Pay packets of Invercargill city councillors and directors questioned
Concerns about city councillors who take pay packets from council-owned company directorships have resurfaced just in time for the local government elections.
For weeks city council candidates have demanded the remuneration current Invercargill City Councillors receive for council-controlled organisation directorships.
Some said councillors appointed as directors may not have the business acumen to make crucial business decisions.
Holdco (Invercargill City Holdings), an investment company 100 per cent owned by the council on behalf of ratepayers, owned Electricity Invercargill Ltd and Invercargill City Forests Ltd, and 97 per cent of the Invercargill Airport.
Councillors Graham Sycamore, Alan Dennis, Lindsay Thomas received $30,300 for being Holdco directors in 2016.
Cr Graham Sycamore was also a director of Invercargill Property Ltd, for which he received $15,240.
Sycamore said sometimes conflicts arose when councillors were also directors.
Often the Holdco directors who were also around the council table were not able to vote on issues around Holdco, Sycamore said.
Some cities no longer allowed elected councillors to be council organisation directors.
The Dunedin City Council had a different model, after the 2011 Larsen Report recommended Dunedin's elected councillors not be allowed to hold director positions in Dunedin City Holdings Ltd.
Sycamore said he thought the appointment of councillors as directors was fine, as long as they were appointed because they had the skills to do the job.
If must not be forgotten that Venture Southland and the Southland Museum and Art Gallery were also council-controlled organisations, Sycamore said.
"If you put a blanket ban on it, it would mean we have no council representation on the management at all."
Electricity Invercargill Ltd director Cr Darren Ludlow received $27,219 in 2016.
Electricity Invercargill chairman Cr Neil Boniface received $51,080.
Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt was a director of the Invercargill Airport Ltd, for which he received $23,700.
Invercargill City Forests Ltd had no directors who were also elected city councillors.
Council candidate Lindsay Dow said he had concerns about the appointment of city councillors to companies.
"The council-owned companies are required to have a board and that requires having directors on the boards, and they must be, in my view, the people who have the necessary business skills and acumen for the company involved."
"While I don't like to see city councillors given directorships there may be times when somebody does have the necessary skills and businesss acumem."
Dow did not like to see councillors given directorships to supplement their income.
In May, Cr Peter Kett said openly at a full council meeting he was concerned councillors were able to become directors in council's business and he wanted director remuneration addressed by the incoming council.
Invercargill City Council remuneration, 2016/17:
Deputy Mayor $47,460
Committee Chair $42,375
Chair Audit Committee $38,165
Venture Southland Rep $38,165
Deputy Mayor $53,300
Committee Chair (3) $46,300
Chair Audit Committee $40,400
Venture Southland Rep $40,400
Directors' remuneration, 2016:
Invercargill City Holdings
Graham Sycamore $30,300
Alan Dennis $30,300
Lindsay Thomas $30,300
Electricity Invercargill Ltd
Neil Boniface (chairman) $51,080
Darren Ludlow $27,219
Invercargill Airport Ltd
Tim Shadbolt $23,700
Invercargill Property Ltd
Graham Sycamore $15,240