Auckland Mayor Len Brown is refusing to say if he will follow two of his councillors and say no to a 2.3 per cent pay rise, which will lift his salary to $265,500.
Councillors Calum Penrose, Sir John Walker and Bill Cashmore yesterday called on their colleagues to reject the pay rise from the independent Remuneration Authority.
Mr Brown, councillors and Local Board members learned about the pay rise late yesterday, days out from Auckland households receiving the first instalments of an average 9.9 per cent rates rise.
The first rates bills will be in the mail over the next few days. A total or 9731 households will gets rates rises of more than $1000.
For more than 60,000 households the increases will be more than 20 per cent due to new revaluations, the final step in the move to a single rating system and a targeted rate to top up transport spending.
Last night, Mr Penrose said he was "bloody angry" at the pay rise for councillors. Since the Super City was formed in 2010, the salary of councillors has increased by 30 per cent, from $80,000 to $104,250.
Mr Brown's salary has risen by 10.6 per cent in five years, from $240,000 to $265,500.
In a statement issued by the mayoral office, Mr Brown said: "As far as I'm aware councillors aren't able to actually reject the independent determination of the authority."
This was disputed by Mr Penrose.
Mr Brown said he had called for the legislation pegging MPs' pay to average public sector pay increases to be extended to councils when it was announced by the Prime Minister in March and was disappointed his stance had not been adopted.
This year's determination takes the salary of Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse from $146,200 to $149,600.
Two councillors who chair committees of the whole council - George Wood and Penny Webster - see their salaries rise from $120,700 to $123,500.
The authority has given increases of between 3.4 per cent and 6 per cent to Local Board members.
The increases come into effect from July 1 and will be implemented in the next pay run on August 5.
Last night, a survey of all councillors found little enthusiasm for turning down the pay rise.
Councillor John Watson said he would consider it if the money was to go to something worthwhile, like a rates relief fund.
Councillor Wayne Walker said councillors had been told they were not able to turn down an increase, but he was happy to consider it.
Said Councillor Linda Cooper: "One can't refuse. We've tried it before and it's not possible."
Councillors Ross Clow, Chris Darby, Alf Filipaina and Dick Quax said they had not caught up with the increase or thought about the issue.
Councillor Sharon Stewart said she was undecided. The other councillors could not be reached for comment.
What they earn
Mayor Len Brown $265,500
Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse $149,600
Chair of committee of whole council $123,500
Local Board chairs $52,630-$93,900
Local Board members $23,000-$42,800