Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby is undecided about whether he will accept a 1.5 per cent pay increase recommended by the Remuneration Authority.
But Tauranga city councillors, who are paid from a pool of $758,828, will receive no increase.
“It hasn’t come to council yet, but it’s going to come to council sometime this month,” says Stuart.
“The councillors are not getting a pay increase. There is a recommendation that the mayor gets one, but I have asked the staff to also look at the cost of running my vehicle, and I’m going to look at whether I continue to have a vehicle.”
The report is expected to be discussed by the council on May 21 as the national spotlight turns on mayors nationwide.
So far, Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy has turned down a recommended10 per cent pay increase and Whangarei’s mayor has declined a $5000 raise.
The Mayors of Hamilton, Palmerston North and Lower Hutt have accepted increases of $3500, $6000 and $5000 respectively, while the Mayors of Wellington and Christchurch say they will also accept pay increases, but will give some to charity.
Stuart is currently paid $132,100 and the increase will put his pay up to $136,700. He doesn’t actually receive $132,100 at present, because $4500 of that goes towards his mayoral vehicle.
“So that’s why I have asked staff to tell me what are the running costs of the vehicle, because I have considered not accepting a mayoral vehicle. So I just need to know that.”
The Remuneration Authority sets mayoral and councillor salaries based on data including population growth and capital works, says Stuart.
“I’m just assuming because our capital works have slowed down - to basically the same if not reduced - there is no increase.
“I didn’t take a salary increase mid-term last term, so my general philosophy is to take one salary increase per term. But I haven’t decided to do that yet. I want that vehicle information.”