Fees, allowances bolster councillors' pay

KATIE CHAPMAN
WELLINGTON REPORTER
Last updated 05:00 28/08/2012
Wellington councillors pay

.

Opinion poll

Is 89% a good attendance rate for Wellington city councillors at meetings?

Yes, they're very busy

It depends why they're missing meetings

No, they should always attend

No opinion

Vote Result

Ian McKinnon
Fairfax NZ
IAN MCKINNON: The deputy mayor gets $46,254 on top of his salary - taking the full package to $142,954.

Relevant offers

The pay packets of Wellington city councillors are getting an average top-up of more than $15,000 from extra allowances and fees.

The full remuneration details of all 15 councillors are revealed in the council's annual report - which also shows they are missing more than 10 per cent of the meetings they are required to attend, although four had perfect attendance records.

The yearly performance summary reveals details of additional pay received by councillors on top of their set salaries. They all received at least $3000 extra for "non-monetary" benefits such as parking, insurance and technology allowances.

Other councillors receive additional pay for work on resource consent hearings and appointments to other boards.

Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon had the highest extra pay, with $46,254 on top of his salary - taking the full package to $142,954 - largely due to his role on the board of Wellington International Airport.

Simon Marsh is on the zoo trust, and received $18,360 extra.

The additional pay reflected extra hours required for those roles, he said. "It means that you don't just say: 'Oh well, I spend 40 hours a week on things.'

"All councillors would spend time in the evenings and on the weekends for the added responsibility, for example being on the zoo board."

The report also showed the 14 councillors attended an average of 89 per cent of meetings in the past financial year.

Jo Coughlan attended the fewest, at 79 per cent.

Attendance figures are based on meetings for the full council, as well as sub-committees and committees of which councillors are members.

Ms Coughlan said yesterday that her lower attendance was the result of her being out of town for other council duties.

"It's pretty high considering I have had two trips to China and had a local government conference."

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown attended 66 per cent of the meetings, but the report explains that, as mayor, she is listed as a member of all committees and cannot attend them all.

Ms Wade-Brown said her other mayoral responsibilities often clashed with meetings. "My time commitment is to the best interest of the city . . . I read the agendas of meetings and, if I can't attend, due to, for example, a select committee not being moveable, I either brief the chair on my views or request the item be taken when I can be there."

Many other councillors, including Ms Coughlan, also recorded several extra hours in their roles as portfolio leaders that were not accounted for in the annual report, she said.

"I'm very pleased with the way portfolio leaders have engaged with their areas of responsibility . . Statutory meetings are an essential part of our democracy and elected members of committees generally see them as a high priority."

 

Contact Katie Chapman
Wellington reporter
Email: katie.chapman@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @katiechapman28

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

How excited are you about the 2014 Commonwealth Games?

It's gold, bring it on

It's okay, like a watered-down Olympics

Not really - but I'll be once NZ serve up some dramatics.

Old episodes of Friends are more exciting.

Vote Result

Related story: After the hype, time to let the Games begin

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content