Labour Leader David Shearer says he supports the campaign for a living wage hourly rate of $18.40.

He said it would allow a lift in the incomes of New Zealanders to better support their families.

Mr Shearer said the Labour Party would champion the living wage alongside community groups "to do what we can to support the movement."

"Too many New Zealanders are working hard but not getting ahead. Many people I meet say they simply can't earn enough to pay the basic bills, and are having to take on two or three jobs to support themselves."


Mr Shearer said the National-led Government's hands-off approach to the economy is hurting families.

"Wages are stagnating while the cost of living continues to rise. I don't want New Zealand to be a low wage country. That's why Labour will make changes so that families can have a better life."

He said a first step would be raising the minimum wage to $15 a hour.