New Zealand ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1993 with three reservations including one against Article 32(2) which requires a minimum age or ages for admission to employment. The Committee on the Rights of the Child, the monitoring body of the CRC, recommends the reservations be removed, and that New Zealand ratify ILO Minimum Age Convention (No. 138 of 1973) which also requires a legislated minimum age for entry to employment. Using data collected in 2003 this paper highlights the diversity of children's work experiences in a minority world country with a multi-ethnic population and a high level of socio-economic inequality. It argues that New Zealand should focus on promoting the best interests of children, and that this requires consultation with children, not blanket minimum-age legislation. The paper identifies a need for research into the meanings that different cultural groups attach to work.