Cabinet minister gets the message on equal pay on Working For Free Day

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It was a sweet treat carrying a less-than-sweet message for cabinet minister Amy Adams, as she accepted a cake marking the public service Working for Free Day.

The average female public servant is paid 14 per cent less than her male counterpart - so from today until the end of their financial year on June 30, public sector women effectively work for free.

Labour MP Sue Moroney hosted an event at parliament, with MPs from Labour, New Zealand First, the Maori Party and the Greens also attending.

A specially iced cake was served, highlighting the size of the 14 per cent slice - and Justice minister Amy Adams was given a piece with a message to share with her colleagues.

"The public service is 70 per cent female, which means every day women are making this country a great place to live for all New Zealanders", PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk says.

"But the average woman in the public sector takes home 14 per cent less than the average man - which means less to spend on her family, to save for retirement or put back into the economy".

Ms Moroney told the audience there was "no excuse" for not tackling the equal pay issue.

"The Public Service Association has been campaigning for equal pay for 102 years," Ms Polaczuk says.

"Let’s make sure today’s not just about cake - we need action."