This memorandum is not part of the determination, but is intended to indicate its general effect.
The local government structures for Auckland came into existence on 1 November 2010, representing a new approach to the representation of Aucklanders that was unlike that in place in the rest of New Zealand. Accountability under the new structure anticipated negotiation and agreement between the newly elected parties on the manner of future representation. However, those standing for election required some certainty on the remuneration they could expect to receive if elected.
In June 2010, the Remuneration Authority (the Authority) issued an initial determination for the mayor, councillors, and local board members, including board chairpersons. In that determination, the Authority indicated that after the election there would be an engagement with the incoming elected representatives on the allocation of some additional funds to recognise the structural framework put in place by the Auckland Council and its local boards after the election.
This was undertaken and an amending determination was issued, backdated to 1 November 2010, reflecting the Authority’s views on the feedback received (see the Local Government Elected Members (2010/11) (Auckland Council and Local Boards) Determination 2010, which includes the amendments made by the Local Government Elected Members (2010/11) (Auckland Council and Local Boards) Determination 2010 Amendment Determination 2011).
In its initial determination, the Authority indicated it would make a modest adjustment to remuneration from 1 July 2011, and would undertake a full review of workload and accountabilities of Auckland local body members towards the end of 2011 with the aim of confirming or amending the remuneration model based on the practice that was emerging in the new council. Any recommendations for change would then be included in the 2012/2013 determination, at which stage the establishment allowance payable to some councillors would cease. This remains the intention of the Authority.
This determination, which covers the period 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012, therefore increases the annual remuneration and establishment allowance available to members by 2% and the mayoral remuneration by 1.5%. This mirrors the base movement applied to the rest of local government.
Additionally, and also in line with the approach taken elsewhere, the determination adjusts the maximum mileage rate payable from $0.70 to $0.74 per kilometre to compensate for increases in petrol costs that have occurred recently.
The determination also includes the full-year allowance of $750 payable to members who utilise their home communications systems for council business, this allowance having previously been set for an 8-month period at $500.
Finally, the determination provides an increase to the maximum hourly rates payable to members sitting on resource consent hearings. These rates were last reviewed in 2006, and the Authority has increased the maximum hourly rate to $100 to those chairing a hearing and $80 to those sitting on a hearing.