Local government elected members

The Authority sets remuneration for elected positions in individual local authorities, and sets the rules for reimbursement of costs met by members in undertaking their duties.

Remuneration, allowances and reimbursement costs for local authority elected members are set out in the Local Government Members (2020/21) Determination 2020 (the principal determination).

Local Government Members (2020/21) Determination 2020 — Legislation.govt.nz

The Local Government Members (Temporary Reduction—COVID-19) Determination 2020 was notified in the New Zealand Gazette on 18 June 2020. It reduces the remuneration for certain local government elected members whose remuneration is over $100,000 per annum as shown in the principal determination above.  This determination applies from 9 July 2020 and expires on 6 January 2021.

Local Government Members (Temporary Reduction—COVID-19) Determination 2020  Legislation.govt.nz

The following determinations amend the Local Government Members (Temporary Reduction—COVID-19) Determination 2020. 

Local Government Members (Temporary Reduction—COVID-19) Amendment Determination 2020  Legislation.govt.nz

Local Government Members (Temporary Reduction—COVID-19) Amendment Determination (No 2) 2020  Legislation.govt.nz 

The Authority does not set remuneration for chief executives of local or regional councils. That is the responsibility of the local/regional authorities.

Remuneration and allowance legislation

The main acts relating to remuneration and allowances for elected local authority members are the Local Government Act 2002 and the Remuneration Authority Act 1977.

Local Government Act 2002

The Local Government Act 2002 provides for the Remuneration Authority to set the remuneration, allowances and expenses of:

  • mayors,
  • regional chairs, and
  • other elected members on local authorities including local and community boards.

Local Government Act 2002 — Legislation.govt.nz

Under clause 6 of Schedule 7 of the act, the Authority can:

  • set scales of salaries, allowances, ranges of remuneration, different forms of remuneration,
  • prescribe rules for the application of those scales, ranges or different forms of remuneration,
  • differentiate between individuals occupying equivalent positions in different, or in the same, local authorities or community boards,
  • set pay arrangements that apply to individuals or groups occupying equivalent positions,
  • make determinations that apply to individuals, or groups, occupying equivalent positions, and
  • approve rules proposed by a local authority for reimbursing expenses incurred by members, subject to any conditions that the Authority thinks fit.

Under clause 7 of Schedule 7 of the act, when determining elected members’ remuneration the Authority must have regard to the need to:

  • minimise the potential for certain types of remuneration to distort the behaviour of elected members,
  • achieve and maintain fair relativity with the levels of remuneration received elsewhere,
  • be fair both to the persons whose remuneration is being determined and to ratepayers, and
  • attract and retain competent persons.

Schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002 — Legislation.govt.nz

Remuneration Authority Act 1977

Sections 18 and 18A say when determining the pay for local authority elected members the authority must have regard to:

  • the requirements of the job,
  • the conditions of service enjoyed by the persons whose remuneration is being determined and those enjoyed by the persons or members of the group of persons whose remuneration and conditions of employment are, in the opinion of the Authority, comparable with those of the persons or members of the group of persons whose remuneration is being determined, and
  • any prevailing adverse economic conditions (which may lead the Authority to set remuneration at a rate lower than might otherwise have been the case).

Remuneration Authority Act 1977 — Legislation.govt.nz