Councillors get pay rise of 2.69pc

HANNAH MCLEOD
Last updated 05:00 05/06/2014

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Southland District Councillors will have a few more dollars in their pockets after getting a pay rise.

The base councillor salary has been increased by 2.69 per cent from $22,300 to $22,900 and takes effect on July 1.

The remuneration authority determines salaries paid to the mayor, deputy mayor, councillors, committee chairpersons, community board chairs and community board members.

Councillors had complained to the authority that there was no mileage allowance for distances travelled, which are less than 30km, and that there is a 5000 kilometre cap for the travel allowance in Southland.

However, the authority said there would be no changes to the travel allowance.

ADAMSON'S LAST MEETING

Southland District Council chief executive Dave Adamson joked about southern seafood at his final council meeting yesterday.

Adamson said he expected councillor Brian Dillon to bring him packages of whitebait, and councillor Bruce Ford to bring smoked salmon, but he wasn't sure who would bring the oysters.

There was also a nod from mayor Gary Tong to the fact that most of Adamson's time in the role was with former mayor Frana Cardno. "If Frana was here she'd give you a hug, but I'm only gonna shake your hand," he said.

Adamson has worked at the council for about 20 years, and held his ceo position for 10.

DIVIDED ON ELECTION SYSTEM

Councillors voted to retain the first-past-the-post election system for the 2016 local body elections, but councillors Paul Duffy and Rodney Dobson were against the decision being made so quickly.

A report from council staff member Virginia Dillon asked councillors to consider whether to retain first past the post or change to single transferable vote, the same system used for Southern District Health Board elections.

Many councillors said they thought changing the process would make voting more complicated and discourage voters.

But Duffy said he was disappointed that there was not further discussion before a decision was made.

SEWERAGE SCHEME

Three commissioners will decide whether a controversial sewerage scheme will go ahead near Te Anau Airport, Manapouri.

The Southland District Council has applied to designate land as a wastewater treatment area near the Te Anau Airport, and applied to Environment Southland for consent to discharge wastewater over that land.

Council resource management manager Simon Moran said the hearing will be combined, with three independent commissioners, Denis Nugent, Rob Potts, and Yvette Couch-Lewis. The hearing is likely to be in mid-July.

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