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The Government announced it will raise the minimum wage by $1.20 from 1 April 2019. It will be the largest increase since 1985.

This will increase the adult minimum rate from the current $16.50 to $17.70.

The starting-out and training rate will remain at 80% of the adult rate, rising to $14.16 from the current $13.20.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said "the Government is determined to improve the wellbeing and living standards of all New Zealanders as we build a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy".

Mr Lees-Galloway said this upcoming minimum wage increase, which follows the April 2018 increase, is part of the Coalition Government's goal of having the minimum wage reach $20 per hour by 2021. "With the labour market tight and unemployment at the lowest since 2008 at 3.9%, now is the right time to lift the wages of our lowest paid New Zealanders," he said.

Approximately 209,000 workers will benefit from the increase, meaning an extra $48 (pre-tax) per week for those working full time. Around 36,000 people earning minimum wage are supporting children.

Future proposed increases, subject to annual reviews of economic conditions, are $18.90 by 1 April 2020, and $20 by 1 April 2021.

Information credits:

Newshub, 19 Dec 2018