Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


I Don’t Believe Local Politicians Are In it For the Money

From Hayley Robinson

I Don’t Believe Local Politicians Are In it For the Money.

The Dominion Post recently reported that our city councillors are to receive a nearly 9 percent pay-rise. As someone who has recently announced they will be standing for said council, I read this with interest and some bemusement.

I thought the arguments put forward sounded very logical and fair (wait for the ‘but’) with the paper stating that “Local Government New Zealand chairman Lawrence Yule welcomed the new pay system, as elected officials were finding it increasingly difficult to hold down other employment…” Mr Yule went on to point out that current and potential councillors may have to “give up other career options, or significant family life, or significant other things they're doing…..We're struggling to attract quality candidates ... it gives potential candidates certainty ..."

The problem is, all those things apply equally to any employment situations that have a social giving aspect. A good comparison is teaching. Some teachers work fifty hours a week: I’m sure they want more time with their families; and I can tell you as someone who has taught, that the current level of councillor remuneration did not deter me in the slightest. Candidates are not going to try for this job on the basis of dollars. This is something people do out of a sense of duty and care.

In an ideal world, local government would ‘attract’ candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds in order that Wellingtonians be well represented. I think it is (I’m sure unintentionally) a little insulting to infer that ‘quality’ candidates would come from employment fields where they earn more than a councillor currently does. A small business owner, a nurse or an economics professor could all bring valuable contributions. Its diversity that matters.

Personally, I’d like it if the pay of all elected government officials were simply linked to the nation average when it comes to rises. My personal convictions mean that, if I were elected, I would not feel comfortable with this increase, and would be looking to gift the after-tax difference to organisations that work to help with affordable or emergency housing in our city. This is a personal (and family) decision and should not be inflicted on any other person.

I’d also like to point out that many councillors do spend time now on non-paid work (including parenting) and on volunteering for their communities. I hope that we will see fair and accurate media coverage for both incumbent councillors, and new candidates in the lead up to this year’s Wellington City Council election. May the best women and men win. I would like to encourage all Wellingtonians to vote, not necessarily for me, but for anyone whose ideas and methods they believe in.

Let’s work together for Wellington.

Hayley Robinson.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Post Cab Presser: Inquiries And Consciences

    This afternoon the Prime Minister John Key announced that his cabinet had drafted terms of reference for the Havelock North water contamination inquiry... In response to questions on the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, the Prime Minister said he didn't think allowing National MPs a conscience vote was warranted. More>>

    ALSO:

    Statistics, Homelessness, Privacy: Auckland City Mission Data Joins Govt Research Database

    For the first time, data from an agency outside government, Auckland City Mission, will be included in Statistics New Zealand’s vault of information for researchers. Data from the Auckland City Mission is going into the “Integrated Data Infrastructure” or IDI. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news