The Government will spend $61 million to push bus drivers' pay up, as cities around New Zealand battle with major shortages, cancellations, and service disruptions.
Transport Minister Michael Wood announced on Sunday the Government would spend the money, allocated in this year’s Budget, with the aim of pushing urban bus drivers' pay up to $30 per hour, and regional drivers' pay up to $28 per hour.
The minister said there were some 800 drivers needed across the country, including 500 in Auckland and some 120 in Wellington, and raising drivers' pay would make it easier to both recruit and retain workers, and improve frequency and reliability of bus services.
"The Government is putting money on the table, from us, to make sure that we lift pay and conditions. But as a part of that, we're also requiring that operators and councils also come to the party,” Wood said.