Employment & Immigration


The Trainers’ Association can help with sourcing staff. On the Employment section, there is a current listing of staff available and looking for work. If you can’t see anyone suitable on the staff listing available on the website, trainers can have their details listed on the Trainers looking for Staff listing, and an ad can be placed on your behalf on various Equine staff social media pages.
If you wish to be included on a listing for trainers looking for staff and have advertisements placed on your behalf, please download and complete the following document



NZTA provides members with a comprehensive and easy to follow pack for ensuring you can comply with employment legislation. This includes templates for documents that must be used (all can be changed to suit your requirements) - just click on the link below:


The Trainers' Association is very fortunate to have had an extremely astute trainer, Bruce Wallace provide a great analysis of the ramifications of the wage increase. It is clear that trainers will need to ensure that they are not only covering the increase, but the "burden added" amount as well. Unfortunately this will probably mean trainers will need to increase their daily training fee so they aren't losing money. Please see the attached email and links to a spreadsheet and suggested letter format trainers may wish to follow explaining why fees must increase.

Attached to this email is a excel file which we use across all our companies to determine the burden labour rate for each of our employees based on their entitlements and base wage rate. The excel file was developed by the contractors involved in the construction of the Spring Hill Prison where the actual labour cost of each employee had to be determined and charged to the Crown instead of what would be the normal practice where a labour hourly rate was agreed and charged which would include all a company’s costs and overheads. In the construction of Spring Hill, a contractor overhead and margin was determined by the resulting overhead and margin from their previous three years in business and this was then applied to the actual cost of labour, materials, and other supplies. What this did was to eliminate margin on margin and overhead on overhead between contractors and the Crown, a very effective way to control cost and a great success on this project. Enough about construction but that’s the background on how this simple excel document came into effect.
The various fields on the document can be populated and tailored for each employee, weeks work per year, days per week, standard hours. This will give you the number of workdays a year and number of working hours. Employee entitlements are standard in New Zealand so these fields will only change through government legislation. You will see on the attached that the net number of working hours after entitlements for this employee would be 2254.
The wage rate is then added “Hourly Rate” and the annual cost of the ACC Levy this is a percentage cost which is set by ACC depending on which industry the employee is working and is easily adjusted by double clicking on the ceil and changing the % rate. Kiwi saver can also be added on a percentage basis for employees who pay and received employer Kiwi Saver contributions. You can also add other allowance which you might pay an employee for vehicles etc if they provide their own which will give you the true annual cost.
You will see that on the 2021 minimum wage the actual hourly cost of an employee is $23.61 per hour.
A stable employee who is responsible for all the tasks per day associated with the care of a thoroughbred horse is capable of looking after three horses, (mucking out, feeding, saddling, washing down, putting out in the paddock, laying the bed, hay, grass, sweeping up. Midday bringing in, lunch, general duties, feed up etc. On a burdened salary of $53,227.72 per year this equates to $17,742.57 per horse per year or $48.60 net cost in labour per day.
Of course, labour is only a fraction of the cost but if you start at $48.60 net labour cost per day per horse, add $5-$8.00 per day per box your already at $55.00 and you haven’t paid yourself. If a trainer was on the minimum wage with 30 horses his net labour cost on each horse each day would be $4.86 per day, your now at $60.00 per day per horse and you still haven’t made a profit on your labour and you’re on the minimum wage managing 30 horse,.
At $60.00 you still have overheads, insurance, stationary, vehicle, repairs and maintenance, bank fee, accountancy fees, legal, power, stationary, phone, and off course you have still not fed the poor horse or paid for its bedding. Bad debts, legal, freight, water, licence fees the list goes on for anyone in business and all these costs require expenditure and on expenditure and cost any NORMAL businessperson expects to apply margin.
The effect of the recent rise in the minimum wage will add another $2.65 of NET labour cost per day to each horse in training.
Hope this helps Trainers understand that most of them are working for nothing trading on luck.

Here are the links to the spreadsheet analysis and the suggested letter for owners.



Information is provided for trainers to assist when employing immigrants.

Updated legislation May 2021 - Immigration Changes
Urgent Update regarding change in visa policy: https://mailchi.mp/0173fcba448f/urgent-immigration-update
Link to articles produced in July 2020 regarding the policy changes from:
      Leading Recruitment and Immigration: New visa policy and information
      Pathways: Visa policy including incorporating board/rent into calculation of hourly rate

Employing overseas workers under the immigration policy introduced in 2017 

Employing Overseas Workers

Flow Chart Trackwork Riders

Once you have arranged employment of an immigrant, you will require a letter of support from the Trainers’ Association, please download and complete the following details and a letter will be sent to you.

Immigration Specialists  

Leading Recruitment and Immigration NZ
Karen Russell
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: 027 2316662

Pathways to New Zealand Ltd  
Email: [email protected] 
phone: 078349222 
Mobile: 021769722