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Three Big Living Wage Week Milestones In Hutt City

Hutt City Council will formally announce its accreditation as Living Wage employer tonight at a celebration in the Dowse Art Museum, jointly hosted by the Council and Living Wage Hutt Valley.

Hutt City will become New Zealand’s third council to become fully-accredited, after Wellington City Council in 2018 and Dunedin City Council in 2019. Auckland and Christchurch’s councils are well-progressed towards becoming Living Wage Employers and there are active campaigns in other communities around New Zealand.

Hutt City Council’s accreditation comes after a long campaign led by the local Living Wage network and overwhelming support from the community.

Muriel Tunoho, a lifelong Hutt City resident and convenor of Living Wage Hutt Valley, said this was fantastic news.

“It’s been a long journey and it is fantastic to get this over the line,” she said.

“It’s been very much a collective journey of the voices in our community who stood up to say: Our council is one of the biggest employers in this community and this is an opportunity to show leadership around lifting people out of poverty. This is life-changing for low-paid Hutt City Council workers.”

Muriel Tunoho paid tribute to all the locals from faith groups, community organisations, and unions and the workers who have been part of this campaign since 2016 when it was formally launched.

“I also want to acknowledge the commitment of Mayor Campbell Barry and Living Wage portfolio-holder, Councillor Josh Briggs, who have supported this from the start,” she said.

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At the event, Living Wage Hutt Valley will also celebrate the accreditation of the first New Zealand tertiary institution — Open Polytechnic in the Hutt Valley.

Open Polytechnic’s Chief Executive Dr Caroline Seelig said she is incredibly proud that her organisation is now formally accredited.

“Equity is at the heart of what Open Polytechnic is all about as an open and distance learning organisation,” she said.

“Being recognised with the Living Wage accreditation reinforces our commitment to Aotearoa New Zealand and the communities we serve, including our kaimahi and their whānau.”

Finally, the Hutt Valley is celebrating a third milestone — the accreditation of New Zealand’s 300th Living Wage Employer – Naenae Team Trust, a local not-for-profit organisation aiming to promote, foster, and facilitate connections for the best outcomes for their Hutt Valley community by running local classes and events.

Naenae Team Trust Chairperson, Lillian Pak, said: ”Our vision is for Naenae being a vibrant, connected and inclusive community of strong resilient people – a community where the people are valued and respected, and are paid fairly.”

“The Hutt City Council accreditation and the growing number of local living wage employers shows how committed this community is to fairness and building a Living Wage city together” said Muriel Tunoho.

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