19 December 2018
The minimum wage is set to increase by $1.20 to $17.70 in April 2019 – the largest increase in the adult minimum wage in
New Zealand history in dollar terms.
This is the biggest leap yet towards the Coalition Government’s promise to increase the minimum wage to $20 by 2021.
E tū National Secretary Bill Newson says the increase is another clear demonstration of the Coalition Government’s
commitment to working people.
“This Government continues to prove that they really care about workers and their families,” Bill says.
“Lifting the minimum wage is relatively straight forward, and the evidence shows that bringing wages up is the clear
path out of poverty in New Zealand.
“Together with the recent Employment Relations Act changes and the ongoing work on Fair Pay Agreements, the Government
is taking us in the right direction. This is another good step forward.”
Mareta Sinoti, a cleaner at the National Library in Wellington, says that while the increase is welcome, it’s not going
to solve all the problems.
“The thing is, we need a Living Wage,” Mareta says.
“Everything is just too expensive. Rent, food, and transport costs are increasing all the time. When you add up the
10-trip for the train, the costs of clothes for our families, and everything else, it’s just too much.
“It’s great that the minimum wage is going up to $17.70, but how long have we waited for it to get there?”
E tū: the new union for New Zealanders
E tū has been created by the merger of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and Service and Food Workers'
E tū represents more than 50,000 working New Zealanders in industries as diverse as aviation, construction, journalism,
food manufacturing, mining and cleaning.
By standing together in a union workers get higher wages and better conditions. As the country's largest private sector
union E tū can provide members with workplace representation, legal advice, a freephone support centre, work rights
education and broad representation through E tū's campaigning and research work.
We campaign hard for workers' rights, health and safety, a living wage for all Kiwis, and recognising high-value