Workplace Relations Adviser Kaitohutohu Takawaenga Mahi

Workplace relations advisers provide advice and mediation to different groups in the workplace to prevent and resolve workplace disputes.

Workplace relations advisers can choose to register with one of two organisations:

  • Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand
  • Resolution Institute.

They both require you to attend a course, pass a test and pay a fee to gain accreditation. You will then attend courses and practise mediation each year to remain accredited.

Workplace relations advisers may do some or all of the following:

  • arrange meetings between the representatives of different groups in the workplace
  • guide discussion between disputing groups to help them reach an agreement
  • advise management about legislation, policy and strategy involving workplace relations
  • plan, negotiate and write employment agreements, workplace policies and informational resources
  • give educational presentations to community groups, schools and other organisations.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for workplace relations advisers includes:

  • legal work
  • human resources work
  • counselling, teaching or social work
  • work in hospitality or services
  • work involving negotiation.

Personal Qualities

Workplace relations advisers need to be:

  • good problem solvers
  • mature and impartial
  • able to relate to a wide range of people
  • good at listening and communicating
  • able to keep information private.


Workplace relations advisers need to have:

  • the ability to resolve disputes using negotiation and mediation
  • knowledge of employment law and the Treaty of Waitangi
  • knowledge of industrial relations and management methods.


Workplace relations advisers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may work overtime
  • work in offices or onsite at different kinds of workplaces
  • may travel locally and regionally to conduct mediations.

Workplace Relations Advisers can earn around $92K-$122K per year.

Pay for workplace relations advisers varies depending on experience and the type of work.

  • Workplace relations advisers with up to 5 years' experience usually earn between $92,000 and $122,000 a year.
  • Workplace relations managers usually earn between $102,000 and $153,000.
  • Highly experienced workplace relations professionals who specialise in change management can earn up to $163,000.

Source: Hays, 'Australia/New Zealand Salary Guide FY 2021', 2020.

Workplace relations advisers may progress to set up their own dispute resolution consultancy or move into change management work.

Workplace relations advisers can specialise in a particular industry such as construction, tourism or insurance.

Years Of Training

2-3 years of training usually required.

There are no specific entry requirements to become a workplace relations adviser, but a tertiary qualification in one of the following areas is recommended:

  • human resources
  • psychology
  • management
  • industrial relations
  • law.

Professional accreditation

Most workplace relations advisers need to complete a mediation course so they can get accredited with a dispute resolution institute.

Workplace Relations Adviser