AUCKLAND ACTION AGAINST POVERTY
The Government recently announced the Mana in Mahi scheme, which aims to subsidise employers taking in 18-24 year olds
who have been on the benefit for six months. The scheme will subsidise employers the equivalent to the benefit, topping
it up to at least the minimum wage. Auckland Action Against Poverty warns that the scheme is ultimately a corporate
subsidy that does not address the underlying causes of poverty and unemployment our youth face.
“We are urging the Government to review the Mana in Mahi scheme to guarantee participants a liveable income. At the very
least, people going into the scheme should be paid a living wage and provided guaranteed hours”, said Ricardo Menendez
March, Auckland Action Against Poverty Coordinator.
“People should, if they want to, have access to apprenticeships but they need to be paid a living wage. Either the
Government needs to be creating well-paid industries or forcing the private sector to pay a living wage, rather than
“The scheme, in its current form, continues to enable employers to pay low, unliveable wages. Prime Minister Jacinda
Ardern, in her announcement, spoke about wanting young people to be able to enjoy the dignity of work but did not
address the dignity that comes from having enough to eat and afford basic necessities.
“At the same time, people on the benefit deserve to be paid benefit levels that allow them to live with dignity. Young
people not in work are still contributors to society, and to imply that the only way to meaningfully contribute to
society is through waged labour is insulting.”