Councillors get payrise
Horowhenua’s councillors will get a payrise after recommendations from the Remuneration Authority.
Mayor Michael Feyen will receive an increase of just over $6500, bumping his annual earnings up to $109,494 from $102,992.
Deputy mayor Wayne Bishop’s pay will go up to $39,105 from last year’s $36,516.
Other councillors will earn $27,798, up from $25,957.
Finance, audit and risk committee independent member Phillip Jones, and hearings committee councillor Jo Mason will both receive increases, Ms Mason’s from $31,669 to $33,915, while Mr Jones, not an elected member, would receive a negotiated amount, plus expenses that was around a third of that, council chief executive David Clapperton said.
Councillor Barry Judd, chairman of the community wellbeing committee, will have an increase from $28,813 to $30,856, while community funding and recognition committee chair and councillor Neville Gimblett’s pay, will increase from $28,813 to $30,856.
The changes were protested at last week’s council meeting by councillor Piri-Hira Tukapua, who said they should be frozen, however councillors can’t do that. She also claimed there was gender inequality in the appointment of committee chairs. She told the mayor he had appointed five male chairs on committees, with the only female being Jo Mason.
Ms Tukapua said Mrs Mason had only got the role because she was qualified with Resource Management Act standards. She also said the mayor had been “missing in action” too frequently.
“I want to freeze the remuneration so you don’t get another $6000 and I’m happy to keep my $25,000 or whatever it is,” she said.
Mr Feyen said he disagreed with statements about him missing in action.
“I would argue against lots of that,” he said to Ms Tukapua. “I’d like to remind you that the only time you’ve ever come to me to have a chat is when you want to go on some sort of course, and I’ve approved every single one.”
Deputy mayor Wayne Bishop queried what happened about pay when the mayor sought a leave of absence.
Mr Clapperton said there was no specific policy around paying members when they sought a leave of absence.
Mr Feyen confirmed he considered the mayoral role as full time, and said his other role on the District Health Board did not interfere with it.
“There’s been some cross overs but I think that they interlink pretty well,” he said.