Māori Party co-leader says minimum wage rise not enough

By Te Ao - Māori News

Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi says the rise in the minimum wage today should be higher to ensure everyone receives a livable income.

Minimum wage in Aotearoa raises from $18.90 an hour to $20 an hour today.

However, Waititi says the government should raise the minimum wage even more to help people finding it hard to pay for their living expenses.

He says, "Me hika ka tika i te pūtea ki tā te mahi a te tangata. Ahakoa Māori mai, ahakoa tauiwi mai. Me whakatikahia tātou."

(Raise the pay so it reflects the work of the person. Whether they are Māori or not. Let us do what is right.)

"Nō te mea ko te nuinga o te wā kei te haere te iwi ki te mahi, kaore rātou te utu o tō rātou pire, kaore rātou te utu o tō rātou mōtini, o rātou whāre, o rātou motokā, me te whakahora i te kai ki runga i ngā tēpu."

(Most of the time, they (on minimum wage) go to work but can't afford to pay their bills, can't afford to pay their mortgage or their house, or their car or even the food on their tables).

Price of rentals

Aucklanders are paying around $1,041 per week for a three-bedroom property and $612 for a two-bedroom property. 

For an urban townhouse in the rest of New Zealand, people are paying $460 per week.

Those who were on the previous minimum wage of $18.90 per hour, working a 40 hour week, were earning $756 before tax per week.

At $20 per hour for a 20 hour week, the minimum wage has increased $44 a week before tax to $800 a week.