Motions oppose delegation of funding

A return to the old days of community board funding could cause resentment and affect the relationship between boards and local councils, a Dunedin city councillor says.

As part of the introduction this year of a funding pool for local councils, the Remuneration Authority is proposing community board members’ pay also be included.

The authority has asked for feedback from councils and community boards.

Dunedin’s community boards have all said they do not support being part of any remuneration pool and councillors debated the Dunedin City Council’s response at a meeting yesterday.

A motion put forward by Cr Christine Garey said any pool from which community boards were paid needed to be independent of the pool from which councillors were paid.

It also asked the authority to continue determining the pay for community boards and their chairmen rather than making it a decision for councillors, to maintain independence.

Remuneration should not be based solely on population, the motion said.

Cr Garey said previously when councillors determined remuneration, decisions were made that were resented by community board members.

‘‘It’s a very difficult decision to put councillors in, to decide on what their community boards are paid, and I do believe it affects their relationships.’’

There was now a positive relationship between the council and the six community boards and the proposal could change that, she said.

To attract competent people to stand for a position on community boards, they needed to be paid fairly.

‘‘We do not want a situation where we have white males over 70 being the only ones who stand for community boards. For far too long that was the case, but I’m pleased to say that it is very different now.’’

Cr Lee Vandervis said councillors were not elected to decide on their own remuneration or the remuneration of anybody else.

‘‘That is not what we are elected for and we need to very strongly avoid any suggestion we have any hand in that. Our responsibility to voters is to stay right out of that issue.’’

Councillors voted unanimously for Cr Garey’s motion.

After the vote, Cr Aaron Hawkins put forward another motion urging the authority to continue to set the level of pay for all elected members and not delegate those decisions to local councils.

Cr Hawkins’ motion was also carried unanimously.

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