The 2023/24 Living Wage Rate is $26.00

3 April 2023

The new Living Wage rate is $26.00 per hour

The Living Wage has undergone a full recalculation. From 1 September 2023, thousands of workers will receive a pay increase to ensure they can live with dignity and participate in society.

The 2023/24 New Zealand Living Wage rate is $26.00 an hour. This is an increase of $2.35 or 9.9% on the 2022/23 rate.

$26.00 is the result of a full recalculation of the Living Wage, which happens every five years. In other years, the Living Wage is linked to movement in New Zealand’s average hourly wages.

Recent increases in the cost of living are reflected in the new Living Wage rate. The rate also considers what families need to live with dignity and participate in society. This includes the cost of recreation and saving for emergencies.

The rate will see workers at accredited Living Wage Employers earning at least $3.30 more than the minimum wage.

“With rising costs and pressures on low waged workers, we are seeing increased hardship in the community,” says Rev Stephen King, chair of the Living Wage Movement.

“The full recalculation ensures the Living Wage will continue to address in-work poverty, and offer working people greater security and wellbeing,” says Stephen.

Rose Kavapalu, a cleaner who is paid the Living Wage, says the increase to $26.00 per hour will mean she can reconnect with family.

“Since petrol prices have gone up, we’ve cut down on visits to extended family. Now, I’ll be able to take the grandkids to visit their cousins. We would feel like a family again,” says Rose.

“The Living Wage might feel like five cents to some people, but to me and my family, it means finally living a life.”

Accredited Living Wage Employers will pay the new Living Wage rate by 1 September 2023.

Environment Canterbury (ECan) is the latest accredited Living Wage Employer. ECan Chair Peter Scott says it is an honour.

Living Wage accreditation is something we’ve been working towards for some time,” says Peter.

“Being a Living Wage Employer means our people and contracted providers are paid fairly for the great mahi they do.”

ECan is the first Regional Council to gain Living Wage Employer accreditation. It joins over 370 Living Wage Employers, who voluntarily pay at least the Living Wage to staff and regular contractors.

“The Living Wage Movement congratulates ECan, and all Living Wage Employers,” says Felicia Scherrer, Living Wage Employer Programme Lead.

“These employers have chosen to prioritise paying a Living Wage, and together they have transformed thousands of lives.”

“We know that Living Wage Employers reap the benefits too. Research has shown that paying the Living Wage can reduce staff turnover, improve productivity, and boost employee morale,” says Felicia.



Note for media:

The recalculation of the Living Wage rate is part of the Five Year Measurement Review of the Living Wage. This is an independent review conducted by the NZ Family Social Policy Centre Research Unit.

Read a summary of Living Wage recalculation, including item by item costs, here.

In other years, the Living Wage is linked to movement in New Zealand’s average ordinary time hourly rate.

For more information about the New Zealand Living Wage Movement, please visit