The remuneration rate of an elected chair of a community board is set at twice the remuneration of a community board member.
The deputy chair of a community board is remunerated as a board member, reflecting the Authority's view that the role of deputy chair is not sufficiently different from that of a board member to warrant additional remuneration.
The Authority reviewed the position of community board members as one of the final parts of its overall review of local government remuneration. The Authority’s original thesis was that because community boards are part of the governance apparatus of councils, their costs should be included in the governance pool for each council, which would be the same size pool regardless of whether or not a council had any community boards.
However, the data showed significant variances amongst community boards. For example, community boards have a massive span in terms of their resident per capita representation - from 72 residents to 13,000 residents per board member.
This range in representation represents the biggest difference amongst all boards. However, there are also no insignificant differences in what the boards actually do, ranging from significant delegations of local decisions, through to administering modest grant funds or being responsible for a budget for town centre amenity improvements or, at the other extreme, only advisory roles.
Despite these variations, the Authority has concluded that the primary function of the overwhelming majority of community boards is representation and advocacy. Thus the Authority concluded that having community board remuneration linked to population is fairer to board members. It is reasonable to expect that the time, effort and expertise required to represent a large number of people would be greater than that for a board representing a smaller number of people.
This does not mean that community board remuneration is an exact fixed multiple of its population; rather it means that there is relativity between a community board’s population and the remuneration of its elected members.
Notwithstanding the above approaches, we have applied a minimum level of remuneration even for smaller community boards representing tiny populations. Members of those boards need fair payment, even if it were just considered a meeting attendance fee, so the Authority has increased their remuneration to the minimum level of $2,000 per annum before tax.
A small number of community boards have reasonably substantial delegations from their councils. The Authority is still considering these boards’ functions and work load in relation to their councils.
Notwithstanding the decision that community board remuneration should not be part of a Council’s overall governance remuneration pool, if any council in future wants to delegate further functions from the time it takes office following the October election, and wants the community board remuneration to increase accordingly, the value of that increase will need to come out of the council governance remuneration pool. This is in recognition that additional work by community board members relieves councillors of this work.
Additional levels of responsibility can be recognised only for the board as a whole, and not for individual members. Each proposal will be considered on a case by case basis. Evidence will be required to show how any community board is operating significantly above and beyond the role of community boards. The maximum amount that can be added to the community board member remuneration is 30%.
Councillors formally appointed as members or chairs of a community board are not automatically entitled to remuneration as a community board member as well as remuneration as a councillor. Any such extra remuneration for additional responsibility must come from the council’s governance remuneration pool.