The Minister for Labour has denied reports that New Zealand voted against measures aimed at protecting workers around the world.
Unions said they were appalled at the Government's decision to vote against an international convention that protects the rights of people who work in private homes and tend to be low-paid.
The Human Rights Commission has also spoken out, saying the Government must revisit its position.
But a spokesperson for minister Kate Wilkinson says the International Labour Organisation is considering setting a new international standard for domestic workers either in the form of a convention or a guiding recommendation.
The spokesperson, Christian Bonnevie, says New Zealand voted for a recommendation instead of a convention because, compared with other countries, employment laws here apply to all workers.