News | 2 December 2021

New fund to support living wage events

Wellington city continues to be the Living Wage capital, with agreement about the criteria for a new fund opening up to support Pōneke’s wonderful events to be places where everyone is paid a Living Wage.

Kaicycle image of bike and garden

Kāwai Whakatipu | Grants Subcommittee Chair Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons says the new fund of $300,000 a year will provide a great opportunity for events’ organisers to truly value their frontline staff, particularly cleaners and security staff.

 

“Wellingtonians have a lot of love for our frontline staff, who have helped keep our city cleaner, safer and a better place to live during the pandemic,” says Councillor Fitzsimons. 

 

“This fund is a way to show our appreciation. When we go out to enjoy the arts, culture and fun this summer, we can be proud that more Wellington workers are being paid fairly.”

 

Councillor Rebecca Matthews, who initiated the establishment of the fund through the Council Long-term Plan, says the Living Wage events fund was a way for councillors to make good on their commitments to make Wellington a Living Wage capital. 

 

“We walk the talk at Wellington City Council, by paying at least the Living Wage to directly employed and contract workers. This is another step to take the Living Wage message out to the city.” 

 

Gina Lockyer, Chair of the Living Wage Movement Aotearoa NZ, says the Wellington Living Wage movement was pleased to see how this fund would support a higher profile for fair pay in the capital, as well as helping workers earn enough to thrive, not just to survive. 

 

“We’re not quite at the level of international Living Wage events such as the London Olympics, but this is a fantastic start. We’d love to see all of local government accredited as Living Wage employers and take a lead for fair pay in their cities and towns.”

 

The fund aims to encourage non-Council events in Wellington city to adopt the living wage, for event organisers to be able to pay living wage for their staff, contractors directly employed and participating artists who deliver, produce and perform at non-Council event/s.

 

Kāwai whakatipu | Grants Subcommittee also approved Arts and Culture funding for 24 organisations totalling $139,938, including $49,200 of the annual Professional Performing Arts funding, seven projects for the Waste Minimisation Seed Fund with grants totalling $84,397, and 12 organisations with grants totalling $148,000 through the Social and Recreation Fund.

It was also recommended that Te Kaunihera o Pōneke | Council agree to disestablish the Built Heritage Incentive Fund and establish a new Heritage Resilience and Regeneration Fund which will have a new targeted approach to supporting owners of earthquake prone heritage buildings who face deadlines for strengthening buildings by 2027.