Labour MP Andrew Little believes there's widespread support for the living wage campaign, to bump up wages to at least $18.40 an hour.
The campaign is back on the agenda after Auckland mayor Len Brown endorsed it, even though it would cost ratepayers about $2.5 million.
Mr Little says productivity has gone up 45 per cent since 1992, but wages have only risen 12 per cent.
On TVNZ's Q&A programme he's acknowledged there are issues to work through, but says without change things will be bleak 25 years from now.
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"We are going to face a major crisis because there is nothing happening now in terms of investment, in terms of new economic activity that is going to be able to sustain the sort of living standards that we enjoy today."