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Union membership return report 2014

Section 16 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 requires every registered union in New Zealand to file with the Registrar of Unions, by 1 June each year, an annual return of its membership numbers as at 1 March.


As at 1 March 2014, there were 144 registered unions in New Zealand, with a total membership of 364,846. This represented 15.7% of the employed labour force at that date (Household Labour Force Survey for the March 2014 quarter).

Total union membership declined by 1.8% compared with the previous year; the employed labour force increased by 1.4% (to 2,318,000) over the same period.



125 unions have so far provided their membership returns. Of those:

  • The average number of members is 1,398 but the median number is 100 members
  • The ten largest unions have 287,839 members: accounting for 78.9% of total union membership
  • More women than men are union members (58.1%/41.9%)
  • 30.5% of unions have fewer than 100 members.


Follow-up action is being taken in respect of the unions that have not yet filed their 2014 returns: one of them is a newly-incorporated union; one has indicated an intention to merge with another union, and one has filed an application for dissolution.


Six-year trend in union membership









Union membership at 1 March







% change in union membership year on year







% of employees who are union members







% of employed labour force who are union members







% change in employed labour force








Table 1: Union membership numbers as at 1 March 2014

Union name Numbers

Alloy Yachts Employees’ Federation Incorporated 151
Alternative Staff Group Incorporated 134
Amalgamated Workers’ Union of New Zealand Incorporated 31
Amalgamated Workers’ Union New Zealand Southern Incorporated 3,882
Ambulance Officer’s Workplace Union Incorporated 56
Associated Council Employees Incorporated 62
Association of Academic Staff at CPIT Incorporated 198
Association of Professional & Executive Employees Incorporated 2,259
Association of Ritchies Employees (Albany Branch) Incorporated 9
Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Incorporated 4,281
Aviation and Marine Engineers’ Association Incorporated 2,400
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Staff Association Incorporated 213
Bay Road & Quarry Workers Incorporated 81
Bay Union Group Incorporated 300
Bureau Staff Association Incorporated 146
Canterbury and Regions Totalisator Employees’ Association Incorporated 170
Cape Foulwind Drivers & Operators & General Workers’ Union Incorporated 25
Central Amalgamated Workers’ Union Incorporated 3,060
Central Staff Collective Incorporated N/R
Christ’s College Academic Staff Association Incorporated 66
CIE Workers Union Incorporated N/R
Combined Employees’ Association Incorporated 491
Combined Hospital Individual Contracts Collective Union Incorporated N/R
Corrections Association of New Zealand Incorporated 2,500
DOTSE Staff Association Incorporated 53
Eastern Bay Independent Industrial Workers’ Union 1995 Incorporated 58
Eastern Civil Engineers’ Union Incorporated N/R
Electrical Union 2011 Incorporated 109
Featherston Mill Workers’ Union Incorporated 18
FIRST Union Incorporated 26,456
Flight Attendants and Related Services (NZ) Association Inc 1,919
Hastings District Council Employees’ Association Incorporated 133
Hawkes Bay Workers’ Union Inc 6
HHB Workers’ Union Inc 75
Hostel Managers’ Association Inc 19
Hutt Valley Society of Independent Bus Drivers Inc 60
IAG NZ Staff Association Inc 544
Independent Electrical Workers’ Union 1995 Inc 38
J Ballantyne Staff Association Incorporated 144
King’s College Teachers’ Association Inc 74
Legal Workers Union of New Zealand Incorporated N/R1
Manufacturing & Construction Workers’ Union Incorporated 1,470
Maritime Union of New Zealand Incorporated 2,697
Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (New Zealand) Incorporated 725
M.E.U Society Incorporated 120
Midwifery Employee Representation & Advisory Service Incorporated 1,473
Napier City Council Staff Association Incorporated 132
National Union of Public Employees Incorporated 1,176
Nelson Collective Union Incorporated 114
The New Plymouth District Council Staff Association 212
New Zealand Advertising Guild & Associates Incorporated 150
New Zealand Airline Pilots Association Industrial Union of Workers Incorporated 2,235
New Zealand Ambulance Association Incorporated 110
New Zealand Bakers, Pastrycooks and Related Employees Union Incorporated 694
New Zealand Central Baking Trades & Related Trades Employees’ Union Incorporated 23
New Zealand Dairy Workers Union - Te Runanga Wai U Incorporated 7,100
New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa Incorporated 49,816
New Zealand Executive Fire Officers’ Society Incorporated 47
New Zealand Fishing Industry Guild Incorporated 572
New Zealand Furniture Manufacturing and Associated Workers’ Union Incorporated 150
New Zealand Halal Slaughtermen Union Incorporated N/R2
New Zealand Meat Workers and Related Trades Union Incorporated 13,602
