Living wage on the agenda
The living wage will continue to be debated in Porirua, if a recent meeting is anything to go by.
The Living Wage Aotearoa lobby group called for local body election candidates to give their views on the issue at a recent meeting at PIC Church in Cannons Creek.
The living wage has been calculated at $19.80 per hour, $4.55 more than the minimum wage set by the Government. Wellington City Council has implemented it for its staff, but Porirua City Council recently sidestepped the issue, instead voting to make $200,000 available to support its lowest-earning employees.
About 120 people packed out the PIC hall to hear candidates’ views.
The mayoral candidates Gordon Marshall, Euon Murrell, Mike Duncan, Mike Tana, David Watt and Liz Kelly all supported the living wage in principle.
However, Watt and Kelly said they would not put in a plan to achieve it.
Northern ward candidates Dale Williams, Keryn Martin, Dianne Khan and Barry McEwen supported it in principle, but McEwen was against putting a plan in place to make it happen. Brian Collins was opposed to it.
All of the Eastern and Western ward candidates present at the meeting - Paula Mac Ewan, Sala Nimarota, Martin Gregory, Lorna Kanavatoa, Morris Cheer, Denys Latham, Henry Smith, Ranei Wineera-Parata and Chantelle Anslow - supported the living wage.
They said they would work with Living Wage Aotearoa representatives to ensure it was something council debated in the next triennium.
Meeting organiser Andrew Chick said it was a fruitful meeting that showed the living wage was still supported among prospective councillors and mayors in the city.
‘‘We were really pleased with the turnout and all of the candidates were clear and constructive during their time to speak,’’ he said.
‘‘Several of them flagged that this [living wage] would be something that would come up again, which is great to hear.’’
Although Porirua City Council didn’t implement a living wage in June, Chick said Living Wage Aotearoa would continue to plug away with submissions to the council at appropriate times.
‘‘We heard at the meeting that one of the council employees, a solo dad, is getting an extra $2 an hour that’s making a difference.
‘‘His family was able to go out for a birthday meal recently, which is just fantastic. We will be having the discussion about the living wage with council when we can.’’