The transition to a low emissions economy presents a unique opportunity to encourage a shift toward the creation of jobs that are socially and ecologically sustainable. Supporting a variety of education and training programmes is necessary to upskill the workforce and empower people to participate in this changing economy. During and beyond this shift, we must uphold workers’ rights to secure and adequate income, to fair treatment and safety at work, and to be involved in workplace decision-making via workplace democracy and collective organising. At the same time, we must foster a working culture which recognises the fullness of peoples’ lives, and restores balance between paid work, voluntary and care work, and leisure time.


Secure and meaningful work is available for everyone in innovative, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible workplaces.

Values and Principles

  • Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi: An equitable workforce supports Māori aspirations and upholds tino rangatiratanga across their working lives.
  • Ecological Wisdom: All workplaces should actively support the transition to an environmentally sustainable economy.
  • Social Responsibility: Working people have the right to fair pay for their work and deserve a fair share of the benefits of productivity growth. 
  • Appropriate Decision-Making: Working people, employers, and unions should be involved in making decisions about issues in their workplaces, the economy, and the environment. Workplace democracy and collective organisation are essential to address the inherent inequality of power between employers and employees.
  • Non-Violence: Everyone has the right to fair treatment and safety at work, including freedom from forced labour and any form of discrimination. 
  • Symbiosis: Employers, working people, and unions enjoy equitable and beneficial relationships with each other. Working people are supported to grow in their roles, so everyone flourishes. 
  • Work-life balance: Our working culture should affirm the value of time outside of work, and enable sufficient time to enjoy and participate in their communities. 
  • Valuing unpaid work: The value of voluntary work and caring work should be recognised. The particular needs of working parents and caregivers should be acknowledged and supported. 

Strategic Priorities

The Green Party’s strategic goals include: 

“Meaningful work will be available and people will have sufficient time to enjoy and participate in their communities.”

Actions in this policy that work towards this goal include:

  • Encourage a shift towards job creation in sectors that are socially and ecologically sustainable, including through resourcing local government to provide the infrastructure needed for regional economic development. (1.1)
  • Provide support for people whose work has been affected by climate change (...) (1.4)
  • Continue to promote and progress pay equity, and require pay transparency and pay-parity management in all sectors. (3.10)
  • Continue to promote equitable employment opportunities, including by providing training and accessible information about opportunities to those groups. (3.11)
  • Support default union membership when people start a new job (i.e. making union membership opt-out rather than opt-in). (4.4)
  • Progress towards a shorter standard working week and introduce legislation to ensure time in lieu or overtime pay is provided for hours worked in excess of contracted hours. (5.3)

Connected Policies

This policy is highly connected to the creation of skilled jobs in Sustainable Business, and is supported by Tertiary Education. It is also related to Household Livelihoods, including valuing unpaid work, such as volunteering and caring, and providing for illness and Accident Compensation.


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