Political support for a campaign to raise wages is pouring in.
The Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand campaign has been kicked off by the Service and Food Workers Union and focuses on combating poverty and inequality through calling for better pay rates for low paid workers.
Labour MP Darien Fenton says it'll start a long overdue dialogue about how we ensure working people are paid enough to live decent lives and participate in society.
"It's about looking at what it costs to live and work in New Zealand, what it costs for things like housing, food, sending your kids to school and that goes way beyond minimum wage."
She says people are working harder than ever, trying to do the right thing, yet still struggling.
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says the Government needs to take notice and lifting pay rates for lowest paid workers will reduce inequality and poverty.
The concept of a "living wage" is confusing the Finance Minister.
Bill English says the minimum wage has risen at at least at the rate of inflation for the past few years.
He says policies he's looking at developing will help low income earners, but you can't just legislate for higher wages.
"I'm not exactly sure what they mean by 'a living wage' and of course we want to see higher incomes across the board. To achieve that we need a flexible, resilient and growing economy."
The Service and Food Workers Union initiated the campaign.
Secretary John Ryall says its momentum is built on growing discontent about poverty and inequality.
He says we need a significant shift in workers' pay rates to make a difference.
Photo: NZ Herald