web analytics

Living wage rises to $20.20 an hour

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, February 21st, 2017 - 30 comments
Categories: human rights, quality of life, wages - Tags: ,

Congratulations and thanks to all the employers already paying their staff a living wage:

Living wage put at $20.20 an hour

Living wage campaigners are encouraging companies to pay a minimum of $20.20 an hour from July. The rate, more than $4 above the adult minimum wage, is at the level needed to provide families with the necessities, they say.

Krissie, a cleaner for The Fresh Desk company in Lower Hutt, is paid the current living wage of $19.80 an hour. She said it had made a huge difference to her life. …

This piece makes an odd argument against the minimum wage:

Living wage rises, amid call to do away with minimum

Darryl Evans, chief executive of the Mangere Budgeting Service, said staff who were paid at least the living wage would feel more valued, they were likely to work harder and be more committed so there was less staff turnover. He described it as a win-win for businesses and staff.

But he said the minimum wage was a problem. “I strongly believe we need to not have a minimum wage.” … He said it drove employers to pay people that minimum rate, rather than considering what value staff offered the business.

Evans said it was almost impossible for families to survive on that. Many he dealt with had to choose whether they paid rent, petrol, food or other bills because they could not pay for everything.

“We need to drop the minimum wage and pay people what they are worth,” he said. …

I admire Mr Evans’ optimism, but I do not share it. Without a legal minimum wage most employers would pay less, not more. If good employers want to pay more than the minimum right now there is nothing stopping them…

30 comments on “Living wage rises to $20.20 an hour ”

  1. saveNZ 1

    Personally would like the debate to start about UBI…

    • Peter Bradley 1.1

      Spot on. Constantly pushing up the living wage as though businesses in the real world are going to be able to keep up is just a game of fantasy.
      There has to be permanent and feasible wealth redistribution built into our economy – it’s not going to happen via wages ever – UBI is the only answer.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.1.1

        Wages and UBI can both be part of improving things I feel.

        Equality can be improved via wages – it has been in the past in NZ, and is in Japan and Germany currently, as examples.

      • millsy 1.1.2

        Seems to be OK for landlords to be endlessly be pushing up rents.

        • Richard McGrath

          They can only do that because the National Socialist government make it difficult and expensive to build new housing.

    • millsy 1.2

      I prefer the good old social wage myself. Free healthcare, education, state housing, access to arts and culture, subsidised utilities, etc.

  2. The Fairy Godmother 2

    Yes the statement about the minimum wage seems odd. I do see where he is coming from though. In early childhood we have a whole lot of minimum standards. One of the problems as a speaker out from Reggio Emillia from REANZ so succinctly put it is that “the minimum standard becomes aspirational”. We don’t strive to be the best we can be we strive to be the worst we can get away with. However I wouldn’t want to get rid of minimum standards for childcare or wages until we turn our whole society around from a focus on profit making to one of being the best we can be for everyone – for our employees and for our children.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1

      I liked Nick Hanauer’s comment on the minimum wage:

      “But here’s the thing. When those who set bad examples, like the owners of Wal-Mart or McDonald’s, pay their workers close to the minimum wage, what they’re really saying is that they’d pay even less if it weren’t illegal. “

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    Mr. Evans has just explained why the minimum wage needs to go up.

    What are the odds that he’s one of those Tories who “gives generously to charity”.

    Perhaps he should be sent on a fact-finding tour of countries with no minimum wage to help him re-connect with reality.

  4. Molly 4

    The reasoning is flawed. Current market competition will reward those employers or businesses that cut expenses by paying less wages than a living wage (or to put it in more realistic terms – a “non-livable” wage).

    Those businesses and business owners will thrive, on the expectation they can continue to pay those non-livable wages, and the other businesses will struggle to compete.

    The same issue comes to value. Not all employers are able to ascertain value to business in the same way. Some employees are “valuable” primarily because they can be relied upon to do their job (and more) without asking for more pay.

