WILLIAMSON REVIEWS COUNCILLORS REMUNERATION

  • Maurice Williamson
State Services

A public discussion document seeking comment on options to reform the system of remuneration for councillors was released by Local Government Minister Maurice Williamson today.

"I know that councillors themselves and plenty of ratepayers have concerns about the current system. This document is an opportunity for them to suggest how it could be changed," said Mr Williamson.

The Minister of Local Government is currently responsible for determining the maximum and minimum levels for salaries and meeting allowances paid to elected members while councils are responsible for setting their own rates within these levels.

"Without trying to pre-empt the outcome of the process, I do think there are some very real issues, such as the payment of meeting allowances, that need to be dealt with. In my view, paying councillors an allowance to attend meetings creates incentives for them to meet unnecessarily to claim further allowances," said Mr Williamson.

The discussion document deals with this issue and many others. It asks important questions such as; who should be responsible for determining the remuneration and; what is the most appropriate basis for that remuneration.

Copies of the discussion document are available from the Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington or its website: http://www.dia.govt.nz. Submissions close on October 4.