Pay rise of at least 2pc for councillors

By Victoria White

2 comments

A pay rise is on the agenda for councils across the region - with four already moving to raise their councillors' salaries by at least 2 per cent.

The increase is set by the Remuneration Authority. On a three-yearly basis before the triennial election, they seek more information and make a determination based on the council structure at that time.

In the past week, both Hastings District Council and Hawke's Bay Regional Council agreed to carry out the authority's recommendation for a 2 per cent pay rise for members. Those at Wairoa District Council would be receiving a 3 per cent raise.

Councils can receive increases between 1.5 per cent, for larger metropolitan areas, and 3 per cent for councils with "more modest current remuneration".

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said he and his councillors would be receiving a 2 per cent pay rise.

These increases will come into effect on July 1, but there are conditions under which this can change after the October local government elections.

Under the recommendation, Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule's salary will increase by $2601 to $132,651 and his councillors will be paid $41,106.

A national move means council members with additional responsibilities, such as those chairing committees, will receive an additional amount provided from a pool of allocated funds.

This allowance has previously been set at 150 per cent of the elected member's base remuneration spread across those with additional responsibilities, but has increased to 200 per cent.

Mr Yule said the increase recognised that people in specific responsibility roles did a significant amount more work than other council members.

Local Government New Zealand had asked for bigger differentials between councillors and those with positions of responsibility, Mr Yule said..

Mr Dalton said he had worked through setting the remuneration based on the current council and reserved the right to make changes after the election.

The Remuneration Authority recommended the base remuneration for the Wairoa mayor should increase from $69,850 for the 2015/2016 year to $71,946 for the following year.

The base remuneration for a Wairoa councillor was recommended to increase from $21,000 to $21,630.

The increase reflected the work the council was doing, and Mayor Craig Little said "we're all trying to rejuvenate Wairoa and that does create a bit more work than usual".

The authority recommended the HBRC chairman's salary to increase by $2293 to $116,943, and councillors' by $970 to $49,470.

Their pool for additional duties increased to $98,940 this year to be divided amongst the six councillors. At their Wednesday meeting, however, the motion to keep the allowance at 150 per cent of base remuneration was carried, among other options.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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