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Minimum Wage Increase

Published 05 Feb 2017

On 1 April 2017, the adult minimum wage increases by 50 cents to $15.75 an hour.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse said that the starting-out and training minimum wage rates also increase, from $12.20 to $12.60 per hour - 80 percent of the adult minimum wage.

Mr Woodhouse said the increase to $15.75 benefits about 119,500 workers and increases wages throughout the economy by $65 million per year.

The increase was much higher than annual inflation, he said. "At a time when annual inflation is 0.4 percent, a 3.3 percent increase to the minimum wage will give our lowest paid workers more money in their pockets, without hindering job growth or imposing undue pressure on businesses."

Prime Minister Bill English said the government had struck the right balance. Saying that since 2008, the minimum wage had risen by 31 percent - which he said was much higher than the rate of inflation, at 14 percent. "Which means that real incomes for those on the minimum wage have increased by around 17 percent since we came into office. Advice from officials is that this increase will have a minimal impact on job growth."

The minimum wage was earlier increased by 50 cents an hour on 1 April in 2016.