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Council votes on remuneration changes

Council votes on remuneration changes

Waitakere City Councillors will no longer be paid to attend meetings.

Councillors have voted on a raft of proposed changes to their remuneration and pay structures, and that of Community Board members.

The changes had been proposed by the Higher Salaries Commission, which established a “pool” of money and then requested individual Councils to recommend to them how the pool would be paid out.

Waitakere decided that the current daily meeting allowance of $195 would be scrapped in favour of a flat salary payment. As required by the new Local Government Act, the Council will also draw up a code of conduct to ensure that elected members meet their obligations. That will be done before July 2003.

Under the new system, which becomes compulsory for all local authorities after 2004, Councillors will receive between $42,787 and $72,600 a year, depending on whether they chair a committee or carry other responsibilities. The total remuneration received by most Councillors will be very similar to that received under the previous system with some receiving a little less and others getting modest increases.

Councillors also decided that regardless of the population of their constituencies, all Community Board chairpersons and members should be paid equally.

The Mayor’s salary - as recommended by the Higher Salaries Commission - increases to $121,045.

The new salaries proposed are:

Mayor - $121,045; Deputy Mayor- $72,600; Chairs of Standing Committees (Finance and Operational Performance, Environmental Management, City Development) - $61,700; Other Chairs – vary between $46,300 and $54,000; Councillors - $42,787.

The chairs of the four Community Boards will receive $21,365 and ordinary members $10,910.

*Waitakere has a total of 37 elected members and the indicative total salary “pool” set by the Higher Salaries Commission is $976,311. This covers the salaries of the Mayor and councillors and half the costs of Community Board salaries.

The Council’s decisions are not final. Its recommendations now go to the Higher Salaries Commission, which will issue a determination that the Council is required to implement with effect from 1 July 2003.

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