Modest pay rise for Marlborough councillors

Council executives from left, Mike Porter, mayor John Legget, Mark Wheeler and Tony Quirk. Photo: Matt Brown

Marlborough’s councillors are set to get more than $1.5 million in wages over the next three years.

Thirteen councillors got a small boost to their pay checks at an extraordinary council meeting on Thursday.

The elected officials had their base salary increased, from $38,610 to a flat $40,000 as the proposed changes were voted into effect.

And councillors who take on more responsibility will see more money in their bank accounts.

Money for local government officials is set as a lump sum by the Renumeration Authority, and “divvied up” to the elected positions.

The Marlborough region was allocated $583,467 for the year.

Marlborough District Council democratic services manager Mike Porter says council doesn’t have “a lot of say” about the amount of money available in the pool.

“It’s just how we’ve divvied it up,” he says.

Mike says now, sub-committee chairs are recognised for their hard work “slightly more than in the past”.

“It’s a lot more fair, but a lot more complicated,” he says.

“We’ve recognised all the jobs that councillors can do.”

The mayor, who is also chair of the environment committee, has a fixed salary set by the Remuneration Authority separate from the money pool.

He is paid around $135,000.

Only one councillor, Mark Peters, is a standing committee chair. The other two positions taken by deputy mayor Nadine Taylor and mayor John Leggett.

For taking on the deputy mayor position, Nadine Taylor is set to receive an extra $17,467 bringing her salary to $57,467.

“It flows down from there,” says Mike.

Eleven of thirteen councillors are on various committees.

Marlborough is at the bottom of all unitary councils – getting  $10,000 less than Nelson.

Councillor Gerald Hope says the Marlborough council has a “massive responsibility” over a much larger area.

“We are probably a discount council,” Gerald says.

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