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Odey defends director fees

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 10/04/2014
damon odey
 

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Timaru mayor Damon Odey is defending the increase in directors' fees for the council-controlled holdings company.

Councillors agreed on Tuesday that the directors of Timaru District Holdings (TDHL) would receive $18,000 a year each, up from $11,000, or a 63 per cent rise. The chairman will get $31,500 (up 63 per cent from $19,250) and the deputy chairman will get $21,600 (up 57 per cent from $13,750)

It is the first increase since 2007.

Odey, who is the current chairman of TDHL, excused himself from the debate, along with councillors Steve Earnshaw and Richard Lyon, who are co-directors on TDHL.

"The report the council received suggested the new remuneration rates were below market rates.

"It's a hard one to judge. At the moment, the directors have a big workload, it's not letting up."

The report, prepared by consultancy firm Mitchell Notley & Associates, suggested the directors would work 80 to 90 hours per year.

"TDHL needs to attract external directors of a good calibre, the market has got tougher," Odey said.

TDHL's two non-council directors are Ian Fitzgerald and Richie Smith. Currently, there is no deputy chairman for TDHL, but Odey said it would be discussed at the next board meeting.

In his role as mayor, Odey receives $99,400 per year.

Councillors receive a basic rate of $30,000, but can earn more if chairing council committees (see table). Cr Peter Burt also receives a $6000 honorarium as a councillor representative for Aoraki Development, Business and Tourism.

No councillors sit on the boards of either PrimePort Timaru or Alpine Energy, although councillors have done in the past.

PrimePort's most recent annual report listed the chairman's remuneration at $52,000 a year, the deputy chairman's $30,000, and the other four directors $26,000 each.

The directors are Roger Gower (chairman), Nigel Gormack, Philip Wareing, Mark Cairns, William Baylis and David Pilkington.

Alpine Energy's directors received between $31,500 and $44,700 last year, while chairman Stephen Thompson received $70,000.

The other directors are Rick Ramsay, Warren Larsen, Alister France and Warren Bell.

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- The Timaru Herald

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