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New Zealand increases minimum wage to $14 per hour

The adult minimum wage rate of New Zealand will increase by 2 per cent to 23.15 NZ (New Zealand) dollars, (14.12 U.S. dollars) an hour from April 1, 2024.

The government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of the lowest paid workers, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke Van Velden, said on Thursday, February 1.

She added that the government would also maintain labour market settings that encourage employment.

“The government has taken a cautious approach to the minimum wage this year as the economic context has changed significantly over the past year,” Van Velden said.

Van Velden added that while unemployment is currently low, the labour market is softening due to high net migration rates, constrained consumer spending, and subdued economic growth.

However, as a ratio to the median wage, the minimum wage has increased from 62 per cent of the median wage in June 2017 to 72 per cent in June 2023.

According to her, it made it harder for businesses to issue pay raises or take on more staff.

However, the opposition Labor Party criticised the minimum wage increase as “tiny”.

The minister stated that the increase has taken into consideration the current economic conditions and the historically large increases to the minimum wage that has distorted relativities with other wage earners.

However, training wages and starting wages will remain at 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage rate.

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