Dunedin becomes second Living Wage city in NZ

The Dunedin City Council is the second city to become an accredited Living Wage Employer in Aotearoa.

The southern city joins the growing list of ethical employers in a surprise move by the council to step up and pay the minimum of a Living Wage to employees and contracted workers, employed on a regular and ongoing basis to deliver services for the City.

The 2019 list of fully accredited New Zealand Living Wage Employers includes 157 employers, large and small, from the north to the south of the country covering businesses in the private, public and NGO sectors.

Dunedin City Council is the second council in the country to become an accredited Living Wage Employer, after Wellington City Council achieved full accreditation last year.

“The impact of Dunedin City Council’s decision to become Aotearoa’s second Accredited Living Wage Council is significant,” says Felicia Scherrer, the Accreditation Coordinator for the Living Wage Movement Aotearoa New Zealand.

“More than 1000 workers will have their lives improved through the Living Wage, as well as all indirectly employed workers delivering a service to the Council.

“As an accredited Living Wage Employer, the Council is role modelling what best business practice looks like,” she says.

Also joining the list this year are AMP Capital Investors (NZ) Limited, AdviceFirst Limited and Western Springs College, which is the country’s first accredited Living Wage secondary school.

Smaller businesses include Scout Hair (the first hairdresser), Mai Day Spa (the first massage therapist), and the Remedy Espresso Bar.

“The number of Living Wage Employers continues to grow as more businesses adopt the Living Wage as the benchmark for paying an ethical and fair wage,” says Felicia.

“The commitment to paying the Living Wage has, for some time, been led by small to medium sized businesses, who felt strongly that this was the right thing to do. 

“Through their leadership and the success of these businesses, we now have larger organisations and corporations, also committing to paying the Living Wage.  They too have realised investing in their workers is an investment in their business.”