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

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news