    The ability to ask for the level of pay that reflects your value to a business is not universal, which results in a lot of variance in renumeration sometimes even within the same organisation.

    In essence, the living wage should be the lowest we are prepared to accept that people are paid for full-time employment, and the minimum wage only gets abolished when the living wage replaces that in legislation and policy.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      Well said Molly and with light and not all the heat that found its way into my comment.
      (Which I still stand by though.)

  5. dialey 5

    Oh goodie, my recently negotiated PSA pay rate for administrators is now about the same as the living wage.

  6. greywarshark 6

    The budgeting advisor either is completely gullible or believes in fairies or both.
    Without a minimum wage employers would pay less. If anyone is truly interested in this business of decent wages he/she should be fully conversant with the whole picture, not making naive, ignorant statements.

    Sure the minimum wage should be higher, but the reason that it is paid is because its law. If employers were really nice people they would try to pay more, they might set reasonable targets per month and give staff bonuses if met. But you don’t take away a legal sure thing in favour of good feelings and fair dealings.

    The point about set wages is that everyone has to pay them and no scumbags can get away for ever not paying them and therefore being able to undercut everybody’s prices with the portion of their poor employees’ wages that they withhold from them. That’s not good for business, and not good for employees so stuff that up your earhole budget advisor, that’s good advice to you.

  7. In Vino 7

    We need a total change of perspective. The minimum wage is utterly demeaning, and destroys the recipient’s sense of self-worth. I despise anyone who accepts the idea of working long hours for less than $20 an hour – they should know that they as people are worth more than that. And I doubly despise the profit-gouging, greed-ridden Capitalists who preach market forces and economic efficiency to justify their exploitation of these people. (They are people, not a labour commodity, and the Capitalists make me wish for the existence of a vengeful God.)

    The acceptance of huge salaries for top CEOs and sub-living-level wages for the working poor is a pustulant sore on the face of our society which far too many of us are willing to tolerate.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      The acceptance of huge salaries for top CEOs and sub-living-level wages for the working poor is a pustulant sore on the face of our society which far too many of us are willing to tolerate.


    • Greg 7.2

      1000 percent. Vino

  8. greg 8

    living wage should be extended to all Auckland council contracts Auckland is a high cost city to live in or is staff who are forced work on contracts second class workers to be treated like shit.

    • In Vino 8.1

      ‘treated like shit’

      Yep.. I said utterly demeaning – same thing. I hold in contempt those profit-gougers who try to justify low wages.

  9. NZJester 9

    The theory for dropping the minimum wage looks good until it hits the one big real world problem that makes the theory fall over (Greedy People). The theory of trickle down economics falls over due to the same problem (Greedy people just bank the tax cuts and not reinvest it in job creation). Even with a minimum wage, there are still a small number of businesses owners out there trying to find ways around it to underpay their employees. Making employees buy things that are needed to do their job themselves that should be supplied, supplying accommodation at live-on sites at an inflated rate, unpaid overtime kept off the books, and making employees pay for items stolen during their shifts are just some of the measures some greedy people use to underpay employees.

    • Richard McGrath 9.1

      The old straw man makes a comeback – you realise ‘trickle-down’ is an invention of Keynesians, don’t you?

  10. Dave Jennings 10

    If the minimum wage was done away with, it may give the unscrupulous employer, ,and there are plenty of them a field day to pay an even lower rate of servitude pay.
    So I think it would be wise to keep the current minimum wage in place ;but it needs to reflect the current cost of living. Which is sky high.
    The National Government would dearly love to help their business mates out, by having a free for all in the wages arena. only greater poverty will ensue.
    Dave Jennings,

