November Newsletter

A Big Win In Christchurch

After a long community campaign to win the Living Wage, Christchurch City Council cleaners employed by OCS are seeing the first fruits of the council’s decision to become an accredited Living Wage Employer. Just in time for Living Wage Week, a new contract will increase the wages of 82 workers.

"This is just the beginning," says Nathaniel, our Ōtautahi community organiser. "We're pushing for all public service workers in Canterbury to get a Living Wage. The CCC has asked council controlled organisations to consider the Living Wage and Environment Canterbury is researching accreditation in the wake of a successful campaign by AWUNZ, the bus drivers' union.”


Photo: Nathaniel Herz-Edinger (second from left) and others from Christchurch/Ōtautahi Living Wage network campaigning for the Living Wage at Christchurch City Council


Mobilising Community Support to Fight Covid

As Aotearoa continues to battle Covid-19, our Living Wage Movement is supporting vulnerable communities in many ways, including getting vaccinated. Living Wage Movement member organisation, Tongan Youth Trust, helped out at the Malu'i Ma'a Tonga (MMT - Protect for Tonga) vaccination drive at the Tuingapapai Church in Auckland. The three-day event saw 3,423 people receive a vaccination.

Our Auckland community organiser Teisa Unga lent a hand as a mentor supporting young people to work at the vax drive, ensuring people were well looked after and had a great experience with their vaccination. “It was great to see so many young people coming through to get vaccinated and they were surprised young people were helping out. It’s always good to see communities coming together in times like these,” says Teisa. “Below is a big mihi to the organisations that organised it and gave space to our young people to help out.”

‘Oatu heni ha ki’i fakamālō ki he Fono, pehē ki he kau ngāue ‘a Siaola mo Langimalie he ngāue ‘osikiavelenga mo fepoupouaki ne tau fetokoni’aki ai ‘o lava lelei ai ‘a e huhu malu’i ma’a Tonga. ‘Oatu heni mo ha fakamālō makehe ki he fānau na’e hiki nima fiefia mei he To’utupu Tonga ke tokoni mo ‘enau ngāue lelei ke fiefia ai ‘a hotau kakai hili ‘a e huhu malu’i ma’a Tongá.

Photo: John, Teisa, Ma'afu, Saipele, Nale, supporting the MMT – Protect for Tonga vaccination drive

The ‘Plan B’ Living Wage Week:
7 – 14 November

Living Wage Week is a time to celebrate our movement and the wins we have had transforming the lives of workers and their whānau and the relationships that build a stronger Living Wage alliance across the diverse communities of Aotearoa. Covid-19 restrictions have necessitated a Plan B approach to this year’s Living Wage Week, but there is still plenty happening. Please support the week’s activities where you can and look out for updates on social media.  


Monday, November 8, 7.00pm
Global Living Wage Affiliate Network

The Living Wage Movement is connecting with campaigners all over the world to raise working people out of poverty. Now a Global Living Wage Affiliate Network is being promoted to cement in relationships that will benefit us all.

The Living Wage Foundation in the UK has spear-headed building a network that is ready to take the next step to give global organisations the confidence to commit to accreditation wherever in the world they are. In Aotearoa, multi-national companies like AMP, Westpac and Ricoh are proud to be Living Wage accredited.  This new network can sign-post employers to the right bodies, like our own Movement, to sign up. Being promoted around the world in November, this new global network will ensure consistency in how rates are calculated and implemented bringing us together around a common set of values and principles.

Watch a Living Wage Facebook Live even where we talk to London leaders about this on Monday, November 8, at 7.00pm:


Monday 8 November, 5.30pm
A Toast to the Living Wage, Christchurch

Supporters from Living Wage member organisations and local Living Wage Employers will gather at Three Boys Brewery to celebrate a year of wins and to look forward to another year of activism. We welcome many more organisations into the movement including a school, a theatre, a council, and a community hub.

If you're keen to join this celebration, let Nathaniel know at [email protected].


Tuesday 9 November, 5:30pm
Hutt City Event

Living Wage Hutt Valley is co-hosting an event with Hutt City Council at the Council Chambers. The theme of the evening is ‘How can we make Hutt City a Living Wage City?’ As well as this kōrero, we’ll be celebrating our leaders and local employers. Due to Covid-19 restrictions this event is by invite and registration only.

Contact your local Living Wage organiser, Marlon, as soon as possible if you would like to attend! [email protected]


Wednesday 10 November, 7:00pm
Songs of Shit Pay, the Darkroom, Christchurch

Join us for an open mic night at The Darkroom, featuring you! This month we’ll be celebrating Living Wage Week. So share your songs of shit pay on anything from dole queues, to flatting, to hospo nightmares. Covers and originals welcome! Email [email protected] to lock in a spot or sign up on the night.

Doors open 7pm, music from 7.30. Tech person, drum kit and amps provided. All genres and experience levels, solo acts and bands welcome. If you’re a poet or storyteller with something to share, check out Living Wage’s Open Mic Poetry event

A bunch of Christchurch writers and musicians are getting involved in the movement with a couple of themed open mic nights at the Darkroom and Little Andromeda. Come along and join in!


Thursday 11 November, 7:00pm
Online Fair Pay Agreement Forum 

The proposed Wellington-based forum on fair pay agreements, planned for St Peter’s on Willis, has moved online in partnership with some of our member organisations. At the forum we’ll hear from workers about the difference strong fair pay agreements could make for them, and how they could support the efforts of the Living Wage Movement. We’ll also be putting the call out to the community to make submissions to the Select Committee on this important legislation.

Tune in at 7pm, Thursday 11 November, on the Living Wage Movement Facebook Page, to hear about how you can get involved, and most importantly, support our workers!


Friday 12 November, 9.30am
Waikato Regional Council (Covid permitting)

Living Wage Waikato will present to the Waikato Regional Council the importance of the Living Wage and advocate for our bus drivers to be paid the Living Wage by Waikato Regional Council. We have been working with FIRST Union organiser and Living Wage Network Member Jax Oldham to help tautoko FIRST’s bargaining, and to ensure our bus drivers are paid with dignity for their essential service.


All Week, online

Sign the petition supporting the Waikato bus drivers. FIRST Union and Living Wage Waikato are calling on the Waikato Regional Council to:

  • Immediately introduce the Living Wage for council-contracted bus drivers
  • Set a minimum standard of a Living Wage in all service contracts


Sunday 14 November, 7:00pm
From Paycheck to Poetry,
Little Andromeda Christchurch

As part of Living Wage Week, WORD Christchurch have teamed up with the Living Wage Movement to offer you a night of poetry on a subject dear to every artist’s heart: low pay! Join us, and share your stories of a life lived from paycheck to paycheck — whether raucous, tragic, impassioned or comic. All are welcome to listen or perform, from first-timers to hardened versifiers. Ray Shipley will guide us through the evening with the help of some special guests.

Sign up to read from 6.30pm in the lobby, poetry starts at 7pm.

Little Andromeda | Christchurch Fringe Theatre



All Week, online
Living Wage On a Plate

Keep an eye on our social media in Living Wage Week, as we celebrate some of Wellington Region’s Living Wage Employers with our ‘Living Wage On A Plate’ initiative. Go visit some of your local hospo employers, take a photo, and complete your bingo card throughout the week to support our local employers, and maybe even win a prize.

Wellington Living Wage supporters can check our Living Wage Employer, Rogue and Vagabond



Not Cancelled, Just Postponed to 2 April 2022
Vibe & Thrive Living Wage Fair 

The Living Wage Auckland Vibe & Thrive Fair has been postponed following due to Covid-19 guidelines.

Auckland organiser Teisa Unga says: “For the safety of our members, we have decided to postpone this event for next year to mark the new Living Wage rate announcement. We will let you know more information closer to the time, although tune in to our Facebook page and Instagram @livingwagenz for our online events.” 

New Employer: Six Barrel Soda

Welcome to a great new Living Wage Employer! The team at Six Barrel Soda are a bunch of soda lovers based in Wellington who have been making wonderful drinks for nearly ten years. They can be found at Living Wage Employer Commonsense and are sold at The Rogue and Vagabond craft beer pub and many other venues.

Molly Rae, Six Barrel Soda’s marketing and communications manager says: “We make small-batch syrups using real fruit, high quality ingredients, and fair-trade cane sugar — nothing fake or nasty. There’s something to suit every palate — from classic cola, to feijoa, to rosemary and cucumber tonic. Championing flavour and quality, these syrups are guaranteed to make any occasion fancy.”