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As minimum wage rises so too does cleaner Chevy-Lee Morrison's hopes and dreams

A Māori union president welcomes today's lift in the minimum wage, but says it doesn't go far enough.

The minimum wage increases from $16.50 to $17.70 an hour.

E tū union president Muriel Tunoho says although many whānau will benefit from the increase, she's encouraging employers to pay the living wage of $20.55 an hour in order to make a real difference.  

Cleaner Chevy-Lee Morrison is on the minimum wage and as the rate has increased, so too have her hopes and dreams

"It will be quite a big advantage. Like, at the end of the day I want to be able to own my own home, and be able to get to do things and achieve goals that I haven't been able to do," she told TVNZ1's Te Karere.

An extra $48 a week will be added to Ms Morrison's pay packet.

But Ms Tunoho says families will still be doing it tough.

"We know this isn't going to be enough to put kai on the table of workers, those low income workers. The minimum wage isn't enough to survive on and I think it is possibly getting closer to the living wage is what we would support anyway," she said.

Ms Tunoho says the living wage is the way to go.

But the Opposition doesn't agree, saying employers can't sustain these increases. 

"Real worry here is the fast and quick nature of this when you've got a slowing economy. I think slow and sure is a better way to go. It's more sustainable," said Simon Bridges, National leader

Regardless, the Government says by 2021, the minimum wage will increase to $20.

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    An extra $48 a week will be added to Chevy-Lee' Morrison's pay packet, but the E tū union says it's not enough. Source: Te Karere