This is a survey, with information supplied by local writers, of some of the magazines and newspapers that use freelance articles in New Zealand. These rates are NOT what we recommend (more to come on this) but rather this gives you some idea of the range of rates in New Zealand at the moment.
To make a go of it freelancing it's important to retain your copyright - ownership of your work is one of the few assets a freelancer has. And we suggest you negotiate hard for higher rates. This is because it is not easy to earn a decent living at these rates. At 40c a word, to earn the equivalent of New Zealand's average wage of $42,000 (taking into account how many days are available to write once you adjust for annual leave, sick leave, public holidays etc) you need to write and be paid for 3938 words a week. To earn the equivalent of a senior feature writer's salary of $60,000, you need to write and be paid for 5300 words a week.
No staff writer would be asked to produce that amount on a regular basis. Usually experienced feature writers produce on average between 2000 and 2500 well-researched, well-written words a week. But if a freelancer writes 2500 words a week and is paid just 40 cents a word, then a freelancer will earn the equivalent of $22,500 a year. For 2000 words, that level dips to $16,000.
So the rates on this database are NOT what we recommend you ask for. But this should not to put you off being a freelancer. To help, we have outlined some ways you can ensure that you are making a go of the 'going rate'.
Disclaimer: We welcome corrections, additions and updates to this database. While reasonable care has been taken in the compilation of the database, the EPMU cannot and does not guarantee its accuracy at any point of time. The database should be used only as an indication, and any query as to the rates actually paid by any publication should be referred to the publication concerned.