Blog: Making salary packaging work in Aotearoa New Zealand

Making salary packaging work in Aotearoa New Zealand

This month we launched our Salary Packaging Scheme campaign with an online discussion jointly led by myself and Grant Thornton (GT) Not-for-Profit specialist Barry Baker. We invited guest Blake Srdarev from Paywise, Australia. who kindly shared with us, how this all works, and how well the scheme is received in Australia (it’s been in place over 30 years)!

The launch event was a chance for us, Grant Thornton, and Community Governance Aotearoa to share the concept and the rationale – we see many positives in applying a similar packaging scheme here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

There’s not a lot out there for our workers 

We strongly advocate for supporting and retaining the workforce in our not-for-profit sector. Those who serve community organisations often work in our sector because of strong connections to the kaupapa (vision/values of the organisation) – and it’s not always for money. We often cannot offer a lot of “sweeteners” such benefits like eye care, or health insurances generally afforded to workers in the public and private sector.

Feedback from our launch 

We have received some useful feedback since launching this campaign, we heard about well intended initiatives (that did not progress) and general feedback about the practical aspects of how a packaging scheme would be implemented here. There was a lot of interest as to the benefit of this type of packaging scheme – as you get a lot more money in your pocket each week! We can only use the Australian calculator to demonstrate the in-pocket monetary value of a packaging scheme (there is no NZ salary packaging calculator as we don’t have such a scheme – yet!) You can see why it’s so popular and well supported in Australia – more value, more money in the pockets of workers in the NFP sector.

Next steps 

Grant Thornton and Community Governance Aotearoa know this type of packaging scheme requires legislative change to get any real tangible benefit to our sector occurring. During this launch event we asked our audience to join us in forming a working group – and I can say, we already have several people who are keen to help. So we are off to a good start. Now is definitely the time that we could do with more support for our sector, and we are prepared to keep championing and advocating for practical ideas and solutions that work for us.

For more information on the campaign see our campaign hub here. If you want to join our working group please email

Rose Hiha-Agnew, Chief Executive, Community Governance Aotearoa

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