Mayor silently put on airport board
Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt's pockets will be $20,000 deeper thanks to a new directorship, but the largely council-owned company did not feel it necessary to announce the appointment.
Mr Shadbolt was appointed to the Invercargill Airport Ltd board last month, after Holdco, the Invercargill City Council's holding company, increased its share in the airport company earlier in the year.
Holdco director and city councillor Norman Elder said Holdco did not have a policy to announce new directors, but was not hiding the appointment from the public.
"There is no requirement for that to be done and I don't think that outside appointees wish for it to be debated in public."
Previous mayors had been on the board, though not recently, Mr Elder said.
Holdco had changed the constitution of the company after the government decreased its share to 2 per cent, which allowed for another director to be appointed, he said.
That meant the government was no longer able to appoint two directors, though the two it did have on the board were reappointed by the company.
Invercargill City Council director of finance and corporate services Dean Johnston said directors earned $19,270 each for being on the board last year.
They would earn more this year, when they received a small pay rise, he said. "It's likely to go up, but only by 1 or 2 per cent."
Mr Shadbolt said he was pleased about the announcement and was not doing it for the money, but because he was passionate about the airport.
"It also comes with a secondary tax bracket, which means over half of it goes to the government."
Mr Shadbolt said he was not able to publicise the new role because of an agreement with the board that all announcements be made through the chairman.
He said he had "never been a director of anything".
"I have had no directorships in 18 years, I don't think there would be a single mayor in the country with that track record. I'm a bit late off the mark really."
Airport chairman Joe O'Connell said even if Mr Shadbolt did not win the election in October, he could remain on the board for the following three years. That was something Mr Shadbolt said he hoped to do.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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