Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and many councillors are taking a leaf out of the Prime Minister's book and taking a pay cut.
Jacinda Ardern today revealed all ministers and public sector chief executives will take a 20 per cent pay cut for six months, saying it was about the Government taking leadership and reflecting what is happening in the private sector.
Goff said he is happy to align with ministerial pay cuts of 20 per cent for the next six months. His annual salary is $296,000, meaning a 20 per cent reduction over six months would see him lose $29,600 before tax.
"As Mayor of Auckland I am aware that in coming months, there will be many people hurting financially because of the Covid-19 related economic crisis."
Council chief executive Stephen Town said his executive team and the chief executives of the five council-controlled organisations are "actively considering the possibility of taking pay cuts and what they may look like".
"Once a decision has been reached, we will make an announcement," Town said.
Goff said a pay cut for elected members would require a law change, which he understood the Government may be considering.
"If they don't I'd give the equivalent amount to charity," said Goff.
Among the councillors who told the Herald they are prepared to take a pay cut are Bill Cashmore, Chris Fletcher, Efeso Collins, Josephine Bartley, Wayne Walker, Greg Sayers, Cathy Casey, Pippa Coom, John Watson, Paul Young and Sharon Stewart.
Hills said he was open to a 10 per cent pay cut or donating 10 per cent to charity for six months if there isn't a legal way to lower pay.
Stewart said she was happy to take a pay cut in these difficult times to show support for those who have lost jobs or suffering wage cuts.
Sayers said he would take a pay cut, but added the cuts may only save $500,000. Council should be doing more to make savings and reducing regulations to get the private sector investing heavily in the city, he said.
Fletcher and Walker called on all councillors to be paid the base salary of $113,174 while only the emergency committee was operating during the crisis. Five councillors who chair major committees that are temporary on hold are paid $138,912.
The cost of salaries for elected representatives, executive teams at council and the CCOs, plus board fees at the CCOs was $33.5m in the 2019 financial year.
Waikato District Council Chief Executive Gavin Ion said he has taken a 20 per cent pay cut for the next six months.
"For me, I believe this is one way I can acknowledge that there are people and businesses in our district who are hurting. My family support me in making this decision," he said.
Executive and elected member salary costs at Auckland Council and CCOs*
Mayor and 20 councillors - $2.56m, including Mayor Phil Goff ($279,351)
21 Local Boards - $7.44m
Executive team - $4.12m for 11 staff, including chief executive Stephen Town ($697,692)
Executive team - $4,661,903m for 11 staff, including chief executive Shane Ellison ($560,000-$580,000)
Board fees - $497,700
Executive team - $4,638,000 for nine staff, including chief executive Raveen Jaduram ($770,000-780,000)
Board fees - $443,000
Executive team - $3,298,000 for nine staff, including former chief executive Roger MacDonald ($640,000-$651,000)
Board fees - $464,000
Regional Facilities Auckland
Executive team - $3,053,000 for 11 staff, including chief executive Chris Brooks (about $480,000)
Board fees - $410,000
Executive team $1.6m for five staff, including chief executive Nick Hill ($420,000-430,000)
Board fees - $323,000
Grand Total: $33.52m
*Figures for the 2019 financial year