Waatea News Column: Fair Pay Agreements will do more to lift Maori wages than any other policy


While the PSA and CTU attack the Labour Government over freezing 100k gold plated bureaucrat wages, the big story last week was the announcement of the Fair Pay Agreements which will effectively see universal union membership.

The main reason why wages are so depressed in NZ can be traced back to the 1991 Independent Contracts Act which de-unionised the workforce and broke the back of the union movement. Barely 10% of the NZ workforce are in Unions and without their collective bargaining power, wages and conditions have slipped backwards.

This has punished Māori workers most. The median Māori hourly wage is $24.98 compared to $28.01 for Pakeha. Fair Pay Agreements are triggered when a Union signs up 10% of a workforce which forces an industry-wide negotiation on basic conditions and wages.

This will mean the least paid, which have been Māori workers, stand to gain the most in terms of significant pay rises.

This is a courageous policy from Labour which represents the largest rollback of neoliberalism we have seen in 30 years. Labour may not be the friend of those earning 100k+, but they certainly are doing more for working-class New Zealanders than any Government this century.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com


First published on Waatea News.


  1. Hope you are right.
    Maoris average wage reflects the type of employment they are in.
    Perhaps they will get a lift through collective bargaining which indeed is possible now.
    Really this new legislation overturns the 1991 Employment Contracts Act.

  2. Don’t you mean the “Wokery Class?”

    They have don’t bugga all for the working class! If they carry on like they have with more jingoism’s and promises about the future and future generations. They’ll need to add that they have spent it all now to stay in government and have not delivered on any promises or policy’s because they haven’t decided what those policies are, 3.5 years in government.

    But, this is all gamesmanship, pre-budget shenanigans otherwise known as ‘keeping the ball in play’.

    Dont look at what we haven’t delivered because that wasn’t our fault covid turned up even though we got a brief in Oct 2019.

    Groundhog Day. Lets Start ‘This’ Again! will be their 2023 election campaign slogan!

    Then FPA will have just started to kick in and nobody will remember how it all started.


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