$6 an hour good enough?

The city council is working to ensure there are measures in place to manage the impacts of 90...
The chairwoman of a community board, which includes Akaroa in its catchment, says elected officials are not paid enough as compared to other board members.
Tori Peden is sick of seeing her colleagues get paid $6 an hour for the workload they carry.

The newly-elected Banks Peninsula Community Board chairwoman wants to request better pay for its members by writing a letter to the Remuneration Authority.

Ms Peden received the same income during her last term as a member, and now wants to present a case that the current remuneration model “doesn’t make sense.”

The remuneration model is set by population, so community boards with bigger populations get better remuneration.

New board members are currently set to receive $9864 and Ms Peden will receive $19,729 as chairwoman.

As members work about 20 hours a week, they would receive roughly $120 a week after tax. 

By comparison, Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board members will receive $24,580 and their chair $49,160.

Ms Peden said she would like members and her own pay as chairwoman to be in “at least the same ball park” as the inner-city community boards.

The current pay checks may change soon, as the newly-elected city council is set to vote on the allocation of a $1,843,200 governance pool before the end of the year.

The city councillors can decide to allocate funds from the pool towards the remuneration of community board members.

However, Ms Peden said she is not holding her breath.

“It’s not a given. We understand that it’s there for their delegations and increased role capacities.”

She believes the community board has a good case to put forward to the Remuneration Authority.

Its representatives look after two harbours and the board covers the largest geographical area out of seven community boards.

There is still one vacant seat on the community board after it failed to attract enough candidates in the October local body elections.

Low pay has also been cited as one of the reasons five former board members chose to retire after the last term.

“We do feel it’s because of the remuneration doesn’t match the workload. Not many people have the time or capacity to put themselves forward.”

Ms Peden said having better remuneration would encourage better democracy around the table.

“Working for $6 an hour is painful, but we do it for the love.”

Remuneration Authority chairwoman Fran Wilde said it is “very happy to receive submissions” put forward by a community board.

The next annual review, using the current model of local government remuneration, is due on July 1.

“The authority takes into account all information it receives,” Dame Wilde said.

A by-election will be held early next year to fill the vacant community board seat, which represents the Mt Herbert Subdivision.






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