New Zealand Medical Laboratory Workers Union Incorporated 1,104
New Zealand Merchant Service Guild Industrial Union of Workers Incorporated 700
New Zealand Netball Players’ Association Incorporated 60
The New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation Incorporated 46,536
New Zealand Police Association Incorporated 10,943
New Zealand Police Managers’ Guild Incorporated 191
New Zealand Post-Primary Teachers’ Association Incorporated 16,855
New Zealand Professional Drivers and Transport Employees’ Association Incorporated N/R
New Zealand Professional Firefighters’ Union Incorporated 1,850
New Zealand Professional Footballers’ Association Incorporated 101
New Zealand Public Service Association Incorporated 58,013
New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association Inc 2,207
The New Zealand Tertiary Education Union Te Hautu Kahurangi O Aotearoa Incorporated 10,069
New Zealand Tramways & Public Passenger Transport Employees’ Industrial Union 1,280
New Zealand Writers’ Guild 225
Night and Day Port Workers Association N/R
North Island Mussel Employees’ Union Inc N/R
Northern Amalgamated Workers’ Union Inc 2,514
Northern Chemical Workers’ Union 1,100
Northern Totalisator & Allied Employees’ Association Inc 163
Number One Manufacturing Association Inc N/R
NZ Employees’ Union Inc 47
NZ Tour Drivers’ Union Inc 55
NZ Van Lines Union Inc N/R
Omnibus Workers’ Union Inc 44
Pareora Trades Guild Inc N/R3
Port Pro Incorporated 78
Postal Workers Union of Aotearoa Incorporated 1,050
Professional Verifiers’ Institute Inc 99
Promina Group Staff Association of NZ Inc 191
QANTAS Employees’ Collective Inc 82
Rail and Maritime Transport Union Inc 4,414
Reunited Employees’ Association Inc 276
Saint Kentigern Teachers’ Association Inc 125
Sanford Workers’ Association Timaru Inc 50
School Executive Officers Association 364
Secondary Principals’ Association New Zealand 76
Shorecare Staff Society Inc N/R
Service & Food Workers Union 21,346
SLGOU (Southern Local Government Officers’ Union) Associates Inc 54
Southern Coastal Employees’ Association 137
Southern Local Government Officers’ Union Inc 1,984
The Southland District Council Officers’ Association Inc 30
The South Waikato District Council Staff Association Inc 6
St Margaret’s College Teachers’ Union Inc 90
St Peter’s Cambridge Academic Staff Association 78
Taranaki Regional Council Staff Association Inc 118
Taranaki Union Group Incorporated 0
Tasman Staff Association Inc 52
Taxpro Inc 914
Te Kuiti Beef Workers’ Union N/R
Tertiary Institutes Allied Staff Association Inc 1,664
The Amalgamated Stevedores’ Union Inc N/R
The Auckland Association of International Flight Planners 29
The Caregivers and Related Employees’ Independent Association of Staff Inc 217
The Clutha District Council Officers’ Association 58
The Customs Officers’ Association Inc 443
The Farmers Mutual Group Staff Association 8
The Federation of Air New Zealand Pilots 233
The Foreign Service Association 485
The Grey District Council Union of Employees Inc 66
The Hawkes Bay Regional Council Staff Union Inc N/R
The Independent Schools’ Education Association Inc 634
The New Zealand Amalgamated Engineering, Printing & Manufacturing Union Inc 33,203
The NZ Towage, Pilotage and Port Workers’ Industrial Union Inc N/R
The Rotorua Peoples’ Advocacy Union Inc 31
The Royal New Zealand Ballet Union of Employees Inc 40
The Rugby Players’ Collective Inc 750
The Surfside Employees’ Association N/R
TIG The Independent Group Inc 32
TIG-HW Inc 29
Together Incorporated 510
Towers Auckland Employees’ Union Inc N/R
Tuia Union Inc 734
Unison Networks Employees’ Association Inc 39
UNITE Inc 6,691
United Fisheries Workplace Union Inc 42
Western Bay of Plenty District Council Employees’ Association Inc 100
Whakatane District Council Employees’ Association Inc 126
Work & Income Northland Staff Inc 62
WSA Inc 110

TOTAL 364,846



1 Newly incorporated union.
2 Has indicated that it plans to merge with New Zealand Meat Workers and Related Trades Union.
3 Has filed an application for dissolution of union.


Table 2: Union membership by industry and gender

Industry Female Male Total

Restaurants & Accommodation 3,970 2,418 6,388
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing 979 3,954 4,933
Communication Services 3,139 2,957 6,096
Construction & Trade Services 349 6,111 6,460
Cultural & Recreational Services 3,220 2,937 6,157
Education 64,623 19,561 84,184
Electricity, Gas & Water Services 551 2,853 3,404
Finance, Insurance & Business Services 5,433 3,085 8,518
Government Administration and Defence 26,162 23,795 50,004
Health & Community Services 79,107 15,866 99,439
Manufacturing 9,660 35,550 45,210
Mining 123 1,616 1,739
Transport & Storage 5,457 21,134 26,616
Wholesale & Retail 8,570 5,274 13,844
Other Industry: Professional Sports     750

Totals 211,343 147,111 363,742



A small number of returns did not specify the gender of their membership.


Last updated 9 December 2014


Contact the Registrar of Unions

New Zealand Companies Office
Private Bag 92061
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1141

Freephone | 0800 20 90 20



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