drivers, to help businesses identify where they can take action. This new research (Support for Transparency in Employment and Pay, or STEP) will be released in mid-2023.

For more information about our recommended actions for employers, take a look at the “What Can Employers Do?” page.

Pay gap between the median hourly earnings of women of diverse ethnicities

compared with earnings of all men (June 2022)
  All women Pākehā Māori Pacific Peoples Asian MELAA
Pay Gap 0.092 0.063 0.157 0.157 0.114 0.125
Men's and Women's median hourly earnings by ethnicity, and gender

pay gaps within ethnicity. (June 2022)
  European Māori Pacific Peoples Asian MELAA
Men 32.18 27.81 26.00 30.00 36.44
Women 28.90 26.00 26.00 27.33 27.00
Pay Gap 0.102 0.065 0.00 0.089 0.259


Find out how we can close the gender pay gap in New Zealand...