The 2023/24 Living Wage Rate is $26.00

The Living Wage should do what we say it does.

‘The Living Wage is the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life. A living wage enables workers to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society.’ 

From 1 September 2023, the Living Wage hourly rate is $26.00. This is an increase of $2.35 or 9.9% on the 2022/23 rate.

Every five years, the Living Wage rate is fully recalculated. A full review of prices, expenses and calculation methods is used to find the Living Wage rate. 

The Living Wage calculation process is independent from the Living Wage Movement, and is conducted by the Family Centre for Social Policy Research Unit. 

Read the full recalculation report 'Report of the Measurement Review for a New Zealand Living Wage' here.  

The report includes the data and rationale used to calculate the Living Wage.

The new Living Wage rate, $26.00, is the result of a full recalculation. 

Read a summary of the full recalculation here.

The full recalculation considers the latest national data on: 

  • Rent 
  • Food costs and needs 
  • Energy and heating costs and usage 
  • GP visits and prescriptions 
  • Broadband and mobile charges 
  • Costs of early childhood, primary and secondary education
  • Miscellaneous but essential expenses: savings, clothing, services, modest recreation. 

Kiwisaver contributions, subsidies and tax credits are also considered. 

If a Living Wage is enough for any worker to live with dignity, it must also be sufficient for families with children. That’s why the Living Wage is calculated to support the needs of two adults and two children on 1.5 incomes. 

Read the full report of the recalculation here.

The recalculation is different to Living Wage annual updates. 

Annual updates are linked to the movement in New Zealand’s average ordinary time hourly rate. Updates happen in the years between the five year recalculation. 

Read previous annual updates here. 

When should Living Wage Employers start paying the 2023/24 rate of $26.00?  

By 1 September 2023, accredited Living Wage Employers should pay the Living Wage rate of $26.00.

They can pay the 2022/23 rate of $23.65 until 31 August 2023. 

Living Wage Employers have transformed thousands of lives.

Paying the Living Wage is voluntary. Over 370 employers have chosen to become accredited Living Wage Employers.  

Living Wage Employers have taken the necessary steps to prioritise the financial wellbeing of their staff and regular contractors. 

Find the list of accredited Living Wage Employers here. 

Read more about the Living Wage Employer accreditation programme here.