Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Len Brown's pay tops $259k as Brewer joins six-figure club

The pay rises for Mayor Len Brown and councillors are higher than increases in the labour cost index.
The pay rises for Mayor Len Brown and councillors are higher than increases in the labour cost index.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown will be paid $259,500 from July after the Remuneration Authority approved a 3.4 per cent pay rise well above the rate of inflation and the average wage increase in New Zealand.

The authority, which oversees public sector pay rates, has recommended a 3.4 per cent pay rise for Mr Brown, Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse and the chairs of the major committees. The other 16 councillors will receive a 3.3 per cent pay rise, taking their salaries from $98,672 to $101,900.

The $101,900 salary is embarrassing for Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer, who has criticised a sharp increase in the number of council staff earning fat salaries of more than $100,000.

Last October, Mr Brewer said a 256 jump in staff earning more than $100,000 in 12 months "will go down like a cup of cold sick among our stretched suburban ratepayers".

Last night, he told the Herald councillors would be adding to the number of council employees earning more than $100,000 "but we are really only a drop in the ocean when it comes to the organisation's $702 million wage bill".

He said councillors' collective costs were just north of $2 million and "the public can boot us out if we're not delivering them good value for money".

"My concern about 1510 staff earning over $100,000 and 113 earning over $200,000 still stands," he said.

The pay rises for Mr Brown and councillors are higher than increases in the labour cost index of 1.7 per cent for private sector salary and wage rates and 1.2 per cent for the public sector. The figures are for the year to March. The consumers price index rose 1.5 per cent over that time.

The pay rises come into effect on July 1, the same day average household rates rise by 3.6 per cent.

The past few months have been costly for Mr Brown after he agreed to pay $40,000 towards a $238,990 council review into his extramarital affair with council adviser Bevan Chuang.

The mayoral office said Mr Brown had no comment on the ruling of the Remuneration Authority.

Council salaries

This year

Mayor Len Brown: $259,500
Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse: $146,200
Big committee chairs*: $120,700
Councillors**: $101,900

Last year

Mayor Len Brown: $251,010
Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse: $141,337
Big committee chairs*: $116,762
Councillors**: $98,672

*Crs Penny Webster, George Wood

**Crs Arthur Anae, Cameron Brewer, Cathy Casey, Bill Cashmore, Ross Clow, Linda Cooper, Chris Darby, Alf Filipaina, Chris Fletcher, Denise Krum, Mike Lee, Calum Penrose, Dick Quax, Sharon Stewart, John Walker, Wayne Walker, John Watson

- NZ Herald

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