AHuman Resource Management has been and continues to struggle to be recognized as a legitimate profession in the business world today. This paper examines the human resource profession in New Zealand, covering both its development from early labor relations to the various contexts that have impacted the advancement of HRM over the last fifty years. The antecedents to the development of HRM in New Zealand are examined in detail, including the history of labor management, legislation, and the impact of the Second World War on the need for an 'employee champion'. The paradox of role ambiguity faced by HR practitioners is also discussed, as is the history of that role undertaken by HR professionals in a country where the majority of businesses are classified as small and influenced by the deregulation of the economy by the New Zealand government some two decades ago. The contribution that HRM can make, given the correct contexts, is also examined, with a detailed look at the state of HR outsourcing in the New Zealand business environment. This paper has both a historical and futuristic commentary, and seeks to enlighten the reader on the state of HRM in New Zealand since its establishment half a century ago.