One of New Zealand’s largest tourism operators, Ngāi Tahu Tourism, increased its minimum wage in July this year to show their commitment to the living wage of $20.55.
The tourism operator is owned by the South Island tribe Ngāi Tahu and runs some of the most iconic attractions in New Zealand, including the Shotover Jet in Queenstown, Franz Josef Glacier guides and Rainbow Springs in Rotorua.
The tourism operator hosts over one million visitors annually across thirteen businesses with a fourteenth, called the All Blacks Experience, set to open in 2020.
Lisa Tumahai, chair of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu says, "Te Rūnanga set a goal to our companies to increase the wages they are offering their staff, so it is great to see Ngāi Tahu Tourism pick up the challenge."
She also says, "I hope other tourism companies follow the lead of Ngāi Tahu Tourism."
Quinton Hall, Chief Executive at Ngāi Tahu Tourism says the wage increase has seen a positive change in over 200 staff members.
"We want all of our people to be paid fairly and at a level which is not only sustainable for our business but also recognises the value that every individual brings to our mahi."
Hall says the wage increase is a large investment for the business but importantly it will make a difference for their people.
"People are at the forefront of our business and our experiences, and we want to ensure we are retaining and attracting great people into the tourism industry so we can offer world-class experiences to the more than one million customers we host every year."
Over the past three years, Ngāi Tahu Tourism has been focused on investing in te whānau tāpoi (team members) through training programmes, wellbeing initiatives and creating job opportunities.