I am an IT contractor working as a sole trader for few years now. I am looking at possibility to employ my wife to assist me, not for actual work itself, but to assist me in other works like an assistant managing my accounts, looking for jobs, maintaining my receipts for claims and communicate with accountant.

I've read from IRD that in order to employ a spouse, i need to get permission from IRD first. Will do that but want to know from others who have any experience in this area. This also comes from the fact that if i can employ my spouse, it will reduce amount of taxable income and save some amount being paid at high tax rate.

So what I am looking for is
1) How easy is it to get this done? and what would be IRD looking for to grant this?
2) Will I be able to employ her as both employee or self employed?

Any information will be greatly appreciated.