How does New Zealand’s minimum wage compare?

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A recent report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has revealed how New Zealand’s minimum wage compares to other developed countries.

Sitting in seventh position, Kiwis on the minimum wage can expect to take home $10.67 an hour – that’s after tax and other deductions are taken into account, along with the cost of living.

Here are the top ten countries’ take-home pay for minimum wage workers (in NZD):
  1. Australia – $13.48
  2. Luxembourg – $13.05
  3. Belgium – $12.11
  4. Ireland – $11.95
  5. France – $11.64
  6. The Netherlands – $11.59
  7. New Zealand – $10.67
  8. Germany – $10.16
  9. Canada – $10.14
  10. UK – $9.97
Eight countries, including Finland, Sweden and Switzerland, were not included in the report because there are no set national rules on minimum pay – many of them have strong labour unions and established arrangements for collective bargaining which means governments don’t have to step in. The report also noted that Germany implemented a minimum wage for the first time ever in 2015.

The OECD report shows that in Australia, a single minimum wage worker with two children would have to work just six hours a week to lift themselves above the poverty line because they would also receive state benefits.

"They have a high minimum wage and interestingly they have a low tax burden," said Herwig Immervoll, the author of the OECD report. "[Australians] recognize that supporting low wage earners through the tax system is important."

Sitting on the opposite end of the scale at the bottom-of-the-list was Mexico, with an hourly minimum wage equivalent to $1.12.

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