COVID-19 update: All of New Zealand is now at Orange. More information.

Media coverage, policy briefs and key funding grants

News and other media coverage

A timely and engaging article on the pivotal importance of living wages and responsive work psychology, in countermanding Covid-19
Living wages are crucial now more than ever’, Ishbel McWha-Hermann and Rosalind Searle rethink poverty in the light of Covid-19, The Psychologist, 21 May 2020.

Call for global living wage gets stellar backing. (2017, December 11). Massey News.

A living wage – the difference your pay rate makes. (2017, November 6). Massey News.

Policy briefs

Statement submitted by Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. (Project-GLOW, 2016). The Sustainable Development Goals need to build a Social and Business Case for Living Wage.  CSocD55_UN2016.pdf (185 KB)

Funding grants

Marsden Fund grant, Royal Society of New Zealand (NZ$845,000). November 2017

Living wages: Transforming lives, transforming work? EPIC, Massey; MPOWER, Massey; HRM, AUT.
Joint Principal Investigators: Jarrod Haar, Jane Parker, Jim Arrowsmith, Siautu-Alefaio-Tugia, Darrin Hodgetts & Stu Carr. Project Officer: Amanda Young-Hauser; Programmer/Analyst: Harvey Jones.

If employment is a solution to poverty, and prosperity includes quality of living, then earning a living wage is pivotal. But what is a living wage, what freedoms and qualities of (work) life can it enable? Living wages are widely touted as empowering individuals and households, providing a pathway from poverty to work-life satisfaction and greater shared prosperity. Yet living wage debates themselves remain shrouded in material, pecuniary concerns, from the cost of shopping baskets to the hourly pay rate that buys them.
Our approach differs because we explore a wage spectrum; diverse perspectives of employers and employees; and use research techniques that will deliver findings of breadth and depth over time. First, with livelihoods positioned across a wage spectrum, we examine when, how and by what means lives can be enhanced, using surveys anchored in lower-income communities. Second, we explore wage-setting and its impact on the organisational functioning and livelihood-quality of life nexus, using organisational case studies. Third, we investigate decision-making around the wage spectrum with employers, using focus groups. Throughout, we draw insights from, and engage with, a purpose-built global living wage network ( This project will inform public deliberations on living wages in an age of societal and organisational transformation.