29 Oct 2015

Living wage defended

5:19 pm on 29 October 2015

Wellington's deputy mayor says he's unafraid the city council will be taken to court for extending the living wage to some contractors.

Councillors last night defied the advice of the chief executive and voted in favour of paying security guards $18.55 an hour.

Opponents have warned the move breaches the Local Government Act, and the city's Chamber of Commerce said it was seeking advice on whether to challenge the decision in court.

But Wellington deputy mayor Justin Lester said he didn't believe there were grounds for legal action.

"Any council decision that we make is open to legal challenge on anything we do, whether it be a Santa parade, fireworks - anything we do is open to a legal challenge, I don't think there's grounds for a legal challenge on this."

Mr Lester said there would be no extra charge for ratepayers, as the $2.4 million cost was covered by the existing personnel budget.