"My dream for Dunedin is to become New Zealand's first living wage city,” he said at the Green Party’s local body elections launch. “That is a city where every worker, regardless of where they work, makes a living wage.”
According to Hawkins, the multi-phase plan would begin with the council implementing a Living Wage then extending the hourly rate to its contractors and exerting pressure on the city’s large employers to follow suit.
"This won't happen overnight - it's not a miracle cure,” he stressed.
Advocates claim the Living Wage represents the hourly rate workers need in order to participate as an active citizen in the community – it is currently set at $19.80 an hour, more than $4 above the current minimum wage of $15.25.
"We need to do more to make life better for everyone,'' said Hawkins, who also expressed an interest in establishing a local currency known as the Dunedin dollar.
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Dunedin mayoral candidate Aaron Hawkins has announced bold plans to transform the Otago city into New Zealand’s first Living Wage locality.