Staff at Kaipara District Council New Zealand’s best paid
22 AUGUST 2017
Compared to every council in New Zealand, Kaipara District Council pays a higher proportion of its staff a salary over $100,000, according to Ratepayers’ Report, the Taxpayers’ Union’s 2017 local government league tables, launched today at www.ratepayersreport.nz. Nineteen percent of staff are paid salaries over $100,000, almost double the national average of ten percent.
Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says, “Not only are staff paid the big bucks, Kaipara District also has the highest ratio of staff to ratepayers in Northland. As a result Kaipara ratepayers pay more for staff costs than anywhere else in Northland.”
The Council also performs poorly when ranked according to other measures contained in Ratepayers’ Report. “On a per ratepayer basis, Kaipara District has the highest total operating costs and the highest debt in Northland. The only positive is that Kaipara has the most assets on a per ratepayer basis in the region.”
“Given the financial troubles at the Kaipara over recent years, we’d have expected them to put more of an effort into transparency. They were the only council in New Zealand which refused to respond to our researcher's request for rates information. Mayor Greg Gent should be justifying why his Council isn’t doing a better job at providing what is basic information the public are entitled to.”
"With the lowest average residential rates in Northland and low debt, Whangarei District ratepayers can be pleased with their council’s books shape up.”
"Whangarei has the lowest staff costs per ratepayer, at just $642. That sees it having among the most affordable rates in New Zealand.”
“Overstaffing isn’t a problem at the Far North and Whangarei District Councils, with both on the desirable side of the national average for the number of ratepayers per person employed at the council. The Far North District has one staff member for every 89 ratepayers, while the Whangarei Council has a staffer for every 102 ratepayers. This results in the Whangarei District having the lowest staff costs in the region, at $642 per ratepayer.”
"Ratepayers' Report is available online and free of charge so all Northland ratepayers can judge for themselves the performance of their local town hall."
Ratepayers’ Report available at www.ratepayersreport.nz
Note: All references to rates in the above comments, refer to residential rates.
Other findings relating to Northland:
• Kaipara District Council refused to respond to our researcher's request for rates information, citing that the information was not held in the form requested. This request was made to 66 territorial authorities throughout New Zealand, with Kaipara being the only council unable or unwilling to respond with an average residential rates figure.
• Far North District Council charges the highest average residential rates in Northland, at $2,179.
• Whangarei District Council charges $1,779, the fifth-cheapest in New Zealand.
• Far North District Council dismissed five staff due to poor performance in the last 12 months, more than any other provincial council in NZ.