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Factsheet: EU-New Zealand Trade Agreement - Trade and sustainable development

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EU-New Zealand Trade Agreement

Benefits of the EU-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement

The EU-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (‘FTA’) is the EU’s first trade agreement which:

  • Fully integrates the EU’s new approach to Trade and Sustainable Development (‘TSD’), as set out in the European Commission’s Communication on “The power of trade partnerships: together for green and just economic growth” of 22 June 2022.
  • Includes binding and enforceable commitments to international labour and environmental standards, including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) fundamental principles and rights at work.
  • Has a dedicated trade and gender equality article in its Trade and Sustainable Development chapter.
  • Has a dedicated provision on trade and fossil fuel subsidies reform.
  • Removes tariffs on green goods and liberalises services.
  • Promotes collaboration between the EU and New Zealand on the circular economy, deforestation, carbon pricing and the protection of the marine environment.

The TSD chapter commits the EU and New Zealand to strive for high levels of environment and labour protection.

The EU and New Zealand may not weaken the levels of protection in their environmental or labour laws, nor poorly enforce those laws, to encourage trade or investment. This is balanced with a commitment not to use environmental or labour laws as a disguised restriction on trade and investment.

Labour Rights

The EU-New Zealand FTA prohibits either side from unduly encouraging trade and investment by:

  • weakening their respective labour laws;
  • derogating from or waiving labour laws; or
  • not enforcing labour laws.

Both the EU and New Zealand have taken a binding commitment to respect, promote and realise core ILO principles, and to effectively implement the ILO Conventions that New Zealand and the Member States of the EU have respectively ratified. New Zealand committed to make continued and sustained efforts to ratify the fundamental ILO Conventions under the 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work that it has not yet ratified, namely the
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention (No. 87) and the Minimum Age Convention (No. 138).

Basic employment rights and obligations under New Zealand law include:

  • icon - hours of work
    Hours of Work

    Standard working week is 40 hours

  • icon - annual leave
    Annual Leave

    Four weeks (20 days) for full-time employees

  • icon - sick leave
    Sick Leave

    Most employees are entitled to 10 days’ sick leave a year

  • icon - parental leave
    Parental Leave

    26 weeks of government-funded parental leave payments for the ‘primary carer’ of the child

  • icon - minimum wage
    Minimum Wage

    Government has fixed a minimum hourly wage rate for every hour worked available here

Environment and Climate Change

Trade and Gender