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 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 workload 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.
Councils who are proposing to create a new community board are urged to read the Remuneration Authority’s paper on the review of board member remuneration above.
If a council is considering establishing a community board and wants to know the indicative remuneration that may apply to members of the proposed board, the council must supply the Authority with the following:
After taking into account the above information provided by the council and the mandatory criteria for determining community board members remuneration (see clause 7, schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002), the Authority will provide the council with an indicative remuneration rate for the community board member role and for the chair role (twice the remuneration of the community board member).
The actual annual remuneration of the new community board will be determined after the Local Government Commission has issued its final decision (no later than 11 April of an election year) on the council’s representation review.
Based on the outcome of the representation review, the Authority will determine the annual remuneration of the new community board’s members that will apply on and from the day after the date on which the official result of the local election is declared under section 86 of the Local Electoral Act 2001 in relation to the territorial authority.
Note the annual remuneration rate that is determined may not be the same as the indicative remuneration provided to the council as part of its earlier representation review.
The annual remuneration of community board members covers the following (see section 52 of the Local Government Act 2002):
If a territorial authority chooses to delegate to the community board some of its responsibilities and/or powers in accordance with clause 32 of schedule 7 of the Local Government Act and wants the board’s remuneration to increase accordingly, the value of that increase will come out of the council’s governance remuneration pool.
This is in recognition that the additional work delegated to the community board members relieves the councillors of this work. The maximum amount that can be added to the community board member’s remuneration is 30% of their annual remuneration as shown in the principal determination.
A council which proposes additional remuneration for community board members should submit the proposal at the same time as it submits the proposal for additional remuneration covering positions of responsibility on the council.