Councillor expresses concerns about remuneration and support for a Māori ward under government's proposed bill.
The local government electoral legislation bill will encourage councils to have Māori wards, particularly for those that have not had Māori representation for two previous elections.
The bill would also remove the fixed 20 councillors of a governing body.
At the Governing Body meeting on August 25, Cr Linda Cooper said remuneration for the total number of representatives would remain the same despite increasing the number of councillors and Māori wards.
Cooper said when council got Māori wards they would “get paid less; less than what the councillors got paid the last term.”
“It is like being the mayor for Māori across Tāmaki Makaurau. It is a massive job. It is going to require a lot of support if they are going to be effective and then they will get paid less than we are now.”
Principal advisor Warwick McNaughton acknowledged there were issues with remuneration under the proposed bill.
McNaughton said there was also an issue for iwi and mātāwaka around how a small number of wards would be able to represent them.
Cr Shane Henderson said he was glad that the legislation was moving in this direction but also had issues with remuneration.
“There is a philosophical issue here that when wages get lower that makes it harder for working-class people to stand for election. Eventually down the line, you have a body of independently wealthy councillors that bring that worldview to the table. That is a loss for the city,” Henderson said.
Council will make a submission on the bill with the mayor, deputy mayor and nominees to present to the select committee.
Submissions on the bill are currently open and will close on September 14.