As one of the City Vision candidates standing for the Waitemata Local Board I, like the other 6 candidates, put myself forward for selection before the Remuneration Authority released its determination on elected member salaries for the new Auckland Council. It demonstrated a commitment to public service and a willingness to do the job regardless of the financial benefit. We were able to do some guess work which suggested that the Local Board responsibilities would result in renumeration more than the current Community Board members of around $10,000pa.
The Authority has now determined that the new Auckland Council mayor will be paid $240,000, and councillors will receive a base rate of $80,000. The base rate for Local Board members will be between $20,100 (Great Barrier) the minimum base rate and $37,100 (Howick), the maximum base rate. Waitemata Local Board members will receive a base rate of $35,000.
I’m fortunate that, if elected, I will be able to serve as a Local Board member without needing an additional income and will be able to make a full-time commitment to the role (thanks to my supportive partner). It is a concern, however, if the salary on offer is an amount that will potentially put off candidates who do not have the financial independence required to give up work commitments for a big pay drop. The Remuneration Authority needed to find a balance between recognising the responsibilities of the Local Board members and a fair cost to ratepayers. At the current salaries levels ratepayers will be getting an incredibly good deal from their elected respresentatives, especially at Local Board level where the range of member responsibilities will be significant.