Waikato Regional Council's two leaders have followed the lead of Government bosses and will take a 20 per cent cut.
Waikato Regional Council chief executive Vaughan Payne and chairman Russ Rimmington will immediately reduce their salaries for six months as the affects of Covid-19 take a toll on the economy.
Payne will donate 20 per cent of his $352,445 salary ($22,880 after tax) to his children's school Fraiser High School as he believes there is a big need there and 20 per cent of Rimmington's $157,410 salary ($10,200 after tax) will go to the Waikato Community Trust who will administer it to those with the biggest need.
"This country is going to go - whether we like it or not - towards a depression situation - and people need money in their hand," Rimmington said.
He said it was better to go towards people who really needed it and not projects.
Rimmington said it was "no strings" attached cash to help the hurting community.
Rimmington said both he and Payne had made personal decisions to take the pay cuts and it was up to other councillors to make that choice themselves.
The council was the first to promise a 0 per cent rates rise this year and Rimmington was hopeful they could even make further savings to get it even lower.
The move comes after Hamilton City Council chief executive Richard Briggs did a u-turn on Friday and confirmed he would give 20 per cent of his salary towards a staff hardship fund.
Briggs had initially been reluctant to take a cut to his $469,000 annual salary, saying he had boosted the amount from 7 per cent to 20 per cent after the long-term impacts of Covid-19 became clearer.
Hamilton mayor Paula Southgate has said she will donate 10 per cent of her $174,500 salary to charities and also help family members who have been affected. Her deputy Geoff Taylor has followed suit.
Waikato District Council chief executive Gavin Ions led the way in the Waikato announcing he would take a 20 per cent cut to his $348,124 salary for six months just hours after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said last week her, ministers and public sector bosses would all be reducing their pay the same amount.
• Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website
Arden said the cut was about showing leadership and solidarity for those facing tough times.
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