The lesson out of the drought this year is that water storage is critical for the prosperity of New Zealand pastoral farms or fruit and vegetable businesses, says Horticulture NZ chief executive Mike Chapman.
Obviously, the horticulture industry, like dairying, is hard-hit by labour shortages, so if Chapman believed a higher minimum wage would help address the shortage he’d be in favour.
However, Chapman says the Government line that lifting the base wage is going to create a high wage economy is faulty thinking.
“It’s pure economic fallacy that driving up wages will magically transform NZ; that it will get rid of low paid and what they see as ‘unskilled jobs’, so creating a highly paid work force that does not have to do what [the Government] considers to be unskilled work”.
The theory goes that higher wages leads to increased labour productivity therefore the employer recoups the higher wage cost.