There is something for everyone in the latest annual income figures from Statistics New Zealand.

A defender of the status quo can point to a 6.2 per cent rise in the average household income from all sources over the year to June 2014.

A critic of the status quo can point a rise of 1.7 per cent in median hourly earnings for wage and salary earners over the same period, or just 0.1 per cent after adjusting for inflation. The year before median hourly earnings had risen 3.5 per cent.

The statistics suggest the best chance of maximising your income is to be a European male, aged 50 to 54, with a postgraduate qualification and living in Wellington.


The figures come from a survey of around 30,000 people in 15,000 households taken in conjunction with household labour force survey.

Median weekly income from all sources, for all people, increased by $25 (4.3 per cent) to $600. This was the largest increase for seven years and partially due to more people receiving income from wages and salaries and fewer receiving income from government transfers.

Over the year the number of full-time workers grew 70,500 and the number of part-timers 20,200.

But while there was a rise in the number of wage and salary earners, the median hourly wage rose just 36c to $21.94, the smallest annual increase for 14 years.

Average hourly earnings increased 78c to $26.78, assisted by a 50c an hour rise in average wage on April.

Average weekly income form wages and salaries rose 3 per cent, while the median rose 2.3 per cent.

Income from investments rose 8.6 per cent in the year ended June to an average of $6400 over the year for the 1.1 million people deriving income from that source.

Meanwhile the number of people receiving government transfers fell by 30,700 or 2.6 per cent, driven by a fall of 22,500 or 3.2 per cent in the number of women receiving income from this source.


The number of people aged over 65 receiving government transfer income rose 17,900 or 3.1 per cent. On April 1 the rate for New Zealand Superannuation rose 2.66 per cent, while the main benefits, student allowances and some supplementary assistance increased 1.38 per cent.