Minimum wage rates

New minimum wage rates take effect from 1 April 2024

The new adult minimum wage rates (before tax) that apply to employees aged 16 or over will be $23.15 per hour.

The new entrants' minimum wage rates and the training minimum wage rates (before tax) will increase to $18.52 an hour.

The new entrants' minimum wage applies to a person who:

  • is 16 or 17 years old, AND
  • has not completed three months or 200 hours of employment, whichever is shorter, AND
  • is not supervising or training other workers, AND
  • is not subject to the training minimum wage.

The training minimum wage applies to people who are required by their employment agreements to undertake recognised industry training involving at least 60 credits a year.

Starting-out wage  an option from 1 May 2013

The 'starting-out wage' has been an option for employers and employees from 1 May 2013. The starting-out wage will give employers a real incentive to give young people a foothold on the employment ladder.

Three groups will be eligible for the starting-out wage. These are:

  • 16- and 17-year-olds in their first six months of work with a new employer (or until they are training or supervising others)
  • 18- and 19-year-olds who have been paid a benefit for six months or longer, and who have not completed six months of continuous work with any employer since starting on benefit (or until they are training or supervising others)
  • 16- to 19-year-old workers in a recognised industry training course involving at least 40 credits a year.

Under the starting-out wage, eligible 16- to 19-year-olds can be paid 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage for six months OR for as long as they are undertaking recognised industry training of at least 40 credits per year.

The starting-out wage sits alongside other government initiatives aimed at helping more young New Zealanders into work or training, including Work and Income's Job Streams.

From 1 May 2013 the starting-out wage replaced the new entrants wage and training minimum wage for under-20s.

For more information contact the Employment New Zealand website at or feel free to contact me at or 027 2335449.
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