Mayors and councillors across the Auckland isthmus reveal what ratepayers are paying them. Andrea Jutson reports.
The Manukau deputy mayor's salary may be adjusted in July, but it's still likely to be higher than that of Auckland deputy Bruce Hucker's.
Manukau City's elected members tend to get similar paypackets to their Auckland counterparts, and in some cases they are bigger, despite serving a smaller population.
Deputy mayor Anne Candy's salary is to be reduced slightly from the existing $85,778 to $84,782. However, she will be paid a meeting allowance for every special hearing she attends - meaning up to $2168 extra per month.
Auckland City's Bruce Hucker receives $86,803, despite serving a bigger population, and receives extra attendance fees only rarely. Councillors without special responsibilities are paid $46,529 in Auckland City and $45,800 in Manukau.
Manukau City's top committee chairpeople have taken a big pay cut. The five busiest formerly got $85,974 a year, compared with the paltry $71,895 paid to Auckland City's 11 highest-paid councillors. Next year, those same councillors will get $75,214, while their Manukau counterparts get less - but their meeting allowances could be more.
Auckland City councillors say they're not worried. Mr Hucker blames the number of committees Auckland has for the smaller pay scale, as there are more chairpeople drawn from the pool.
However, while Auckland City has 11 committees and a small number of minor focus groups, Manukau has almost as many, with nine. The number of councillors is also similar - Auckland has 19, and Manukau 17. The mayors' salaries are the most disparate.
Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard gets $163,418 from July, compared with the $155,523 paid to Sir Barry Curtis.
Unlike their councillors, mayors have no say on their paypackets, which are determined by the Government-run Remunerations Authority. Each council gets a separate remuneration pool from the authority based on population. Councillors and community board members then vote on how that total should be divided.
For the first time in several years, Manukau's councillors have decided to allocate their money based on committee responsibilities.
Each councillor will receive a different level of pay as well as an allowance for extraordinary hearings. With several large projects requiring public feedback, such as the Wairoa River canal housing and Whitford plan change, some councillors were working harder than others.
``That created an anomaly, in that not all members are able to attend all the meetings,'' says democratic services manager Warwick McNaughton.
Auckland has chosen just three flat pay scales. Councillor Glenda Fryer says ordinary Auckland City councillors are now paid much more in comparison with committee chairpeople than they ever used to.
She is also glad that there are more committees than before, even though the pay is stretched further. ``Some people say there are too many, but they're much shorter (in duration) now.''
Salary comparison Manukau Mayor - $155,523 Deputy Mayor - $84,782 Top committee chairperson - $74,746 Lowest councillor - $45,800 Community Board chairperson - $21,800 Community Board member - $10,329 Total: $1,555,297
Auckland Mayor - $163,418 Deputy Mayor - $86,803 Top committee chairperson - $75,214 Lowest councillor - $46,529 Community Board chairperson - $20,729 Community Board member - $10,161 Total: $1,742,221