Do Local Pols Get Enough Dosh?

Local Govt. reporter Jeremy Smith asks: ‘How much are Kapiti’s 16 community board members worth in terms of their pay?’

KCDC Councillors don’t want to set totals

Whatever it is, he says, Kapiti councillors do not want to have to set the dollar amount.

He reports that a new system for setting district councillors’ pay is coming in later this year and it has implications for Kapiti community board members.

Until now the Remuneration Authority has set the levels for how much individual councillors can be paid. In the past this was related to the size of councils, with a clear upper limit according to population.

But after the 2019 council elections, each council will be allocated a governance pool.

It will be a total amount overall with the council then deciding how much each councillor will get. However   the pay for Mayor Gurunathan, or a successor,

Kapiti’s Mayor K Gurunathan

will still be set by the Remuneration Authority.

But the Kapiti councillors don’t want a “pool system” to apply to the Kapiti District’s community board members.

‘Recipe for resentment’

The KCDC’s submission to the Remuneration Authority says allowing councillors to set pay for the community board members is “a recipe for potential resentment and distrust.”

And it notes that both councillors and community board members have said a combined pool for both categories of elected representatives would cause acrimony.

They want the Remuneration Authority to continue setting pay levels for community boards.

Population formula for boards

Members of the KCDC’s four community boards are currently paid to a formula reflecting their population.

Cr Janet Holborow gets $44,000 at present

The three board members for Pakekariki, the smallest by population, are each paid $4,000, with board chair Phil Edwards being paid double. Paekakariki councillor Janet Holborow, who also sits on the board is paid $44,000

In Ōtaki, the three members received $7,500 with chair Christine Papps receiving $15,000.
Ward councillor and board member James Cootes is paid $42,000

Cr Michael Scott gets $42,000

Waikanae board members received $8,000 with the chair Jocelyn Prvanov receiving $15,000
and KCDC ward councillor Michael Scott, a local lawyer, receiving $42,000.

And Paraparaumu-Raumati board members are paid $10,000 with chair Johnny Best receiving $19,000.

This board, which covers the largest population centre, has the two ward councillors on it — Fiona Vining and Mark Benton.

Paraparaumu/Raumati Community Board Chair Fiona Vining — $48,000

Vining is paid a total of  $48,000 and Benton $37,000.

The pay difference is because Vining is paid other duties separate from her councillor’s role.

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