A Rotorua cafe owner says he's pleased another local business owner has decided to pay their staff the living wage because his business has been doing it since 2014.

Mick and Judy Horner own Pepper's Cafe on Sala St and saw the Rotorua Daily Post story this week about Tim Smith and Tamati Coffey, the owners of Ponsonby Rd Lounge Bar on Eat Streat, who decided to pay their staff the living wage of $19.80 an hour.

The bar is the only accredited living wage employer in Rotorua and received high praise from Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Darrin Walsh for the stance.

The Living Wage Movement Aotearoa NZ yesterday announced it had 58 accredited living wage employers nationwide, the majority being church organisations, trade unions, political parties and other businesses.


Mr Walsh also encouraged other locals to do the same and said the living wage was a much fairer pay rate and showed staff they were valued, and in turn they would provide better and more loyal service to their employer.

While Mr Horner said he and his wife had no issue with the living wage campaign, they did not feel the need to become accredited and said all businesses should use it as a starting point for all employees, rather than falling back on the legal minium wage of $15.25 an hour.

"This is how it has to be, there's no question about it," Mr Horner said.

"It's paid dividends for us, we have bloody good staff.

"It's great to know the guys at Ponsonby Rd have done this too."

Mr Horner said he started paying his staff the living wage rate - then $18.80 an hour - in 2014.

"I said long ago we cannot pay people minimum wage, it's the biggest obstacle for progress in New Zealand."