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The exact job description would not be firmed up until the new financial year, Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said.
The Dunedin City Council draft budget approved last month would add 1.5 full-time equivalent positions for "mayoral strategic advice".
Mr Hawkins said the staff for the mayor’s office would be a full-time policy adviser and a part-time communications adviser.
The policy adviser position would report to the mayor, but the work would support the governance team as a whole.
There was a policy team already at the council but the proposed new staff member would "respond directly to the political arm of council" as opposed to council staff.
"It’s less about peer review and second-guessing any advice you might get from existing staff, it’s more about having people who can look across our organisation and across our strategic framework and consider all those things in the round," Mr Hawkins said.
"It’s just recognising that there are occasionally different imperatives on employees of the organisation and politicians — and particularly giving political advice around advocacy, which I think is a strong role that we play, having someone who responds to the political arm being able to give you advice on that, I think is helpful."
The 2019 Mayors’ Guide, prepared by Local Government New Zealand, states that while the Auckland mayor’s office was unique as it received a guaranteed proportion of the city’s budget to employ mayoral advisers and staff "for a larger council a mayor should expect to have access to their own executive assistant, a communications adviser and a policy adviser".
A council spokeswoman said it would not release the specific budget for the proposed positions for the mayor’s office as it could identify remuneration for individual staff.
The draft budget approved in January includes plans to add 27 new full time-equivalent staff across the entire organisation, and salary increases, adding $4.8million to the budget.
A push by Cr Lee Vandervis — supported by Cr Jules Radich — to cap the council’s increased staff costs was voted down at the time the draft budget was approved.
Mr Hawkins said he could not predict the outcome of the upcoming budget meeting in May or June.
"But I would hope that elected members would see the benefit of having staff that reported more closely to us as a governing body — and appreciate the scale of the work that we have ahead of us — and that we need all the help that we can get."