Minimum wage needs a rethink

19 Dec 2019 Minimum wage needs a rethink image

Horticulture New Zealand believes minimum wage laws need to be reviewed so they reflect the reality of living and doing business in New Zealand. 

Yesterday, the Government confirmed that New Zealand's minimum wage will rise to $18.90 an hour from 1 April 2020. 

‘The current laws date back to after the end of World War Two when New Zealand was a very different place,’ says HortNZ Chief Executive, Mike Chapman. 

‘Today, the employment landscape is quite different.  In the horticulture industry, several employers pay a living wage and have profit share schemes, which encourage staff loyalty and help ensure these businesses have enough staff on hand, particularly at peak times.’    

Mr Chapman says the Minimum Wage Act is a blunt instrument. 

‘Yes, it protects some workers but no, it does not support the kind of employer / employee relationship that is win / win for both parties that is employment reality today. 

‘The law needs to be reviewed to ensure it continues to protect vulnerable workers while at the same time, supporting the kind of relationship that enables businesses and their employees to thrive and grow.’ 

About Horticulture New Zealand

Horticulture New Zealand is an industry good organisation that represents the interests of approximately 5000 growers.  The horticulture industry employs more than 60,000 people and exports to 128 markets.  In 2018, the industry was valued at $5.87 billion.