Councillors to vote on their pay after October’s elections

City councillors will vote on the size of their own pay packets after October’s local body elections.

Councillors will receive a minimum base salary of $97,280 – $5120 less than what they are currently paid.

But the mayor will get an increase, receiving $195,000 – a $1901 rise from the current $193,099 the role pays.

However, this could all change when the new city council decides on the
allocation of a $1,843,200 governance pool.

This comes after a new approach from the Remuneration Authority,
which is responsible for paying elected members of councils.

Funds from the pool could be used to increase the base salary of city councillors and additional pay could be allocated towards roles with extra responsibilities, such as the mayor, deputy mayor, chairs and deputy chairs of committees.

Elected members will vote on the allocation of funds and make a recommendation to the Remuneration Authority, which will have the final say on their salaries.

Elected members will vote on the allocation of funds and make a recommendation to the Remuneration Authority which it will have the final say on.

City council secretary Jo Daly said the entire pool had to be used on council related remuneration.

Funds from the governance pool can also be put towards the remuneration of community board members.

In spite of receiving a pay rise of $194, the Banks Peninsula Community Board is still paid less than half of what inner city board members are.

As it stands, Banks Peninsula Community Board members are set to receive $9864 and the chairperson $19,729 after the elections.

Whereas members of the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board will receive $24,580 and their chair $49,160. They say what they are paid fails to account for the time and travel that the role requires.

The current remuneration model is set by population, so community boards with bigger populations get better remuneration.

Banks Peninsula Community Board member Jed O’Donoghue thought they were paid a pittance for the work they were required to do.

He said the low level of remuneration contributed to his decision to not stand for re-election.

Half of the board have said they may not seek reelection because of what they are paid.

“I think to attract more candidates and make the democratic process better you would need better remuneration,” he said.

Deputy Mayor and Banks Peninsula councillor Andrew Turner said he would like to see some of the governance pool used to increase the funding of the Banks Peninsula Community Board.

“The work of a community board member is not solely driven by the population that it represents. A lot of the work of a community board is driven by the environment and on the Banks Peninsula we have a lot of environmental issues,” he said.

City councillor James Gough agreed there needed to be more consistency in the remuneration of community board members.

However, he thought it was also important city councillors were also paid their fair share.

“You would be mad to not appreciate that remuneration is going to factor in the attraction of quality candidates,” he said.