28 September 2022

This year we’re celebrating the 50-year anniversary of New Zealand’s Equal Pay Act 1972 — EPA50. To get involved, you can use our new EPA50-branded graphics, share our EPA50 social media posts and attend our 20 October 2022 event online.

While the fight for equality in the workforce continues in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world, the Equal Pay Act 1972 law has been instrumental in paving the way for actions to achieve equal pay for men and women doing the same job — the legal right to equal pay for equal work. 

The Equal Pay Act commemorations are being co-ordinated by the Public Service Commission, Ministry for Women, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, National Library, Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, and New Zealand Council of Trade Unions.

The anniversary is an opportunity to promote the journey undertaken to develop the Act, the work currently underway to eliminate systemic sex-based pay undervaluation, and the overall positive impact the Act has had for women and other marginalised groups in the workforce.  

Caption: Why is equal pay important in Aotearoa New Zealand? The journey to achieve equal pay involves sustained effort and support from many people and organisations. Leaders play a huge role by demonstrating their commitment to eliminating gender and ethnic pay gaps. Hear from two of our Public Sector leaders about why and how they are contributing to this journey.

Ways to get involved in EPA50

You can get involved in the 50-year anniversary by: using our EPA50-branded graphics, sharing our EPA50 social media posts, and attending our 20 October 2022 event online.

Branded graphics

You can download and use the EPA50:

Join the 20 October 2022 event

To celebrate this 50-year milestone, on 20 October Te Kawa Mataaho is organising a panel-style event from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

Join us to reflect on 50 years of the Equal Pay Act 1972, and explore what a future may look like where all people are paid fairly for the work they do.

We have an exciting group of speakers who will bring to life the journey that led to the passing of the Act, the struggles and successes for equal pay over the years, and the ongoing work to achieve pay equity and envisioning the future that lies ahead.

Date and time: Thursday 20 October 2022, 5.30 – 6.30pm 

Click here to register for the Zoom event.

Social media

Check out (and share) our EPA50 social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Significance of Equal Pay

Equal pay is a fundamental human right that everyone benefits from. Unequal pay is one of the most persistent barriers to women’s economic empowerment.

At Te Kawa Mataaho, we have dedicated Taskforces leading action to reduce inequity.

Our Equal Pay Taskforce works alongside unions, employers, business, and community leaders to address the drivers of gender, Māori, Pacific and ethnic pay gaps to embed strategies that work to remove bias and discrimination at a system level. This year, Public Service agencies and Crown entities are producing action plans in line with Kia Toipoto, Public Service Pay Gaps Action Plan 2021-24.

Our Pay Equity Taskforce is a dedicated pay equity team that is responsible for developing and leading best practice guidance, support and advice on the pay equity process. The team also provides system guidance and advice to Minsters and to agencies, businesses and the community sector on pay equity claims and the pay equity process. In New Zealand, there has been seven pay equity settlements to date. This has removed sex-based undervaluation from remuneration for over 104,000 people.