$150,000 in coun­cil staff bonuses


A fast-grow­ing dis­trict has re­sulted in Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil spend­ing over $150,000 on bonuses for staff over the past two years.

In 2016, the coun­cil spent $142,595.80 on per­for­mance bonuses. This was di­vided be­tween 46 staffers at an av­er­age of just over $3,000 per staff mem­ber.

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Gavin Ion said this is not the norm and the 2017 per­for­mance bonus fig­ure of $25,607.55 is more in line with what has been spent pre­vi­ously. ‘‘Spend­ing $142,595.80 on per­for­mance bonuses in 2016 was a strate­gic move and investment by coun­cil to en­sure busi­ness con­ti­nu­ity.’’

Over the next three decades the Waikato Dis­trict’s house­hold growth rate is ex­pected to sur­pass Hamil­ton and match Auck­land’s.

‘‘Es­ti­mat­ing house­hold growth from pop­u­la­tion pro­jec­tions, the So­cial and Eco­nomic Pro­file says the Waikato Dis­trict can ex­pect growth of 660 to 880 house­holds ev­ery year lead­ing to a to­tal growth of 14,000 to 19,000 house­holds by 2043.’’

This means there will be de­mand for a cor­re­spond­ing num­ber of ad­di­tional houses, Ion said.

These predictions are al­ready sup­ported by the num­ber of build­ing con­sents is­sued in the dis­trict – 2,006 for 2015 to 2016 and 1,977 for 2016 to 2017.

It’s even sur­passed Welling­ton, mak­ing Waikato Dis­trict the fourth high­est-growth area in the North Is­land and sev­enth in New Zealand, Ion said.

‘‘This growth in the dis­trict hit a crit­i­cal level in 2016, which is why bonuses were awarded to a num­ber of staff to re­tain them in crit­i­cal and hard to fill roles within the busi­ness and to re­ward staff for work­ing above and be­yond their job de­scrip­tion and ex­pected work load.’’

Per­for­mance bonuses are one-off pay­ments given to staff for rea­sons such as out­stand­ing per­for­mance, work­ing in an area which is se­verely short-staffed, man­ag­ing work in a high growth area, and re­tain­ing tal­ent in hard to fill roles.

Money for bonuses comes from re­mu­ner­a­tion which is al­ready bud­geted for, Ion said.

‘‘This is not ad­di­tional ex­penses. The ad­di­tional fund­ing can come from a num­ber of rea­sons such as va­can­cies or new hires at a lower pay rate.’’

The coun­cil also runs its own WaiFac­tor Awards, which are an­nual awards where staff can ac­knowl­edge the great work peers are do­ing across coun­cil and within the com­mu­nity. Each cat­e­gory win­ner is re­warded with $300.

Seven staff mem­bers were awarded in 2016 and 2017 – $2,954 was spent in 2016 and $2,703.59 in 2017.

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