New Zealand raises living wage to support low-wage workers

From September 1, the living wage in the country has increased by 90 cents to NZ$23.65 (US$14.5) an hour, although its implementation is not mandatory.
By: | September 2, 2022

The wage is designed to represent the amount of money required for workers to fully participate in society. It is voluntary, but more than 300 New Zealand employers have committed to paying at least that level. The rate was NZ$22.75 (US$13.9) in 2021 and NZ$22.10 (US$13.5) in 2020.

The rate of NZ$23.65 is 68% of the average hourly earnings in New Zealand, which were NZ$34.76 (US$21.3) an hour for the year to June 2021. It is calculated by Charles Waldegrave, Family Centre Social Policy Research Unit co-ordinator and lead researcher

“It’s important to ensure that our lowest-paid workers can receive the benefits of economic growth, and that they are also supported to cover the cost of living. This year’s increment of 90 cents per hour provides a 4% increase in June 2020,” he said.

READ: New Zealand records increase in weekly earnings

All accredited Living Wage Employers will have to pay at least the living wage to everyone both directly employed and employed through contractors on a regular and ongoing basis.

Businesses and organisations on the accredited list include big financial institutions to small hospitality businesses from all sectors of the economy, according to Stuff.