Special Auckland wage needed to live in NZ’s largest city

By Kelvin McDonald

Māori Party candidate for Tāmaki Makaurau Shane Taurima says a special Auckland wage is required to cope with the cost of living in the country’s most expensive city.

In Election Aotearoa’s Tāmaki Makaurau debate the participating candidates were asked how they would raise wages so Maōri could afford to live in Auckland.

Acknowledging that a living wage was fundamental to Māori Party policy, Shane Taurima said “we need to actually explore an Auckland wage because the cost of living here is just too expensive and it’s making it hard for our whanaus to make ends meet.”

Green Party candidate Marama Davidson said the country needed to be mindful of the social impact for Māori. “It’s bigger than what it costs. It’s about what it will cost if we don’t ensure that every whanau can live with dignity and has enough to make ends meet,” she said.

Asked if his party supported this view, Labour’s Peeni Henare emphasised that a planned approach was required involving a lift in the economy. “It’s going to cost money and we’ve got to have a plan to do that. Of course, we want to lift wages, we’re the Labour Party.”