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government and horticulture sector target $12b in exports by 2035
    A new Government and industry strategy launched today has its sights on growing the value of New Zealand’s horticultural production to $12 billion by 2035, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “Our food and fibre exports are vital to New Zealand’s economic security. We’re focussed on long-term strategies that build on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Cost of living support extended for families and businesses
    25 cents per litre petrol excise duty cut extended to 30 June 2023 – reducing an average 60 litre tank of petrol by $17.25 Road User Charge discount will be re-introduced and continue through until 30 June Half price public transport fares extended to the end of June 2023 saving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • More Kiwis in work as rising wages match inflation
    The strong economy has attracted more people into the workforce, with a record number of New Zealanders in paid work and wages rising to help with cost of living pressures. “The Government’s economic plan is delivering on more better-paid jobs, growing wages and creating more opportunities for more New Zealanders,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government boosts fund for Auckland flooding
    The Government is providing a further $1 million to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced today. “Cabinet today agreed that, given the severity of the event, a further $1 million contribution be made. Cabinet wishes to be proactive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Cabinet focused on bread and butter issues
    The new Cabinet will be focused on core bread and butter issues like the cost of living, education, health, housing and keeping communities and businesses safe, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “We need a greater focus on what’s in front of New Zealanders right now. The new Cabinet line ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister to meet with PM Albanese
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins will travel to Canberra next week for an in person meeting with Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. “The trans-Tasman relationship is New Zealand’s closest and most important, and it was crucial to me that my first overseas trip as Prime Minister was to Australia,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government makes first payment to Auckland Flooding fund
    The Government is providing establishment funding of $100,000 to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced. “We moved quickly to make available this funding to support Aucklanders while the full extent of the damage is being assessed,” Kieran McAnulty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government steps up to assist Auckland during flooding
    As the Mayor of Auckland has announced a state of emergency, the Government, through NEMA, is able to step up support for those affected by flooding in Auckland. “I’d urge people to follow the advice of authorities and check Auckland Emergency Management for the latest information. As always, the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Titewhai Te Huia Hinewhare Harawira
    Ka papā te whatitiri, Hikohiko ana te uira, wāhi rua mai ana rā runga mai o Huruiki maunga Kua hinga te māreikura o te Nota, a Titewhai Harawira Nā reira, e te kahurangi, takoto, e moe Ka mōwai koa a Whakapara, kua uhia te Tai Tokerau e te kapua pōuri ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved following Cyclone Hale
    Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Employment, has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to flooding and damaged caused by Cyclone Hale in the Tairāwhiti region. Up to $500,000 will be made available to employ job seekers to support the clean-up. We are still investigating whether other parts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • General Election to be held on 14 October 2023
    The 2023 General Election will be held on Saturday 14 October 2023, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “Announcing the election date early in the year provides New Zealanders with certainty and has become the practice of this Government and the previous one, and I believe is best practice,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces resignation
    Jacinda Ardern has announced she will step down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. Her resignation will take effect on the appointment of a new Prime Minister. A caucus vote to elect a new Party Leader will occur in 3 days’ time on Sunday the 22nd of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Trade and Agriculture Minister to attend World Economic Forum and Global Forum for Food and Agricult...
    The Government is maintaining its strong trade focus in 2023 with Trade and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor visiting Europe this week to discuss the role of agricultural trade in climate change and food security, WTO reform and New Zealand agricultural innovation. Damien O’Connor will travel tomorrow to Switzerland to attend the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government funding relief for flood-affected Wairarapa farmers and growers
    The Government has extended its medium-scale classification of Cyclone Hale to the Wairarapa after assessing storm damage to the eastern coastline of the region. “We’re making up to $80,000 available to the East Coast Rural Support Trust to help farmers and growers recover from the significant damage in the region,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government provides support to flooded Tairāwhiti communities
    The Government is making an initial contribution of $150,000 to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Tairāwhiti following ex-Tropical Cyclone Hale, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced. “While Cyclone Hale has caused widespread heavy rain, flooding and high winds across many parts of the North Island, Tairāwhiti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government support for flood-affected Gisborne Tairāwhiti farmers and growers
    Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor has classified this week’s Cyclone Hale that caused significant flood damage across the Tairāwhiti/Gisborne District as a medium-scale adverse event, unlocking Government support for farmers and growers. “We’re making up to $100,000 available to help coordinate efforts as farmers and growers recover from the heavy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago