September 2021 Employer Newsletter

It’s official. $22.75 is the Living Wage rate.

Cake with new Living Wage rate written with icing

Photo: Cake celebrating the new Living Wage Rate

Today is September 1 — the day the 2021/22 New Zealand Living Wage rate comes into force. From today all accredited Living Wage employers will pay their workers a minimum of $22.75. Of course many have been adopting the updated rate since it was announced on 1 April. Today is a day we acknowledge and thank all Living Wage Employers.

Congratulations and thank you to all the Living Wage Employers out there, including a wide range of new employers. We now have 275 fully accredited Living Wage employers, including a growing number of large corporates and businesses in the in hospitality sector.


The challenges of Covid-19

This comes at a time when Aotearoa is once again facing the challenges of Covid-19 and lockdown. Our hearts are with those whānau who are vulnerable, isolated, ill and suffering.

We salute our many member organisations in the community and faith groups who are actively involved in testing, vaccinating, providing food and community, spiritual and whānau support.
For those who may be struggling or just need to someone to talk to, Hamilton based Living Wage Employer, Heart Collective, have resources available on their website that you may wish to access

We salute the workers in our member organisations like FIRST Union, representing supermarket workers, E tū representing cleaners and security guards and the doctors, nurses and other health workers in the Nurses Organisation; doctors’ union, ASMS and PSA. We think of the teachers in NZEI Te Riu Roa and TEU, transport workers in the Rail and Maritime Union and many other workers in unions across Aotearoa.

We salute the unions who are run off their feet, working hard to address issues with vulnerable workers exploited in the lockdown. Now is a time when workers more than ever need to be valued, respected and receiving their full entitlements.


Acknowledging Living Wage Employers

And today, we especially salute our Living Wage Employers, who, once again, are demonstrating what it means to be a good employer, even in the most challenging times. We can all support our Living Wage Employers who are open in the lockdown. We can shop at the organic retail chain, Commonsense, and use the online services of businesses like Good Fortune Coffee.

Good Fortune Coffee logo

We can buy products and services from Living Wage Employers when they are up and running again. Our message to Living Wage Employers is: If there is any way we can support you, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are happy to promote your business on social media or answer any questions you may have regarding your accreditation.

In lockdown, self-care is even more important for our wellbeing. We can spoil ourselves with body and hair care products from Living Wage business Anihana. The team at Anihana have given us a discount code to help us on our way. Enter PAYITFORWARD at checkout to receive 15% off everything on their website until midnight 27 September 2021.


Celebrating the 2021/22 Living Wage rate

Everybody’s focus now is on beating Covid-19 and getting our businesses and communities safely back to work. The new and existing Living Wage Employers will be celebrated at an event in Living Wage Week in November.


Welcome to 75 new employers

Despite the challenges of Covid-19, the number of businesses seeking Living Wage Employer accreditation has continued to grow. The first announcement of Living Wage Employers in 2014, celebrated the accreditation of 10 employers from a handful of sectors. Seven years later we celebrate 275 Living Wage Employers from small to medium sized businesses, NGOs, social enterprises, the public sector and corporate businesses. Find a complete list of Living Wage Employers here.

From small cafes, to website design to property management, the diversity of businesses being accredited highlights the acknowledgement across all sectors, that paying a Living Wage is good for workers and good for business.

There are 75 new Living Wage Employers. Below are profiles of some of our newly-accredited Living Wage Employers.


Ricoh New Zealand Limited

We’re very pleased to welcome Ricoh New Zealand Limited as new fully-accredited Living Wage Employer.

Ricoh New Zealand Ltd. is an international corporate with a focus on caring for their people, profession, society and planet. From office printers and photocopiers to digital transformation, Ricoh offers innovative business technology and integrated devices to support and grow businesses. Welcome onboard, Ricoh New Zealand Limited.

Ricoh logo


Cushman & Wakefield

Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global facilities services and management firm with several offices across New Zealand, that says adopting the Living Wage fits with its values and embeds its position as an employer of choice in New Zealand’s property sector.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Managing Director New Zealand, Paul Huggins, says: “It is vital that all New Zealanders are paid fairly, and it is with pride that we join the hundreds of other organisations that are accredited Living Wage employers. Taking active steps to combat financial inequality is the responsibility of all organisations, and we can now better support our people, provide equal opportunities and limit personal financial challenges. Encouragingly, this drive for equality is increasingly common among our government and private sector clients and further embeds our alignment.”

Members of the Cushman & Wakefield team


Anglican Trust for Women and Children

From humble beginnings, the Anglican Trust for Women and Children (ATWC) has grown to be a major provider of charity for vulnerable women and children, providing services to support families, indiscriminate of race, religion or ethnic origin.

Auckland Living Wage Local Board member and Anglican, Sun Park, is delighted to welcome this Anglican charity onboard to support and continue the advocacy work in the faith community for the Living Wage. “They are walking the talk by becoming a Living Wage Employer,” she says. “They are ensuring their staff can support their own families. We all know how much a Living Wage means to the communities we fellowship with and the difference it makes to their families.”


Parrotdog Brewery

Parrotdog Brewery’s award-winning beers have become a staple in supermarkets, restaurants and bars around the country. In Wellington’s Lyall Bay, thirsty organisers from the union E tū, one of our member organisations, often pop over the road from their office to the Parrotdog brewery and bar after a hard day’s work. Or even maybe a burger for lunch!

E tū staff member Sam Gribben, says: “The thing that brings me back to the Parrotdog Bar is the sense of community. Everyone is there for a friendly and fun time. This vibe matches up with a Living Wage commitment so well! The staff can feel properly valued and the customers know they aren't just lining the pockets of some grubby major player. Oh and did I mention they make amazing beer?”

Parrotdog logo
Parrotdog Logo


Manawatu Tenants Union

As a small community organisation, Palmerston North’s Manawatu Tenants Union works in a sector where some organisations pay the Living Wage, but few are accredited. Coordinator, Ben Schmidt, says that’s why they are proud to have become an accredited Living Wage Employer.

“Tackling poverty from the grass roots up starts with paying our own staff a Living Wage and becoming accredited to ensure all people can live with dignity,” says Ben. “This also helps attract potential future staff, and supports being an inclusive and diverse workplace.”

Ben says becoming Living Wage accredited is also about being stronger together and through joining the movement they can help organise for a Living Wage for friends and whānau in other workplaces.


Camelia House

Camellia House is a safe haven for women and their children in the Manawatu, offering temporary accommodation and support services to enable them into independence. Leonie Morris, Centre Manager of The Auckland Women’s Centre — one of the first member organisations of the Living Wage Movement and a Living Wage Employer — welcomes them onboard.

“The Auckland Women’s Centre has long advocated for decent wages for women and the Living Wage is a recognised standard that we should also strive to achieve no matter what the funding pressures are,” says Leonie. “It is heartening to see a refuge with such a long history of support for women, embracing this critical kaupapa.”


Volleyball Southland Incorporated

Volleyball Southland Incorporated is our first fully accredited Living Wage Employer in Invercargill and our first sports organisation. Volleyball Southland Incorporated Board Member, Dione Williams, says the organisation has adapted their delivery model to provide opportunities to make use of the skills and passion of players in our volleyball community. This has enabled them to offer people work, supporting and delivering volleyball programmes across the region.

“We believe in people being recognised for the work they do and saw the Living Wage as one part of a wider programme of recognition,” says Dionne. “We simply see Living Wage as a reflection of our respect for our employees.”

Volleyball Southland logo
Volleyball Southland Logo