1.0 Introduction

Technology is transforming vast numbers of New Zealand jobs. Many existing jobs will be replaced by computers and automation. Work done in entirely new technology businesses, the huge range of knowledge and media endeavours, the factory floor, and even family businesses have been reshaped by new pathways to information and new ways of selling goods and services. For most office workers now, life on the job means life online.1 For New Zealand whole new challenges are emerging as prosperity increasingly attaches to technology.

This paper looks at how technology is impacting on the world of work in New Zealand, the challenges and opportunities that are emerging, and the possible options for addressing them. Measures to improve the rate and value of innovation are dealt with in other papers.

This is one of six papers that are being produced as part of Labour’s Future of Work Commission. The others cover the Security of Income and Work, Education and Training, Māori, Pasifika, and Economic Development and Sustainability.

These papers are designed to stimulate discussion and generate ideas for policies to achieve the objectives of the Future of Work Commission:

  • Decent Work
  • Lower Unemployment
  • Higher Wages
  • Greater Economic Security
  • High-Skilled, Resilient Workers

The Future of Work Commission seeks to ensure New Zealanders can confidently face the changing nature of work and have sustainable, fulfilling and well-paid employment in the coming decades.



1   Pew Research Centre, 30 Dec 2014, “Technology’s Impact on Workers”, http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/12/30/technologys-impact-on-workers/