Local body pay rates

May 3rd, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Taxpayers across the country are about to pump an extra $3.1 million into the pay packets of their local politicians.

The Remuneration Authority, which sets the pay for city, district and regional councils, has increased the national pay pool by 8.9 per cent, meaning some councillors will pocket rises of up to $16,000 after this year’s elections.

By comparison, average workers’ pay packets are creeping up about 1.8 per cent a year.

Under the changes, published this week, Wellington City councillors are among the big winners, with their base salaries increasing nearly $11,000 to $76,600.

But other roles would take pay cuts of as much as $17,000. These would include Greater Wellington Regional Council chairwoman Fran Wilde and Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, if they are re-elected.

New Zealand chairman Lawrence Yule welcomed the new pay system, as elected officials were finding it increasingly difficult to hold down other employment, he said.

“If they’re to give up other career options, or significant family life, or significant other things they’re doing, then they do have to be properly remunerated.”

I think the most regrettable change in is that Councillors have become a near full-time role. They shouldn’t be. It should be a part-time governance role that people do on top of their normal jobs.

What this has led to is far too many Councillors who are full-time politicians. That is their sole job. So obviously their focus goes purely on politics.

Mayors should be well paid, and some are under-paid.

But being a Councillor should be around a 15 hour a week job. They should be focusing on governance and major policy decisions. Not sitting all day on endless council committees. The sole exception might be Auckland due to its size.

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19 Responses to “Local body pay rates”

  1. Viking2 (10,736 comments) says:

    Yep, committees which they fill the day in and get paid extra for.

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  2. Manolo (12,637 comments) says:

    For how many years has the ubiquitous Fran Wilde been feeding from the public trough in Wellington? A lifetime.
    Kick people like her out.

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  3. OneTrack (1,977 comments) says:

    The gravy train keeps rolling along. Time to dump the remuneration authority. Havent they heard about low inflation and living within your means. Troughers, all of them.

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  4. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    Does it really make any difference to anything if they’ve got a normal job or not?

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  5. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    It is outrageous. I won’t be voting for any super city. At the very least their separate meeting fees and other perks should be abolished. Their wage increases are almost outpacing their rate increases.

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  6. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    How did the Remuneration Authority arrive at 8.9%?

    What are their model inputs and consideration methods?

    Is their remuneration adjusted by anyone who benefits from their recommendations?

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  7. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    Also, I note that it’s the pay pool. This means some local body troughers will get more than 8.9%, and others less.

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  8. northern (44 comments) says:

    My conflict: I’m a Porirua City Councillor! I’m surprised to learn of this review. Wonder where & to whom the extra pay will go (no, I’m not asking for it, nor expecting it!). Agree there’s a big difference in job demands between say the Auckland super-council and the vast majority of smaller councils. While I’d estimate I spend about DPF’s average of c.15 hours a week (for which I get $370), I’m sure most councillors on bigger councils would spend a lot more time & more responsibility – and presumably in some smaller councils the demand is less. But @Viking2: my understanding is that few if any councils pay meeting fees; rather there’s an annual amount paid. Sure, there might be a premium paid for extra responsibility (I know that applies a lot in Wgtn CC), but not for just attendance. FYI in Porirua there’s a 25% premium paid to the Deputy Mayor (Cr Liz Kelly) and to the Chair of Te Komiti (standing cttee of the whole Council – Cr Euon Murrell). No premium is paid to any other cttee chairs or portfolio holders.

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  9. Alan Johnstone (919 comments) says:

    @backster “It is outrageous. I won’t be voting for any super city”

    You mean like the referendum we had in Auckland on the super city?

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  10. RRM (8,994 comments) says:

    I wonder how much of a pay rise mayor Celia Wade -OMG-when-did-we-fire-all-those-people-I-had-no-idea! is in line for?

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  11. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    *The overall cost to each citizen would be only about $1.17*

    Pay pool is one thing…. average worker is another… can’t quite directly compare those numbers. So that’s full of shit to start with.

    And yeah… the more reward on offer… the more people that will be attracted. More people usually means higher quality to pick from.

    And then…. for a higher paid worker to receive the same % net pay increase as a lower paid worker, you have to pay the fuckers more because more of the increase is paid in tax at a higher marginal tax rate. Ok, not as much as the overall increase stated here but again… it’s all hidden away in those simplistic numbers.

    ‘Big winners’? What happened? Did they win fucking lotto or something? I don’t think so. Why weren’t the paycut roles described as ‘big losers’?

