The 2024/25 Living Wage rate is $27.80

The 2024/25 New Zealand Living Wage rate is $27.80 per hour.

The $1.80 increase aligns with a 6.9% increase in New Zealand’s average hourly wage.

From 1 September 2024, staff and regular contractors of accredited Living Wage Employers will earn at least $4.65 per hour more than the minimum wage.

The New Zealand Living Wage rate was introduced in 2013. It is calculated and annually updated by the Family Centre Social Policy Research Unit.

The New Zealand Living Wage is defined as “the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life, enabling workers to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society.”

Living Wage Aotearoa NZ offers Living Wage Employer accreditation to businesses and organisations that commit to paying the Living Wage to their staff and regular contractors. 374 businesses and organisations are accredited, from a variety of industries including hospitality, fitness, finance and retail.

“Living Wage Employers have changed the lives of essential workers like cleaners, security guards and many others who were facing the real challenge of life on the minimum wage,” says Gina Lockyer, Executive Director of Living Wage Aotearoa NZ.

Mele Peaua, a cleaner, has raised children while on a minimum wage and on the Living Wage.

“The kids feel the difference. When I was on the minimum wage, they could only choose one fruit for their lunchbox. They would go to school with one sandwich and one apple. But children want to try different fruit and foods,” says Mele.

“When I moved to the Living Wage, the kids could have a muesli bar and snacks in their lunchbox. They got excited about being able to choose an apple or an orange.” Kris Vermier, owner of Browns Ski Shop in Queenstown, says that being an accredited Living Wage Employer serves as a reminder to “keep doing the right thing.”

“It not only made good business sense, keeping us ahead of the pack, but morally it’s also the right thing to do,” says Vermier. “Queenstown is not a cheap place to live. We want to ensure our seasonal staff can survive, enjoy everything that Queenstown has
to offer, and not work crazy hours.”

CEO of The Trusts Arena in Auckland, Michael Ocego, says the decision to pay the Living Wage is about upholding their values of fairness, respect and social responsibility.

“By paying the living wage, we are ensuring our team can afford the basic necessities of life without having to struggle or compromise,” says Ocego. “It demonstrates that we value their contribution and recognise the importance of their role in our organisation’s success.”