AEWV roles exempt from paying the median wage

You can pay less than the median wage for some roles when you employ a worker on an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). Check our list to find out which roles this applies to.

Roles exempt from the AEWV median wage threshold

Some sectors have agreements or exemptions that allow them to pay less than the median wage. There are sector agreements for specific occupations. Check what roles are included, if stand down periods apply and visa lengths available.

Sector agreements factsheet PDF 505KB

Sectors that can pay less than the median wage

These sectors have agreements or exemptions that allow them to pay less than the median wage for some roles for a limited time:

  • tourism and hospitality
  • the care workforce
  • seafood processing (onshore)
  • construction and infrastructure
  • meat processing
  • seasonal snow and adventure tourism

Stand down periods

There are also stand down periods that apply for some sectors. This means that an AEWV holder paid below the median wage must spend a set amount of time outside of New Zealand before they can get another AEWV at below the median wage. When their visa expires, an AEWV holder paid below the median wage can move onto another visa type or onto another AEWV paid at the median wage or higher. However, any further time spent in New Zealand will not count towards the stand down period.

Changes to wage thresholds

The median wage will change from February 2023. This will affect the wage threshold for construction and infrastructure, meat processing, onshore seafood processing and seasonal snow and adventure tourism sectors.

New median wage to apply from February 2023

Capped sectors

Some sectors have a capped number of workers they are able to hire per year at below the median wage. The cap for each sector is:

  • Meat processing: 320
  • Seafood processing (onshore): 600

The allocation of these caps will be carried out by the Meat Industry Association (MIA) and Seafood New Zealand. MIA and Seafood New Zealand will contact employers through industry channels with further information on getting a share of the cap.

You can contact MIA or Seafood New Zealand for more information about the cap.

MIA: sectoragreement@mia.co.nz

Seafood New Zealand: application@seafood.org.nz

Seafood (sea-based)

Seafood (sea-based) employers can also pay less than the median wage. Migrants hired as part of this agreement will be hired on the Fishing Crew Work Visa not the AEWV. Information on the amount you can pay and number of workers allowed per year at below the median wage can be found in the fishing crew section of our website.

Foreign Crew on Fishing Vessels - Approval in Principle

Fishing Crew Work Visa

Fishing crew employment conditions

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