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Kāpiti Coast District Council first district council to be an accredited Living Wage Employer

15 Mar 2024, 10:18 AM

Kāpiti Coast District Council is now an accredited Living Wage employer, the first district council in New Zealand to achieve the milestone.

After a long process Council received accreditation from the Living Wage Movement Aotearoa New Zealand in December.

The Living Wage is an internationally acknowledged term for a wage which enables workers to live in dignity and participate in society.

The minimum wage in New Zealand is currently $22.70 per hour. Accreditation means staff directly employed or contracted to provide a regular and on-going service by an accredited employer will be paid the living wage – currently $26 per hour for workers aged 16 years and older.

Living Wage Aotearoa representatives together with Mayor Janet Holborow, CEO Darren Edwards and Council staff celebrate the new Living Wage accreditation

Photo: Living Wage Aotearoa representatives together with Mayor Janet Holborow, CEO Darren Edwards and Council staff celebrate the new Living Wage accreditation. See larger image.

Kāpiti Coast District Mayor Janet Holborow says becoming a Living Wage Employer is a significant achievement and one Council have been working towards for a long time.

“While all staff directly employed by Council are already paid at least the living wage, accreditation means those contracted by Council on a regular and on-going basis are paid enough to buy the basics and live with dignity,” says Mayor Holborow.

“Every year Council contracts out a range of work to mostly local companies.

“During the accreditation process we learned that most of our suppliers already pay their staff the Living Wage or above, which is fantastic and a credit to our business community.

“We’re delighted to have received the accreditation and proud to know that anyone who does any kind of regular work for Council will be paid appropriately for their mahi.”

Chief executive Darren Edwards says Council is a major employer on the Kāpiti Coast and this will make a difference in our community.

“Going to work every day but not making enough to cover even the basics is not a recipe for happy and healthy families and communities, so it’s good to know that all those who do regular work for us will be taking home a fair wage,” Mr Edwards says.

“We’re pleased to be doing our bit and to have taken this step. We’d like to thank the suppliers we’ve worked with for getting on board and helping make this happen.”

Living Wage Movement executive director Gina Lockyer says it is great to see Council acting on the call from their community.

“Achieving Living Wage Employer accreditation is an important commitment. It shows the District Council values the contribution and financial wellbeing of all their workers - especially those who do the lowest paid, essential work,” Ms Lockyer says.

“When workers are moved to the Living Wage, the benefits are felt at work and at home. It's a win/win for the Council and the wider community.”