Responding to reports that Cr Catherine Chu failed to attend over half of Christchurch City Council briefings since October, the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union says the revelation is proof elected local councillors must refuse their salaries while they campaign for central government seats.
Taxpayers' Union spokesperson Islay Aitchison says, "Cr Chu receives $140,000 annually from ratepayers for her Christchurch City Council and District Health Board roles. She promised ratepayers that campaigning for a seat in Parliament wouldn't compromise her local government performance. Her failure to attend most Council briefings shows that isn't the case."
"It's clear that only sleeping three hours each night and 'literally [having] no life' as a strategy to keep up with her work was aspirational at best. Cr Chu should repay some portion of her ratepayer-funded salary since she started on the campaign trail and take a leave of absence until the General Election."
"Cr Chu and other councillors attempting to get into Parliament should follow the example of Labour's Palmerston North candidate Tangi Utikere, who has agreed to forgo his deputy mayoral salary while he campaigns."