Coalition for Equal Value Equal Pay

Coalition for Equal Value Equal Pay (CEVEP)

Media Views on Pay Equity in New Zealand


What the Media say

Income gender gap gets wider

Statistics New Zealand's quarterly income survey to June 2001, reveals the widening gap between women and men's income. Women's average hourly income was just over 84% of men's earnings. In the previous survey undertaken in June 2000, women earnt 86.6% of the men's figure.

For further information, see: Dominion, 29 September 2001.

Average earnings nudge higher

Despite average hourly earnings rising 1.1% according to Statistics New Zealand figures, gaps still exist between gender and public / private sector groups. Private sector ordinary time earnings rose 3.4% while the public sector rate was 2.1%. The gender pay gap of 84.6% saw men's average ordinary time hourly earning being $19.81 in comparison to women's $16.75.

For further information, see: Evening Post, 5 November 2001, p.11

Evidence of pay discrimination against women public servants

In response to recent Dominion articles about the gender pay gap, CEVEP says that the public service pay comparisons obtained by the Alliance MP Dr Liz Gordon were highly illustrative of the fact that there isn't real equal pay in New Zealand.

Dr Gordon asked ministers what the average earnings of men and women in 23 government departments and agencies were. The results show that women earn less than men in all the agencies surveyed. Responses to written questions show that the average pay of 10,340 men employed in the state sector was $54,815 and the average pay of the 9103 women in the same departments was $41,619. The biggest pay gap is at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, where the 26 male staff earn an average of $83,148 and the 30 female staff earn $47,792.

The State Service Commission is defending their employment practice in light of new figures suggesting female employees earn about $13,000 less than their male colleagues. However Minister of Women's Affairs, Laila Harre, said this week that the figures were evidence of discrimination against women.

There were several reasons suggested for this pay gap, many of which constituted systemic discrimination against women. Women were channelled into a narrow range of jobs, faced barriers to traditionally higher-paid male work, were affected by a lack of family-friendly workplace policies and bore an unequal share of family responsibilities.

For further information, see:

Women state servants are 'paid less', Dominion, 1 March 2001, p1-2

State boss rejects discrimination claim, Dominion, 2 March 2001, p2.

Women — well educated and poorly paid: Gender pay discrimination in the public service

A paper by Liz Gordon and Missy Morton, presented to: Women's Studies Association Conference, Christchurch, 2 June 2001.

Read the full paper.

Pay equity on the net and in the news

CEVEP Press Release 01 April 2001

New Zealand still lags behind in terms of equal pay and pay equity says the Coalition for Equal Value Equal Pay (CEVEP).

CEVEP spokesperson Martha Coleman says addressing the gender pay gap in New Zealand must be a priority issue for political parties, employers and working women.

"It is time to put in place proactive measures that will address the lack of genuine equal pay", says Martha Coleman.

Recently returned from the United States, Martha Coleman says equal pay is the key issue for working women as evidenced by its inclusion on Al Gore's top ten election issues.

Given that commitment, the high support among women voters for Al Gore was no surprise.

From Connecticut to California, equal pay consistently rates as the number one issue among working women, ahead of health benefits and childcare.

And recently the Canadian Federal government had to pay $3.5 billion (Canadian) to women workers who had not been paid equal pay for work of equal value.

New Zealand once led the world in social justice. But when it comes to equal pay we have fallen behind.

It has been thirty years since equal pay was legislated for in the private sector yet women are still undervalued and underpaid.

Ten years of the Employment Contracts Act did nothing for working women while the repeal of the 1990 Employment Equity Act entrenched thousands of women in low waged, undervalued jobs.

On Tuesday Green MP Sue Bradford will launch a new web site dedicated to the issue (

"We may have the wonders of the Internet but for tens of thousands of working women the pay gap is stuck in the stone age," says Martha Coleman.

See the archive of previous items.


[ What the Political Parties say ] [ The Pay Gap in New Zealand ] [ What the Women's Organisations say ] [ What the Unions say ] [ What the Media say ]

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Last reviewed February 2004. This website created by First Bite of the Apple.