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

Current remuneration

Information on the current remuneration, allowances and reimbursement costs for local authority members is in the following determination:

Local Government Members (2024/25) Determination 2024 – New Zealand Legislation(external link)

Legislative framework

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

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

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 local government members’ remuneration the Authority must have regard to the need to:

  • minimise the potential for certain types of remuneration to distort the behaviour of local government 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.

The Remuneration Authority 1977 also provides further criteria. Sections 18 and 18A require that, when determining the pay for local authority 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).

Local Government Act 2002 — NZ Legislation(external link)

Remuneration Authority Act 1977 – New Zealand Legislation(external link)

Pay for local government members

In 2018 the Authority completed a comprehensive review of its approach to determining the remuneration and allowances for local government members.

Pay for local government members