Established in 1967, the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW) is a long-standing Ministerial advisory body.  It has a track record of addressing issues of concern for women in employment. Its work has included addressing immediate employment needs, identifying emerging employment issues and undertaking research about concerns that may not currently be addressed by employers or government agencies.  NACEW has included two contributing partner organisations (the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) and BusinessNZ) and links to five additional partners (the National Council of Women of New Zealand, the Māori Women’s Welfare League, PACIFICA, YWCA, and Rural Women New Zealand). Prior to 2012 NACEW reported to the Department of Labour.

Historically, NACEW was established to directly advise the Minister for Women. Over time NACEW developed its own priorities and work programme, and more recently has had a less direct relationship with the Minister for Women. Following a review of its purpose and functions, in 2016 NACEW was updated as an advisory body responsible directly to the Minister for Women. NACEW is independent of the Ministry for Women, which provides a support (secretariat) role along with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.