No pay increase for mayor, others get small rise

There is no pay increase for Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins, but his colleagues have received a small rise.

Aaron Hawkins. Photo: supplied
Aaron Hawkins.
The Remuneration Authority determined the mayor’s pay should stay at $166,500 a year, and increases for the deputy mayor, councillors and community board members add up to $10,729.

Increases took effect from July 1 and the Dunedin City Council, which must accept the amounts determined by the authority, said this could be met from existing budgets.

Deputy mayor Christine Garey’s annual pay rose by $454 to $91,244, the six chairmen and chairwomen of council committees each got a boost of $429 to $86,215 and other councillors had a rise of $357 to $71,845.

There were small increases for community boards.

In explanatory notes, the authority said it was required to take into account adverse economic conditions.

The economy had proved to be more resilient than predicted, but global prospects remained uncertain amid Covid-19 and this had a negative effect within New Zealand, the authority said.

Some councils received no increases and most had a 1% to 1.5% increase in their remuneration.

An allowance for members using their own internet service increased and they can claim for vehicle travel at 79c a kilometre, up to 14,000km, and 27c a kilometre for travel beyond that.

The increased communications allowance reflected growing costs of working remotely, the authority said.

Dunedin councillors and community board members did not receive a pay rise last year.


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Otago’s small population of around 225,000 people are represented by around 90 councillors (6 Councils) excluding Community Boards. New Zealand’s population of 4.8 million is represented by 120 MPs. At an average cost of around $80,000 per Councillor (excluding meeting fees and expenses) this cost the Otago ratepayers around $7,200,000 per year. Is this good value for money and do we really believe that we need so many?

Holly cow...raise the rates so they can get a pay increase. Talk about entitled and tone deaf!

The increase overall is only $10k, and that will be funded from existing budgets. No increase in rates from this decision, a decision not even made by councillors, who have no choice but to accept it.

I sometimes wonder if commenters here even read the stories they are commenting on.

It wouldnt be an issue if the Mayor was helping promote and grow the City rather than push his dopey anti-car and anti-growth Green party narrative. The guy is a non-contributor and needs to be voted out.

Obviously they’re pay scale is NOT performance based or market dependent.

They used to be "The higher salaries commission" but they decided that sounded to much like they give people on already high salaries higher salaries so they changed the name to "The Remuneration Authority" So they could give people on already high salaries higher salaries without people knowing and of course you have no choice you have to take it. Cool aye. $10,000 only a third of my yearly wage. Nothing. Not worth talking about. To say nothing about what the people on the Authority are pulling down. Its not a wrought how dare you we are professionals, not the real bludgers your thinking of the unemployed. I have a job its so hard ticking all day I am working at home from the batch.

I hope those in the transport planning have got the pay cut they have earned.

Well, I'm rather pleased about the fact that Aaron's pay will not increase. Based on his education and experience, he's already paid far too much. There has certainly been NO performance to speak of, that's for sure!! All we actually see from him is party political sound bytes stating obvious facts in a nationwide manner that hold more resonance for the Greens than any function of a local mayor. He would have more to offer within the Green Party as a fresh incumbent. He will of course have to accept a significant pay cut... but we all start somewhere. The city needs someone who knows what they're doing - strong, considered and decisive - not needing their hand held every step of the way, then to be guided to the podium to make a meaningless broad-ranging statement every now and then.
No offence to him, but he's batting well out of his experience and abilities, and we're all funding this very expensive education tallying NIL results. It's like watching an 12-year-old facing seasoned test match bowlers. Looking forward to the next election.

Actually, I don't think the mayor gets paid enough, considering the CEO's salary is $300,000. We expect him to be seen and doing 24/7 - the mayoral position should receive more.

There's many people in the community, who are available 24/7, with significant qualifications and years of valuable experience, totally committed to what they are doing and have had to 'earn' their place on less than half his current salary, and you believe he deserves more? The CEO actually runs the city. It's a business, something the Mayor is still yet to get his head around. His thinking is lop sided and has little if any consideration for public need. He happily signs off massive debt, with no practical knowledge of where that money will actually come from. He's merely a figure head in a red robe.......he deserves $300k pa?
What makes him so 'special, his haircut? The last thing Dunedin needs is another outrageous 'cost' a $2m peanut not enough Kris? What else can we through money empty stadium? coal powered EV's? a bridge to where exactly? gold standard cycleways? outrageous public position salaries?
It's getting out of control, we can't AFFORD more INCREASED costs.....we cant afford more debt. The next generation and those struggling now are being commited to a lifetime of DEBT. Is that fair? $300K pa, yeah, right! easy when you're paid that much!

If the Mayor was running the city, would you not expect the council to have a Business Plan? They don't of course, and will say their 10-year plan is a business plan, but that just confirms how incompetently this Council is being run.

Actually, I do think the "mayor" gets paid enough, more than enough considering we have fellow Dunedinites living with power poverty, food poverty etc, what is the "mayor" doing to alleviate that (aside from increasing the city's debt).....

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