Labour 'will not rest' until women have pay equity - Jacinda Ardern

Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern has come out firing, promising her party "will not rest" until pay equity is achieved in New Zealand.

She was speaking at a rally for pay equity in women-dominated occupations on Saturday.

As a large crowd gathered at Auckland's Suffrage Memorial in Khartoum Place, Ms Ardern announced Labour's third election policy - this time targeting "pay equality".

"I am proud of what New Zealand has achieved for women. What I am not proud of is that we are still battling pay equity today," Ms Ardern said.

"In 2017 there should be no such thing as a gender pay gap in New Zealand. I am committing that Labour will not rest until we have pay equity in New Zealand."

As for the National Government's new "equal pay legislation" - that's on the chopping block.

In April, the Government signed a $2 billion pay equity settlement. It saw wage increases for more than 55,000 care and support workers, but it didn't include those in mental health.

Ms Ardern's plans include boosting wages for the mental health workers left out of the settlement.

"We need our mothers, our daughters, our sisters [and] our aunties to be valued no matter what workforce they are in. Let's start by scrapping the equal pay legislation that is before Parliament, because it will not deliver equal pay," she said.

"Labour will prioritise equal pay for mental health workers."

In June, unions representing those workers lodged a claim for pay recognition. Ms Ardern wants to see it through.

"When we're in Government we'll make settling that claim a priority," Ms Ardern said.

"I want these mental health and addiction support workers left out of the pay equity deal to know that Labour will not let them down.

"The pay equity legislation the Government introduced this week will also be scrapped and redrafted when we are in office."

Newshub.

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