Remuneration for councillors


For a description of what the Authority considers to be the basic role of a councillor, refer to the councillor base role description.

The Authority uses the job sizing exercise and the council’s place on the size index to inform the decision on the base councillor remuneration for each council (except Auckland which was initially sized separately).

Councillors can also receive extra remuneration for:

  • positions of additional responsibility (including deputy mayor/deputy chairperson);
  • taking on significant extra duties during the district/regional plan review process or reviews of district and regional plans; and
  • being formally appointed to a community board.

There may also be additional positions such as membership of specialist panels, working parties and external bodies.

Auckland councillors with additional formal responsibilities may also receive additional remuneration.

Fund for Additional Positions of Responsibilities

The Authority current provides for each council to have a capped fund for extra remuneration for those who take on additional positions of responsibility.

The fund for each council is equivalent to twice the base remuneration of one councillor. For example, if the base remuneration for a councillor is $40,000, then the total fund that council could use for additional remuneration will be capped at $80,000.

For information about the anticipated responsibilities for such additional roles, refer to the additional councillor responsibilities role description.

Where a councillor is also formally appointed as a member or chair of a community board, she or he is not automatically entitled to remuneration as a councillor as well as remuneration as a community board member. However, a council may apply to the Authority to pay some extra remuneration to that councillor from its capped fund.

There may also be additional positions such as membership of specialist panels, working parties and external bodies. These will vary from council to council.

Before approving any additional remuneration, the Authority expects to see evidence of significant extra workload and/or responsibility required on an ongoing basis for the positon. This could include the need to attend regular additional meetings or to gain a technical knowledge base for a particular field of expertise.

The maximum total amount of additional remuneration for any council, including that of the deputy mayor, will be 200% of the base councillor remuneration for that council.

An example follows of how the extra remuneration might work:

  1. Council A has 10 councillors, each starting with a base remuneration of $40,000.
  2. The Council has a total fund of up to $80,000 (i.e. 2.0 times the base councillor remuneration) to allocate to some or all of its 10 councillors for positions with extra responsibility.
  3. The Council wishes to pay its Deputy Mayor an additional $16,000 for carrying out the responsibilities of that role. That is 40% of the base councillor remuneration of $40,000.
  4. The Council has up to $64,000 remaining to allocate to its councillors for any positions of additional responsibility.
  5. The Council wishes to pay three of its councillors an extra $10,000 each to undertake additional responsibilities as chair of a standing committee.
  6. That leaves the sum of $34,000 that could be allocated to councillors for undertaking significant extra duties around the District Plan process.

A council does not have to set extra remuneration for all additional areas of responsibility if it chooses to operate with a flat structure. For example, it may set only one additional payment for the deputy mayor/deputy chair.

RMA and District/Regional Plan Hearing

Councillors undertaking RMA resource consent hearings and district and regional plan hearings (including Regional Policy Statement) are entitled to additional fees for that work, but those fees are not drawn from the council’s capped fund for positions of additional responsibility. See Plan, RMA and HASHA Hearings.