Kiwi women and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions have joined together to create a campaign calling on the government for equal pay.

The online video campaign, 'Treat Her Right' was launched today to raise awareness in New Zealand around the issue of pay inequality between men and women.

Data from the National Income Survey in 2016 showed on average the pay gap was 13.6 per cent, with women earning $7 an hour less than men for comparable work.

Based on these figures, it would take 45 years for women to catch up and close the gap.


Campaign director Loren Taylor said more than 400 women volunteered for the scheme, which was shot by 2016 New Zealand Cinematographer of the year Ginny Loane.

"We were literally overwhelmed by the generosity and the willingness of people approached to bring their time, their resources and their energy to the project," Taylor said.

"It was a real celebration and an opportunity for those with the time and resources to highlight an issue which affects all women, particularly those who are often struggling between two or three jobs so don't have time or energy to fight for equal pay rates."

The campaign, which culminates on International Women's Day on March 8, aims to highlight the fact that the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1972 and is still not reflected in the workforce.

A number of organisations are already working on this.

Nikki Howell, head of people and capability at AA Insurance, said last week that making sure men and women received the same money for the same roles wasn't hard - it just required a system to ensure there were checks in place.

"I don't think we can ever have 100 per cent on any one day. But we are constantly checking it," Howell said.

At AA Insurance staff pay rates are benchmarked twice a year against both insurance roles and the market as a whole.

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The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1972. It's now 2017 and it's never been enforced. It's time to 'Treat Her Right'. Source: NZ Council of Trade Unions

Of its 680 staff 80 per cent of the comparable roles have a less than 3 per cent difference between what men and women are paid.

Of the remaining 20 per cent there is a gap of less than 5 per cent.

Comedian Alice Brine, who was part of the campaign, said New Zealand was falling behind on its previously positive image and work still needed to be done.

"New Zealand used to be a progressive country in this area and we're banking on that branding," Brine said.

"But you can't just rely on Kate Sheppard forever. You actually have to look at the data," she said.

"It's pretty shocking. We need to live up to our standard of being the 'progressive' country we once were."