Our international labour relations

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) provides advice on relevant international labour issues and assesses the impact of international developments on New Zealand's labour interests.

About our team

The International Labour Policy Team leads New Zealand's international engagement and policy advice on labour standards and settings through the International Labour Organization and other multilateral fora such as APEC. The team works with MFAT to negotiate and implement the labour chapters of a range of trade agreements and closer economic partnerships.

The Team also has policy responsibilities in relation to a range of international labour issues, including: modern slavery and the Worker Protection (Migrant and other Employees).

Modern slavery and worker exploitation

Addressing temporary migrant worker exploitation

We work with a range of stakeholders including businesses, unions and across government.

What we do

Our current work programme includes negotiating and implementing labour commitments in trade agreements, meeting our reporting and relationship obligations to the International Labour Organization, participating in the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group and developing advice on a range of international labour-focussed policy issues including modern slavery and migrant worker exploitation.

In this section

International Labour Organization

New Zealand is a founding member of the International Labour Organization (ILO) which is the key global labour body and source of international labour law.

Trade and Labour

The International Labour Policy Team leads negotiations and implementation the labour-related components of New Zealand’s trade agreements, with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

New Zealand is a founding member of APEC which promotes trade and economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region. MBIE’s responsibilities include participating in APEC meetings including the Human Resources Development Working Group and its networks (the Labour and Social Protection Network and the Capacity Building Network).

Last updated: 14 May 2024