Local Government Members (2021/22) Determination 2021

Explanatory memorandum

This memorandum is not part of the determination, but is intended to indicate its general effect.

This determination comes into force on 1 July 2021 and expires on the close of 30 June 2022.

The mandatory criteria that the Remuneration Authority must have regard to when making a determination covering members of local authorities, local boards, and community boards are listed in clause 7 of Schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002. In addition, section 18A of the Remuneration Authority Act 1977 requires the Authority to take into account prevailing adverse economic conditions. This is an important criterion at this time.

Although the economy has proven to be more resilient than predicted at this time last year, the further waves of COVID-19 recurring around the world continue to present a highly volatile and uncertain global environment, which is continuing to have a negative impact on many regions within New Zealand. Given this uncertainty, the Authority has taken a conservative approach to its determination of local government members’ remuneration for the 2021/22 year. Some councils have received no increases, while the majority of councils have received a 1% to 1.5% increase to their remuneration. A small number of councils have been given larger increases as part of the phased implementation of the changes the Authority made in 2019 to its approach to determining local government elected members’ remuneration. The implementation was delayed in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it has resumed this year.

Communications allowance

In the face of COVID-19, most local authorities have had to operate far more extensively in a virtual world. Members are increasingly required to work from home or away from their councils’ offices and both members and the public can now attend meetings that are streamed online or via an audio link. This means that members are requiring more reliable, stronger, faster, and fit-for-purpose information and communication services and equipment to support their work. It is the Authority’s preference that councils supply the full range of information and communication technology (including mobile telephone and related mobile telephone service) to their members for use on local authority business rather than requiring members to use their own personal equipment and services. However, if a local authority requires its members to use their own personal equipment, consumables, and services, the Authority has increased the communications allowance to reflect the growing costs of working remotely.

Childcare allowance

The childcare allowance has been in place since 2019 and the Authority has reviewed it, taking into account feedback from a number of local authorities. The Authority has amended the allowance to remove any perceived discrimination based on family status. However, the upper limit of the reimbursement allowance has not changed and remains at $6,000 per annum.

Vehicle kilometre allowance

The vehicle kilometre reimbursement allowance has been adjusted to reflect the current rates prescribed by the Inland Revenue Department.

All other allowances and hearing fees remain at their 2019 levels until the expiry of this determination.

Governance remuneration pool table

The table below sets out the local government governance remuneration pool, which will apply on and after 1 July 2021, for the councillors of each local authority.

Part 1
Remuneration pools for councillors of regional councils
CouncilGovernance remuneration pool ($)
Bay of Plenty Regional Council869,154
Canterbury Regional Council964,061
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council557,483
Manawatu–Wanganui Regional Council638,974
Northland Regional Council580,951
Otago Regional Council703,598
Southland Regional Council555,828
Taranaki Regional Council473,595
Waikato Regional Council933,748
Wellington Regional Council921,454
West Coast Regional Council322,503
Part 2
Remuneration pools for councillors of territorial authorities
Territorial authorityGovernance remuneration pool ($)
Ashburton District Council383,524
Auckland Council2,556,478
Buller District Council268,362
Carterton District Council223,635
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council271,273
Central Otago District Council280,627
Chatham Islands Council149,700
Christchurch City Council1,843,200
Clutha District Council357,816
Dunedin City Council1,111,450
Far North District Council759,201
Gisborne District Council637,845
Gore District Council290,725
Grey District Council252,564
Hamilton City Council1,200,366
Hastings District Council798,640
Hauraki District Council355,461
Horowhenua District Council439,649
Hurunui District Council252,564
Hutt City Council835,500
Invercargill City Council514,483
Kaikōura District Council201,271
Kaipara District Council364,815
Kāpiti Coast District Council505,129
Kawerau District Council223,635
Mackenzie District Council178,908
Manawatu District Council383,524
Marlborough District Council589,302
Masterton District Council392,878
Matamata–Piako District Council392,878
Napier City Council724,920
Nelson City Council609,333
New Plymouth District Council786,354
Ōpōtiki District Council215,148
Otorohanga District Council201,271
Palmerston North City Council786,354
Porirua City Council551,900
Queenstown–Lakes District Council430,295
Rangitikei District Council290,725
Rotorua District Council749,084
Ruapehu District Council299,336
Selwyn District Council486,420
South Taranaki District Council420,941
South Waikato District Council374,170
South Wairarapa District Council245,998
Southland District Council402,232
Stratford District Council268,362
Tararua District Council318,044
Tasman District Council630,773
Taupō District Council477,066
Tauranga City Council1,111,450
Thames–Coromandel District Council449,004
Timaru District Council458,358
Upper Hutt City Council430,295
Waikato District Council749,493
Waimakariri District Council495,775
Waimate District Council223,635
Waipa District Council477,066
Wairoa District Council243,210
Waitaki District Council336,753
Waitomo District Council215,148
Wellington City Council1,585,152
Western Bay of Plenty District Council486,420
Westland District Council223,635
Whakatāne District Council467,712
Whanganui District Council523,837
Whangarei District Council823,214

Note: The above remuneration pools do not apply to mayors, regional chairpersons, Auckland local board members, or community board members.

However, if a council has delegated significant powers and functions to its community board(s) and as a consequence proposes an increase to the remuneration of community board members, the additional funds will come out of the council’s governance remuneration pool.