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What Tauranga commissioners are being paid

Four commissioners currently lead Tauranga City Council. Photos: John Borren/SunLive.

The four commissioners leading Tauranga City Council have together been paid more than half a million dollars in remuneration for less than five months' work.

All four have already each been paid more than a city councillor’s annual salary.

In February, Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta appointed a four-member Crown Commission to act in place of Tauranga’s elected members.

The commission took over all the council’s governance responsibilities, and is expected to be in place until the next local government elections in October 2022.

Commissioners’ remuneration figures for February 9 to June 30 this year, show the four commissioners – Anne Tolley, Stephen Selwood, Shad Rolleston, and Bill Wasley – were paid a combined total of $520,200.

On top of that, there was more than $26,000 paid to the commissioners for mileage and expenses.

Remuneration has been set by Minister Mahuta at $1800 per day for the commission chair, which is Tolley, and $1500 per day for the three other commissioners.

The council is responsible for paying the commissioners' remuneration.

The figures are GST exclusive and withholding tax is deducted from the remuneration.

Tolley was paid $160,200 for 89 days’ work between February 9 and June 30 this year.

That is more than the last annual salary of the mayor of Tauranga.

When he resigned, Tenby Powell had an annual salary of $158,175.

Before it was reduced in response to Covid-19, his annual salary was $166,500.

“Bear in mind that we now have four commissioners doing the job formerly carried out by the mayor and 10 councillors,” Tolley told Stuff on Friday.

“The workload involved in familiarising ourselves with the council’s business, and in the preparation, community engagement, hearings and deliberations required to implement the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan, has had a material effect on the commissioners’ remuneration for the February to June period,” she says.

“Now that is behind us, the expectation is that our ongoing commitment for at least the next three quarters will reduce to three days per week, as was envisaged by the minister when the commissioners were appointed.”

Working three days per week for the rest of the year – about 12 days a month, for six months – still has Tolley tracking to be paid almost $290,000 in 2021.

Tolley says during the formal draft LTP consultation period, the commissioners met with some 2000 people and attended 34 community meetings and pop-up information sessions.

“We then considered close to 1800 submissions, heard 50 hours of oral submissions and spent a day-and-a-half deliberating on the content of the LTP which will be brought back for adoption later this month.”

Commission chair Anne Tolley.

Before the commission was appointed, no Tauranga city councillor (apart from the deputy mayor) was being paid an annual salary of more than $115,000.

In less than half the year, all four commissioners have each been paid more than that.

Selwood was paid $122,250 for 81-and-a-half days’ work, Rolleston was paid $120,000 for 80 days’ work, and Wasley was paid $117,750 for 78-and-a-half days’ work.

If those three commissioners each work three days per week for the rest of the year, as is expected, they will all be paid more than $220,000 this year in remuneration by the council.

Then there are the expenses.

Selwood was paid $1208.04 for mileage and $12,561.74 for expenses between February 9 and June 30, including accommodation.

Rolleston claimed no mileage or expenses. Wasley was paid $291.92 for mileage and $243.92 for expenses.

Tolley was paid $602.66 for mileage and $11,153.94 for expenses, including meals and accommodation.

Tolley and Selwood each receive $750 per week towards the cost of permanent accommodation in Tauranga. That is included in their expenses.

The council says having the commissioners living in the Tauranga community is a more efficient use of their time and resulted in a neutral financial outcome for the council, with potential savings in commuting costs, hotel accommodation and meals.

The council said it also allowed the commissioners to be more accessible to the council and community when fulfilling their responsibilities.

“This amount will be reviewed in August 2021.”

In a statement, a spokesperson from Mahuta’s office says that commissioners are entitled to receive fees determined in accordance with section 258V of the Local Government Act 2002.

“Remuneration will be paid by the council at a rate of $1800 a day for the chair and $1500 a day for commissioners.

“The commission’s fees are set at a higher rate than the prescribed Cabinet Fees Framework fees due to the significant time commitment, immediate commencement and the high level of skills and expertise required for the role.”

The spokesperson says the commission’s chair is responsible for ensuring that any expenses claimed are reasonable and necessary.

-Scott Yeoman/Stuff.

 

 

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10 Comments
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Covid times

Posted on 13-07-2021 13:57 | By

It’s as though Covid never happened. We had Jacinda and co taking a pay cut. We have printed money like it’s going out of fashion. We are still getting further in debt each day. Yet in waltz these fat cats lapping it up. They were installed because we had to learn what Governance was apparently. Yet, they just decided what their pay was - is that what Governance is?

Not Justifiable

Posted on 13-07-2021 08:42 | By

I agree they are doing a better job than the mess Council was doing before them but that does not justify this sort of money. It’s ludicrous they even put their hand out to accept it. If this is their remuneration for doing the job properly then why were our Councillors payed any differently to this. The commissioners should be paid the same as the Councillors were. At the end of the day they’re only doing the job, what we expected of our Councillors when we voted them in. Anne Tolley is staying/living local so she can do a better job which is sensible so why the huge travel recompense? I make no apology Commissioners when I say, you are being grossly overpayed.

Results count

Posted on 12-07-2021 14:36 | By

If the councillors had done their job we would not have needed commissioners! The money paid to councillors was money squandered by their petty backbiting instead of getting results. They were a very mediocre bunch on the whole and we are well rid of them

Look who is smiling

Posted on 12-07-2021 12:57 | By

The cat that got the cream

Not news

Posted on 12-07-2021 11:44 | By

This was expected. We knew the commissioners would be paid more than councillors. I’m happy with that as the public is being listened to, things are getting done, jobs for the mates have ceased, and hopefully, contracts will be well scrutinized and enforced, unlike previously.

Oh come on Anne

Posted on 12-07-2021 11:39 | By nerak

you’re riding the gravy train. Must taste pretty good, looking at your face above. ’Tolley was paid $602.66 for mileage’??? Break that down for the ratepayers who are paying that. We deserve to know. Your argument re mayor/councillors remuneration will run out of steam by year end, looks like your little group will outrun the old guard’s remuneration.

whos paying

Posted on 12-07-2021 11:13 | By hapukafin

WOW for 3 days a week.

Check website

Posted on 12-07-2021 10:35 | By

So if they earn $250k/pa, then that amounts to the work of 9 councillors being done by four people. Before COVID reductions, total paid to 11 Councillors per annum was 1,272,422.

Choo choo

Posted on 12-07-2021 10:27 | By

Daylight robbery. Waltz in and just spend spend spend. How difficult is that? Absolutely nothing will change in terms of competence and efficiency within the Council ranks. Zero. It’s just political corruption.

pay

Posted on 12-07-2021 10:15 | By dumbkof2

look at the photo smiling and laughing all the way to the bank