Tauranga councillors cut their pay

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Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said the council had 19 committees, subcommittees, steering groups, advisory groups and special committees and he would be seeking to rationalise these by restructuring. Photo / APN
Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said the council had 19 committees, subcommittees, steering groups, advisory groups and special committees and he would be seeking to rationalise these by restructuring. Photo / APN

Pay rates for Tauranga City councillors are set to drop after they opted against cashing in on a new pay formula to reward effort.

The decision will slash nearly $100,000 off Tauranga's potential rates burden. A new $104,000 pool of money payable to councillors who take on additional responsibilities has been whittled down to $7000 for a saving of $97,000

However, a review of the council's committee structure could see the saving reduced to $92,000 by the establishment of a committee focused on the council's finances.

Mayor Stuart Crosby said he also wanted the deputy mayor to take a more proactive role so the mayor could put more time into "high-level current and future issues".

The new pay formula set by the Remuneration Authority centred on a basic councillor's salary in Tauranga of $69,500, or nearly $4700 less than the current salary.

The authority added a pool of $104,000 to reimburse for additional duties which traditionally have been for chairing the main committees and the deputy mayor. However, it did not restrict who should get the money, saying only that the funds must be for councillors who took on significant extra duties.

But in a move that looks like translating into sizeable pay cuts for the post-election council in October, it has been proposed that the chairmen and deputy mayor of the new council will each receive nearly $10,000 less.

The final decision will be up to the new council but it was extremely unlikely it would start the new term by going against the unanimous opinion of the previous council.

Mr Crosby said the council had 19 committees, subcommittees, steering groups, advisory groups and special committees and he would be seeking to rationalise these by restructuring. The strategy and policy, projects and monitoring and hearings panel committees would remain. The tangata whenua/council committee would be reviewed in the context of setting up another group to deal with Treaty settlements.

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