We deserve pay rise

Oh dear, if there’s a phrase that politicians should never utter it’s “we deserve a pay rise” and to be fair, the mayors interviewed by the Southland Times  didn’t put it in exactly those words.

Queenstown-Lakes mayor Clive Geddes said:

“My own view, not speaking for myself but speaking for the councils and community chairs in this district, is that their remuneration is significantly below the effort and contribution they make.”

Central Otago mayor Malcolm Macpherson said:

. . .  in my view people who do the sort of work that rural authority mayors do are pretty much underpaid as it is.

And Southland District mayor Frana Cardno said:

. . . Our councillors earn a pathetic amount that wouldn’t even cover the costs of them leaving their work for the day . . .

I suspect they all have a point, that council pay is less than fair compensation for the time and effort good councillors put into their work.

But ratepayers hearing their elected representatives saying they deserve a pay rise are unlikely to be swayed by this when facing yet another increase in rates which is well above the rate of inflation.

It doesn’t matter that concillors’ pay is a tiny part of the total rates bill and their pay is set by the Remuneration Authority over which they have no control. Ratepayers almost certainly think their case for lower rates is stronger than the coucillors’ one for higher pay and are likely to respond to mayors saying they deserve a pay rise by offering them a Tui.

However, the debate raises two bigger issues – the growing rates burden and the method for setting the politicians’ pay.

Kiwiblog  thinks the Remuneration Authority should set MPs’ salaries for a whole three year term. I agree and would like the same system used for local body politicians.

7 Responses to We deserve pay rise

  1. Peter says:

    I thought that the comments from the Mayors in Southland Times on Saturday morning were squalid, self serving & betrayed selfishness. They have been living in their occluded ivory towers so long any sense of value has long withered. I mean, how can a Mayor who is so dismissive of $2300+ have any comprehension of an elderly widows concern over a $10:00 parking ticket. I have no time for the parasites. We hear these well worn excuses all the time. Where has good old fashioned community service gone. We could do well to be rid of these types.


  2. Pique Oil says:

    When theses people put their names forward for the job they were well aware of the terms of their employment contract.
    Now they want to renegotiate the terms. Sorry the only renegotiation is every three years when it is determined whether they deserve the job or not.


  3. Tired Farmer says:

    Having enjoyed farming for 55 years in the Eastern Southland District,one becomes accustomed to taking less for more risk and effort.
    Maintaining an enquiring interest in Local and National politics, it is my opinion that as we are so often denied the informatiom and treatment ratepayers and taxpayers are entitled to, I feel compelled to support the comments of “Pique Oil” and “Peter” on this site.


  4. ThamesSt Farmer says:

    Rates is the best deal you’ll get in life. For a few bucks a week we all get to use libraries, aquatic centres, car parks, roads, sportsfields, water, benefit from irrigation investment, know our neighbours aren’t going to build an office tower without your knowledge etc etc etc.

    These business are incredibly complex looking after multimillions of dollars of assets on our behalf while also looking out for our cultural and social values.

    You get what you pay for. You pay peanuts you get monkeys.

    This is why you all feel the way you do.


  5. Neil says:

    Interesting comment made by Tired Farmer.
    Our rural community is the hub of our community, but because things might not suit them they cannot expect to get everything they want.
    Perhaps some of the rural people need to brush up on their skills in influencing people by positive means rather than trying to belittle others by personality attacks.That is by talking with people rather than shoving it down their throats.


  6. significanthazard says:

    ThamesSt Farmer:
    You obviously have not heard about the melt down in the world? The economy in the US is rapidly turning to custard. People who are lucky to still have their jobs will not receive any pay increases for some time.

    Your statements that “You get what you pay for.” “You pay peanuts you get monkeys,” is farcical. Exorbitant salaries have been paid to CEO’s and board members all over the world. Their ‘expertise’ has greatly contributed to the mess the world is in today.

    Money does not buy honesty and integrity!
    Unfortunately it has the habit of bringing on corruptive practices, and New Zealand is not immune.

    My observation is that the majority of New Zealanders think they will be unaffected by the finacial melt down. Mayors and Councillors who are meant to be the leaders in our communities should have the courage to say no we will not accept this increase this year and next years as well.

    By the way, rates are a very good deal for urban people with all those facilities at their back door, subsidised by commercial and farming enterprises!


  7. significanthazard says:

    Further to my comments, this is a classic example of the good deal urban people get.

    The average residential property, would pay $66 pa plus their ORC rate.

    If Dunedin builds the Stadium a farmer who lives 100 kms from the stadium has worked out that he would pay about $900 pa for 7 years and a further $600 for the 13 years thereafter just for the stadium . That is the combined ORC and DCC rate.


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