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).

A trade/labour framework

Trade agreements are an important driver for sustainable growth in Aotearoa New Zealand and in our partner countries.

Tradeable goods and services are a product of labour. Each free trade negotiation that Aotearoa New Zealand engages on seeks to reinforce International Labour Organization member commitments, and address labour rights and labour issues.

Labour provisions in trade agreements help ensure that labour is not exploited for economic benefit. The intent is that this will help enhance the conditions in which people work now and into the future. They also set out areas for cooperation with our trading partners, including sharing information about our experience and best practice, to help improve working conditions.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s Trade and Labour Framework (published in September 2023) sets out our trade and labour policy objectives. Read the Trade and Labour Framework here:

The trade/ labour framework [PDF 968 KB](external link)Foreign Affairs & Trade

New Zealand Agreements with trade and labour components

  • Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (2024)
  • The New Zealand-European Union Free Trade Agreement (2024)
  • United Kingdom-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (2023)
  • Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (2018)
  • Korea-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (2015)
  • The Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (2013)
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of New Zealand and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia on Labour Cooperation (2012)
  • The New Zealand-Hong Kong, China Closer Economic Partnership (2010)
  • New Zealand-Malaysia Agreement on Labour Cooperation (2009)
  • Memorandum of Agreement on Labour Cooperation between the Government of New Zealand and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (2009)
  • China – New Zealand Memorandum of Understanding on Labour Cooperation (2008)

Information about NZ’s trade agreements are available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website and the texts of these agreements are available on the New Zealand Treaties Online website.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade(external link)

New Zealand Treaties Online(external link)

Procedure for submissions on trade agreements

For any trade labour submissions, questions or other matters please contact us through:

MBIE may request, from the person or organisation that made the submission, additional information that is necessary to consider the substance of the submission.

Submissions may be made to the trade labour email address above or the following postal address:

International Labour Policy Team
Labour & Immigration Policy Branch
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
15 Stout Street, PO Box 1473,
Wellington 6140, New Zealand

Last updated: 14 May 2024