    Considering these pricks decide everything that goes on it could be wise to invest a relatively small sum in them. You get what you pay for. You pay peanuts, you get monkeys. You play peons, you get John Key.

    I can’t wait for the replies…. I get it, I do. They’re getting more than everyone else. But tying wages together…. fucking hell didn’t we leave that shit behind in 1984 with Muldoon’s frozen economy? Don’t worry about wage bargaining… everyone’s getting 1.8%? Yes comrade…..

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  12. Bob R (1,253 comments) says:

    ***Under the changes, published this week, Wellington City councillors are among the big winners, with their base salaries increasing nearly $11,000 to $76,600.***

    When suburban library hours are being cut down this is sickening.

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  13. jaba (2,069 comments) says:

    every-time someone asks if politicians (local or national) should get a pay rise (at any value), the answer will be no. They are useless, do fuck all etc. In many cases this can be true and those deadbeats shouldn’t be voted back in by US. Apart from list MP’s all Mayors, councillors and MP’s are voted in by the people who bitch about them .. oh well

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  14. Viking2 (10,736 comments) says:

    northern (37) Says:
    May 3rd, 2013 at 11:32 am

    My conflict: I’m a Porirua City Councillor! But @Viking2: my understanding is that few if any councils pay meeting fees; rather there’s an annual amount paid.

    ===================
    Have a look and see what we pay many of them at Tauranga City.
    Many of them get a ticket that says they can hear planning issues etc and add a pile to their day. That’s just one rort.
    worse though is that the council itself is almost beyond control with residents spending a fortune to get stuff done. stuff which gets railroaded at every excuse.

    There is no lets do it at this head office. It much more like what can we do to raise more money for this.
    Just spent 2500.00 and maybe more to sort out a simple timing issue. Lawyers and all for something that was simple and relatively benign. Overpaid, over educated with absolutlely no customer focus.

    And it aint just me. Ask around.
    shame really because they used to be good. i.e. until they started hiring full time councillors and overpaid CEO’s.

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  15. Paulus (2,298 comments) says:

    Biggest problem with local Councillors is that the executive control the flow of information/disinformation to Councillors.

    The executive staff are full of many differing hidden agenda, about which obfuscation continues, and the Councillor is the patsy who has to stand up and be counted, whilst the executive carry on as before doing whatsoever they, and their pressure groups, want.

    It really is the second and third tier staff who set their personal agenda, irrespective of what goes on around the Council. Their jobs are not voted on regularly.

    They get very very good salaries and that in conjunction with securing their tenures continue unabated – after all its not their money they are spending.

    My small Council debt is $400,000,000 and nobody in Council really can do anything about it (or care). They are planning to spend unabated on small pressure group interests, saying that is what the public want, and that Councillors have voted on it , and if you do not like it vote the Councillors out next time.

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  16. southtop (257 comments) says:

    “I think the most regrettable change in local body politics is that Councillors have become a near full-time role. They shouldn’t be. It should be a part-time governance role that people do on top of their normal jobs.

    What this has led to is far too many Councillors who are full-time politicians. That is their sole job. So obviously their focus goes purely on politics.”

    What has led to this so far is that bureaucracy is totally out of control and they now require councillors to make decisions about crap managers would sort – why?
    Sand shark theory – when the money was seen as really good in the private sector and/or in Oz the better managers left (like snapper when the food source is better elsewhere) leaving the void to be filled by sand sharks. The failed managers who would not ever get promoted if the snapper had stayed OR from offshore where they really were not up to carving out a career at high levels.

    This may be Nirvana?

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  17. Ross12 (930 comments) says:

    I may have missed it but has Helen Kelly had anything to say about this ? Or is she too busy on the Gilmour issue.
    Because in this case probably quite a few of us would be agreeing with her if she took her usual line.

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  18. wrightingright (132 comments) says:

    Sandy Springs is a great example which should be referred to more often.

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/04/12/reasontv-sandy-springs-georgia

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/business/a-georgia-town-takes-the-peoples-business-private.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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  19. Viking2 (10,736 comments) says:

    New council management team

    Three new senior managers will take up positions in Tauranga City Council’s new senior management team announced today.

    Chief executive Garry Poole confirmed the appointment of four senior managers today – with only one of the previous team – former city directions manager Christine Jones – keeping her job.

    http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/43103-new-council-management-team.html

    So we sacked some and replaced them with hi flyers.
    Guess who that’s gunna cost.

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