Membership of the International Labour Organisation

Background

New Zealand was a founding member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 1919 and has attended the annual Conference since 1935.

The New Zealand Government has been elected as a Deputy Member of the ILO Governing Body for 1990 – 1996, and for 1999 – 2005, representing the Far Eastern and Pacific sub-group of the Asian region. ILO Membership involves partnership between the government and the most representative organisations of employers and workers in New Zealand: the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and Business New Zealand.

This tripartite partnership of government, employers and workers is fundamental to New Zealand’s ILO activities. A tripartite delegation attends the annual International Labour Conference and all reporting to the International Labour Organisation is undertaken on a tripartite basis.

Membership Obligations

Under Articles 13, 19, 22 and 23 of the ILO Constitution, New Zealand has certain obligations as an ILO member:

  • to meet the costs of all members of the tripartite delegation to the annual International Labour Conference
  • to bring newly adopted ILO labour standards before Parliament for the enactment of legislation or other action and to inform the ILO of the outcomes of this process
  • to report on New Zealand’s application of Conventions it has not ratified when requests are received from the ILO Governing Body (Article 19 Reports)
  • to report to the ILO regularly on New Zealand’s application of Conventions it has ratified (Article 22 Reports)
  • to consult with the designated representative organisations of employers and workers on Article 19 and 22 Reports

New Zealand Participation in ILO Activities

New Zealand has consistently maintained an active and visible presence in the ILO.

New Zealand has sent a tripartite delegation to the International Labour Conference since 1935 and in recent years has attended the ILO Governing Body meetings in Geneva each March and November. In these forums New Zealand participates in international labour standard setting and supervisory processes, as well as in issues dealing with the strategic direction and future of the ILO itself

New Zealand sits within the Asian Regional Grouping of the ILO member states and participates in regional ILO meetings and seminars on a regular basis.